James Wilson writes:
What amazes me is that after centuries of Roman occupation, nothing stuck to the British when the Romans left. They couldn’t build a road, a bath (probably didn’t want to), or even a piece of pottery. They absorbed not a single Roman organizational method or custom.
I’d like to add to that a discussion yesterday and a core element of our Sunday meetings – ideas get discussed, thrashed out, it’s rollicking, with no beg-pardons and it never gets personal. I’ve a real detestation when someone tries to turn the discussion of ideas into a personal ad hominem on a participant.
An idea has its own life. That idea might well be the behaviour of the left in general but it does not turn on and savage a particular participant. Back to this further down.
Anyway, he was saying yesterday that people are either capable or not of grasping something, thinking in a certain way. He was referring to tech and I was asking about why I could grasp up to a point but then not after that.
He said it was because I don’t think that way. He used the question of making a cup of tea – asking a newbie how he would do it. Well, I’d boil the kettle first, says the newbie.
But my mate’s first thought is how much water is in the kettle and is it potable? Is any liquid near electricity? It’s a way of thinking. I am from an academic background and so like these discussions but I’m also from a low tech background – I understand design principles and always think first of worst case scenarios. Building in wood is natural to me, less so in metal because I don’t fully grasp the stresses on different metals but can tell you about spruce or Douglas fir.
Not everyone canthink worst case scenario, of interlinked, cascading effects, he said. He mentioned some within the tech area he’s in, the university graduates. He mentioned people who did know and were capable. Sounds like experience, I said. Yes, he replied, a bit of that, having paid your dues in the early years but also a way of thinking. Hard to gainsay.
I think you can see why I can go a week working on the boat, blogging and doing domestics but am happy with one afternoon’s discussion out there.
I’d like to see a return to the coffee house or to go way back, the Ancient Greek discourses, the catechisms and the like. Mixing eras, I’d also like to see the return of a liberal arts education, also taking in mechanics, domestic science and every discipline under the sun for both sexes, including sword-fighting and horse riding. Schools should be offering this.
I reject this era of ours now, this ignorant, navel gazing era where teachers are ignorant and don’t teach properly, where all the noble principles are caricatured like some Downton Abbey notion of former times, where we playact at things. I fear we’re moving into a new Dark Age, where learning is what the politburo approves.
The blog is vital, it’s the new coffee house but it’s not being used as such by enough bloggers. And one of the issues with that, the reason it’s so, is that there is now a very great divide in society which we saw at the Cenotaph and on Twitter.
The global left or Them has done a fine job confusing, confounding, demoralizing and setting us against one another. You might say I’m one of the main culprits. And I say no, that was forced on me by things forced on us which are wrong, which no decent person can countenance and thus people like me are forced into acting, into countering, into calling out the Narrative, for example.
We wouldn’t have bothered had society still been functioning tolerably well but it’s not and we must speak. Logical places are blogs, Twitter and Facebook, though I find Facebook difficult in its format. There’s a hell of a lot of ignorance about, which is almost a crime, given that the web is chock full of information on any topic under the sun. You just need to explore.
What is disheartening is to see the laziness of intellect, the lack of enquiry, the willingness to accept the Narrative or to toe the party line. Where is vibrant discussion anymore and I don’t mean tit-for-tat mudslinging? Go into a Mail or Guardian “discussion” and it can’t go six or seven comments before the ad hominem starts and there goes that discussion – the ad hominem takes over and people are only interested in entrenched positions.
This polarization is not only desired but the Frankfurt School maintained it was vital in order to demoralize society and break it down, with the purpose, risibly, of moving from Stage 4 to Stage 5, the nirvana.
There never was any nirvana, waiting for Godot – it was always designed to end up like this so a politburo could take over our private lives. I rail against this oppression of the human spirit, the way people eat junk and navel gaze in their ordure, the reversion to the beast, the yahoo. And no, I do not wish to ban smoking or sugar. I would like to see far more fora where ideas are put for the sake of those ideas.
Forget coercing people but at least put those ideas out there for perusal.
I greatly fear we’re moving into a new Dark Age, where the only truth is that prescribed from above, where people have ceased thinking and wondering, where hordes of SJWs thunder across the turf, fixed on an idealized idea handed down and defined from above and ignorant of all the nuances, who are happy to throw explosives at horses, deface war memorials and urinate on churches. Potty mouthed ignoramuses such as Charlotte Church, criminals such as Hillary Clinton.
Ad hominem, you say? I made the point at the top that it was ad hominem against participants I was referring to. Church and Clinton are public sphere – they put themselves out there. Someone being interviewed by the MSM and making statements – that’s public sphere too.
What’s brought all this on? Maybe the weather out there, maybe the state of society with us at loggerheads, maybe Armistice Day but also a series I’ve been watching on youtube about the Roman Empire and what happened in the final days and beyond.
And James Wilson’s comment does hold true, ignoring the barb about the bath. Laze and Gem, we are indeed sliding into a mire, generation by generation now. There is no sign of a renaissance although, in a Downton Abbey way, half of our society actually thinks it is moving onwards and upwards. They think it’s an article of tolerance and love to swamp ones’s society with barbarians.
If you’re so keen on swamping our society, then why not swamp our society with Canadians and Australians, with French and Germans? But not Swedes, of course – they’re so far gone now it’s no longer funny.
And let’s not even start on the Emin and Hirst art and the architecture – London’s dildo building and the shard. Plus that fairground ferris wheel. There’s the paucity of the mind in one panorama. Where are the Wrens, the Inigo Joneses, the Brunels? Where’s Crystal Palace [sorry, Liverpool fans]?
Comedians – Jimmy Carr? Stephen Fry? Marcus Bridgstock? The poisoned gnome on HIGNFY? Where are the Tommy Coopers? The Peter Sellerses? The Alastair Sims? The Joyce Grenfells? Where is greatness any more?
Where is decency of spirit? Tracey Emin?