Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's grating my cheese right now

When I was pregnant with my third child, I was lectured by the good Dr. May not to warehouse my children in day care centers. Dr. May, a Brit, minced no words with me. Even back in 1990, he was archaic in his paternalism when handing out parenting advice.

"Not to worry," said I. "I did the math, and I would end up penniless after paying other people for the privilege of raising my three children."
"Good," said he. "You don't need a boat."
"We don't want a boat."
"Don't buy new furniture, either."
"What idiot with toddlers has new furniture?"
"Well, good, then. Glad to see that there are real parents left who know what their responsibilities are."

Now I recall this conversation in light of the book that I am currently reading, by Theodore Dalrymple. Our Culture, What's Left of It - The Mandarins and the Masses.

He relates seemingly innocuous things which add up to a disintegrating, degenerated culture - especially in England, where political correct fantasies are the rule, and the resultant chaos that is occurring without any sign of reversing.

From the Frontpage Magazine article (via Orthodoxy Today):

Dalrymple It is clear to me that people often want incompatible things. They want danger and excitement on the one hand, and safety and security on the other, and often simultaneously. Contradictory desires mean that life can never be wholly satisfying or without frustration.

I think it was Dostoyevsky who said that, even if the government were 100 per cent benevolent and arranged everything for our own good, as judged by rational criteria, we should still want to exercise our freedom by going against its dispensations.

One reason for the epidemic of self-destructiveness that has struck British, if not the whole of Western, society, is the avoidance of boredom. For people who have no transcendent purpose to their lives and cannot invent one through contributing to a cultural tradition (for example), in other words who have no religious belief and no intellectual interests to stimulate them, self-destruction and the creation of crises in their life is one way of warding off meaninglessness. I have noticed, for example, that women who frequent bad men - that is to say men who are obviously unreliable, drunken, drug-addicted, criminal, or violent, or all of them together, have often had experience of decent men who treat them well, with respect, and so forth: they are the ones with whom their relationships lasted the shortest time, because they were bored by decency. Without religion or culture (and here I mean high, or high-ish, culture) evil is very attractive. It is not boring.

And so it is with bringing children into the world. Without the safety and benefits of marriage and two parents of opposite sexes. Girls decide they are miserable, and the thrill of deliberately getting knocked up while still living at home with your parents is their way of medicating themselves, and so, like moths they fly into the bug zapper of parenthood. They never calculate the costs to their families, to the children they bring in. It is always them, of course, that Gramma and Grampa will be there to raise the tot. And, of course, Gramma and Grampa are.

No one seems compelled to tell these selfish young people that doing this is a strain on society, on families, etc.

Not that fatherhood is in the hearts of these adolescent procreating boys, mind you. Far from it. Actually raising the brat they inevitably create never dawns on them. They still want to play.
And the girl is no better. She drops the miscreant off at her parents, who feel obliged and guilty over the child's lot in life, and they raise them without criticizing the daughter or son who put them in this predicament.

It is now beyond 21 years since I left a full-time job, in order to raise my kids at home, and I have seen the results, myself on warehoused kids, and kids raised by grandparents. It ain't a pretty sight. Worse, it seems to be the norm, rather than the exception. And no one is allowed to criticize, because that would be intolerant. And phobic of some sort.

Profoundly sad it is to see the demise of our culture, given the onslaught of more barbaric and brutal cultures, Islam, in particular.

It is mentally taxing to think about for any longish period of time, I need some solitude.
Here is a salve for the soul battered by our unlovely, wretched culture:


Es war, als hätt` der Himmel
die Erde still geküßt,
daß sie im Blütenschimmer
von ihm nun träumen müßt.

Die Luft ging durch die Felder,
die Ähren wogten sacht,
es rauschten leis die Wälder,
so sternklar war die Nacht.

Und meine Seele spannte
weit ihre Flügel aus,
flog durch die stillen Lande,
als flöge sie nach Haus.

-Joseph von Eichendorff

Translation (also by Joseph von Eichendorff)

Moonlit Night

It was as if heaven had quietly kissed the earth,
So that she dreamt of him
In the shimmer of blossoms.

The breeze blew through the fields,
the ears of grain waved gently,
the woods whispered softly,
so starry-clear was the night.

And my soul
stretched its wings out wide,
and flew over the silent countryside
as if it were flying home.

-Joseph von Eichendorff


  1. No, the irksome middle child is not pregnant. Yet. God help us all.

  2. You did have me wondering, after all.

  3. Tomorrow she will be paying the last off her court costs, a sum of 220. and she will be out from under the thumb of Probation Officer Jess. Now I will have to look for new and more painful punishments....just in case.
    Any suggestions, Haid, that won't get me landed in jail?

  4. Beter not ask me, Sra. My daughter got pregnant at fifteen. That was fifteen years ago. She had a daughter, and guess what my major fear is these days?

    Point is, I haven't exactly excelled at parenting.

    I'm sure you'll think of something on your own.

    You may as well ask me for new recipes.

  5. My sister in law got knocked up at 13, followed by two other out of wedlock children. She spent most of her time on welfare, in section 8 housing. Her first born got pregnant with her out of wedlock unnecessary thing, since the boyfriend wanted to marry her, but she could make more on welfare. It has been like this for many people, too. The government has made paternity obsolete.

  6. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Humans originated in tropical Africa where food is available all year round and hence little foresight or planning is necessary. The main determinant for survival is territorial defence and aggression against other tribes. The mental capacities which are selected by evolution in such an environment are aggression and grabbing what you want when you want it.

    However, as tribes moved out of tropical Africa, they entered lands where food supply was seasonal and the climate often hostile. Living in these environments was intellectually challenging and the most intelligent survived. The genes of the tribes who moved out of Africa consequently evolved for greater foresight, forward planning, delayed gratification and greater co-operation and technical organisation - for example in irrigation works and seasonal sowing, harvesting and storage of food in climates with a marked summer/winter or wet/dry season contrasts.

    This is the reason for the huge difference in intellectual ability, levels of aggression and civilisation potential between the original tropical Africans plus their immediate descendents and all other peoples.


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