Notes Before Death: Some thoughts

Notes before Death, as the title suggests, begins with the author’s morbid musings on his own mortality:

I have been swept up in stirrings towards oblivion, which I had never before known. Until recently the contemplation of death had the more typical effect of instilling fear into my heart, causing me nothing more than thoroughgoing grief and terror. But now, I find that the terror has dissipated, and the concept of dying holds an immense appeal, not just for the psychological catharsis brought by the notion of taking a grand and decisive step

Having entertaining various kinds ‘hipster nihilism’ myself, the literary kind is perhaps the least destructive, as its purveyors seek to produce prose and flourish in a thematically-rich (read: morbid) context, in an art for art’s sake kind of way.

I’ve wondered whether there is a ‘type’ or psychological predisposition to indulging in existential examination. It seems that the ‘cool kids’ are just too busy being cool to worry about Kierkegaard or Sartre or the memoirs of any other eminent misfits. But depressive nihilist he is not, and I get the sense that at times he is in it more for the wordplay, in mixing literature with philosophy, although it’s quite possible that being an Existentialist, he is simply following the conventions of the genre.

The second part of the book focuses on sexuality. He goes on to detail the various stages of his consciousness, from happy childhood to his Edenic “fall” from which point everything changed:

But the changes that took place were in fact of no good whatsoever, in any familiar usage of the term. No… change was plainly bad in this case. I suspected such at the time, but was implored to believe otherwise by authoritative forces; thus, out of seemingly called-for deference to authority, I refrained from mourning what should properly have been mourned, and instead trusted in my elders, only finding out later what I had truly known all along: that my elders were either deluded by or compliant in the corruption I rightly espied lurking behind their smarmy smirks.

Echoing his previous work Confessions, Nowicki brings to light the inner turmoil faced by so many of us. Yet he does not accept the ‘stiff upper-lip’ proscription, but rather extrapolates and wrings-out, explains, whines and dines on the contradictions and circularity inherent in the coming-of-age process. In sub-chapters “Redbuffed” and “Flailure” we are treated with the awkwardness of his teenage alienation in a highly male-brain fashion, rejecting that the most ‘well meaning’ parental advice that what seems to be wrong with everything is ‘just in one’s head’.

There is a thematic consistency in Nowicki’s work and one of the things that stands out to me is his perceived need to be motivated to action in a pure and moral way. Just as he wished he could be immune from corruption and degradation of flesh, and its attendant social striving to become ‘wanted’ and a ‘fucker’, he would prefer not to try and please with his writing and express his himself without thought or reference to the readers of his writing:

..I wished to achieve a similar sort of integrity in my work, never asking the reader to meet me halfway, never making flattering unctuous overtures to him, never attempting to win him over to the “cause”, never trying to make him like me or feel in any particular way about what I was telling him. The notion of being a manipulator disgusted and repelled me, not simply because I thought it was the wrong way to approach others, but also because I felt it demeaned the artist, rendered him more of a mountebank than a soothesayer, more a prostitute than a prophet.

In this chapter deriding the crowd pleasing artist, in his insistence not to crowd-please or ‘be a fucker’, he doth protest too much. In forming and creating a voice that defines itself by not pleasing, in an act of conscious authenticity, one is acknowledging the crowd nonetheless, and is counter-signalling in an alternate way, whether it takes the form of a studied indifference or a bombastic guitar-solo.

As Nowicki is a kind of ‘acting moral conscience’ to the outrage-seeking white-nationalist fringe, (or as counter-signaling in the alt-right, you decide), I’m going to take a note out of his book and question his motivations. There is something distinctly American about the author’s constructed hyper-authenticity. He paints himself as the the awkward, unabashed loser. “Look at me, I’m not going to pretend sex and puberty isn’t awkward – I’ll even wear it on my sleeve!” with an all-knowing smile and glee when he gets reactions from the more easily agitated 1488ers – is he in fact the manipulator?

I offer the following general defence of the more vigorous defenders of the undefendable: When you reject social norms, take on the mantle as an outcast with regard to your understanding of history, politics, media, gender relations, demographics, the economy, the prevailing order in toto – liberalism – then there is bound to be a bit of fumbling in the dark as we attempt to articulate new answers, and a new lens with which to interpret and huge events. I’m inclined to be less harsh to wearers of Iron Crosses and ideological revisionists, since it’s a kind of ‘first stop’ of casting off the reigning ideology – adopting what you know holds immense power in a talisman-like way – that will cause superstitious wailing and absurd displays of faux-outrage, although at some point we need to ‘step over’ the baggage of 20th century conflicts.

