Off the Cuff – Signalling Compliance

My perspective on this crisis has changed. TPTB are really sincerely trying to desperately save their populations from a disease that that potentially could wipe us all out in a heartbeat. They are just doing the best they can in these unprecedented, trying times. Their brave struggle to maintain our diverse, inclusive, and equitable society against a disease that has exposed the systemic hatred inherent in white culture is commendable.

Especially in the face of the Trumpist-White Supremacist threat that wants to turn our free nations into LITERALLY Nazi Germany, through a relentless campaign of disinformative misinformation. And now, we have the Putinist threat. There is no doubt in my mind he may enter into potential discussions in which the possibility of a minor incursion into Ukraine may be discussed. ANY MOMENT NOW! (…wait for it…wait for it…wait for it). I digress.

Sure, more people die in car crashes, but that’s a tautology, since there is no evidence that cars driven by FAUXVID get into accidents. Further, it’s a false dichotomy, given that by wearing a mask while you are driving, you can prevent people in other cars from catching FAUXVID.

Is this disease nasty? Fsck yes! So nasty that I have to agree that at least four injections will probably not be enough to keep this barbarian horde outside the gates. I’m double juiced, but did not get the “top-up insurance gentle immune system reminder probably good for six weeks but not against Omicron” third shot, so I only have myself to blame for causing the collapse of all the health care systems in Canada (even though I’ve needed no medical care during my struggle). I forgot that we are, all together, only on our 45th round of ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’. Someone in St. John’s, right now, cannot get hip replacement surgery because of my selfishness. For that, I am truly sorry.

And if eliminating FAUXVID involves punishing the unvaccinated, misogynist, racist, sexist minority who insist on burdening the universal health care system, then I have no issue with taking away their property, making them pay for health care (on top of the taxes they pay to fund it), ending their freedom to travel, and even to put them in jail. In short, this is all a plot by anti-vaxxers and science deniers to trick us into making our ‘universal’ health care system ‘ununiversal’ by forcing us to deny them access to any medical care. Nice try bigoted scum, and for your efforts, now you get what you want!

Minion Laugh GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

No, I jest. This whole clusterfsck is done. It’s pretty clear whatever has been going on, it’s not about a virus. The only thing left is for TPTB try to squeeze every last ounce of panic out of it. Up here in Canuckistan, I suspect they are going to push hard. Trudeau Jr. has a legacy to cement, after all.

What has been made concrete it is that the only lesson of history is that no one learns lessons from history. Hanlon’s razor says don’t attribute malice when stupidity will do. Severian’s corollary is that sometimes things are so stupid they must be malicious. Congrats Canada, you satisfy all three simultaneously.

Many people have expressed the idea that the unvaccinated should be treated as I have suggested above. How very short memories we all have, including Trudeau, who effusively apologized to Italians less than a year ago. He apologized because Ottawa did the very things proposed against the unvaccinated to the Japanese and Italians in World War II, and Ukrainians in World War I. (Anyone thinking “but, this is different cuz muh…” is missing the point.)

I realize the survey which showed these attitudes from Canadians was probably designed to prompt such responses, and that the findings of the survey were probably cherry-picked for click baiting purposes. But, the fact there are enough people out there espousing such views that it shows up in surveys is enough for me. Trudeau is in power because he reflects back to the country what it thinks of itself. It looks something like this:

Be none of you malignant!

I’ll explain: Virgil and Dante are not the Canadians espousing treating the non-compliant as untermensch. The demons trying to drag them into the pitch are. Are you happy with that image, Canadians?

In Z Man’s podcast this week he mentioned the concept of ‘compliance’. This is something I noticed but could not put my finger on until he said it. We live in societies where one divide (amongst as many as TPTB can manufacture) is whether you signal compliance with the regime. If you show compliance with the regimes’ dictates then you get access to the good stuff. Signal against the regime, or these days, fail to effusively espouse the regimes dictates, and you are subject to ostracization. This is what is happening in Canada now.

All this FAUXVID nonsense, with its ineffective measures, restrictions, mandates, shaming, threats, and demonizing makes no sense except for the purpose of punishing non-compliance with the regime.

Those who would reduce the unvaccinated to untermenschen are signalling compliance. It’s the same old crap from the ideologically bankrupt Empire of the St. Lawrence. All to cement the legacy of this guy, so he can continue to imagine himself as having an impact on history:

Photo Shows Justin Trudeau in Brownface at 'Arabian Nights' Party | Time

Also of no doubt is that Trudeau III will, in 50 years time, stand up in Parliament with tears streaming down xhir face apologizing for Canada’s treatment of the unvaccinated.

