The Real Conservatism

June is the month of graduations.  And right on schedule I attended two graduations this weekend.  The first one was a very minor but poignant event.  Our littlest grandchild, Princess Sack of Potatoes was finishing up her year of gym class.  Camera Girl and I dutifully showed up at this august occasion and watched through the glass as our little athlete tumbled and climbed and performed the baby steps version of gymnastics on balance beams and parallel bars and rings.  We applauded and made all the right noises while she and her variously gifted team mates impressed their parents and relatives.  Afterwards she got a heavy iron star shaped medal spray painted with gold to wear around her neck and then we all went to our favorite local steakhouse and enjoyed some red meat.  I got the ribeye.

Then today was a more important milestone my oldest grandson graduated from high school with high honors and full scholarship to the local college of his choice.  As was fitting for this more serious occasion, the ceremony took a few hours, if you include the process of showing up early enough to get good seats and parking spots at the outdoor ceremony.  The girl who gave the valedictory address was appropriately eloquent and choked with emotion.  Although some gusts of wind threatened to blow away the pages of her speech and her graduation cap.  But Camera Girl and I agreed that the speeches were well spoken and heartfelt, as the moment required.  We took the requisite photos as the diploma was handed to our young scholar and I even captured the capstone shot of the class tossing their caps into the air.  And afterwards we once again headed to that same steakhouse and partook of red meat.  This time I just had a burger since my son-in-law was paying and I am not unaware of the costs in raising four children in today’s brutal economic situation.

And when we got home Camera Girl and I agreed that it was the perfect weekend.  Of course, tomorrow is Father’s Day, that least understood holiday on the calendar.  When we’re young we would make a card for our father and later on we would buy him a tie and maybe at some point later in life we would get him some artifact that might be associated with one of his pastimes or for home improvement.  Now that I’ve reached grandfather status Father’s Day is sort of a stretch.  My sons-in-law are the objects of this ritual and they will be forced to express gratitude for the well-meaning but mostly useless gifts.

But all fathers know that the true gift every father is looking for is represented by the ceremony I attended today.  When a father has a son who makes the transition from boy to man that is the reward for years and decades of working to make him a functional member of society and hopefully puts him on the road to being able to have a family of his own.  And in a similar way, when a daughter grows up and starts a family of her won it is the realization of this same process.  It is the continuation of the human race.  We provide them a good home and try to teach children what a family is about and hope they’ll try to copy this pattern and produce their own home in the future.

By any definition of conservatism, that is the most essential component of conservative life; to replicate the circle of life.  To conserve the family.  In fact, regardless of what we do in the political realm as far as constitutional freedoms and rights, if we don’t manage to reproduce our families into the next generation then we have failed utterly and our story ends there.  We’ll have to step aside and let someone more adept at human relations take a whack at it.

Tomorrow I’ll get calls from my kids and maybe my grandkids (although that’s a usurpation of their fathers’ prerogatives of the day) and I’ll be pleased as can be that they remember me on the day.  But the great victory is counting those grandchildren and being allowed to share a little in their lives and their accomplishments and knowing that the circle continues and some part of me lives on both genetically and in the traditions and memories that we have built.

Whenever I talk to them, I stress (probably excessively) that they have family that cares about them and will be there if they need help.  I want them to know they are part of a group that they can depend on and that can depend on them too.

So Happy Father’s Day.  Make some memories with those kids.  It’s probably the most important work you’ll ever do as a conservative but more importantly as a man.

08MAY2022 – Mother’s Day and Other Stuff

Last night we went over to one of my daughters’ houses for a Mother’s Day dinner cooked on the grill by one of my sons-in-law in honor of all the mothers in the family.  Steak, salmon, chicken, baked potatoes, string beans, the whole enchilada.  He’s military so survival skills are his forte and cooking ranks high among them.  After dinner was the ice cream cake and coffee.  Superb.  And for once Camera Girl didn’t have to cook a thing.  Probably her favorite party of the year so far.

