Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I like being white

Whites should be proud of being white: of their many accomplishments. That doesn't necessarily mean picking on other races, and of course it shouldn't.

That's why I'm a casual consumer of the alt-right, as I am of the manosphere and MGTOW.

A lot of the alt-right's behavior is taking bait. "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Pick on nice whites long enough, in the name of "justice," and you get a backlash.

In other news, I don't give a toss what the HuffPo is telling me to think.

Journalism has gone down the toilet. Metro is preaching that all correct-thinking people hate and fear Trump. And forget the entertainment industry. I will never watch "SNL" again. The good news is, thanks to this medium (even though Google and Facebook are likely spying on us), the old media aren't gatekeepers of information anymore; they have no more power. I don't watch national TV news; I don't need to.

In 30 years of public life, Trump was never accused of race-baiting until he ran for office making a campaign promise to, get this, enforce the law on immigration.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ripping apart an anti-life propaganda cartoon

The original is from Everyday Feminism, a site so insufferably PC I can hardly tell if it's sincere or satirical.

"Can't we all agree on contraception?"

My take.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Catholic men on the manosphere and MGTOW

At Fisheaters:

Catholicism is about objective reality. Faith isn't a fantasyland but about seeing things as they really are.

When it comes to the sexes and relations between them, the manosphere in all its 21st-century ugliness, thanks to fallen human nature made worse by feminism, etc., is reality. Our challenge as Catholics is to deal with it as realistically but charitably as possible. In short, men, relearn to assert yourselves, and well-meaning men putting girls on a pedestal only inflate their already big egos thanks to original sin (they've been complimented/hit on all their adult lives).

This sounds like faking yourself out but it's true: if you really don't feel like you need a woman, if you're not desperately trying to be loved by one, your strength and assertiveness are more likely to attract and keep one, and a more attractive, higher-quality one than you otherwise would have gotten.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

What would I do after being elected Pope?

Once I was a priest (as a Catholic man I in theory can be elected Pope but, like St. Ambrose, I would have to jump from layman to bishop!) I would celebrate Mass "facing east" almost exclusively. Don't ban "facing the people" but come clean about its not really being historic, and lead here by example. In short, step up "reform of the reform," high-churching/recatholicizing the Novus Ordo. I would also support the Tridentine Mass, my home, by learning how to celebrate it and doing so publicly. Not much else I'd do differently except no more press conferences on planes hinting I could change the church's teaching, which the Pope can't. Like Benedict XVI I would make clear my job is only as a caretaker and defender of that teaching. Given my history and personal interest, I would be ecumenical with the Orthodox: everything that's not doctrine would be on the table, for real. I would offer them everything Fr. Chornock wanted.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christian eccentricity

The eccentrics have a lot to teach us.
To quote an old friend, despite the lefist "diversity" cant, "the business/corporate world despises eccentricity, which is why Anglo-Catholicism can be a solace." I got the benefit of that in my late teens. The real Catholic Church of course is tremendously "eccentric," far more so than Orthodoxy or Anglicanism, which arguably are monocultures really. (Anglicanism, for all its latter-day indaba-ing, is the Church of England.) We're not, even though we're based in Italy and, for now, 98% Roman Rite. About seven rites (with centuries-old communities), dozens of cultures, and characters from St. John the Baptist to the real St. Francis to seemingly crazy homeless guy St. Benedict Joseph Labré (same type as the wandering Russian pilgrims and holy fools).

Friday, December 16, 2016

Explaining the English

In the facts-delivered-with-snark tradition of Lisa Birnbach's The Official Preppy Handbook, Paul Fussell's Class, and (not read) Oliver Sacks' An Anthropologist on Mars is Kate Fox's Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour from 2004. For many normal people, it's self-aware humor*, maybe sending up themselves (what Birnbach and her friends were up to, making fun of their own class); for foreigners, even or maybe especially from other English-based countries expecting more similarity/familiarity than there is, and for natives on the autism spectrum (being a foreigner in your own land thanks to having a different kind of brain), it's useful to avoid common social misunderstandings/pitfalls.

