Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our Logophobic President

What a perfectly loathsome and undignified diatribe. Have you ever noticed? Just when you forget all about your craw, a bunch of stuff gets caught in it, reminding you it's there. Here are some passages and phrases that are stuck in mine:

"Schools and colleges to train our workers." How about schools and colleges to liberate the mind and elevate the soul? I really couldn't give two f*cks if my son misses out on such "training." I mean, a man's gotta eat, but man surely doesn't live by bread alone. Men who aren't leftist flatlanders, anyway.

Besides, blowing harder on the higher education bubble helps no one but the colleges. On the other hand, at least Obama's policies will cause the bubble to burst sooner, so we can get it over with.

"A great nation must protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune."

Hmm. Does that include protection from the most devastating hazard and misfortune of them all, the tyrannical and intrusive state?

Because if the 20th century taught us one lesson, it is that there is nothing more destructive than the all-wise and all-powerful state predicated on the fantasy that it will protect its citizens from all of life's unavoidable exigencies. I mean, just protect me from domestic and foreign enemies, okay? And stop violating with the Constitution. Then we'll talk.

What are life's worst hazards, anyway? Probably the same they've always been: war. Famine. Disease. Poverty. So, why don't we cure hunger by imitating the Soviet Union and putting the state in charge of food production and distribution? While we're at it, why doesn't the federal government create millions of pretend jobs and lavish its worthless employees with absurdly generous wages and benefits?

Oh, right. I guess Obama noticed how effectively that model is working here in California. Hence the thriving economy in and around Washington DC.

"A decade of war is now ending."

Rrrrrright. First of all, I think he means 40,000 years of war, or however long it has been since man has been fully man (in other words, war and humanness co-arise). Still, good to hear that it's ending. Someone needs to inform the Algerians, Afghans, Libyans, Malians, Iranians, and the peace-loving Palestinians. Not to mention the city of Chicago.

"An economic recovery has begun." Indeed. Just as war is ending. This calls to mind Zeno's paradox, doesn't it? With this logical fallacy, it is possible to prove that the runner is always beginning, without ever reaching the end. Thus, with four years of Obama's economic policies, the unemployment rate has plunged from an intolerable 7.8% down to a more modest 7.8%.

Nevertheless, there's still a lot of work to be done if we want to drive it further down to 7.8%. Given the worsening economic conditions, the only way to accomplish this will be to force even more workers to permanently drop out of the labor force.

"We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity."

Actually, no. Not if you mean that our dignity is conferred by the state. Dignity is like class. You either have it or you don't, and it certainly has nothing to do with income, as proved by Obama's many conspicuously undignified Hollywood friends. How about Al Sharpton? Who stole his dignity? Jesse Jackson? Joe Biden? Keith Olbermann? Piers Morgan? The free telephone lady?

"We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit."

Memo to Obama: the country made that hard choice in 2008 and 2012, and voted for skyrocketing healthcare costs and massive deficits. In other words, bigger and more intrusive government. Besides, healthcare costs what it costs. You can manipulate the price, but that will just end up increasing the overall cost.

"But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."

That's a coincidence. We reject strawman arguments that create the illusion of reasonableness by denouncing arguments that no one actually holds. For example, I REJECT THE BELIEF THAT WE MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN LOVING OUR CHILDREN AND EATING THEM.

"Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."

And others will deny the overwhelming judgment of science that none of those things have any link to "climate change."

"We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."

Yes, but here's the tricky part: our enemies believe that a lasting peace requires perpetual war. Or submission to the caliphate. So at least we have a choice.

"Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts."

If that is the case, then our journey is over. And what a banal journey it was! It seems that history ends with neither bang nor whimper, just a crappy job and your children raised by strangers. But that's okay. At least every little girl can dream of some crappy job in her future. The circle of life!

It's a matter of priorities. The Raccoon -- and the supernaturally Natural Man more generally -- must have Slack. That most of us must work in exchange for Slack is just a sad fact of life. So let's not pretend that the purpose of Slack is to work, rather than vice versa. Let's not invert the cosmos.

"Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."

In this version, history ends when the state has successfully mandated that my aunt is a trolley car, just because my uncle likes it that way.

Wait! There's another auger, straight from the goat's entrails: "Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote."

Let me translate that for you: history will end when voter fraud becomes so easy and so widespread that we'll have a permanent liberal majority.

Here's a good one: the journey will be over when all children "are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm."

I used to kinda sorta believe that until I actually had a child, and discovered that no matter how much you cherish, care for, and protect them, they have minds and wills of their own, and are bound to reenact the ancient patterns. In other words, just when you thought history was over, the next generation will start up the whole catastrophe all over again. Especially if they have tossed out the perennial wisdom of religion.

The Marxist hacks at Reuters naturally applaud the totalitarian instincts of our dear leader, noting that he demands "a more inclusive America that rejects partisan rancor and embraces immigration reform, gay rights and the fight against climate change."

Or, in non-Newspeak, a less inclusive America that rejects alternative points of view. Nor can we "treat name-calling as reasoned debate," you bunch of science-denying, homophobic, war mongering, elder abusing, child hating misogynists.

What? Logophobia?

That's a spiritual disease involving an irrational abuse of language, or the deployment of language to destroy meaning. Our journey will be over when we find a cure for it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Big Error, Countless Problems

A few more points from Gilson's Methodical Realism before the bus moves on -- either to the next topic or back to the previous one (which we never finished), or possibly in another direction altogether, a circular revisitation of Meditations on the Tarot.

Regarding the latter, several weeks ago the Office of the Cosmic Dispatcher received a request that we embark upon another chapter-by-chapter field trip into that classic work of esoteric Christianity, so those of you who don't already have the book may want to pick up a copy. If you want to ride along on the bus, that is. And don't forget the signed permission slip from your guardian angel.

You may have noticed that modern philosophy has mostly devolved to a lot of pretentious windbaggery and nut-numbing obfuscation. It is a dreary factory system in which tenured hacks pretend to publish important ideas for other tenured hacks to pretend to read.

No light results from this verbal jirque du cercle, but that's obviously not the point. The point is -- well, we're seeing it in today's reimmaculation of His Royal Pain in the Ass: the successful displacement of truth by raw power.

