Tag: Civilization

Print the Legend

 

My movie-obsessed daughter recently went on a Western kick. It does the heart good that a 25 year old gal, uprooted from solid Appalachian soil and replanted in the urban wilds of Brooklyn, finds a fascination with authentic American cinema. Hannah has that innate ability to see beyond the entertainment purposes of film, to the underlying messages and themes the director intends.

So great westerns were a natural fit. Big vistas and big ideas. Americans literally forging out a civilization from the wilderness – struggling with ideas of justice and duty. Westerns provided a perfect backdrop to write these truths across the wide open sky.  Men entering their houses justified.  We could use more of that sentiment today.

Technology Knit into the Fabric of Society

 

The story of textiles proves to be the story of human ingenuity. The history of fiber and cloth is also the history of civilization. Fabric is so interwoven with our history, our culture and our civilization we often overlook its importance.

These claims form the thesis of “The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World,” by Virginia Postrel. It examines the significance fiber products in the emergence of civilization, and their importance today.

Postrel begins examining the building blocks of textiles. She spends a chapter each on fiber, thread, cloth, and dye. This follows the progression from raw material to finished cloth. Thread is formed from fiber and cloth from thread. Dyes (coloring) applied to either thread or cloth decorate the result.

Quote of the Day: Are We a Great Civilization in Decline?

 

“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.” — Will Durant

Many civilizations have indeed come and gone, giving in to decadence, tyrannical rule, mismanagement and a lack of purpose or direction.

But when we look at the troubles of the United States, we have to wonder about our own direction? Are these times only a blip in the development of this young country? Or does the lack of religious belief, the prevalence of moral relativism, the move toward socialism, or naivete about the fragility of a democracy, all endanger our existence?

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The number of documentaries one can watch on YouTube for free is staggering, including some of the classic art documentaries the BBC released between 1969 and 1980. The impetus for finding them online was the news that a new Civilisations (yes, the English spelling) series was being released, and as this YouTube comment relates, it’s […]

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A beautiful imagining of the Kingdom of Zeal (The original was 16-bit graphics) Let us turn the clock back a few decades. A much younger OmegaPaladin turns on his Super Nintendo with the cartridge labeled Chrono Trigger inserted, to immerse himself in a story of heroic deeds across time. After a challenging boss battle, he […]

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Quote of the Day: The Barbarian Invasion

 

“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.” – Thomas Sowell

The truth of this observation is being made plain by the failure of the United States education system. Instead of being centers to educate and civilize our next generation they have become centers to indoctrinate and foster barbarism.

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There’s been a lot of reflection in 2018 about the year 1968, a half century past.  Generally regarded as one of the most disquieting years in American history, there were assassinations, urban race riots, the ongoing and controversial war in Viet Nam, all the campus protests and unrest, the Democratic National Convention which descended into […]

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This Chaos Without Tradition

 

New “traditions” are entrenching themselves in America. Spontaneous one-man Civil Rights movements and the desecration of historical monuments have become authoritative expressions of the character and legacy of our society. Of course, these are not real “traditions.” They are the product of the fiery passion of democracy, the ardor of Jacobin fiends who have redefined what it means to be American. This is the chaos of a country without Tradition.

Tradition is a gift–an inheritance handed down over generations and not particular to any one person, family, or nation. It includes the mores of ancestors, and their heroes and holidays (as we had in this week’s Columbus Day) that express shared historical foundations. Tradition addresses the little things, like the proper attire at an evening party, even as it maintains great institutions, like the family, marriage, and religion. Though it cannot be explained by pure reason and logic, Tradition is in harmony with Nature, allowing us to better understand man’s origins and the world around us.

Today, however, Tradition is deemed senseless superstition — an arbitrary and expendable personal preference to be rejected at every turn. One cause of this has been Americans’ shared overreaction to the tumult of the Civil Rights Era. Generations formed in the ’60s and ’70s were riveted by the great courageous heroes of this movement and, of course, the natural justice of its cause. But after relentless revisions of history, future generations have failed to learn many other aspects of our culture’s past that are worthy of reverence — historical virtues without which the Civil Rights Movement would not have been possible. Thus, when we welcome immigrants now, we seem so ashamed of our past that we prefer that they bring their own identity, heroes, language, and mores with them rather than share ours as their common inheritance.