In one of his teenage humiliations, he describes how while travelling on a bus with other high-school students, he got into an argument about whether sex was a ‘good thing’ or not (guess which side he was on). Predictably, everyone ganged up against him. But aha! I have a quote that sums up the entire point of it. He enjoys his self imposed alienation!

Though our debate no doubt had the effect of alienating me still further from my peers— who at the very least found my ideas somewhat freakish, and at worst thought me odious for attacking what to them was close to sacred— nevertheless, I felt pleased with the interaction, since it at least indicated a level of engagement with them, something I had felt very little acquainted with as a youngster, being, as I was, a general “eyesore in the architecture” at that time. Here, I was at least being noticed, and noted, rather than scrupulously avoided, as was more typical.

His attention seeking goes exactly to plan, and he gets to feel special all over again.

Despite (obviously) being a fan of Nowicki’s I nevertheless became exasperated with the unending navel-gazing in Notes before Death. His particular brand of florid prose is at times the self-indulgent literary equivalent of a grown man prancing around in a tutu. It all seems deliberate – to cause the reader to squirm with the superfluousness of his inquiry and heavily linked, premised and padded paragraphs. It is interesting to note the difference in style between the writing in theology compared to his flood of self-indulgence and then his fictional novels.

It’s certainly not a ‘pure expression’ (in the self indulgent parts) –  it is highly self conscious, yet you want to keep reading because he explores questions  most of us don’t want to – of our wretchedness and pathetic need for validation and human attention. Note that in all cases flesh (be a wanker not a fucker), fame, and mortality he can never get to where he wants to go – which by all accounts looks to be heaven. I think we should embrace our carnality, rather than ponder and moan about it. To look for the joy in the animal as life passes from it, into the eyes of the girl as she winces in pain and pleasure, in the fear and anxiety of the person seeking your approval.

At some point we come face to face with the baseness of our existence as violent, horny and hungry bipedal apes with a highly developed moral instinct that need be sublimated towards greatness, rather than navel gazing of the East or the self-flagellating, self-cuckolding of liberalism. There cannot be the passionate intensity without the hardship, the loyalty without adversaries. It’s not pretty it’s beautiful. Insert mishmafag quote.

In his essay on Christian theology and the Crucifixion, Nowicki attempts to reconciling the vengeful, jealous G-d of the Old testament with the more liberal and forgiving God of the New testament. As Nowicki soberly describes, the ancient Israelites, were like their modern descendants in their untrammeled sense of righteousness. Christian morality (or even liberal leftists) cannot provide a moral basis to support the biblical nor post-biblical crimes. But Talmudic Judaism has no difficulty with this because it’s good for the tribe.

The figure of Christ, whether you believe the story or not, has a powerful impact on the mind. The idea of existence outside of our ability to conceive of it could be profound or it could be just another tool of manipulation. The concept of ‘fully human and fully God’ is illogical, and this kind of Christian metaphysics is more complex than the kind of codified web of rules and laws that consist Talmudic Judaism. I’ve been interested in theology on an off during my school years, but I’m not going to say too much about this chapter. There’s Dugin quote from his Essay ‘Dostoyevsky and the Metaphysics of St. Petersburg that is relevant here.

“But let’s consider a Christian not in holiness, not in monkshood, not in asceticism and the hermitic life. Will the idea set by the Old Testament order be valid for him? No. He is christened, which means born from above, and consequently God is with him too. Inside, but not outside. Therefore, even being a sinner, the unworthy one too lives beyond the old man, in the new being, in the stream of the undeserved light of Grace. Observing or not observing Old Testament legislation has nothing to do with the intimate essence of the Christian existence.
Of course, it is more convenient for a society to have dealings with those who are obedient and observe rules. For a Christian society too. But all this doesn’t have any common measure with the Church sacrament, with the mystical life of a believer. Here the most interesting element begins. A Christian, by overstepping some Old Testament commandment, in fact demonstrates that he did not complete in himself the mysterious nature of the New Man, the potential personality cast by the Holy Spirit in the font of christening.”