My granddaughter is three and a half now and so she’s finally old enough to start joining in with the younger boy cousins in running amok in the back yard and the basement.  I’ve never seen a little girl so happy to be shooting and being shot with nerf rockets.  It proves that she’s one of the big kids now.

Seeing how great all these kids are turning out is a remarkable source of pride for me.  Of course, all the credit goes to Camera Girl.  For all of her myriad annoying qualities she is the quintessential mom and grandma.  Her instincts and her conscious efforts are all aligned around nurturing children.  Of course, she’s much more laisse faire about nurturing husbands.  Well, I guess no one’s perfect.

But it struck me reading all the nonsense about the Left rallying around abortion that these people are out of their minds.  They’ve bought into a death cult that emphasizes short term convenience over sharing in the most rewarding institution in human relations, a large multigenerational family.  And based on what I’ve been reading the present generation doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about abortion as the baby boomers were.

The various leftist opinion writers discussing the abortion panic are none too optimistic about either preventing Roe v. Wade being struck down or using the event as a successful rallying cry for the November mid-terms.  They’ve gone through several stages of opinion on the whole issue and currently they’ve ended up at frustration.  It’s frustration that they can’t move the needle on the Republican advantage in polls for the mid-terms and frustration that the voters, other than a noisy but narrow segment are unexcited by the SCOTUS opinion.  It has escaped their notice that Antifa rioters don’t raise families or even engage in heterosexual relationships.  To paraphrase a feminist expression, Antifa women need abortion like a fish needs a bicycle.

And speaking to some folks on our side, those who were most worried about a mid-term backlash against the SCOTUS decision now see the wisdom of direct action.  One fellow admitted that plowing forward with the actions that we’ve said we’ve always wanted to see accomplished is the only way anything will ever get done.  Hearing that was especially satisfying for me.  I’ve been saying for years that pussyfooting around these actions is tantamount to surrendering to the Left.  All it has done is acclimate the succeeding generations to permanent Leftist hegemony.  Fighting these policies even if the battle goes back and forth is progress.  Whining about not being ready until we have overwhelming odds in our favor is a fantasy that guarantees perpetual inaction.

So today I sent out invitations for the Memorial Day Weekend family barbecue.  There I will see most of the closest relatives I have assembled together at the Compound for food and drink and hordes of children and grandchildren running around in circles and jumping in a swimming pool.  We’re slowly putting all of the COVID nonsense in the rearview mirror and moving our lives back where they belong, together.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Fill Up the Space and There’s No Room for Dysfunction

Getting together with the family yesterday was a shot in the arm (no, not a vaccine) for me.  Great food, Easter-chocolate-fueled kids, friendly family, boisterous activity, a few sprinkles of hail and snow, sunshine, a passel of tail-wagging dogs and no television or electronic devices at all.

The time passed so quickly and no one was bored.  I’ve arranged to see the new Batman movie with the two older boys tomorrow.  I opined that this new Batman will be lame because he’s being played by some emo-actor named Robert Pattinson who apparently is best known for playing some lame vampire that girls loved.  The boys agreed that the Dark Knight is still the gold standard for Batman movies but feel we should give this one a try.  I told them we should rent the Michael Keaton Batman from the 1980’s.  Anyway, we’ll buy some greasy popcorn and watch this ridiculous movie and we’ll spend the two hours back and forth talking about everything and nothing.

One of my sons-in-law is starting a small business of his own so we swapped information on LLC’s and sole proprietorships and I told him I’d let him know what I found out from the town hall about paperwork.  And then we discussed his recent foray into welding and metalworking.  I have some projects that would benefit from custom hardware and I told him I’d see if he had any time to cost out some items.  As if he isn’t busy enough running a small factory and large family.  But it was good to have someone who’s trying to build something too, to talk to.

And Camera Girl was in her element with the kids to play with and her daughters to compare notes with on managing homes, kids and dogs.  And there was talk between them about flowers and vegetables and kids’ activities coming up and a summer trip up to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, and on and on and on.

