Jammin’ in the Kingdom with Chris Cornell [from Progarchy]

And I’m lost, behind
The words I’ll never find
And I’m left behind
As seasons roll on by

Thus far, 2017 has been a rather amazing year when it comes to rock and prog.  PROG magazine is back and better than ever.  Thank the Good Lord for Jerry Ewing.

The music releases–already and forthcoming–this year are nothing less than stunning.  Big Big Train has released the finest of the band’s career, and The Tangent’s new release has yet to come.  Steven Wilson is coming out with a progressive pop album, and newspaperflyhunting and Bjorn Riis have, as with BBT, released the best thing either’s written and done, thus far in their respective careers.  There’s a new Anathema that is pretty good, and Steve Hogarth seems, at the moment, unstoppable with Marillion as well as with Isildur’s Bane.

Now I want to fly above the storm
But you can’t grow feathers in the rain
And the naked floor is cold as hell
This naked floor reminds me
Oh the naked floor reminds me

As I type this (having just returned from a conference on libertarian thought in 1840’s France), I have just received in the mail two grand packages.  The first I opened is Steven Wilson’s remix of Jethro Tull’s SONGS FROM THE WOODS.  The second is Aryeon’s signed five-disk ear-book, THE SOURCE.  Honestly, I’m not sure how to react with anything that would be regarded as decorous.  I’m a 13-year old boy, at the moment, just having had my first listen of MOVING PICTURES.

Holy schnikees.

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Kate Bush, This Woman’s Work

One of my favorite songs from the 1980s, made famous by the great John Hughes.

Our Present Totalitarianism

rak on ideology as slavery.001

I’m not sure it really matters what we want to label it–democratic despotism, managerial tyranny, soft fascism, a variety of communism–we definitely live in a world that no longer respects basic Natural Rights and true diversity (that is, of the individual human person).

Whatever form of government it is in terms of a label, we live in a society that regulates and controls and watches us from the moment we awake to the moment we fall asleep, from the moment we come into this world until the moment we leave this world.

Group has replaced person, unreason has replaced reason, and power has replaced love.

We have our many, many (some excellent) entertainments–but, ultimately, each serves as a mere distraction from what matters most–our autonomy, our free will, and our growth and maturation.

And, believe it or not, I’m actually in a good mood today.

Final Day of American Heritage Class

Washington as victor from PATRIOT SAGE, ed. by Gary Gregg and Matt Spalding.


Faith as Struggle and Mother Mary as Comfort

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The Lady.

Three years later, this essay rings just as true.  Still struggling, still relying. . .

Of those I admired most—that is, the Catholics who bore witness to all of the love and best of Christianity—they each held a special devotion to the holy eucharist and to Jesus’ mother. These two devotions have always impressed me. While I certainly thought and think some Catholics take their love of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, too far and into dangerous territory (but, really, who am I to judge?), I have always found those who didn’t love Mary far more perplexing. In my own life, I have flirted with a number of other religions, both east and west. But, what held me back from becoming Protestant has always been what seems to be the unreality of ignoring or, at best, neglecting Mary. I’m fairly certain that if I ever leave Catholicism, it will be toward the East, not the West. Toward Constantinople, not Geneva.

With the Mr. Wilson, I can easily sing: “God only knows what I’d be without you.” With Mr. McCartney, “Mother Mary, comfort me.”

For the full piece, go here: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/05/oh-white-lady-faith-struggle.html

Happy May Day!

April is the cruelest month, but May is the month of our beloved mother, Mary.


         Out of the mouth of the Mother of God
          Like a little word come I;
          For I go gathering Christian men
          From sunken paving and ford and fen,
          To die in a battle, God knows when,
          By God, but I know why.

          "And this is the word of Mary,
          The word of the world's desire
          'No more of comfort shall ye get,
          Save that the sky grows darker yet
          And the sea rises higher.'"

          Then silence sank. And slowly
          Arose the sea-land lord,
          Like some vast beast for mystery,
          He filled the room and porch and sky,
          And from a cobwebbed nail on high
          Unhooked his heavy sword.

American Heritage Final Study Guide 2017

Final possibilities, Spring 2017, American Heritage; Dr. Bradley Birzer

This comprehensive final examination covers all assigned readings, all handouts, all lectures, etc.

Section 1.  Possible Essay Questions.  Two of the following will appear.  Worth 40% of your final exam grade.

  • Through a strange series of mishaps, H.G. Wells grabs Aristotle and transports him to Washington, D.C., May 2017.  H.G. Wells moves on, but Aristotle has coffee with a historian (who shall remain nameless, but who teaches at a small, traditional college with very bright students in the upper American Midwest).  The historian explains to the ancient Greek philosopher how much he and his ideas have shaped and influenced the development of American politics and culture.  What exactly does the historian tell Aristotle?
  • Through a strange series of mishaps, George Washington, during his second administration, finds himself in the Woods between the Worlds.  He steps into the pool leading to Washington, D.C., May 2017.  Once there, he encounters Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts.  Roberts—in an objective fashion—explains to the first president the state of the world and the history of the United States since roughly 1800.  What does Washington think of the history of the country he made for us?
  • Through a strange series of mishaps, Lenin does not actually reside in his tomb in Red Square.  That “honor” belongs to some poor schlep that inconveniently happened to look like Lenin.  Instead, two just aliens, Kudos and Kang, abducted Lenin prior to his death.  They deposit him (alive) in Chicago, Illinois, in May 2017.  Tried for crimes against humanity in the twentieth century, Lenin sits anxiously as a number of witnesses walk through and testify: Pol Pot, Stalin, Whittaker Chambers, Ronald Reagan, Russell Kirk, and Pope John Paul II.  What do they say?  And, what is the verdict?

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