Monthly Archives: November 2012

What if…?

What if everything we know about illegal immigration is wrong? What if our complacency is actually complicity in crimes numerous and heinous? What if both political parties see immigrants — legal and otherwise — as nothing more than a voting bloc and will do anything, say anything, to add them to and keep them on their roster? Is it possible that the money the illegal immigrants send back to Mexico is propping up a country that would collapse without it, making the daily chaos and murder that Americans ignore a permanent feature of life in a beautiful country? The dirty secret is that very few politicians care how many dead bodies are strewn across our deserts or where illegally obtained wages end up or whether Mexicans are being executed in the streets.

This story is sad, and all too common. We need to rethink our approach to Mexico and illegal immigration. Too many conservatives have accepted the Left’s lie that to oppose illegal immigration is racist, and too many regular Republicans have decided that racism is okay. 

I’m not saying that the death of Maria Santos Gorrostieta is the fault of our country’s tacit acceptance of illegal immigration as a legitimate form of immigration, but in a country where this kind of violence is common, encouraging illegal remittances seems immoral. Streamlining the citizenship process seems a better answer, among other things.

I love Mexico. I grew up on the border; I hate to see these stories.

Nail in my hand.

Hey kids. Happy Thanksgiving. I haven’t been writing much of anything lately, with all of the traveling and cooking and eating and sleeping and hanging out with friends I haven’t seen in awhile. Mostly sleeping and eating and not working out. I’ve started a Facebook page for this site, something I should have done ages ago, so if you’ve ever wanted to go talk to the five people that read this blog regularly, now’s your chance.

So just because I’ve been half-sauced and food-drunk the last few days doesn’t mean I’ve stopped thinking. The thoughts may have been coming in at a slower pace but they’re still coming, dammit. Watching The Avengers Monday night with my niece, I happened to be multitasking (texting a friend) which led me to think about Captain America. (My friend, if he were to be drawn as any comic book character, would be Captain America.) Of all of the heroes in The Avengers, I find Captain America to be the most compelling. Much has been made (by me) about my complete devotion to Loki and his particularly delicious brand of poshly accented crazy, but that is simply the Tom Hiddleston fan in me. The adult in me is a Captain America fan.

I don’t want to get into a protracted comic book conversation, because I honestly never read any about Captain America. I’m more of a Hellboy, BPRD fan, and I really don’t give a rip about Marvel and its (majority of) pansy, UN-loving superheroes. If I hear one more “He/She/They aren’t worth it…” — cue lowering of the gun/sword/knife/arrow/laser — speeches, I may ruin my favorite shoes with my own sick, but Captain America is the grownup in the room. Always. And I find that even the eternal adolescent in me craves that.

You see, I believe that regardless of what we say, modern westerners want someone who actually believes in something. Someone with clear ideas about who and what they are, the courage to stand for those ideas, and even the courage to die for them. The problem is that most of those principled grownups don’t seek validation in politics or celebrity, don’t find their worth in the hot lights and roar of applause. And the general public doesn’t know they want that, because we don’t know what the hell we want. We’re told that the only person who matters is us — you — and our highest goal is to actualize that self. Or something. Even spiritual matters have been overtaken by the individualized search for a personalized, customizable god who will validate our every whim and desire.

But we aren’t happy, even when we have everything we’ve been told we want. We live in a state of constant dissatisfaction: rudderless, empty. And yet, just looking at our entertainment culture, we crave real men and women. We pay $20 a pop to watch actors in spandex pretend to be men of action, hopefully in a manner convincing enough to leave us feeling as if we’ve witnessed something worthwhile. Our culture is awash with overpaid actors pretending to be men of principle while the culture-makers tell us that the world is grey, that principle is old fashioned, that conviction is out of date. De passe.

But our money tells us otherwise.

And yet we lack the knowledge, the context, the courage to explore ourselves to discover and define fully-formed convictions that will give us more insight into who we truly are. We are all a mess, but that doesn’t mean we always will be. Or that we have to be. We desire reality but settle for a cheap facsimile. And we have an inkling that this is going on, but we have no idea how to change it.

