Saturday, August 29, 2015

Aristocrats of the soul

One of my six loyal readers, Mark Citadel, has a new column up at Return of Kings entitled Why Modern Men Must Become Aristocrats of the Soul:
If one were to compare the men of the traditional world to those of the modern world, certain differences in constitution would become readily apparent. While institutions and environment will alter the spiritual constitution of men if allowed to become influential enough, in the grand sense, a people’s men will actually find more influence going in the opposite direction.
If a society succeeds, it is likely due to the character of its men. If a society fails, so too is this likely due to the character of its men. For this reason, those differences between men of two time periods before and during an epoch such as that which we find ourselves in cannot be ignored, for rather than products, they find themselves more as integral causal factors.
Read the rest there. I'm impressed at how Mark is able to speak about transcendent things without bludgeoning the reader with a specific creed. In my own columns at RoK, I try to write in a way that will spark the reader's curiosity enough to study these things on their own. I don't claim to be a disinterested observer; I want everyone on earth to enter the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church. My own conversion was in many ways a case of self-study. I was curious about the faith and studied it until I was compelled to enter. You never know how much you truly influence someone on this side of the veil.

Friday, August 28, 2015

My new column at Return of Kings

In this week's column, I briefly talk about my time in the seminary and recount my field trip with our diocesan exorcist:
The one time my writing has ever gotten me in trouble in real life was when I was a seminarian. I wrote to a priest friend back home about my experiences, describing both the good and the bad. Something I said pissed him off because by the end of that year the rector expressed “concerns” about me and wanted a meeting with my vocation director and me. That was the beginning of the end of my time as a seminarian.
The vocation director at the time also served as the diocesan exorcist. On the morning of our meeting with the rector, he said, “I need to make a stop along the way. You’re welcome to assist if you want.”
“Assist with what?” I asked.
“I need to bless and cleanse an infested house,” he replied.
“Oh. Uh… what do I need to do?”
“Well, first we both need to go to confession.”
Read the rest there. The exorcist is currently serving as a parish pastor. During a spell of unemployment, I did volunteer work at his parish as a way to keep the resume updated. He's a good man and a good priest, but I wish he had a more forceful personality when dealing with parishioners, heh.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mass hysteria

Sometimes Catholics tell me, "The Novus Ordo can be quite beautiful when it's celebrated like the Traditional Latin Mass." Yes, it can be. However, if you're going to Trad up the Novus Ordo by adding Latin, chant, incense, bells, organs and all the rest then why not just go ahead and celebrate the TLM? For what specific reasons do you prefer the NO to the TLM?

If you compare the two missals side by side, you see that they are significantly different in more ways than language and music. They have different assumptions about God, Jesus Christ, the Church, and man's relationship with them. That's why so many bishops and seminary faculty are violently allergic to anything that smacks of pre-Vatican II Catholicism: the old Mass is incompatible with their liberalism. That's why it wasn't so long ago that expressing an interest in the old Mass or wearing a cassock to class could get a man expelled from seminary on the spot. These days they'll just have you sit down in their office and ask you if you're still insane.

In my early days as a convert, I always found Sunday Mass to be something of a let down. I'd spend the week reading apologetics, the writings of the saints and Doctors and popes, and Sacred Scripture. I'd get myself all pumped up on how I was going to kick ass and take names for the Lord after the Eucharist strengthened my soul for the week. I'd be eager to witness the sacrifice of Calvary made present on the altar. Then I'd go to Mass and be surrounded by soccer dads in cargo shorts and polo shirts, old ladies with sensible hair-dos and a taste for gossiping before Mass, children who played with their phones, empty spaces where unmarried young adults should be, and a priest who assured us that Jesus is our boyfriend and the real point of Christianity is to be nice to everyone.

One of the urgent problems in the Church is the Grand Canyon sized chasm that exists between praxis and doctrine in most dioceses. If we really believe this stuff, then it ought to be reflected in the way we worship.

Friday, August 21, 2015

You fairy, you company man

Donald Trump is the only candidate who gets it:

"Are you aware that the term 'anchor baby,' that's an offensive term. People find that hurtful..."

That smarmy little bastard may as well have asked if Trump still eats puppies. The question was designed to trap him in one of two ways. He expected Trump to either say he was not aware of that in which case he'd be portrayed as an insensitive, out of touch plutocrat, or to apologize for backpedal in some way in which case he'd confirm his racism.

Trump refuses to concede the frame. "You mean it's not politically correct?" The low-t manlet was clearly surprised by a Republican who didn't immediately back down. Look it up in the dictionary indeed. Perhaps he meant the urban dictionary?

