The List of Ten…

A challenge circulated around Facebook recently:

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.

A lot of people (including myself) did think too hard.  How could we not when considering such a personal subject?  I suppose normal Americans are flippant about their reading, or reading might only be a small part of their lives – but my reading material is a life preserver; it’s all that’s keeping me in contact with the pre-60’s (pre-apocalypse) Europe.  Excuse me for taking a few extra minutes.

I guess I’m not as intelligent as many of my friends because they listed grand works of theology and philosophy, while the majority of my list is fiction.  Don’t get me wrong: I’m not accusing anyone of dishonesty or bad motives, but really…how can someone list Calvin’s “Institutes” as a book that greatly influenced and / or stayed with him over the years?  I’ve tried reading it and can’t get past the first chapter without falling asleep or getting so frustrated with the abstract verbosity, I have to quit.  As a matter of fact, I can’t think of a single work of theology or philosophy that has ever affected me emotionally or offered me anything other than a few convenient arguments I might use against atheists.

Nor is my list profoundly ideological or “conservative”.  Benjamin Wiker wrote “10 Books Every Conservative Must Read”, and while he lists some classics (like Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution” and Belloc’s the “Servile State”), only one of them actually made it to my list:  Tolkien’s “Return of the King”.  I feel the need to apologize to some of my friends; it’s almost as if they’re more high-minded and concerned for the fate of the west because their material is political and conservative.  Pat Buchanan, Francis Parker Yockey, Oswald Spengler, all made multiple lists, while I have children’s stories.  Well, it’s likely true that my friends are more intelligent (and thus have higher-minded material on their lists), but at the same time, (and with no desire to defend myself from the charge of being unintelligent), I’d hate for some of the books on my list to be given less than their due.  They’re just as biting, in their own way, I would argue, as anything written by Buchanan, and far more true than the opinions of Spengler.

On a final note (before revealing my list), I hope parents read this with a hint of caution.  I read many of these books long before graduating high-school; they struck me emotionally in my formative years and will likely always be some of the most influential books I’ll ever have read.  So, were I you (not telling anyone how to run their business), I’d keep all the “teen fiction” so popular at Barnes-&-Noble decidedly out of their reach, supplementing instead with the classics.

These are not listed in any particular order; I couldn’t place them in order of influence or importance even if I wanted to.  So, here’s my list (for what it’s worth):

1.  Body by God ~ Dr. Ben Lerner

I’ve developed quite the library of alternative health and fitness material since reading this.  Looking back, it’s not the most well-written or informative of them all, but it was the first of the genre I ever read.  My sister gave this to me as a gift one Easter (she knew I was trying to be a Navy SEAL at the time, so she thought it would be helpful).  Dr. Lerner’s book introduced me to the world of alternative and holistic healing and convinced me of the importance of organic agriculture.

2.  Last of the Breed ~ Louis L’Amour

My dad made sure we grew up with a love for the wilderness; additionally, Louis L’Amour was a staple in our house.  Last of the Breed is, arguably, his best novel.  I read it when I was young and just beginning to recognize the political injustice in America (Bill Clinton had just won the Presidency for the first time and many Conservatives were demoralized).  There couldn’t have been a worse time (as far as liberals were concerned) for a boy to read Last of the Breed.  I read it during the upswing of the militia movement, when taking to the woods to fight off tyrants was being romanticized in flee markets, gun shows, and early morning diner conversations the country over.

3.  The Lord of the Rings ~ Tolkien

I initially listed “Return of the King” because it was the most striking of the trilogy, but I learned that Tolkien meant for all three to be a single volume originally.  Due to paper rations during the War, they had to be published separately.  And again, thanks to my father, these were a staple in my house; we had Bilbo read to us before bed time.  I’m convinced the best way to read Tolkien’s masterpiece is when it’s infused with a personal sense of nostalgia.  I feel sorry for people who never had it read to them as children.  (The same goes for Lewis’ Narnia series).