Remember what was said at the end of Friday's post, because there is indeed a "practical" element to postmodern thought. The thinking itself is of no practical value, i.e., in assimilating the truth of reality.

Rather, its practical application lies in defining reality so as to appropriate power. It's similar to Lenin's crack to the effect that "who controls the past controls the present."

Likewise, who controls indoctrination more generally controls the indoctrinated.

So, as mentioned at the end of the previous post, "once we detach ourselves from reality, it follows that we no longer know what the individual is or what he is for."

"The result is a monadic individual who exists only for himself -- this is the selfish and amoral side of leftism -- and the need for a leviathan state to control all these selfish and amoral monads. This ends in a combustible mixture of moral anarchy and tyrannical collectivism, each reflecting and aggravating the other."

As in the class warfare of the left, this type of thinking results from the reification of a pair of "false opposites," in this case, individual and collective. In reality, there is no abstract "individual man," nor is there a purely collectivized one whose identity can be legitimately subordinated to the state.

Rather, man is a social animal (ultimately because of his trinitarian structure that orders him to love), and in the absence of culture, there is no such thing as a man. There is no prior "state of nature" in which man appears, unshaped by culture. Our individual-ism and social-ism (in the non-political sense) are two aspects of one being.

But Gilson points out that Hegel, for example, "lives by" such antinomies, "and thinks that the effort to surmount them is what constitutes philosophy."

Conversely, the task of realism is to avoid such false dualisms, but to harmonize them in the real unity of the human person. (In psychoanalysis we call it the development of mature dependency as opposed to immature dependency or pseudo-mature independence.)

Because that is the simple reality: again, human beings unproblematically harmonize any number of dualities, both vertically and horizontally.

For example, we harmonize religion and science, or sense and intellect, or lust and love, or mind and matter. It is only when the thinker abstracts and reifies one or the other that the appearance of a "problem" emerges. But it's a pseudo-problem caused by one Big Error in methodology.

Gilson: "if there is a single initial error at the root of all the difficulties philosophy is involved in, it can only be the one Descartes committed when he decreed, a priori, that the method of one of the sciences of reality was valid for the whole of reality."

Thus, for the left, ideology defines all. First they sunder reality by superimposing their favored abstraction (e.g., race, or class, or gender), and then do violence to the person by placing him in one of their abstract categories.

The result is a genuine death culture: death to the spirit, death to the intellect, death to beauty, death to love, death to the human vocation (because we cannot actualize our vocation if we are denied our vertical station). You can still "develop," but only toward nowhere and into nothing.

So: "Consequently, it goes without saying that the fate of metaphysics as a science is sealed in advance. Deprived of concepts, it no longer has anything but ideas and finds itself irrevocably trapped in their antinomies" (Gilson).

And the most undignified antinomy of all is the one that creates millions of little guys who are dependent upon the only really actualized men -- those benevolent liberal fascists who control the levers of state power.

But if you actually imagine that the state can render you anything other than the pathetic little guy it sees you to be -- and helped create for its own purposes -- then your auto-degradation is irreversible. Party on! The Big Guys will gladly foot the bill.

Friday, January 18, 2013

At Play in the Fields of the Real

Again, realism begins with the world and with the object. Conversely, all forms of idealism begin with the subject, but we can never "extract an ontology from an epistemology" (Gilson), only more thoughts. Hence the adage "publish or perish," since idealist thought perishes if it fails to keep one step ahead of reality by making new forays into absurdity.

There is no middle ground between these two positions. It is reminiscent of Jesus' statements about swords, goats, and sheep. As Gilson puts it, the Cogito -- I think therefore I am -- "is manifestly disastrous as a foundation for philosophy," as it leads -- and ends -- precisely nowhere (or nowhere real, which amounts to the same thing).

Gilson quotes Whitehead, who properly observed that "When you find your theory of knowledge won't work, it's because there is something wrong with your metaphysics." And in the case of idealism, writes Gilson, "nothing works." It "can only be overcome by dispensing with its very existence." Perish, then publish.

Here are some florid but typical examples of idealist pneumapathology, via some imbecilic tweets by Deepak. They are all completely jassackwords: "Your senses send electrical information to your brain. Your consciousness converts it into a material universe." "Your world reflects your brain, which reflects your mind, which reflects your soul." "You create your past & future now."

None of these silly poses can be sustained in any consistent way, as they will eventually reveal insurmountable contradictions. Again, as Gilson says, "The first step on the realist path is to recognize that one has always been a realist," the second "to recognize that, however hard one tries to think differently, one will never manage to."

In short, get over your infantile omniscience and realize that there is a real world beyond the control of your thoughts. But no one ever went broke selling infantile omniscience to new age dupes and religious illiterates.

I might add that -- Deepak's nauseating self-righteousness to the contrary -- no ethic is possible in the absence of a prior reality. That is to say, all ethical behavior is founded upon accurate perception of reality. We can only do the right thing if we first see rightly. But if reality is just a function of our perceptions, then so too is morality.

For example, if I insist in the teeth of all evidence to the contrary that there is no fundamental distinction between animals and human beings, this has ethical implications that are devastating in their consequences.

Naturally there are different levels of reality disclosed by the mind, but this hardly means they are a function of mind. At first glance, writes Gilson, reality "is immediately given to us in a kind of block form." But perhaps the most astonishing thing about this "block" is its endless intelligibility, no matter how deeply we dig into it.

One critical point to bear in mind -- and one which prevents all manner of metaphysical mischief -- is that we are clearly contingent, and yet, we participate in absoluteness. How is this possible? It is only possible because we are created in the image of God. Absent that creative nexus, then metaphysics falls apart, because there is no way for the contingent to know the necessary.

Here is a clear example of the left and right brain differences we've been discussing. For Thomas, writes, Gilson, the singular is apprehended while things are being sensed, while "the universal is grasped while things are being understood."

Only the singular is concretely real, and it is precisely this concrete reality that is experienced by the right brain -- say, a particular tree. But the left brain seems to specialize in extracting the essence from the experience, and coming up with the abstract category of "treeness."

Gilson suggests that "in a sense, all of modern thought goes back to that winter's night in 1619, when, shut up inside a stove in Germany, Descartes conceived the idea of a universal mathematics." While some believe it was just a mild case of carbon monoxide poisoning, Descartes' method nevertheless spread like a kitchen fire, soon enough resulting in "the substitution of a limited number of clear ideas, conceived as the true reality, for the concrete complexity of things." In short, the left brain had muscled aside the right.

