Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You can't have a culture of life if you have no culture at all

  • Anthony Esolen hits two out of the park:
  • From Bob Wallace:
    • The boys' clubhouse is too hard for them. The problem is women's natures tell them one thing (Sarah Palin is a fulfilled thus happy woman, attractive with husband and family, so liberal society cuts her down by calling her stupid) and modernity another, making them crazy.
    • Girl game, better known as joie de vivre.
  • From Takimag: Leveling the playing field with explosives. Against egalitarianism, or the irony of "diversity" is it really wants to make everybody the same, either an upper to upper-middle-class white liberal or an obedient helot.
  • An observation about modern society, and quick and "dirty" social-skills coaching from Roissy. I can hear the white knights ("loss of innocence") saying his kind is part of the problem. It's all about the right attitude, based on confidence; a morally neutral tool that's just social skills. He's not writing for natural alphas, who don't need him. A bad approach probably won't get you the girl but doing nothing definitely won't.
    • "What’s the deal with all these bitches who work at 'nonprofits'? 5-10 years ago bitches were all in public relations. Now it’s the nonprofits. What the hell is a nonprofit? Another charitable tax hiding place for rich dudes which allows him to increase power and influence?" Yup. Also, luxury self-actualization. Don’t worry; after the collapse the nonprofits will be wiped from the face of the earth. Fundraising results correlate directly with economic conditions. Working at a nonprofit allows SWPL women to feel good about themselves. But, more germane, nonprofits appeal to women because they are perceived as happy work which avoids the sink-or-swim ladder-climbing hothouse of for-profit industry. Women are constitutionally averse to competition in ways that men aren’t. True but they can mercilessly compete with each other.
    • Snobbish so I have a reservation about this one but if you want a hot girl, this will probably work. Let's tone it down to "you don't have to abandon your friends, but on your own, venture out of your comfort zone to one level higher." Stay away from losers. There’ll be a temptation to join their nonjudgmental cliques because they’ll take the pressure off you having to socially perform. Resist it. If you get sucked into a loser social circle, it’ll be ten times harder to infiltrate a winner social circle that’ll grant access to censored hot girls.
    • If your conversational skills are weak, or you’re a natural introvert, cultivate a “laconic rebel” personality. That means, don’t overtalk (to avoid social miscues). Train yourself in the art of the drive-by quip. Once you’ve gotten a fair shake by the winners, you can move on from “laconic rebel” to “aloof asshole who doesn’t care what people think of him.” Then you get the girls.
  • I like the Thomas Merton of The Seven Storey Mountain. After that it was sort of guilt by association, at least: the wrong people liked him; beatnik stuff. I'd like to think he was still more orthodox than they were. Like Catholic gentleman Gene McCarthy. Merton's star seems to have faded a lot in 46 years.
  • Sailing to Byzantium. A learned if morose blogger explains why some educated Catholics like him leave for Orthodoxy. As I put it to him, "Seriously? You now think only Byzantium's the church?" I don't think he's really, in his mind and heart, converted; he's just an understandably wounded and depressed traditional Catholic maybe asking for help. I mean, if you've left, why keep gloomily blogging about the problems in the Latin Church? It seems he's fallen for the temptation of making the perfect the enemy of the good: if you live in your head too much, you start mentally making an idol, a sort of Platonic ideal of the Western liturgy against which all real forms, even the living traditional ones (such as mine), fall short. This happens in convertodoxy too: when ethnic parish life (often very Catholic-like) doesn't meet expectations, you start creating your fantasy church, maybe in an all-convert parish, maybe in a stricter jurisdiction outside of real Orthodoxy, until you burn out and lose your faith. Also a peril for us traditionalists: leaving the church for a cult with its trappings, telling you you're holier than thou; pride. What I didn't expect was the vituperation and contempt that came from some Catholic and Anglican bloggers, who seemed to take my becoming Orthodox as a sort of personal insult. Because Orthodoxy exists to hate the West. So even if you don't mean it as an insult, that's how Western Christians take it. Becoming Orthodox is a self-hating act for a Westerner. Becoming Greek Catholic, either unlatinized or latinized, is not, because you haven't turned your back on the universal church. The difference between the Russian Catholic non-Russians whose religion is all positive, out of love for the rite and culture ("We have a patriarch and bishops! They just happen not to be Catholic now"), and the negativity of the convertodox online ("papism," etc.: the spirit of schism; the "anti-" spirit that made Gerard Bugge come to his senses, among others, including yours truly). Trying to be "liberal" about it, as he is, treating Orthodoxy like a denomination, isn't fair to them: they have a rival true-church claim.


  1. One thing the Orthodox don't talk about is all the converts who become Orthodox and then leave. They have a very high turnover rate. In our case we both 'ism'd ... A number of my friends have left Orthodoxy after converting. We are all educated. It happens a lot. For all the sins of the modern Catholic Church it still gets many, many more converts than Orthodoxy. The ethnic-ghetto problem is a big issue in Oz. Scares many away.

    1. I think the retention rate is less than half, but they'll answer that with spiritual pride really: "we're the faithful remnant." The church has fulfilled the Great Commission. If God wanted the church to be limited to Eastern European and Middle Eastern cultures, as good as those are, he must really hate humanity.

      A lot of ethnic Orthodox are nice to the point of erring: denominationalism/indifferentism. "If you're Italian, be Catholic; if you're English or Australian, be Anglican, Methodist, etc. Orthodoxy is for Greeks, Russians, Serbs, et al." The convertodox pseudo-universality is taking half-understood, adopted Eastern European, etc. culture and trying to force it on the West. Self-hating. Like the beatniks who became pseudo-Buddhists or the blacks who became Muslims. A myth.

      Also we've been guilty of religious consumerism/boutique-ism. Not to go to the other extreme: "If you're born Protestant, stay Protestant." But you know what I mean.

  2. I entered the Orthodox Church about ten years ago for the wrong reasons. I didn't last there long. I got tired of all the anti-Western propaganda. At every coffee hour much of what the parishioners talked about was how horrible the Latins were. Some of the former Catholics at that parish drank the Kool-Aid, but I knew the truth. I came back to the Catholic Church. I notice within the last few years on many forums more Orthodox are joining the Catholic Church. Many are reverts, but there are also a lot of Orthodox who have never been Catholic, joining the Catholic Church. Years ago it seems to have been more in the opposite direction, but I don't notice as many Catholics going to the Orthodox Church these days. Hopefully this blogger you linked to comes back to the Catholic Church.



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