Back home, of course, we have other problems, not least of which is testing the winds, sticking to the shadows, and leaning into the whispers to avoid becoming Canned Goods ourselves. There is more truth in that than many would like to believe, our obsession with “safety” having now trumped any real concerns with fundamental liberty.
It was a meal to celebrate a series of victories–over the madding world that overburdens modern humans with regulation and minutia, crushes us under the weight of absurdity, and tries like hell to prevent us from escaping the reservation to simply get out, get on a boat, and go fishing. To get from our homes and meet in Reno took 14 hours of combined driving, of dodging the world of yahoos who consistently overestimate their driving abilities, and any number of logistical hurdles between work, family, and the freight of modern obligations.
But even teaching, which allowed the greatest latitude for my manias, often provoked my inner Younger Bear, and so I found myself frequently on maneuvers against the robotic administration, or dropping a lecture on Wendell Berry to teach my students how to build field-expedient claymores–mostly as a kind of anti-academic protest and also as an instructional aid on building narrative structures.
At the febrile height of the French Revolution — the political event that created the modern world — the General Council of the Paris Commune issued a kind of passport for citizens who could demonstrate that they were politically reliable — the certificat de civisme. Proof of civic virtue and political reliability was absolutely vital. Without […]
It’s the most important Christmas story in American history. The Battle of Trenton, fought in the early morning hours of December 26, 1776, saved the American revolutionary cause. After a series of devastating defeats in New York through the summer and fall of 1776, General George Washington’s Continental Army slogged in a long retreat across New Jersey, […]
I’ve been spending a lot of time in the 18th Century, prepping for the Frontier Partisans Podcast series on Pontiac’s War (1763–64). If, as medievalist Dan Jones says, history is always a conversation between past and present, I guess I’ve been palavering with the ghosts of the founders of the American Republic that now seems to be awash […]
One longs for politicians with the wisdom and foresight of Ben Franklin, the raw intelligence of Jefferson, or the sheer tenacity of John Adams. These were careful, competent, and extremely brave men, willing to risk everything they had and whose calculations were underwritten by the determination to live and to defeat tyranny at any price.
A couple of weeks ago, the newspaper I work for published a very sad letter to the editor. The writer was mourning the death of his oldest friend, his loss made the more painful because they had become estranged. Over politics. We’re seeing more and more of this. Friendships and families fractured, celebrations tainted, days darkened by political […]
Look, I’m NOT a medievalist. Sure, I’ve posted a thing or two here and on Frontier Partisans about medieval plagues and warfare and misrule and such — as one does. Actually, my most recent post was on the Ottoman Empire and the Taking of Constantinople, wasn’t it? And I did kind of go on a Yorkist binge last winter… Oh, […]
Synchronicity has been chiming, as it does. The Ottoman Empire looms on my historical horizon. It started with a tent… Next weekend, our hometown hosts the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. My newspaper created the program for the event, producing about a dozen features on particular artists and events. The Show’s fundraising event is a virtual presentation on The […]
President Biden’s announcement that some 9,000 Afghans who served the United States during our long war in their country will be evacuated and protected is most welcome. From the New York Times: President Biden said on Thursday (June 24) that his administration would begin relocating thousands of Afghan interpreters, drivers and others who worked with American forces […]
Race, racism, and how to teach our children about it has roiled school districts across the country. Here in Central Oregon, the Bend-LaPine School Board election school board election became a scrum over the purported threat of the infiltration of Critical Race Theory into local curriculum. The issue has been raised, albeit in muted form, in […]