In the eternal words of the great philosopher Chris Cornell:

Nail in my hand
From my creator
You gave me life
Now show me how to live

We want this. Show me how to live. And so we seek it out, often in the wrong places, and we’re told that to be an eternal adolescent suckling at the teat of the Nanny State should be our highest state of consciousness, never having to think, to worry, to do anything but play. Yet this goes against our basest nature, the desire to be and believe and have the ground under our feet and to think about something or someone outside ourselves.

And so what have we become? Nothing every other age has not bore witness and suffered from: a generation of men raised by women; a listless, apathetic mass so impressed by its own enlightenment that it becomes blind; a myopic generation willingly selling its freedom in exchange for empty promises of fulfillment, purpose, truth.

Can we hold back the tide, or are we f*cked? You know the answer. Doesn’t mean we go down without a fight.

Make it count.

So I’ve been thinking that if we had more shows like Firefly, more books like Atlas Shrugged and The Lord of the Rings, more movies like 300 and Taken, we’d have the culture back on the right track in a decade or so.

Ayn Rand is, in my humble opinion, a bit of an inaccessible writer, as her books are dense, serious and heavy. I love her ideas, but I have to admit that I am not a fan of her writing style. But we need writers of all genres who can communicate in an entertaining, accessible way the underlying principles that make one a free market, small government, states’ rights, Constitutional conservative.

Firefly was arguably (who argues this? I just have to say that to sound fair) the most perfect show ever to grace the airwaves since television’s naissance. A clearer picture of libertarian principles — toward which I lean — cannot be named. And yet the show didn’t beat one about the face and neck with its ideology, rather it showed the viewer how simple man’s dream of freedom actually is. “We’re still flyin’. It ain’t much, but it’s enough.” How could you distill it down any more?

We need clear, simple, creative examples of why being a “conservative” — leave me alone, let me live my life, let me succeed or fail by my own merit, ’cause government’s never done much but get in a man’s way — is preferable to being a perpetual adolescent suckling at the teat of the Nanny State. It’s a simple choice for those who have broken free of pop culture’s death grip. Once we stop goosestepping in time to Katy Perry, we find that what all we thought we knew was wrong and the world is a very different place than we were led to believe.

How is that an unattractive choice? Our entire adolescence was spent rebelling in some form or the other, but because the left played the long game and started indoctrinating us at a very young age, what we thought was the “Establishment” was fast becoming the fringe. The Establishment is modern liberalism, with its forced conformity and consensus. We became a mindless drone in service of the Establishment, vacantly nodding our heads at every lie and contradiction spouted by the talking heads.

Conservatives under 40 are punk rock, anti-establishment, the fringe. We have problems with authority and aren’t afraid to let you know about it. We also understand that this life is transient, and sometimes we need to sacrifice for those that come after. I’d love boatloads of free shit, but who pays for that down the line? My kid. Her kids, And on and on.

We are here for a finite period of time. Make it fucking count.

Hey-hey hello!

I like being right.

Test, test.

I’ve got a page for tHG on FB now. It’s totally unfinished, but I think my lib FB friends were having problems with me.

Go hit my “like” button!

Now show me how to live.

After a tough workout on Monday, in the throes of a heated, intense conversation with a good friend of mine in which phrases like “accepting the framework” and “civilizational decline” and “ceding the culture war” and “feminist misogyny” were used with abandon, (along with much hand waving on my part), I realized that I live for this shit. My buddy is one of those sleeper intellectuals, a quiet, self-possessed, introverted fellow who, once you get him going, turns out to have a very keen political mind and a staggeringly deep intelligence. I walked away from our conversation charged, my head swimming with ideas and new perspectives. And I knew that it was hopeless to claim that I’d never write about this stuff again.

The only way I know how to deal with the world is by writing. I don’t know how to make sense of such a senseless series of events that is my life unless I can process it through the written word. I am still writing a novel, and though it has been coming more slowly, it is still coming. That is and always will be my first love. But this… this is something else. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t live without it.

