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.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Never, ever back down

Online lynch mobs would disappear almost overnight if people would simply stop apologizing. For example, if I had shot Cecil the lion, I'd have tweeted a picture of myself with his head mounted above my fireplace and the caption, "U mad bro?" Roosh understands that, and he won. I admire his fortitude, and I'm not just saying that because he's my publisher. We haven't had much opportunity to talk outside a professional level, so I don't claim to know him well. I think the Church would bring in many more converts if she focused on those who are as disgusted by liberalism as orthodox Catholics.

If any of my five loyal readers are curious, the usual RoK schedule was shifted around to focus on the Battle of Montreal. My next column should appear as usual, and I'm confident it will have something to piss off everyone.

It's common among the kids to claim they don't believe in stereotypes and to righteously denounce those who make generalizations. For example, if I say that men are generally taller than women, some white kid who's been waiting his whole life to be offended will reply, "Oh yeah? Well I know a girl who's 6'4" and plays basketball! So haha, what now Beefy?"

Stereotypes and generalizations are essentially pattern recognition. People who score low in pattern recognition are not MENSA material, to put it charitably. In this case, Dalrock shows us again that women initiate two thirds of all divorces, and they are most likely to blow up their families in their early 20s when their SMV value is at its peak. The likelihood of divorce decreases as her age increases. I'll leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Players gonna play

I see articles like these with increasing frequency: young women sort of fret about the decline of marriage but then double down on how totally awesome it is to have so many hawt guys to choose from. That is up until they hit the Wall, when they scramble to lock down a provider who's willing to overlook her high N count.

The average man's attitude toward marriage hasn't changed much: "I'll do it if that's what it takes to keep her. Otherwise, no rush." As recently as 30 years ago, any man could easily find a wife if he wasn't actively avoiding marriage. It's women who are pushing the average age of first time marriage into the late twenties or early thirties. It's women who run for the hills if their guy gets too serious (i.e. is marriage minded) too soon. 30 years ago, a never married man of my age would be considered an odd duck, at best. Today, many of my friends have been through the divorce grinder and they say I'm fortunate to have avoided that.

Today the marriage minded man has to actively seek out a marriage minded woman, which is more difficult than it sounds even within a traditional religious community. Regular Mass going Catholic parents often encourage their daughters to pursue college and career in their 20's, which is a de facto putting off of marriage. It used to be commonplace for Catholic grandmas to play matchmaker for the single Catholic man in the pews. If he went to Mass every Sunday and had a steady job, he'd never lack for choices. That is no longer the case.

Players and sluts ye shall always have with you, but the world incentivizes young people to be that way. Catholics unwittingly reinforce the spirit of the world by embracing feminism and modernism. Catholics famously ignore the Church's teaching about the sinfulness of artificial contraception, which has contributed to the devolution of marriage from an institution devoted to rearing children to a public declaration of fuzzy feels. It's difficult enough to live the faith when you have a strong community to fall back on. It's harder still when you don't.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Life among the proles

Compared to the other major cities of California, Sacramento is low-key and conservative; think the 1950's era Democrats, as opposed to San Francisco where politics is a mix of ruthless tribal competition between the gays and the Asians, and Comintern hair-splitting on points of doctrine. Highway 50's western terminus is nearby:

As you drive east toward South Lake Tahoe, the big cities become small towns, and the towns become more monochromatic and working class. Think men with copstaches and women who are 30 but look 40. The day is done, the night is come, and all they want is their cheap beer, cigarettes, and scratchers. They'll crash at home, maybe watch TV for three or four hours, and then begin again tomorrow morning when they drop in to get more cigarettes, a 24 oz. coffee loaded with cream and sugar, maybe an energy drink, and a few candy bars.

Sandwiched between Sacramento and Placerville are the cities of El Dorado Hills and Folsom. They've got their substrata of poor and working class, but they are both significantly wealthier than the suburbs of Citrus Heights and Orangevale on the one side, Cameron Park and Shingle Springs on the other. In EDH and Folsom we have upper middle to upper class professionals who pull in six figures a year as lawyers, doctors, bankers, real estate brokers. They're the sort of people whose children prefer coke and heroin to the trashy meth and marijuana of the proles.

Although I'm more articulate than the average bear, I've always gotten along better with the proles than our wealthy, supposed betters. Yes, the people in the lower classes have often made and continue making bad decisions, but there's an honesty and unpretentiousness I've always appreciated. One of them said to be one day, "You don't talk much, do you Andrew?" I replied, "Talking? You mean that thing women and gays like?" She laughed and said, "I bet a lot of people don't pick up on that dry sense of humor of yours."

Your social life suffers a bit when you work nights, but it's enjoyable in the sense that people can be more easy going at that hour, and you can joke and laugh with them more as they're probably a little drunk or high or both.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Medieval Game

Cardinal Lothario of Segni, who went on to be elected Pope Innocent III in 1198, explains to Medieval men why they should avoid marriage:
1. "A wife competes to have the most expensive dresses and accoutrements, so that the upkeep of the wife always exceeds her husband's fortune..."

2. "In general, she sighs and cries, day and night, and gossips and grumbles."

3. She'll say [of another woman], "She is better dressed and can go out in public, and is honored there by everyone; while I am the most miserable, the only one to be looked down upon in the gathering of women, and am disparaged by all." 

4. "Only she wishes to be loved, only she to be praised; praise of another is treated suspiciously as a disgrace to herself."

5. "Everything she loves is to be loved, everything she rejects is to be hated." 

6. "She wishes to win, but her victory is worthless."

7. "She cannot bear to serve, but strives to dominate." 

8. "She wants to be allowed to do anything and not be prohibited from anything."

