Spectres of Holiday
Re-reading The Moviegoer


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Okay by me.


It's only reasonable that non-people should be removed or sequestered somewhere. Certainly not allowed to vote etc.

Well, I have obviously missed something.


With a few semantic tweaks your syllogism is an almost perfect summary of the argument made by Jewish philosopher Berel Lang in his essay "Genocide and Kant's Enlightenment." He argues in great detail that the modernist idea of a universal humanity, coupled with the belief that justice must therefore apply equally to every single human, leads to the idea that for persons to be intentionally treated "unjustly" they must first be declared in some sense non-human. And it is this which opens the door to the possibility of genocide.

I wasn't thinking as grimly as genocide, but the thinking can certainly point that way. So, Janet, while it may be ok by us to be shut out of something we no longer feel a part of, we may not be left alone.

The thought was prompted by the same-sex marriage thing. I see it as a logical absurdity, like saying that a circle can have corners. It's other things too, but to me that's always been the fundamental problem. Yet not only do large numbers of people not see that, but there is a strong impulse to drive out of society those who do see it, at least if they say so.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.”


Whether or not your society is sliding into soft totalitarianism.

By the way in discussing this I'm not especially concerned about my own welfare. I'm fairly old and I don't have to worry about things like losing my job. Unless things get really bad really fast it won't have that much effect on me. It's the state of civilization in general that I'm thinking about. It could be heading into a long dark age, and what the consequences of a very much diminished Christian presence will mean for souls I don't know.

Yes, exactly. I'm only a few years from retirement myself and plan to move at some point to a small town in the country and live out my days with books, music, and a garden, with family not too far away. But I truly grieve for what the world is rapidly becoming, and this will affect not only my daughter and any potential grandchildren, but other people's children too.

Me, too. One of the worst things for me is the fact that so many powerful people no longer see the whole American system and culture as something good that always needs to be made better, but as something bad that needs to be replaced. Too few people really grasped the implications of rhetoric like Obama's "fundamentally transform."

St. Polycarp was martyred when he was 86!

So there’s hope for me.

Rob G,

You have basically described my life, although one if my kids is way too far away. I just wanted to say that when you get that house in the country, make sure it doesn't have too much grass. ;-)

This is the voice of experience.


Sometimes I wish I could get out from under my writing compulsion. I could enjoy books and music more, and my yard would not be the huge mess it is.

All of a sudden, I feel so much better about my yard, Maclin. Thank you.

Happy to be of service. :-)

Actually, please pray for my family. We have had a lot of difficulty in the last three years and things seem to be getting worse, although I seem to see the hand of Providence in our latest situation. All the same, I had hoped to have a restful couple of months and that may not happen now. This is pretty upsetting tbh.

I will. I'm very sorry to hear that.

Thanks, Maclin.

I missed these last comments. Louise, I will pray for you.

So, now it is Wednesday, January 6, and I'm sitting here wondering if it will be conservatives that destroy the Constitution.


I wouldn't call these people conservatives.

I started to say so-called conservatives.


I didn't know what y'all were talking about till I looked at Facebook. God help us.

The anarchist wing of the Trump Party? They don't know what conservative means, or much else.

Stu, agreed

Is this going to be one of those symbolic moments, like the Boston Tea Party? If so, what it will symbolize will be the end of the American idea.

Can't help thinking that if Trump had won in a close election the extremists on the other side would be doing something like the same thing. In some ways this is like the lead-up to the Civil War. The extremists on both sides were, as always, the squeakiest wheels and the voices of those calling for moderation were lost in the din. Here's hoping that the coolest heads on both sides will prevail.

The one good thing that might come of this is that those clowns in Washington may finally realize that lots of people are not happy with their governance. For all the negatives of the DT presidency, one positive thing it did was to bring to the surface middle America's disenchantment with current economic, cultural, and foreign policy trends. Trump's "populism" was no doubt widely overrated, but at very least it did hit upon some important truths. As the saying goes, even a blind squirrel, etc.,etc.

"Can't help thinking that if Trump had won in a close election the extremists on the other side would be doing something like the same thing. "

That's surely true. The really insidious thing is that they did in fact do something similar, but via the tools of government itself. As Andrew McCarthy and others have said.

And for many months left-wing riots were excused, described as "mostly peaceful" , which they were, but which rather misses the point. Yesterday was mostly peaceful, too, in terms of numbers.

I agree of course about Trump's significance. Unfortunately he has probably damaged more than helped that cause. In the end he's responsible for yesterday.

"Trump Did This"


And he did it in more ways than the immediate ones mentioned there. When he won in 2016 I held out some hope that he would rise to the office. That hope didn't last long.