4.  1984 ~ George Orwell

Clinton had been in office for a few years when I finally discovered Orwell.  The negros made government school lunch-rooms off limits.  Any poor white boy who lingered would be attacked or otherwise publicly humiliated.  So I spent that time in the library at a little table in the corner.  I’d read books to escape the oppressive reality of school.  What Satan meant for evil, God meant for good – because I discovered the dust-covered world of old Europe.  Unfortunately, though, I stumbled over Orwell’s book.  The blurb on the back suggested the hero Winston lived in an oppressive society and gradually found the means to resist and overcome it.  Another “Last of the Breed” triumph against tyranny, I thought.  I eagerly read it.  By the torturous end, I was sick to my stomach and infuriated.  I was innocent until reading Orwell.

5.  War Crimes Against Southern Civilians ~ Walter Cisco

I was grown and familiar with the scholarly world by the time I read this.  I remember thinking it was light on citations.  I was hoping for more information and better resources.  But what the book lacks in scholarship, it more than makes up for in zeal.  Until reading it, I had a passive pride in my Southern history and thought of the War in terms of quaint weekend travels, seeing historical sites or watching reenactments.  This book made Northern atrocities personal.

6.  Man Alive ~ G.K. Chesterton

I’ve spoken about my post-military depression on this blog (multiple times), so it should be no surprise to my readers.  At the height of my military career, I was a respected member of my unit, decorated, on my way towards being a Navy SEAL, when I had my heart broken by a woman.  Also, at the same time, I had become convinced my service was a sham and that American foreign policy was evil.  In the short space of a year, my entire identity unraveled, I lost the girl of my dreams, and realized I had spent the better part of my adult life pursuing service to the Devil.  This was all on top of the normal depression military veterans feel when transitioning to civilian life.  There were some dark times and I likely wouldn’t be here right now if not for having randomly stumbled across Chesterton’s “Man Alive”.  If life has never forced you into asking major existential questions, consider yourself blessed.  For those of us who have been there – Chesterton’s story is better than any “self-help” manual or disingenuous comfort from pretentious, meddling pastors.

7.  Quentin Durward ~ Sir Walter Scott

Of course, God doesn’t strike major blows to our lives if He doesn’t intend on building us back up better than we were.  I gradually discovered old Europe through the literature of Sir Walter Scott (and through the blogging efforts of a few angelic individuals).  I’ll spare the autobiographical notes, and just say that all of Walter Scott’s writings (at least, all I’ve read thus far) have inspired me, but this one in particular, because it’s about a knight in a land that does not necessarily share his values.  Durward is a foreigner…like all of us are foreigners in this world.  And he’s opposed by a twisted intellectual who is rich, commands armies, and relies on devilry for inspiration.

8.  That Hideous Strength ~ C.S. Lewis

Subtitled “A Modern Fairy Tale For Grown Ups”, this was the first book I ever read that really made me a conservative.  Of course, I’d have all of C.S. Lewis’ works on this list if I could, and by only listing this one, I don’t mean to downplay the importance of the rest – but this one really stands out for me.  It’s a book I’ll re-read over and over and should a time ever get fixed for my death, it (and not excluding the Holy Scriptures of course) will likely be the last book I ever read. Wiker lists “Abolition of Man” as one of the 10 books every conservative should read, but Lewis says “Abolition of Man” was his attempt to state (in non-Fiction) the point of Hideous Strength.  If a person doesn’t grasp Lewis’ point in “Hideous Strength”, he’ll likely not get it when stated directly in “Abolition”.  We true “Conservatives” are in a spiritual battle against those who seek to overthrow all Godly order in the world and institute a “scientific” (read: Satanic) dystopia.  No one makes this plainer than Lewis.

9.  The High King ~ Lloyd Alexander

This was another book I discovered while fleeing from the harsh reality of government school.  The entire “Chronicles of Prydain” series is splendid (with the exception of book 4 “Taran Wanderer”, which, on some interpretations, could have a contemporary egalitarian theme).  Based loosely on old Welsh legends, Alexander introduces children to a world of honor and old-world social mores, with entertaining characters and magical stories.

10.  All Creatures Great and Small ~ James Herriot

Soon after discovering 1984, while scrounging around in the same library, I stumbled over Herriot’s autobiographical books, describing his time as a veterinarian in the English country side.  Of course, I was so badly educated at the time, I didn’t realize where the books were set; I was well into the second book before realizing it was all supposed to be taking place in England.  Herriot showed me there was profound good in the world, even in spite of Orwell’s vision.  I loved these books so much, I began volunteering at the local vet clinic.  I remember the Vet (Dr. Jones, I believe his name was), snickering when I told him I wanted to be a veterinarian after reading Herriot.  “We’ll cure you of that” I remember him saying.  I’ll spare the grisly details, but he was right in the end.  Still – Herriot’s writings have stuck with me to this day.

