The Story Isn’t Over Yet

Every day I hear about all the latest nonsense out of Washington, New York and Hollywood and think, “How will we ever fix all this stuff?”  And I read the price on the gas pump and listen to Camera Girl’s lament over the cost of chicken or vegetables or pumpernickel bagels and I think, “How the hell are we supposed to keep up with this inflation?”

Then I think, “But the story’s not over yet.”  I remember when I was just twenty-three in 1980 and Camera Girl and I were living in our first apartment.  We were poor as church mice and Jimmy Carter had managed to get mortgages up to 18% and inflation was at 13% and even the incredibly cheap company that I was working for in my first job gave us a once in a lifetime bonus just to keep us all from starving to death.  And back then plenty of people were saying that the good days for America were over and we had to accept that prosperity was over.  And I thought, “How are going to do this?”

But people rejected that defeatism and when Reagan took over things got better; eventually, a lot better.  And slowly over time we got a few breaks and we managed to live happily ever after (we hope!)  And so, there were kids and grandkids and maybe I’m starting to hear the first signs that another generation will be in the offing.  And what else is there to hope for anyway?

Sure, Joe Biden has decided to follow the Barack Obama playbook and destroy America.  I think they may have overplayed their hand.  They have done such a truly awful job of running the country that even their supposedly bought and paid for constituencies are screaming over the results.  It seems to me that it’s only a matter of time before most everyone is going to demand someone competent put a stop to the destruction and drastically change course.

And until that time, I think it’s my job to lend whatever and however much support I can to those currently paying the bills for those who can’t yet.  And that most definitely includes moral support.  We’re all liable to shout about the doom and gloom that we see all around us.  Well, sure.  That’s what I do every day.  But remember that the young have to keep going after we’re gone, so make sure that the things you say are actionable in a positive way.  Saying it’s all over or things will never be as good as they were is just defeatism.  We don’t know that.  Lots of people have smartened up in the last ten years and a lot of the old traps that we fell in before won’t work anymore.  The days of the neo-cons sounding the charge for us to sign up for the next forever war are over for most of us.

There are signs here and there that leaders are beginning to provide some hope for Americans in several areas of the country.  If any of them are at all smart they’ll begin to coordinate their actions and try to build up a movement.  That’s what we should see beginning to happen and in very small ways I think I can see some of that happening.

So, I’m not asking for unbridled exuberance over the immediate future.  We are sunk in a morass of debt and hog tied by administrative policy that strips us of our constitutional rights but I don’t believe that the situation is hopeless.  The story isn’t over yet.  Be part of the solution.  Try to keep that in mind.

The Golden Mean

Today I was thinking about normalcy.  I looked through my archives and I have at least six posts that have the word “normal” in their titles.  So I read through some of them.  One of them was a celebration of life coming back to normal after the COVID lockdowns.  But the others were about defying the culture’s attacks on normalcy.  Things like celebrating sexual dysfunction and deviancy, especially with respect to indoctrinating children.

And so, it got me thinking about normalcy as a greater good.  And even averageness as opposed to either depravity or perfection.  Certainly, when compared to the ugly and even deformed there’s nothing wrong with pointing at perfect beauty as its polar opposite.  But most people aren’t perfect.  They’re ordinary.  And in the psychotic world of social media like TikTok, the only acceptable identities are either girls with faultless synthetic beauty (“TikTok face”) or the various mutants celebrating their separation from human normalcy with body positivity (morbid obesity), individuality (face piercings and blue hair) and gender affirmation (amputations and hormone therapy).

Averageness is a hidden strength in the world.  Disdaining normalcy is a disease.  Even those who actually encompass some extraordinary perfection in either appearance or other characteristic like strength or intelligence rarely find greater happiness in their lives than people who just get on with the ordinary business of earning their bread and feeding their families.  Take as an example Bruce Jenner.  An Olympic decathlon champion who had immense athletic ability, good looks, fame and fortune.  Now he’s a celebrated eunuch who pretends to be an old woman.  And his children and step-children are carnies hawking depravity as a product.  A more miserable ending for an extraordinary talent I can’t imagine.