Sick of this shit yet? I am.

Sunday Morning Coffee 01/16/2022

Jerry Fowler celebrates the birth of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, on January 11, 1815.

Wolf Street on offers he got for fake five-star reviews on Google, Facebook, etc.

Speaking of business opportunities, Patriactionary has discovered a great new investment opportunity: Somali pirates!

By way of Isegoria, autonomous trucking is not a thing.

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus on what the coming collapse may look like, and what you (and your neighbours) can do about it.

Z Man on the Custodial State’s many tentacles, and what the nanny state costs us.

At Founding Questions, comments on the Ukraine Crisis (Part LXXVIII), which is super-scary and tense…for reasons no one seems to know.

APRFTGV with a quick post on Swedish mortality rates, which of course must skyrocket due to their lackluster FAUXVID response…except…no skyrocketing here.

6 Reasons Why We Love Women & Cigars | A Gentleman's World
Gotta take that sentimental journey.

William Briggs gives a presentation skewering FAUXVID modelling. He puts it on YouTube, who removes it due to FAUXVID ‘misinformative disinformation’, but also because Neil Ferguson’s model’s feelings were hurt by it.

Mogadishu Matt with some commentary on the Great Resignation/Great Checkout. His observations apply continent wide.

At Terror House, Edward McConnell with Part III of an ongoing series on the collapse of learning in our educational institutions.

French Presidential candidate Eric Zammour’s New Years wishes to the journalists of France.

Jim discusses the true purpose of gain of function research.

Easy on the Eyes

Megyn Kelly on Fauci and Gain-of-Function Research. Not looking too good for Fauci.

Charles Haywood said she’s that good looking in real life too.

That, and the potential identity reveal of many of Epstein’s clients makes this a good week.

Audio

James Kunstler hosts Jeffrey Tucker on the KunstlerCast, for a talk about from a different perspective about FAUXVID.

The Myth of the 20th Century crew does a Year in Review of 2021. Listening to it reminded me of all the bullshit that went on last year and I got quite angry. But the message at the end is worth it.

Charles Haywood reviews Young Men and Fire by Norman MacLean (it’s about a group of fire fighters who were killed in a bad situation made worse in Montana).

BAP has a new podcast on art, modern art critique, and Late Gothic painter Paulo Uccello.

Uccello’s Saint George and the Dragon

Fiction and Books

Severian reviews Nikolai Vladivostok’s Tales from Captivity. I reviewed it as well, here. I agree with Severian: buy a copy because he is one of us, and then realize it was well worth your time. Amazon.ca lists it for $3.99 in Kindle, or $12.99 paperback. Chapters (partnered with Kobo, so in epub) also has the e-book for $3.99.

A long but rewarding review of Jean Markale’s The Great Goddess, by Eternal Anglo Seax.

A great story about high school education, from Terror House: Tech and Design.

At the Orthosphere, why bibliomania is bad for you. I plan on getting five to six books on the subject and will review them here.

Aggregators

Niccolo Soldo with his 69th Saturday Commentary and Review.

Whatever.com’s midweek round-up of goings on in Canuckistan and abroad.

APRFTGV with some timely quotations, several from Margaret Thatcher.

To close: Homer was a member of Steely Dan in the late 70s. The boys really wanted to try those lotus flowers.

Review – The Triumph of Death, by Gabriele D’Annunzio

The Triumph of Death eBook by Gabriele D'Annunzio - 9788826039374 | Rakuten  Kobo United States

This book ended up on my reading list by odd circumstances. The Myth of the 20th Century crew introduced me to the musician Rome, who released this spoken word & music piece about building a new nation and city:

Rome’s piece does not directly reference Gabriele D’Annunzio, but some in the comments assume he was the inspiration.

Meanwhile, Niccolo Soldo started a five-part review of D’Annunzio: Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of War, on his Substack. I have not subscribed, so could not read the posts. But, Mr. Soldo is doing very good work, so go on over and have a look.

This guy must be saying something, to inspire Rome and Niccolo, so I thought I would check him out. D’Annunzio was Italian, and an author of some renown about the turn of the 20th century. He then fought in WWI on the Italian side, earning a reputation for bravery, and was a fighter pilot, participating in aerial raids and flying all the way to Vienna to drop propaganda leaflets. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved at the end of the war, the fate of the city of Fiume became an issue. D’Annunzio lead a force of 2,000 Italian irregulars to occupy the city, to prevent its accession from Italy to what would eventually become Yugoslavia. This lasted about a year, until the Italian military forced him out, but Fiume was made an independent city state.

I did some looking and the Internet agreement on his best book was The Triumph of Death. I managed to download a free copy, long beyond copyright, probably from libgen. This version was the Arthur Hornblow translation, published in 1897.

