Tuesday, January 01, 2019

New Year, Old Posts

A fresh new open thread for a bright new year. Although I agree with Dennis Prager that it will get dark quickly.

Yes, I'm actually doing it: I've been undertaking the distasteful task of reviewing each post from 2005 onward, and am finding it to be a mythic combination of the Sisyphean and Augean: in other words, like pushing a vast stable full of excrement up a steep mountainside, only to watch it roll back down and inundate me under a steaming pile of verbiage.

I must have skimmed 500 or so, and am definitely not finding what I'm looking for. Of course, it would help to know what I'm looking for, but I'm waiting for the search to reveal its object. If I knew what I was looking for, I'd already have it, now wouldn't I?

Every once in awhile I come across a paragraph that doesn't totally irritate me, or that I think I might be able to use for the yet-unknown purpose, but the overall impression is "I guess you had to be there." Or maybe I'm just not qualified to judge -- like I can dish it out but can't taste it.

Oh well. Back to the stable.

41 comments:

Van Harvey said...

"...a mythic combination of the Sisyphean and Augean: in other words, like pushing a vast stable full of excrement up a steep mountainside, only to watch it roll back down and inundate me under a steaming pile of verbiage..."

O my. That's a mythic combination I don't believe I've seen before... certainly makes an impression. Seems doubly important to wish you and all the O.C. raccoons a Happy New Year!

julie said...

The problem with going back and looking at what we've created is that over time, for most people, it mostly looks like crap. Especially the stuff we've shared instead of stashing away in a garage somewhere, and regardless of how it looks to other people.

It would probably be weirder if you liked most of what you've written.

Re. Prager, I must dolefully agree, simply because it's what they always do. As is always the case, all we can do at the individual level is the best we can with the circumstances we have. In some ways, God willing, this year may well be wonderful, too.

Happy New Year, Raccoons!

julie said...

Of course, it would help to know what I'm looking for, but I'm waiting for the search to reveal its object. If I knew what I was looking for, I'd already have it, now wouldn't I?

Sometimes there's a rug which, well,
it's the rug for its time'n place, it fits right in there.
And when you find it, it will really tie the room together.

Gagdad Bob said...

-- it mostly looks like crap.

Exactly. It immediately reminds me of two musical analogies. Bob Dylan cranks out stuff like nobody's business, but never looks back: couple of takes, and he's done, on to the next thing. Meanwhile, the record company has been issuing old stuff that was never even intended for release -- they're up to 14 volumes in the "Bootleg Series." I don't think Dylan would ever want to hear his old unreleased material, much critically review it. Same with Miles Davis -- they're up to six volumes on him, and I doubt that he'd want to hear any of it (even though fanboys like me do).

Second, we all know about "best of" albums, which are usually assembled by someone other than the artist. Occasionally the artist does the selecting, and it never comes out right. Ironically, the artist is not in a position to judge the quality!

Gagdad Bob said...

Having said that, I'm still hoping the writing will turn a corner at some point and sound more like the current me. We're not there yet. Maybe 2008.

julie said...

IIRC, 2008-09 was when you dug into HvB. There was some good stuff in there, or so it seemed from out here.

Gagdad Bob said...

Occasionally the rug darts into view: it has something to do with the knowledge to which all humans at all times are entitled: things that cannot not be, must be, and always will be. I think it's an important task in our "information age," in which we know so much more but understand so much less than ever before. People have a right to the Permanent Things! Otherwise we are lost in an avalanche or tsunami of indigestible factoids

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I think 2008 may have been the Year of Balthasar, when I began working with a higher and more enduring quality of material: rock instead of concrete.

Van Harvey said...

Have you tried Thomas Aquinas's Philosophical Rugs 'r Us?

Van Harvey said...

Though I suppose HvB has the nearest non-local franchise....

Anonymous said...

If you’re a Christian, you’ll be looking for the post that addressed how western Christians were able to keep the pews replenished, back in the day. I suspect Christian culture back then was better at championing the meek instead of being seen as apologist-tools for the corrupt. Blaming some kind of vast conspiracy is usually pretty lame, not to mention rationalistic... unless there actually is a vast conspiracy.

julie said...

Back in the day, Christianity was Western culture. If you wanted to be part of the community, you went to church and lived according to its norms, or at least made a show of it.

ted said...

I believe when MotT came into the picture, then things really got on FIRE out here!

julie said...

Apropos nothing, a raccoon bubble bath.

mushroom said...

Happy New Year.

doug saxum said...

Happy days are here again ....😎

Anonymous said...

Good god Prager is a dumbass. Well, he's making a living spouting garbage for even stupider people, so maybe he's not so dumb after all.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. Godwin and blog panel all:

Regarding book concepts, I sense you are focusing on informing/helping people with important ideas. I believe you think you have these important ideas understood and ready to impart. However, you could start by writing about things you don't yet understand, and asking yourself a lot of questions.