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(I thought I would repost my article from September 9 since the topic has recently become so huge.) To all those who find comfort in the largest Republican majorities in American government at the national and state levels since the 1920s – you probably shouldn’t. That’s because the insane dismantling of America and Western Civilization […]

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(I thought I would repost my article from September 9 since the topic has recently become so huge.) To all those who find comfort in the largest Republican majorities in American government at the national and state levels since the 1920s – you probably shouldn’t. That’s because the insane dismantling of America and Western Civilization […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Pres. Trump’s removal of 46 Obama-era U.S. attorneys and how many critics fail to mention this happens with every modern administration.  They also shake their heads as scores of high-level government appointments have yet to be filled and no nominations have been made.  And they wince as Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King says, “We can’t restore our civilization with someone else’s babies.”

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It is Remembrance Day in Britain. This is the day on which people were once called to remember the armistice that ended the Great War &, thereby, to reflect on the war. It could be remembered once concluded, but the mind is stunned at the recollection. What is the meaning of this war? Why was it fought […]

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Tracking America’s Suicide

 

shutterstock_140840029Amid a plethora of sensational news reports elbowing each other to seize first place in America’s national consciousness, there is a story that has lurked beneath media radar that teaches us much more about the status of our country than school shootings, Russian bombings in Syria, Iranian perfidy, Hillary Clinton’s makeover attempts, and Republican candidates’ daily presidential gymnastics. It concerns an event that took place in Afghanistan in 2011, when a group of Green Berets, which included Capt. Danny Quinn and Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, were faced with reprehensible acts that pitted them against some local officials in a classic episode involving a clash of civilizations.

It seems that Quinn and Martland were apprised of a situation involving an Afghan mother who was severely thrashed by an Afghan soldier who had kidnapped her son, chained him to a bed, and was repeatedly raping the helpless child whenever he felt the inclination. Quinn and Martland confronted the Afghan commander, who then laughed in their face, said that “it was only a boy,” and that Americans should find better ways to use their time.

But these Green Beret heroes wouldn’t stand for that. Martland proclaimed that they morally could not tolerate Afghan soldiers committing atrocities against their own people in the presence of U.S. forces, and the two men made their point clear by body-slamming the soldier and kicking him off the post. Whereupon the American soldiers “were reprimanded because they were told it wasn’t their place to intervene and they should properly observe Afghanistan’s cultural and relationship practices,” according to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and has taken up their case against the Army’s outrageous decision. In fact, although Quinn has since left the military, Martland is currently fighting to keep his position before he is discharged, effective November 1.

The Joys of Snobbery

 

shutterstock_22218943Is it possible to be “discerning” and have “refined” tastes without being a grump? Can a person be sharply critical of art and entertainment without being constantly annoyed by mediocre works?

In seeking what is good and beautiful, should we readily dismiss lesser works? Should we try to overlook flaws in order to appreciate as much as possible? Or is that settling?

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January 24 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill, one of the towering figures of the 20th century.  Without his iron will, volcanic personality and rhetorical gifts the German tide might not have been turned and the world could have been left to be divvied up between the various monumental evils of […]

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One of my friends is a writer who is presently spending time in Malaysia as his wife teaches English. He’s among my liberal friends and though he’s strongly in that direction, I’ve found I can have at least intelligent disagreements with him. Earlier this week he posts this picture: He commented on this as well: […]

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The Necessity (And Limits) Of Tradition

 

Last week, member Mike Rapkoch offered the following in an excellent post on Judge Richard Posner’s derisive comments regarding tradition:

Mike Rapkoch: Tradition is not… just a bunch of old stuff. Tradition is the foundation of rational conduct, and the means through which mankind passes on the social capital which has accumulated through the experience of thousands of generations that have already confronted the vicissitudes of life…