The Triumph of Death tells the story of Giorgio Aurispa, a young man, who seems to live a carefree life in Abruzzo, but is chronically unhappy. He is obsessed with his lover, Ippolyte, who is married to another man. Giorgio is disengaged from his separated parents, both of whom treat him poorly, it would seem because each sees the other in Giorgio. He is living through his relationship with Ippolyte, and because he cannot disengage from it, he also thinks of ending it as a way to free himself.

I was in a weird, obfuscated engagement with this story. (Which, is perhaps exactly what D’Annunzio was trying to convey about Giorgio’s existence.) Giorgio speaks to me because he is largely disengaged from living. He witnesses a suicide, the drowning death of a child, and a procession of adherents, disfigured, diseased and maimed, begging for cures at a shrine to Mary. Yet, he seems to feel nothing and remains aloof and disengaged. Most of his relations are a burden to him. He keeps them at great distance. His relationship with Ippolyte, the only person he does engage with, vacillates in the moment between adulation and worship, disgust and contempt.

Giorgio is therefore stuck. He cannot disengage from all of his (unstated) misery, because he will not engage in the world. When confronted with something unwelcome, he retreats into his mind, and there are significant internal monologues by him throughout the book. What it is he lacks, I’m not sure. D’Annunzio makes several allusions to possible causes, such as a lack of faith, no driving purpose, no courage, and no apparent trade or other employment. Nonetheless, there is no resolution of any of Giorgio’s malaise until the abrupt ending of the novel.

The Triumph of Death’s theme then is perhaps the necessity to remain engaged in the world. No man can be an island, and to remain so can have awful results. Yes, the world can be a very ugly place at times, so frightening and burdensome that all you want to do is retreat from it. Take heed that withdrawal (besides a temporary one) is a tragedy of waste, not a solution.

D’Annunzio’s writing is excellent, and the story itself is easy to read. It was difficult to figure out what one should take away from the story, though. I suspect that the translation may have stripped out some helpful nuances. Also, I am certain do not know enough about Italian culture and regional references and so could not fully appreciate much of the symbolism or context.

I would not recommend this book. But, I would recommend learning more about D’Annunzio. (Soldo’s Fisted By Foucault Substack could be an excellent place to start.) D’Annunzio seems to have understood something akin to the modern malaise that we suffer under today in North America, floating around without purpose, meaning, or connection. He offers no solutions in this story, but does demonstrate how tragic it is.

Sunday Morning Coffee 01/09/2022

John Michael Greer says Tomorrowland Has Fallen: a look at FAUXVID (and its consequences) as psychological displacement by an elite Managerial Corporatism class, in a desperate effort to avoid its inevitable end.

Z Man with a slightly related post, on the Administrative State’s internal crisis, which it may not be able to resolve.

APRFTGV on the life of the Last Queen of Italy.

Wolf Street has an interesting explanation of current labour market trends.

Mogadishu Matt with the best advice a friend can give: GET FUCKED! (Now I want a Pepsi.)

Nikolai Vladivostok on how multiculturalism erodes social trust.

Scott Locklin reviews several books on love and war as suggested by BAP on his podcast. Other BAP suggestions I can vouch for are Mishima’s Sun and Steel, On Hagakure, and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea, and also Journey to the End of the Night, by Céline. (The Master & Margarita, by Bulgakov, is on my to-read-and-review list, probably sometime this year.)

Sun and Steel by Yukio Mishima

Jim on Chinese tech and engineering, and in particular, their weaknesses. Also, some alarming statistics on the FAUXVID vaccine and rates of death.

Eternal Anglo Seax on trolling as an exercise of power.

At Brigg’s blog, a guest post by John Q. Public on the roots of the preposterous public-health response to FAUXVID.

Whatever.com reminds us: what happened to the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia?

At the Orthosphere, Individualism Promotes Ugliness.

At Patriactionary, evidence that Conservatives do actually conserve something: their tendency to demure to the Left.

IM-1776 argues for leaving audio-visual media behind, in favour of the written text.

Titus Quinctius Cincinatus on how the conflict that could lead to a US civil war is an ethnic conflict, but not the one you think it is.

By way of Isegoria, Scott Alexander’s review of Don’t Look Up, which is supposed to make us trust ‘Experts’, but ends justifying the opposite.

Gerry Bowler explains the Twelfth Night, not the play but the end of the Christmas season.

Edmond Leighton’s Olivia, heroine of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Audio

Charles Haywood at Worthy House reviews Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou.

The Z Blog Power Hour returns, with epic rants by the Z Man on January 6th and other forms of poor marketing.

