Out Of The Past 2

Barricades, Explained

November 26, 2008
5:04 AM CDT

In a long-ago discussion in Comments, I made the statement that if I had my preference, I’d like to die either asleep in my wife’s arms, or else on the barricades.

I think I’d better explain the latter, because someone may get the wrong impression, and I’d hate that to happen.

Although I’ve started to look like a Frenchman and am descended from the French, most Gallic qualities have long since been burned off by the passage of generations. Most especially, the need for le geste magnifique, mais inutile (the magificent, but futile, gesture) has long ago been purged from my psyche.

So don’t expect me to rush to the barricades when The Glorious Day comes, AK clutched in wrinkled grasp, with ringing exhortations coming from my lips.

I am uncomfortable in the role of “revolutionary leader”. I’m not a rabble rouser, or an agitator. I seek not to form an army, or an underground movement, or any kind of Maquis. I don’t care about glory, or notoriety, or any of that nonsense. I am, quite simply, a man who will go so far, and no further, and who will resist oppression without fanfare, without recognition, and without a qualm.

I am also not a terrorist, or “freedom fighter”, and I will never engage in any activities which are proactive against Our Enemy, The State.

may, however, choose to resist, in a manner of my own choosing, because I have various boundaries, personal boundaries, which may or may not be the same as those of others.

So my “barricade” would be a lot simpler, and a lot more personal.

It could be at my doorstep, when agents of the State come to confiscate my suddenly-illegal guns.

It could be in a court of law, when I am forced to choose between paying a fine for disobeying an unjust law, and going to prison. (It will, I promise you, be the latter.)

It could be when the State tries to confiscate or trespass on my property.

It could be when the State threatens my family.

It could be when the State tries to load me, or any other “undesirables”, into the cattle cars (real, or metaphysical).

It could be when an agent of the State demands “Papieren, bitte” and I show them my tattoo instead.

It could be when I am restricted in, or forbidden to exercise my freedom of speech, or any of the other freedoms enumerated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I will decide what constitutes “reasonable” when it comes to restrictions thereon, and not some Congressman, lawyer, judge, policeman or government bureaucrat.

Just like Nock before me, I’m not intent on “setting an example”, or influencing others, or making a splash of any kind. Those who wish, may do what I do, or not. Those who wish to castigate me for my choices may do so, but it will have no effect. Those who wish to use me as an example do so without my consent or blessing, and those who expect me to “lead” them will be disappointed.

I am a quiet man, a reasonable man, but I am not nor will ever be a slave to the State. I left one country to escape that, and I will not live like that in my adopted one.

So if I die on the barricades, it may be known to others, or else just an unseen spark which flickers and dies in the darkness. Either way, I am indifferent. But it will be known to the agents of the State, I can promise you that. I will not go quietly into that dark night of oppression. It may well turn out to have been a futile gesture, but it will not be futile for me.

I may have lost most Gallic qualities, as I said earlier, but the one I have most definitely lost is the impulse to surrender.

And that’s all I’ll have to say on the topic. Ever.

Magazines & Such

Firstly, I need to comment on CheaperThanDirt’s blog logo, which is outstanding:

…and I like their articles, too.  Here’s the latest, on Mec-Gar magazines.  This part got my attention:

An advantage of a new type of Mec-Gar magazine is a special coating. As cartridges are loaded into the magazine and roll against each other and also contact the side of the magazine, they create friction. Mec-Gar has developed an anti-friction coating.
Magazines with the AFC product number suffix have this special coating. This coating makes loading and unloading the magazine easier. By comparing the original magazine with a magazine with the AFC coating, it is obvious that the coating works.

Allow me to add my endorsement to this.  When I re-acquired my Browning HP, I only had one magazine which, as Loyal Readers will recall, I addressed tout de suite.  A couple of the new mags are quite difficult to load, while three others load as easily as slipping into a dockyard totty during Fleet Week.  When I examined the mags more closely (after reading the above piece), I noticed that — tra-la! — the easy-loading mags have the “AFC” designation.  Not only are they easier to load, they all accept the 15th cartridge without causing me a finger-hernia.

I haven’t tried the new Mec-Gar mags in the 1911 because Chip McCormick PowerMags, but I may do so in the future, as Replacement Time comes around.  Watch this space.