Whitehead is all over this fallacy in his Science and the Modern World. The fallacy results in a world drained of qualities -- or of qualities being reduced to the secondary phenomena of a purely quantitative world.

No such simplification is possible with a realist view. Again, since we start with the object as it is, it clearly manifests all sorts of features and levels that cannot be reduced to mere quantity, such that "several concepts are are required to express the essence of a single thing, according to the the number of points of view it studies it from."

And even then, the simplest thing we will ever encounter can never be known in its totality, as if we are God.

Rather, everything is inexhaustible in its richness and depth. There is an important orthoparadox at work here, in that the same factor that makes things intelligible at all -- God -- makes them not intelligible in their totality. Remove our Divine Sponsor from the equation and we literally end in a kind of omniscient stupidity, a la Deepak, for if we create reality with our mind, there is no such thing as reality.

In short, for the realist "every substance as such is unknown, because it is something other than the sum of the concepts we extract from it." You could call it the potent ignorance which grounds the fertile egghead.

All of this, of course, has deadly political consequences, so it is certainly no coincidence that Deepak is such a hate-drenched leftist. Specifically, once we detach ourselves from reality, it follows that we no longer know what the individual is or what he is for.

The result is a monadic individual who exists only for himself -- this is the selfish and amoral side of leftism -- and the need for a leviathan state to control all these selfish and amoral monads. This ends in a combustible mixture of moral anarchy and tyrannical collectivism, each reflecting and aggravating the other.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You Can't Maintain Metaphysical Fitness by Wrestling with Shadows

This is a post where you may have to read it all the way through in order to know what it is about. Or, it may require additional posts....

Bahhhh... It's on the tip of my tongue... No, not sheep. What do you call it, Jeeves? That's it: Baadar-Meinhof phenomenon. It's when something is brought to our attention, and then we start seeing it everywhere.

It's happening now with left and right brain differences. Ever since I picked up The Master and His Emissary, they're turning up everywhere I look, for example, in this book by Etienne Gilson called Methodical Realism.

I should point out that nowhere does Gilson, of course, make reference to split brain research. Nevertheless, his description of the proper working of the mind is uncannily reminiscent of what we've been saying about experience starting in the right brain and then being processed in a more abstract way by the left.

If we start with the left, and confuse the abstraction with the reality, we're headed for the metaphysical ditch. And yet, this is the fundamental Error of the West over these past few centuries, essentially since the innovations of Descartes took hold in the collective western psyche. In fact, instead of "western psyche," we might as well say "left psyche," as I will proceed to demonstrate.

Let's fast forward to the last chapter of the book, A Handbook for Beginning Realists. It consists of 30 insultaining postulates and principles one would do well to read and internalize before setting foot onto university soil, because most everything you are exposed to in the university will violate these principles, and therefore, the Real. Certainly no one there will ever chide you for being a simple-minded relativist or naive liberal. Or sick idealist.

Here is Gilson's #1: "The first step on the realist path is to recognize that one has always been a realist; the second is to recognize that, however hard one tries to think differently, one will never manage to; the third is to realize that those who claim they think differently, think as realists as soon as they forget to act a part. If one then asks oneself why, one's conversion is all but complete."

What this means is that people who are not realists are just posing, like the proud and brave anti-gun activists seen in James O'Keefe's hilarious new video.

Or think of Al Gore, who is happy to impose his abstract fantasy on the entire world, but not to the point that it troubles his conscience to take 100 million real dollars from Big Oil. He may be crazy, but he's not stupid. Or is it the other way around? Same with Obama. He's happy to grab your weapons, but he's not unrealistic enough to declare the White House a gun-free zone.

More generally, almost all of the liberals I personally know live conspicuously conservative lives. So why don't they preach with the left brain what they practice with the right? It's a weird form of inverted hypocrisy.

Before proceeding any further we probably need to nail down some definitions, since realism is a philosophical term of art. Everyone thinks he is a "realist," but we are obviously not using the word in the colloquial sense.

Quite simply, the realist starts with the external world as the source of knowledge. Ever since Descartes, and especially Kant, this seemingly common sense view has been dismissed by the tenured as hopelessly naive and pre-critical. Which, of course, it can be. But to imagine that Thomas Aquinas was a naive and uncritical thinker is itself a breathtaking example of uncritical naiveté.

There are really only two places to begin our lifetome adventure of consciousness: with being, or with thought. Quite simply, the scholastics begin with being, while any form of critical philosophy begins with thought, as in I think, therefore I am.

Really? Really?

Again, as alluded to above, people inevitably vote with their feet, and it is strictly impossible to maintain a consistent idealism: "The idealist method is the suicide of philosophy," writes Gilson, "because it engages philosophy in an inextricable series of internal contradictions that ultimately draw it into skepticism," or "self-liberation through suicide" (what we call cluelesside).

Here is Gilson's second point:

"We must begin by distrusting the term 'thought'; for the greatest difference between the realist and the idealist is that the idealist thinks, whereas the realist knows.

"For the realist, thinking simply means organizing knowledge or reflecting on its content. It would never occur to him to make thought the starting point of his reflections, because for him a thought is only possible where there is first of all knowledge. The idealist, however, because he goes from thought to things, cannot know whether what he starts from corresponds to an object or not."

The inevitable result is that there is simply no way to reunite thought and reality. "You can't get there from here," as the joke goes. In terms of left and right brain differences, it seems that knowledge must begin in the right brain, because it is precisely where world and psyche meet in a thoroughly holistic and entangled sort of way. Gilson says as much:

"The knowledge the realist is talking about is the lived and experienced unity of an intellect with an apprehended reality." The left brain can then help us reflect on that reality, but cannot be its source.

But when we sunder thought and reality, the latter is "ceaselessly fragmented into imaginary entities which are so much false coin.... everything splits into a couple of antinomical terms which the ingenuity of philosophers will never succeed in reuniting" (e.g., body and soul, life and matter, mind and animal, subject and object, individual and collective, freedom and determinism, etc.). It is "a field of battle where irreconcilable shadows are locked in a struggle without end..."

