His editor reveals it here.
Brian is a great guy, a good Christian and a good writer. I hope everyone buys his new book.
His editor reveals it here.
Brian is a great guy, a good Christian and a good writer. I hope everyone buys his new book.
Even the far-left
CIA mag “newspaper” sees the writing on the wall:
At a moment when the country has never seemed angrier, two political commentators from opposite sides of the divide concurred recently on one point that was once nearly unthinkable: The country is on the verge of “civil war.”
First came former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova, a Fox News regular and ally of President Trump’s. “We are in a civil war,” he said. “The suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over. . . . It’s going to be total war.”
The next day, Nicolle Wallace, a former Republican operative turned MSNBC commentator and Trump critic, played a clip of diGenova’s commentary on her show and agreed with him — although she placed the blame squarely on the president.
The article has the usual, idiotic biases. They try to blame all this on Trump, which is absurd. The Left really can’t see it’s own role in dialing the current tensions up to eleven. They will be shocked when the blood starts flowing.
The great Hsu has a new series that is wroth the watch:
Looking forward to this.
A new documentary about Crisper is out:
This will be a bigger revolution than nuclear power.
Tim Pool says the left is getting more centrist:
Conor Dugan reviews an important book on the man who made the new mass:
Fifty years ago this April, Pope St. Paul VI issued the Apostolic Constitution, Missale Romanum, which promulgated the Novus Ordo Missae, the New Rite of the Roman Mass. The Novus Ordo went into effect the first Sunday of Advent, November 30, 1969. This new missal was the culmination of efforts set into motion by the first of the four constitutions promulgated by the Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, which called for the Latin Rite’s “liturgical books . . . to be revised as soon as possible” to employ “experts . . . on the task” and to consult the bishops of various parts of the world in the revisions. To say that the faithful’s experience of worship changed in the period from 1963 through 1969 is an understatement. The language, gestures, orientation, and much else in the Mass changed—sometimes overnight.
How did the Church go from the Sacrosanctum Concilium to the Novus Ordo? What was the process that led from that Constitution, promulgated on November 22, 1963, to the Novus Ordothat went into effect just six years later? It is to these questions that Yves Chiron, a noted-French historian and writer, directs himself in his newly-translated book Annibale Bugnini: Reformer of the Liturgy.
The late-Archbishop Bugnini, was the Italian Vincentian who served as the influential secretary of the Consilium ad exsequendam Constiutionem de Sacra Liturgia (the Committee for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy). Chiron’s work is both a biography of Bugnini and a succinct overview of the Consilium’s work in implementing and imposing the liturgical reform that gave us the Novus Ordo and the current Liturgy of the Hours.
Chiron’s work is equal parts impressive and depressing. It is impressive because Chiron avoids both polarizing starting points and conclusions, shows a great command of the primary sources, and in under 200 pages gives a succinct overview of the Consilium’s work. Chiron’s biography is a sober, objective, and well-researched account. His Bugnini is no bogeyman
The most interesting part of the review:
Bugnini’s final years
In Chiron’s final two chapters, he discusses Bugnini’s fall from grace and eventual service as Apostolic Nuncio to Iran. Bugnini seems to have served ably and nobly as the nuncio. And, as relations between the Vatican and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his Society of Saint Pius X worsened, Archbishop Bugnini urged restraint and mercy. He even “suggested that the celebration of the traditional Mass might be authorized,” subject to certain conditions. The Vatican rejected this advice. On a visit to Rome for medical care in 1982, Bugnini died of an embolism. He was buried with the epitaph: “Liturgiae amator et cultor”—Lover and Supporter or Cultivator of the Liturgy.
I may have to read the book. The last two chapters sound especially interesting.
John William Sullivan get’s it at First Things:
A s 2019 begins, one useful way to take stock of world events is to compare the outcomes of two recent elections: the election of Donald Trump as United States president and that of Emmanuel Macron as French president.
I decided to trawl through the archives of an establishment liberal newspaper and see what it said about these two men just after they rose to power. I chose The Financial Times—first, because it is a bastion of liberal globalism, found on the desks of C-level executives across the world. Second, it is based in London, not in the U.S. or France.
