Tag: Charleston shooting

The Happy Anachronism


Vintage Pocketwatch

It is idle to talk about preventing the wreck of Western civilization. It is already a wreck from within. That is why we can hope to do little more than snatch a fingernail of a saint from the rack or a handful of ashes from the faggots, and bury them secretly in a flowerpot against the day, ages hence, when a few men again dare to believe that there was once something else, that something else is thinkable, and need some evidence of what it was, and the fortifying knowledge that there were those who, at the great nightfall, took loving thought to preserve the tokens of hope and truth. — Whittaker Chambers

I don’t recall the exact age when my paternal grandfather stopped caring what the rest of the world thought of him, but I do remember the ebullient freedom with which he would announce whatever happened to be on his mind at any given moment, often to hilarious effect. I once brought a young lady over to meet him and at the conclusion of our visit, as we were leaving, he took her by the hand, smiled warmly and said, “You sure do talk a lot.” As with many things, his observation was absolutely spot-on, though it would have been nearly suicidal for me to agree with him at that particular moment. He winked, I winked, and she kept on talking.

Losing the Right to Be Southern


lonestar_lgUp until last Wednesday night at about 8 o’clock, I could — that with the right degree or irony and humor — introduce myself as “a white, Christian, Southern bigot,” though sometimes the order of the words change. Most people would laugh, understanding the heavy irony I was employing.

You have to have a well-developed sense of irony and humor to live in the South. Our history and its contradictions are simply too great. That’s what Dylann Roof took away from white southerners last week; it doesn’t compare to the lives he snuffed out in Charleston, but it hurts nonetheless. Dylann Roof took away our right to be ironic about being a southerner and the right to be humorous about it. He may as well have taken away our identity.

Southern identity is a strange thing. The Agrarian philosopher Richard Weaver once said it is almost spiritual, akin to being a Catholic or a Jew. I am not quite sure I would go that far, but I do understand where Weaver was coming from. There are many of us who consider ourselves southern before we consider ourselves American; a “country within a country,” as the historians have put it. I suppose, according to many bloggers this week, that makes us traitors.

When You Start Making Maureen Dowd Look Classy By Comparison…


BarnicleI’ve never much liked the “you won’t believe what the liberal media just said” game. Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad other people are doing it. It’s just never been a big part of my portfolio. It seems a little too easy. If — like me and, I’d imagine, many of our readers — you find most of the Left’s more prominent talking heads these days to be intellectual flyweights, it rarely feels worth the candle.

That said, I do harbor a longstanding vendetta against pundits who feel no compunction about shoehorning their ideology into other people’s tragedies. Last year, for instance, I posted about Paul Krugman trying to score political points off of Tom Coburn’s cancer, as well as Maureen Dowd’s shameless attempt to get a column on Hillary Clinton out of Robin Williams’ suicide, both efforts I found utterly tasteless. Well, MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle — who, the few times I’ve seen him on TV, has struck me as crazy but not MSNBC crazy — rounded out the triumvirate this weekend. Barnicle’s newest Daily Beast column starts out as a seemingly thoughtful reflection on last week’s shooting in Charleston:

A week filled with terror and trauma carried out by a sociopath, a 21-year-old racist named Dylann Roof seemed to conclude with a prayer in the form of the simple, eloquent words of Nadine Collier, whose 70-year-old mother, Ethel Lance, was one of nine dead among the pews of the Emmanuel African Methodist Church Wednesday night in Charleston, S.C.: “You took something very precious away from me,” Ms. Collier said to the killer in a courtroom where a bond hearing was held for Roof. “I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”

Does Martin O’Malley Even Know How Guns Work?


“Martin O’Malley,” The New York Times reported yesterday, “a Democratic candidate for president, called for a new national assault weapons ban and other gun control measures.” O’Malley reportedly touted his record in Maryland for “passing laws ‘that banned high-magazine weapons, increased licensing standards and required fingerprinting for handgun purchasers.’”

Does this guy even know what an “assault weapon” is?