Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Off The Cuff

     Politics has become boring. Candidates for the presidency are everywhere – yes, there are enough of them for that – but few are doing anything other than what politicians have done for centuries (i.e., “tell the crowd what it wants to hear”). Even with Donald Trump as Ringmaster, the circus seems terminally tired. Hardly worth the expenditure of a Curmudgeon Emeritus’s precious words.

     Investing has become boring. A people that had been accustomed to steady increases in the prices of equities is now panicking over the inevitable correction to an oversold market. Hot Flash: What goes up must come least, if nothing more than “greater fool” purchases elevated it.

     Entertainment has become boring. Have we got enough comic-book movies, cop dramas, and terrorism thrillers yet? As a sometime reviewer of books, I get frequent solicitations to read, this or that. Sometimes I agree to do so...and other times I reply “Thanks, have one of mine.”

     Racial strife has become boring. Not peaceful, mind you; just too predictable to say anything more about. I’ve said my piece. In fact, I’ve said it twice. To those bleeding-heart types in the audience who still think downplaying and pooh-poohing the matter is constructive, your hour has definitely passed. The word is out and can’t be reeled back in.

     Even our cultural clashes have become boring. Now that there are no standards whatsoever, there’s no way to be any more “transgressive” than what freaks and perverts have already been doing for twenty years. This has frustrated America’s most recent crop of would-be rebels rather badly. I’d feel badly for them, except that...well, I don’t. Yo, young rebels: Try Christianity. That would be transgressive.

     That nasty old sense of having seen it all and done most of it is back. It can put a serious crimp in a commentator’s day.

     States, like men, have their growth, their manhood, their decrepitude and their decay. – Walter S. Landor
     You had faith, and now you don't have it anymore? No, my son, democracy is losing its followers. In our country everything is weakening. The money is weak. Democracy is weak and the politicians are very weak. Everything that is weak dies one day. – Carolina Maria de Jesus
     Every government is a geejy bird. -- Allan Sherman

     It’s very hard to get these days, but Allan Sherman’s book The Rape of the APE is a very funny, and very useful, historical document. I have a particular passage in mind: “Flagg, the Government Man,” in which Sherman expounds his thesis that our government – our “geejy bird” – is quite as doomed by the dynamic of governments as any other. The geejy bird, you see, has a specific life cycle, which begins with a birth filled with promise and a swift ascent to the heights, and ends with an ever-accelerating plunge from the grim hovering of late maturity until “it vanishes into its own asshole.”

     “Turn back, great geejy bird! Turn back in thy flight!” Sherman hears us say. But there’s no help for it; our cycle of birth, growth, maturity, decline, and death is nearing its terminus. There’s nothing for it but to enter “the turd tunnel to oblivion.”

     Americans don’t want to believe that this could happen to our own beloved country. No one wants to believe it could happen to his own precious Motherland, Fatherland, or Cis-Questioning But Undecidedly Polymorphous Perverseland. But it can. It’s happening before our eyes. Whether it can be halted is dubious. Even delaying it for a few more decades is open to dispute.

     The signs are all around us. I’ve enumerated them in the past. I shan’t bother repeating them here; if you’re a regular reader of Liberty’s Torch and Eternity Road before it, you’re already familiar with them. If you’re not, what the hell have you been wasting your time reading? Vanity Fair?

     Some will struggle on in the attempt to save the Land of the Free. I salute them and wish them all the best. But I find it difficult to believe that they have a nonzero chance of doing so.

     I did title this “Off The Cuff,” didn’t I? So have a few casual recommendations about appropriate attention to important matters for the immediate future. Feel free to pass them along.

     Sauve qui peut is the order of the day -- every day. If your first and highest priority isn’t self-defense and the defense of your loved ones, your focus is likely to get you killed or impoverished.

     The dollar is trending toward wastepaper status. To the extent possible, save physical wealth in preference to paper wealth. Gold, silver, and non-perishables of all sorts are more reliable stores of value than any currency.

     The equities markets are not where a sane man wants to be at this time. No one can “time the market” with any assurance of success. No one can be certain where any particular stock is headed in the short term. However, there is reasonable assurance that most current publicly traded corporations will survive for at least a few years more, so if you’re already in the market, resist the urge to “panic sell,” which only locks in one’s losses.

     Don’t stake your future on Social Security. It’s a lot closer to its demise than anyone wants to admit. Same with Medicare. Nor are the pension plans that still exist all that trustworthy. Governments have been attacking them all over the globe. Our official predators have been eyeing our IRAs and 401(k) plans as well. Save.

     Be on the best possible terms with your neighbors. Know what they’re good for. Make sure they know what you’re good for, and that your skills are at their disposal if theirs are at yours. Lone wolves don’t do as well as well-knit communities when things really start sliding downhill.

     Keep your shooting skills practiced up. If you’ve never learned to shoot, for God’s sake, learn! Make sure your spouse and kids learn, too. Safety first, of course.

     I shouldn’t need to say this, but I must: Watch out for what your kids are being told by others, especially if they’re students in the “public” schools. The schools are indoctrination centers for Postmodern Transnational Morally-Relative All-Cultures-Are-Equally-Valid Government-Uber-Alles poison. Your kids can be turned against you. Indeed, it’s the dearest and most ardently pursued goal of the adversaries of freedom. Don’t let it happen.

     Yes, Virginia, there is a race war in progress. There’s also a many-sided religious war in progress. Know what side you’re on. Plan accordingly.

     And now it’s off to Mass. Have a nice day.

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