9. "If she is beautiful, it is easy to fall in love with her, and if she is ugly she will willingly do her best; but it is difficult to keep hold of what is loved by many, and troublesome to possess what not wishes to have."

10. "You can try it out before you buy a horse, an ass, an ox or a dog, clothes or a bed, even a cup or a jug; but a wife is only glimpsed with difficulty, so that she might displease before she is taken; whatever might come about in the end, she must be kept by necessity, even if she is fat, stinky, ill, idiotic, or even proud or irascible, or if she has any corrupted blemish."
Godless heathens and other Christians often wonder why celibacy is mandatory for Catholic clergy. Wouldn't they offer better advice to married couples if priests had firsthand knowledge of the joys and difficulties of marriage? Over a thousand years worth of discipline and theological work has gone into clerical celibacy so it's not going to change any time soon. Strictly speaking, the early Church never allowed priests to marry, but rather ordained married men. In other words, if an an unmarried man was ordained a priest, he could not marry later. Why would they need to anyway? Priests are already living in poverty, celibacy and obedience, ha.

Seriously though, the celibate Catholic priest often has keener insights into the nature of marriage by nature of his being an impartial outside observer. They've seen and heard it all within a few years of their ordinations. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop many of them from embracing the lies of feminism or progressivism. In the 21st century, the vast majority of lay people who work side by side with priests every day are women. In the United States, something like 80+ percent of all lay volunteers and employees at the parish and diocesan levels are women. Father has to tread carefully lest he be called onto the carpet at the chancery and scolded for not being paaaaastoral.

But as Pope Innocent III shows us, humans may invent new technologies and toys to amuse themselves but human nature never changes.

Music break

There's just something about 80's hair metal that really makes me believe in myself and that I can achieve great things.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Rest in peace Hot Rod

61 may as well be 200 in professional wrestling years, but "Rowdy" Roddy Piper left us too soon. Truly one of the great wrestling villains of all time.

As fate would have it, this was his last interview:

You can choose whatever you like, so long as it's liberalism

Left- and right-liberals (also known as cuckservatives) both accept the premise that the highest principle of politics is freedom. They believe that we have transcended the petty religious, racial, and tribal squabbles of bygone eras and that history has culminated in liberalism, with right-liberals generally preferring liberalism as it was forty to fifty years ago. Liberalism sees itself as metaphysically neutral, an impartial umpire that ensures none of the tribes within its loving embrace oppresses the others. It's not a coincidence that the State has grown ever larger and more intrusive along with the vibrant diversity of the United States.

Freedom means we are able to choose what we wish to choose. Making freedom our highest principle is therefore contradictory as politics essentially means resolving disputes. Freedom as such makes no distinctions between good and evil. If Jones wants to sell the organs of murdered babies from a Planned Parenthood clinic and Smith thinks Jones should swing from a lamppost for doing so, they cannot both have what they want. If freedom is treated as the highest good, then discrimination between good and evil becomes impossible. All choices must be treated as equal and valid. Politics simply is authoritative discrimination in favor of a particular worldview. A metaphysically "neutral" politics is incoherent and naturally results in wickedness flourishing.

The other guiding principle of liberalism is equality. Equality means reconstructing society as though certain facts were not true such as men and women are different, or that there are intractable differences between races. The alt-right does a lot of good work exposing the follies of equalism, and more power to them. If you wish to permanently escape the mind trap of liberalism though, it's not enough to reject equality. That's only a half-way measure. You must also reject liberalism's idea of freedom.

Seven years later

In August 2008, I resigned from my job to enter the seminary and study to become a Catholic priest. I thought that by August 2015, I'd be in some small rural parish somewhere, celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, reconciling sinners to God, and preaching the true doctrine which the people had been deprived of for so long. In reality, I'm almost right back where I started, a good deal more embittered and cynical about the Church but pleased with both my new day job and my writing gig with Return of Kings.

The one time my writing has ever gotten me in trouble was in the seminary, heh. As recently as 20 years ago, most American seminaries were hellholes of heresy and homosexuality. It's not nearly that bad anymore. They really have improved. But the scars of those dark days remain and it shows in what the seminary administration chooses to focus on and what not to focus on. I said so in a letter to the priest who was my godparent at my baptism. He complained to the vocation director who didn't think it was a big deal because I was, in fact, right about what I said. That year I was the cross bearer at my diocese's priestly ordinations. That same priest saw me still there in good standing so he complained directly to the seminary.

The rector used all of the usual Church flavored psychobabble: "Andrew seems like a deeply angry young man…" I could see where the meeting was going, and I was thinking, "I wasn't before but I'm getting that way now." Three years later, he himself was fired by the Archbishop. Schadenfreude is not a Christian sentiment, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel it just a little.

It does make me cynical about the diocese's constant pleas to pray for vocations. Why should I when you are turning away men who are both willing and able to be priests? Strictly speaking, there is never a shortage of vocations, for who would dare suggest God does not call enough men to be priests and provide for the spiritual needs of the people? Rather there is a shortage of the kind of men bishops and seminaries like who are both able and willing to be priests. The key word is "formation." They want to mold you into their own image and likeness, and if you already have firm Traditionalist and reactionary convictions they're going to make life difficult for you. They sugarcoat it by saying you have to meet people where they're at to accompany them on their spiritual journey and all that other Vatican II hippie nonsense. By their fruits ye shall know them; the declining participation in the sacraments over the last fifty years speaks for itself.

I rather enjoy having the greater freedom of the layperson and I'm glad I don't have progressive chancery apparatchiks breathing down my neck all the time. Even my buddy the youth minister, as a full time employee of a parish, has to deal with that bureaucratic bullshit and I don't envy him that, no matter how much I enjoy working with the teens. It's God's Church, so it's future is in his hands, just as my own life is in his hands.