It’s hard to believe the trope that ‘the best parts’ of Paganism and Judaism are what made Christianity. I’ve not seen this case made, only stated. I’ve also heard all sorts of other convoluted claims bouncing around the Alt-right, such as why Christians are in fact the opposite of Jews and why it’s more anti-Jew to be Christian than Pagan due the repudiation of their covenant, that Christians ‘improved’ their God and use their sacred text. I see it as a text that was compiled. The mystical power of the Holy spirit and the story of Christ, as explained later in his notes holds immense appeal, although the logical progression and end point of Christian weakness causes a lot of cognitive dissonance. Trying to shoe-horn tribalism and White Nationalism into Christianity clearly causes a lot of commotion, but I’m more tired of this kind of thing than anything else.

Catholicism or all mainline Christianity is a system. It is roughly coherent if you accept the premises but logically (within our human sense of ‘logic’) it comes apart on closer inspection. The convictions that I have or had may just be a product of my familiarity – or even superstition – I instinctively cross myself when I hear an ambulance or when I see a blind or disabled person – although there is a perversity to this also, a kind of ‘lucky me’. I can only reconcile life to God if he has very little to do with it. There’s a lot more about theology in the later part of the book, which I may write about in the future. For now, these are my somewhat disjointed and incomplete thoughts on the book.

Overall the thread of death loosely unites the series of essays in this book. It shows you the ‘different characters’ that the Nowicki plays when writing on theology, memoir and journalism. Now that I’m writing this conclusion several months after having read it, what stands out to me is the playful earnestness of the style in the first half, and the humour of the embarrasing stories. It’s a bit of a mescla of ideas, opinions, stories and theories, and some serious theology at the end. Have a read of it, and there’s likely to be some part that will interest you.




New Post at Last Man Review: On Supremacy

The term ‘supremacy’ is most commonly understood in a pejorative sense. A ‘supremacist’ has a view of one’s own people or culture that is arrogant, callous, chauvinist and based on narrow and exclusive criteria. Much like its cousin term ‘racist’, the word ‘supremacist’ contains the sound and appearance of an infected skin-lesion cyst ending in the tongue-lashing  ‘ist’ – the sibilant-consonant combination that conjures an image of festering nastiness that will cause untold harm if not cleansed from its dark recesses. [read more at the link below)

Treason and Treachery on hiatus

Dear readers,

As you may have noticed, I have been fairly inactive since January. This has been because of a number of things in my personal life, as well as a general ‘stepping back’ from some of the convictions I have held in my brief foray into NRx and the Alternative Right.

After leaving about five articles in draft, I realised my unwillingness to write was due in part to a change of perspective. I am also in the process of reading a number of philosophical works which have challenged many of my held assumptions. I’ve heard it said that wisdom is knowing how much you don’t know, but for me it has mostly meant that I simply don’t know enough to be writing about some of these topics, and want to spend some more time grounding myself in the writing of others.

This year I plan on launching a new writing project, and will likely leave TnT behind. To my modest readership I hope you have enjoyed whatever perspective or entertainment I have provided, and look out for when I announce what I will be doing next.


NVSQVAM (Nowhere) by Ann Sterzinger

Author, publisher and editor of TakiMag, Ann Sterzinger recently released her latest novel NVSQVAM (Nowhere) on Kindle, allowing impatient cheapskates (and those of us living at the ends of the earth) to part with a few shekels for this 300 page-long tome. It is a story of one Lester Reichartsen, ailing Latin scholar, cracked genius, alcoholic, absent father to an eight-year-old child prodigy and unenthusiastic husband to the more successful Spanish professor Evelyn.


We are led through Lester’s wistful reflections of misspent his youth as a budding rock star, before his retreat into the unforgiving drudgery of academia, having been ‘forced’ into the responsibility to provide for his unplanned family. His is a struggle with the material, the social and the personal. What is it that makes one a ‘failure’, in the eyes of family, society and oneself?

He put his elbows in the sink-filth, tried to look like David Bowie, and thought to the mirror: I am a doctorate student in Classical Letters, and have no recollection why I ever decided to do such a thing. I am the only drop of blood in my line to have ever learned any more Latin than is in a mass, and it’s too goddamned late to impress anyone. I am married to a chiropractor’s daughter who is writing a brilliant dissertation in Spanish, which is useful, gods damn it, and she named her fucking cat after Frieda Kahlo, and she wants me to feed it. I am forty thousand dollars in debt for a degree that people will only make fun of unless I become a college professor, which means my life is over except for the part where I make myself available as a font of knowledge that nobody wants, and meanwhile my country is pissing away everything it has on a war that makes us look like 300 million Stooges, so even if I wanted to try to get a regular job to pay off the loans I’d be screwed blue anyway. But I’m a lucky guy, because I can still get an erection, and I have somebody to get an erection for, and furthermore I live in the West and do not live in a radioactive mud hut in Cambodia. Hooray.” Lester giggled. ‘Radioactive mud hut.’ Good one. If I could work that into my dissertation …


