Recently, I picked up the novel St. Elmo by Augusta Jane Evans. Part of me wonders whether it stands as the first harlequin romance-style novel, since it certainly has the woman-who-tames-savage-man plot. You might call it The Fifty Shades of Grey of the 19th century: this novel was the third bestselling novel of 19th century America behind Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur. However, St. Elmo has a deeper understanding of tragedy and sorrow and is far more elevated than Fifty Shades of Grey.
So elevated, in fact, that most modern Americans can’t enjoy the book. The reviews on Goodreads revealed a common note of frustration with the Ciceronian periods, les belles lettres, and Classical and Medieval allusions. They put down the book rather than subject themselves to being tortured by someone with a Classical education for over 450 pages. That Americans are not given the same education as their ancestors places a barrier to enjoying the works of Western Civilization. And so, fewer and fewer people read Classic novels.
The following does not count as a proper movie review. The film impressed me as mediocre. Up until the car chase scene, I felt bored enough to want to leave the theater. The movie improved somewhat thereafter, but not enough for the movie to stand out from other Marvel movies.
While pondering the film more deeply, I realized that I only liked two of the characters: Ulysses Klaue and M’Baku, the prince of Wakanda’s mountain tribe. My interest in them comes down to them being the only two characters who gave me a sense of propinquity, character, and interest. (Killmonger had the first two, but it’s hard for me to care about a black supremacist.) Most of the characters struck me as pretty dull: they lacked either propinquity (T’Challa) or character (Agent Ross). The African characters were too dignified and exotic for me to actually like.
Yesterday, I read a frustrating article in The Nation. Reading articles from the Progressive perspective is a good thing for conservatives; yet, after reading the article, one must conclude that it’s far better for Progressives to read about conservatism. (I almost wrote Liberal, but what of liberty is left in a mindset which denies freedom of speech, the right to self-defense, the freedom of association, and freedom of conscience? The rights of sodomy, infanticide, and white guilt hardly make up for those.) The article talks about toxic masculinity and tries to connect gun ownership and masculinity with Trump’s bellicose statements towards North Korea and the killer in Las Vegas. (There’s no need to remember the murderer’s name, and the only reason we’re still talking about him is because we want to know why he did it.) No connection exists between the mindsets of Donald Trump and the killer. Why does Joan Walsh, the writer at The Nation, consider both toxic?
With the concept of toxic masculinity, one would think this refers to masculine excess. Yet, what is excessive about Trump uniting the nations of the world against a deranged dictator? What is masculine about the killer in Las Vegas? The killer may have been bold, but this was the boldness of a demon, who deluges a soul with temptations until the sign of a cross or the presence of angels causes the fiend to flee. It is a cowardly boldness: as soon as the police barged into the killer’s hotel room, the coward killed himself.
With the rampant popularity of the movie Dunkirk, I want to express why I number among the small minority which did not care for the film. The reasons are no where near as silly as one reviewer’s complaint about the absence of blacks in the film. As a huge fan of WWII films (I was practically raised on Guadalcanal Diary, Hell to Eternity, The Enemy Below, and The Longest Day), I am actually happy that people like the movie. More and better WWII films will result from its popularity.
Most of my complaints derive from having read Churchill’s account of the Dunkirk evacuation and being such a WWII movie buff. I hope to highlight these problems below and then provide a list of some better WWII movies, all of which I have seen, which modern audiences might want to watch.
1) Lack of Characters
In watching the movie, it seems as though Nolan did not want any particular characters to stand out. The only persons names I remember learning were the civilians on their yacht who sailed to Dunkirk: George, Peter, and Mr. Dawson. But, even these do not seem so much individuals as types.
I recently came across an interesting movement in New Jersey which began in 2015. New Jerseymen generally agree that they have an ugly state flag. As a former New Jerseyman, I must agree. Vexillologists call flags like New Jersey’s “SOBs,” i.e. “Seal on Bedsheet.” Most state flags follow the same idea. But, if you want a truly inspiring flag, one ought to keep the design simple and use only two or three colors. Take my present state’s flag below, and compare it to the way Florida ruins the design.
See how Florida ruins a perfectly good flag by stamping the state seal in the middle?
The following are the best these United States have to offer, and one can see that they all avoid the SOB design:
I just wanted to get some thoughts about why I hate the media’s agenda so much. Of late, I have felt less and less inclined to watch the media and hear the news. One of the sad things about a democracy is that we rely upon the news to determine our political action. Hearing about the state of the culture, the efficiency of political parties in aiding the common good, and how laws negatively or positively affect society determines how we vote, when we rally, and the positions and arguments we articulate. People will generally apply their political philosophy, ethics, and personality to new problems; but, the only way we learn about new problems so that we may apply the above facets of ourselves is through the media. For which reason, it behooves the media to be as objective as possible. There is a real need for media groups containing both conservatives and liberals so that each political ideology can correct the excesses of the other.
Another sad thing about the present state of affairs lies in how much aid and comfort the media’s culture gives to collectivists. In the above video, Sargon of Akkad well describes how both Antifa and the Alt-Right are benefiting from stopping intelligent dialogue. Essentially, conservatives are collectively being dubbed fascists, and liberals are forced to conform to socialist group think or driven out of the Left on a rail. And, in all liberal activism, the greatest villain is the Christian, conservative, heterosexual man of European descent. Liberal college professors especially target this group for shaming. I might add that a close relative, while in post graduate education, received his worst grades from two liberal black professors. Another relative of mine, while visiting her daughter in North Carolina, was actually called a fascist–despite being a rather rotund, old Hispanic woman! And, one can point to the recent Democratic Presidential Convention as a public example of the Left courting the support of minorities while speaking ill of whites–and law and order, for that matter.
Most of our dear readers have heard about the sad turn of events in Charlottesville. With the KKK and Neo-Nazis on one side, Antifa and Black Lives Matter on the other, and a police force unprepared for violence, the rally was opportune for chaos. Mirabile auditu, the police needed to evacuate the scene and return with proper riot equipment! Gavin McInnes avers that this ineptitude was by design: mayors cite disorderly conduct in other rallies and assemblies as both a means to deny permits to rally and to accrue more power to restrict free expression. The end result is a “right” of peaceful assembly with more red tape than a license to purchase fully automatic weapons. Future rally organizers need to be wary lest they unwittingly give ammunition to politicians wishing to impose restrictions like “hate speech” (i.e. anti-Leftist speech) laws and the like on American citizens.
The most offensive persons at the Charlottesville rally numbered among the far-right and alt-right. (I made this conclusion from all the information I have: I know well Antifa is essentially the Democrats’ new KKK.) During the recent presidential campaign, I often wished to defend the alt-right. Yet, the alt-right has consistently moved from the legitimate domain of defending white cultures into the white nationalist camp. Perhaps, they were always there, but so much confusion over just the definition of alt-right made me and other conservatives think that they were lumped together in the same boat. But, the alt-right has appeared prominently and without shame besides the KKK and Neo-Nazis. I, a philosophical adherent of classical liberalism, can’t make common cause with any of these three groups.