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One of the bestest recordings, evah.

Because it’s Friday and I don’t want to get into a grouch about the impending doom of Western Civilization.

William F. Gavin in teh Corner:

What we have in the United States today is not an ideological battle, or even a cultural war, but something larger and deeper: a true clash of irreconcilable philosophic views, not just about abortion, but about truth. One of those views encompasses all that is best in the Western tradition from antiquity until now, including the findings of science, and the other holds that everything that is essential to human betterment in the modern world began during the Enlightenment, and everything preceding that was obscurantist, credulous, and bloody. From the mad-dog attacks of the New Atheists to the absurd mental gymnastics of Justice Harry Blackman in Roe v. Wade, from New York Times editorials to movies and TV dramas, the strategy is always the same: create a climate of doubt about the possibility of objective truth, discoverable by reason; corrupt the inherited intuitive wisdom by which the people have always lived; construct and then promulgate through mass-media entertainment a philosophy that puts an end to all philosophy, destroying civility in its broadest and deepest sense. Define, deride, delegitimize, deconstruct, then destroy.

I’m really not at all in a bad mood today, so I will give you what I believe to be the silver lining: this is a state of things that has been coming on for a while now. 40 years? 50?  But it’s been coming on gradually, incrementally, in such a way that people who wish to have been able to ignore it, put it aside, remain passive and refuse to get involved.  This is what I like to call the Uncle Owen “It’s all such a long way from here” attitude. 

But it seems to me that things are coming to a head, that those who hope it will all just pass them by are running out of room to fall back.  And therein lies the hope: that when forced to fight, they will.  When forced to join the debate and choose sides, they will choose the right one.  When pushed too far, they will snap back. 

Okay, it’s a small, ray-shielded thermal exhaust port right below the main port of a hope, but it’s a hope nonetheless.

I was musing the other day about what force might be necessary in order to cause the cultural pendulum to start swinging back the other way.  Perhaps this is it – that in its escalating attack on civility,  the Left is finally over-reaching itself sufficiently to create a general revulsive backlash.

Either that or it’s only a matter of time before I’m busting rocks in the Re-education Gulag.


Good tune.  I’ve always told the gels that if they’re going to listen to country, they should stick to fellahs like AJ.

A few things floating about this morning in what Robbo obstinately refers to as his “brain”:

♦  Jay Nordlinger has a good “Impromptus” today on those who are attempting to poo-poo WeinerGate.  As Jay notes, there are some (primarily on the Left) who are going with the “So he cheated on his wife by dirty texting with teenaged girls – what’s the problem?” defense.  Call me a knuckle-dragger, but I find that absolutely appalling.  It’s one thing to try and find an excuse (“He was under a lot of stress” or “He was weak” or “Things just got out of hand”).  It’s something far worse to argue that the rules simply shouldn’t apply in the first place. 

♦  Ugh.  So. On a completely different note, I hate it when the Nats head out west for a road trip.  There was a time when I might have been able to stay up to watch a game that started at 10:00 pm local time, but those days are long gone.

♦ Speaking of days, the next few represent what amounts to D-Day for the great End of School Year/Summah Season hand-over: School picnics and graduations, softball series, recitals, new swim/dive practice schedules and a grandparental visit to boot.  Perfect time for Mother Nature to take it into her head to give us August weather.  Not.  What’s getting me through is the knowledge that it’s not long now until the gels are off to camp, and Mrs. R and I get a couple weeks’ languid rest. 

♦To that end, Mrs. R brought me home the first bottle of Pimm’s No. 1 of the season last evening.  Bless her.

♦  Speaking of trips, Mrs. R has been on about taking one to the Grand Canyon, a subject that comes up in the Port-Swiller household from time to time.  This morning, picking up a guidebook she had purchased, I sniffed, “You know, once you get into plate tectonics and real geological time, this is nothing more than a temporary ditch.  Big deal.”  Mrs. R thinks I’m a bit strange.

♦Speaking of strangeness and vacations, I think that if I had the time and money, I’d love to go on one of those tornado-hunter tours.  Did I ever mention that when I was a boy I dreamed of becoming a meteorologist?

♦A conversation with the Middle Gel:

“Dad, I don’t think I’m ready to play my Clementi at the recital.”

– “That’s because you never practice.”


-“Oh. Right.”

Yes, they can be taught!

♦Have I complained about the weather yet? I have? Well, I’m going to do some more griping.  Just by way of attempting to fend off heat stroke,  I have developed the habit of abandoning coat and tie when the temperature gets north of the low 90’s.  To me, this isn’t quite the moral equivalent of resorting to cannibalism when stranded amid the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, but it isn’t far off either.  So I have to add that source of discomfort to my burden.   Poor, poor, pitiful me.

 ♦ Speaking of wearing things, I haven’t worn my contact lenses in a couple of weeks now.  Wonder how long it will take to get used to them again when I finally do.  Or perhaps, instead of “when” I should say “if”.  I begin to think about abandoning them altogether, since I can’t read with them anymore.  I tried to do so when signing the bumf for the new Odyssey and wound up having to get Mrs. R to read it to me.  Felt like I was one step away from the “Senior Living” center.

♦On the other hand, I have damn-all peripheral vision with my glasses and have almost run down several pedestrians whilst backing up in parking lots.  Also, trying to walk down an escalator while looking at your feet through bifocals is no gimme.

♦Is that enough rambling for one go? I think so.  I think so.


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June 2011