Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Brand New Blog From Finland

Another new blog. Just what you need, right? Like your sidebar isn’t crowded enough as it is… Well, I present this one anyway, despite the fact that it’s just starting out…it’s so new that if it were a just-hatched turtle it would still have its egg tooth.

Here are my reasons:

  • He’s Finnish (though his blog is written in English, and has those little glitches a non-native speaker has. I rather like them). We - the ‘sphere - need as broad a representation as possible. There’s not a glut on the market of Finland blogs that English speakers can read.
  • He’s got good illustrations.
  • He’s a traditionalist and a conservative. This might be a redundant statement. On the other hand, it remains to be seen if he can avoid the pits of reactionary thinking. Refusing to fall into those holes make it difficult to traverse the public square. Patrick Buchanan comes to mind as someone who didn’t make it. And Catholics who still demand the Tridentine Mass are another. Not to mention the Anglicans who will let go of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer only when it falls from their cold, dead hands.
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Here’s a snip from a long quote of Tolkien’s, written in the 1890's, that he posted a few days ago:

The extraordinary achievements of modern times, the discoveries and inventions in every sphere, the maintenance of progress in the face of increasing competition — these things have only been gained, and can only be held, by great mental effort. The demands made on the efficiently of the individual in the struggle for existence have greatly increased and it is only putting out all his mental powers that he can meet them. At the same time, the individual’s needs and his demands for the enjoyment of life have increased in all classes; unprecedented luxury has spread to a strata of population who were formerly quite untouched by it; irreligion, discontent and covetousness have grown up in wide social spheres. The immense extension of communications which has been brought about by the networks of telegraphs and telephones that encircle the world has completely altered the conditions of trade and commerce. All is hurry and agitation; night is used for travel, day for business, even “holiday trips” have become a strain on the nervous system...

Ah, Tolkien… a writer who affirms all my pet peeves and Luddite tendencies. I loathe travel. And The Baron and I wait each other out to see who won’t answer the phone, while too much luxury makes me uneasy —

— And do you think Tolkien saying here that luxury increases covetousness? That’s what I think of when I see poor kids in two hundred dollar shoes. They may never have a decent job, the “educational” “system” has failed them, but by gosh, at least they have those big, muffin-like shoes which allow to them to strut with the best.

This thought occurs to me whenever I see pictures of looting during natural disasters. Katrina is seared into the general consciousness in that regard. Remember the guy loaded down with bottles of beer and floating a tub of them?

I interviewed a woman last week for a piece in the local paper. She lives what she calls an “intentional” life. One of the ways she does this is to purchase only used clothing (no, you can’t tell by looking at her. If there is one thing this country has, it’s a surfeit of clothing).

How many of us live intentionally — I mean besides those dedicated Jihadists and the folks at The Common Room? (Oh, dear: I’ll bet they’ll be nonplussed to find themselves in the same sentence with suicidal nihilists) What difference would it make in our public life if that kind of thinking - careful intentionality became a part of everyone’s life? What if they taught such ideas in school instead of p.c. history?

Here are a few projections about what could happen, some of them possible short-term problems:

  • The housing market would change radically. No more cheesy McMansions. Rooms with reasonable proportions would return. Living in such an environment would lead to lowered expectations, which at this point can only help.
  • Sound bites would die. This would happen because people would simply drift away from the surface “news” to more substantial fare.
  • Lots of “must have” items would disappear or be greatly reduced. The cell phone companies would have to scramble to attract a shrunken market when people realized how much of their thinking time was taking up with chatter. And those biscuit shoes would disappear, too.
  • “Irreligion” would not be such a bad thing. The more intentionally-lived one’s life is the less need we have to tell others what to do. For example, the eco-fundamentalists and the lemming liberals would simply find themselves content to live their own lives without insisting that the rest of us live it with them. The anti-globalists would study history instead of spouting theories which demonstrate their innumeracy.
  • Not every problem would have an automatic solution. Someone who lives intentionally knows that life is one problem after another. Or rather, one mystery to be lived after another. “Solutions,” especially those dictated from the centers of power, would dissolve in the acid of their own hubris.