Apologies…

browsers

I’ve just discovered that my blog looks terrible when viewed with Internet Explorer.  All the links and side-bars are pushed to the bottom and jumbled up.

For any of my readers using IE as their primary browser, I apologize for how the site looks. 

It looks fine in Firefox so either view it with Firefox, or you can wait for me to figure out how to fix it so it looks consistent across all the web browsers.  (Frankly, I’m surprised anyone still uses Internet Explorer anyway). 

So if anyone is confused about how jumbled the site is, please know I’m just as frustrated as you are.  I’m working on getting the issue fixed soon.

Also – while we’re discussing admin issues:

I’m having second thoughts about moving my Kinist and Defending Dixie material off-site.  Those themes are so foundational to who I am, it’s hard to write without including them.  So, I’m thinking of re-introducing some of the better material over time.

Now that most of the prominent Kinists are abandoning the label, I have to decide if I want to follow suite, or if I want to stick it out and be the curmudgeon who refuses to go with the flow.

Anyway – as always, I thank you all for your patience as I get my mess together.

Shoring Up the Weak Points

The individual can attain self-control in great things only through self-control in little things. He must study himself to discover what is the weak point in his armor, what is the element within him that ever keeps him from his fullest success. This is the characteristic upon which he should begin his exercise in self-control. Is it selfishness, vanity, cowardice, morbidness, temper, laziness, worry, mind-wandering, lack of purpose?—whatever form human weakness assume in the masquerade of life he must discover. He must then live each day as if his whole existence were telescoped down to the single day before him. With no useless regret for the past, no useless worry for the future, he should live that day as if it were his only day,—the only day left for him to assert all that is best in him, the only day left for him to conquer all that is worst in him. He should master the weak element within him at each slight manifestation from moment to moment. Each moment then must be a victory for it or for him. Will he be King, or will he be slave?—the answer rests with him.

— William George Jordan, The Kingship of Self-Control (1898)

I have no problem publicly admitting that “hopelessness” is the weak point in my armor.
It drains a man of the will to do anything, and leads to all manner of substance abuse (not necessarily in my case, but I can see it happening).

What is St. Paul’s formula?

Faith, Hope, and Love.

These proceed from each other…which makes me wonder about the origin of my hopelessness.

There are three things I do to “shore up” this part of my armor. 

1.  I’ve cleansed my body from the ravages of the common American diet.  Parents pour refined sugar down the gaping throats of their children.  This happens for years at a time, until the body has a systemic overgrowth of bad parasites and yeast, which cause depression and other mental deficiencies.  I fixed this to ensure that whatever hopelessness I feel is the result of actual affairs, and not physical ailment. 

2.  I improve my prayer / devotional life – it must be ritualistic in function and sincerity.  This works on the “faith” part of St. Paul’s formula, building “hope” by natural extension. 

And, thirdly…

3.  I meditate on the people and things I love, which includes living in the old literature; “breathing the air of Europe” as it were…and forcing myself to let fly my anger whenever I see a news report, TV show, or whatever other abomination-causing-desolation. Keeping it inside for the sake of social propriety, is damaging to the soul.

Now, I invite the demons from hell to check my handiwork, and try hitting this area of my armor.  The harder they strike, the more it will ring … and if you’re all lucky, the “ringing” will manifest in my writings which will be better for it.

You Might Be a Feminist If…

“The word property, once one of the most highly regarded words in the English language, has come in recent years to have a bad connotation because of the deliberate assault on the concept by socialists..Now..even those who most defend property wince at its broader usage, the inclusion of people. Thus, most women would bridle at being described as property.  But the word property should be regarded instead as a very highly possessive and affectionate term rather than a cold one.” ~ Rushdoony, “Institutes” pg. 175

1.  If you react negatively to the above quote.

2.  If you think women should have the right to vote.

3.  If you sympathize with Lady Macbeth.

4.  If you think you only need to submit to your husband (at certain ceremonial times) and God help any other man who tries telling you anything.

