Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dispatches from Akicistan #6

Gratitude:  I am thankful that my vacation did not depress me as much as I thought it would.

Acknowledgement: I have wasted great portions of my life. I could write a book about it called Chronicles of Wasted Time except it has already been done and the author at least was successful enough in an earthly sense to have been able to have the autobiography published. I, on the other hand, am a null, a non-entity but I going to have to get myself to get use to the moments of wincing about it that can't be helped.
Request(s): There isn't anything I can ask for these days.

What is Akicistan? It isn't a place. It is 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.

If Akicistan was an empire, it would comprise China, Canada, the Red States of the USA, Latvia, and the parts of the world that comprise Modern Christendom as well as ancient Christendom.

Akicistan news in brief:
  • Andis did nothing interesting in the first week of his vacation. He didn't go anywhere even in Wuxi.
  • Andis decided that he will try to watch the first three seasons of Downton Abbey.
  • Andis did one thing of not in the second week of his vacation. He took Tony to Shanghai for a day. Unfortunately, they got bored after half-a-day and had to spend three torturous hours waiting for the train that was to take them back to Wuxi.
  • Andis worked nine days in a row at his school before having another two week vacation/holiday.
  • Andis spend the first six days of the second vacation/holiday in Beixin with his wife's in-laws. He was bored silly.
  • The second week of the second v/h would be spent in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Important Akicistan Links:

In Akicistan:

Some of us can speak Chinese! 对!我的儿子可以说的中文。我的中文?你们问的。我的中文不好。很不好!很很不好!! 明白?

We sometimes pay attention to China. Actually, with all the time off, I didn't spend much time paying attention to China.

We are fond of Canada! Listening to CJOB podcasts depresses about my prospects if I went back to Canada. The city of Winnipeg, I heard, is incapable of clearing snow. The medical system is sending patients, who are still sick, home by taxi.
We are fond of Latvia! On the Internet, I read a Latvian women cried when she heard the hateful comments made by New York governor Andrew Cuomo. She was reminded of what it was like to live in the Soviet Union.

The Politics are Conservative and Reactionary! Look at the quotes section below.

English is taught! I haven't been doing much English teaching in the start of 2014.

Citizens aren't freaks! Akicistanis keep to themselves.

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 #191 recently 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 finished reading the Book of Genesis. I am not in the Book of Exodus. In the New Testament, I am reading the Gospel According to Matthew.

Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 by Sir John George Bourinot. Finished. I felt I needed to bone up on some Canadian history. This book was informative. It was a little too optimistic about the results of the British Crown's dealing with the native population.

The Rise of Modern China by Immanuel CY Hsu. Finished Part One. A good book. David Warren recommended this history of China which pegs Modern China beginning with the fall of the Ming Dynasty.

The U.S. Civil War by John Keegan. Finished. Dan Carlin, the host of Hardcore History, has expressed a disliking of Keegan so I am now wont to think that Keegan has many merits. I wondered about Carlin when he weighed in on the U.S. Healthcare debate. All Carlin wanted was to have a bunch of experts get into a room and design a system – self-evident nonsense to anyone who knows anything about economics and how bureaucracies work. Anyway, someone who thinks like that clearly is full of it. Not to say that Carlin's podcast isn't interesting – it is the best and most professionally done history podcast there is.

Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics by Charles Krauthammer. Finished. Krauthammer is a great pundit. He seems to be well-grounded and he has a good idea what it is that lib-dems and progressives are thinking.

Our Culture, What's Left of it: The Mandarins and the Masses by Theodore Dalrymple. Finished. Another great collection of essays by Dalrymple. I put him up with the following writers whose latest pieces, when ever I can come across them on the Internet, are must-reads for me: John Derbyshire, David Warren, Thomas Sowell, Camille Paglia, Peter Hitchens, Victor David Hansen, Steve Sailer, and Anne Coulter. In this collection of essays, Dalrymple writes about legalizing drugs (he is against it.), Africa (wonderful people there except when you give them government positions.), and evil that takes advantage of the modern attitudes of non-judgemental-ism and anti-limits.

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks. Finished. What Faulks attempted in this novel was very audacious: he sought to add a novel to the Wodehouse oeuvre. I think he pulled it off. The book is true to the spirit of the original. More importantly, it doesn't conform to the vulgarity of today.

Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson. Finished. The best novel I have read in years. It was written over a hundred years ago. It was prophetic in the manner of 1984. I suppose that because the novel is very Catholic, it is not well known which is too bad because it should be. I can't help but think that the character  Julian Felsenburgh, the novel's anti-Christ, bears a vague resemblance to Barack Obama.

Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America by Mark R. Levin. Finished. Not a great book. Levin is on the side of the angels, but there isn't much in this book that I hadn't known already.