Courtesy of Eternal Anglo Seax, Brute Norse, a podcast from Norway discussing Viking and Norse culture, from Eirik Sotresund.

Fiction

I could not happen to a nicer trio: Nikolai Vladivostok’s The Bunker.

A good scare: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, at Terror House.

Aggregators

Whatever.com has a mid-week round up of goings on in Canada, this week related to FAUXVID measures.

John Derbyshire has his monthly diary entry on topics related to living in New York State.

Nikolai Vladivostok with his weekly Word from the Dark Side.

Niccolo Soldo’s Saturday Commentary and Review at Fisted by Foucault.

To close: a great cover of the Ed Sheerhan song “I See Fire”

Review – The Order of Time, by Carlo Rovelli

The Order of Time is an attempt to define that concept we use to track events in our lives. Carlo Rovelli is a renowned Italian physicist, currently working in Marseilles. His primary focus is loop quantum gravity, or one possible way of combing Einstein’s General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics. But, he is also a student of the philosophy of science (plus, its history) and of the human condition in general. He is also a kind of ‘science-popularizer’, although without the self-serving arrogance of a Neil deGrasse Tyson. Rovelli’s attempt here is to reconcile what science and philosophy says with our own innate experience of time.

To begin, Rovelli tears down the popular understanding of time. Time appears to pass at different rates for different frames of reference. Stand on a mountain, and time will flow faster than if you stood at sea level. But was does that mean? It means the clock you carry with you to the mountain will not agree on how much time has passed with one left at sea level. But, which one is right? Neither.

There is no common ‘present’ in time in the universe. To ask what is happening ‘now’ on a planet orbiting a distant star is meaningless. And time ‘flows’ at different rates for different frames of reference, not just for people at different elevations, but indeed, at sub-atomic points in spacetime.

After such a dismantling, Rovelli then describes what we do know about time. Time tells us about the differences in occurrence of events, and is not some cosmic ‘ruler’ we put marks on to indicate when events occurred. This hearkens back to distinctions made by Newton (who thought that even if all events stopped in the universe, time keeps going) and Aristotle (who identified time as event based, and no events means no time).

Rovelli closes trying to reconcile this understanding of time to our human experience of it. He refers to the philosophical writings of Anaximander, Kant, Wittgenstein and many others to reconcile a very counter-intuitive modern physic’s understanding of time with our own experiences of it. It basically comes down to just accepting how you experience time as good enough for our short lives on Earth. But, to also doubt your perceptions, as time is not all that it seems.

As Rovelli quotes from Descartes: dubito ergo cogito ergo sum. (I doubt therefore I think therefore I am.) How much time passes between these thoughts? Fleeting moments? Well, it depends. Overall, Rovelli manages to provide some bridges between the hard mathematical and philosophical understandings of time and how we, in our imperfect minds, perceive it. This problem is not fully resolved though, because none of these fields have complete answers to any of the quandaries of time. However, the book is well written, cited and explained, and the anecdotes entertaining.

Benedict Cumberbatch narrates the audiobook version of this one, the finest narration of a book I have ever heard. If any of this interests you, I think you’ll be very pleased with it.

Predictions 2022

I posted these over at Briggs site. I put them here so I remember to review them myself.

1. In March to May, another First Nations “crisis” happens in Canada, in British Columbia. Ottawa will make all kinds of fake gestures for “reconciliation”.

2. The next variant OMEGA proves mRNA vaccines don’t work. New mandatory inactivated virus vaccines are introduced: “The first three/four shots were a good start, but…” The FAUXVID crisis wanes afterwards.

Artist, marketing company behind Alberta's 'Mr. Covid' ads say their  success means more on the way | Globalnews.ca

3. Fauci gets metoo’d. He then ends up in jail with no bail. A few months later, he unfortunately hangs himself while the guards are ‘fixing’ the security cameras. (With the dirt he must have it’s a matter of time.) “Fauci did not…oh who cares” is meme of the year.

Dr. Fauci | Book by Kate Messner, Alexandra Bye | Official Publisher Page |  Simon & Schuster

4. Australia (and in future years, New Zealand) starts suspending elections, reason: FAUXVID. “To save democracy, we have to pause it.” Real reason: their leaders know they are finished, so scramble to buy themselves time.

The Latest Jacinda Ardern Reviews, News, Tips and More From Pedestrian TV

5. The US will get into a not-war in the summer. Or, maybe some kind of “humanitarian crisis”. Nothing big, think invasion of Grenada level stuff. Something TPTB hope can be over in a month to boost the Dems before Midterms.

Please post predictions in the comments if you like.

