Dr. Anthony Esolen, who teaches at Providence College, knows who is to blame for the absence of culture in contemporary America. His list of culprits includes:
“Your local school, CBS, the BBC, the CBC, The New York Times, the Guggenheim, Broadway, Harvard, Hollywood, Cosmopolitan, the Playboy Channel, Princeton, your local school, Young Adult Fiction, the halls of Congress, Planned Parenthood, the “Adult” bookstore with no windows, your local school.”
He knows that the traditional guardians of culture will not save us:
“Should we expect any help from places like Yale? Those places sponsor weeks for show-and-tell by whores and peddlers of sex toys. Any help from your local school? That would be like expecting Belial to lead you in prayer. There is no help from “the culture,” because there is no longer any culture; only the rubble of what used to be a culture.”
And he knows where we’re headed:
“Imagine a scene of wholesale destruction. Every old and venerable structure has been reduced to rubble. People relieve themselves in the street. Sometimes they copulate there, too. Their “music” is little more than grunting and groaning. Their rulers are on the take. There are hundreds of thousands of old books in the mountain of stone and mortar that used to be the library. Most of those books are far beyond the capacity of the people to read. They sneer and snort at Shakespeare, because they can’t understand him. They’ve never even heard of Virgil. A lot of these people have taken to cannibalism.”
Without even consulting the other judges or considering other nominees, I hereby award Dr. Anthony Esolen the Cormac McCarthy/Walter M. Miller Prize for Apocalyptic Imagining.
George Fields has some thoughts he’d like to share about men and masculinity, and unfortunately the editors of The Federalist have let him share them.
Men, it seems, “[are] born subject to a slew of desires, some more despicable, such as an unbridled lust for sex and drink, and some more acceptable, such as a desire for fame and affirmation…they all make the man a slave for as long as he is in thrall to them and acts according to them.”
But a true man, says Fields, will not remain enslaved to his desires. No, he will overcome them, dominate them, and put them to death:
“The act of being a man is realized when all [his desires] are put under the rule of his will and are broken with a rod of iron; when he is no longer driven by his lusts as the Greeks would term it, or the flesh as it would be known among Christians…What he was born as, a human, filled with needs and desires and lusts which he spends his days attempting to indulge, is murdered, and a new thing alone remains, that is, a man, one who despises this old self and daily mortifies it…We call a man virtuous to the extent to which he has put himself to death, to the extent to which the citadel of his mind has been sacked and duty and love alone reside on the throne.”
Luckily for women, they don’t have to put themselves to death or go through this whole self-mortification struggle; as Mr. Fields explains,
“A girl simply grows into a woman, or so most believe, whereas a man is something that is made.”
To be a man, then, is an accomplishment and an act of virtue (the word “virtue,” Fields reminds us, “is merely Latin for ‘manliness’”), whereas to be a woman is nothing more than a girl's biological destiny. In other words, snips and snails and puppy dogs' tails, on the one hand, and sugar and spice and everything nice on the other.
I hereby award George Fields today’s Gender Stereotyping Award, though I have a nagging suspicion that his article is actually a hoax.
Finally, Dusty Gates weighs in on a scheduled Satanist “black mass” in Oklahoma City:
“On Sunday, September 21, a public Satanic ritual is scheduled to occur at the Oklahoma City Civic Center. Instigators of this so called “Black Mass,” threaten that a stolen consecrated host, believed by Catholics to be the real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, will be desecrated and offered to the devil as part of a vile orgy of Satan worship. To date, Oklahoma City officials and representatives of the Civic Center have given every indication that this detestable and offensive event will proceed as scheduled, claiming that their hands are tied on the matter since the venue is a public facility, and, as such, apparently gives license to what any member of the public chooses to do, no matter how disgusting, offensive, and divisive it might be to the rest of the public.”
Not content only to rely on the “I’m offended by what you’re doing and so you have to stop doing it” defense, Gates issues this dire warning:
"Anyone who has ever been frightened by stories of demonic possession caused by tinkering with a Ouija board ought to be absolutely terrified by the horrors that could come from an exhibition like the one planned at the Oklahoma City Civic Center. We know that Jesus answers when we knock on his door (Matthew 7:7)…what do we think the devil will do when we knock on his?"
Someone should alert Gates to the fact that this is actually the fourth year in which Satanists have held court at the Civic Center. So far, at least, the devil hasn’t bothered answering the door, nor has pretty much anyone else: according to a Civic Center spokesperson, about 50 people attended a “mock exorcism” there in 2010, perhaps a dozen or so attended a similar event in 2011, and absolutely no one showed up for a planned 2013 debauch. Why would anyone bother trucking down to the Civic Center and sitting through a tedious parody of religion when they can stay home and watch any number of Nicholas Cage movies on Netflix?
In any case, it may be that “disgusting, offensive, and divisive” religious practices are in the eye of the beholder (see above re: Nicholas Cage movies). Dusty Gates might want to keep in mind that the ancient Romans were offended by Christian ritual and considered the Eucharistic celebration to be a disgusting act of cannibalism.
I hereby award Dusty Gates the “Much Ado about Nothing Award for Hysterical Overreaction,” with the proviso that he share the award with the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma and with a slew of equally overwrought commentators.