It seemed like everyone there was suffering from allergies.  Kids and adults.  And there was sneezing and runny noses and coughing and no one was wearing any stupid masks or apologizing for sneezing germs on each other.  That nonsense seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

And I had a long discussion on dinosaurs with my youngest grandson.  But yesterday the new fascination was Pokémon.  He inherited a book of the cards from one of his older brothers and he regaled me with detailed information about the names, powers and relative value of this album of meaningless monsters.  But showing my attention to this ritual of pre-adolescent consumer culture gained me all kinds of street cred with this miniature descendant of mine.

All in all, it was a roaring success.  Good feelings reigned supreme and the winter was officially laid to rest and the outdoor season was christened with the kids tracking mud into the kitchen and all over their Easter clothes.  And not a single word was spoken about Biden or inflation or transgender anything.  We talked about the kids’ schools and sports and the plans for the next get togethers.  Life and family and friends fill up the spaces in your life if you take the time and trouble to involve yourself with life.  It’s good reminder for me.

A Box of Crayons

Watching Camera Girl and Princess Sack of Potatoes sitting side by side, each with a piece of paper and sharing a big box of old crayons was inspirational.  In our age where belief in everything has evaporated and where learning has degenerated into a kindergarten struggle session over sexual identity, I’m watching creativity and learning leap frogging a generation and dispensing with computers, tablets, phones and all the other modern clap trap of the hive mind.

The little girl is recovering from a bad cold so she’s not quite as frenetic as she usually is, so sitting still to color for an extended period is a little easier.  But the grandmother still has to expend a considerable amount of skill to keep the activity going.  Discussions about the different colors and their varying subjective value for representing a dog or a tree or a car are conducted.  And plans are made for where and how these masterpieces will be displayed on the refrigerator and what older treasures can now be stored for posterity in the Art Repository (attic).  Learning to draw circles and triangles, squares and stars is mixed in with printing the letters of the alphabet and the numbers from one to a hundred.  All the ancient knowledge is available through a grandmother’s gentle teaching methods.

Eventually art period will end.  Creativity will yield to less cerebral pursuits.  Camera Girl will bring out the blocks or a story book or move the operation to the kitchen where making pizza dough or baking a cake will take center stage.  But what I can see is that the crumbling of our society is an unforced disaster.  We are abandoning our children’s minds to terrible people who have no ability or intention to teach useful skills.  That little girl, barely three years old, will soon have the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic that fifth graders in some inner-city schools will lack at age eleven or even older.  And it has nothing to do with intelligence.  In the nineteenth century even the slowest children were proficient in writing and arithmetic by eighth grade.  That was all the schooling they ever received.  But they were competent to participate in civil life.  They could make change for a sale and correspond with their distant relatives in grammatical and expressive English.  Based on the comments I’ve seen displayed on Twitter and “TikTok” that is a long dead situation.

But this is an entirely voluntary mental death that is happening.  We don’t have to participate in this societal suicide.  Those of us who care can send our children to good schools or if necessary, home school them.  It’s a hackneyed phrase to say that “children are our most precious possession.”  But that doesn’t make it any less true.  Ultimately, they will be all that will remain of us.

So, anyway, that’s what I have to say.  I had no stomach to talk about Biden today.  I needed something positive to think and talk about and I received inspiration by seeing that small human doing something creative and positive.  Some good was done here today and more will be done tomorrow and the day after.  Hopefully by the time my grandchildren are grown we will have rejected much of the madness currently wreaking havoc in our world.  We must fix this world for our children or there won’t be a world left.  Start small, start local and do something positive.

Reclaiming the Family – Part 9 – Starting a Dialog Between Men and Women

I poke an enormous amount of fun at Camera Girl.  I accuse her of all kinds of sins against logic.  But she is an excellent wife, mother and grandmother.  Echoing Proverbs 31:10, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”  Now, I would have gone with star sapphires but that’s a personal choice.  A good wife and mother is the foundation of proper human existence.