5.  You think your husband doesn’t have the right to hit you every now and then if you deserve it, because striking women is one of the worst possible sins.

6.  If you tend to publicly correct men, because they’re wrong so often.

7.  If you think the women who wear head coverings to church (as symbolic gestures of submission to male authority), are out of their minds.

8.  If you tend to justify taking over family affairs because your husband showed some temporary weakness. “Welp, he had his chance and didn’t do it…” 

9.  If you’ve ever been offended because a man held a door open for you.

10.  If you think it’s cute, or if you’re otherwise driven to compete with a man in traditionally male activities like hunting, handling firearms, smoking cigars, or if you seriously try to compete with him in sports like football or martial arts.

….this list could go on, but I think there’s enough for now.  For the women who are concerned they might be feminists, I applaud you for recognizing how distasteful that would be and I encourage you not to worry if one or maybe two of these apply in your case.  None of us are perfect, after all.

I look forward to the lovely comments I’m sure to receive…

Decline of the ISI

I haven’t mentioned this to the blogging world, but I returned to CPAC this year.  Last year, I made national news when I asked a few sacrilegious questions during a breakout session on race and the Republican party.  Every left-wing blogger, it seemed, was throwing my name around; even Chris “the tingler” Matthews called me a “dumb redneck” among other snide remarks…(I’ll see him in Hell).  The Republicans (including Glenn Beck) were quick to distance themselves from me, and I was thrown under every bus on the highway.

So you all can imagine how I felt as I strolled up into the conference center this year.  Head high, and making eye contact with everyone I passed, I eagerly hoped one of the throngs of pretentious brown nosers would see me, remember, and recoil with horror.

My fame, though, didn’t seem to have lasted, and, not getting any horrified looks, I decided to walk through the display area.  Every conservative organization in the country had a booth set up, so it seemed.

I saw the ISI booth and thought “…at last!  An organization that gets it!”  I made my way to them and browsed their book display.  It wasn’t long before one of their representatives came hovering over to harass me.  I told him how excited I was about ISI’s material; most of my favorite non-fiction books have been published by ISI.

The “Intercollegiate Studies Institute” publishes works by the great Richard Weaver, by conservative legend Russel Kirk, Robert Nisbet, Niel Postman, and not to mention, Alan Carlson (a modern “agrarian” whose work I’ve enjoyed).  And if you go on their website, ISI has hundreds of lectures from conservatives.  You’ll find lectures on everything from Austrian economics to literary criticism and the 12 Southerners.

When I began talking about “agrarianism” the intern (who was struggling desperately to get my mailing address), didn’t seem to know what I was talking about.  “Ok,” I thought, “…maybe he hasn’t read as many ISI publications as I have?”  I left the conference disillusioned with organized “conservatism”.

Despite my regard for ISI’s material, I knew they’ve been in a downward spiral for quite some time.  Possibly one of the best things they’ve ever published (in my opinion), is their book “Critics of the Enlightenment”, which declares, in stark terms, that the French Revolution was the end of the old European, Christian world order.  The book features a series of anti-Enlightenment French writers who resisted the Revolutionary spirit in their country.  Because the Revolution was on their doorsteps they were far more radical in their rejection of it than even Edmund Burke.

But ISI decided this might be too strong of a position, so in the forward they had Philipe Beneton add a few quick words about how wonderful the new Enlightenment liberalism really is.

“The founding fathers of liberalism promised civil peace, liberty, and comfort for all.  In the main, these promises have been kept.  Political and social reason is not as powerless as the counter-revolutionaries claimed.  It has, for instance, produced these fruits.  Political power has been domesticated.  In the West, politics continues to divide men but their disputes are kept peaceful and no one risks his life or his liberty should he displease the reigning power.  Conventions that artificially separate men have been destroyed or attenuated: the aristocratic conventions of the Ancien Regime, prejudices founded upon race, nationality, religion.  Man’s recognition of his common humanity has progressed.”

Yeah…rotten fruit.

When an ISI publication gets too close to the truth, they throw in a disclaimer like the one above.  “We realize liberalism overthrew the old medieval world order, but we love it anyway!”