I started this paragraph with “Sterzinger makes extensive use of inner monologue to draw us into the mayhem of the protagonists’ world” and then I realised that I’m not writing a litcrit essay but a review or reflection for the small audience of the probably male, alt-readers who grace these pages. Women in general have an advantage over men because they read more fiction. Yes, I know, ‘quality over quantity’, chick-lit, 50 shades of Grey and Stephanie Myers, but sadly by spurning reading in general, but especially fiction, one neglects the indirect reflections on life, spirit and the human condition that can be learned by the trials of the tragic anti-hero, the personal effects of their decisions, and the madness that awaits us far enough down the rabbit hole:

Lester was suddenly whomped by empathy again, stupid empathy for this thing; whomped by the indirect, helpless sensation of the dullness and pain and ordinary pointlessness of the creature’s future, for which it no doubt had vague and hopeless hopes. Except for its ‘relationships’—a silly word for truces between bags of meat before the puny soul of each was sucked into the void—its life would be dumb work done so that another dumb animal up the hierarchy could dumbly seek and gather luxury clothes and foods without joy, simply so that others could see that more ‘important’ animal doing so, and perhaps be persuaded to give themselves sexually to that animal, to create more animals in its image to suffer and cause suffering.

Lester is both simple yet flawed and complex. The curse of Lester’s intelligence brings him disgust at the lives of all others – too good for his current life, his only chance of happiness lies in ‘what could have been’ had he continued his music career. His (hilariously) witty cynicism prevents any and all happiness, except for brief periods of gleeful spite, or the relief of his tortured existence afforded by his fifth glass of whisky. He is so warped, the fact that Evelyn stays with him defies belief. I say this as your run-of-the-mill young misogynist who believes in biological differences and everything. His disintegration is like death from a thousand cuts, with a couple of heavy swings to speed up his deliverance.

Although she is a woman (Ah like ’em lit-erate!), Sterzinger deftly traps Lester in the cruel social scaffold that defines the white, middle-class male of his generation – not on the way up, but instead peering down precariously at the peons below, as they thump their bibles, massacre the English language and drive around in expensive tanks.

In this way, Nowhere is genuinely thought provoking. How much do we blame the ugliness of the world, of pop culture for our own failings and weakness? What is more pitiful, the banal bleating of the ‘breeders’ and ‘car-people’, or our own never-realized delusions of grandeur? Are we wretched and jealous of those who have made happy, healthy, comfortable lives for themselves, who ‘sold out’, whilst wallowing in the lazy discomfort of unrealized potential?

If you are one (like yours truly), who shares Lester’s pretensions, who feels his sense of entitlement, you won’t be delivered into a warm fuzzy acceptance of your faults, and of the world around you.

Quit fantasizing, Lester, you’re never going to be anything but a smart peasant.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I know you! All this talk about upper-middle-class assholes has always been a cover-up for the fact that you want to be an aristocrat.” He sniffed. “Well, I should be. Instead of a serf in an oligarchy. With fifty thousand dollars of debt and three pretty pieces of paper[..]

Despite his impulsive, childish nature and relentless adventures in self-sabotage, I still found myself rooting for Lester. Like a tape set on replay (yes, you read tape; this is set in the late 90’s/early 2000’s – there’s even an incriminating ‘tape’ in one of the more theatrical scenes), the constant self-criticism, doubt and insecurity that plagues his every waking (and non-waking) moment is familiar to any man who rejects the norms of his time and place, yet castigates himself for being unable to assert himself and gain the respect of those whom he scorns.

Nowhere is not a quick read, although I ate my way through it over several late-night binges. It’s not clear where some parts fit in (perhaps I’m not lateral enough to understand the lengthy dream-sequences), but it’s long enough that one becomes invested in his character. As his links with the real world become more tenuous, I became less connected with his character, reminding me of Notes from Underground.

It’s hard to describe the tragedy that accompanies Lester to someone who hasn’t read the book – in fact I’d rather discuss the book with somone who has read it (this will be my belated Christmas present to a few friends, so I can selfishly do this). I won’t reveal spoilers here, but Sterzinger clearly is not trying to win anyone over with the ending.

