This year has been a particularly good one for those of us who are interested in old Rome, as new discoveries of letters, and even boxing gloves, at Hadrian’s Wall – a strange wall, indeed, for a host of reasons – and in fresh diggings at Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Oplontis, all destroyed by Vesuvius back in ’79 – have given us valuable new information about Roman life, culture, and reach, and indeed have overturned some apple carts.
Readers of this site generally accept the proposition that our American experiment in self‐government is taking on water. I would argue that, all things considered, the ship is actually beginning to list heavily under the combined weight of a wholly unaccountable administrative state, a surreal burden of debt we will leave to our grandchildren as a kind of cynical stocking stuffer, third‐world education standards, tribal strife stoked by retail journalism, a new and prevailing cultural adulation of the victim mentality, meme‐think politics, and a Congress that is more or less directed by the parasitic whims of a guild economy.
“By midafternoon MacKenzie’s troops had taken torches to all the teepees and burned them down. Thousands of rounds of bullets, hoarded by the Indians and abandoned during the raid, exploded. In the wreckage of the Indian camp soldiers found a pillowcase made from a Seventh Cavalry guidon flag, command memo books and guard rosters; scalps of a white girl and a Shoshone girl, a necklace made of human fingers, personal clothing and military hardware…”
My brain tends to behave like a .22 bullet: Thoughts ricochet around and wind up in weird places where they shouldn’t be. You’ve heard the stories: Guy gets shot in the right ankle and that little 40‐grain pill bounces around and pops out his left eyeball; that’s how it works. This is NOT a systematic or […]
The meeting between the Blackfoot party and Lewis’ own did not end well. The following morning several of the Blackfoot – according to Lewis – crowded around the campfire and stole a number of rifles, including those belonging to Drewyer and Lewis. A chase ensued in which there was a fight, and R. Fields stabbed a Blackfoot through the heart with his knife. The fight then was then general – as other Blackfoot were attempting to steal horses — and ended when Lewis shot a Blackfoot in the belly. It was a close run thing, as Lewis wrote upon the return fire he “felt the wind of the ball very distinctly.”
My wife Marilyn has a thing about Anthony Bourdain. It’s not a celebrity crush, exactly. She says she wants to be him when she grows up. And who can blame her? The guy has a pretty extraordinary gig, wandering the world, exploring cultures and conflicts, with food and as a focal point and an extended cultural metaphor. The May […]
My wife Marilyn and I have spent evenings of late in the weird and wild metropolis that was Berlin in 1929. After being besieged by rave reviews from people I respect, we fired up the Netfix and dived into Babylon Berlin, the international hit German TV series. It’s supposedly the most expensive production in German history, and […]
At any rate, the film meets Dunning at a time when the farm is hanging on a precipice. The farm has given him three wives and four children and taken them all away. He is mostly alone with his memories, his animals, his orchard and his crops, his tractors, and his booze. And despite his impressive strength and agility, his obvious passion and admirable clarity, despite his commitment to life in the midst of a suicidal pique, it is quite clear that the entire existence of Mile Hill Farm, 134 acres of almost mythological New England, is hanging on by a thread in the intense winds of a physical, cultural, and spiritual tempest.
Recognition was a long time a‐borning. Not the recognition that something is deeply, profoundly wrong with American culture and society — and that of the West generally. That has been easy enough to perceive for, well … decades. It’s only been in the past few years that I have been forced to reckon with a hard truth: What’s […]
Such was the case, recently, when after two years of intensive work, archaeologists announced the discovery of a 7000 year‐old Native burial site off the coast of Florida. Or, similarly, when archaeologists revealed new theories about the workings of the ancient Roman Plutonium, where animal sacrifices were made to reinforce notions of divinity. Or in Sweden, recently, when archaeologists discovered 8000 year‐old human heads impaled on spikes.
At the current pace of development and disenfranchisement of the human mind, one might be forgiven for wondering at what point a modern version of the Luddites packs a van full of explosives and attempts to drive it through the gates of Google, or Apple, or Intel.
Nevertheless, in an era when the word “Resistance” is bandied about rather cavalierly and, it appears, claimed by every emotional mass movement du jour, I think it’s worth thinking about what a worst‐case scenario might actually look like.