"The American born children of undocumented immigrants?" The reporter unwittingly confirmed the truth behind the term anchor baby. The Donald delivered the coup de grace with a dismissive, "I'll use anchor baby." Message to the reporter: I don't give a shit about your feelings, thank you, fuck you, good bye.

If Trump keeps this up - and he doesn't strike me as the type to bow to media pressure - then he'll win every Republican primary by a landslide.

"But his stands on the issues!"

The Right loves Trump because they're starving for someone, anyone who is willing to speak realtalk, no matter how tentatively. Hell, I might even go to the polls here in California if he makes it that far.

My new post at Return of Kings

This week I urge the reader to be of sound mind as well as sound body:
The existence of the soul is of utmost importance for both philosophy and theology. It is the animating principle of our bodies by which we think, feel, imagine, and remember. Spirituality takes for granted the distinction between soul and body, and belief in an afterlife necessarily implies that the soul can exist outside of the body.
Almost every culture and religion on earth has some idea of the soul. We infer its existence from the inevitable facts of life: birth, death, dreams, ideas, and abstractions all suggest the reality of something beyond the visible and material organism. The soul is internal to us, but to some extent it is independent of us, hence the term “my mind was wandering.”
To my knowledge, science has not devised a way of quantifying or measuring the soul, which means unreflective men will dismiss the question of its existence out of hand. Consider this though: our host Roosh displayed considerable willpower and fortitude in the recent battle of Montreal. We cannot use a machine to declare that Jones has 34 units of willpower and Smith has 50, yet we still speak of willpower as an objective reality.
We will briefly examine the history of the soul in Western thought, for it offers important lessons for all men.
Read the rest there.

The way my new gig is working out is that I work a lot of nights. I have the place mostly to myself so I turn it into my own personal roadhouse with the Beefy Levinson Awesome Mix (BLAM) on the play list. Folks who come in tell me I have good taste which is immensely gratifying. When you're up all night you need something to keep you motivated.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review: Bombs Away, by Harry Turtledove

In real life, Harry Truman refused Douglas MacArthur's request to use nuclear weapons in the Korean War. The premise of Harry Turtledove's latest alternate history novel is that Truman gives that permission. This is the early 1950's which means no ICBMs. Atom bombs are delivered the old fashioned way via B-29 superfortress and Tupolev Tu-4.

It's difficult to get into all the details without spoilers, but suffice it to say the Soviet Union does not appreciate the use of nuclear weapons against its ally China, so Stalin takes advantage of the situation to not only retaliate against America's allies but eventually launch a full scale invasion of Western Europe. Before the novel is even one hundred pages finished, the Soviets and Americans have nuked each other a dozen times over.

It's a Turtledove novel. If you're at all familiar with his work, this novel contains the usual stilted dialogue. Thankfully, Turtledove seems have given up writing sex scenes. Two things he does very well is portray the effects of atom bombs on cities and radiation sickness in civilians, and every day life in Stalinist Russia. He emphasizes how Soviet citizens teach themselves crimestop: they know what is true but they know better than to say so out loud. Here in the United States, speaking the truth can get you fired or socially ostracized. In Soviet Russia, it gets you sent to the gulag or killed. Two characters are listening to the radio after a major Western European city gets nuked. One of them says, "They make 300,000 deaths sound like such a big number. That's a slow day for Comrade Stalin." Turtledove is also great at communist propaganda-speak: "Forward, progressives of the world! Forward to victory against the reactionary imperialist dogs!"

The story is pretty depressing even by Turtledove standards. As per usual, there are dozens of viewpoint characters which makes it difficult to keep track of the entire cast. Stalin makes several appearances but we never get inside his mind. Truman is one of the viewpoint characters and you get to see how the use of several dozen atom bombs begins to weigh deeply on his conscience. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Would nuke again.

Any blog entry about the Soviet Union makes Hell March mandatory:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My new post at Return of Kings

In this column I show how Pope Paul VI, weak though he was in many ways, was right all along when it came to his predictions in Humanae Vitae.
Christians in general, and Catholics in particular, are portrayed as puritanical and anti-sex. This raises a question: if Catholics hate sex so much, then why did they historically tend to have so many children? As recently as 100 years ago, child rearing was considered the proper object of marriage and sex. The blue pill script – go to college, get a good salaried job, marry young and for life, have two or three kids – retains its staying power because it used to be sound advice. The manosphere exists in part because it is sound advice no longer.
Read the rest there.