Found on Althouse today, “the most complete people are those who, as Chesterton wrote, have “permitted the twilight . . . with one foot in earth and the other in fairyland.”…
I do not pretend to be complete, not even on my most effulgent days, but I definitely have a foot in fairyland. And many of my companions are disembodied.
An extraordinary gathering of 75 attractive, upper-middle-class white women of a certain age testified in a DC hotel today, Friday, September 21st. Here’s the gist of it: there is no better male character on earth than that of Brett Kavanaugh’s. The man they knew, and knew well, is incapable of the brutish behavior of which he stands accused.
But here’s the thing. Who’s to say what happened? By all accounts of the culture around those private schools in the DC ‘burbs in the early 80’s was fraught with sex, drugs, and lashings of alcohol. The accuser’s private school yearbook illustrates a girls-gone-wild world, where black-out drunk was the goal every party night, and Professor Ford was an enthusiastic participant.
As anyone who experienced a high school of privilege knows, social pressure is more intense because it is directly related to future advancement. Fall out of favor, and you aren’t just a loner, you’re knocked out of the procession towards a life of success and wealth. Despite Kavanaugh’s sterling reputation, I find it plausible that one night, in an attempt to fit in, he made an awkward, horseplay-like attempt to ‘get some’ from one of the heavily self-advertised village tarts. We will never know. It is impossible to know. Everyone was drunk and it happened 36 years ago. Without evidence or a pattern of behavior on the part of the accused, it’s a wash.
Two versions of women are herewith presented for younger women to observe and judge and decide who to emulate. Hysteria, victimhood, screaming as you are hauled out of committee rooms or a sound and balanced life with children, husband, job, good hairdressers, $75,000 cars, frequent vacations, and a life of praise connected to work that serves the culture?
I’m pretty sure who is going to win this one.
The New York Review of Books published a 3400-word essay by the CBC radio host who used to beat the crap out of his sexual partners. Somehow I don’t think the smarm…correction…charm is going to work. The New York Review’s meticulous take-downs of the shaggy orange monster must not be getting enough traffic. This is one of several recent essays by or about literary or academic stars who like to punish their putative inferiors. Makes their scene even less appetizing, grubby socialist egomaniacs in muck-filled apartments inveigling against the super-culture while begging for pennies and viciously tormenting their admirers. To cap it, that sad, bug-eyed creature, Joyce Maynard, who became JD Salinger’s dollface at the age of 18 (a million years ago) has published yet another book about her torment at the hands of the great man. “Predator or Prey?” asks The New York Times. Ptooie on all of you. Your moral authority fled several Presidents ago. All that’s left is smut and grease stains.
This morning we were treated to ex-journalist and George Soros sycophant. Christia Freeland, giving a press conference on how very very very complex trade negotiations are, so hard us punters just won’t get it, not in a million billion years. We just that stupid. Most of Canada watched with a jaundiced eye. Most of us think she is dragging her feet so that either a) Trump loses the mid-terms and Democrats in Congress will save us or b) the Liberal Party of Canada can come up with the soothing ads and rationales required to ramp down the anger of every interest group they are about to betray.
The Quebec dairy cartel, which charges 300% more for milk etc than similar producers in the US, is supposedly the source of all of young Trudeau’s wealth, nor can he be re-elected if their scam is put to sleep. Not to mention the blowback from the various grifting wheat and egg boards, cartel dinosaurs left over from WW2, when Canada was supplying actual armies. [epq-quote align=”align-right”]Supply management is institutional thievery which has benefited a few farmers and ruined most others, as well as eliminating any possibility of innovation in food supply. [/epq-quote] Equally the Liberals have sworn protection to our “culture” industries, which is to say the publishers and filmmakers who would not exist without the hefty subsidies they receive for their product, which languishes on shelves and in limbo no matter how much subsidized PR is put behind them. We produce crap art, lots and lots of it. No one wants it, no one buys it, no one watches it. All of it pushes government control of everything, hatred of our founding culture, hatred of all business, hatred of capitalism, and white males are always the villains. I suspect libraries and students on university courses are the only reliable purchasers of Canadian product, that and the many many sad individuals who subsist on grants and loans and little gifts from Ottawa. They are the Liberal Party’s badly paid goons, ready to go to war if their stipends are threatened.
