Yearning for the next civil war

He was stuck with the duty and he would fight. And he had no doubt he would die and that would be a good thing.

He looked around the battlefield that had been his home, and carefully raised himself out of the recliner. It wouldn’t do to fall and break a hip now. Company was coming, and he had to be ready to greet them. He hoped it would be today.

— From Absolved, a novel by Mike Vanderboegh

Combat veterans bear deep scars of memory. At the same time, they often feel nostalgia for their time of service. This is fitting. Nostalgia always mixes love with pain.

What should we call a similar yearning for a war to come? For a future civil war between Americans?

Some of my neighbors think such a war is inevitable. They may attend tea party rallies, or they may not; if they do, they indignantly deny that they were lured there by media celebrities like Glenn Beck.

They’ll tell you they’ve known for a long time that America has lost its way, and the halls of power are controlled by a conspiracy against freedom. Those who don’t surrender their firearms, control of their property, and their rights to the mega-state will be hunted down, one by one. Neighbor will betray neighbor in a dark, cruel, deceitful America ruled by brutal thugs. We’re already more than halfway there.

This belief isn’t really susceptible to argument. Continue reading “Yearning for the next civil war”

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teh kidz r alright

A cartoon rabbit seated in front of a glowing TV set, saying "This calls for immediate action."

I was recently directed to yet another complaint about the decline of literacy, the corrosive intellect-leaching power of digital technology, and our collective guilt for letting Western civilization subside into a mire of tweets, blogs, and gaming.

iPhones Have Consequences, by Sally Thomas, is a witty, engaging essay on the subject, supported by memorable anecdotes. I believe it delves deeper into the question than most such efforts, and it’s well worth reading.

I feel I must address her argument that the present college generation is dumber than we forty-somethings, seeing as I’ve argued exactly the opposite. It’s my view that the forty-somethings are the dumbest generation currently on offer, and the so-called “twixters” or “tweens” are more curious than we, and have read more and thought about more than we had at their age. Continue reading “teh kidz r alright”