And that’s just for starters. Go see this Finn. I think he’s going to do well and you’ll be in on the ground floor.

And if you know of any South American blogs (writing in English and not calling for the overthrow of the evil Americans), please let me — and our readers — know. When I look at the feature of our sitemeter that permits you to see the world map of those who have clicked on to Gates of Vienna, South America is always in total darkness. We get more traffic from Thailand than from the southern continent of the Americas.


jimmytheklaw said...

i dont think he was refering to going back to the middle ages. imho it was reffering to things like all the excesses. i used to get the full cable package till the rates went through the roof, i had 5 hbo's 4 or 5 showtimes etc... i couldnt possibly watch them all. instead i tossed the cable and went with a dish wich has excessive channels but a lot cheaper and when someone comes up with a business so i can just subscribe to the 20 or so my wife and i watch then i will trim down to even less. the thing with the shoes is another thing how the hell can someone live in housing projects because they are poor and then spend over 100 dollars on shoes where you can buy a pair for 20 dollars. ive known people who bitched about their car breaking down a lot but instead of buying something reliable they sunk all their money into car accessories and a really loud stereo. cell phones imho are a waste of money unless for work they are needed (i have an old one in my car that isnt on a plan but can dial 911) ive heard people bitching about repetitive injuries from their blackberry outside of work why would i want to surf the net and strain my eyes to read that little screen or im people while sitting in a bar? some people brag about their yearly new computer the blew 1500-2500 dollars on just to trade email or look up recipes (i use a slightly modified pentium 2 and do everything including making movie dvd's and i pulled the machine out of the trash) think of all that could be done with the money wasted on these excesses, plus the people i mentioned earlier are the first to cry about finance problems when a layoff comes around or a new car is needed for work but the credit is maxed out.

Ben said...
The Devil's Excrement. An Anti-Chavez Venezuelan blog.

My own blog is bilingual but I'm in Michigan. And rarely write about politics.

Zerosumgame said...

Is this an effort to draw in the Nokia crowd, in addition to the sizeable Lego contingent already here?


Anonymous said...

I was kindly corrected recently: the source of the quote cannot be rightly attributed to Tolkien, real source being
W. Erb, from Freud's Civilization, Society and Religion. My mistake, and that blog entry is now updated as On Modernity.

And no, I don't hark back to Middle-Ages, either. It is curious, that whenever you criticize technology (even from a pragmatic perpspective, by simply pointing out that now as well as in the future we still need skilled workforce capable to handle physical jobs as well), someone will quickly accuse you of being a downright Luddite. If I were completely against technology, I wouldn't be blogging.

But now I will spend some time offline; have a nice weekend everyone, and thanks again to Dymphna. The Desire to Conserve will be updated again early next week.

Dymphna said...


I had to delete and reformat your comment because of the long URL you used. Please make long URLS into links, because otherwise they make the post too wide for our template when it's in single-post view!

ln said...


My established impression is that you are a very elegant writer - you have an admirable skill to pile up all those elegant words and phrasings to almost intoxicating heights and we readers most often just surrender. However, sometimes one afterwards wonders: where was the red thread - var fanns den röda tråden - that is, where there a connecting thought? And what about logic and the interpreting of figures?

You write:
“Irreligion” would not be such a bad thing.

Quite right - an atheology-izing(?) of society is most desirable - all human efforts to cling to some heavenly monstrosity, however "tender and loving", is an expression for human immaturity. Certainly we can conclude that there is a pretty high degree of confidence for god's absence (K/square equally 0.999999999). Still aprox 85% of the US population believe in the heavenly father! (American Religious Identification Survey 2001)

You write:
"The more intentionally-lived one’s life is the less need we have to tell others what to do. For example, the eco-fundamentalists and the lemming liberals would simply find themselves content to live their own lives without insisting that the rest of us live it with them."

Sure you do not like eco-fundamentalists and and lemming(?) liberals!
I will not bother you with any news about melting glaciers or any other inconvenient truths neighter take up that stupid man Al Gore, but nevertheless read this:
When the Flood comes you are most probally dead and untill then you live as you teach:
Hail to that filthy lucre! -- "Let Steve chose a VOLVO XC90 for Beth" -- sure a big SUV for 7 passengers is good for your self esteem and for the environment.

