Some random notes from the email bag on my December Diary, in reverse order from that in which the topics were diarized.
Eight pennies, seven nickels, and three dimes. Worked solution here.
Following the remarks about conformism—that is, about the liberal-progressive drive to flatten and homogenize our intellectual life—a friend emailed in with this, which I thought very apt.
Another thing that occurred to me during this election season is this old Radio Derb episode where you commented on Pastor Terry Jones of the Koran-burning fame:
“I nurse a strong romantic affection for the old, weird America, the America of grifters and medicine wagons, freak shows and traveling circuses, blind fiddlers and Mr. Bojangles, strange cults and charismatic preachers, sinister goings-on in rustic hollows and dark secrets under the magnolia blossoms …
“Any time I get to thinking that the old weird America has been killed off for good by the lawyers and accountants and bureaucrats and developers, paved over so we can have more strip malls and big-box stores and liberal arts colleges and wind farms, every time I get depressed thinking that, the news turns up some character like Terry Jones to tell me it ain’t so.”
At times I’ve reflected on why I find Trump impossible not to like despite his business practices that I find distasteful (selling shoddy products with a false luster of prestige and class) or borderline, if not outright unethical (the Trump University episode).
Well, there is of course the fact that on many issues our elites are so raving mad that if someone counters them with a little straight talk and common sense, as Trump has done, it’s hard not to support him no matter what.
But on top of that, there is also that factor of the unique, flamboyant, swashbuckling character of Trump sticking it to the modern American drab, conformist, politically correct, lawsuit-wary society, and showing with his vivid example that there is still some life in Old Weird America!
Come January 20, we’ll see how much he is really able and willing to accomplish. Much like you, I am constitutionally pessimistic, but just saying the words “Attorney General Jeff Sessions” (how’s that for something that would have sounded outlandish two years ago!), it’s hard not to have some high hopes.
Kampf means “fight,” a Sau is a sow and a Schwein a pig. Kampfsau and Kampfschwein are terms used in sports, particularly soccer, where they are applied to players who may be technically limited, but more than make up for it by their unflagging fighting spirit, by the abandon with which they risk, not life, but certainly limbs, fighting for the ball and tackling players on the opposing team. And if their jersey is not the dirtiest at the end of the match, they know they haven’t given it their best effort.
Calling someone a Sau or a Schwein in German is an insult, and a relatively bad one. But in combination with Kampf, these words turn into compliments: Kampfsäue and Kampfschweine (those are the plurals) tend to be fan favorites. [KrautBlog, April 3rd2013.]
It’s nice of that blogger to limit the reference to sports. We WW2 babies naturally have mixed feelings here. All I shall say is that in defending one’s national integrity and demographic stability, a little of the Kampfsau spirit might not be a bad thing.
My impression is, though, that audiobooks are booming. Everyone I know—including Mrs D—listens to the things when driving. I’ve had a longstanding notion to record an audiobook of Fire from the Sun, but the snatches of opera in the book deter me. I can’t sing.
VDARE.com recorded the outrage under the headline “Twitter Reacts To John Derbyshire Blaspheming Ta-Nehisi Coates.”
Blacks are sacred objects, and you do not make jokes about sacred objects. But this truth, that in liberal society blacks are sacred objects, cannot be stated aloud because it would reveal too much about the liberal order. [Another naïve white momentarily forgets about the sacredness of blacks, and has her career ruined; View from the Right, July 25th 2012.]
Looping back to the business about stamping out oddity (see, my posts don’t merely have form and content, they have topology), I got into some amiable Twitter exchanges with Charles Murray on the Coates business.
Crisp was a famous British oddity. Not many Americans know about him, so I attached a link to his obituary.