DIY

When I resumed blogging, I toyed with the idea of starting each week with a feelgood story, but to be frank, there aren’t that many of them.  Here, however, is a fantastic one about a man who works for the council in his home town, and gives his constituents back more than they give him.  We should all have such a guy in our community.

“I got sick of sitting in useless council meetings where people just drank coffee and did nothing about the complaints that were coming through in waves.  I thought: ‘Right! I’ll just roll my sleeves up and do it myself.’ “

Needless to say, the council are trying to stop him.  And failing, because he has massive community support (and a 75% voting margin every election).  The man should get an award from the Queen.  But he won’t, of course, and I suspect he’d just be embarrassed by it.

Read the whole thing because it will make you feel good about the human race, even if only momentarily.

 

Bad Planning

From this article:

Arizona Is Planning For Exodus to State in Event of Major Calif. Quake

Government agencies, businesses and other organizations in Arizona plan to participate in an exercise to practice how the state would respond to a migration of 400,000 people following a catastrophic earthquake in Southern California.
The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs says participants in the National Mass Care Exercise in the coming week will tackle how to organize operations such as providing food, shelter and medical services.

Ummm I’m just throwing the idea out there, but how about instead a building a high wall along the AZ-CA border, with occasional machine-gun towers?  Too extreme?  Yes?

My question then becomes:  what if the half-million displaced Californians decide to stay?

Brutal

…but sadly true in today’s world, measured in 20 Memes. (Link contains NSFW material, btw.)

The key words are “in today’s world”. Of course, it wasn’t always that way — hell, it was never that way before now. Which takes me back to Cappy’s excellent take on living in a 1950s world:

However, I have a bit of good news for you, and it is one of those rare bits of good news indeed. For while “we” as a country can’t and never will return to the 1950’s, YOU as an individual can. And there’s nobody who can stop you.

It’s an excellent, thought-provoking piece and I urge you to read it and reflect. The critical nugget of wisdom in the whole essay is this sentence:  “YOU as an individual can.”

Albert Jay Nock’s precept comes to mind, that one can never and should never try to change the whole of society. The way to effect massive societal change, Nock suggests, is to present society with one complete individual (that individual being, of course, yourself). In a larger sense, of course, one tries to make not just oneself a better person, but one’s family as well: by example, by education and by rearing. (Just understand that as one moves those efforts from oneself out to others, the results may not be perfect, nor even realized.)

And that’s Cappy’s point. Don’t expect the world to revert to the 1950s ethos. In fact, as he points out, modern society is being taught that the 1950s were a bad time because racism / McCarthyism / Cold War nuclear holocaust / oppressed women etc. What’s being omitted from the indoctrination is its purpose, which is to undermine what made the 1950s great:  patriotism, a sense of honor, hard work, deferred gratification, strong family ties, Judeo-Christian morality, modest living and so on. The purveyors of this indoctrination seek to replace all that with (initially) chaos and nihilism, followed closely by an omnipotent and malevolent State which would control our lives.

But what this indoctrination cannot do is stop you from living according to those values. All you have to do is eschew those aspects of modern society which repel you —   rampant promiscuity, immorality and amorality, hyper-materialism, greed, etc. (you know what they are: they’re the Seven Deadly Sins) — and replace them with the values of the 1950s, both for yourself and for those closest to you. That begins with family, and extends to a close circle of friends (always understanding that at some point, others’ values and your own may come to differ slightly or even quite a lot — and you can reassess the benefits of those relationships as they do).

I’m often teased by my friends (and on occasion by my Readers) for being so unashamedly old-fashioned about life, and the things and people with which we associate ourselves.  To this teasing I am entirely inured, and about my attitude I am utterly unrepentant. I am a conservative man, and that’s because I believe that in our own pasts, and in the history of civilization, there is much worth conserving.  Certainly, that is true of our recent history (the 1950s), as much or more as it is true of earlier decades and even centuries.

The whole purpose of civilization has been the freeing of individuals, whether of their physical being or their minds.  What I’m seeing in the modern world is a massive attempt to reverse that — and while the 1950s were often derided for their societal conformity, that conformity was largely benevolent. The conformity of today, as imposed by the Left, is largely malevolent — it is suppression and oppression, all while the Left is claiming (falsely) that it’s about escaping oppression.

This, in fact, is precisely what the 20 Memes link above is describing:  how women were supposedly “liberated” by the tenets of feminism, but how that liberation has come with outcomes that are both horrible and demeaning — for women.

So while the diagnosis is depressing, the prognosis for you as the individual is not. You just have to make it happen — and I know for a fact that a great number of my Readers already have, and all power to them. (WeetABix’s ears, for one, should be burning about now.) Just because society is the way it is, that doesn’t mean you have to conform to it.

I’ll leave you with this piece of the 1950s, a ’55 Chevy Bel-Air station wagon:

I’m not saying we should all go back to driving one of these magnificent beasts. What I am saying is that if it were equipped with just a few safety features from today (e.g. seat belts), we would not be substantially worse off by driving one.

Now apply that attitude to society in general, and you’ll see what I mean. The best part of what I’m saying, however, is that you get to choose those parts of modernity you want to keep — and then discard the others completely.

Too Much

Was it Gloria Vanderbilt who opined that one can never be too rich, or too thin?  My answer is that it depends.  If one is going to use one’s wealth to evil ends (e.g. George Soros), I believe we can certainly make a case that some people, at any event, can be too rich.  As for the “too thin”… well, we all know about anorexia, which is the low-hanging fruit in a counter-argument to the wealthy (and skinny) Vanderbilt’s wrong-headed aphorism.

But there’s another aspect to the latter, which happens, say, when a woman with a perfectly-acceptable figure gets teased about being “fat” — by, one presumes, skinny people — and goes about getting skinny just to, I suppose, restore her self-confidence.  Here’s a case in point:

A size 16 woman who was fat-shamed by her boyfriend has got revenge by losing four stone – and becoming a British bikini bodybuilding finalist.
Emily de Luzy, 24, from Horsham, West Sussex, revealed how her boyfriend told her that he made sure she was properly fed because ‘the fatter [she] got the less people would look at [her]’.
Emily, who previously weighed 12st 8lb [176lbs], described how she used to hide her body away, after years of comfort eating.
She decided she wanted to transform her relationship with her body by overhauling her fitness regime, and now weighs 9st 2lbs [128lbs] and is a UK size 8.

Now that seems all dramatic and such, but here are the B&A photos:

 

She’s obviously quite a big girl — large frame and so on — and I would suggest that while 176lbs might have been a little too much, her weight loss was likewise too much:  her bust has disappeared and her face is now quite unattractive, almost skeletal.

  

I think 25-30lbs would have been fine to lose; 50lbs was excessive.  Of course, if she feels better about herself (and has managed to shed her asshole boyfriend in the process), then there’s no harm done, I suppose.  I still think she looked better before: more attractive, more womanly and certainly less manly than she does now. (The bodybuilding pics in the linked article, by the way, are quite repulsive.)

But no doubt I’m in the minority, as usual.