A few days ago, I read an article on VDARE by Paul Gottfried (one of the decent jews).  He’s been a historian associated with ISI for years, but was recently given the boot for daring to be a racial realist.  I met Gottfried and his wife at last year’s H.L. Mencken Club conference.  A great couple; unfortunately I haven’t had time to delve into his material.

That the man was given the boot from ISI simply proves there are no mainstream “conservative” institutions left in America.

Another quick update…

I’ve just decided to move my Kinist material *and* my “Defending Dixie” material off-site.

Two brand new blogs in the blogging world!  One devoted specifically to “Defending Dixie” , and one devoted specifically to “Kinism”.

On Defending Dixie:

Most of the debates about the old South center on historical interpretation:  “Things was this way!  Nuh Uh…they was that way!”  History isn’t my strongest subject and there are better blogs for that sort of debate (like SNN and Occidental Dissent).  So I’ve stuck mostly with philosophical or poetic defenses of the people and culture of the old South, engaging with people on philosophical grounds and the like.  While this may not be very interesting or productive, it’s something I’m compelled to do.  Also, it’s not an approach many Southern apologists take … I’ll be filling a needed gap.

On Kinism:

Unfortunately, yet another bastion of Kinist orthodoxy has recently fallen into silence (Kinism.net)…leaving only one of the Kinist trifecta still active, Mr. Cambria … and he’s not really a self-identifying “Kinist”.  I’ve always been more of a disciple of Mr. Cambria than a disciple of Kinism anyway, but owing to my strong roots in Presbyterianism, I’ve tried playing the “rationalizing” game, and have tried confronting anti-whites on their own ground of “reason”.  I’ve seen varying levels of success with this, but I’m about convinced (as anyone who reads CWNY for long will be), that isn’t the right way to proceed.

Still – I haven’t worked it all out yet.  In the mean-time, I’ll build a blog-site specifically devoted to the topic of Kinism, and move most of my material there.

This way, I can focus the scope of “Shotgun Barrel Straight” and improve the quality…(that’s the plan, anyway).

Thank you dear readers for being patient.

Some Changes ‘Round Here…

I’ll be tidying up this blog over the next few days.  I’ll be removing a lot of old material.  No one reads it and it’s only interesting to me; reading my old material, from back when I was a naive fundamentalist, is like looking back in time.  I’ve changed so much my old material almost seems embarrassing. I’ll be archiving all of it.

Additionally – I’ll be trimming the superfluous items and narrowing the scope of the blog “categories”.   And don’t be surprised if I play around with theme changes as well … the present look of the blog was never supposed to be permanent, but the “clean” and “nature-like” feel of the aesthetic was pleasing.  Still, I think I can do better.

I promise all of you something, though … the quality of the content and production will continue to improve.  Little by little.

Thanks for bearing with me…

Confederate Ladies

Dear ladies who drape Confederate battle flags around yourselves…

Yes – you’re attractive, but not because you’re naked under a flag or because you’re wearing skimpy, whoreish attire. You’re attractive because you’re trying to add your feminine spirit to the cause of old Dixie, and for that, I’m forever thankful.

But you can get the same “wow” factor from me (a typical Southern guy) without making a public spectacle of yourself, or being immodest in front of all the internet world.

A woman saying a positive word about Dixie, or letting drop a few factoids to correct her liberal professor, is just as stunning…

More so, actually.

Go West Young Man…

…unfortunately, there is no “west” anymore to flee to.

So where can we go instead?  Barring easy transportation to Mars, it looks like we’re stuck on Earth for awhile.  And as America, and all other formerly-Christian nations, are becoming increasingly intolerable, I decided to take a poll of my Facebook friends to see in which locale they’d prefer living as an alternative to America.

But first, an order of business:

My Facebook friends are honorable guys; a few strongly objected to the idea of leaving America, especially the South.  “We’re going to stay and fight!  We don’t want to abandon or retreat from the foe!”  I suspect, on top of these cavalier sentiments, the relative calm of every day life has lulled many into complacency.  After all, those stories of tyranny happen far away and in big cities, right?

There’s a recent outrage – an Oregon man is going to prison for collecting rainwater.  Granted, he didn’t hop the proper bureaucratic hurdles, but we “patriots” know there shouldn’t have been bureaucratic hurdles to begin with!  And that’s way out in Oregon anyway.  So, it’s not “close to home”.