What is my program? What happened to me in my youth? What's next for me?

You have read widely of what others have written, now its time to go within and read yourself, your own narrative. The Rosetta Stone for your soul is in within. Formulate a narrative of your life, and don't skimp on the inner angst, the pain, the blows by which you were shaped, your formative experiences and relationships, regrets, failings, misgivings, and forebodings.

Lay a sample slab in front of your readers and get an initial response. You may hit gold.

The more difficult and dreadful it is to write, there is the sign you are on the right track. You are tired of being the philosopher king with all the answers. Now you want to prostrate yourself among the ignorant and cry out for solace, mercy, and communion.

Regards, Professor X-D







Unknown said...

Dear everyone and Bob, i have a great author to refer you to, the great traditionalist John "Ahmed" Herlihy. His way of writing is really splendor. Among his well-written books:
Wisdom of The Senses: The Untold Story of their Inner Life
Borderlands of the Spirit: Reflections on a Sacred Science of Mind

And many more. He is great, i'm sure you'll love him.

Gagdad Bob said...

I remember reading the second, but that's all I remember.... I also read The Essential Guenon, which he edited.

Gagdad Bob said...

I finally found a post -- after going through about 650 -- that doesn't annoy me. However, much of it quotes someone else. Very timely, though. Or timeless:

"Reality was violently adjusted to suit a theoretical ought-world.... A dreadful mass sentimentality, compounded of anger, fear, resentment and self-pity, replaced the customary politics of decency, pragmatism, property and reason.... Belief, faith, feeling and obedience to instinct routed debate, skepticism and compromise. People voluntarily surrendered to group or herd emotions, some of a notoriously nasty kind."

The new political religions are a "by-product of the absence of religion," in which "ideologies akin to Christian heresies of redemption in the here and now" fuse "with post-Enlightenment doctrines of social transformation" and create a "church-state" or a state "counter-church with its own intolerant dogma, preachers, sacred rites and lofty idioms that [offer] total explanations of the past, present and future, while demanding unwavering dedication from its adherents."

Gagdad Bob said...

Hey, I actually like the next one too. Maybe I'm finally on a roll!

julie said...

That first one was good, particularly the railway bridge analogy. In much the same way, I see a lot of frustration that The Swamp hasn't been drained yet, and certain people are walking around free who really deserve to be locked up. It would be nice if "nuke the site from orbit" were a viable option, but it just isn't. I don't know how long it takes to fix things, simply because it has never been done before. To us on the outside, much like to the passengers on the train, it looks as though nothing is changing; it is only in hindsight and in effect that we might discover that something is different.

julie said...

In the second, I like the fish tank analogy. The illusion can go even deeper, as if you view the tank from a corner, it often appears as if there are more fish. Even seeing the two views side by side in three dimensions, it can be difficult to reconcile what you see with what you know.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Godwin and commenters all:

The Neo-Socialists and their politics of identity, centered on the takeover of Academia, was intentionally brought into being in order to create a heightened sense of inclusion for groups which had been locked out of politics for awhile, with the end goal of creating a trans-national bloc which tended to discount national borders. The overall goal was to achieve conditions favorable for a one-world government, the NWO. This was accomplished in October of 2017.
A one-world government was vitally needed in order to subsume the entire solar system under one government who could represent all in negotiations. This in turn was spurred by urgent advice from outside parties who, in essence, stated you'd better get the system in hand or you won't have a system.

However,there is now no reason to continue with militant socialism. Political Correctness is now militating against practical, good governance and has led to unjust persecutions. Therefore the NWO is now working to walk this back. We ensured Trump would be elected, and have recruited key communicators like Peterson towards that end.

So, we feel your pain, and apologize for having to bring this into being in the first place, and now we pledge to trim it back.

Cordially, Trittelvitz, NWO

Van Harvey said...

Wow, quite the roll of commenters of yesteryore....

Also, looking at current comments, looks like 'Cuz forgot to turn the bug zapper on again.

Gagdad Bob said...

I know. I don't even have time to read the comment threads. Just reviewing the posts is overwhelming enough.

Gagdad Bob said...

Some provocative observations from an old post, especially in the age of MeToo:

.... thousands of years of sexual selection means that the attributes of the men we see today were selected by women in the never-ending competition for access to female bodies. Men are the way they are because women wanted them -- needed them, is more like it -- to be that way: strong, aggressive, confident, courageous, and willing to risk danger to themselves to defend obviously weaker and more vulnerable woman and children. In Darwin's words, this selection process resulted in men being "more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman" and giving them "a more inventive genius."

"Men have manliness so as to compete with other men; women use the manliness of men to protect themselves and their children. And if women consciously manipulate men for their purposes, men dominate women for theirs. A woman may look as if she is surrendering, but in truth she is indulging her relational aggression."

