David armed

Italy’s culture minister stupified

The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law. We will take action against the American company so that it immediately withdraws its campaign,” says Italy’s culture minister. But it is 2014. Maybe the culture minister doesn’t know the story:

David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine dead, and did it without a sword in his hand. Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath he killed him, and cut off his head. — 1 Samuel 17

Maybe the ad, from Armalite, does infringe the law. It might be in poor taste to use a great masterpiece to promote products. But to complain because in the ad David is holding a weapon (an Armalite AR-50) is simply stupid; very nearly offensively stupid. Michaelangelo’s David is always holding a weapon. He has a sling in his left hand, and a rock in his right.

It’s not the economy, stupid

Someone says “The thing about an increasingly childless economy is that it has major implications for consumption.”

No, that childlessness has economic implications is not the thing. That our economy, society, and culture in their present state discourage people from having children, that is the thing. Moreover, the habit of mind that casts a shortage of children as “an increasingly childless economy” is part of the reason so few people are having so few children.

Civilization and its enemies

At work the door to the rest room is always open first thing in the morning. The cleaners work at night, and they leave them open with the ceiling fan running. That’s fine. I shut the door, thinking I’m doing my bit to maintain civilization. If I don’t shut it, it will still be open at noon. There’s not really a privacy or modesty problem, because there’s an interior wall for a baffle, but it seems to me that if there’s going to be a door on the rest room, then the door needs to be shut. If the door is always open, there is no door. It’s best not to say anything though; just quietly shut the door. Because at another place where this was happening, they took off the door completely. Notionally this was to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but really it was just HR proactively degrading the work environment.

They grow up so fast

At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexandra, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada. At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. — At Twenty-Three

It’s just possible that the people who write the news are not like the rest of us.

Sure, why not?

Robert F. Kennedy himself may not have said “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” though it’s commonly attributed to him. Misattributed to RFK or not, the underlying source may be a play from the early twentieth century by George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah:

THE SERPENT [to Eve]. If I can do that, what can I not do? I tell you I am very subtle. When you and Adam talk, I hear you say ‘Why?’ Always ‘Why?’ You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ — Back to Methuselah, by George Bernard Shaw. Seen in The Campus Utopians, by Jonah Goldberg

See, “The Serpent.” That alone should have made the best and brightest pause before basing their plans to re-build government, society, and culture on a foundation of “why not?” Even if they didn’t know the story. And there’s another hint, because that story is called The Fall of Man.

Now and then

Worrying about global warming, driving a Prius, and hating the Tea Party, are comparable to hating the Hippies, driving a Buick, and worrying about the coming ice age.

That’s not progress

At least it’s not if you are a human being.

“…a “progressive” believes in an ever-wider scope of sexual license for the individual and a greater concentration of authority in quasi-governmental bodies outside the direct control of the political process (Child Protective Services, the World Health Organization, the National Education Association), to effect changes that the subject peoples would be too slow to accept on their own.” — What a Progressive Used to Be, by Anthony Esolen

Life among family

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense.”

This quote has been attributed to Phil Robertson. Rick Warren seems to have said it earlier, but I haven’t found an authoritative source. Anyway, these are two lies that could only have broadly taken hold among people without much family.

The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce varieties and uncompromising divergences of men. The reason is obvious. In a large community we can choose our companions. In a small community our companions are chosen for us. Thus in all extensive and highly civilized societies groups come into existence founded upon what is called sympathy, and shut out the real world more sharply than the gates of a monastery. There is nothing really narrow about the clan; the thing which is really narrow is the clique. The men of the clan live together because they all wear the same tartan or are all descended from the same sacred cow; but in their souls, by the divine luck of things, there will always be more colours than in any tartan. But the men of the clique live together because they have the same kind of soul, and their narrowness is a narrowness of spiritual coherence and contentment, like that which exists in hell. A big society exists in order to form cliques. A big society is a society for the promotion of narrowness. G.K. Chesterton, Heretics, 1905

Heads up

On the new-books rack at a nearby college library is one titled “Polyamory”. That’s the problem with being a progressive – you need resistance to keep moving forward. Progressives must necessarily have something to push against. Ten years ago they couldn’t gin up much resistance to polyamory. People either dismissed it as ridiculously unlikely, or wanted them to shut up about it for tactical reasons. Now that those tactical reasons are no longer operative, and now that it seems a good deal less unlikely, the progressives can start militating for it.

Maybe the next big cultural battle won’t be over polyamory, but it will be over something currently opposed by most people. It has to be. That’s what puts the “progress” in “progressive.”