Friday, October 23, 2015

The decline from progress to escapism and more

  • Probably a sign of civilizational decline (which I say America is in and I remember the starting point, around 1973): Where technology was once a tool for exploration, today it’s a tool for retreat. I didn't see Back to the Future II so I was only remotely aware of the joke this week (the date the characters ended up in), but this is good via Rational Review. In the '50s, much technological progress was outwardly focused (while Western society was still anchored in the old values of the classical world and Catholic Europe); today's it's escapist and narcissistic. No flying cars but we have video phones and the greatest library ever in this medium. (Actually picture phones have been around quite a while. Formerly, people didn't want them, for privacy's sake; I don't always answer video calls.) Problems with social media include being an easy means of surveillance (stalking including an institutional kind, writ large) and the risk of being a substitute for a real social life (the flip side is it can be a lifeline like letters and phone calls used to be).
  • From Dale: The convertodox internalize the anti-Westernism even when they claim to remain Western. Self-hating insanity; exoticism like anti-white political correctness. The Russians are receiving a continuing Anglican parish in Northern Nevada as western (sic) rite, and one of the things they are doing is inserting an ikonostasis. Hardly western at all one suspects. Goofy is the only word that comes to mind. Westerners becoming Eastern don't offend me; some are called to that. They deserve their own saint; I nominate Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky). Obviously I think if you are so called, be it unlatinized or latinized (latinization wasn't our original plan; the Eastern Catholics did it themselves), do it in the universal church, where we don't have this pathology. In person I've rarely if ever found the Orthodox hostile to converts but given their fundamental problem of confusing their cultures with the church, blogger Stanley/Varvara makes sense from them: like the Jews, an openly tribal religion that doesn't want converts, many Orthodox don't really want them either. You can come in, and they say you can remain Western, but you really can't be Western. As the Ukrainians, Malankarese, Melkites, and others show, you can be truly Eastern and Catholic; the Pope is only tradition's caretaker (as Benedict the Great reasserted in our time), which is authentically Eastern.
  • Manosphere lesson. Roissy: Betas love the idea of “feelings” conversations because betas are romantic idealists at heart and have no understanding of the true nature of women. Betas tend to project what they themselves want to hear from women — a steady stream of sappy feelings and vows of love for the beta — onto women as something they believe women wish to hear from men, and so it is that betas fool themselves into sounding precipitously similar to women when all the women want is for the beta to act more like a cocksure, self-entitled, sexily aloof, charming, ZFG alpha man. As a business article recently said, it's not exactly the golden rule; with that you can make this mistake of projection. Rather, flatter people effectively by treating them as they want to be treated. A pretty girl has heard compliments all her life, so yours actually devalue/disqualify you to her.
  • Face to Face: Why Wendy's is succeeding while McDonald's and Burger King aren't. The kiddie image backfired.
  • Justin Trudeau. Ugh. But it's no secret Canada, like Britain, is more liberal than the U.S.
  • For Halloween: Do ghosts exist? Yes and watch out. Plus, from the Christian East, there's Fr. Seraphim (Rose)'s pious opinion that departed spirits can haunt a place for a while before the particular judgment (the aerial toll-houses). And some appearances are just like a movie, an impression left by someone's long presence or a big event.


  1. I think that link about St. Columba's is out of date. They have been Orthodox (WR) for a while and they are under the Antiochians. ROCOR doesn't do Western Rite anymore.

  2. John, the Russians are still using some form of western rite, very, very Russified, for convert parishes. Fr Andrew Philips in England has explained that it will be allowed as a temporary allowance until the Orthodox liturgy can be accepted (meaning Byzantine). Antioch appears to have stopped receiving western rite parishes and the last one received has already gone Greek, all of the western rite parishes in England, New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines are now Byzantine as well.

  3. Here are Fr Andrew's words on any non-Byzantine tradition in Byzantine Orthodoxy, and especially a western rite (one must also add that he is a very well-respected Russian priest of the ROCOR in England):

    "Whatever reservations most Orthodox have, it must be said that bishops can give their blessing for the formation and practice of a Western rite in the Orthodox Churches. This is if they consider it pastorally necessary, if, in other words, there are people who can be brought into genuine Orthodoxy through it.

    It may be that with the dissolution of Anglicanism in particular, there is now a place for a ‘Western rite’ in Orthodoxy. Despite all manner of disadvantages and difficulties, a ‘Western rite’ could perhaps fill a temporary pastoral need for some specific small groups."

  4. ROCOR still has a Western Rite. Their Western Rite Vicariate held a conference back in August. You can find out more at the following website:

    1. Thanks for the link. I stand corrected. It appears the ROCORis still tinkering with the WR.

    2. I think "tinkering" is absolutely the correct word.

  5. Meanwhile, it's good to know that at least one church is focusing on the *really* important stuff:

    Priorities, priorities! ;)

  6. Diane, this is hilarious. Many, if not most, Orthodox, following the lead of their Ecumenical Patriarch, do not have a problem with abortion, but those nasty, westernized heretics, eating potato chips...Is outrage!


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