If the VP and half the Cabinet tell Congress the 25th Amendment should be invoked, apparently it would be a done deal. Then for 21 days he would have no power, and he is POTUS for less than that. Heard somebody on NPR this morning answering questions on how this works.

I would certainly approve of such a move. He is mentally ill as far as I'm concerned. Everything that happened with the BLM craziness over the summer....I do not believe any elected officials were egging on rioters.

Actually they were, but they were fairly small potatoes, and not the president. And the riots were constantly ignored or excused or downplayed by the Democrats, which now includes most of the press. But that doesn't in any way justify what happened yesterday.

As you may or may not remember, one of the first things I wrote about Trump back in 2016 was "Donald Trump is not right in the head." I can definitely see an argument for invoking the 25th, but I see that this morning Trump is backing off, saying that there will be "an orderly transition of power" on the 20th. So let's hope the frenzy is over.

Most of the people I know on the right, from consciously philosophical conservatives who read National Review etc. to people who just naturally incline in that direction, are quite level-headed. But there are a few exceptions. I just saw a Facebook post: "Remember Pence took the nanotech vaccine. He is under their control."

And then, from the left, also on Facebook: a picture of protesters lying on the floor of the capitol at police gunpoint, with the caption "Shoot them."

Doesn’t the vaccine use nano-tech? I wouldn’t get the covid jab if I was paid good money.

As for Pence et al, it seems they are under Democrat control one way or another. They disgust me. It seems obvious that the election was stolen. That seems to be an end of the republic (although I thought it ended with same sex “marriage” in 2015). Not that Australia is any better. Probably worse.

Thanks very much, Janet. It’s pretty dire.

“Nanotech” is a very broad term that applies to anything at that level of teeny-tinieness. I’m pretty sure that nanobots are still mostly science fiction. The idea that they could be used to control one’s mind is way beyond that. I’m a bit concerned about it because it was developed so quickly but not about it turning me into a zombie Democrat. :-)

And about the election: I think it's likely there was some fraud. But it's a long leap to claim that it was enough to swing the election. Several pro-Trump people, like Andrew McCarthy of National Review, have pointed this out. And I really doubt that there's a reasonable basis for Trump's claim he actually won in a landslide. That's just more of the b.s. that helped make him so popular with some and so hated by others. I hold him fundamentally responsible for his loss. I think he could have won, in spite of all the media distortions etc., if he could have stifled his inner jerk more often and more successfully.

And I've had the impression all along that the one thing he cannot endure is losing, which makes his self-sabotage ironic. He will most likely never admit that he lost the election.

I tend to agree with you about the significance of the same-sex marriage thing. Not so much the thing itself, but what it says about the state of the culture. But I felt pretty sure that battle was going to be lost long before it was, fifteen or so years ago when even Christians were saying "how would it hurt my marriage?" In my experience if a person doesn't see the fundamental contradiction in saying that two people of the same sex can be married, then he or she has lost sight of the basic concept. If it only means that two people love each other, then sure, anybody can "marry" anybody. (And why should it be limited to two?)

In about 2005 I interviewed a very prominent law professor for a Catholic publication. This law professor said that the pro-life cause would eventually win out, but that the gay marriage battle had already been lost. That was in 2005, mind you. There was already "no hope."

Yes, that’s the same period I was thinking of. He was right of course. I remember specifically reading Amy Welborn’s blog one day and seeing comments from practicing Catholics saying they didn’t see any objection, and thinking “we’re going to lose this argument.” More like “have already lost.”

You are a sexual, Mac

Change that to"sexist"

:-) No doubt, but I didn't say the people saying that were female. As I recall it was actually a mix at the time. Amy's blog was kind of a locus of Catholic discussion about church, politics, and so forth. Not nearly as much so now.

This is the sexist sentence. "He was right of course."

Oh, I see. The law professor was a woman?

I didn't say that.🙂

Sorry, let me change that. The law professor may have been of any gender, and it was despicable of me to assume which of the many available may have been appropriate for that person at that time, nor is that meant to imply that they are not now of another gender.

Ha! I remember how bizarre it was back in the 80's to see George Winston's disclaimer on his "Christmas" record December: "The inclusion of religious works on this record do not imply the acceptance or endorsement of any religion." That's not verbatim (I don't have the album handy to look for it) but it was something to that effect. I can remember being both annoyed and amused the first time I read it.

I remember a quip from someone back when the "inclusive language" debate was raging. Something about inclusive language never being completely victorious so long as a woman would not jump into a cage labeled "Man-eating tiger."

Or swim where there were man-eating sharks.

I played that George Winston album sometime during the holidays, and said to my wife that the disclaimer you mention was the first occurrence I remember noticing of the squeamishness about the association between Christmas and Winter Holiday.

By the way, my pronouns are "mac" and "mac".

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