Friday, July 06, 2012

The Baron Flies the Coop…Again

The pleasure of his company was requested and off he flew, disappearing into the blue, leaving me various instructions - and leaving y’all to suffer whatever I can manage to post while he’s gone. Since I never do know from one week to the next (or for that matter, from matins to vespers on any blessèd day) how I’ll be feeling or functioning, whatever gets posted here will be as much a surprise to me as it will be to you. Please be kind and ignore the dropsies.

There are lots of things worth talking about. Sometimes I even keep a hopeful list of topics I’d like to present. But then my energy level oozes out the door and I close my notebook once more. Maybe another day? I still have enough optimism to keep updating that journal, though)...

But there’s another problem. Not a problem really — more like a complication, which is this: We have a varied audience, reaching from Finland to Australia and stretching to California before bounding on to Alaska, Hawaii and Moose Jaw, Canada. Oh, and don’t let me forget Israel [that’s a cue for, “yeah, I hear they’re in the pay of Mossad”] and a few —very few — folk in the Middle East. Did I say Texas?

So with this motley crew, where to focus?

  • Shall I bore the Europeans with too much “insider baseball” accounts of the ferment occurring right now in American politics and culture? Without a doubt, the coming election (and the surrounding events) will be a watershed in American history. It will define us and mark our course for generations to come.

  • Or shall I make the Americans endure stories of the misery of continental drift and dissolution across the sea? The ruination of so many countries and cultures at breakneck speed is like watching a space alien horror movie stuck in fast forward.
There is a tangential problem here for both sides: we think we know enough about one another to hold forth on what the others ought to do. Sometimes we airily dismiss the complexity of the problems each faces as simply a lack of intelligence or integrity or both. In the end, these foreclosures of intellect and civil discourse come down to a dismissive hubris on both sides. We think we already know the answers for others when in reality we haven’t even begun to understand those problems in all their mystery and complexity.

Back when the Baron’s essays were posted on Breitbart’s “Big Peace” section, the harshly predictable comments left by my fellow citizens became increasingly embarrassing. Thus, when he had to give up posting at BP for lack of time I was relieved. No longer would we have to endure the oh-so-witty “Europe’s-done-Stick-a-fork-in-it” repartee in the comment sections. For the most part, those sloughs were déjà vu moments and I was once more slogging through swamps of lizards green and scaly as though no time had passed.

There’s no way to amuse all our readers in the Baron’s absence so I’ll flip through my notes and pick a pebble or two for y’all to examine.

  • I have a piece half-written on an YouTube video from several years ago that cycled back ‘round again in the emails recently. I showed it to several people and did a random survey, asking some readers in particular to share their opinions. I’ll go dig that one out.

  • And JLH sent an amusing satire — Hamlet’s soliloquy as channeled though our Supreme Court’s Chief Justice after his recent ruling on ObamaCare.

  • Maybe a piece on the “international” gun ban and how far it will — or won’t — get in this country.

  • Perhaps a post on the long-term results of divorce if I can write it so as not to cause a food fight.

  • Some political predictions.

  • A petition or two…
…and by the time y’all think you can’t stand another minute, why the Baron will be back at Command Central, both computers fired up, and the Gates of Vienna will creak open, weighted down by the accretions of emails hanging off the railings.

One thing’s for sure: that old adage about absence and a fond heart is all too true.

I apologize again for the execrable spam-prevention torture you have to endure in order to comment on Gates of Vienna. Peregrin is right: the Captcha ‘system’ is indeed getting worse. What Blogger has is inexcusable, but what can we do, ask for our money back? To leave the security of all those server farms would mean endless DOS attacks and a very high monthly premium. If anyone has ideas for an alternate system which is easy to implement, and can be used on Bloog, please let us know.

What annoys me no end is their mandatory updates, posing as “improvements” but making it more difficult for average people to keep a blog up and running. Yet they ignore the pleas for a better spam filter. It’s like the old days of regulated monopolistic phone companies, where the motto was, “We don’t care. We don’t have to care. We’re the phone company”. Same goes for Blogger, in spades.

Meanwhile, I continue to enjoy the luxury of moderated comments. In one recent attempt that hit the spam filter for what it was advertising, there was this little gem in the verbiage:

I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be only me or do some of these remarks appear like written by brain dead people?
It's you, buddy. Trust me.

10 comments:

You New said...

Improvement used to mean improvement, now change is novelty.

Okay, play the Euroland music, Dymphna, it's more interesting.
I'm worn out on my own nation; here I sit in the corner with pointed hat and a stupid Roberts/Bush/McCain quasi-con grin and eyeglow. I have to hope there are smarter people somewhere.

But all in all, just let er rip.

I think the only way to leave Blogger is to have someone to take the whole thing and make it from scratch. Would someone tell Dymphna who can do that job? Recommendations? I suggest calling all the scratch blogs on the phone and asking them who to hire.

Find someone reasonable and then have a bloggathon to pay for it.
Fifty bucks says you won't do it.

There are people who do this blog moving work. Then ask for the dough-nation from all of us and see how feasible it is.

Once you get your own private blog, set-up costs go away too. The Baron gets an auto with better handling, we get to spout.

Nilk said...

And JLH sent an amusing satire — Hamlet’s soliloquy as channeled though our Supreme Court’s Chief Justice after his recent ruling on ObamaCare.

As a Shakespeare fan, please feel free to post.