The broader sense is that in life things don’t end well. So much of the bestselling, Pulitzer prize-winning claptrap at your local Barnes and Noble is designed to lift the human spirit, to inspire and entertain, to provide hope and escapism from the dullness of modern life. Nowhere dispenses with this convention, and faces head-on the possibility that there is only suffering, and there is no meaning but comedy to be gleaned from it.

To conclude, Nowhere traverses the normal path laid out for modern novels, and confronts questions that no amount of blog, newspaper or magazine articles could. Dark, tragic and hilariously funny, Sterzinger’s third novel will likely resonate differently with everyone, and should be considered a sound addition to your reading list.

Confronting Power

In a recent article Propaganda of the Need: Join or Die, Andy Nowicki discusses the third installment of The Hunger Games trilogy, and its relevance to the Alternative-Right and other dissident movements that seek to subvert or overthrow the prevailing orthodoxy or ruling order. Having read the series, I enjoyed watching darling of 4Chan, Strong Independent Woman Katniss Everdeen grace the screen with her figure-hugging spandex outfits, albeit for different reasons than  ‘you go grrrl’ empowerment. Despite a near-parody of this feminist meme, Mockingjay presents us with the conflict that arises when grassroots social movements move past the affirmative consent phase and start to get physical. (more…)

The Alternative Right: Why You Should Stop Living On The Internet

I’ve always liked to push-the-envelope, border on inappropriate, and to rustle the jimmies of the self-righteous. I reserved this for the idols that I found contemptible, or at least not beyond reproach – I never thought there was much that was funny about mom, baby or Jesus jokes. But the morally-hygienic SWPL, the uptight snob or boorish jock was fair game for a bit of rabble rousing when conversation lulled or I’d over-indulged in the wrong company.

Being a Millenial, the focus of our cultural environment has been to tear down, rather than build up. Since the 60’s the left has taken aim at the cultural symbols that they believed were ‘holding us down’ – traditional marriage, gender roles, Christianity, Capitalism, Colonial history inter-alia. Having decisively won the ‘culture wars’, the left, through film, TV and music gave us the ‘itss the corrporrationss maaannn!’ spaced out hippie degenerate, and its modern incarnation, the SJW/tumblrkin special snowflake who demands you evil fascists alight your Panzer tanks and ‘listen’ to their ‘conversation’, ‘check your privilege’ and self-flagellate for your ‘micro-aggressions’.

The liberal media employs techniques of snark and mockery to undermine who they consider their inferiors, (in nerdy neoreactionary parlance, the Vaisyas), usually what they call the blue-collar, red state ‘hicks’ and ‘white trash’. The hysterical screeching over Sarah Palin is a case in point (conservative womyn, don’t lean in – kill yourselves). Programs like The Daily Show and Rachel Maddow use the point-and-sputter, and the rehearsed self-righteous moral indignation, with a bit of snark thrown in for good measure.

But there is little left for them to ridicule. The mainstream media is liberal, and has the support of both government and major corporations. As much as these ‘journalists’ wish they were Woodward and Bernsteins, their role has been reduced to selling products, harvesting clicks and promoting the progressive agenda. ‘Useful idiot’ caricatures like Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, come along every now and then for them to resurrect the spectre of the dangerous, crazy self-reliant redneck Christian man, but for the most part, the role of the dissident is now firmly in the hands of the Right.


In a recent article, Andy Nowicki at Alternative-Right posited that dissidents will be dissidents, and will change their stripes to become new dissidents as time requires, because it fulfills a fundamental need:

Yet how much of the coalescing counter-culture is an authentic challenge to the repugnancy of the predominantly-enforced mindset, and how much is but a mirror image of its essentially identical proclivity to sacrifice authenticity for conformity in a rigidly proscribed and witlessly contrived manner? Put another way, will anything essential have changed when today’s radical egalitarians are replaced by tomorrow’s ethno-nationalists, or will we merely see the flip side of the same phenomenon, the future “tails” to match the present-day “heads”?

This a question that deserves an answer. Are we just as bad as the wannabe Bernsteins? I think that there are large elements of the ‘Dissident Right’ that fringe for fringe’s sake, and enjoy getting into infantile games of ‘I’m more right-wing than you’ until they reach complete and unutter Skyrim LARP irrelevance. In a recent episode of The Daily Shoa 14.88: Right-Wing Pokemon, The Death Panel discussed some of the more absurd libertarian-induced strains of edgy-autistic reactionary thought. Read the transcript of Ghoul’s great analysis here. But I don’t buy into Nowicki’s nihilism that we are all just depraved puppets, searching for a master to pull our strings. I acknowledge there is a real undercurrent of malcontent that is based upon a dispossession, that is a product of the institutional machinations of a hostile, leftist zeitgeist.