Convincing children, especially teenage girls that unless they’re flawlessly beautiful that maybe there is something wrong with them; maybe they’re even transgender, is an example of how the perfect can be the enemy of the good.  What we should be telling kids to consider is how they can best utiilize the gifts they have and how lucky they are to be healthy and normal.  After all, average and normal leave plenty of room for kids to grow up happy and healthy.

What we should be celebrating are people living their lives in the real world without anyone capturing it for clicks on social media and without anyone caring whether it’s photogenic enough for TikTok.  Real life has nothing at all to do with the internet except maybe for the ease of finding a YouTube video on how to replace the battery in your laptop or how to program your camera to shoot on two memory cards.  For that stuff it’s actually useful.  It shouldn’t be there to tell kids what they need to look like or act like or sound like.  That’s how you end up with these idiots on campus with openly gay boys in keffiyehs extolling the virtues of Hamas, an organization that would throw them off of buildings if they happened to fall under their jurisdiction.

And the only way to embrace normalcy is to live normally.  And that means in the real world.  You need to do things in real life and specifically you need to get out of your house and spend time with people.  And that is what all smart parents should be doing with their kids.  Get them out of the house and force them to put their phones away and do actual things with actual people.  And the best thing they can do is work.  Because work is the basis of human life.  And work that forces them to come in contact with people is invaluable.  Even the most introverted intellectual must learn how to interact with his fellow man.  I mean, if you’re Albert Einstein you can end up as a genius in an ivory tower.  But even Einstein began as a clerk in a patent office.  And he was probably a better man for having done it.

So average looks, average intelligence, average salary.  But if you work hard and learn how to live in the real world, then probably you can have a good life.  So, forget about Harvard, see if you can get a job fixing dishwashers or troubleshooting a network.  Leave TikTok to the beautiful people and the insane.

A Reckoning

Watching the bizarre scenes from the various campus “protests,” I thought, what a strange point in American history.  America conquers the world and then tries to swallow the world.  But in the process, loses its soul.  Or maybe its identity.  Or more exactly its elites try to cast off the European based identity of the western world in order to fool the world into thinking the West equals the world.  And maybe it’s a brilliant ploy that would cement the entire world into eternal subservience to the elites.

But it also means that we, the regular people, become no one.  The New Testament (Mark 8:36) says, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  And we’re not even the ones gaining the whole world.  We’re just losing the little bit we had.

These geniuses who run everything.  These billionaires playing ten-dimensional chess with artificial intelligence; pulverizing and homogenizing all the human bits of the world into a gray paste that they can sell back to us in a plastic bottle; have it all figured out.  TikTok is the new rock and roll.  They hypnotize the kids by selling them this vapid product by the minute or the fifteen second, whatever happens to be the attention span they’ve reduced their audience to.

And this is nothing completely new.  The mass culture has been selling this since the invention of the phonograph and the motion picture.  What’s new has been the removal of anything resembling the original American or even Western culture.  What’s left is pathetic.  Childish at best.  More like infantile.  Dysfunctional and ranging into deviance in multiple directions.  It’s as if the intention is to divert a whole generation into a dead end where they will be dependent on the government to keep them alive but completely helpless.

And I think they’ve been successful.  Most of the next generation are doomed to a marginal existence that will not include marriage, home ownership or children.  They are a termination.

So, the important question is how to pluck your own family and friends out of this dead end and put them on the path to life?  I guess you have to do it every day.  You have to preach the good word of normalcy.  Tell the kids that the real secret of life is to make yourself a useful, capable human being and then find a mate and build a family.  And try to encourage them to strive for the things that are hard to do.  And by all means provide moral and financial support and advice when you think you have information that they lack.

Watching those morons on the campuses act out their Che Guevera pantomime has been a fascinating reminder that since the Occupy Wall Street movement back in the Obama era we have been watching a lost generation demanding that the government pick them up off the playground floor and give them their pudding cup to soothe them for being complete losers.  They want Communism not because they think it’s just but because they’re too lazy and stupid to even try to live.

The red states are going to have to cut off welfare to the useless so that these people will retreat to the blue states where they can be stacked up in two by six cubicles, fed their daily ration of crickets and narcotized with porn and pot as they await the blessed release of death.  All of these people will have to be swept away.  They don’t want to live.  They just want to be plugged into their matrix.

There’s no way to keep this absurd thing going.  There has got to be a reckoning.