An overview of England 12 years ago is still current considering most Americans who have never been there have an image of the country at least 40 years out of date: Dickens, Right Ho, Jeeves, Brideshead Revisited (of course I've seen it and read it), "Downton Abbey" (which I didn't follow; I understand it's politically correct revisionist in ways, such as zero religion, the anti-Brideshead), moptops, "Monty Python," and punk (which was invented in New York but the English owned it). My firsthand knowledge is only 25 years past, which isn't too bad. "Mainstream" as a putdown (an example of what the English call naff) still sounds current on both sides of the Atlantic.

Interesting points:
  • That English reserve: Fox calls it "negative politeness," giving you and everybody else a lot of personal space. That's why American-style friendliness, sticking your hand out and giving your name, doesn't work with them. The famous English banter about the (crappy) weather, and about sports, actually follows one of many unwritten rules in society, asking the other person's permission to speak to them.
  • Offsetting that reserve is that famous English humor, often self-deprecating. Like the weather talk and sports talk, a way of safely interacting, without getting too close. Me: Canada (been there), really being a British country, famously seems to have that reserve (basically, unsocial Americans who say "sorry" a lot) without the wry humor. (I love "SCTV"; I don't get "Red Green.")
  • Masters of wordplay: again, as part of interacting comfortably on the surface, the English often don't say what they mean or mean what they say.
  • Fox has noticed that her people are like the Japanese: super-capable, living on crowded islands, hierarchical and ultra-polite to keep the peace, but with unofficially sanctioned violence (from weekend nights at the pubs to soccer hooligans) to let off steam.
  • The place of the pub in society: a safety valve, the bar being the only place you can talk to strangers, but within certain bounds; very English!
  • A good deal of overlap with Fussell: the upper and upper-middle classes in England and America are very similar, as he pointed out. Unlike the "diversity" propaganda claim (anti-whiteness from certain whites!), we have a foundation culture, which is English. Me: Some of the class markers are different besides national differences in accent and slang (short version: we talk funny because English sounded very different in the 1600s when the English settled in America, as you can hear in clips of Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation; then throw in 400 years of separate development), the biggest probably being soccer. In the mother country, which created it, and most of the rest of the world, it's a prole competitive sport taken seriously. In America it's considered to have class because it's European; a non-competitive way for upper-middle-class kids to get exercise. Class insecurity: the uppers and the lower proles have nothing to prove. The upper-middles and middles are nasty/snobbish because they fear losing status: every class hates the one right below it, with cultural boobytraps to catch those trying to move up. Great quotation from Fox: social climbers aping a class they don't really know end up performing "an anagram" of that class, throwing markers together wrongly because they don't understand them. The two books share a quotation: "Mummy says pardon is a worse word than fuck."
  • Class markers are less obvious in this weird era when people buy into the egalitarian myth but they're still there (including accent, even though Received Pronunciation seems to have been waning since the Sixties), sometimes very subtle: upper-middle-class kids almost always dress down/go slumming but choose more muted, tasteful colors than the lower-class kids.
  • It's so funny because it's true: Fox on Anglicanism. As you might know, the English are irreligious, and the Church of England is really the church of "I don't care": indifferent Protestantism, lately with Catholic trappings. "Mummy, what religion are we?" "Nothing really; just write 'C of E.'" According to Fox even retired Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey (an Evangelical Anglican) has compared it to a senile aunt talking to herself. Me: But at heart England is a Catholic country with a guilty conscience, having been driven from the church by force. Reminders are everywhere for those sensitive to that (such as the old churches, the names of the old colleges, and the Catholic trappings the C of E has readopted); it haunts that country but doesn't haunt America, which doesn't have those roots. (Our Catholicism famously has become defined by non-English immigration; it's Irish-based. The remaining church in England became very Irish too but is much smaller numerically and proportionally than ours.) Reformed Christianity is a made-up religion from the 1500s which largely lost its faith at the "Enlightenment," hence the unbelieving English today.
More: Alex Gross on the differences between the two Englishes.

*Noah Webster invented American spelling out of spite after independence.

Monday, December 12, 2016

American Catholics' future and politically correct punditry

Four corners: The changing landscape of Catholicism in America. A look at who we are, where we are and where we’re headed as a Church.