Now, when I talk about the right ceding the culture war (my friend doesn’t think we even entered it) I am not advocating the adoption of the left’s more liberal attributes. This has been tried time and again by the GOP establishment — does “compassionate conservatism” ring a bell? — to no avail. I might be “soft” on gay marriage, but I am not soft on Constitutional principles, free market capitalism, and small government. I don’t want another Republican candidate who is just going to manage the Nanny State better, or who is afraid to really tackle entitlements. I want aconservative candidate who can articulately explain why being a grown up is better than a perpetual adolescent. Who can point to Europe and its many, many problems and say, “Hey, you know what? That is what we’re headed for if you don’t get your heads out your asses.”

But we cannot do it within the confines of the “mainstream media.” We have to launch a full-scale attack on the very framework we have allowed the left to define for us. And I’m not sure we know how to do that. Breitbart had some very effective ideas, and his legacy is yet to be fully realized, but we need more. We need the viral dissemination of truth. We need to convince people that reality is better than Obama phones and universal healthcare, that hard work and responsibility is the very best gift we can give our antecedents.

Push back, creatively. That’s all we can do.

Ultimately, who cares?

What I want to know is who the hell are these women who’ve managed to position themselves, (no pun intended), in the midst of the highest echelons of power in this country?

And here’s Steyn, saying it better (and sooner) than I could.

For as long as there have been powerful men, there have been slutty women. And now we’re all distracted by this dog and pony show when Rome is on the verge of being set alight. The Vandals are at the gates, and we’re in the midst of a genuine cold civil war, a hot clash of civilizations, and societal collapse of some sort is becoming more and more likely.

On the upside, I made a killer cinnamon beef stew for dinner and my CrossFit times are pretty sweet.

We’re still flyin’. That’s something.

A friend and I had a very interesting conversation today about the establishment and conservatism’s role in it. Can we change things from within the framework that has been defined by the Left’s popular culture? We accept the limitations and definitions given us by the Left, attempting to convince an undereducated population that no, we really aren’t the assholes that everyone says we are. No, really. Promise.

How can we beat that? How can we convince people of truth when we appear to accept the lie? Outside the framework is the only way, so far outside that they don’t even know what hit them. We need a real, almost subversive countercultural movement to change things. We need creativity. We need art.

We’re on the right side, even if it seems to be the losing side right now. Let’s change things.

Discussion time.

Let’s attempt to distill this down a bit.

I don’t believe that the GOP must abandon its principles or morality in order to appeal to the average Obama voter. I don’t believe that the GOP is incapable of understanding the “lost generation” (as reader Katja succinctly put it) that found it hard to relate to Mitt Romney. I think that there is an abject refusal to acknowledge that the country has undergone a radical transformation in the last 40 years and no longer cares to relate to a candidate like Mitt Romney (whom I found quite compelling in the end). Oh, the right talks about the brokenness of the culture and the lost generations and whatnot, but there is a marked disconnect in their actions. I liken it to the religious right’s refusal to allow gays to marry. (This is going to get me in all kinds of trouble.) I believe that the religious right believes that by denying the right to marry to homosexuals, they can somehow keep gays from being gay, in the long run. That’s my theory, and I’m sure to be chastised accordingly.

The GOP knows there is a cultural disconnect but can’t quite bring itself to fully acknowledge how its own interaction with popular culture is perceived. Mitt Romney appealed to a fading demographic. Good or bad, it’s not for me to make that call. But instead of looking for another Reagan, or an anti-Obama, or another “moderate” career politician, perhaps we should attempt to explain to the lost generations why conservatism is the best route for their wellbeing in the long run. Why self-sacrifice and hard work are better for the country as a whole. Why objective morality makes sense, and gives one’s life a framework within which to operate that is ultimately more rewarding. (And by objective morality, I do not mean exclusively Judeo-Christianity.)

