I know it’s become a cliché, particularly in Hollywood movies, to mess with the guards in England, but this is real life we’re living in. And having been to Windsor Castle, I can attest that the guards there are hardcore. You couldn’t pay me to put hands on them. This idiot’s lucky he got away as well as he did.
What is it about tourism that makes people think they can get away with stuff that they would never do in their own country?
While the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage last week seems revolutionary, especially coming a scant 12 years after its discovery to a right of homosexual sodomy in the Texas v. Lawrence case — it is really just the culmination of a process begun decades ago. As this blog post from Ancient Faith points out:
There are any number of reasonable reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. Try this one: It was inevitable, and no argument marshaled by the opposition would—or even could—prevent it. Hear me out.
In his 2009 book The Permissive Society, historian Alan Petigny makes the case that the upheavals of the sixties were just manifestations of religious changes from the forties and fifties. It’s not like someone flipped a switch and then—voila!—sex and drugs. “What the nation experienced,” says Petigny, “was a classic instance of norms coming into line with values.”
Something, in other words, happened in the postwar years that set the stage for the events to follow. It’s an observation that helps explain the apparent rapid shift toward gay marriage in our own day.
When the ground really shifted
How rapid is it, really? It sure feels fast. We all have recollections ranging from vague to crystal clear that even progressives such as President Obama and Hillary Clinton opposed gay marriage only a short while ago, or that a person could express contrary opinions without fretting over livelihood or social standing. Not anymore. Something shifted in a hurry. But it was only the norms, not the values.
The values changed all the way back in the forties and fifties. In that sense, the gay marriage battle was already over when Eisenhower was in the White House. How so?
Petigny describes what he calls the Permissive Turn, a liberalization of values that happened following World War II. Some of it came down to a “renunciation of renunciation.” The war had demanded a great deal of austerity and self-sacrifice. But with Germany and Japan subdued, it was time to live it up. Americans plowed their prosperity into material self-gratification. But there was more.
At the same time, the culture witnessed a shift in the way we viewed human nature. We swapped the traditional American view, grounded in a certain pessimism inherited from the Protestant understanding of original sin, for the newly refurbished and Americanized psychotherapy.
For all the hullabaloo over the so-called “Greatest Generation” — they set in motion forces whose harvest we are just now reaping.
A gripping intellectual adventure story, Sailing from Byzantium sweeps you from the deserts of Arabia to the dark forests of northern Russia, from the colorful towns of Renaissance Italy to the final moments of a millennial city under siege….
Byzantium: the successor of Greece and Rome, this magnificent empire bridged the ancient and modern worlds for more than a thousand years. Without Byzantium, the works of Homer and Herodotus, Plato and Aristotle, Sophocles and Aeschylus, would never have survived. Yet very few of us have any idea of the enormous debt we owe them.
The story of Byzantium is a real-life adventure of electrifying ideas, high drama, colorful characters, and inspiring feats of daring. In Sailing from Byzantium, Colin Wells tells of the missionaries, mystics, philosophers, and artists who against great odds and often at peril of their own lives spread Greek ideas to the Italians, the Arabs, and the Slavs.
Their heroic efforts inspired the Renaissance, the golden age of Islamic learning, and Russian Orthodox Christianity, which came complete with a new alphabet, architecture, and one of the world’s greatest artistic traditions.
The story’s central reference point is an arcane squabble called the Hesychast controversy that pitted humanist scholars led by the brilliant, acerbic intellectual Barlaam against the powerful monks of Mount Athos led by the stern Gregory Palamas, who denounced “pagan” rationalism in favor of Christian mysticism.
Within a few decades, the light of Byzantium would be extinguished forever by the invading Turks, but not before the humanists found a safe haven for Greek literature. The controversy of rationalism versus faith would continue to be argued by some of history’s greatest minds.
Fast-paced, compulsively readable, and filled with fascinating insights, Sailing from Byzantium is one of the great historical dramas–the gripping story of how the flame of civilization was saved and passed on.
One of the more interesting books I’ve read the past decade or so.
Greg Gutfeld announced he was leaving Red Eye and the show began rotating different men and women in the host spot. On Greg’s last show, when this plan was announced, I turned to my wife (the lovely, Mrs. Firefly) and said, “Please don’t let Tom Shillue be the new host.”
We watched the ensuing shows with various hosts and Tom Shillue seemed to get more than his fair share of chances, and, as I expected, he did not do well. As we watched a few weeks ago I noticed flashes of still images of Tom Shillue during the broadcast and I turned to my wife (the lovely, Mrs. Firefly) and said, “It’s going to be Tom Shillue.” At the end of the show Andy Levy announced that, after two weeks of repeats Tom Shillue, would in fact take over permanent hosting of the show.
Even though I knew it would be lame, I watched Monday’s show. It wasn’t lame. It was actually better than the show at the end of Greg’s run. I watched Tuesday’s show. Shillue seemed to be hitting his stride even more, and it was better. My wife (the lovely, Mrs. Firefly) and I noticed that we hadn’t laughed at the show or been entertained by it in a long time, but we were smiling and laughing again. It was like the old days.
I’ll meet you in the comments to dish the dirt and give my opinions on what I think Tom is doing well (and not doing well).
With his announcement he was leaving “Red Eye” and “Red Eye’s” ensuing hiatus I anxiously awaited the premiere of Greg Gutfeld’s new show, the eponymous, “Greg Gutfeld Show.” With so many weeks to prepare I expected great things and I was not disappointed.
Oops, I meant to write I was disappointed. I wanted to like the show. I wanted to laugh. I was disappointed. With lowered expectations I watched the next week and liked it a bit better. I thought the third week was actually good, and laughed several times during the program. Last Sunday, the fourth week, it took a slight slide backwards. I fear week three may be the peak.
I’ll meet you in the comments to dish the dirt and discuss what I like, and dislike about the new show.
Chesterton, what more can I say? If you want a tour de force about what Christendom (and Christ) have met to the West and to the world in general, then this book will go a long way towards your education or reaffirmation. Chesterton is evergreen — as relevant now as ever.