In the meantime, enjoy Wayne and Shuster's A Shakespearean Ballgame.

Nemesis said...

Personally, I have no problem with what GOV posts as articles. I have yet to see a bad one! I may not always leave comments, but that is only because I don't feel I could or should, comment on everything put up. It's what takes my fancy that generates the comment. And on that I'll paraphrase an old TV detective; The facts Ma'am, just give me the facts!

Papa Whiskey said...

Speaking of amusing satires, here's one from Iowahawk a couple of years ago that left me in stitches:

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2008/02/heere-bigynneth.html

Don't know if Rowan Williams is still Archbishop of Canterbury, but those who remember him will get a good laugh!

Anonymous said...

How about some positive news from Europe?

You know, stuff like,

Boadicea rises from her grave.

The invaders and their enablers spontaneously combust.

All MPs decide to expatriate to the Congo.

The EUites decide to maximize their enrichment by quite literally entering the cannibal's pot.

After all, In the beginning was the Word.

George Pal said...

"So with this motley crew, where to focus?"

Universal truths and indefeasible laws of nature?

I know. Too airily dismissive of the complexity that is human nature. Damned human nature! I'm not through thinking though.

Anonymous said...

I tend to view that arch druid / clown Rowan Williams as symptom of the Marxist-globalisht-secular disease that infects church leadership not only Britain but the U.S. as well.

Very few except at the lowest levels have the either the courage nor intelligence to recognize their mortal enemy among them.

Like many in our age, most Church people have become ahistorical. It's a irrelevant subject, we no longer know or care about the past or what we can derive from it. Who cares that for a thousand years Westerners had fought the dreaded Saracen on the seas and land and that they stand for everything the West is not. And today invite them to their churches for "interfaith" meetings, turn a blind eye to Mosque buildings and the implacable hatred that Islam has towards Christianity.

Anonymous said...

There is a vexing problem, because for people who view the socio-economic-cultural landscape from our side of the bridge, there are precious few good news to report, or stories to discuss. And those are relatively small news and stories. The big ones are negative in a big and deepening way.
99% of people can't take a sustained input of negative news. And that goes for conservatives too. Ann Barnhardt describes a Colorado Tea Party gathering at which she was invited to give a speech. Before she was through, 1/3walked out because they found what she was saying about Islam offensive, and then another 1/3 walked out because they found what she was saying about the GOP offensive.
Yet, without taking the bad news frontally, day after day, with no illusions and diversionary mental games, there is no hope that we can affect a change of the kind we, as opposed to the BHOmoids, want.
So perhaps it's useful to inject topics sometimes that offer self-help tools in the area of mental and emotional toughening. Physical toughening too. If you are 60 lbs. overweight and binge on carbohydrates, your mind cannot be the calm rock that it could be.
Takuan Seiyo

Kepha said...

Count Uncle Kepha as one of those Christians who has come to care less what people like Roe Hind Williams or any other "leader" of the so-called "mainstream" denominations has to say. They're people who long ago concluded that the Christian faith was just a fable, and that for the sake of the brave new world coming, their job was to give the corpse a decent burial.

I am an unabashed Christian fundamentalist who truly believes that Jesus, God incarnate, took our sins on himself on the cross, truly died, was buried, and rose the third day. This is one reason why I cannot ever believe that the Qur'an and Hadith are of God rather than a mix of being partly from men and partly from the pits of Hell itself.

At this point, most Christians worldwide are either Roman, Constantinopolitan, or Evangelicals. Most of these would have no problem understanding that Islam is wrong.

Where we perhaps have some differences with some of the rest of the anti-Jihad movement is that we are not eager for a shooting war. One reason for this is that we have seen that Islam is by no means an impenetrable wall. There is now a visible Christian presence among the Kabyles of Algeria and among ex-Muslims in Turkey and Iran--where there hasn't been such a presence in centuries. One of the prominent musicians in China's iunregistered churches is of a Muslim background (led to the Christian faith by her grandmother, who'd been raised to keep Qing Zhen[halal] before hearing the Gospel). We doubt that this was achieved by yelling "raghead, go home!" at people.

Indeed, one place in which many in our missions work have been caught flat-footed is in an unprecedented openness of Muslims towards the Gospel. To our simple minds, this has to be God's Holy Spirit responding to centuries of prayer and faith on the part of Christians.

While I believe that the state is justified in waging war from time to time, and that the people may, on the government's egregious violation of the political compact, rebel on occasion--yes, I'm a Calvinist and Augustinian rather than an Anabaptist--I do not believe that violence is necessary in confronting all Muslims in all situations. Yes, the Muslims are often violent and provocatory, but perhaps we in the West should have a little more faith in our own heritage.

Anonymous said...

Kepha it is great to have optimism
in 'curing' Islam by persuasion and conversion but the numbers don't add up. I am also an optimist, yes even about Islam, but we must also be realists.The astronomic demoghraphic of Islam's growth totally crushes the
minuscule numbers of conversions. We must not base our theories around a fear or distaste for violence. I am absolutely certain that sadly it is the only answer to the total cancer of Islam. This is balanced reality. So the problem is, if we can't even get our dhimmi leaders to use force what are our remaining options? Clearly the time for talking is over. The choices come down to; electing nationalist governments, VERY difficult, or to engineer the kind of Internet/Facebook/Twitter street revolutions which we have seen in a few of these North African/Middle Eastern countries.