Some Quick Ranting

As far as political ranting goes… well, I’ve got to get something off my chest. This Coronavirus business has made people insane. I don’t know any other way to put it. There are those out there who are convinced this thing is so bad, we need to stay locked up until the end of time, and in trademark Leftist fashion, if even one person dies…. Wuhan Flu is serious, certainly serious enough to take some sensible precautions. There is no evidence I’ve seen that suggests it’s the fucking plague.

On the other hand, there are those who are going on as if nothing is happening, and they are pretty dumb too. Beaches were opened back up recently in my state. And by itself, that is fine. I’m worried that excessive use of executive power to enforce the lockdown can go very badly in the end. But just because you can do a thing does not mean you should. Hordes of people going to the beach to party… well that’s pretty dumb too. It’s one thing if you need to break quarantine to earn a living, to get food, to do the things you need to do for you and yours.

It’s quite another to party as if nothing is happening. Again, it’s their right. But it’s stupid.

Worse than both of those, though, is the SURETY so many folks posting all over social media appear to have. They use the word “facts” after a cursory 5 minute Google search, or watching some journalist on TV, one who hasn’t been right about anything since before Donald Trump was elected President. The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect is in full force. And they get so damned angry when you dare to point out that, quite frankly, very few people know what they are talking about.

I don’t either! But at least I’ll say so. We’re not really going to have solid numbers on this disease until the threat has passed, in all likelihood. It’s one thing to make a semi-educated guess based on the fragmentary data we have now. It’s quite another to claim it’s a “fact”.

Take fatality rates by country. Some Leftists have been bloviating about how America has the highest death toll! Okay. America has, for example, roundabout 5 times the population of Italy. You need to compare death rate per capita. Second, China’s numbers are most likely bogus, and probably much higher than they’ve reported. I have no specific evidence of this, but that is standard operating procedure for the ChiComs: saving face and burying the truth. They certainly buried the impact of the disease when it was in its early stages. Why should anybody trust their numbers now?

But beyond that, data collection methods differ by country. For instance, if someone has cancer, and coronavirus, and dies… which one is labeled as the cause? How accurate is the tally in each country? How corrupt is each country’s government? Speculating on relative death rates per capita using the official numbers as a base, I get that. It’s probably still inaccurate, but it’s something to look at.

Being SURE about the numbers… that’s a different kettle of fish.

The same operates on the side of some Rightists, many of whom appear to be taking the threat too lightly given the lack of data. If you don’t know for sure how bad it is, it makes sense to take some precautionary measures until you can assess the risk more accurately. I get that the various governments are exceeding the bounds of the Constitution in many places, and need to be smacked down, in case these measures acquire some kind of permanence. But one of the few legitimate functions of a government is to protect the citizenry from the kinds of existential threats individuals, alone, cannot effectively defend against. The same moral justification for the existence of the military may be valid in the case of an international pandemic.

I am very, very worried about politicians getting a taste for power right now. So I’m not going to shit overmuch on the people who are angry at the limitations. Again, I don’t have enough accurate data or knowledge to make these kinds of calls. Neither do the politicians. Or the protesters. So do as you will, as makes sense to your own personal risk assessment.

But understand that not even the doctors are sure about much of anything right now.

And be ready to change your position as better data trickles in. We may find that we grossly overreacted to this.

Then again, we ma

Another Sunday Morning

I don’t have a lot to say today. It’s a pleasant Sunday morning, and I’ve little desire to sully it with excessive politicking. It’s a cigar and whiskey kind of day, where I consider myself fortunate for the blessings in life. There are a few Cubans sitting in my humidor, and a bottle of bourbon with my name on it. I’ve long maintained that hard times are coming. Tomorrow maybe, or the day after. No man can know exactly when the hammer will fall. But until then, enjoy the luxuries while you have them.

A Twitter follower of mine reminded me of this old song:

Just some easy listening on a Sunday morning. I hope your Sunday is as pleasant as mine.

Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Music for the Chaos

So, despite my career as a DJ, or perhaps because of it, I have developed eclectic taste in music. When I am angry, and not in the temporary, transitory sense, but rather the deep-rooted and near-permanent fashion, I prefer to listen to very calming music. I can be very explosive and temperamental when temporarily irritated, but I am utterly quiet when truly angry. It is a very calm and rational state for me.