In other words, the left brain cannot generate its own content, with certain exceptions, most especially, logical or mathematical entailment. Interestingly, Gilson points out that Descartes used mathematics as the touchstone of his system, which is precisely what helped displace Aristotelean science, which had been erroneously rooted in biology. (Probably not saying that as clearly as I should, but you get the point.)

Once it was seen that scientific advance was only possible by adopting a quantitative view of the world, the realist baby was thrown out with the Aristotelean bathwater, and here we are: the patently un-real worlds of scientism, Darwinism, neo-Marxism, and various other abstract left brain pathologies. Each of these pseudo-philosophies generates absurdities and paradoxes which it is powerless to resolve within itself.

Note that there is nothing fundamentally illogical about such ideologies. As Gilson explains, "Idealism derives its whole strength from the consistency with which it develops the consequences of its initial error. One is, therefore, mistaken in trying to refute it by accusing it of not being logical enough." Paul Krugman is of course crazy, but not illogical.

Indeed, ideologues "live by logic," because in them "the order of connections of ideas replaces the order and connection between things." Thus, Marxism, for example, makes perfect sense, so long as it follows on the initial error of superimposing the Hegelian dialectic on reality. Likewise, Darwinism is a total explanation so long as we ignore our lived human experience.

To be continued...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Wandering the Desert Bewilderness Without Two Brains to Rub Together

It's beginning to dawn on me that everything about religion means one thing to the left brain, another to the right. And this is because everything about everything does.

Nor does it matter whether the difference is truly rooted in neurology or just a useful metaphor, because it's the difference that makes the difference, not the neurology. In other words, neurology makes no difference unless the difference is meaningful, and meaning transcends neurology.

A brief procedural matter. In the last month or so I've read an unusual number of hefty tomes, and am having some uncharacteristic difficulty assimilating them all, i.e., coonecting the dots.

It started with the Giussani trio, and went from there to Bernard McGinn's new doorstop on renaissance mysticism, then a giant history of the Catholic Church, on to the Master and the Partnership, with half a dozen others in between. Normally I blog in order to help my psychic digestion, but I'm afraid I overindulged during the holidays. Nonblogging gave me more time to read, but also seems to have resulted in a psychopneumatic backup.

Normally I blog from the "center-out," but now I find myself trying to do so from the periphery in, which is simply impossible for this type of thingy. In a way, it parallels our discussion of right and left brain differences. Perhaps the immoderate reading overstimulated the left brain -- which takes things apart -- and the absence of creative expression put the right brain -- which reassembles them -- to sleep.

What's the solution to a brain imbalance? Good question. Another book I read during the hiatus was The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living. It provides some helpful tips on what to do during a period of spiritual dryness, which, it seems to me, must almost by definition involve a loss of right brain integration and depth.

The bottom line -- at least according to St. Ignat -- is that we should change nothing during such a period. That is to say, resist the temptation to overreact and change things around, but rather, keep doing the same things you were doing during the period of spiritual consolation, before the dryness hit.

Gallagher describes spiritual desolation as being "trapped in confusion, unable to comprehend what is occurring spiritually. Mingled with this inability to understand is the affectively heavy sense that things are going badly and will continue to worsen."

Interestingly, there is a kind of "disquietude" which I think of as spiritual anxiety, while the "heaviness" sounds more like a spiritual analogue of depression. In such a state, it can take all day just to get nothing done.

Of the heaviness, Gallagher writes of a downward attraction toward earthly things, whereas in periods of consolation, the movement and the attractor are in the opposite direction: up and in as opposed to down and out, or flying in the light instead of crawling in the dark.

It is important to bear in mind that we are being lied to during the period of desolation (assuming that is what it is). The essential lie is the "false equation between what the person feels in desolation and what the person is spiritually."

Which is why Ignat's rule for dealing with it is to never make a change, because the change will be in response to a transient feeling that is based on a lie anyway. If you're going to make a change, wait until the consolation returns, and you'll probably feel very different about it.

I'm not sure if this goes to left and right brain differences, but Gallagher writes of how the "present spiritual desolation attempts to define the spiritual past and future" with various categorical universal negatives. Such abstract universality seems to be a function of the left, but I don't know if that really adds anything.

Back when I was writing the book, I would almost always respond to drysolation by ceasing to write, which is apparently the exact wrong thing to do, and undoubtedly perpetuated the disconnect. Rather, it seems that the correct approach is to firmly say FU to the desolation, and calmly carry on.

Now, where were we? I want to focus in on what Sacks has to say about meaning, because the meaning of meaning is crucial to understanding our cosmic situation, and the kind of meaning we're talking about is without question a right-brain specialty.

There is knowledge and there is meaning; there are the countless facts to select from, and then there is what they mean, and the latter is literally outside the province of left brain science.

Indeed, scientistic believers only fool themselves when they imagine they are dealing with facts in a perfectly dispassionate manner, because there can be no fact in the absence of a more overarching paradigm that tells us what to look for, i.e., what is important. And facts don't come labeled with signs saying "hey, look at me, I'm significant. That other fact over there is just trivial, so you can ignore it."

Now, "the meaning of a system," writes Sacks, "lies outside the system. Therefore, the meaning of the universe lies outside the universe."

This is axiomatic. If there is no meaning then the universe is a closed system, and if it is a closed system there can be no possible meaning. If this is the case, then one's only recourse is to a naked Nietzschean nihilism, a will to power and to pleasure. There can be no absolutes, no truth, no morality, no better or worse way to live.

I've always been intrigued by the meaning of meaning, ever since I was lucky enough to stumble upon Polanyi. This is just an intuition, but I do feel it quite strongly. That is to say -- to quote Wittgenstein -- "To believe in God means to see that life has a meaning."

Again, axiomatic. However, I've always sensed that the opposite holds equally true: that if meaning exists, then so too does God. God is disclosed via meaning, and the deeper and more comprehensive the meaning, the more God sort of "pops out" at you.

And the kind of meaning I'm talking about is again a quintessentially right-brained one, as it involves the synthesis of... of everything, from religion to science to history to anthropology to metaphysics, you name it. The whole existentialada.

Indeed, even the fact that it is possible to apprehend the inner coherence of these diverse perspectives speaks to me implicitly of God. I imagine that these things are "held together" in the divine mind as unproblematically as a human being holds together such diverse planes and modes as matter, mind, emotion, love, truth, beauty, animal nature, etc. Each of these is present in a man, and yet, we are still "one." Nor do we understand how we keep them together -- e.g., body and soul. We just do.