There is nothing “free” about the Canadian economy. It is all subsidized by the relatively small percentage laboring away in the private sector who have seen no real growth in their wages since the 70’s. Why is Canada’s housing stock so stunted and mean compared to the US? Because the government sucks up all the wealth in the country, and uses it to lavish themselves with endless percs and treats and special foundations and institutes when they retire. [epq-quote align=”align-left”]I recently met a retired bureaucrat who receives $54 million a year to run his foreign policy shop out of one of our universities. A staggering waste of money on one egomaniac’s retirement project. [/epq-quote]
We lost 52,000 jobs in August, while the US gained 210,000. If our economy was the size of the US, we lost 520,000 jobs. Imagine if the US lost 520,000 jobs in a month? All hell would break loose. Their wages went up 3.9%, ours haven’t gone up in five years, and in fact, last week’s bonkers decision on the latest mothballed pipeline sent another 8,000 families to the unemployment line. If you add in the multiplier effect of that decision, probably 8 to 1, that’s 160,000 people directly negatively affected, not to mention investors whose portfolio just lost 1/3 of its value and government tax rolls which just lost all the potential revenue from the pipeline and its flow-thru. Our only reliable competitive advantage, Alberta’s oil sands have been effectively land-locked.
If the Liberals decide to walk away from a new trade agreement, we will lose the auto manufacturing to Ohio and Michigan, which will immediately assure Trump’s re-election, so don’t tell me he isn’t aware of that. Our GDP will drop 2.2%, Ontario will go into a deep recession because it will have lost its keystone manufacturing industry which will never come back. Never. Ontario already has the largest sub-sovereign debt among western economies, it is broker than California, which is, so brokety-ass broke, actual taxpayers are fleeing the state in hordes. Without trade, there is no way that Ontario can pay its government pensions, not to mention medical liabilities to its aging residents, if the auto industry collapses.
We have 19 more months of this clown-car government. We are so very very screwed.
At this time of year, I go to town hoping that the tourists have swept out in a giant wave leaving the island to me and the 10,000 others that call it home. More like 6,000 really, because a good third of the houses are second or third homes for the ever-busy rich who come each year to piggyback on our country vibe and stare into the void from their ocean-side cottages and glass and steel modernist homes.
Each year, the waning tide leaves behind a few new residents, blinking and staring with shock that they have left city life and moved to Hicksville. House prices are so high in neighboring cities now that if you bought one at the right time, you can sell it at the age of 50 and never have to work again.
I always wonder what they will find to do, these new people, especially the women with their idiosyncratic clothing, newly messy hair, their nods to Bohemia in their crafty handbags, to status with their $50,000 cars. There they are locked up in their glass, wood and stone mini-palaces, all the finishes gleaming and new, the gardens planted and irrigated with 30 years ahead of them and enough money to do anything they want.
Travel of course. At first, they travel and visit, pretty much ceaselessly. They develop a travel routine. In the winter, we go here, in the spring, here, and we never miss….etc. The eternal chatter of the upper middle class. We did this special thing. Then we did that special thing. And Tuscany offseason is so charming. Well you know, he plays golf incessantly so Palm Desert, sigh. I make do with tennis and swimming and of course, the art galleries.
My mother’s generation and her mother’s generation did some of that, but what occupied them chiefly was charity as it used to be called before it was professionalized. I think of my great-aunts, who never worked, but who never sat down either. BB, my great-aunt ran every charity reserved for women in Vancouver, one after the other after the other. She died at 86, after a meeting no doubt, six months after her husband, who also, never sat down because he too worked for others dawn to way after dusk.
They were engaged, deeply in the lives of the people they lived among. They knew every corner of their cities and towns, every struggling family, every aching need. From their organized minds flowed endless projects, community centers, fleets of cars for nurses, hospices and institutes for the deaf and the blind and so on and so forth. When they and their generational cohort died, the city became, in a few short decades, raucous and anonymous and brutal.
There is a theory out there that people are returning to the lives their grandparents lived. It even has a name, ‘The Great Return’. Joel Kotkin writes about it, as does Aaron Renn, and Wendell Cox, their work gathered on a site called New Geography. The Return is a rejection of densification in the cities, a rejection of the casual acceptance of crime, of enduring gang murders in the neighborhoods that you avoid, knifings and acid attacks on the subway, the percolation of fear just under the surface. It is a hope for sanity, intimacy, safety, home. It will never die.
So I carry a torch for these newly-freed women, excessive only in their competence. Women used to create culture in their homes and neighborhoods before they got themselves liberated to work even harder. After holding down a good job in a demanding profession and raising three kids, retiring at 55 seems bloody necessary. But then…time in all its resounding emptiness faces you. Time you must fill.
This sociological wrinkle in time might yet save us and our oh-so-ordinary-and-good middle-class culture which remains the hope of the entire world.
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