After each election, The Financial Times published editorials on both candidates—November 10, 2016, for Trump and May 9, 2017, for Macron. Though the paper’s editors are not given to crude rhetoric, the double standards are glaring. They tell us that Trump is a “political neophyte with a simple slogan,” and a “real-estate mogul with no experience in government.” Trump’s failing, according to the Financial Times, is that he is new to the scene and has never before held office. But in the paper’s editorial on Macron, his failing is the French president’s strength: “Macron’s achievement, becoming the youngest ever occupant of the Élysée Palace with no experience of elected office… is astonishing.”
The double standard is not as interesting as what the two candidates are said to represent. Trump’s worldview is a “failure” because it does not embrace “the free movement of capital, goods and labour.” Meanwhile Macron’s program is said to “appeal to voters’ intelligence” with its “liberal, centrist response to the populist politics of national identity and protectionism.” The only concern the editors express about Macron is that he is insufficiently hard-line in pursuing the reforms he has promised.
Hindsight is a powerful clarifier. Macron has indeed pursued his “reform” with gusto. Meanwhile, Trump has pursued his program with equal robustness. But in 2019, the outcomes of these programs could not be more different.
France is on fire. This is not a metaphor. We have all seen the pictures of flames rising from a Paris engulfed in riots. Moreover, France is on fire precisely due to Macron’s “reforms.” In the U.S., however, the worst that can be said is that an overextended stock market is experiencing some volatility due to Wall Street’s dislike of Trump’s trade policies.
Read the whole thing. The gap between our elite culture and the Average Joe’s culture is staggering. They really don’t know what’s coming.
Let’s suppose you, like most people, would like to get married and start a family. Let’s suppose further that, like most people, you want the best possible partner you could find.
Now, let’s further suppose that by “best possible partner” we mean a person who brings you what I’ll call “maximal possible happiness.” Happiness, in this case, being on a spectrum where some people make you slightly more happy and some exceptionally more happy.
Now, suppose you meet someone who makes you slightly more happy. They are not your “perfect” match. They will not and cannot bring you maximum happiness. But they can make you slightly more happy than you would be without them.
Now, let’s suppose you marry this person and become slightly more happy than you would have had you not married them. Would you be grateful for your improved happiness, however slight? Or would you be upset with yourself for not attaining maximal happiness?
Now, let suppose suppose you marry this person and are slightly happier than you would have been otherwise. But suppose that your marriage makes your partner maximally happy–that is, while your partner only gives you a slight boost from your baseline happiness, you give your partner their maximum happiness.
Do you congratulate yourself on making someone exceptionally happy? Or are you upset that more is “given” by you than “taken” from them?
Now, let’s flip the second scenario. Let’s suppose in your marriage that your partner is only slightly happier because of you, but you are maximally happy. That is, you achieve the maximum amount of happiness in your marriage–but your partner does not. Is this more satisfying to you? Or does this cause discomfort?
Notice in the above thought experiments, everyone is happier. That is, both you and your partner are–at minimum–slightly happier than you would have been had you remained single.
Yet, I suspect, given the current culture, that most people are instinctively dissatisfied with some of these scenarios…even though they are happier in the end.
It says quite a bit about how we view each other.
He has a good take on what I’ve been predicting as well:
I had not heard about the foreign intelligence angel until watching this. That makes it all the more interesting. I have assumed the Russians and Chinese were content to sit back while our nation imploded. Perhaps I was wrong…
Normally, I try to respond to others in a long-form essays here on my blog. I feel this is a much more thorough response than a passing comment, or a hastily worded Youtube response. (Given that I have no desire to be on Youtube helps pull me back from that cacophony of stupidity.)
THE PROBLEM STATED
But today, Georgia posted a video that lacked any argument, but did ask many personal questions. My readers will forgive me if I put on my “older sibling” hat and answer her in a less rigorous and more personal fashion. Here is her video:
Now, I have never felt some of the tensions and feelings Georgia mentions in this video. But I will give what I hope is a meaningful response. It will be much less academic than my previous posts..
If I may be a bit harsh, I think Georgia is making two mistakes (of which many of us are guilty). They are 1) setting expectations (both for herself and her future family) far too high and 2) being quite terrified of not meeting those expectations. (Sounds like a horrifying Ellison story.) I will try not to make this an academic essay, but I will show that I believe her lack of religion makes it especially difficult for her to reconcile the lofty and the mundane. (The same applies to just about everyone.)