American Catholic churchmen have to face the obvious that Vatican II backfired on them, assuming they even meant well. I've been to the South only a couple of times really but I've been told that the church is doing well there (thanks to transplants; corporate nomads? An unhealthy way to live but that's another discussion). What I did see down there may be unique: a Byzantine Catholic parish that's a magnet for orthodox Catholics (ex-SSPX go there), accidentally reaching beyond its Ruthenian ethnic border. Here in our old stronghold, the Northeast, we're sharply declining, the church having spent down all the financial and social capital it earned and accumulated before the council. (Closed or merged churches and schools, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is about to sell its big seminary campus.) We'll bottom out here (haven't hit bottom yet), not disappearing but ending up much smaller, but orthodox, even quasi-traditionalist, because the liberals are literally dying out, among the young only the orthodox still go to church, and conservative Catholics tend to have kids.

Reading churchmen preach "diversity" (although the church has many cultures; I object to the lie that America doesn't have a foundation culture, anti-white nonsense) and "perpetual change," leftist staples (take people's support systems away to break them down so you can control them), is worrisome. Cut it out!

For some reason, despite many years of prediction, "Hispanics"* aren't the Next Big Thing in American politics or American Catholicism, and I'm 1/4 Hispanic so that's not malice from me.

Photo: Charismatics, the other American Catholics besides us (quasi-)traditionalists who still go to Mass, although that movement seems to be waning. Know what? I don't mind this. As long as you don't disrupt the service, this and my high churchmanship aren't mutually exclusive. Rites are partly to teach and partly to keep order in church. For home devotion, almost anything goes: mix rites, have your own saints such as deceased relatives and friends, etc.

*Too big a catchall to mean much, although sharing Latin culture and the church means something. But it's like saying all English-speakers are alike.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Backhanded testimony

Tom Hanks joined and regularly attends a church that publicly opposes gay marriage. When he got married he joined the Greek Orthodox Church and I have seen YouTubes of him celebrating the Pascha/Easter liturgy. But the liberals won't attack him because he is also a leftist person.
I see it as backhanded testimony that Orthodoxy is not the church. I'll 'fess up: a little over 20 years ago I liked a traditionalism that seemed cool, acceptable to the mainstream, unlike Catholic traditionalists. I wanted to be liked. So I became Orthodox. The powers that be have no problem with the Orthodox because the Orthodox are harmless to them; underneath the traditional liturgy, the Orthodox sold out long ago. State control of churches, divorce and remarriage, and now contraception: what's next? So all that's okay, but we might not be baptized because we weren't in their empire and aren't in their culture. Sure.

The devil doesn't bother attacking things and people he already owns.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

A blast of high churchmanship

Wow. At first I thought this was Cardinal Burke. It's at St. Silas, Kentish Town in London (their patronal festival in July), part of an Anglo-Catholic Anglicanism that was "Romanized" or even Anglo-Papalist (the former don't believe everything in Catholicism but love our liturgy; the latter said they believe all we do). I guess they're Romanizers, because when offered the chance to come into the church they remained in the Church of England; alas. In Philadelphia, St. Clement's is like this. It's vacillated between Romanized and Anglo-Papalist; now it's Episcopal in fact as well as in name (I don't go there anymore) so Romanized it is. In some cases, such people were the only ones in town doing this stuff, so while pushing a true-church claim against us (what most Anglo-Catholics were about) is wrong, thanks.

Oddly, no maniples, so they're not following the Tridentine Mass (I knew that about this place), even though you can use them in the Ordinary Form.

SSPX "poachers" and confusing form and substance

From Church Militant: SSPX poachers. The SSPX has a habit of luring the faithful away from diocesan-approved Traditional Latin Masses.