Sunday Morning Coffee 01/02/2022

Happy New Year and best wishes to you all in 2022.

William Briggs discusses the role of technology in the FAUXVID crisis, in his 112th update.

Nikolai Vladivostok discusses the erosion of freedom in Australia.

Jim looks at Curtis Yarvin’s views on financing.

Gerry T. Neal and Throne, Altar, Liberty does his annual review of his positions and politics.

Gerry Bowler’s notable event on the day is December 29th, the Saint’s Day of Thomas Becket.

John Michael Greer discusses what he has learned about the legend of the lost continent Lemuria.

Z Man discusses how democracy comes to an end.

Mogadishu Matt on the Denver shootings, and lessons to be learned from it.

Eternal Anglo Seax discusses how to approach the FAUXVID panic if you’re trying top keep your head.

From Serbia, Part I of how higher institutions (in this case, higher learning) have collapsed.

Patriactionary notes that even the normies are starting to stir.

At Founding Questions, Severian gives the site a make over, and discusses George Orwell’s review of Mein Kampf. Go for the writing, stay for the comments.

At IM-1776, a justification for restoring the archetype of the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Audio

On a lark, I went back and listened to The Myth of the 20th Century crew’s review of 2020, the Year That Never Ended. There are so many news stories that FAUXVID conveniently allowed to be buried. Listening to it a year later, it feels like the events of 2020 were five years ago. Oh yeah, and who the hell is Jeffery Epstein?

John Derbyshire’s year-end podcast is a short review of 2021 and some careful predictions.

The latest BAPCast is in honour of Night Errant, along with evidence of mass poisoning and other political matters.

Aggregators

Niccolo Soldo has his excellent (as usual) Saturday Commentary and Review (from last week). Here is this week’s release.

Isegoria makes a list of the most popular posts on the site for 2021.

To close: Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder gives us an English lesson:

Best Books I Read This Year 2021

Comedia – Dante Alighieri

Now known as The Divine Comedy. This work of Dante is his imagined and poetic journey through the afterlife, in three books. The poet Virgil guides him through Inferno (Hell) and most of Purgatorio (Purgatory), but must stop because he was pagan, and cannot ascend fully. Beatrice, a woman Dante loved in real life guides him for the rest, to the pinnacle of Paradiso (Heaven). I read the Longfellow translation, with the Doré illustrations as a guide.

The journey is harrowing at times. Those in Hell must suffer for eternity, and cannot be redeemed. They live with no light of Lord upon them. All throughout, demons torture the condemned souls and the journey is disheartening. (It would not surprise me one wit to hear this version of Hell inspired Milton’s Paradise Lost 300 years later.)

But he cried out: “Be none of you malignant!” Inferno, Canto XXI, 72.

In Purgatory, it gets worse. The souls scrambling to climb a vast mountain are always being dragged back down by the things they cannot let go of. This is a parable for the suffering of our times, of those who cannot let go of their illusions and transcend their faults. Finally, Beatrice brings Dante to Heaven, where he ascends, not to meet God, but to merely be in his presence and to be filled with his light.

I recommend you read it, and have Gustav Doré’s prints handy when you do. It is brilliant, harrowing, full of despair, but also full of lessons on how, before you shuffle off your mortal coil, you may avoid living in and creating hell and suffering in this life.

DerFragebogen.jpg

Fragebogen – Ernst Von Salomon

I’ve written about this before in this blog. Ernst Von Salomon was a German writer who had a coloured history in Germany after WWI. He joined the Freikorps (“free corps”), and fought against Communist rebels, the armies of the Baltic States, and also against Poland between 1919-1921. After the Freikorps disbanded, he went on to participate in the assassination of Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, for which he was given five years in prison. He was also involved in various other subversive activities and uprisings. He, in my impression, was a man who was smart but with an inclination to fuck shit up. During the Third Reich, he wrote film scripts, some for Nazi propaganda purposes. He did not like the Nazis, and they felt the same. But I guess you do what you have to.

Fragebogen is von Salomon’s personal history of the period from the end of World War I to the end of World War II. It is told in his very snarky answers to a questionnaire he was forced to respond to after the Americans occupied western Germany in 1945. The questions delve into his associations, politics, criminal record, and work history. His answers, and his detailed narrative descriptions of the basis for his answers, provide his personal story along with the history and politics of the time and places he was in. The interwar period in Germany, with its Weimar Republic and political, social and economic instability, does not appear as bad as the sum of its disasters. All of these things affected Germans in different ways, and von Salomon was savvy enough to keep his head above water. But, what is beyond doubt is that after 15 years of instability and the grinding reparations and conditions of the Versailles Treaty, Germany was willing to give power to anyone promising a return to stability and pride. Hence, Hitler.

