In this brave new age, when we are daily assaulted by the aching sanctimonies of The Church of the Holy Woke and militant orders of the School of Point and Screech, those of us who value liberty over lemmings are faced with some navigational challenges. These are both physical and intellectual. Avoiding the purity tribunals that dot the landscape like Taliban roadblocks has perhaps never been so difficult in our country, which seems largely to have shunned any remaining bias for reasoned debate or the freedom of ideas. Navigate carefully, traveller, or risk the very real and highly aggressive wrath of the awakened and inflamed, much as this woman suffered recently, after 20 years of futile American adventurism in the cold shadows of the Hindu Kush.
Also, a campaign quote from the now Vice President, responding to a question about how much meat people should eat, gives a nice insight to her philosophy of governance, which is focused on, among other behaviors free people enjoy, “banning” and/or “incentivizing” a person’s victual preferences:
“I will also say this: the balance that we have to strike here, frankly, is about what government can and should do around creating incentives, and then banning certain behaviors.”
To be fair, she also admitted that she really likes cheeseburgers.
It’s interesting to note the details of this nascent religion of racial, political, and intellectual hygiene, and it will be even more fascinating to watch it suffer the growing pangs that any church must inevitably confront. It’s already creating its bishops and popes, its tonsured dispensators, its heavy tithers, its Martin Luthers, its orthodox offshoots and its Savonarolas, just as it has most certainly seized on the time-honored tradition of parading forth its dour child prophets predicting doom and demanding repentance from the heathen hordes. St. Greta of Stockholm is perhaps the finest example of this so far, but rest assured there will be others. Much like the famous Mexican boy-band Menudo, the singers must be replaced from time to time to keep the money rolling in.
And all of this will happen while its most devoted true believers refuse to see it for what it is: a new religion dividing the world yet again into all new versions of the Dar al-Islam, and the Dar al-Harb – concepts that seem strikingly appropriate for comparison.
I was having a conversation with an old colleague the other day who, perhaps responding to some note of apoplexy in my countenance, suggested that the future is as yet unwritten. I could not agree. I believe the future is written, and deeply resembles the past. New costumes, same story. The challenge, it seems, is merely deciphering the patterns and charting a course accordingly.
Alas, out of the darkness, yesterday we were handed a gift when it was announced that Randy Quaid is considering a run for California governor. Although I am no longer a citizen of that state, and I smudge to the four winds in daily gratitude for the miracle, I maintain an abiding interest in the slow-motion collapse of what was, once, truly the Golden State.
Mr. Quaid, you might recall, had a terrific career as an actor before something went tragically wrong and he fell hard through the stage door. To hear Randy tell it, he was arrested several times by TMZ and Warner Brothers and had his house stolen. Not necessarily in that order. Randy feels strongly about “Star Whackers” – a clandestine group of celebrity assassins — and after a number of convoluted events he was driven into exile in Canada where he and his darling wife Evi made a series of iPhone videos wrought with drama and conspiracy, and sought asylum from our friendly northern neighbors.
If you aren’t familiar with Mr. Quaid’s late troubles, here’s a chance to get acquainted. It appears this cinematic masterpiece was filmed somewhere in the Mojave.
To be fair, I was in Santa Barbara when Randy was capering there, and there is another side to that story. Randy and Evi were squatting in a home and did tens of thousands of dollars of damage to the home before fleeing without paying, and thereby earning a felony arrest warrant. I was also there when they made a court appearance and Evi, bless her soul, marched out of the East Figueroa Street courthouse – a true marvel of Spanish colonial architecture – with a credit card taped to her forehead in what can only be described as a powerful moment of resistance to all things “The Man.”
Nevertheless, given the confusion of our times, the need for at least some level of comic relief, and the pending leap of one gold medal decathlete now called Ms. Jenner into efforts to dethrone Emperor Newsom, I’m throwing my considerable political influence behind Randy Quaid. Randy is the kind of rolling, rambling, gear-adrift candidate California needs. His platform, thus far, appears to focus primarily on “cleaning up the DA’s offices” around the state, with particular emphasis on Santa Barbara. This can only fit into the battle against “systemic racism” now underwriting so much of the looting, murdering, burning, cancelling, harassing, shaming, and actual racism now making America a much better place to live.
Given my strong belief in vibrant, inclusive democratic institutions, not only do I think Randy should run, I fervently hope he wins.