... what the male nervous system mistakenly perceives as female pulchritude is just a trick of the genes. Don't be fooled. Women are neither attractive nor unattractive. Their "beauty" is actually female aggression -- passive aggression, if you will -- designed to make you want to pay attention to her. She has all the power -- she arouses general male interest, but then gets to choose from the pool of interested candidates! How fair is that?

... manly men realize women are weaker and that they could easily physically overcome them if they wanted to. An unmanly man acts on the impulse. But manliness is a virtue, not a result of genetic programming.

Since female beauty is a manipulative form of genetic aggression, then we must have strict dress codes for women in the workplace. No make up. No revealing clothing. Cover up the legs. No curves, no panty lines, none of those nasty tricks to make your eyes look bigger and more alluring -- none of that. You're just taking advantage of the scientifically proven male propensity to take that as an advertisement of sexual availability, and you know it. No woman who has already been claimed by another man would dress so provocatively in public.

... to be on the safe side we should probably screen the eyes as well, so that women can see out but men cannot see in. This is the only way to protect female nature from male nature and vice versa. Men are sick and tired of being teased and titillated by these sexually aggressive women, and we need to have laws protecting us...

Since patriarchy is the universal norm in human history, it must be natural and inevitable. After all, if men dominate women, it is because they have genetically selected traits that make them able to do so. If women have been oppressed for millennia by men due to sexual differences and in accordance with their nature, how is it now possible for women to overthrow their oppressors? If men are what these these women think they are, why is there no organized movement among men to defend their patriarchy? Being that we are male oppressors, one would think that we would be fighting to the last man to defend our empire!

You might say that Western manliness liberated women from their biology. That's if you're going to be scientific about it.

julie said...

Uh oh, so many thoughtcrimes on display!

As to liberating women from their biology, seeing the results I can't say that's really been a good thing. To the extent that women despise womanliness, what remains but to try to be men instead?

Gagdad Bob said...

Okay, now I'm overwhelmed in the opposite direction. The quality is really picking up in mid-2007. It's hard to be one's own literary executor. I have no idea what to execute and what to save.

And I still don't have any kind of explicit organizational template, although last night I got the idea of a pyramid with God at the top; the first "upward" half involves a movement toward principles, while the second have involves arguing from them: inductive and deductive like, with God in the middle.

Gagdad Bob said...

Or maybe a book in which you can start from either end and end up at God.

Gagdad Bob said...

Also, I like the paradoxical idea of irremediable ignorance at one end, and theomorphism at the other -- like a balance of Hayek and Schuon, respectively. Nothing + God still = God. But Nothing minus God = Incurable Stupidity and Absolute Nihilism.

Gagdad Bob said...

To turn the cliche around, Let's Begin with What We Don't Know. Which is almost everything. Unless we can get to those timeless principles at the peak/ground.

Gagdad Bob said...

This is funny -- back in 2007 a commenter wanted to start a group called LOBSTRs: "Left Of Bob but Still a Raccoon."

Van Harvey said...

Gagdad said "...... to be on the safe side we should probably screen the eyes as well, so that women can see out but men cannot see in. This is the only way to protect female nature from male nature and vice versa. Men are sick and tired of being teased and titillated by these sexually aggressive women, and we need to have laws protecting us......"

Funny how the 'scientific' view of sexuality, cleansed of silly Western notions of virtue, tends towards an islamic burka. For the greater good. Of course.

Gagdad Bob said...

From a post in JUNE 2007:

"Well, I'm finally doing it. I'm going to try not to blog on weekends, so that I can start going down deep into the knowa's arkive and figure out what's in there. It is kind of like a virtual basement, isn't it? Who knows what kind of junk has been stuffed in there?

"I suppose the purpose would be to assemble some of it into book form, but the volume of material is a little overwhelming, and I'm not even sure I'm able to objectively discern the quality of this or that post."

****

Heh. 12 years later, and the problems -- the sheer quantity, and discerning the quality thereof -- are only compounded.

Gagdad Bob said...

Looks interesting: Rediscovering the Integral Cosmos: Physics, Metaphysics, and Vertical Causality.

ted said...

That book looks great Bob. Hope you dive in once you get through all the posts.

Gagdad Bob said...

I Just ordered a book that looks like it might help me on my Impossible Quest, Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age. Seems that man has ALWAYS been overwhelmed by the amount of information, so we're not alone. The irony is that I am overwhelmed by the amount of my own information, much of which was designed to avoid that problem.

Maybe I should try reducing it all to aphorisms: The Raccoon Sutras, as it were.

JP said...

"Maybe I should try reducing it all to aphorisms: The Raccoon Sutras, as it were."

Maybe you accidentally added too much ephemera to the posts.

Or maybe that's just how Boblogging works.

There's probably an underlying pattern somewhere that you can use to organize it.

Granted, I have no idea what that underlying pattern might be.





Gagdad Bob said...

There is too much ephemera -- e.g. the political Tempest of the Day, or the unending treachery of the left -- but it's difficult to avoid, being that we live in time and not just eternity.