Nothing calms me more than Byzantine chant, for whatever reason. Here are a couple of selections if you also need a similar soundtrack, watching as the country goes to pot:

Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Music & Musings

Much of what I spin as a DJ is very eclectic Dark Trance and EBM. Most of my own work as a production artist is in a very similar style. It’s very broody, for lack of a better word. Some of my readers may be familiar with Covenant and Cruxshadows, both early EBM groups. But here’s a newer one, Mind.in.a.box:

Mind.in.a.box – Take My Soul:

Now you’re sitting in your room, staring into space
Your hair is long and shaggy, your clothes torn to shreds
The TV, an endless stream of commercials
Chat logs filling up the screen beside

You remember the day on a meadow

You can see the details, every little thing
But you can’t remember what it felt like
You’re not feeling anything

It’s a movie without sound
Your haggard face flashes up with lightning
Creepy shadows reflect your soul

Take my soul, consume me whole
I’m no part of this world
Take my love and hold it close

I can’t be without you anymore

You are sitting in the scenery of your dream
Your clothes are neat and clean
Your hair cut, your chin smooth

The scene is as beautiful as a painting
But there are no people or living things
It’s as meaningless and empty as your gaze

You lose yourself in this dead world
You think you’re living in your dream
But there’s nothing in it
You’re feeling nothing, nothing
You seem complacent but there is nothing there

And another favorite, Mind.in.a.box – You Will See:

When I first met you, I ruled the world.
What you saw, met with your desire.
When I first saw you, I ruled the sky.
What you felt, set your heart on fire.

When I first held you, I thought I’d pass.
What you said, seemed to be the truth.
When I first felt you, I thought I’d melt.
What you were, was the essence of youth.

I felt the warmth,
Filtering through your skin.

I had all that I could ask for,
And I thought it to last.
I was so sure of your affection,
And I loved the spell you cast.
I was scaling incredible heights,
Propelled by your radiant muse.
I sustained this for a long time,
But I was destined to lose.

I had all that I could ask for,
And I thought it to last.
I was so sure of your affection,
And I loved the spell you cast.
I was basking in all that glory,
Thought the end cannot be nigh.
I made plans for our future,
Humbled only by the sky.

You will see, I can get back there.
When all was doubt, you laughed at me.
Ripped me apart,
There’s no future for you and me.

You will see, I can climb up there.
When you lost faith, you turned your back.
Destroyed my trust,
There’s no future for you and me.

You will see, I won’t forgive this.
When you rethink, you won’t be heard.
Words don’t heal,
There’s no future for you and me.

You will see, I will survive this.
When I had need, you were not there.
It’s too late,
There’s no future for you and me.

The lyrics are interesting, also, the first being a commentary on how we lose ourselves in the digital world, becoming empty and vapid. The second song is a condemnation on the shallow, overly-inflated sense of entitlement women demand in the present day, and a man understanding that he doesn’t need her any longer. There’s no future for you and me.

Anyway, I enjoy this style of music, both for the sound and the lyrics.

It’s the Decline, Stupid

The other day, in a short Facebook post about the Decline of the West, obviously a topic which interests me, an acquaintance decided to call the whole affair “melodramatic” and “the product of a youthful mind.” In fairness, he is much older than I am, but his reasoning was beyond stupid. He wrote several paragraphs about how, essentially, his age meant that he was smarter than me. Indeed, it made him a veritable genius of a wise man. Never once did he actually address the topic of whether or not the West was in decline. My post was merely a means for him to declare his vast intelligence for all to see, I suppose.

The lesson of Socrates was lost on him.

But as evidence of the decline for any of my readers who may be similarly confused, I offer two Youtube videos.

The first is from a man who built an experimental instrument based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs for a Viola Organista, a sort of bizarre harpsichord-like device which played wheeled strings in a manner similar to a violin, but using a familiar keyboard. Yes, this man built an amazing instrument, then played some of the classics of Western musical tradition on it:

The second is from a misbehaving young woman whose claim to fame is spreading her legs and rubbing herself with the microphone while on stage in front of 50,000 screaming fans who, most likely, cannot hear anything over their own screaming anyway. In this music video, she decided to go up and down on a wrecking ball, naked, while making disgusting faces and singing to a twelve note ditty that could have been invented by a 2 year old on a xylophone:

Now, look at which person is celebrated in the modern West, and tell me with a straight face that we are not in the midst of terminal decline.

 

Where To Go From Here

Rufus the Red pointed out in an earlier comment that, as true as some of the rants are around here, action speaks louder than words. What can the Renaissance Man, dedicated to the preservation and advancement of Western civilization, do to save it? This question is especially poignant in areas of culture, art and music. Remember that the decline of our political situation is the inevitable consequence of a moral and cultural decay.