I sought out and went to the SSPX for a year in the '80s when there was no diocesan-approved traditional Latin Mass. They do much good, often being the only kind of Catholic orthodoxy in their area, and we have the old Mass back in the official church thanks to them. (That is, thanks to church authorities reacting to them.) The article is essentially right (the SSPX does confuse form and substance; don't leave the church even for an apparent good such as the traditional Mass; a good thing put above the church becomes an idol) but let me explain. In the '70s through the '90s, the ruling liberals in most of the American Catholic Church, besides often being heretical ("Jesus isn't God, the church is fallible, the Eucharist is just a symbolic meal," political correctness), were just as culturally idolatrous and self-righteous as we traditionalists are accused of. They told aspiring high churchmen such as me (born Episcopal, which although it is usually just as liberal as our liberals, isn't anti-high church; "high and wide," they often worship like we do) that we were bad (sinning, leaving the church) and/or mentally ill (Pope Francis' cracks about "rigidity" are more of the same; by the way, the Pope's opinions don't matter) for wanting to worship as had been done for centuries and well reflecting all our teachings. The church may be defectible and fallible in their view, but by God, they said, they were the church and we were to obey. No wonder I left the church for a long time (even doing the unthinkable, returning to an Episcopal parish: conservative, left in relative peace because of semi-congregationalism, and not rigid/self-righteous nor condescending; Anglo-Catholicism is almost the right faith, taught by the wrong side). Part of it was I was confusing form and substance, but that's exactly how Catholic liberals presented things to me in the '80s (their form "was" the church; take it or leave it). I don't mind if some Catholics want to be low-church (low and modern but not heretical: Catholic charismatics, the other American Catholics who still go to Mass); I object to the pathology I just described (which Thomas Day describes perfectly, with roots going back to before Vatican II) as well as to heresy. The church has several rites (and sub-rites such as the Novus Ordo) and many schools of spirituality and speculation, which don't always like each other even though all are Catholic. The first English Novus Ordo was borderline heretical (because of the dumb idea of "dynamic equivalence," paraphrasing, not translating); Benedict XVI "the Great" (not even that conservative, just Catholic) corrected that. Now, I have no conscience problem with the new Mass; as long as it's by the book, we're good. (The earliest, lowest Sunday Mass has been a mainstay for 45+ years for orthodox Catholics with no other official option.)

I belong to a parish 15 minutes from home that's conservative and has the Tridentine Mass as its main Sunday Mass, which I go to most of the time, and, having been Russian Orthodox (the Orthodox make the mistake too of confusing a culture with the whole church; a good traditional culture entirely Catholic), I also support the nearest Byzantine Catholic parish, which happens to be Ukrainian, going to it 12 times a year (one Sunday a month). (By the way, my first traditional Catholic Mass in person over 30 years ago was Ukrainian, one of the only places in the official church where traditional worship was still tolerated.) Been active as a Catholic again for five years and will go to a liberal parish to cover my Sunday or holy-day obligation. Grounded in small-o orthodoxy and, I dare say, far more "openness" than any Catholic liberal showed to me.

Looking to the right of the SSPX, the sedevacantist scenario can happen. (Again, given "Catholic" liberals' arrogance, presuming to speak for the church, no wonder since the '70s some traditionalists have thought apocalyptically.) It hasn't so far.

I've known enough "religious" people in my half-century on earth, and tried being one, to realize that much of the time it's just a prop, a game, or entertainment, like a hobby; left and right. Goofball clergy including Popes aren't my problem; God saw fit not to call me to be a priest so they're not my bosses, thank God. Don't get me wrong; I believe. I don't have much religion, but the religion I have is Catholic, culturally before 1965, and I don't settle for imitations.

Most Catholics use the new Mass and don't want Latin. Pope Benedict's Mass delivers the goods and comforts many, but it is not my home. The gates of hell can't prevail against Rome; I'm confident that the reform of the reform will eventually win. (Familiar to me; it's a lot like Anglo-Catholics unprotestantizing the old Book of Common Prayer.) The Tridentine Mass will keep going as a minority. Kids realize liberal Christianity isn't worth a second thought; the few religious kids want real religion.

P.S. Latin is great; long a common second language for European intellectuals, a template for sound theology and liturgy in the West, and pretty, the Romance languages' mother. "Sacred languages" are just something people naturally do. (English-speaking Protestants did it with the King James Bible.) But traditionalism isn't about Latin. Witness the Eastern rites plus Anglo-Catholics translating our services, reflected in the practices of the ordinariates.

Update: A sharp reader points out that "diocesan-approved traditional Latin Masses" simply means "traditional Latin Masses in the official church." Thanks to Benedict the Great's Summorum Pontificum, we don't need the bishop's permission.