Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Our Times and Our Manners - Belloc Called It Decades Ago

Time Magazine's Person of the Year 2011!

This new year brings an opportunity to continue doing the same things over and over, or getting the old noggin out of our rumps.

Time Magazine dedicated all eight of its pages to the Person of Year - The Protester.


For an entire year our supine and not-all-that-bright national media -Meme'd steadily about the Protester from the charred cabbie in Tunisia to the endomorph Michael Moore whose circumference barrier ed New York, Madison, WI and Pasendena, CA.

Demanding is Protest.

Savages Demand. People acquire. They acquire patience, fortitude, courage and charity.

More than eighty years ago Hilaire Belloc was considered the equal to GB Shaw, Lord Russell, Wells, Waugh, Yeats, and Orwell. Along with GK Chesterton, this Catholic man of wit and letters nailed down the nonsense.

Since 1964, most Catholic Schools took Belloc and other Catholic writers out of its canon of literature in the foolish yield to 'relevancy' and political correctness and a nod to Oprah'seading list. Had Belloc and other Catholic intellectuals been featured and studied with greater authority by better trained teachers of literature, social studies and especially theology, more Americans would appreciate his gifts.

Belloc understood Occupy Wall Street in his meditation Wall of the City - voila!

The Barbarian hopes — and that is the mark of him, that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilization has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort, but he will not be at pains to replace such goods, nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is ever marvelling that civilization, should have offended him with priests and soldiers .... In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this, that he cannot make: that he can befog and destroy but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilization exactly that has been true. . . .We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.

Cops understand what Belloc knew in his heart. The Barbarian demands; the citizen acquires, contributes and shares.

Happy New Year. Let's leave the Protester, the Barbarian, the Demanding Parasite in the rear view mirror.

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