What I’ve come to realise, the more I have read and immersed myself in ‘the edge’ of the dissident right, is that all of the thoughts and feelings that you have and things you experience have been shared by so many others. In your personal life and social circle, you might be frothing extremist for not believing in equality, or risk becoming a pariah for expressing doubts about the fruits of ‘womens’ liberation’, but online, you’re a milquetoast sellout conservative beta male who enables the matrix and promotes the feminine imperative because you have a job, vote and want to get married at some point. The initial ‘rush’ of the red pill is intoxicating and feels great, and a bit of ranting and vicarious travel through the similar experiences of others is warranted. But there is only so much that can be gleaned from this, and it’s easy to be seduced by your own ‘rationalisation-hamster’. If you listen too closely to the likes of Roosh and Captain Capitalism, you could be misled into thinking that all western women are useless sluts, and forget about achieving anything in your professional life because ‘the economy is stuffed’ and ‘the lefties are out to get you’. By being extreme, right-wing reactionaries polarise their audience and draw more loyal support, as well as those who just enjoy audacity and snark for its own sake. They need this to stay relevant, create twitter wars and make themselves heard.

Coming to this realisation is important. The fact that I want to live in a stable economy with low crime, not be displaced demographically, and be able to go about life without dildos being shoved in my face is actually pretty normal. It is to play into the progressive narrative to think that these are extremities, relics of a bygone era that belong in the dustbin of history. We are the normal ones. It is all-too-tempting to get carried away with becoming the truest Scotsman, so that you becoming a LARPing child, posting medieval images of knights and dames on your twitter feed, who belongs in the sand-pit.

That is not to say that the internet is not an extremely valuable, decentralised mechanism for spreading dissenting thought and generating followers and new content. We need writers, artists, publishers and authors to continue their great work, and publishing online does not in any way diminish what they do. As a subscriber, reader or just as ‘one of us’ you have found a community-of-sorts, which can be a rabbit-hole of its own. Navigating Vantardism, and just the generally antisocial-freakshow that is social media can be difficult for us ‘big-tent’ special-snowflakes.

So for the millenarian, hard-right reactionary reader, take heart. Yes, your university is leftist and your corporate diversity training fires up the ovens buried deep in your Schutzstaffel heart. Yes, the media and culture-at-large has lied to you and is actively subverting our own proud history, tradition and culture of the West. Instead of churning out Magic card Gravatars of yourself as a Neo-Monarchist-Papist riding a silver stallion, summoning thunderbolts, engage with your (real, physical) friends and colleagues. Read real books, find others open to your ideas and become a better man (or woman) by actually living out the values you have chosen. Ask questions about the narrative collisions that are becoming more and more pronounced, and accept some of the realities of the time and place that we live in.

Turning the wheel

Your love is a crank that must be turned
Sparks fly that are bright and she’s dazzled
Don’t slip off that wheel
With your hand or you’ll feel
That her eyes won’t adjust to the dark

With her keen sense of justice that’s surely confused
No reason or plea can excuse you
To care is to err, to share it with her
That you’ve known she’s a bore all along

Her mind is a mirror, reflect what you will
I’m sure that you’ll like what you see
But the time comes around when you can’t stand the sound
Of the shriek of the old Banshee



The Homestead Fantasy

It is something of a ritual for young 20-somethings to read Walden; or A Life in the Woods, and pine for the simple truths of life to reveal themselves while amongst nature, to follow the path laid out by the 19th century transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

Combine this spiritual quest with the modern incarnation of the American frontiersmen, the Tea Party constitutionalist, who wishes to escape the clutches of the bureaucratic police-state, and be left alone to fly his Gadsden Flag and watch Alex Jones, and you have the 21st century Neo-Homesteader. (more…)

Our robot future

Robots. How quaint. The word itself conjures up images of 1960’s Sci-Fi predictions of The Jetsons and Star Trek. The enormous social changes imagined by futurists and comic book authors has largely not come to pass. Yet now, in 2014, it seems there are renewed predictions of a robot economy that will displace a large part of the workforce. (more…)