Take the example of abortion. The Constitution mentions nothing of the practice, despite the procedure being known as far back as the ancient Egyptians. A clue for the reasoning behind this can be found in the Federalist Papers.

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?

The Bill of Rights was nonetheless passed, and time has proven that Alexander Hamilton’s opponents were the wiser. For the concrete language of the Bill of Rights has long been the last remaining line of defense against tyranny in America. In any event, however, it did not occur to the Founders to write a law specifically covering abortion because the culture of the time was so dead-set against the practice that such a law was not only unnecessary, it was viewed as dangerous, for the exact reasons Alexander Hamilton worried so over the Bill of Rights. Perhaps they were wrong not to write these things down, or perhaps we have failed to live up to their legacy. But the culture prevented the worst of moral excesses. The judgement of one’s peers was more to be feared than a distant and small Federal Government.

When the culture changed to accommodate the cultural excesses of the 60s and the Boomers, legal wrangling over abortion became inevitable. Even if a written law had existed banning the practice, it is likely it would have been overturned. Regardless of where you stand on abortion as a moral or legal dilemma, it is proof that cultural change precedes legal change. Opponents of abortion are well-advised to target the culture, then, and not the legal precedent. It is the same for all of us who wish to stem the tide of decay in the West.

Allow me to be clear: this is a monumental, Herculean task that cannot be completed by any one of us alone. No great leader could achieve this, no single political figure possesses a large enough lever to move it. Culture is like a supertanker, it may move quickly in a single direction, but changing direction requires an immense application of force. Even then, momentum will carry it forward along the undesired course for some time after. Progressives have been working on American culture for over a century, now. They came for your beer, once. Today, they come for your freedom of speech.

But the Culture War is not yet lost. Our own culture rose from the ashes and remnants of the old Roman Empire, faithfully preserved and advanced by diligent monks and Byzantine scholars. Truly, I do think it is too late to save America as a nation, although I would love to be proven wrong. But Western civilization is bigger than America, and I hold out hope that it may be saved. It survived the Germans (and converted them), the Arabs and the Mongols. Surely it can survive the Progressives, too.

That is our role, to be the new monks, the new scholars, preserving and building on our origins in opposition to trends of our time. While Miley Cyrus twerks to a worthless six-note little ditty, consider listening to and supporting musicians faithful to our culture. Allow me to introduce you to one such, Schiller, a man who combined orchestral music with electronic instruments. His latest album, Opus, brings the modern and the traditional together. Truly, I think he is one of the greatest musicians of our age and is, as a result, remarkably under appreciated. Here are two of my favorites, a modern rendition of Swan Lake and the two part intro to the album Solaris. It is unlike anything you will find in Pop Culture.

It doesn’t stop there. Most of my readers are familiar with Francis Porretto at Bastion of LibertyHe is, whether he realizes it or not, a part of this very same cultural movement. So are authors like Vox Day, Tom Kratman, and other notables behind the Sad Puppies, Hell bent on restoring sanity to the Hugo Awards. The change we desire in the course of our civilization already exists. I must admit that this the raison d’être for The Declination in the first place. This is my small contribution to cultural change.

So, if you wonder what you can do, forget political action at this point. Even if you manage to get your favored candidate into office, he cannot stem this tide. Ronald Reagan was a good man, perhaps the greatest figure in recent Conservative history. And yet, he was only able to slow the decay for a time. No men of equal stature to him exist today, and the decay has accelerated terribly. The time for political solutions has passed. Indeed, it may never have existed in the first place. A strong Conservative or Libertarian candidate would be shouted down by a hostile culture, decried as racist or sexist, snubbed as a rube as Scott Walker has been. If in office, he would be hamstrung by an angry bureaucracy and a corrupt media establishment. Any changes he made would be quickly reversed by his Progressive successors.

Better than a Crucifix dropped in a jar of piss? You decide.

Better than a Crucifix dropped in a jar of piss? You decide.

Our war is the Culture War, and you can fight with us by promoting to friends, family and neighbors that which is good and decent over that which is decadent and useless. Should we ever win this fight, the necessary political change will come on its own. Political figures long suppressed by a hostile culture will emerge once again. Your battlefield is art, cinema, the written word and music. Our greatest weapons lie in the fact that Mozart is greater than Beyonce, Schiller more talented than Kanye. Michelangelo was the master, the woman smearing period blood on canvas is but a terrible reflection. We have more to offer to the world. It is time to reclaim our place in the sun.

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