Unless we suffer left brain existential shrinkage, and end up puffing up one of the dots instead of synthesizing all of them. For example, scientism or metaphysical Darwinism or leftism all result from inflating a single dot to the exclusion of the whole. This is what the Blakester was referring to when he spoke of the dangers of "single vision" and "Newton's sleep."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Have You Heard the One About the Snake & the Lass?

In our previous post we suggested that, for the right cerebral hemisphere, "understanding music is perceived as similar to knowing a person."

Turns out to be the same vis-à-vis language, which "is an extension of life" (whatever that is). Like most of the factoids emerging from split-brain research, it doesn't really require the research to understand the principle.

For example, McGilchrist quotes Wittgenstein, who said that "to imagine a language is to imagine a form of life" (whatever that is).

Yes, "whatever that is." This is a critical unThought to bear in mind, because "life" and "language" are absolutely coterminous. In other worlds, no pre-linguistic animal "knows" it is alive, or has any way of abstracting the thing we call "life" from the totality of its experience.

Nor is it likely that human beings would have the concept of life in the absence of the experience of its absence. We've discussed this in the past, but it was Hans Jonas who first brought this to our attention.

In his The Phenomenon of Life, Jonas writes that "When man first began to interpret the nature of things -- and this he did when he began to be man -- life was to him everywhere, and being the same as being alive" (emphasis mine).

Thus, "Animism was the widespread expression of this stage.... Soul flooded the whole of existence and encountered itself in all things. Bare matter -- that is, truly inanimate, 'dead' matter, was yet to be discovered -- as indeed its concept, so familiar to us, is anything but obvious."

Now, in the absence of a vascular catastrophe, it is very hard for us to put the developmental truthpaste back into the tube, and revert to a wholly right-brained view of the world.

However, as we shall hear, I think Genesis 3 must have something to do with this epic transition -- arguably the biggest bang in the cosmos -- from the untroubled holism of right-brain living into the dualistic world of the left, i.e., the tree of bifurcated knowledge of good and evil.

While we're on the subject, I should mention another book we've discussed in the past, The Symmetry of God, by Rodney Bomford. I don't have time to review his ideas at the moment, but if you search his name on the blog, you will see that his application of symmetrical logic toward understanding the divine realm is completely compatible with the idea that this realm is mediated via the right brain.

Indeed, Matte Blanco's analysis of symmetrical and asymmetrical logic essentially defines the left and right brain views of the world.

Back to the orthoparadox that Life is prior to nonlife. Clearly, this is a quintessentially right-brained view of the world, which doesn't perceive the sharp outlines and abstractions of the left. It sees holistically, and who's to say its interpretation is wrong?

For example, modern science places a sharp temporal division in the cosmos, and tells us that on one side is dead matter, the other side "life" (whatever that is). Life wasn't present for the first five billion years or so of cosmic evolution, and then it suddenly pops up out of nowhere (BOO!).

But as we suggested in the Bʘʘ!k, who are we to assume this cosmos is fundamentally dead, or that biology isn't just the mature fruit of a sufficiently ripe old cosmic tree?

Speaking of trees, back to Eden. One of the lessons of Genesis 3 is that with the dominance of the left brain, Death is introduced to the cosmos.

D'oh!

But that's just the way it is. Once we enter the dualistic world of the left, "the riddle confronting man is death: it is the contradiction to the one intelligible, self-explaining, 'natural' condition.... To the extent that life is accepted as the primary state of things, death looms as the disturbing mystery" (Jonas).

Just so: the price of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil is indeed death, just as God says.

Note that he says we will die if we eat from it, which is to say, assimilate it. Also, when the Torah uses the word "knowledge," it is not in the abstract way we understand the term. It has much more to do with intimate familiarity, as we've discussed in the past (e.g., Adam knew Eve, ooh la la!).

Now, Rabbi Sacks has an interesting take on this subject, in his highly raccoomended The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning. Alert to the whole left-right brain tissue, he notices some details in Genesis that had escaped me.

First of all, for prelapsarian man, God "speaks" in an unproblematic manner. In short, he is "heard" intuitively, which is much more of a right brain phenomenon.

But in Genesis 3:6, Eve can't help noticing that the forbidden tree is easy on the eyes, meaning that she has transitioned from ear to eye and right to left. Indeed, immediately thereafter we read that the eyes of both of them were opened. Adam and Eve suddenly see that they are naked, and -- just as in the developing child -- feel shame.

Then it's back to the ear: they once again hear God, only now, for the first time, Adam is frightened of him. Which reminds me of a Buddhist crack to the effect that where there are two, there is fear. (I'm also thinking of "no one sees my face and lives. But hears my voice? No problemo.")

But who is this serpent fellow, this snake in the lass? Hmm, maybe the corpus callosum that links the two hemispheres:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Music of the Hemispheres

This is interesting, and it sounds intuitively true: "The approach to music," writes McGilchrist, "is like entering into relation with another living individual."

Turns out that music is alive, or at least might as well be, as far as the right cerebral hemisphere is concerned. For "research suggests that understanding music is perceived as similar to knowing a person" (ibid).

And in fact, more generally, "works of art -- music, poems, paintings, great buildings -- can be understood only if we appreciate that they are more like people than texts, concepts or things" (ibid).

Then again, not all music is alive, is it? There are clearly "degrees" of musical life, although such a concept literally makes no sense to the left brain.

Furthermore, we can't just take refuge in some easily understood concept such as "complexity," because there are very simple forms of music that endure, and extremely complex ones that don't (cf. the pointless virtuosity of most "progressive" rock vs. the seemingly simple music of a classic bluesman such as Howlin' Wolf or Muddy Waters).

Music is direct person-to-person communication; one might say that the person is somehow embodied in the music.

I just read a biography of Sinatra, and it occurs to me that this was precisely the source of the overwhelming effect he had on (especially) female fans in the early 1940s. That is, it seems that he was the first popular vocalist to use the new technology to forge a deeper intimacy with listeners.

Prior to the perfection of microphone technology, singers relied on megaphones to reach the audience. Singing was a "declamatory art." In order to be heard, they had to project their voices over the band and to the back of the hall, resulting in a formal and stilted manner. There was almost no such thing as "phrasing."