But that foundation is crumbling.  Modern life has sought to trivialize the important of a woman raising a family.  Instead, feminism has substituted the working woman as the paradigm that young women should strive to emulate.  If motherhood is discussed it’s always in the vein of how it can be minimized.  It should be pushed off into middle age and its impact mitigated through daycare from birth and television and social media as babysitters.  The result is plummeting birth rates and latchkey children who grow up addicted to their phones.  And worse, now the substitute mothers in our children’s classrooms are brainwashing, mutilating and sterilizing our children to put an end to human life altogether.  It’s hard to imagine anything worse than where we are.

So, how do we get out of this trap?  I can only think that it will require an overt organizing of men and women to build a new foundation for relations between the sexes.  Nothing short of this will solve the problem.  In fact, if something like this doesn’t emerge, I’ll take that as a sign that our civilization is doomed.  We’ll have to wait for someone outside of Western Civilization to take the lead in preserving the human race.

I can’t claim that I’ve worked out all the details of what such an organization would be like.  I’m not even sure how it would begin its work.  I notice that of late there have been a few more women right-wing commentators advocating for traditional female roles.  The name that comes to mind at the moment is Peachy Keenan over at the American Mind, the on-line site of the Claremont Institute.  Maybe it would be possible for a panel of female pundits to engage the female audience on the Right.  And just as important it’s necessary to engage the other side of the equation.  A cross section of men on the Right need to get involved in the discussion.

Initially I don’t envision any quick solutions to these problems.  Society is pushing everything in the wrong direction as hard as it can.  Just getting young men and women in the same room talking about what is wrong with the current set-up would be a distinct improvement.  In fact, I think the opportunity for the young on the Right to mingle socially is part of the solution.  We need to re-socialize people.  They need to get off their phones and meet each other face to face.

As I said, unless this gets addressed in an organized fashion, we’re through.  For that reason, this needs to be pushed at the highest level.  The Republican Party should be addressing this at the national level.  It should be a plank of their platform.  The churches, any of them that aren’t already just arms of the trans-alliance for mutilating children, should be the focuses for this at the local level.  Every parish of the Catholic Church should have a committee of mothers who spend their time thinking of ways to encourage their sons and daughters to have children and raise them themselves.

I’ll say this a third time.  If we don’t get ourselves out of this feminist destruction of the family our civilization will be done.  And it should be.  A society that destroys the family has eliminated the main source of human happiness on this planet deserves to disappear.

Reclaiming the Family – Part 8 – The Future Belongs to the Active

Average Americans have been passive participants in the troubling events that have surrounded them for decades.  We have watched in silent horror as all the bedrock axioms of normal life have been upended and crazy people have been encouraged by those in authority to destroy the fabric of our lives.   And it’s accelerating.  Previously, various forms of degeneracy were the innovations that the powers that be were foisting on us.  But now crime and chaos have been added to the list of activities that are being sanctioned by the governing powers in charge of our society.  The George Floyd riots are the signal that functional civil society has been abandoned by, at least, the Blue State establishment.

During the decades that this devolution has been progressing there have been attempts by the saner members of our leadership to resist this madness.  I guess the Reagan presidency was a reaction against it.  The Trump election in 2016 was also a reaction to it.  These were attempts to claw back control of the country as a whole from the progressives who have slowly but surely taken control of almost all the levers of power in the United States.  There may be another breakthrough in 2024.  If the Republicans can keep the Congress and capture the presidency there is some hope that they can at least temporarily reverse the damage being done in this country by the forces of chaos that are intent on tearing the whole thing down.

But I don’t think it’s wise to depend on some hypothetical permanent victory of the Right over the Left.  Even if it does happen at some point, it may be too late to benefit you or even your descendants.  I think it’s incumbent on each of us to look at what services and benefits are no longer available form our government or communities and find substitutes and work arounds on our own.