Memorable quotes are presented and discussed!
Nicholas Gomez Davilla:
673 There is no need to expect anything from anyone, nor to disdain anything from anyone.
678 All peace is bought with vile acts.
686 Nobody who knows himself can absolve himself.
705 Doctrinaire individualism is dangerous not because it produces individuals, but because it suppresses them. The product of the doctrinaire individualism of the 19th century is the mass man of the 20th century.
709 Impartiality is the child of laziness and fear.
710 To be Christian, in accordance with the latest fashion, consists less in repenting of our sins than in repenting of our Christianity.
712 A cultured man is someone for whom nothing lacks interest and almost everything lacks importance.
722 Intentional, systematic originality is mediocrity's contemporary uniform.
725 Politics is not the art of imposing the best solutions, but of blocking the worst.
732 Modern psychology renounced introspection, not so much to obtain results as to obtain less disquieting results.
734 There are only instants. [On my todo list, I have the following written for constant referral: Focus on the present. For that is where your life really is. And it consists only of tests.]
736 Primitive man transform objects into subjects; modern man transforms subjects into objects. We can suppose that the former deceives himself, but we know with certainty that the latter is wrong. [What does this mean. This one is so pregnant with meaning and insight.]
737 For two centuries the people has borne the burden not only of those who exploit it, but also of those who liberate it. Its back is buckling under the double weight. [The people who fashion themselves to be the liberators often think they can defy the laws of gravity: hence the buckling and the doubling burden of taxes and bureaucracy with little to show for it.]
739 In order to convince our interlocutors, it is often necessary to invent contemptible, deceitful, ridiculous arguments. Whoever respects his neighbor fails as an apostle.[Can the English teaching fraternity in China stand together? I am afraid not. There are perverts among us.]
744 To mature is to see increase the number of things about which it seems grotesque to give an opinion, for or against.

David Warren:
There is poison in every "charitable" act done under external compulsion; poison for both the giver & receiver.

In both my experience and observation of others, I have noticed this. When an obstacle is created between oneself and God, an obstacle is also necessarily created within oneself. And until that is removed – or shifted, adjusted, or otherwise dealt with – one remains divided against oneself.

One embarks on a double life. And this can prove quite inconvenient to someone with only one soul.

George Jonas:
Like Obama a few generations later, Pearson received the Nobel Peace Prize for making the world a little more dangerous. Obama received his prize in advance, while Pearson's came as a reward for facilitating the efforts of a leading democracy (Eisenhower's) to save a military dictatorship (Nasser's) from the consequences of aggression, by forcing three allied democracies (Britain, France, and Israel) to leave the job unfinished. It was a high price to pay for a moral victory. And I suggest we are still paying for it today.

Charles Krauthammer:
the greatest threat to a robust, autonomous civil society is the ever-growing Leviathan state and those like Obama who see it as the ultimate expression of the collective.

The conscious deployment of a double standard directed at the Jewish state and at no other state in the world, the willingness systematically to condemn the Jewish state for things others are not condemned for—this is not a higher standard. It is a discriminatory standard. And discrimination against Jews has a name too. The word for it is antisemitism. [So much for poo-pooing the idea that opposition to the Jewish state is somehow not anti-Semitism.]

Theodore Dalrymple
He would have felt it tactless to obtrude where he was not really wanted; and (an almost inconceivable attitude today) he felt no bitterness at not being wanted. [How easy my life would have been if I had had that attitude. I will have to try to be that way for the rest of my life however. There is still a chance to redeem myself.]

The choice for Gillray, as for all persons of good sense, was never between perfection and hell on earth, but always between better and worse. [Gillray was a political caricaturist who lived at the time of Edmund Burke. Currently, it is Conservatism that is the better and Progressivism that is the worse.]

Horace’s famous line of two millennia ago comes to mind: they change their skies, not their souls, who run across the sea.

 Eric Voegelin
no one needs to participate in the aberrations of his time.”

Sebastian, Faulks from “Jeeves and the Wedding Bells.”
I’ve never really understood why girls fall for chaps at all, to be quite frank, but I suppose if a twenty-four-carat popsy like Pauline Stoker can declare undying love for an ass like Chuffy Chufnell then all things are possible. Women are, as my old housemaster had remarked, queer cattle.

Lists are made: Things I like about America
  • Old Hollywood Movies
  • Hollywood Musicals
  • Frank Sinatra Records.
  • Major League Baseball (before the wild card)
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Right Wing Talk Radio
  • American Generous
  • Rock and Roll
  • American Rules Football
  • The National Football League
  • It isn't Europe.
  • It isn't China.
  • They are Canada's neighbours.
  • It isn't Mexico.
  • Their pop culture
  • McDonald's.
  • Pizza Hut.
  • Walmart.
  • Denis Prager
  • EWTN
  • Seablogger
  • American Fez
  • Babe Ruth
  • Joe Dimaggio
  • James Stewart
  • Westerns
  • The NRA
  • The U.S. Military
  • Charles Krauthammer
  • William F Buckley
  • Pamela Anderson* (She is an American citizen now.)
  • Mickey Mantle
  • Roger Staubach
  • Early Van Halen
  • Wendy's
  • Florence King
  • Flannery O'Connor
  • Mark Twain
  • Ambrose Bierce
  • Milt Rosenberg
  • Westerns
  • Cowboys
  • Jazz
  • Rock and Roll
  • Country Music

Thoughts are thought

  • As the Western world becomes gayer and more dysfunctional, kids who have a mother and a father are going to be persecuted on playgrounds.
  • I wish I could have been a butler, a chauffeur, or a monk. These are the professions that would have suited me. Alas, I live in the wrong age.

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