Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This Summer of Our Discontents


Everlasting summer filled with ill-content
This government had us walkin’ in chains
This isn’t my turf
This ain’t my season
Can’t think of one good reason to remain

— The Band, from “Acadian Driftwood”

Summer Fundraiser 2012, Day One

‘Tis that time again: the quarterly fundraiser is upon us. Last time through I lost some donors’ emails — they got caught between the transfer of material from my office computer to my netbook (better known as my itty bitty bed book, and a stunning gift from a New York City reader). As far as I can tell, I found every missing person, but if you didn’t get an acknowledgement for your donation in the Spring, please let me know. It’s bad karma when one fails, for whatever reason, to say thanks.

Our long-term donors know how crucial these fundraisers are to keeping the Gates of Vienna swinging open. I never fail to be amazed that the donations y’all send total up to what we need. Of course I’ll spend the first three days worrying, kind of like throwing a dinner party and fretting ahead of time, hoping everyone remembers to come — or what will I do with all those crepes in béchamel sauce or the endive salad? (The bottles of vinho verde aren’t such a concern with the Baron on-site, but summer pudding doesn’t freeze well).

This here particular fundraiser ought to have started Monday; from long experience the Baron has found it seems to function better as a Monday-to-Monday octave. However, the best-laid plans often get up and walk a-gley. Just like this one did. Probably just as well since a few things and people needed extra and immediate attention.

Tip jarIn other words, we’re late — which is Dymphna-as-usual-despite-her-best-intentions, so we’ll play this one by ear. Maybe keep the octave, pushed upward a day? Or simply shorten it if that feels ‘right’? Or lengthen it to a fortnight? Heaven forefend!

We’re late leaving the gate at least in part because a coherent topic refused to emerge from the background buzz and blather of events. Usually the process of picking out a leitmotif isn’t difficult. We ponder for a while and through a process of elimination something shows up and gestures, “pick me”. This time was rather the opposite — all those motifs ducked and turned away. Cowards!

There’s too much going on, that’s the problem. The whole world is being distracted to death with one damned disaster or titillation after another. No, I promise not to list them here but some of my quarrels with the po-mo platitudes of our hollowed-out gatekeepers will be up for discussion this week. I hope all of you feel inclined to join in, but fair warning is only…well, fair. Some of the things I will have to say — God willing and the Creek don’t rise — may make your gorge rise. It has become so very difficult to agree to disagree and put down our cudgels.

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Here in the U.S., we have a crucial election in November, one which will determine our future for some time to come, perhaps for generations. While I demur at the Sultan’s title — the election preceding our War Between the States was surely as divisive what with fist fights on the floor of Congress — his sense of urgency is one I share. Of Obama’s supporters he says [my emphasis —D]:

The coalition that he committed to last year is a coalition of those who are unhappy with America, not in the last four years, but in the last two-hundred years. Its core is composed of groups that fear democracy and distrust the will of the people. There is no optimism here, but a deeply rooted pessimism about human nature and the country as a whole. It is the Democratic Party’s coalition against democracy.

Haters are mean-spirited desperate “players”. The Baron looks back at several Democrat campaigns and begins to wonder if there is any chance against the Militant MSM’s determination to destroy the Ryan/Romney bid. He sees the current Dems in power, correctly, I think, as being without scruples. He creates MSM scenarios to be run against Ryan and Romney — the same plays and ploys we’ve been seeing for years, but on an even steeper decline into hellish realms. I remind him that even with all that arrayed against him, George Bush won twice. Even given that his first win was finally brokered by the U.S. Supreme Court (creating a permanent derangement on the Left) those four years of fulmination and failed threats of impeachment didn’t bring them the victory they wanted. It took the lure of voting in a black man to override the Dems’ inherent incompetence. Not even George Soros could help until they pulled the Magic Negro almost out of thin air.

Greenfield’s dysphoric dissection of the coming campaign is sadly accurate:
There isn’t any inspiration here. Just paranoia over everything from gay marriage to abortion to racial profiling to illegal immigration. A dozen illegal benefits being handed out with the explicit threat that they will be lost if Romney wins. A dozen mini-civil wars being stirred up to divide Americans and set them at each other’s throats for the benefit of the Obama campaign.

From Occupy Wall Street to Wisconsin, from Trayvon Martin to Chick-fil-A, the goal of these manufactured conflicts has been to divide and conquer the electorate by emphasizing group rights over individual economic welfare.

Obama can’t win on the economy. He can’t win on foreign policy. He can’t win on any aspect of his administration. All he can do is stir up violence and then promise to heal the country in his second term while winking to all the representatives of the grievance groups. It’s not a new game, but the Democratic Party has never played it quite this baldly in a national election. And if it succeeds, then national politics will have finally been reduced to the level of a Chicago election.

We were expected to believe that the typical Obama voter in 2008 was hoping for a better country, but in 2012 there is no more hope, only hate and fear.

It may be the case that this hate and fear always lay at the heart of Obama’s “dreams” — and our nightmares. The hope was a sham, a con by a loner from Nowhere to serve as our reflection. We could see what we wanted or needed to see.

When Obama finally donned the mantle as leader of our commonweal, we began to realize with dismay how worn it was, how clumsily stitched together from the ugly remnants of dissent, discontent, fear and terminal grievances. Obama wears this rag as though it were raiment.