(I will try my hardest to suppress the urge to criticize her for using a quote by John Stuart Mill, who’s work I consider reprehensible. See here for an interesting bit of why.)
A DARK DICHOTOMY
Georgia begins (in the first two min) of claiming we have desires for transcendent things that bring purpose and perhaps even grandiosity as well as desires for more mundane activities that we depend upon for our survival, including the raising of a family.
Georgia maintains that these two sides, like Yen & Yang, are forever in conflict. While some people may enjoy the mundane and ignore the call to something greater, some people feel these transcendent feelings which, she believes, must ever rub against the vulgar needs of survival and reproduction. Our “purpose” must be found to bring us out of this mere contentment and to something much loftier.
This is relevant for Georgia (and all young women) who struggle with the dichotomy of some higher calling and the time that must be taken from said calling to fulfill the needs of motherhood. Georgia claims that she has just now finished forming an identify and asks nature “And you want me to go out and form new ones?”
TO WHICH I RESPOND….
I will ignore the odd (in my opinion) question she asks at 4min about why we don’t need proof of moral integrity to reproduce, or the need to ensure a life of contentment and meaningfulness for her offspring when she is still in the process of figuring these things out for herself. I will gently say she is raising her bar far too high here, and putting far too much pressure on herself. Instead, I will offer what I hope is helpful advice.
As someone a little older than Georgia, I would assume telling her to “just relax” is out of the question. Many people simply can’t do that. Highly neurotic people will struggle mightily to find pleasure in the mundane.
ON HIGH EXPECTATIONS
So, let me say that I think Georgia (and the millions of young women like her) are really setting an impossible standard for themselves (and their families) with this sort of thinking. It’s true that you may never have reached a zenith of contentment and fulfillment–but hardly anyone does this side of heaven.
But my main point is this: There is no way you can have perfect knowledge about the future. Worrying about every, possible catastrophe from never having children to being dissatisfied with them once they’re here is just too much for anyone to deal with. I bring this up because, in addition to being worried about not having children, Georgia also seems to be worried about having them(!!!) beginning at the 4:38 mark. Now, consider this: Georgia correctly notes that we won’t know what it will be like having a child until we have one. Fair enough. But she seems equally worried that having children won’t lead to a life of near-perfect contentment and fulfillment. (You’ll notice, this poor girl worries an awful lot.) I feel (there’s me slipping from an academic post) as though she’s waiting for God to part the clouds and inform her that she has, at long last, found her perfect life.
Now, I have no children. But I am not naive enough to think simply becoming a parent is enough to give me a perfectly content life. I don’t believe I’ll ever be perfectly content. And, I would want to tell Georgia that perhaps having a family–while certainly not perfect–brings it’s own kind of contentment. Assuming a family will do that is quite naive. But we could say the same about almost any decision. So, I would tell Georgia: “Dear, be a bit gentler with yourself (and your future family!). No one (including you) can possibly meet sky high expectations. And if you spend all your time trying to climb ever higher and higher to meet your own (self-imposed) expectations you’ll only succeed in wearing yourself out.”
I bring up the latter simply because, at 5:59 she makes a rather high-stakes description of a partner that is suppose to do some–well, I’ll be polite and describe them as–“incredible things.” Most people aren’t capable of such things, and if you change it will be because you willed too not because of your partner. I would even say this: Imagine how much work it would take being a partner like that! Is that really worth it? Further, how could you, if you were that partner, continuously challenge your other half in such a way as to keep these high expectations going? But how about a thought-experiment?
Suppose you meet someone to whom you feel some modest level of attraction. There are, in fact, better people out there for you, but you have this particular individual here and now.
Let’s further say, you get married to that person and, as a result, you are happier than you would have been alone–but still less happy than you would be had you married an even better person.
Now, I imagine someone with high-expectations would crush themselves with guilt and self-blame, ever upset they did not find someone ever better, someone who could make them even happier than they are now.
But, wait, didn’t we just acknowledge that you are still happier with this sub optimal partner than you would have been alone? Aren’t you (and I’m using Utilitarian language, probably because of that damn J.S. Mill quote) still better off? Isn’t this a cause to be happy? Isn’t worrying about this actually making you less happy?
