Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where is the money?

I have a very rare Sunday off. I will try to enjoy it to the max. Above, you can see Tony in a photo just taken before the making of this entry. If you look closely, you will see he is engaged in his new found interest: playing with coins.
If the weather permits, Tony and I will walk to Yangqiao where there will be a market day which will mean crowded streets.
Read this essay contrasting Europe and the United States. It best expresses why I would classify myself as a conservative/libertarian type and why I loathe squishy social-democratic thinking. Government drains the life from everything. That is what is so wrong about Canada. And the parts of America where government intervention has been greatest have been the most destructive part of the American experience - look at what has happened to the blacks since the 1960s - the earnestness of all Americans to redeem their racist sins has unfortunately been thwarted by programs like LBJ's great society and Affirmative Action.
This passage from the essay I find so true:
20th-century intellectuals reacted precisely the way that adolescents react when they think they have discovered Mom and Dad are hopelessly out of date. They think that the grown-ups are wrong about everything. In the case of 20th-century intellectuals, it was as if they thought that if Darwin was right about evolution, then Aquinas is no longer worth reading; that if Freud was right about the unconscious mind, the "Nicomachean Ethics" had nothing to teach us.
My tastes are so old-fashioned that most people of these day and age consider me to be something of a freak. Telling people I like Sinatra, I have been told that I like the music of their grand parents. Another person, when learning of mine admiration of the great singer's music, asked how old I was? I wonder what they would make of my admiration of Fred Astaire. (Why are musicals so out of fashion and foreign to us? I had this attitude toward it for which I wish to find the reason). I had another person ask me why I was so eager to buy an unabridged edition of The Life of Sammuel Johnson - an used bookseller no less. After expressing an interest in studying Latin, I had someone tell me that it was a dead language. So what if its' study has so much to teach you about grammar. My absolute horror story about this peculiar modern attitude that the last 20 years of learning makes the last two thousand years minus the last 20 obsolete was when I found an English grammar from the 1940s in the school. I still have the book and refer it to always because it is the most useful book I have found on grammar. Others laughed at it. They thought that the students who used the book were a bunch of fools. I have never understood a joke and found it so unfunny....

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