What Do We Keep and What Let Go? – Part 1 – The Family

The Left’s dominance of the culture and institutions in America has undermined many of the customs, behaviors and attitudes that we once took for granted here.  Things like patriotism, respect for the military and even loyalty to the local ball team have all been tarnished by the changes that the Left has created in these things.  If the military now takes as its mission reinforcing deviant sexual behavior and championing societies that adhere to these beliefs, why would I want to have respect for such an institution?  Or if the local baseball or football team starts kneeling during the national anthem how will that make anyone more patriotic or want to cheer for such a team?

And these are just a very few examples of the many things that have been spoiled through the agency of leftist activism.  And this damage has been done.  What remains for us to do is to decide what things we ourselves value intrinsically and want to maintain for ourselves in our culture going forward.  And which things that we formerly embraced should be abandoned either because maintaining them will be too difficult or because we’ve found that they strengthen our enemies.

I won’t pretend that I have all the answers completely thought out but I think it might be helpful to think about some of these things.

One thing that has been relentlessly attacked for the last century is the traditional family.  The “liberation” of women has done the most damage in this attack.  The dislocation caused by women working outside of the home has been the largest factor in the diminution of happiness and mental health in our society.  Specifically, the damage done to children has been the worst.  But the effects have been all-encompassing.

Other attacks on the family come from the role school has played in undermining the authority of parents and in propagating harmful doctrines on such subjects as deviant sexual behavior, critical race theory and so-called gender ideology.  Currently the whole practice of transgenderism being introduced to grade school children is a criminal enterprise that should not be tolerated.

And finally, the laws in this country with respect to marriage have also done untold damage.  Divorce laws make it easy for parents to break up their marriages when small children are depending on them for security and direction.  Also, the tax laws must change.  The state and federal governments need to make it possible for a man and woman to raise a family with the mother staying home while her children are young.

And in the same way that the government puts a brake on the cost of drugs by acting as the largest provider of medical insurance through Medicaid and Medicare they can put a brake on the costs of college tuition and other expenses.  Instead of just passing along the absurd tuitions that these colleges charge, they can cap these costs and force the colleges to compete for the government backed loans.  Most of these colleges have become havens for bloated administrative bureaucracies that add nothing to the education process but waste and leftist ideological indoctination.

But just as important as the financial help that the government needs to give to families, it must also return sovereignty to the parents over their children.  No more bureaucrats and teachers should be allowed to challenge the authority of the parents to protect their children from the dangerous influence of those who want to proselytize them on behalf of ideologies like feminism, homosexuality and various other aberrant beliefs.  One thing that would help is a school voucher system that would allow parents to avoid the problematic public schools that now infest out country and instead find a school that respects their values.

Now in all these things, the federal government has been a disaster.  It might turn out to be the case, that the only way any of these things get done is if they are relegated to state government to make them happen.  But among the things that need to be restored to our world the restoration of the conditions that allow family life to survive are fundamental.  Without healthy families our society is doomed.  So this should be the first priority when we try to restore life in this country back to normal.

Valentine’s Day 2024

As you can tell from the photo above I consider myself and Camera Girl odd ducks.  But Valentine’s Day is a universal call to action.  Today of all days every red blooded American man has to prove to his girl that his undying love is worth slightly more than the cost of a box of chocolates, some flowers and a decent meal.  Play Don.

Thanksgiving 2023

So, we’re hosting most of the family this year.  Camera Girl has outdone herself with five different pies and a twenty-five-pound turkey.  I predict that by the end of the feast I’ll be almost immobile.  But I’ll try to keep the grandkids amused with various holiday traditions.  At some point I will break out the “March of the Wooden Soldiers” and maybe “Gulliver’s Travels.”  Of course, both of these are 1930s vintage versions.

Hopefully we’ll head down to the first floor to play some pool and later on will come the pie and ice cream and coffee and some penny ante poker.  And I’ll ask my grandsons what’s going on at school and what’s happening around town.  I’m sure I’ll be brought up to date on whatever Pokémon acquisitions the youngest one has negotiated.  I’ve never really figured out what Pokémon actually is.  I assume it’s similar in intent to how we collected baseball cards as kids.  All I know is that there are thousands of different cards and some are “worth” thousands of dollars.  But to whom?