The bottom line is, you can't whisper sweet nothings to a girl through a megaphone. There were plenty of fine voices out there, but Sinatra realized that the microphone "was his instrument, as surely as the pianist's piano or a saxophonist's sax."

Sinatra even preferred a black microphone, as it would disappear into his tux and "give the illusion that his hand was empty, that he was connecting directly with the audience."

I am also reminded of something Paul McCartney said about the early Beatles songs. They were consciously written in the first person, so as to sound as if they were singing directly to the girl: I Want to Hold Your Hand, Love Me Do, Please Please Me, From Me to You, Thank You Girl, P.S. I Love You, Ask Me Why, Do You Want to Know a Secret, All My Loving, etc. It was a big departure when they finally decided to write one in the third person, She Loves You.

An editorial in the February 2013 Stereophile goes to the musical differences between left and right brains. The author writes of auditioning a new piece of equipment with a group of listeners. Some of them heard only "quantitative" differences, such as more bass. But the author writes that he heard things differently -- that "it let me hear music more organically, in ways that touched me deeper."

There it is again: a living person behind or within the music.

The problem is, if you try to listen to the differences, you end up engaging the left brain: equipment reviewers "often discuss certain musical elements to the exclusion of others," and "give short shrift to how the totality of the musical experience affects us....

"When all we talk about is the sound of specific sonic elements, rather than how the entire musical experience makes us feel, I fear we ultimately lead readers astray." We focus "on individual fragments of the sonic experience instead of receiving music as an organic whole."

Again: organic. And receiving. The soul must become actively passive, so to (not) speak, similar to religious experience.

Now that I think about it, this has clear psychopolitical implications. For example, like Sinatra, liberals have perfected the trick of using technology to speak intimately to low-information adolescent girls (of whatever age or gender).

Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to this problem. Talk radio, for example, has an overwhelmingly male demographic, and the same women who respond to the sweet nothings of the left are extremely turned off by fact and logic. I love Rush, but he does kind of sound like he's declaiming through a megaphone, doesn't he?

Maybe we just need someone with a smooth and seductive voice to convey the message, because if McGilchrist is correct, music is actually prior to speech, and what we say is easily defeated by what our listeners feel.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Right Becomes Left So that Left May Become Right

(That title is a reference the the early fathers' wisecrack that God becomes man so that man might become God, or divinized.)

I have no time for a new post, but I have almost enough time to rework this one from four years back, in the hope that it contributes to our recent discussion of the different worldviews of the left and right cerebral hemispheres. (It turns out that at least half of it is new.)

It begins with a little invOcation by Meister Eckhart:

One must here come to a transformed knowing, and this unknowing must not come from ignorance; rather, from knowing one must come into an unknowing. Then, we will become knowing with divine knowing and then our unknowing will be ennobled and clothed with supernatural knowing. And here, in that we are in a state of receiving, we are more perfect than if we were active.

I think Eckhart is describing here the proper "cycle of knowledge," which proceeds from the implicit knowledge of the right brain, to the explicit knowledge of the left, and back to the implicit world of the right, now "enriched," so to speak, by the fruits of the left. It may sound unusual, but I think it's really the pattern in any form of mastery, for example, jazz.

As we've discussed in the past, jazz obviously requires an intense amount of left-brain mastery, e.g., of scales, chords, and harmony. However, in order to improvise -- which is to say, engage in spontaneous improvisation -- one must "unKnow" what is rote and familiar, and surrender to the right.

Here there is a combination of activity and passivity, since one must actively "forget" in order to adopt a position of "passivity" with regard to the implicit compositional skills of the right. It's like "trying" to dream, which cannot be done; rather, one can only surrender to the Dreamer.

It also reminds me of what Bion said about being a psychoanalyst: one must suspend memory, desire, and understanding, in order to "hear" the spontaneous productions of the unconscious mind, which is to say, the right hemisphere.

In fact, I remember my first day on the couch some 25 years ago. My analyst asked something like, "Do you know why you're doing that?" "Er, I don't know... to find a way to blame everything on my mother?" "No, it's in order to silence the left brain, so as to allow the right brain to get a word in edgewise."

Or as Bion said, so as to shed a beam of darkness on the workings of the unconscious mind (which is almost by definition in the right hemisphere).

And this is quite similar to what Joyce was up to in Finnegans Wake, i.e., destroying language in order to save it. I think he was essentially trying to imagine what a right brain language would be like, which is to say, holographic, fractal, endlessly metaphorical, timeless (or multi-temporal), tactile, and synesthetic, all at the same time(less). And despite the difficulty -- if not impossibility -- of ever fully comprehending it, I think he would insist that this type of language presents a more accurate -- or at least realistic -- map of the world, of man, and of history.

This goes to the problem of "saturation," which is when language becomes "dead" because unambiguous. When this happens, the world too becomes drained of poetry, and it so happens that there is a neurological explanation, or at least alibi.

As McGilchrist writes, "new experience of any kind -- whether it be of music, or words, or real-life objects, or imaginary constructs -- engages the right hemisphere. As soon as it starts to become familiar or routine, the right hemisphere is less engaged and eventually the 'information' becomes the concern of the left hemisphere only."

Thus, when language becomes saturated in this manner, we are rendered "half-alive," but then, not really alive at all, since our sense of "aliveness" is in the right brain.

Not to get too far afield, but at least for me, this is one of the purposes of the beer o'clock slackrament. Maybe I'm just lucky, but for me, I'm always just a beer or two away from right brain dominance. My left brain goes down easy.

In his Self and Spirit, Bolton reminds us of the orthoparadoxical idea that twoness, or dualism, is higher than oneness, or monism; or perhaps that One is intrinsically two and therefore three, the latter of which is "higher" than both, since, to put it mythsemantically, the infinite + the finite must (in a manner of speaking, of course) = more than the pure infinite alone.

Here again, this reminds me of the divisional or analytical (or prodigal!) thinking of the left, returning to the infinite mode of the right (back to the father... or mother, depending upon how one looks at it).

We could also say that love is higher than union; or, that true union is a unity in which differences are preserved and bound together by love -- which becomes, or reveals, their inner unity.