How about explaining the history of democracy, our country’s significant role in that history, and the daring of our Founders’ great experiment? Culturally, this country needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. Camille Paglia made a great statement the other day on the folly of the Right’s general skepticism of the art world, and though I’m not going to get into that at the moment, it bears returning to at a later date.

Let’s start talking about this. Something needs to change.

Well, that was a relaxing retirement.

I haven’t turned on the radio yet, (and I won’t until I head out to the gym), but I can only imagine the shell-shocked pundits riding the airwaves right now. What went wrong? How could Romney lose? He was exactly what the establishment asked for, and he even pandered to us loopy Constitutionalists a little.

I don’t know if you all remember, but about a year and a half ago, Rush Limbaugh read some of my stuff on the air. I was lamenting the state of my peers, convinced that they were too self-involved to vote against Barry. The Free Candy Party, or some such nonsense; I’d have to go back and check. Rush did not agree with me, thinking I was too pessimistic, but I know my generation. I know those coming after me. I have not sequestered myself from the culture the way so many older, more established, more influential conservatives have. Rush is an optimist, not an establishment guy, and he believes that Americans want to live the American dream that Reagan promoted. I would really love to believe that, but I cannot. All evidence I have seen is to the contrary, and it bummed me out enough for me to quit political writing altogether.

So here’s my theory: Having ceded the culture war decades ago, the right has continued to lose touch with popular culture, even while believing that because they watch Dancing with the Stars they are somehow still “hip.” Each generation brings its new “sexy” “young” conservatives who are generally younger versions of their elders. Maybe they’re thinner, or female, or have fake breasts and expensive highlights, but they’ve got the same degrees from the same schools and have had the same career trajectory as their predecessors. They’ve got law degrees or poli-sci degrees or whatever, and they sound the same as the old guys.

The Right does not speak the same language as the majority of the people in this country. I’ve been spending far too much time on Facebook lately, as having no blog to come home to, I was quite lost. I started to get concerned when I asked my 200-something friends — most of whom I know personally to be quite intelligent and well-informed — whether Benghazi made any difference at all. I was starting to feel a little echo-chamber-y there toward the end, as each revelation about the Administration’s criminal incompetence in Libya was rocking my world and yet causing not a ripple amongst my peers.

So I asked them what was up. The few brave wonderful souls who answered me weren’t all that concerned about it because they didn’t quite know what all the fuss was about. Not because they’re uninformed, but because they either don’t have time to be an obsessive like myself, or they trust that any news that is worth knowing will make its way out through the proper news channels.

And the language of the culture has painted conservatives as old, out of touch, rich, white, racist men. I’m not any of these things, but the right has decided that the best way to combat this caricature is to just ignore it. To send tweedy, law school nerds out to appeal to the “youth” vote. And though our problems are Legion — there are no adults left, we’re all so distracted from distraction by distraction that we don’t even know what the hell is going on, we have an entire underclass of takers who’ve no real interest in contributing a thing, &etc — our inability to communicate effectively with a growing mass of perpetual adolescents, to tell them why self-sacrifice is a virtue, why working hard is important, why becoming an adult at some point is preferable to living life as an eternal child is a key issue. It hobbles us. We’re speaking another language.

And it’s not working. So what’re you going to do about it, punks?

[As an aside, I think that choosing gay marriage as the hill to die on is a misstep. Being gay and being conservative are not mutually exclusive. But where are conservative-leaning gays to go? To a movement that has generally decided that the only way to deal with them is to completely delegitimize them as people? It's the same issue I have with religion and homosexuality, but expanding upon that is for another time. People, gay or straight, grow up and (most of them) have kids, and then the world looks a bit different. But if only one side of the political debate sees them as people, there's a problem.

I personally don't think that gay people getting married is one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse, and I think that people who love each other should be able to get married and have families without feeling like second-class citizens. I think that finding the balance between broadening our horizons as a movement and remaining true to principle is key. And we aren't a monolithic movement. There should be room for everyone. We don't brainwash and we don't hate.]

You can bet there will be more in coming days. I can’t stay quiet on this.