Von Salomon does not hold back when describing the conditions of the final fall of Germany in 1945, nor his treatment at the hands of the occupying Americans. Anti-Nazi or not, the Americans saw him as dangerous, and kept him in a concentration camp for over a year. As occupiers, the Americans were brutal, and other sources tell me (I cannot find them now) that his wife Ille was gang raped by American GIs while he was beaten in the same room.

It is not an easy book, but it does make sense of what was going on with Germany in the interwar period.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbo[u]rs -Joseph Barber

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, Why the United States Provokes Canadians  by Joseph Barber - First edition -

What is a Canadian? This is the question Joseph Barber proposed to answer. He took a year long trip across Canada in the mid-1950s, and this book documents what he found. Barber himself was an American, and at the time, was a former Bostonian writer living in New York City. He pondered this question in detail because, when asked what ‘Canadian’ was, you often get the following answers:

American: “Canadians are just like us.”
Canadian: “We’re nothing like Americans!”
The rest of the world: “Kanada…Kanada…um, I hear you have big mountains. I went to Banff/Vancouver/Toronto for a few days. People were polite.”

As it was written prior to 1970, it was difficult to find. Ottawa has done an excellent job of making sure that if a book does not fit THEIR narrative of Canadian identity, then it disappears.

Barber ends up not describing Canadian identity as such. Such a task is impossible in my Canuckistani view: a country this big cannot have one identity. People in St. John’s have a slightly different culture from those in Halifax, and from those in Fredericton. By the time you get to Ontario and Quebec, there are significant differences and the further west you head, to starker those differences become. No one is surprised. (Except for the Cultural Communists in Ottawa. They have been trying to make one culture for Canada for almost 50 years now. They, as governments always do, waste billions, and only make the matter worse.) I digress.

Rather, this book is an exploration of the interrelation between the United States of America and Canada, economically and culturally. Starting from the Statute of Westminster in 1931, the United Kingdom severed ties with Canada, leaving it to chart its own course in North America. The United States of course played a large role in Canada’s development. I was not aware of the degree of investment in Canada by corporations, individuals, and foundations from United States. Much of our media is from the US. Significant donations were made to Canadian universities by American foundations, such as Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller. Many large infrastructure projects in Canada were sponsored, paid for, owned, and built, largely from American money. (Examples include the Transmountain Pipeline and the Alaska Highway.) Further, there has always been a strong economic interaction between the US and Canada, as economic measures taken on one side of the border often impact those on the other.

What is most profound about this work is how very hidden and buried our interrelation with the US is. Ottawa and our media seem to despise the idea that there is any connection to the United States, and so ignore it completely. Information for immigrants coming to Canada, or those seeking citizenship, contains little to no information about relations with the United States. For Ottawa, the USA is only good for divide and conquer forms of propaganda. Often, the conceit is to say how much better Canada is than America, because we have (notionally) universal health care and are not “gun obsessed”. But most Canadians know this is not true, and the reality is much more complicated.

According to Barber, at the time the largest source of immigration to Canada was the United States, and so it was the primary destination for emigrants from Canada as well. We were the largest trading partners in the world and this continues to this day. Culturally, the border is practically porous. I, as a prairie boy, am much more likely to have common linguistic and cultural characteristics with people living just south of me over the border than I am with those living two provinces away. It’s not to say that Canadians do not share much in common. We do, like language, some values, systems of law and commerce, and a common contempt for our imperial overlords in Ottawa. As a friend put it, he moved from Denver to Calgary, and pretty well fit right in. Later, moving from Calgary to Fredericton was a culture shock so profound he left within a year.

Read this book if you want a snapshot of the issues in US/Canada relations from the first half of the 20th century, and you want to understand the nature of Canada’s relationship with the USA. America is an empire, and we are its vassal. Overall, that’s worked out very well for us.

Baudolino – Umberto Eco

Baudolino: Eco, U.: 9788845278624: Books - Amazon.ca

Do not trust history. It is full of scoundrels. Or, lofty men with lofty talents and lofty ambitions must tell lofty lies. So goes two of the many themes of this magnificent book, a fictional account of the life of Baudolino. Baudolino recounts his life story to a fellow traveler, to explain how Baudolino ends up in Constantinople when it is sacked in 1204 by the Fourth Crusade.