Then there’s the baby maimed by a SWAT team who invaded a house looking for someone who wasn’t even on the premises.  But that wouldn’t ever happen ’round here…

How about the brown faucet down south, opened wide, and muddying our demographics?  Or how about the government school indoctrination centers?  Or how about the trillions spent on daily propaganda disseminated through our pop-culture and government-service-announcements and / or countless other delivery mechanisms?  What about the constant targeting of white conservatives and our growing status as moral pariahs?  How about the increasing slaughter and rapine of our *elderly* citizens by marauding gangs of blacks?!

How much of this can be ignored?  We may never have a SWAT raid near our house, but they are happening more and more.  From about 3,000 raids in 1980 to 80,000 today?!  My point:  this is all “close to home” and could happen to any one of us at any moment.

So – let us do as the Apostle Paul suggests, and make the most of every opportunity and not to get drunk on wine but rather on the Spirit, because the days are evil.

Still – my friends want to stay and fight.

Which brings me to the second order of business:

Fight who?

- We can’t indiscriminately kill every post-Enlightenment modernist.  Even if we won that sort of evil battle, we’d still be alone; we’d be worse off than had we faded away to an isolated part of the world.  Worse off physically (we’d expend a lot of resources in that war) and worse off morally (how could we sleep with ourselves)?

- So maybe we narrow the scope of our attack and focus only on those self-conscious satanists at the reigns?  But who put them at the reigns?  In an evil time, when man has turned away from God, evil men will be at the reigns regardless – shoot them all day, countless others are in line waiting to hop into their place.  If society was healthy, these same evil men would never get close to the reigns – they’d lurk in the shadows where they belong.  Adding onto this point, the greatest dissidents became legends because they had the populace on their side – to hide them, protect them, fund them, and cheer them on.  But what if the populace itself is the tyrant?

- Well, (some of my friends might reply) – this means that it’s not a physical war then, but an ideological battle.  We’ll change the hearts and minds of everyone!  Only … arguments never change people’s minds.  I’ve had to learn that the hard way:  “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

There are other options and a few strategies a brave man might try[1], but at this point in the conversation, I think it’s safe we at least consider the third order of business.

The third order of business:

Finding a place to live where we can be relatively free of harassment, and avoid the Orwellian oppression of modern Western nations.  This is the least violent and least costly option, even though it doesn’t appeal as strongly to the “stay and fight” crowd.

It’s an option I’ve often considered.  Granted – I might be fond of it because I have a romantic sense of adventure and my time in the military hasn’t squashed my desire to travel.  I spend a lot of time on Google maps, sliding around remote parts of the world, finding interesting places and reading about the inhabitants.  What they’re like, what language they speak, and how much the land costs.  I’ve recently found a small island off the coast of Panama with ample natural resources and only a hundred (or so) third-worlders living on it, sustaining themselves on whatever they grow in their little gardens.  (With my tenacity, I could own that little island in a year … imagine what ten of us might do with it?!)

So – I’m continuing my education in greenhouse science, industrial-sized aquacultures, and other relevant fields (like alternative energy).  But I’d also like to narrow in on a location so I can tailor my efforts to that specific environment.  Learn the local language, study the fish and plant life there, etc.

Back to my Facebook poll. 

I’m going to offer the same poll here, modified slightly to reflect the Facebook results.  Surprisingly, “Switzerland” got the most votes on Facebook (7), so I’m listing it as the first option.  Iceland, Norway, and Uruguay all tied for second with three votes apiece.  Russia came in third with two votes.  Romania, Mexico, and the Netherlands tied for third with one vote apiece.

I’m making my own poll here as well.  We’ll see what the blogosphere crowd has to say on the matter.

—————————————————————

1.  These involve a little courage and a lot of stupidity – I have both, and in that proportion.  Grandstanding on a national level, with narrative manipulation in mind, might convince the Spirit to move through the populace again and end this time of judgment.  Still – it’s best to be a dual citizen and have a robust “escape” plan, especially for women and children.  Get them safe in an isolated place first then worry about “fighting” (via propaganda stunts) later….which still brings us back to the third order of business discussed above…