I think the most important service we have to address is educating our children.  The public schools are worse than useless.  They are in fact a detriment to the education and socialization of children.  I won’t go through the litany of failings and problems with public schools.  Suffice it to say that outside of a few communities the education children get in public schools is worse than useless.  It’s poison.   It is the responsibility of parents to provide for the future of their children as best they can.  Providing them with the chance to thrive in society is crucial and not only is the public-school environment failing to provide them with the rudiments of education but all of the schools from pre-K through graduate schools indoctrinate young people with propaganda that is wildly anti-survival.  Students are fed anti-human lies that encourage them to reject normal goals such as business success and family formation because of nonsense about “saving the planet” and developing their individuality.  What they need is basic survival skills like math and language skills followed by practical training in a profession or a trade.  That is what parents should be selecting for in a school.  And you’re going to have to pay for it.

The next service that we all have to be selecting for is public safety.  Living in an American city is now a very risky proposition.  There may be some large cities that are reasonably safe.  But finding them will require careful research.  Even suburbs and towns may be afflicted with the scourge of organized and disorganized criminality.  What we have to do is evaluate the areas we are considering as long-term homes and determine if our families will be safe and free from constant anxiety while moving around their extended circle of destinations.  Crime statistics are one research tool.  Another will be the political support both major parties get in the area.  Look very carefully at where you decide to live.  Moving is expensive and painful.

Employment is another important area where an active approach is very important.  If your profession is already established then you are to a large extent tied into the locations that you can set up a home base.  Of course, lately remote work has taken hold in a number of companies and professions.  But for others this isn’t a practical choice.  For many professions, American industry has severely limited the opportunities for employment inside the country.  Whole industries have been transplanted to Asia leaving careers in engineering and management severely reduced in the numbers of positions available.  For some people becoming an ex-patriot employee is an important option.

For the young who don’t currently have a profession or for those willing to change professions choosing a trade or profession that allows you to work outside of the “woke” corporations is an attractive feature.  Self-employment as a craftsman or small business owner provides flexibility and protection against being brow-beaten and even fired for not displaying the requisite amount of social justice fervor on the job.  It has to be admitted that the choice of avoiding the corporate hierarchy means you will probably never be a multi-millionaire or travel in the corporate Lear jet to Davos to hobnob with Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.  But that may be one of the advantages too.  You’ll still have some self-respect and time to spend with your family.  Look at the areas of the country you want to live in and see what are the best opportunities for employment that fit your skill set.  You may have to be a little flexible with what you do for a living to live where you want to live.

The other thing you will want to be active about is participating in local government.  Find out who runs your town.  Go to town meetings.  Find out who the local Republicans are and find out if they’re useful or useless.  You might even have to run for dogcatcher just to get something useful done in your area.  Find out about your local police department.  Find out if your town is embarking on any kind of radical “affordable” housing project.  Often that is code for bringing in deadbeats and illegal aliens into the suburbs.

It’s your job to shape your environment.  It’s what humans have done from time immemorial.  As Americans we had a century of living under the umbrella of a powerful, mostly competent government that improved the lives of its citizens.  That time is over.  We live under a rapacious oligarchy that is trying to hold onto the shrinking resources of a declining global empire.  Finding pockets of prosperity and sanity in the crumbling American Empire will be a challenge for those who don’t want to just give up.  That’s your challenge.  And if by some miracle we, the people, manage to wrest control of America away from the oligarchs and reestablish this country as a sane and prosperous nation, you’ll be ahead of the curve if you’ve already set yourself up by being an active agent of your own happiness.

How Do We Last Until 2025?

A single day doesn’t seem to go by without some new Biden caused or related disaster occurring.  War, famine, pestilence, financial collapse, you name it.  The only thing missing from the list is an asteroid strike and I’m sure that the Biden team has their stupidest man working on it right now.

But seriously, these are going to be trying times.  Like everyone else I’m counting the pennies and figuring out how to reduce costs and pay for growing bills with shrinking assets.  It’s going to be extremely difficult in the weeks and months ahead.  And let’s face it, regardless of what kind of blowout the Democrats suffer in November there will be a Democrat in the White House torturing us until early in 2025.  That’s a very long time.  We won’t get through it by trying to hold our breath all the way through.