As a boy he is taken from his family in Alessandria and adopted by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I. Baudolino seems to have some innate talent with languages. He later is sent to Paris for a formal education, attempts to seduce the Emperor’s wife, stops the Emperor from destroying his native village (by pure deception), lives in Italy with a lovely wife and unborn child he loses due to the negligent actions of a soldier, travels to central Asia in search of the kingdom of Prester John, meets a lovely young satyr who bears him a son, which are forever lost to him when the White Huns invade. After years of slavery he escapes, rides a griffon to Constantinople, just in time for the Christians to start wrecking the place. In the turmoil, he learns the truth about Frederick’s death and about great deceptions involving the preserved head(s) of John the Baptist.

Baudolino is a scoundrel. His accomplices are other scoundrels. Their deceits and treacheries are of the highest order, as if guided by some polymath god of medieval history and semiotics. There were times when I laughed out loud in public listening to this book, so absurd and preposterous were some of the acts of Baudolino and his companions. Most of the time they appear to be trying to do good, and yet are so devious about it I could not actually ever like them.

As much of a scoundrel as he is, you feel for Baudolino, when he suffers, has his heart broken, loses his wives and children, but also in his jubilant times and his victories. But, one cannot read it without feeling like Baudolino’s tale might just be pulling a long con (and Umberto Eco, pulling a shorter but much deeper con in the process). This was the second time I’ve encountered the book, listening to the audio book version.

I highly recommend this book as it is funny, entertaining, and even educational at times. But beware, it is a lofty book with lofty aspirations, and so, it must have lofty…

If you are proud, you are the devil.
If you are sad, you are his son.
If you worry over a thousand things, you are his never-resting servant.

Umberto Eco.

Honourable Mentions:

White Fang, by Jack London. (A wolf’s life shows us that you may trample on a vital spirit all you want: it will prevail.)

Submission, by Michele Houellebecq. (Why France will convert to Islam, and like it.)

And for some much needed comic relief, Finally, Some Good News, by Delicious Tacos.

Review – Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West : McCarthy, Cormac:  Amazon.ca: Books

The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.

What force exists that causes man to seek to conquer savage lands? To take the cultures, society, and all other evidence of their existence and obliterate it so that it can be replaced. It is War. Not the tactics and strategy and logistics and formations and battle. It is not the instrument by which one society conquers another. But a universal force within man and without. And it transcends God and Devil, Good and Evil. Everyone has a part to play in this life, but only those who immerse themselves in carnage and feel its impulses speaking to their inmost desire, only they understand War. This is the central theme of Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West.*

The story begins in the childhood of the kid. He is given no name throughout the novel. His birth killed his mother, and has no family he knows save an unknown sister and a resentful father. He runs away from home (in Tennessee) at 14, illiterate. He survives working odd jobs where he can, stealing sometimes, and develops a taste for whisky. His spirit is mean and base and he gets into fights he cannot handle.

One night, he has a misunderstanding with a Mexican bartender and breaks two bottles of whisky over his head, pushing the shards of the second through the man’s eye. Such violence attracts the attention of scalp hunters, who pick him up as part of their crew as they venture into west Texas and the Mexican frontier looking for Apaches to scalp for bounty. This goes very very wrong and the kid survives, and then is picked up by the Glanton Gang, a true to life gang that roamed the southwest in 1849-1850, also looking to profit from Apache deaths.

While Captain Glanton is the leader of the gang, the spiritual leader and guide is the Judge. He is a seven-foot tall, hairless, white, shameless, giant of a man. He is a master of diplomacy and languages. He commands all men from loftier heights and purposes. One of his hobbies is to write in journals about all he finds and discovers in the desert. He draws diagrams of the flora and fauna, of the buildings, artifacts and pictographs and implements left by long extinct tribes of man. He then destroys those things forever. When asked why he copies them if he just destroys them, he states that he also destroys what he writes as well. He is a force of obliteration.

What follows is wanton carnage as the gang first takes Apache scalps, then any scalp they can lay hands upon. Even those of locals, whose governments pay them bounties the gang relies on. They collect the bounties, praised as heroes by the townspeople they allegedly protect. But the notion is dispelled as each town they pass through is stained by the pure excesses of their reveries after the slaughter. Their depredations and savagery are only exceeded by their avarice. And once you’ve burned that many bridges, eventually things are going to go to hell.

War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.

While the kid is prominent, he is not the protagonist. Although, most reviews label him so.** However, he is not mentioned in long stretches of the book. One may argue the Judge is the protagonist, but I think the answer is deeper. The protagonist is the universal force mentioned above: War. The Judge is its embodiment on Earth. But like all things of flesh, it needs renewal.

The kid, in his time with the Glanton Gang and later on in North Texas in the 1870s, is tested thrice. He fails the first two, but the third is the charm. He takes the life of a young boy about the age he was when he fled Tennessee, in defence, but also acknowledging that the boy will come to no good and will end badly. Having embraced the role of judge of lives of other men, he is then absorbed into the living embodiment of War. He now calls the tune of the great dance that all play a role in.***

This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one’s will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god.