The Emperor’s New ClothesThose rips and tears in our cultural fabric are becoming more difficult to patch or reweave; no matter how we fold it, the threadbare sections seem ever more obvious. Sadly, even as he decked himself out in this shamwear, our president systematically shredded the fabric even further. He parades around in faux emperor’s clothing while an unctuous press fawns over his impeccable style. That’s all they have — the man has no substance under that rag.

In Europe, the social fabric is in tatters and beyond repair but there doesn’t seem to be a replacement on hand. How ironic and sad that this grim destruction is called a European Union. With each passing month, the theoretically wonderful “welfare” state is foundering under the weight of reality: too much state must eventually prove to have too little welfare to be sustainable.

Ah, now there’s a code word for you: “sustainable”. A seemingly benign term, eh? Ask the average Australian how he feels about the wonderfully green and sustainable carbon tax safety helmet that’s been forced onto every head in Oz. The climate change debate is creating so much heat and so little light that a passing Martian could easily mistake it for a religious war — which, come to think of it, this entrenchment truly has become. Competing world views, banished heretics, hissing opponents, threats of Damnation for Dissenters. Even hymns and rituals. Meanwhile, real, honest-to-goodness science is skewered to win friends, retain jobs, and preach global salvation. Ignore the thousands of other jobs destroyed for the sake of a vanishingly small victory: the snail lives!

[And the ugly baby dies. But that’s a victory for another essay.]

Having long since been driven to dwell beyond the palings for the crime of voicing our deepest concerns, we now have a rare freedom: with no job or reputation to shield (“I spit on the grave of my reputation”, sez the Baron. He says it frequently), we are at liberty to say what we like. And the things we say make some readers back away, hands raised in a hex sign for protection against the evil power of the written word — at least the written word as they see it form on this website. Others, stumbling through the Gates, sigh weakly, “Oh, thank you, thank you…I didn’t know you were here…”

Having the liberty to say what’s on our mind doesn’t mean we don’t have to use discernment regarding what we choose to say out loud. Some arguments and disputations are worth having, others are simply a repetitious headache. We know all the hot buttons and unless the cause is urgent, we seldom push them.

You’ve probably noticed that good marriages have similar alignments: a wise mate doesn’t say everything he knows or notices. He doesn’t lie but he dances a side-step sometimes; a happy man has no need to poke at vulnerabilities. It takes greater courage now to stay married than it used to — oftentimes (chronic use of drugs or alcohol aside) divorce is simply a failure of nerve in a culture which hollows out personal courage and punishes integrity.

Seems like the hardest part in all relationships, including and maybe especially the one we have with ourselves, is learning to concoct a stable alchemy of discernment and honesty. In other words, to practice benignity. So many of our readers seem to possess that virtue — essential goodness — in abundance. The ones who don’t have it fall away; they leave to search for places that have more of what they themselves have to offer the world, or places that resonate with the ways they’ve learned to see. That’s good: it’s a sure sign to us that we haven’t fallen into the trap of trying to please everyone. Or rather, we haven’t fallen into an even more pernicious snare, the one where you’re afraid of offending anyone. There are lots of paths to perdition and some of them are fun; trying to please everybody must be the longest walk in the world.

Regular readers know our oft-stated mission. We don’t violate those aims, but that doesn’t mean we don’t talk about anything else. Broadly speaking, ours is a Save-Western-Culture mission. And there are so many ways in which our commons have been trashed and degraded that sometimes the mess compels a response. We’ll differ on what those degradations could be — gay marriage anyone? — but when the effluvia reaches a certain level then we’ll start shoveling. Since we all know shoveling is damn hard work, the trick is deciding which manure pile seems to call out to you most urgently. Start there and don’t think beyond the shovelful you’re moving at the moment.

The idea to use readers’ essays or contributions in this fundraiser has been with me for a while. Since I no longer possess a good memory (the doc says fibromyalgia plays tic-tac-toe on my hippocampus) the fact that I actually managed to retain this notion means something more than it might to all you normies. Thus, I’ll be putting those up this week, too. In addition to other ideas, should I have the energy to think them through enough to be coherent. Oh my, a back-up brain would be delightful.

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The games in England are blessedly over, though no doubt London is still reeling. So let the bleg begin.

And surprise, we have some early donors, people who read our minds and donated a bit early. I told them since they were so near the starting time, I’d include them too:

  • From Europe: France and the U.K.
  • From the US: Michigan and Texas
  • From Down Under: New Zealand & Australia

Hit the tip cup early and often — think of it as voting in Chicago or Saint Louis, and you’ll see how easy it is.

The tip jar in the text above is just for decoration. To donate, click the tin cup on our sidebar, or the donate button. If you prefer a monthly subscription, click the “subscribe” button.


Nilk said...

Done :)

babs said...

Well D, why don't you tell us what you REALLY think about the current administration in Washington? Go ahead, let it out!

BTW, just the other day I was wondering if I had missed the summer fundraiser. Possibly that is what your "pre-pay" readers thought.

Anyway, done and done...

I want to once again thank all the translators and video pros that take so much of their time to bring me news I do not have access to anywhere else. I really appreciate your volunteer work.

And to D and the Baron, thank you for keeping the ship off the rocks. It is a real labor of love.

Speaking of love, I thought the coverage of the Brussels meeting was great. You all are getting quite professional. I remember back in the day the Baron would have to recap what went on at various conferences, no video.

Nemesis said...

The Democratic Party = the party that promises everything, yet delivers nothing, choosing instead to take from the nation that still allows this most corrupt of political parties to peddle their propaganda and lies!