We’re going to have to be protect ourselves from all the nonsense they’ll do to break us down.  Each of us will have to do the best we can to roll with the punches and avoid being ground down by the myriad of problems these people create; money problems, crime waves, propaganda aimed at our children, more COVID fascism possibly.  We’ll have to be smart and strong.

But just as important as all these things is maintaining morale.  Your spiritual health is just as important as your physical health.  You’ve got to make time to be happy.  And that’s especially true if you are working harder to keep from falling behind.  Take some time out every day and do something that nourishes the mind and soul.  Call up an old friend and find out how he’s doing.  Visit an aged relative and bring a little joy into her day.  Buy a good book and take twenty minutes out of your day to read it.  Take a course in something you’ve always wanted to learn.  It doesn’t have to be at a college.  It could be an on-line course.  If you’re isolated by circumstances then join some activity at a local club.

Of course, if you have a young family, then make time each day to help your kids with all the things they are doing.  Make sure you know what they are thinking about.  Find out what problems they are dealing with.  With the COVID masking still going on at schools make sure they’re dealing with the stress reasonably well and let them know things will be getting better very soon.  Talk at the dinner table and try to keep their morale high too.  Find other families that you can plan outings and events with that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

And plan for the future.  Look forward to better times.  Make a list of improvements you want for your future and then start to figure out a plan to accomplish one of them first.  Don’t start with the one where you become a billionaire.  Figure out the one where you lose twenty pounds or replace the kitchen floor or get a promotion at work.

All of this is a plan to keep a positive attitude and get yourself and your loved ones through some tough times that are coming up.  And most importantly get out of the house and feel the sun on your face once in a while.  Cabin fever is a real thing especially in the cold latitudes but everywhere else too to some extent.  And of course, I’m part of the problem, but get away from the computer once in a while.

One day Joe Biden will be in the rear-view mirror.  But until then maintain your sanity and nourish your soul by balancing the stress with some fun.  Doctor’s orders.

Playing With Three-Year-Old’s Is Not Child’s Play

Men of my generation generally have very little practical experience raising children.  Being born in the Silurian Epoch meant that back then wives were stay at home moms who raised their children and only complained if the paychecks stopped appearing on time.  Sure, on weekends and at night we would meet up with the next generation and attempt to play with them to some extent but we always had their moms there to mediate any difficult situations.  And at night the toddlers were already winding down toward sleep and on the weekends, we could bring them outside where our longer legs meant that just by virtue of walking, we could burn off their excess energy.

But here I am forty years later and generation two of Camera Girl’s great science experiment is winding down and I find myself at the mercy of Princess Sack of Potatoes and her edict that she must be amused.  Currently this involves me portraying an Angry Polar Bear (racist stereotyping some might say) by growling feebly and chasing her in a circle between the kitchen, dining room, foyer, hallway and back again.  Now this doesn’t sound particularly strenuous.  And so, I believed for the first five minutes.  But she has stamina.  I can get a one-minute reprieve every five minutes or so.  But she can keep this up for half an hour.  And even at the end of this ordeal I felt I had acquitted myself admirably and survived the experience unscathed.  But after lunch I suddenly found myself lapsing into unconsciousness.  Even the addition of caffeine seemed powerless to restore my flagging energy.

In my defense I have to assure you that I make an effort to remain active.  I will spend thirty minutes a day on the rowing machine and also work out on a lat-machine and do some calisthenics.  And even right after these exertions I feel fine, even invigorated.  I was forced to admit something unthinkable, raising little kids is harder than real work.  I even admitted this to Camera Girl.  I could see the look of scorn in her eyes.  She had probably been waiting most of her life for this moment.