Thus, the Judge’s statement that started this review is revealed as a guide for interpreting the story. Just as we cannot in our own lives know everything, so too can the reader not understand all of the book. As you weave your way through this melee of violence, the path you take becomes the meaning.

I have read this book three times now, and every time I return I find new meaning in the tapestry of blood and violence within it. The first time I was stunned mute by its rapacious slaughter and waste. The second, firmly committed to engaging in the ‘dance’, and accepting the dark violence within myself and in humanity, and rejecting my cowardice, which governed me for about half my life. I will read it again in four years, and I will see if there are lessons within about War being ever present, and so, learning to pick your battles well so you are in harmony with it. I bet I find what I am looking for.

I cannot recommend this book. I can say I want you to read it because I wonder what effect it may have on you. It is a maze and in winding your way through it you may find meaning and with enough courage, embrace it. Do not fear it:

Only that man who has offered himself up entire to the blood of war, who has been to the floor of the pit and seen horror in the round and learned at last that it speaks to his innermost heart, only that man can dance. Even a dumb animal can dance.



*I’m sure McCarthy might disagree, but this is the book he created, and in it he gives me licence to make these errors. Contrary to rumours, there is no indication Mr. McCarthy reads this blog.

**Most reviews of this book are just trash. People are so overwhelmed by the blood and carnage in the book, they fail to even try to see anything deeper. Always be suspect of books which initially were ignored, only to be raised to the pinnacle later because it is fashionable to do so. I know, this book and Moby Dick, which are superlative, were treated that way. But so was The Luminaries, and I feel Umberto Eco’s estate is owed royalties on that one.

***To digress, waxing politically, this revelation is why Conservatives inevitably fail. Much like the Judge, the ‘Left’ that is tearing down their society is not doing it to make paradise on Earth, is not there to compromise. It is there to catalog and then wipe out every trace of what came before it. The Left sees its enemies as primitives, in a savage and untamed society, that must be conquered and all traces of it extinguished.

Sunday Morning Coffee 12/26/2021

Quote of the year:

I swear, public discourse these days is like watching people smash their own toes with hammers, over and over and over again, while complaining how much their feet hurt.

Severian, at Founding Questions.

Go read the post on special forces politics…and then read the comments. And check out the comments here as well.

Nikolai Vladivostok reminds us that politics is about the possible, and not untenable proposals.

Mr. Briggs, Statistician and Poet-Who-Didn’t-Know-It to the Stars, with a rhyme about a visit by Old Saint Fauci.

Locklin on Science looks at biological anomalies, or just plain weird things.

The Orthosphere notes a surprising open letter to Americans by Archbishop Vigano, on the Great Reset. (A surprise only that the Vatican has not shut this man down already.) The Archbishop’s original letter is here. Also, reprinted here in full at Whatever.com.

At A Political Refuge from the Global Village, some quotes on age, and some more timely quotations here.

Ecosophia has an open post for December. In the post is a link to his forum on FAUXVID, which has some pretty good ground rules and as a result, seems to be avoiding most of the panic and normie rhetoric.

Eternal Anglo Seax discusses weaponized agnosticism, meant to limit thinking, and therefore, transcendence.

Z Man looks at ‘Build Back Better’, and what it teaches us about the aspirations of the Left.

Whatever.com’s midweek post on goings on in Canuckistan and elsewhere.

The Orthosphere also looks at the religious instinct, a kind of review of Dr. Edward Dutton’s book on witches, and Platonic philosophy.

Audio

The Myth of the 20th Century crew, along with special guest Borzoi, have a great podcast on Gustave Le Bon’s The Crowd. I think it might be their best, and it ends on an optimistic note.

Quintus Curtius on how to be sure she really IS NOT the right one.

I’m not a Joe Rogan fan, but I think it’s worth listening to this long podcast with Dr. Peter A. McCullough. He discusses FAUXVID crisis failures in the United States.

Theophilus Chilton, over at Neo-Ciceronian Times, provides narrative forms of two previous written posts: Reparations and Intraelite Competition, and Lying to People About History Does Not Help Them.

On Writing

By way of Isegoria, an article looking at the characters of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, and how its protagonists were basically nerdy sci-fi readers.

Eternal Anglo Seax reviews the quirky Atlantis, Edda and Bible, by Hermann Wieland.

A rant on…you damn kids and yer’ good fer nuthins, at Terror House. Also, a lovely bit of science fiction: Irc.

To close: Is it humour?