There is no question that on some level "all is one." But the question is, what kind of One? For when you say "all is one," you might just as well say "all is none." Not only is it a meaningless statement, it is unmeaningable -- no different than saying "all is all" or "one is one."

Furthermore, what is the ontological status of this entity who realizes "all is one?" As Bolton says, "Any such answer must include some proof that the self is a reality in its own right, and not just a collective name for a succession of more or less related phenomena with no integrating principle." For if the self is not in some sense real, then there is nothing it can objectively say about anything, let alone, God.

This is a critical question, because on it hinges not just the reality and the dignity of the personal self, but on the entire possibility of any intrinsic meaning at all, since meaning can only exist in reference to something else. If all is simply one, it is another way of saying that life is completely meaningless -- which some Vedantins and Buddhists come close to saying, i.e., that the world is maya (illusion) and nothing else.

Bolton writes that "misunderstandings of the self lead to misunderstandings of everything else." And it is the left-brain conception of the world that leaves us with an irreconcilable dualism, in that one side or the other of the dualism must go.

The result is "an almost exact parallel of the Cartesian conception of soul and body where neither has anything in common with the other" (Bolton). The Cartesian says, "I think, therefore I am." The Vedantin says "I am, therefore I think." But the Raccoon says, "God is, therefore I am. And that's why I can fruitfully and objectively think, to boot."

In other words, to say "I am one with God," is a kind of truism, but with important implications, for as Bolton says, "union in this context must mean what it says, and not simply the elimination of one side of the relation." Otherwise, we are simply avoiding a serious inquiry into the exceedingly strange situation of the Incarnation, both His and ours. You could almost say that the nonlocal Cosmic Right Hemisphere incarnated in a local time and place, or in an earthly, Left Hemispheric way.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Liberal Fascism and Left Brain Tyranny

Although there's a fantastic amount of multidisciplinary research in The Master and His Emissary, overall the book is a failure in terms of its prescription, because it essentially tries to use the left brain to find an escape hatch from the left brain.

I think McGilchrist's diagnosis of left brain hegemony is perfectly accurate -- as far as it goes -- but it's a little like Gorbachev's attempt to reform communism from within communism. Once you recognize the essential flaws of communism, the whole thing falls apart.

Even before getting into pathology -- i.e., diagnosis -- we must have a norm. In the absence of a norm, there can be no deviations, no perversion, inversions, regressions, or developmental arrests; nor can there be any meaningful evolution or development.

The function of the mind is to know reality. Thus, everything follows from the two principles embedded in this statement: first, that reality exists; and second, that we may know the truth of it.

The whole "modern turn" in philosophy, beginning with Kant, undermines these principles. It either denies one side at the expense of the other (as in scientism); or conflates them (as in the Chopraesque newage sewage of "perception is reality").

The result is, on the one hand, a desolate scientism that presumes to know the truth of reality, but without anyone to know it; or, a psychic projection of the nervous system. Thus, the world is either a left-brain scheme or a right-brain dream.

To his credit, McGilchrist is sensitive to this problem, but in the absence of a proper norm, he cannot propose a rigorous solution. Instead, he deals with the problem of left-brain tyranny on pragmatic grounds. He essentially says that the left brain has made a mess of things, so we need to rely more on the right.

He writes of, for example, "the profound kinship" between modernism and Nazism. But do we need to know about neurology to tell us that fascism is evil? Or in other words, is fascism what we call "evil" just because it involves a subjugation of the right brain by the left?

Of the "modernist enterprise," he writes that it involves a left-brain "admiration for what is powerful rather than beautiful, a sense of alienated objectivity rather than engagement or empathy, and an almost dogmatic trampling on all taboos..."

But with no norm other than utility, who's to say they're wrong?

The last chapter of the book is called The Master Betrayed (the master being the right brain). In it he presents a picture of what the world of the left hemisphere would look like, and it looks awfully familiar:

"We could expect, for a start, that there would be a loss of the broader picture, and a substitution of a more narrowly focussed, restricted, but detailed, view of the world..."

Check.

"The broader picture would in any case be disregarded, because it would lack the appearance of clarity and certainty which the left hemisphere craves."

Check.

"Ever more narrowly focussed attention would lead to an increasing specialization and technicalising of knowledge."

Check.

This "would promote the substitution of information... for knowledge, which comes through experience."

Check.

Knowledge "would seem more 'real' than what one might call wisdom, which would seem too nebulous..."

Check.

"There would be an increase in both abstraction and reification..."

Check.

Or, you could just say that the world becomes quantified at the expense of its prior -- and immediate -- qualities.

As a result, "the impersonal world would come to replace the personal..." "Individualities would be ironed out and identification would be by categories: socioeconomic groups, races, sexes, and so on," leading to intergroup competition, resentment, and paranoia. In other words, OBAMA-BIDEN 2012 (not to mention Big Chief Affirmative Token).

"Reasonableness would be replaced by rationality," leading to "a complete failure of common sense." "Anger and aggressive behavior would become more evident in our social interactions," since empathy is located in the right brain. And we can also expect sex to become "explicit and omnipresent," since the real implicit power of sex is located in the right.

The left-brain government of such a left-brain sheeple "would seek total control -- it is an essential feature of the left hemisphere's take on the world that it can grasp it and control it."

Obamacare, the attempt to control the economy via manipulation of aggregate demand, regulation of the world economy under the pretext of controlling the weather, state-mandated redefinition of marriage -- each of these flows from a left-brain fantasy. Oh, and give us your guns, especially those of you who don't buy into the fantasy.

In short, "Individual liberty would be curtailed," and "panoptical control would become an end in itself." The aim would be "to increase the power of the state and diminish the status of the individual.... according to the left hemisphere's take on reality, individuals are simply interchangeable parts of a mechanistic system, a system it needs to control in the interests of efficiency."

People are reduced to the proverbial Bags of Wet Cement, to be shoved around by the state. The state would "play down individual responsibility, and the sense of individual responsibility would accordingly decline." Loss of the implicit structure of the right brain would bring with it a flood of explicit legislation to try to control behavior.

We would see a "loss of insight, coupled with unwillingness to take responsibility," and an "increasing passivisation and suggestibility." "A sense of [existential] nausea and boredom before life would likely lead to a craving for novelty and stimulation." And of course, "Religion would seem to be mere fantasy."