Meanwhile, back in Oregon, the Empress has issued yet another executive edict to shut down stores and gyms and to make everyone eat outside. It’s unclear, under the new CDC guidelines (fully vaccinated people are now told they can stop wearing face-diapers in the sunshine) whether unvaccinated people can eat outside with a diaper, or without one. It’s also unclear how they will manage outside dining if, as we are bemoaningly warned might happen, people from different households actually show up to eat outside, with diapers or without, to eat at the same restaurant where last week a diaper was required to pass through the threshold, but could be removed when seated. One supposes that is because the virus disappears faster than a gin and tonic at Nancy Pelosi’s table, or is presumably just nesting in the diaper. There remains general confusion about the proper mix of diapers and jabs, or jabs and diapers, and whether or not the plague might still inflict those who have been jabbed and wear a diaper. Or even two diapers. Or if sunshine, diapers, jabs, plexiglass, and those handy 6′ markers on the supermarket floor will be enough to defeat the new Indian strain. Or if we will need diapers, jabs, booster jabs, sunshine, more floor markers, more plexiglass, and more diapers to declare total victory.
Also, baseball is unwatchable and nobody knows where the 5th Fleet is.
The convoluted edicts issued from Kate Brown’s diapered court in Salem mimic to a large degree Emperor Newsom’s gyrations in Sacramento, where for a time the requirements to attend a high school athletic contest in California required a decoder ring, a book, a bell, and a candle.
Last week, of course, an Oregon high school runner collapsed at the finish line, dangerously hypoxic, after being forced to run her track and field event wearing a diaper over her nose and mouth.
Alas, optimism remains the order of the day. It can be found in little places, like our garden where the peas and spinach are up in the planters and the tomatos and squash are up in the greenhouse. There is still snow on the north side of Black Butte, our reliable old bellweather, so the inside plants won’t go outside until the last of it is melted. And of course I remain as focused as ever on becoming the only man in history to successfully raise a crop of corn in Central Oregon.
And in my travels I rediscovered an old gem of history. Each winter I like to tackle thematic readings. Two winters ago I read every book I could find written by the World War 2 combat correspondents. That will remain forever one of the highlights of the continuing education of Citizen Rullman. This last winter I wanted to revisit some early writings on the Spanish conquest of Mexico. I had read Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico in the long ago, forgotten most of it, and wanted both a refresher and a full-throttle escape capsule from the dumpster fire of our national conversations.
One thing that struck me, as a lover of horses, was del Castillo’s listing of the horses and their owners that were disembarked with Cortez in the new world. I found it very interesting that one of the mare’s foaled while on board and I wish I might have been there to see it, and to know more about what that foal might have seen as they sailed forth to a world-changing meeting with Montezuma. And, for old time’s sake, it makes for a closing note of optimism.
“When all this was settled we got ready to embark and the horses were divided among all the ships, and mangers were made for them and a store of maize and hay put on board. I will now call to mind all the mares and horses that were shipped:
The Captain Cortes: a vicious dark chestnut horse, which died as soon as we arrived at San Juan de Ulua.
Pedro de Alvarado and Hernando Lopez de Avila: a very good sorrel mare, good both for sport and as a charger. When we arrived at New Spain Pedro de Alvarado bought the other half share in the mare or took it by force.
Alonzo Hernandez Puertocarrero: a gray mare, a very good charger which Cortes bought for himi with his gold buttons.
Juan Velasquez de Leon: a very powerful gray mare which we called “La Rabona,” very handy a good charger.
Cristoval de Olid: a dark chestnut horse, fairly good.
Francisco de Montejo and Alonzo de Avila: a parched sorrel horse, no use for warfare.
Francisco de Morla: a dark chestnut horse, very fast and very easily handled.
Juan de Escalante: a light chestnut horse with three white stockings, not much good.
Diego de Ordas: a gray mare, barren, tolerably good, but not fast.
Gonzalo Dominguez: a wonderfully good horseman; a very good dark chestnut horse, a grand galloper.
Pedro Gonzalez de Trujillo: a good chestnut horse, all chestnut, a very good goer.
Moron, a settler at Bayamo: a dappled horse with stockings on the forefeet, very handy.
Baena, a settler at Trinidad: a dappled horse almost black, no good for anything.
Lares, a very good horseman: an excellent horse of rather light chestnut colour, a very good goer.
Ortiz the musician and Barolem Garcia, who once owned gold mines: a very good dark horse called “El Arriero”, this was one of the best horses carried in the fleet.
Juan Sedeno, a settler at Havana: a chestnut mare which foaled on board ship.”