Archive for February, 2008

backbaygrouch on Buckley

Buckley’s greatest issue, probably its most famous cover, solved a problem for me. The cover read, Mater, Si, Magister, No. It caused some scandal. The article(s) made clear that the clergy have their role and that it does not extend to the role of Caesar. The reason is simple. If you take the clergy out of the School of Theology they are usually perfect fools. In politics and economics their role in life leads them to idiotic prescriptions in other areas. It gave me a healthy disdain for bishops and academic priests.–backbaygrouch

This is an important observation and it certainly does not apply only to Catholics.

In the case of Catholics, this is where the boy molestation disaster came from. Bishops admitted that they handled perverted priests the way the Latest Thing demanded before 1980. All the “experts” agreed that child molesters should be treated not condemned.

But the Church did not learn a THING from this. They do not generalize to a Mantra world-view. They deal only with the symptoms. As you say, they REMAIN suckers. In their desperation to be respectable in the eyes of Fashionable Opinion clergy, Religious Right Protestants included, twist Jesus’ statements about forgiveness into making him a mealy mouthed wimp whom the Boston Globe would approve.

Mantra Thinking requires that one not just admit a single error, but uses that error as a window on one’s whole way of looking at things. An egregious error usually teaches a wise person much more than that he made a slip in one place.

Clergy tell each other that they were just being too forgiving and continue to blunder on. That is exactly the kind of self-justification the road to Hell is paved with.



Dave on Buckley

Emotions and moods play a tremendous role in life. What happened Buckley, because he did do some very good intellectual work in his life when he was young, is that he lost sight of what was serious and not serious after he became a celebrity.

You deal with raw human nature a lot when you are a celebrity. You must train yourself not to emotionally react to being rudely treated.

I saw Buckley in person on more than one occasion where he was treated to rude personal assaults by politicized left wing clowns. He treated their assaults with good humor.

But this is precisely where Buckley went wrong. You become plastic at the moment you license yourself not to react genuinely. You lose your internal navigation as to what is serious and to what is not serious.

This is precisely what separates real leaders from the fakes. And the vast majority of our “leaders” are fakes.

I visited the Dallas Book Depository once that has now weirdly become a shrine. I was taken there unwillingly. I never would have gone there willingly.

It was a bizarre experience. The “highlight” of the tour was to shown the window where Oswald was located with his rifle. The Depository is full of pictures of the extended Kennedy family in their “royals” modality. Juxtaposed next to these pictures are the film clips and pictures of John Kennedy’s murder that we are all familiar with.

I realized something then: What was fake at the Depository was any genuine respect for the Kennedy’s. What was real was an enduring and deep hatred and resentment of them. Why celebrate anybody’s murder in such a fashion? You can’t lay something like that off to “media culture” alone. It almost made think that Marxist class hatred theory might be right. I left there thinking I’d had my face rubbed in raw political reality.

Rivers run deep in human life. Once you loose sight of that you become plastic. You lose sight of what is real.

That is what happened to Buckley.



William Buckley

William Buckley belonged to that almost extinct species, people I could get mad at.

It always puzzles me when people get personally mad at Bush or some other contemporary figure. It is like kicking a washing machine. These are totally plastic people, and we know where every utterance of every public figure today comes from.

Buckley INVENTED respectable conservatism. Almost everything he said since 1970 was pure plastic. Every non-liberal spokesman today is a pure plastic Buckley.

I am incapable of getting really mad at a non-liberal public figure in exactly the same way I am incapable of getting personally involved with a sewing machine. I could have gotten mad at Singer, but if I got upset at the sins of sewing machine, I’d turn myself in for treatment.

Unlike Buckley, today’s plastic conservative deals with all disagreement the way his liberal masters do, he screams for a lynching. I upset Buckley terribly. I insulted him in my first books so much that his close friend William Rusher had to except himself from what I said in his Foreword to that book.

But the point is that Buckley was Rusher’s employer. He did not get mad at him for doing that Foreword. He published a review of that book in National review, his wholly owned publication, called “Read This One!” Then he published a front page article attacking me in National Review, cartooning me and making Pat Buchanan look like a minor figure behind the Ultimate Villain Whitaker.