We’ve had our first dusting of snow.  It changed into rain in the morning and I went out with the shovel and cleared the slop off of the driveway.  And that’s necessary.  It freezes at night now and that slushy mess would have turned my driveways into skating rinks by tomorrow morning and that is something I don’t need on Thanksgiving.  So, we’ve broken the ice, so to speak, and have now transitioned into winter.  Of course, I’m way behind on my yard work.  And this makes it worse.  But it’s Thanksgiving so I’ve absolved myself of all blame and won’t think about it until Monday (or Tuesday).

It’s interesting.  Two recent international elections seem to be indicating a deep dissatisfaction with the Left’s incompetent economic and social programs.  Maybe 2024 will be more than just an American protest year.  Maybe the genie is out of the bottle and a whole lot of people are fed up with dysfunctional, incompetent, delusional Leftist ideas in general.  If it is we’ll see much more in the way of signs in the coming months.

Biden’s minions keep popping up in the Times and the Post announcing how the economy is turning a corner and how wonderful everything is becoming.  The latest hype is that inflation is reversing and now they have to be careful not to cause deflation.  The delusional nature of this nonsense is absurd.  It flies in the face of everyone’s knowledge of the cost of commodities in the recent past.  Everyone who has to run a household knows that everything is now vastly more expensive.  Things like cold-cuts have now become prohibitively expensive for many families.  Even staples like bread and vegetables have to be purchased with an eye out for sales.  But the Biden evangelists keep up the happy talk hoping that the stupid will buy into the lie.  As jaded as I’ve become with fraudulent elections, I’m still curious to see if a point might be reached where even the people faking the elections might think it was in their interest to get the Democrats out of power, if only out of fear that the economy might completely collapse under the weight of complete incompetence.

Well, for one day we won’t worry about the cost of food.  There are going to be pumpkin, apple, coconut custard, sweet potato and chocolate pudding pies with whipped cream and ice cream and who knows what other desserts.  There’s going to be turkey and sausage stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy.  And another whole list of side dishes that I can’t even remember, but I know there will be candied yams and two kinds of buttered rolls.  So, I have a lot to be thankful for.  I hope your holiday goes well and I will check in from time to time.

Trad-Wife, Schmad-Wife, Get Out of My Kitchen!

It is at this most festive time of the rolling year that I find portion control at the dining room table most challenging.  This morning Camera Girl is making apple, pumpkin and coconut custard pies for the Thanksgiving Day feast.  And so, I find myself standing over her shoulder watching the process with the sense of ownership and the pride that entails.  I asked her if she’d ever heard the term trad-wife and she responded with a scowl that I could almost feel in my own face.  She shook her head and told me to get the hell out of the kitchen until the pies were out of the oven.  I think she feared that my comments would have an unhealthy effect on the flavor of her desserts.  Not wishing to cause her undue stress at this very delicate point in the holiday preparations I forbore to grant her somewhat rude request and left with incredible dignity and obvious grace.  Noblesse oblige you know.

It’s interesting to note that the rapid degeneration of female culture now forces the invention of a new label for what used to be the normal skill set of an adult married woman.  Well, maybe rapid is just my perspective as an old guy.  What I think of as normal has been under attack since the 1960’s.  And now their granddaughters wouldn’t know a rolling pin from a road flare.  And so, we’ve reached a stage where a “trad-wife” has become a commodity so valuable that to quote the Bible:

“Proverbs 31:10-31

King James Version

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

 

To be fair, I’ve never seen her producing any tapestries or linen.  And I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know what a distaff is.  But she did sew the seam on the change pocket in my jeans last week so maybe that’s close to rubies or at least emeralds, I think.  And she does get up really early to walk the dogs.  As far as sitting with the elders, I was hanging out with the duffers at the Grange during the election meeting and some of them recognized me so I’ll give her that.  But I definitely don’t think that part about, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” is way off.  I think the law of sarcasm is closer to the actual situation.

But she has transferred some of these skills like cooking and household economy to her daughters so that’s very praiseworthy but honestly, I don’t think either I or my daughters have used the term “blessed” for Camera Girl.  Annoying is the term that trips off my tongue because she accompanies all her accomplishments with a decidedly critical eye for comparison with my own efforts.