But after a little reflection I’ve gained a new insight on this phenomenon.  God and nature had shaped men and women to fulfill their differing destinies.  Men were made heroically strong and courageous to fight off saber-tooth tigers and repo men while women were given the patience and stamina it requires to cook the saber-tooth tigers and repo men we provide and also to run in circles after three-year-old’s for hours at a time.  This newfound insight calmed me and restored my sense of balance in this topsy turvy world we live in.  I quickly explained this new theory to Camera Girl and how this meant that my fatigue was just the universe’s way of saying that I should save up my titanic strength for the next zombie apocalypse or asteroid strike that was sure to be coming around the bend anytime.  It’s funny, that look still seemed to be in her eye.  Probably my imagination.

So, I have initiated a new game with Princess Sack of Potatoes.  Instead of chasing her in circles I pretend to be sleeping on the floor.  And if she gets too close, I grab her by the shin, pull her down, growl at her and tickle her mercilessly for twenty seconds and then release her to run away.  I find I can keep up this game for any number of cycles without the least effort.  These women are so inefficient.

Ending Off 2021 Right

2020 was a nightmare from beginning to end and 2021 didn’t begin any better.  2021 started off as pure poison.  But the naked fraud and inexcusable subverting of the law has disgusted and radicalized whole segments of the population that up until now were sleep walking through the coup.  And what we’ve seen for the last five months is the chickens finally coming home to roost.  The combination of economic disaster, naked cronyism in the legislature and incompetence in multiple departments of the executive branch has turned the voting public against Dementia Joe and his lackeys.  And 2022 promises to be even worse for these crooks and weirdos.  It promises to be a disaster from beginning to end.  And all of this bad news for the bad guys has given me the opportunity to sendoff 2021 in style.

I just finished off the Christmas holiday exactly as I had hoped it would go.  All of my grandkids were over today and after having a Camera Girl feast that included roast beast and all the fixings, I basked in the bright light of all that youthful energy.  Most of the energy was dissipated shooting nerf projectiles at each other and the surroundings.  But there were some proceedings that I was qualified to join in.  And there was a fun toy that they brought along.  I bought the boys an Oculus virtual reality (VR) headset about two years ago.  I asked them about it recently and they talked about a fun module that they could run on the headset and I asked them to bring it over for me to try.  It’s a simulation of a rollercoaster.  Now it wouldn’t occur to me that wearing a visor over my eyes would in some way simulate the sensation of motion that happens when you ride on a rollercoaster but so help me it does!  The visual stimuli of riding around on a fast-moving car that is constantly changing direction and speed even convinces the pit of your stomach that you’re climbing and plunging on the tracks of a coaster.  I convinced Camera Girl to put it on but she has such extreme motion sickness that she yanked the headset off her face after barely ten seconds.  She told me she would have been violently ill if she had waited any more time at all.  Such a big baby!

Then I convinced my little granddaughter to watch the old Disney movie Dumbo.  She was very hesitant because she is marvelously sensitive to cinematic sadness.  When the baby elephant was separated from his mother, I thought Princess Sack of Potatoes was going to burst out crying.  I had to convince her to hang in there because there would be a reunion.  Sure enough, once that occurred, she was enthralled by the song the mother elephant cooed to her child.  Unfortunately, she had to go home before she got to see the happily ever after ending but she’ll be back next week to finish it off.

And the sum total of all the human interactions between kids, parents and grandparents over the course of two days of feasting, playing and talking was the perfect ending to a holiday that is the perfect ending to a year.  With the kids off until after the New Year we’ll get a chance to spend more time together to talk about high school and college decisions and their day-to-day doings.  I recently sent the older boys a bunch of science fiction novels and apparently, they’re were very favorably impressed with the stories so I’ll get their feedback on these.  And we’ll play few games of pool now that they’ve mastered the fundamentals of holding the cue and lining up a shot.  And we’ll spend the next week finishing off the leftovers from the feast.  And they promised they’d help me to figure out if there is an easy and inexpensive way to play Doom 2 on the Oculus VR system.  I’ve always wanted to revisit that video game without the restriction of having to use a joystick or keyboard to look behind my back for the monster that is always sneaking up on me in that game.