Liberals are nice about allowing respectable conservatives to attack them, but conservatives earn that by leading the lynch mob against people like me.

That never occurred to Buckley.

With his death, I am left with no living on whom to vent my fury. A man can get mad at the puppeteer, but nothing is quite as unsatisfying as yelling at the puppets.



Social Messages

In an age when information POURS in, a PRACTICAL Achilles’ heel of Wordism is that it is BORING. History, the story of the entire experience of our species, is just a recitation of dates and names. Instead of being at his computer, a freshman must spend his time in the basic course in History of Civilization memorizing whether Asurbanipal was a Babylonian or an Assyrian, and WHEN.

I watch the old Dan Rather types sit around and gripe about the Good Old Days when news was the province of Professionals like them. They make a few hidden references to Good Old Soviet television where Professionals like them would limit television to ballets and other Uplifting stuff.

In short, the masses are entirely out of hand. Someone should give them what they OUGHT to watch and nothing else. The code term for this is “being obsessed with ratings.”

In our seminar, the first thing we should think of when this sort of phrase is used is “watching the ratings COMPARED TO WHAT?”

Compared to the Wordists’ dictation of what everybody should have.

All this fits into the unquestioned Sixties mantra of Social Messages which the Greatest generation never questioned. So they were grateful when someone said, “Pollution is bad” and followed it up with the standard bureaucratic solution. That was considered to be a FAVOR.

This whole concept of Social Messages fit into an old saying, “A lot of what he says is new. A lot of what he says is true. But nothing he says that is new is true.” This is a perfect description of 60s Social Messages

The fact that pollution was bad was not new. The standard prescription for it was not true. But the good old Obedience Trained Greatest generation never thought of that. And no one in the controlled media was allowed to say it if they did.

For the lost monopoly called “professional journalism” those were indeed the Good Old Days.



Bubble Thinking: Brutus Pulls a Shari


Brutus began his latest comment with an apology.

Shari taught me that, when a commenter essays something dead on target, he or she often
begins by apologizing for it. In fact, apology is normal beginning when a commenter is doing what BUGS is all about!

We live in a society where the one thing a person is trained NOT to do is make accurate observations that are basic, simple, and to the point. After spending decades under this suppression, our normal response is to make the observation and then apologize for it.

We exercise an intellectual freedom here that is like coming out of a cave into the bright sunlight. Our seminar is really a return to the Anglo-Saxon Moot. After dealing with a lifetime of finding out what one is SUPPOSED to say and trying to fit an observation into it, it is not easy to just go ahead and SAY something because it may be TRUE.

While not worrying about whether or not it IS true.

This is VERY hard to get used to. This suddenly leads to perfectly understandable reactions. One s is the Bob is Playing God concept. I am lazy. I don’t make the usual, “maybe I’m wrong” statements in my writings. I make my statements the way you are used to seeing them made by Professional and Authoritative Sources. So I sound like I am being a Professional and Authoritative Source.

I’m not. In this many, many cases where commenters have demonstrated that I was dead wrong, in fact silly, my reaction is not outrage,but “Oh. OK.” That is VERY hard to get used to,but that is purpose of free speech.

My first reaction was to get mad at Shari. But my long term reaction has been a feeling of deep satisfaction. Over and over, when we go into the guts of an issue, Shari puts in a short little statement that boils it all down so well that it is hard for me to make it clear how brilliant it is.

The reason we have the only real seminar left on Planet Earth is because nothing s more condemned in a Wordist society than thinking out loud. The purpose of a Wordist society is to Learn the Truth, not to decide what truth is.

Naturally when you step out into a forum where you are left naked of the cliche’s and assumption that you are taught are the purpose of “free speech” it is not a comfortable experience.

It is hard to get an animal out of cage where it has been starved and confined. I remember seeing a documentary on a “bubble boy” who had had an operation under anesthesia which allowed it to be released for the first time into its mother’s arms.

What was the child’s reaction? It screamed in terror and agony as if it were being circumcised. Its whole world, the bubble, was being taken from it and this woman was actually physically contacting it.

Coming out of the Wordist bubble is scary and alien to us. We are coming out of the bubble which, for all its enslavement, is where we have lived our whole intellectual lives.


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