An Old Guy Reconsiders Ecclesiastes

I’m not an intensely religious man.  I ponder the questions of who, what, how and why in much the same way I imagine men always have.  But I do read the Bible and I have my favorite passages.  In the Old Testament I gravitate to Ecclesiastes 9:7 to 9:10.

The King James Version translates it thus:

7Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

8Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.

 9Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

 10Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

 

Now something in verse nine always bothered me.  “All the days of the life of thy vanity.”  So, Solomon says our lives and our happiness and our loves and our families are in vain?

I dug a little deeper and found that the Hebrew word being translated as vanity is “hevel.”  The root meaning of hevel I have read, is “mere breath.”  And the connotation is insubstantial, ephemeral.  That makes a little more sense.  Life is ephemeral.  We have a thousand versions of this.  “Time flies, “life is short,” “ars longa vita brevis,” etc., etc., etc.

I felt better about that.  I retranslated that passage:

Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the fleeting days of thy life, which he hath given thee under the sun, all thy fleeting days:

 That’s better.  So, that’s how I became a biblical scholar.  The pay is non-existent but I imagine the big guy up there will appreciate me straightening out the English language version of his book.  So, I’ve got that going for me which is nice.

But I was still disturbed by the negative vibe of all this ephemeral talk.  Was Solomon trying to bum us out?  In fact, the whole book of Ecclesiastes was a giant downer.  Here’s a guy who’s got everything in the world.  He’s got gold, silver and bronze literally piled up to the sky.  He’s got wives and concubines to the extent that he probably was considering a vow of chastity just to save his own life.  He’s blessed by God with matchless wisdom and a mighty nation that views his word as law.  He should be the happiest man on earth.  Why is he griping about everything under the sun?

It’s because he sees the end of the road.  He sees his own death on the horizon.  In other words, he’s old.

And now I’m old and I understand.  You see all the things you should have done or shouldn’t have done and you’re filled with regret and anger at yourself.  And since Solomon knows himself to be the wisest man on earth he sees it as his part to tell the rest of us to stop chasing all the meaningless stuff like gold and silver and empires and just eat our bread, drink our wine and love our wives for as long as we’re allowed.

Now I no longer see Ecclesiastes as a depressing work.  I see it as a friendly signpost to the rest of us to cut to the chase and take care of the things that have actual meaning.  Keeping healthy with food that is good, enjoying the simple pleasures of life and loving your wife and your family.  And don’t waste time.  Time is short.  Use it.  So that’s why my articles are short too.  I’ve got most of today off and I intend to have some fun.  Have a great day.

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51

11/26/2017 Update on the Website Political Census

Well, the census (or poll) continues to inch along at a snail’s pace.  I guess I should be more sympathetic to people holding their cards close to the vest but I am curious and it is all for science!  Well, maybe really more like my curiosity.  But the sample size is at least reaching some semblance of statistical significance.  And right along with that the breakdown is becoming more aligned with the political tenor of the site.  Conservatives and their kin now are a slight majority of all voters here.  Next most numerous are libertarians and their sub-groups.  And finally, there are less aligned groups.  More left leaning folks.  We even have two Bernie Bros. which I found interesting.  Here are the results as of now:

Conservative                                   12
Moderate                                          4
Liberal                                               2
Alt-Right                                           0
Civic Nationalist                              0
Traitionalist                                      1
Progressive                                       0
Alt-Lite                                              0
Alt-West                                            2
Dissident Right                                1
Libertarian                                        5
Reactionary                                       0
Neo-Reactionary                              0
Nationalist                                         2
Human Biodiversity Adherent      0
Dark Enlightenment Adherent      1
Ayn Randian                                      1
Ron Paul Follower                            1
Bernie Bro                                          2

Total                                                   34

So that’s the update.  I haven’t decided whether I’ll continue to tack it on the bottom of the posts or maybe pin it on the site somewhere easy to find.  I’ll make up my mind soon.  I found it interesting and a little bit comforting.  I mean I don’t mind being among like-minded individuals but a little bit of ideological latitude makes for livelier discussions.  I mean, an echo chamber can be a little boring.

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woo-Hoo!!!  I Is Bona Fide – American Greatness Published My Article

The good folks at American Greatness have gone temporarily insane and published an article by an anonymous troll calling himself “photog.”  Said troll claims to run a website called Orion’s Cold Fire and for his theme chose “Defining the Space Between Never-Trump and the Alt-Right.”  The article is overheated and borderline psychotic but I’ll leave it to you to judge the merits of the argument, such as it is.

Excuse me. I have the inexplicable desire to shoot off some fireworks in the yard.  Life is good.

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51

Ryan Bingham’s “Mescalito” – A Very Short Country Music Review

Ryan Bingham is one of these new country singer/songwriters who sing about life and drugs and stuff.  There’s a definite southwestern flavor to a number of the songs and one song even features a Spanish lyric or two (Borachio Station).  My opinion of the songs varies from very good to meh.  For me the standout song is Bread and Water.  It’s got a sort of hard driving beat with banjos and guitars telling the story of a trek across the southwest.  The other songs vary in style and feeling going from traditional to more modern feels.  For me Southside of Heaven and Long Way from Georgia are the best of the rest.  Interestingly there’s a definite Springsteen influence detectable on the vocals of some songs.  I’m not sure if this is a positive or a negative for me.