So, what's the real solution? Seems to me I've been blah-blah-blogging about it ad gnoseum for over seven years, and I have no idea how to summarize it. But it's still one cosmos under god, regardless of what the left brain thinks.

Monday, January 07, 2013

The Liberal Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science -- and Reality

A while ago a 'bat named -- wait for it: Mooney -- wrote a risibly tendentious book by that title, except it was called "The Republican Brain," and it was all about the science of how Republicans deny science -- you know, like our crazy belief that world temperature hasn't risen in the past 16 years, or how high taxes retard economic growth.

But it turns out he was all wrong, and that the most sophisticated, cutting edge research proves -- as we've been documenting here for years -- that liberalism is a mental and spiritual disorder with devastating consequences, both personally and collectively, locally and cosmically.

This is all explained in McGilchrists's The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, although you have to read between the brains, since the book is refreshingly free of the kind of demagogic misuse of science that Mooney and I engage in. Nevertheless, turna'bat is fairplay, so here we go.

The first half of the book is a lengthy summary of research into the different hemispheres, while the second half of the book is more speculative, and attempts to use this research to shed light on western history, from antiquity to the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Industrial Revolution, and on into modern and postmodern times.

Those latter two -- modern, and especially postmodern -- are of the most interest to us, since these are the worlds brought to us via all those "scientific" and rational assumptions of liberalism. As we know, liberals don't only control the levers of government, but their worldview permeates academia, the media, and the culture more generally. It is the shallow water we must swim in and the air we sophicate on.

Let's begin with the very different manner in which the two hemispheres see and experience the world. No, let's actually begin before that, with the stipulation that man has two cerebral hemispheres for a reason, and that they are complementary, not antagonistic. Or, they are at times antagonistic, but in such a way that it redounds to the benefit of the person "above" them.

McGilchrist (who, I should make clear, comes at it from a purely secular perspective) compares them to "opponent processors," through which "mutually opposed elements... make possible finely calibrated responses to complex situations" -- as when one hand pushes gently against the other hand in order to thread a needle.

Perhaps the most provocative research finding is that our primary experience of the world is located in the right hemisphere, whereas our abstract "mapping" of this same world is located in the left.

Frankly, I don't think we need all this brain research to tell us something we all know -- that there is a primary, lived experience of the whole of reality, over which we superimpose an atomized grid of knowledge. In my book I use the symbols (n) and (k) to distinguish the two. Not surprisingly, it turns out that there is a neural substrate for (n) and (k), but that doesn't mean that knowledge of either type can be reduced to neurology.

Rather, we begin with the principle of the Person, and it is not possible for a Person to incarnate in the absence of the "opponent processing" of the "divided" brain. But of course, the divided brain isn't really divided at all; or, to be perfectly accurate, it is divided so as to be united at a higher level. A non-divided brain couldn't possibly host the unitary person.

Yes, you could say the hemispheres are distinct but undivided, like a certain godhead we know. Which is why we don't subjectively feel as if we are two different persons. We are aware of the input from both sides, but there is something in us that unproblematically (heh) unifies the two -- and it's not just "two," because, as McGilchrist explains, there is also a front-back structure in the brain, i.e., frontal to hindbrain, and a top-down one, i.e., cortex to mammalian to reptilian to Sharpton brain.

(In fact, perhaps only the left brain sees the brain as divided; indeed, McGilchrist points out that the right brain is able to take the perspective of the left into consideration, since it is part of the "whole," whereas the left cannot do this vis-a-vis the holism of the right. It reminds me of how conservatives must deal with liberal arguments, since they permeate the culture, whereas it is possible for a liberal to live in an entirely friction-free cognitive world, since he must go out of his way to deeply understand the conservative point of view in a way that is unfiltered by the left wing hate machine.)

Now, when I say we "unproblematically" (heh) unify our knowledge and experience, I obviously mean problematically, because that's the whole problem, isn't it? We can be anything from a garden-variety neurotic who has difficulty integrating his primitive-down and civilized-up, to a completely psychotic person whose left brain has hijacked his entire personhood, to a tenured Marxist who hasn't left his left brain in 40 years.

But under the best of circumstances, we are all faced with this problem of integration, especially in the contemporary world, since there is a virtually infinite amount of data to consider, so much that no single person could ever literally do it. Which is one of the main reasons left wing ideologues take refuge in their simplistic left brain fantasies of cognitive and social control. This is also what allows the typical low-information liberal voter to nurture his delusions of adequacy.

To cite one glaring example, when monohemispheriacs such as Mr. Mooney talk about the Republican "war on science," what they are mostly referring to is the conservative resistance to scientism. And the resistance to scientism comes from the right brain, which knows full well that scientism is not true because it cannot possibly be true. And it cannot be true because the right brain is precisely what mediates our connection to being as such. The right brain knows of what it speaks, even if it must express itself via the mythopoetic.

One doesn't have to be aware of brain research to understand why the fantasies of scientism are delusional. In every branch of science, the persistent application of purely "left brain" scientific methods has resulted in a right brain view of the world. This is the proper Circle of Being, whereby experience starts in the right, is broken down and categorized by the left, and then re-dreamt by the right.

In physics, for example, we have the uncertainty principle, complementarity principle, and nonlocality. In logic we have Gödel, in math Cantor, in biology Rosen. Such "transformative developments," writes McGilchrist, "validate the world as given by the right hemisphere, not the left." I call them the fundamental orthoparadoxes of (k), and no worldview can hope to be adequate without taking them into consideration.

One way of looking at left and right brains is to see them as processors of Absolute and Infinite, respectively; or of container and contained. Can Absolute "contain" Infinite? No, there is something "above" both, although here we are getting into areas where cutandry language begins to fail. In short, such meta-metaphysical questions can only be handled by the right brain, via poetry, myth, scripture, or the perfect nonsense of coonspeak.

I don't have much time this morning, plus my brain's a little rusty after the extended slackoff, so I guess I'll continue this tomorrow, the weather in my head permitting.

Liberals can fix the weather in the world, just like Mr. Gore said. But what's to be done about the weather in their heads?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Message from the Supreme Epopt of Upper Tonga

It has come to our attention that a commenter requests an open thread. The Cosmocrats of the Luminous Aeon have seen fit to authorize the request.

De nada. You are welcome.