REVIEW: Mine Were of Trouble – Peter Kemp (1957; Mystery Grove Publishing, 2020)

From the stony soil of the Sierra Palomera to the comfortable bed in the Gran Hotel at Zaragoza was the sort of sudden change that we came to accept as natural during the Civil War.

By about Chapter Three of Peter Kemp’s Mine Were of Trouble, you start to get a grasp of how surreal an experience the Spanish Civil War really was. Kemp, an Englishman who served for the Nationalists during the war, described his experiences in the form of a retrospective memoir written and published in the 1950s. Part historical survey, part experiential retelling, Mine Were of Trouble stands as one of the few works in English that describes the international fighters, politics, and events of the Nationalist coalition first-hand. Continue reading “REVIEW: Mine Were of Trouble – Peter Kemp (1957; Mystery Grove Publishing, 2020)”

Stare Decisis Our Way to Hell

Stare Decisis. We all saw it coming, but like the horrified masses that can perceive intellectually the explosion that follows the release of a rocket, we are nonetheless shocked and amazed—or alternatively, blown to pieces—when the rocket does, in fact, explode. And with June Medical Services LLC v. Russo having its decision read today, the ‘blown to pieces’ bit is far more a literal reality for some than it is for others. Continue reading “Stare Decisis Our Way to Hell”

MASK OFF

It’s another election year, which means, as per the example set last time, the cold civil war in this country heats up yet again. Each time is worse than the last, and with two weeks of riots leaving the downtown region of Minneapolis looking like Falujiah in 2005, we can rest assured that Minneapolis probably won’t be coming back from this. Seattle has a comically titled Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) which is currently under the dominion of an abrasive, belligerent soundcloud rapper, because he’s the only one who thought to bring a gun. And, the icing on the cake: Pelosi spearheaded an effort to rip down, by congressional authority, more statues of Confederate figures. Continue reading “MASK OFF”

Life Under Occupation

You have gone back in time to the year 1950. You’re on a street corner in Fredrick, Maryland, a relatively small town, at the time, north of the Potomac, south of the Mason-Dixon, and about a twenty minute drive east from Antietam, the site of the bloodiest day in American history which, in 1950, had only happened about eighty-eight years before. The last veteran of that battle, James Hard, wouldn’t die for another three years. He’ll see his eleventy-first birthday before his expiration. Continue reading “Life Under Occupation”

REVIEW: Catholic Republic – Timothy Gordon (Sophia Institute Press, 2019)

There are some books you get knowing ahead of time that you’re going to disagree with their theses, but they end up being worth the investment because they’re thoughtful, reasoned explorations of contrary viewpoints. Sometimes you get them to have a laugh, because you know the writer’s a performance artist and it’s all some sort of Andy Kaufman-style joke. And sometimes, you reach an intellectual dead end, and think hey, maybe this contrarian take can point me in a better direction! Sometimes you’re able to get what you paid for, and it all works out. Continue reading “REVIEW: Catholic Republic – Timothy Gordon (Sophia Institute Press, 2019)”

Fan Artists with Pig Noses

The recent Sailor Moon redraw challenge that hit the internet last week returned attention to the distracting and obvious differences in Western vs Japanese amateur artists—‘amateur’ in this case used only as a term to distinguish them from the LA-NYC flunkie nepotists who get their work paraded around empty art museums for grant money. This time, I’m talking about the democratized artists who take to Patreon for support, receive commissions from fans, and inevitably have their work distributed across the -booru sites. Continue reading “Fan Artists with Pig Noses”

REVIEW: My Prayer Book – Rev. Father F. X. Lasance (1908)

We return again to the work of Father Lasance, continuing our romp through the material of his available in English print. You can find here linked my reviews for Fr. Lasance’s missal and his longer Blessed Sacrament Prayer Book, both of which I highly recommend. My Prayer Book, assembled by Fr Lasance more than a century ago, differs from the larger and more broadly-scoped Blessed Sacrament volume in a number of ways, which we’ll get into below. All in all, however, I do recommend My Prayer Book, though with caveats. Continue reading “REVIEW: My Prayer Book – Rev. Father F. X. Lasance (1908)”

How Not to Regulate the Culture

Conservatives conceded the culture a long time ago. Everyone knows this, but not everyone can agree on why or how that happened to begin with. We can claim somewhat a-historically that the ‘conservative’ culture of the last century simply evaporated, and that it’s a matter of the ever-changing definition of liberalism graduating the boundaries of what’s socially acceptable by the decade. We could point directly to the movers and shakers of the culturally relevant revolutionary movements that forced particular court rulings and executive mandates on us. We could blame certain groups of people for subverting our media and entertainment. The reality is most likely some convoluted combination of all sorts of factors. Continue reading “How Not to Regulate the Culture”

REVIEW: The Age of Entitlement – Christopher Caldwell (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

It’s 2020. We know that America has deep, possibly irreconcilable divisions across moral lines that they’ve severed families. We saw in 2016 that these divisions were not drawn according to political party affiliation, either, as the Republican presidential candidate, propelled into office by shrewd campaigning and a legitimate grassroots support, was hated by his own party for being, among other things, too nationalist. We’re seeing this again this year, as the DNC melts down—again—in order to rally behind a guy so mentally fatigued that he has trouble completing sentences. That said, of course, it’s difficult to observe the trends of the last administration, and the behavior of the opposition party under this one, and not think that our political betters are playing by two different rule books. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Age of Entitlement – Christopher Caldwell (Simon & Schuster, 2020)”

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