If you want, listen to Bread and Water.  If you don’t like that song, then in my opinion don’t bother with the rest.  If you do then maybe Bingham might be interesting to you.  So that’s my read.

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51

Exciting News For Orion’s Cold Fire

American Greatness is gonna publish a new post of mine on their site.  I’m very excited to be in some pretty remarkable company.  Michael Anton, Angelo Codevilla and Victor Davis Hanson wrote essays last year that summed up where I felt I was in the political world.  I am thrilled that I’ll have the chance to add my own humble words to those of much abler writers.  I’ve been told it’ll appear on Friday. *   And the byline will of course be “photog.”  It’s basically my take on what it’s like to be a “red-pilled normie.”   Or as I jokingly paraphrase Gerry Rafferty, “Cucks to the left of me, Hitler to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with who?”

Come by and leave a comment of support (or protest, all publicity is good).

*  UPDATE – Oooops I guess something changed.  I’ll let you know when I hear from those folks.  Maybe they meant next Friday.

 

And they published it.   https://amgreatness.com/2017/11/25/defining-the-space-between-nevertrump-and-the-alt-right/

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51

Tyler Childers’ Purgatory – A Country Music Review

I heard of Tyler Childers by seeing his name as the accompanying singer on Colter Wall’s song Fraulein. Since I liked the sound of his voice on that song, I looked him up (on Amazon.com of course!) and saw that he had a few albums.  I ordered his most recent one (Purgatory) and gave it a listen.  It’s really very good.

BEGIN RANT – But what the hell is it with these Millennials and drugs?  I mean, almost every song is saturated with dope, cocaine and pills.  Understand, I know artists always adopt a bohemian outlook on substance abuse but it seems this guy is continuously stoned.  How does he manage to write and practice his music with most of his brain soaked with opioids or worse?  And if he isn’t really that much of a stoner why are his songs so filled with them?  Is it just required from his generation?  I grew up in the seventies and drug use was rampant back then but I don’t know, this seems even more exaggerated. – END RANT

So, putting the whole drug thing aside (dirty hippies), I like this Childers guy’s music. Lots of interesting instrumental stuff, good vocals, good story telling. All of the songs are good but if I have to pick a few favorites I’ll go with :

  1. I Swear to God
  2. Purgatory
  3. Honky Tonk Flame

There seems to be a generation of Country musicians who you don’t hear on the radio but play very original stuff that’s more closely related to traditional country music than most of the commercial country you hear on the radio. I wonder if the drug content in the songs is keeping these guys off the radio?  Well, whatever it is they are producing good music.  I just won’t be playing it around my grandkids. And get off my lawn!!!

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51

American Greatness Suggestion for Today – Never Mind Trumpism, What is Deplorablism by Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson has a very well written analysis of the actual significance of Trump’s agenda vs. what the left and Never-Trumpers and even some Trump followers think it is.  As usual give Hanson a few sentences to get around to his point.  He likes to paint a picture and this can sometimes make you think he’s going the wrong way.  Hanson is a very smart guy but also very grounded.  I liked the article a lot.

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51

November Vegetation in New England

Here are some photos I took in the last week or two.  Already all the more colorful leaves are now completely gone.  The hard frost last week took care of that.  The days are short and I’m looking forward to the Holidays to distract me until January.  Then I can remind myself the days are getting longer, as I shovel that February snow.

November Wild Cherry and Bokeh
November Leaves
November Forest Spot
November Leaves
November Leaves
November Leaves
November Weeds
November Weeds
November Leaves
Mushroom in November

Colter Wall – A Country Music Review

I work with this guy Joe.  He’s an engineer and he’s also a musician.  He’s a guitar player.  And he’s a country music guy, goes down to Nashville to hear the new singers in the small clubs down there.  Last week he sent me a link to a YouTube video of a new country singer named Colter Wall.  The song was called Kate McCannon.  It’s a murder ballad in the Appalachia style.  I thought it was great.  I looked into Colter Wall a little and found out he’s from Alberta Canada.  And despite this deep dark voice and a noticeable speech defect, he’s only a young guy in his early twenties.  Encouraged by that first song, I bought his self-titled album. I can say that I consider it head and shoulders above the bland commercial stuff being produced by the generic country groups currently on the scene.  My two favorite songs are the ballads Kate McCannon and Bald Butte.  But some of his lighter songs (e.g., Thirteen Silver Dollars, Fraulein) are also very well regarded by me.  And there really aren’t any bad songs on the album.  Now you may say that sounds like slightly faint praise.  It’s not.  This is a very solid album.  I have been playing it twice a day during my almost hour-long commute and have not even been tempted to switch to anything else in a week of playing.  If you’re a fan of old country music try to listen to a little of Wall’s stuff.  Of course music is that most subjective and individual of things so there’s no way of being sure but I think there’s a good chance you might be interested.

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51

American Greatness looks back at the Catholic Critics of Candidate Trump

I liked this article by Austin Ruse, “The Thoughtfuls vs. the Roughneck-in-Chief,” because it gives us a chance to review how the feared or predicted results by Catholics of a Trump victory compare to the actual occurrence.  Basically, Trump has exceeded the results for all republican presidents in my life time. I especially enjoyed the comparison of Trump’s Supreme Court assignment to W’s attempt to get Harriet Miers on the Court.  Very good review of the elitist attitude toward Trump.

 

Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves.  This is the post the poll came from  Who Are We?

… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog?  I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like.  If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below.  I think it might be interesting.

 

Total Votes : 51