What is Modernity?

I’ve written a bit about modernity over the past couple of years, and in fact, I think the entire QNUW project at this point could be defined as a reaction against it.  But the concept is a tricky one, because it’s a term for the very air we breathe in contemporary society.  And it’s not something as simplistically defined as “the present day” or even “the present operation of things,” since those would imply that modernity is a definition related to a period of time rather than a term that applies to specific systems of ideologies. Continue reading “What is Modernity?”

Godless Traditionalism is a Non-Starter

Atheism, while not necessarily a purely modern phenomenon, remains a staple of the Modern aesthetic.  All forms of religious belief are more or less treated with equal amounts of disdain under the neoliberal regime, though the exoticism of alien customs and rites tends to attract a fair share of delusional new-agers and members of the elite who are simply too intelligent to believe in anything.  Religious worship native to the historical roots of the West, particularly Catholicism, draws particular ire from the atheist crowd, though any form of Christianity is fair game for ridicule. Continue reading “Godless Traditionalism is a Non-Starter”

The Cosmological Proof: A Quick Rundown

While writing the review for Ed Feser’s Five Proofs of the Existence of God, I decided to cut out a large segment I had written concerning the Kalam cosmological argument and its relationship with Aristotle’s First Cause argument.  Feser doesn’t spend much time on the Kalam argument save to mention it briefly in the last chapter of his book, and even then, he spends no time focusing on it.  Since most of what I’ll be discussing here only uses Feser’s book as a jumping-off point, I decided to split it off and make it a post of its own. Continue reading “The Cosmological Proof: A Quick Rundown”

Banning Porn to Own Libs

A few days ago, the New York Times ran a piece by Ross Douthat entitled “Let’s Ban Porn”.  Given that he’s the only self-identifying conservative on the NYT’s editorial board who seems to write like one, it’s worth giving a look for those of you that haven’t yet had the chance.  He broadly addresses the commodification of sex and sexual education into a pre-packaged consumer product and the subsequent dehumanization of both men and women as a result, avoiding the more tedious critiques against porn that involve statistics about erectile dysfunction, testosterone levels, and depression.  Since his piece isn’t that long, it’s no surprise that he keeps his overview limited to a generalized criticism.  Continue reading “Banning Porn to Own Libs”

Things Are, In Fact, Going Great

The eclipse yesterday passed without much to-do.  There were no demons or reptilians making their first public appearances, no aliens, no nuclear weapons going off, and the earthquakes were all localized affairs that had nothing to do with east-coasters.  It was not the end of the world, nor even the end of the country, despite the coincidence with a 241-year cycle that marked the country’s inception and the last time this particular eclipse happened.  There were, however, some astoundingly stupid comments dribbled out by our internet elite. Continue reading “Things Are, In Fact, Going Great”

Music as Frivolity and Fashion

Recently, I had the benefit of speaking with a friend of mine who happens to work for a subsidiary of a large music label in New York City.  He’s a low-level data analyst at a company that scouts new talent and connects them with producers and executives for new deals.  In other words, he looks at the numbers—sales, web hits, video views, etc.—and processes them for executives to decide how to pitch new pieces.  He was telling me how the field has become so stratified and how an overwhelming bulk of listeners were consuming a miniscule handful of musical artists—the top ten or fifteen singles of any given cycle are all coming from the same circle of people.  Intuitively, coming from a culture that at least pays lip service to meritocracy, you’d think that these top artists would be the cream of the crop, both as artistic and musical geniuses, right?  Until you realize that he’s actually talking about the Justin Biebers, the Beyoncés, and the Katy Perrys.  It isn’t that the music is particularly good, it’s just that everyone happens to be listening to it. Continue reading “Music as Frivolity and Fashion”

Into Old Americana

Cruise down long stretches of US Route 301 through Maryland and Virginia, interrupted by the periodic lurch of stop-light riddled commercial plazas and the crumbling, somewhat terrifying span over the Potomac known as the Governor Nice Bridge, and you’ll gain an appreciation for the rural decay that has hollowed out so much of America in the past several decades.  You can take the same amount of time driving both interstate and old US highway routes through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the Carolinas, and especially throughout the backwoods of Florida and see all of the same things: vine-snaked windows on crumbling houses, shops long-since boarded up with nothing having taken their places, and whole towns emptied of business, people, and any semblance of community save for a handful of old retirees too old to pack up and move on. Continue reading “Into Old Americana”

How to Get Your Life In Order

Self-help guides are typically feel-good “you’re not really a loser after all” trash.  Don’t feel bad about being so pathetic, so much of our culture presently exclaims, in the meantime, here’s ways not to feel pathetic!  Well, I’m not going to tell you to feel good about being miserable.  I think you can improve your lot in life, and it’s certainly worth trying.  Feeling depressed?  Angry at women?  Disgusted with everything you read online?  Considering taking over a military base and committing seppuku?  Well, hang on a second.  Give the stuff here whirl, first. Continue reading “How to Get Your Life In Order”

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