You write:
"The anti-globalists would study history instead of spouting theories which demonstrate their innumeracy."

Yes, and a small number of spouting anti-islamists drink tea and nibble at muffins and critcize engaged people's unacquaintance with basic principles of mathematics and science.

Long live a critical self-knowledge!

lot said...


There aren't many anti-immigration blogs here in Finland. Yet.

Although we have a relatively small number of problematic minority groups here, things may start to worsen quickly. Diversity advocates run the show; there is virtually no visible or audible opposition against the triumph of multiculturism. Or well, actually there is, but those horrible "racist arguments" never pass the tight net of censorship. Very few people have the courage to publicly say what they really feel. Whispers, gossip, that's all there is.

How bad must it get before people start to open their mouths and state the obvious?

-- lot

Papa Ray said...

Well, I've been at the bottom of the pit of reactionary thinking for about the last two years.

And it's really nice down here, except that everyday it keeps getting more crowded.

Wonder why that is?

Papa Ray
West Texas

Dymphna said...

zero said:
Is this an effort to draw in the Nokia crowd, in addition to the sizeable Lego contingent already here?

Right you are, my man. The only cell phone we have is a Nokia, rather old (and once accidentally left on top of the car when we drove off. It smashed onto the pavement and landed in the ditch in several pieces. We put it back together and it still works fine). Cell phones are for (1)calling a tow truck, or (2)calling home to say that you'll be late...

...sorry Supercop, cellphones are just not high on my list. We activate it once a year, spend less than a hundred dollars on minutes, and usually have a few left over when the annual renewal time arrives. I mean, what is there to say that can't wait, for heaven's sake?

I did try to use one with the Baron's Boy but he never kept it on and ended up using it for exam reminders. Maybe Ludditeness is genetic?


No one insults a person better than you. What a fine job you did. However, I'm not responsible for your au courant views on the state of the world's health. In five years or so your theories will join the earnest pronouncements from the Club of Rome (widespread famine by now. No more economic growth. Remember??? "Limits to Growth"???) and Jimmah from the Ummah's preaching in the 1980's that we'd be out of oil by 2000? Lars, Lars -- you believe that scientist Al Gore, the inventor of the internet? The one who wants to outlaw the internal combustion engine???

Nope, Lars, it's *your* red thread and your labyrinth. I ain't going there. I attended my very last "Henny Penny the Sky is Falling" party when the SARS scare floated by. Start your Gloom 'n Doom party without me.

BTW, supercop, I'm not "drifting back to the Middle Ages." I never left them. My favorite music is Gregorian Chant...come to think of it, I'd probably have to move forward to get to medieval times.

And jimmietheklaw is right about simplifying. We don't have a TV (how does anyone find time to watch it?) but we do finally have a satellite for our internet connection. No DSL is going to get this far out for years and years.

We also drive old cars paid for with cash (and never remember to turn on the radio because we're too busy talking), eat simply (though we do vary widely in ethnic cuisines. The Baron's favorite is curry. Mine is cajun or French, depending on the food --but they're still cheap dishes to fix at home), and our "vacations" are minimal. I did buy Danish paté when it was an issue of solidarity. In fact, a commenter sent me a gift certifcate and I got it at Amazon.

The Baron's vice is bittersweet chocolate, one piece after dinner. And mine is flowers for the garden. He also haunts the bottom of the wine bins for cheap deals. He loves vinho verde -- the best cheap wine you can get. I haunt Amazon for all sorts of deals...

Actually, if you're not able to discern it for yourself, our yuppie friends can tell you in great detail how boring and tedious we are. They have to explain everything to us. I remember asking Hullah Ballou not too very many years ago, to explain to me the difference between email and voice mail. She didn't even laugh at me.

I done come a long way, baby...but I'm with Papa Ray: I want to live with him downt in he Reactionary Rathskellar and watch the world go rushing on by.

This comment is way too long. It shoulda morphed into a ranting post or moved its big self over to The Neighborhood of God... Oh well. It's hard to tell sometimes when these spells are going to hit.The Baron says women are like the weather -- you just have to wait 'em out.