Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dispatches from Akicistan #3

Gratitude:  Thank God for Crown Royal drunk in moderation.
Acknowledgement: I am a prig. I don't know the exact nature and extent of how it is that I am a prig, but I know that I must be.

Request(s): Please visit my Casa Kaulins Blog.

What is Akicistan? It isn't a place. It is more a state of mind that places cutting-edge state-of-the-art sticks in mud. The word Akicistan is formed from the initials AKIC and the root stan.

Akicistan news in brief: The K family is thinking of going to Hong Kong.

Important Akicistan Links:

In Akicistan:

Some of us can speak Chinese!  我不会说中文。我可以读一点点中文词。

There is a Monarchy! Jenny is the Queen. Andis is the King, but really the consort. Tony is the prince. King Andis proudly proclaims himself a loyal subject of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

We sometimes pay attention to China. Andis doesn't want to be a know-it-all would-be Sinologist. The are enough on the Internet already. Andis has nothing that he can add to that pile.

We are fond of Canada! We are also fond of the USA which is a great country, perhaps the greatest country there ever was. But we have one thing the Americans don't have: the Monarchy.
We are fond of Latvia! Andis is well aware of the dark aspects of Latvian history.

The Politics are Conservative and Reactionary! Andis started out as a leftie. He even proudly proclaimed to some girl that he was a socialist. He saw Billy Bragg in concert twice and bought a t-shirt saying Capitalism is killing music. But then listening to Rush Limbaugh, and reading the likes of CS Lewis, William F Buckley, Frederic Hayek, and Milton Friedman smartened him up.

English is taught! I was reading in an English grammar that the rule when to use “more” or “er” with disyllabic adjectives is as follows: If the first syllable is stressed, you use “more:” if the second syllable is stressed, you use “er.” Example of the former is “helpful” whose comparative form is “more helpful.” An example of the latter would be “polite” whose comparative form is “politer.” But I would have thought that “more polite” was okay. Reading about it on the Internet, it seems that “politer” was the old form and now most native speakers use “more polite.”
Citizens aren't freaks! Akicistanians are what normal people should be like.
Reading is the #1 Pastime! Here is what I had been working my way through the past week or so:
Don Colacho's (Nicolas Gomez Davilla) Aphorisms.  There are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled for myself.  I try to read at least one aphorism a day.  I cut and paste the better ones -- they are all profound actually -- and I put them in the AKIC Weekly. (See below)
The Niomachean Ethics of Aristotle. After this, I will read Aquinas's Summa.

Ulysses by James Joyce.  I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly guides podcast listeners through Joyce's hard-to-read novel.  Delaney figures he will have the whole novel covered in about 22 years.  Delaney completed episode #183 this week and is working his way through the chapter that introduces Leopold Bloom. I am getting ahead of Delaney as far as reading the book.  I will be finished my reading of it, I figure, in a year. I read the novel despite its many blasphemies. It is best to be aware of this stuff because the world is full of it, and the world will always find a way of slapping you in the face with it

The Holy Bible (RSV-C2E version, aka the Ignatius Bible, and Douay-Rheims version).  I will read the two versions in conjunction. Last week, I was reading the Book of Genesis.

Is Life Worth Living? by WH Mallock Finished. I don't know why this book and this author isn't more known in conservative circles. This book is a brilliant defence of Revealed Religion, particularly Catholicism, against Postivism. I have pasted a couple quotes from the book below.

Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor. Finished. Good stories written from a Catholic world view.

Reclaiming HistoryThe Assassination of John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi. This is a long book. I have no plan to read it in its entirety, but I will read most of it. As I have written before, I am a JFK assassination buff.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Finished. I read this book twenty years ago. I will read again in another year. It's a book like Road to Serfdom that changed my mind about a lot of things. [Now, if it can only change me into a new man.]

Farewell Fear by Theodore Dalrymple. Finished. This book is a collection of recent essays that I am lucky to have in e-book form. I will read anything by Theodore Dalrymple on any topic. He is that good a writer. He is also very sensible.