ON “FINDING” PURPOSE
But in addition to raising standards far too high, I would say that Georgia makes a mistake that I see a lot of younger people make: Namely the idea that “purpose” or “meaning” (in a practical as opposed to teleological sense) is “out there.” That it must be “found” or “created” than pursued. Now, as someone a bit older, I can comfortably say that you typically don’t “find” your greatest callings. Instead, you sometimes just stumble upon them by accident. This is just as true of life as it is in love.
For a personal example: I initially wanted to be an academic. I double-majored and minored in my undergrad years. Fortunately, one of those minors was in Economics and I discovered how utterly useless my two majors were. I was very nervous. I even considered dropping out of school and getting a job. Instead, I began researching which jobs were the most likely to have an ROI. So, off I went to graduate school and got a Master’s in a STEM field. I turned down two Ph.D opportunities to go work in the “real world.”
The first two years were awful. I had not passion for the STEM field I was in. But I was paying off student loans–hey can’t complain, right?– after four years, I got out and went into the more business side of things in the corporate world. It’s busy, but I have certainly enjoyed it more than I ever thought.
Now, my 18 yr old self would have thought you were totally crazy it you’d told me then that I would be in STEM for four years, or that I would be in the corporate world afterwards. I was determined at the time to get two Ph.D’s and do research until I died.
I’ve never regretted the decision I made instead.
Instead of trying to “find” contentment out in the world (which reinforces the feeling that you don’t have it) try instead to find it where you currently are.
ON OUR ANCESTORS–SOMETHING FOR US ALL TO KEEP IN MIND
Georgia brings up how modern society has changed our priorities from survival to psychological meaning. (I agree, but I would add that we humans are CLEARLY better evolved for physical survival than psychological meaning-making. ) While true, I would turn this very point back on Georgia: Your ancestors certainly did not have everything figured out. Yet they had children anyway. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be cautious about our children’s futures. But I think modern people (and this includes a good number of men) simply spend a great deal of time worrying about nothing. Now, the modern world has a number of challenges that our ancestors did not have to face. But things could be much worse. Our ancestors had enormous hardships that dwarf our own. I’m sure many parents feared their children would die of disease and malnutrition–and many did. But we’re here, not because they had perfect lives or perfect answers to their existential questions, but because our ancestors were brave enough to act on imperfection and just have children .
A WORD ON RELIGION
Now, I am under no illusions that simply blogging about religion will cause Georgia to convert. (In fact, the only other video of hers I ever thought about doing another response too was her horribly flawed, but understandable, video on religion.) I am not saying that getting religion will make Georgia’s problems go away. Many devout people can struggle with these same issues. But religion (especially certain religions) are particularly good at helping people find meaning in the mundane. Also, religions tend to have meaning and purpose baked into the cake, so to speak, and don’t require any “finding” of purpose or meaning, “out there.”
Christianity, in particular, does not view the world in this dichotomy as transcendent vs. mundane. Rather, it shows us that everything in life is filled with purpose and meaning because God gives it to us. The prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola is most appropriate here:
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me
I imagine this would be a very difficult prayer for some high-strung people to pray. (But to be fair, St. Ignatius was a very high strung man himself, for those who’ve read about him.) But notice he gives everything up. Every part of himself that demands more and more from this world, he surrenders. He holds on to nothing inside–and he has a contentment within that truly does transcend all wealth and glory and possessions. Which is certainly relevant, since Ignatius spent the first part of his life as a soldier chasing “wine, women and song,” not to mention glory and power. He was quite a violent and, frankly, evil man until his conversion off the battlefield.
I hope this little bit of personal advice is taken well. For what it’s worth, I’d recommend meditating on the Gospel of St. Luke Chapter 12 verses 22-34.
NOW FOR THAT UPDATE…
Now, I promised more posts on the upcoming “Girl Crisis.” They are coming, I promise. However, my editor has finally returned from medical leave and thus my first two books are no longer in editing purgatory. My third book is still in a rough draft. I had planned on turning my posts of the Girl Crisis into another book too…That, and work getting back into full swing and a new workout routine…
…Wait, why I am blogging again?