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Month: June 2021

Where I’ve been

As a Western-hyphen-American (bitterly clinging to the Pacific coast as I do), I never thought I’d see this storied place. But here I stood. At first as I approached along the path I thought I’d cry for the wonder of being here where it all began. Just as quickly I realized I might cry for the sorrow of being here in the days of its ending. (We came to the statue under a blazing noonday sun. No angle allowed a good photograph until I surrendered to the understanding that I could get only a silhouette — and got this grand…


I’m suffering an attack of optimism

I’m suffering the sudden onset of optimism. Don’t worry, the condition probably won’t be fatal or chronic. I’ll be back to my normal, healthy, pessimistic self in a week or two. But meanwhile I can’t get rid of this feeling that everything may turn out okay out there in the world. Well, not everything. But outcomes of the current madness may be better than we expect. I feel this way precisely because everything’s falling apart. And all kinds of people are recognizing that everything’s falling apart or has already fallen and can’t be raised back up. That’s the part that…


A freedomista symbiosis for our future? Part II

I just re-read Rod Dreher’s FAQ on the Benedict Option. I love it. Although Dreher is talking exclusively to Christians (though inclusively among varieties of Christians), there’s a lot there for the rest of us, as well. He opens with a quote from his inspiration, social critic and historian Alasdair MacIntyre, that says in part: A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What…


Anybody want to ‘fess up to this? Anybody read it?

I’m working on the conclusion to last week’s Freedomista symbiosis blog. With luck you’ll see it tomorrow or Wednesday. Meanwhile, walking to town to clear my brain and organize my thoughts, I picked this up at the post office: It looks like an intriguing and maybe instructive book. It’s in great shape. It even came with a handwritten note from the seller, thanking me effusively (with exclamation points and red underlines) for the order. Except I didn’t. Order it, that is. The one thing it didn’t come with was a note naming the giver. It’s clearly from someone who already…


A freedomista symbiosis for our future? Part I

And so our “awkward stage” continues. The awkward stage is that excruciatingly, endlessly frustrating phase in which tyranny, brutality, and bigotry against freedom grow ever more oppressive but the oppressed feel powerless to act effectively on a large scale. Moral though it may be to string lawless, dictatorial rulers up on lamp posts, it isn’t what good people do — at least not until provocations and deprivations exceed endurance. Yet without effective options, we good people find ourselves ever more bound and restricted. In the 25 years since I opened 101 Things to do ‘Til the Revolution with my infamous…


Working on the next blogosaurus, Jimmy Buffett style

I’m working on the next blogosaurus. The topic will be the symbiosis in hard times between those freedomistas who retreat (Galt’s Gulch style, monastic-style, solo, or within everyday communities) and those who fight. Their relationship may not be easy or even always mutually respectful, but it is symbiotic — and necessary. Meanwhile, I had company for a week and my houseguest courteously brought unseasonably warm and dry weather. We brainstormed this topic one morning and I paused for an hour that day to make notes. But mostly this was the background to the week’s intellectual labors: All we lacked was…