Memorable quotes are presented and discussed!
Nicholas Gomez Davilla:
600 The Leftist is so worried about the problems of the 19th century that he does not worry about the problems of the 20th century. The problems raised by the industrialization of society prevent him from seeing the problems raised by industrialized society. [These days, American Leftists are fighting the racism of the pre-1950s and ignoring the destructive effects of the welfare state on black people.]
610 In an egalitarian society neither the magnanimous nor the humble fit in; there is only room for pretentious virtues. [I have seen more people who spend more time saying they are good than actually doing or being good. Their actions belie their words.]
611 Man is nothing but the spectator of his impotence [I could modify that sentence and turn it into my personal motto. I could also use part of this aphorism in the title of my autobiography. I once said I was a bystander when it came to the raising of Tony.]
612 All satisfaction is a form of forgetfulness. [So is a lot of self-righteousness. I like how my memory will offer me flashes of my past that I ought to be ashamed of. I could rattle off many confessions. Once, for instance, I fired a rifle and its kick against my cheek made me cry.]
615 The calculations of intelligent men tend to fail because they forget the fool, those of fools because they forget the intelligent man. [I don't know if my calculations are those of the fool or the smart fellow. I find my calculations fail because I forget the clever people and I forget how insincere people are.]

Theodore Dalrymple (on the reading of old books):
....history should not be read as the backward projection of our current discontents, or of our grievances, that we are not just the victims of history but its principal beneficiaries so far. We have much to be grateful for because people like Messrs. Hood and Jackson labored for a better world, and others, more gifted or brilliant perhaps than them, or with better opportunities, succeeded in freeing us from the conditions that they described. If history is not merely the history of progress, neither is it the history merely of injustice reaching into the present. It should not be taught as it all too often is, as one of the subjects covered in the largest of all university departments, that of Resentment Studies.

WH Mallock:
Science is only possible on the assumption that nature is uniform. [This sentence is so pregnant with meaning for me.]

A horde of intellectual barbarians has burst in upon it, and has occupied by force the length and breadth of it. The result has been astounding. Had the invaders been barbarians only, they might have been repelled easily; but they were barbarians armed with the most powerful weapons of civilisation. They were a phenomenon new to history: they showed us real knowledge in the hands of real ignorance… [Who was the first of them? Rousseau... and they went from him.]

David Warren:
As the former prime ministrix of France, Édith Cresson, pointed out to reporters back in 1991, there has always been something of a problem with “Anglo-Saxon men.” Asked what she meant by an American reporter, she explained that, “They aren’t really men, they are all homosexual.” (As there was some surprise at this remark, she then qualified it by saying, “Well, not all the Anglo-Saxon men, of course. Perhaps only 35 or 40 percent. But you know what I mean.”) [I am not Anglo-Saxon. So, I heartily agree with this statement.]

We take our Godless Marxism so much for granted, that we cannot see through the class system. “Capitalists” and “socialists” alike have come to subscribe to Marx’s most original error. As Roger Scruton observed: “It was to Marx that we owed that first and disastrous attempt to organize society on economic principles alone.” [1)Marx invented the term Capitalism? Capitalists shouldn't use that term, even if it is a case of adopting the insult. Leftist pollution must be avoided at all costs. It pollutes thought. 2)Strangely enough, China failed first by attempting to organize a socialist society on economic principles alone and now seems to be failing again by attempting to organize a capitalist society on economic principles alone.]

CS Lewis:
If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes no difference. [I was going to read a book called Quiet: the power of introversion. It was published in 2012 and was written by Susan Cain. But after reading CS Lewis's Mere Christianity, it seemed like it was going to be a rah-rah self help book. (It also didn't help that one of the heroes of the book was Al Gore.)]
Lists are made:
Here are some interesting moments in the life of Andis Kaulins, the king of Akicistan:
  1. Andis visited Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.
  2. Andis visited the Trotsky Compound in Mexico City.
  3. Andis visited Tienanmen Square in Beijing.
  4. Andis saw Micheal Jordan and the rest of the Chicago Bulls in Vancouver, Canada.
  5. Andis saw Pope John Paul II in Winnipeg.
  6. Andis saw Queen Elizabeth II in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
  7. Andis saw the Sex Pistols in concert.
  8. Andis saw the Team Canada Junior Hockey Team beat the Juniors of the Soviet Union 7-0 in 1981.
  9. Andis had a blog entry mentioned in the Commentary Website.
  10. Andis got Billy Bragg's autograph.
  11. Andis got Maurice “the Rocket” Richard's autograph.
  12. Andis saw Prime Minister Jean Chrietien make a speech in Winnipeg.

Thoughts are thought
  • The more you know people, the more they decrease in your estimation.

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