And in this she is obviously very unfair.  I may not cook the feast but I often carry the grocery bags from the car to the kitchen.  Surely the Bible has something good to say for the husband who does stuff.  So, what am I wood?  Maybe rubies aren’t the correct and gender specific analogy of my value.  How about austenitic stainless steel or even Hastelloy 276 or some other corrosion resistant metal.  Maybe even platinum!  That’s even better than boring rubies.  You’d think God being a man would have given us a few choice proverbs of our own to put these women in their place.  Am I wrong?  But I digress.

So, despite the annoyingness of the traditional wife, it is undeniable that she is the foundation of the family and of all functional human existence.  Without a doubt the destruction of our society has been programmed with the elimination of good women and their replacement by career women defined by their barrenness, lack of domestic instincts and their proclivity for collecting cats.  Without a doubt the males of this generation also bear a heavy responsibility for the current degeneracy of our culture.  But I’ll save that for a different rant.

Today I’ll just end with praise for Camera Girl.  Well done Camera Girl.  And save that little extra portion of coconut custard pie for the two o’clock coffee bread today.  I feel I need it.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – 19NOV2023 – Female Empowerment the Old Fashioned Way

My late wife never voted. She said they were all corrupt and voting was about the same as choosing which buzzard is going to dine on your carcass.

She did her politics through volunteerism. At the local hospital, making cookies for on-duty deputies, firefighters and EMT/rescue crews. Her oatmeal raisin cookies were notorious. She plumped the raisins in red or white wine depending on which raisin she used. She cooked and served at the local soup kitchen. I often donated venison as I always filled my limit. It served more than soup but my wife’s ham and mixed bean soup was always a big hit. And her cornbread (scratch, not a mix) was beloved by southern transplants. She got me to go down around Mardi Gras and make jambalaya, shrimp etoufee, gumbo, and red beans and rice.

The Great Sorting

The powers that be are working to reshape the world.  It will no longer be an old-fashioned analog model where people can find their own place in the world and cobble together a life that suits their individual talents and preferences.  No, this new model is a quantized arrangement.  There are only a few allowable choices for profession, school, sexuality, race, religion, and only one choice for political party and belief system.  And that’s only the start.  Soon there will only be one kind of car, one kind of heating system and one kind of bathroom and kitchen.  And the power company will tell you if you’ve used too much power for your car or the air conditioner (if they even allow A/C to exist anymore).  And the city will tell you if you’ve taken too long a shower or flushed the toilet too many times.

But where it really gets tricky is if you aren’t from the right family and didn’t go to the right college but you still want to have a normal life.  You know, like having a wife and kids.  Well, that’s sort of a problem.  Because they don’t want just anybody having kids.  You’ve got to have the right pedigree and the right mindset.  Kids are expensive and it takes a village to raise them so unless you’re the kind of person the village approves of, you’ll just be messing up the orderliness of the hive.  So, the mechanism they’ll use is to make it almost impossible to be able to afford kids unless you’re the right kind of person.

It’ll cost a fortune to buy a house and it’ll cost a fortune to send them to good schools and even feeding and clothing them, unless you’re an illegal immigrant, will cost an arm and a leg.  So, many people, especially young men are just giving up.  It’s just not worth the effort.

Well, the alternative is family helping out with providing a place to live until a house is affordable and providing resources for a down payment and maybe foregoing luxuries like vacation homes and expensive toys to provide help with medical expenses and other incidentals that are bound to come along.  And also providing advice and contacts for the young.

And in the past, I’ve kidded about opening up my own match-making business but I think it’s a real need that exists.  Women especially could get involved by finding eligible girls who wants to get married and have kids.  Sure, I know there are all kinds of dating services and maybe some of them are selective enough to help serious, normal men and women find mates.  But relatives and friends are still a valuable source for finding a man or woman for someone looking to start a family.

It may seem like this whole thing is a silly topic.  But I think it’s serious enough to think about.  There is a great contraction already in the works.  If you want your family to survive it then you’re going to have to provide some extra help to make it work.  Now, some people probably don’t care.  A cheap apartment, a streaming service and a small government check will keep things going until your health gives out and then there’s euthanasia so what’s all the fuss?  The path of least resistance is the preferred route for some of the young.  The government is just making the choice easier.

But for those of us who want a future that includes a fulfilling human life for our descendants then it’s time to take a hand in what happens to your kids and their kids.  Lend a hand.  Or go extinct.