Out Of The Past 1

Titfers

November 14, 2008
8:45 AM CDT

Oh gawd, here he goes agaln, banging on about the decline of civilization…

I know, I know. And yet, this piece by Tom Utley struck home:

The more I have thought about it, the more I believe that the urban male’s decision to abandon the hat — taken en masse on both sides of the Atlantic in the middle of the last century — is one of the most inexplicable phenomena of modern history.

I could have understood it if neckties had disappeared. They are a perfectly absurd adornment, serving no practical purpose but to attract egg stains and keep us feeling uncomfortable around the neck at the height of summer. Oh, and a lot of them are a great deal more expensive than the average hat. But the tie remains with us and it’s the hat that’s gone. Why?

Actually, I think that the disappearance of men’s hats is quite simple: JFK refused to wear them—who knows, maybe he knew that he looked like a total dweeb compared to other politicians of his day, most of whom, like Ike, looked as though they’d been born wearing them.

My beloved grandfather wore one all his life—I think he’d have gone out without a shirt before leaving off his hat—and had, as I recall, at least four: a selection (black, grey and brown) for “dress” (i.e. work, to match his suit of the day, and the black only for funerals), and one or two for “casual” outings (to work in the garden or to take fishing). Of course, he also always wore a jacket and tie when he went out, even if he was just going to visit friends, or going to the supermarket. Utley again:

There’s also something about hats — perhaps because they remind us of a past and gentler age — that seems to encourage courtesy and civility. The rituals of removing them indoors and raising them in greeting or deference to a woman seem to shape their wearers’ general conduct throughout the day.

Yup. That’s as good a reason as any why men today are slobs, and especially so towards women. The net result is boorishness, in appearance, speech and behavior. (Richard Littlejohn hates that, too. He’s talking about Britain, but we’re not far from that in this side of the Pond, either.)

In the pic which accompanies his article, Utley looks quite debonair in his new hat, although he could have tightened his tie, to avoid the Mike Hammer/Damon Runyon disheveled look. (And I understand his comment about ties being useless and impractical—I just don’t agree with it.)

I think, as I get older, I’m going to start wearing a jacket and tie every so often. I know I’d look better than I do now, and most of all, I’d feel better. (It’s the same reason why soldiers have “dress” uniforms: it’s impossible not to feel proud about yourself when you’re smartly dressed.)

I bet that if we all did that, the national civility level would improve—and that, my friends, would not be a Bad Thing in these, the waning days of our republic.

——————————————————————-

For my Murkin Readers, the title of this piece is Cockney slang for a hat: “tit for tat”, ergo “titfer”.

Break Time

Time for me to take to the air again…

 

Yeah, today’s American Airlines economy class looks just  like that. [/sarc]

Anyway, I’ve decided to take a little vacation time, to show New Wife around the country a little.  Angie’s only been to most of north and west Texas, northern New Mexico and the bottom half of Colorado, so I decided to take her off to New England for a belated honeymoon.  Also, she loves the sea and beaches are in short supply in this neck of the woods.

As with most of my vacations, there’s very little planning involved other than a putative destination and well, that’s it.  We’ll be flying up there courtesy of frequent-flier miles, renting a car, then heading out to wherever.  I know New England pretty well, having been there several times since I first saw it in 1985, so I have a short list of places to go to.  Most of the trip, however, will be spent eating lobster, seafood bisque, clam chowder and fish ‘n chips, all washed down with copious amounts of Sam Adams / white wine.  She also wants to do something she calls “walks on the beach”, so I’ll have to let her show me how this is done.

 

Blogging will be sporadic, depending on where we are and whether wifi is available, but I’ll be back in the saddle next week sometime.  In the interim, content yerselves with some old-time rock ‘n roll pieces from the archives (some old links may not work, but that’s not critical, mostly).  See y’all later.

Wrong Direction

Now there’s this little trinket:

Amazon is selling a bracelet that gives you an electric SHOCK you when you eat too much fast food, bite your nails or spend too much time on the internet

Hmmm… I have an idea:  how about selling one of these little behavior-modification devices which is triggered when you’re spending too much time browsing the merchandise at amazon.com? 

No?

Then fuck off and die, you corporate fucking nanny pricks.  And take your little Stasi girlfriend Alexa with you to the crematorium.

Quote Of The Day

“Here we are, after nearly 1,500 years of achievement in philosophy, poetry, architecture, science, music, art, and religion, yet we allow cultural troglodytes and other such ‘cool’ types to set the agenda.” — Taki