Monday, May 26, 2014

From The Junk Drawer

Geez, I can’t take my eyes off you guys for a second...

In the introductory passage of a related tirade, Sarah Hoyt reminds us of something Robert A. Heinlein got wrong:

...I was listening to Waldo and Magic (Robert A. Heinlein) while cleaning the kitchen, and something rubbed me wrong. More than once, he referred to the formation of the UN as ending war; and then he mentioned “the US had an army at the time.”

And my hackles were well and truly up.

Oh, I understand how Heinlein came to make that mistake. You see, he sort of assumed that the UN would be run with American values. It was a logical mistake. At the end of WWII we were a colossus bestriding the globe. And everyone who has been in that position before imposed its values and its culture on the world.

We didn’t.

True as far as it goes, but then, Heinlein was no more adept at forecasting than most of us – and who, in 1940 when the Grand Master wrote “Solution Unsatisfactory,” or 1942 when he wrote “Waldo,” could have imagined that, in the course of freeing western Europe from the Third Reich, the United States would create a Soviet superpower, capable of enslaving ten Eastern Europeans and facing off against us as military equals for fifty years to come?

One novella of particular interest is Heinlein’s “If This Goes On,” which sits near to the origin of his justly celebrated “Future History” series. It depicts a totalitarian America arising from a fundamentalist theocracy. That, too, was written in 1940. Granted that certain lunatics on the Left still see such a development as plausible and more, we aren’t headed in that direction at the moment.

We of this year of Our Lord 2014 don’t forecast sociopolitical developments any better than Heinlein did. Indeed, I doubt we do it as well. I mean, if we had foreseen America today...

You have to expect the Left to attempt to defend its beachheads, but some of the things they say!

Thomas Davies WOODRUFF, SC As an alumni, a non-traditional student, and a straight, white, older man, I can’t say enough about how my participation in WGS courses and the Center, changed my life for the better. Because enlightenment comes slowly to some outside academia, students, faculty, and staff need this resource. We cannot let an american Taliban rule our institutions of learning.

Mr. Davies isn’t a terribly well-educated fellow if he refers to himself as an “alumni,” and neglects to capitalize “American.” We also have this:

Kurt Metzmeier LOUISVILLE, KY

That is un-American and recalls not only the McCarthy blacklist era but also the totalitarian regimes of the Cold War. They have come first for USC Upstate. I cannot say nothing.

Mind you, this is about the replacement of one of the most ludicrous of all university “departments,” Gender Studies, with a series of courses explicitly dedicated to America’s founding documents and their place in Western thought – a series of courses South Carolina’s state-supported universities are required by law to offer and students at those universities are required by law to take and pass. So of course, we get the “angry ugly-girl left” and its omega-male annex parading around with slabs of oak tag that say EDUCATION NOT LEGISLATION when they’re not busy writing letters to the editors of shopping circulars about “transphobic heteronormative cispatriarchal oppression.”

There are days I ask myself why we aren’t all laughing our slats off at these self-important, humor-deprived clowns. Maybe we are and I just don’t get out enough to notice.

As things are trending, miscreants like this one will soon demand to be tried by shari’a courts:

A Pakistani immigrant beat his wife to death in their Brooklyn home after she made the mistake of cooking him lentils for dinner instead of the hearty meal of goat meat that he craved, according to court papers.

Noor Hussain, 75, was so outraged over the vegetarian fare that he pummeled his wife, Nazar Hussain, 66, with a stick until she was a “bloody mess,” according to prosecutors and court papers.

“Defendant asked [his wife] to cook goat and [his wife] said she made something else,” the court papers indicated as Hussain’s murder trial opened on Wednesday.

And the defense? You guessed it:

Defense attorney Julie Clark admitted Hussain beat his wife — but argued that he is guilty of only manslaughter because he didn’t intend to kill her. In Pakistan, Clark said, beating one’s wife is customary.

But Brooklyn is not Pakistan West...yet. But the Islamic population of these United States is on the increase...and it’s concentrated in urban districts. In some such, that demonic demographic has swelled large enough to demand legal and political propitiation...and get it.

Scared yet? You should be.

From a conversation with my Vietnamese-American sweetie Duyen:

DK: You should move to a city.
FWP: In God’s name, why? You know I can’t stand cities!

DK: You’re still planning to retire soon, right?
FWP: Yes, what of it?

DK: Writers have to live in cities. It’s almost a rule.
FWP: Well, most Americans live in cities, so it’s an ambiguous data point.

DK: Seriously, Flashy, you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands. How will you fill it, living out there in the sticks?
FWP: I’ll manage. I’m just ceasing to be an engineer, not renouncing all contact with the world beyond my front door.

DK: Suuuuuure you’re not.
FWP: Now look here, you excessively sexy Oriental finagler, you. I’ll be writing a few hours a day. I’ll be working at the parish a few hours a day. I’ll be volunteering at the youth center a few hours a day. I’ll be keeping up this hovel a few hours a day. I don’t expect to be idle.

DK: Sounds to me like you don’t expect to sleep, either.
FWP: I think I can squeeze it in.

DK: When Beth isn’t looking, right?

All levity aside, Duyen has a point. There is such a thing as too much free time. When after forty-five years of wage labor you’re suddenly freed of external demands on your attention and energy, it’s easy to lapse into immobile torpor. It might be the #1 cause of death in retirees.

However, an undiscussed counterweight to that malady is the retiree who has no free time – because those who know and (claim to) love him are aware that he’s:

  1. No longer encumbered by a paying job,
  2. Handy and well equipped to be so,
  3. And unable to say “no.”

...which is on its way to killing a couple of my retired colleagues by exhaustion. One complains to me regularly that he’s grown terrified of the sound of a ringing phone. I sympathize, though my response to such intrusions on my serenity is to hurl the damned thing across the room.

I’m sure there’s a happy medium somewhere. Maybe my phone psychic knows her.


denis miller said...

My dad complained to me a few years after he retired that he wants to go back to work so he had some free time!

YIH said...

Sadly true. The USA is a crumbling empire comprising the North American continent (yes, for good and ill, including Mexico), the remnants of the British Empire, Western Europe, post-Warsaw pact Europe plus Japan and South Korea.
To put it very bluntly, how much of that empire can we support and defend militarily?
We (US) tried to expand this empire to Iraq and Afghanistan and I consider it safe to say we failed miserably in both of those.
Yet today there are idiots (I'm looking at you McCain/Palin*) who desire to further attempt to expand this failing empire to Libya, Syria, and [the] Ukraine.
Which could well draw us into war, and worse yet, a war on two fronts (ask the Germans how well that worked out) with Russia over [the] Ukraine and with China over a tiff with Japan over some disputed rocks in the Pacific that might possibly have petrochemicals under them but are otherwise useless.
Either of these could draw us directly into war:
China/Japan open fire upon each other - any escalation of hostilities forces us in on Japan's side. Ukraine, Russia continues it's de facto annexation - should we (hell, will we be able to) intervene?
And all this has to be balanced against a ''war''**-weary military and populace that's increasingly stretched thin.
The Jenga tower is starting to wobble. It's time to stop pulling out blocks to add to the stack on top.
*For those fans of Sarah Palin, I continue to tie her to McCain because she's never told him off on things like immigration and his idiotic ''we are all Ukrainians now!'' nonsense.
**The quotes are deliberate, to this day we neither have any real goal in either conflict or any idea of what ''win'' even means in either.