So, all this will recharge my batteries to endure the colossal amounts of dishonesty and stupidity that will be on display by all the politicians who will make 2022 a veritable marathon of evil.  After the fact, I see now what I missed during the COVID crisis.  I was isolated from the things that make life worth living.  Spending time with the people in your life that count is several orders of magnitude more important than all the other things you do with your time.  Making sure there are people left who care about the things you care about is the justification for fighting against the Left.  If we prevailed over the Left but those people were lost to us then none of it would personally benefit us.  It would be at best an intellectual exercise and personally meaningless.  So, I intend to enjoy my time off with loved ones and prioritize those activities right now.  Later on, I’ll get back to ranting about the losers who are out there mucking up this beautiful world.

Christmas in the Woke World

Christmas Cooking, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens

If you have very religious friends then you know that many people have always felt that the public face of Christmas has always been tainted by the commercial nature of the holiday in our culture.  They are outraged that the secular elements of Christmas overshadow the sacred nature of the holiday.

Maybe from their point of view what is happening in the culture now is no worse than the former commercialism.  Well, now it’s everyone else’s turn to be outraged.  Of course, the present outrage isn’t confined to commercialism.  We’re dealing with the destruction of a whole civilization and its replacement by nihilism.  But maybe the course of action everyone will be forced to adopt is basically the same as that taken by religious people living in a secular society.  The religious communities have to provide analogs for all the secular institutions around them.  They send their children to religious grammar and high schools.  Their churches sponsor children’s sports teams and fraternal organizations and social occasions where families can get together and young people can find friends.  And these organizations can act as networking opportunities for professional advancement and community projects.  Even politics can be centered around church membership.

If you don’t happen to be religious this may pose a problem in today’s woke society.  Outside of churches the Left has exerted massive pressure to warp and control the other organizations existing in the world today.  Public schools are hotbeds of homosexual recruitment and even stranger things like the indoctrination of middle-school kids into the transgender delusion.  The Boy Scouts have been co-opted, the large corporations are saturated with diversity, inclusion and equity programming and the federal government is an occupying army.

So, there’s only one way forward.  You have to do it all yourself.  Anything you want to preserve about Christmas, you are going to have to sponsor personally.  So, let’s say you want to encourage the religious aspects of Christmas.  Then you are going to have to make sure you bring the kids to church and tell them what you believe.  And if there are cultural traditions or family traditions you want to preserve then you better take the time to teach the kids and the grandkids about them and why they are important.  And let’s face it, if you don’t really believe in the importance of these things, you won’t be able to convince anyone else that they are important.

Luckily for me, I love old fashioned Christmas.  I love getting together with the family and eating a great big meal and passing the time together playing games and telling stories about the old days to the kids and talking about the minor news and events in the family and the community.  I love to put on some old movie like “A Christmas Carol” or “A Christmas Story” and introduce it to another generation.  I love to spend time with my kids and grandkids and hear about their lives and maybe provide a sympathetic ear to someone who needs to talk or make the encouraging noises that everyone likes to hear and sometimes really needs.  And if the talk turns to things going on in the larger world state your opinion honestly and fearlessly.  Don’t mince words about the Democrats and especially not about the truly insane fringes of the Left.

And Christmas is just one chapter of what needs to be done.  Every aspect of normal life and Western Civilization needs the same treatment.  Be vocal and comfortable about cheerleading for the good things in the old culture that need to be defended and nurtured.  Encourage the kids to think about important parts of their lives that they will have to attend to.  Finding a job, finding a spouse, raising a family.  These are things that don’t go without saying.  Say them.  Provide practical help for things like career counseling, finding activities, even providing them with help like a lift to a job or an activity.  After all most parents are stretched pretty thin.  If a granddad has the time, he should make himself useful.

So that’s enough talk.  We’re headed out Christmas Eve in the afternoon to one of my daughters.  That’s going to be fun.  And then Christmas dinner is at my house and that will be grand.  All the grandkids will be there and I will be in my glory.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.