Dec 25

image

When my daughter was four, she flat-out asked if Santa was made up. And of course, being me, I told her the truth.

We all know the basic arguments both for and against teaching your child to believe in a morbidly obese chimney burglar from the Arctic. Each boils down to whether or not you feel Belief itself is a good thing. And I’ve always tended to side with the rational over the irrational.

But then I ran into this piece of dialogue in a book by Terry Pratchett, that makes a solid case for teaching your child to believe in St. Nick, or in the world he was writing about, the “Hogfather”. The voice in all caps, belongs to Death himself:

read more

Dec 7

mooning

Emotions are like bare asses: some people may appreciate seeing yours, everyone else is going to be uncomfortable.

That said, I’m genuinely happy right now.

Dec 6

GTY_kids_guns_jef_131024_33x16_1600

Lots of calls for more gun control this week. I find it all bitterly hilarious given what’s behind it all.

The root of the argument against armed citizens is the cynical view that the balance of people are bad, untrustworthy with liberty, and that the good, trustworthy people are working for the government.

What is the magical force that turns a man unerringly good when he seeks to attain authority over his fellow citizens? Obviously no one has ever abused their power to steal from the public  or kill out of anger  or betray the Bill of Rights and use an  illegal spying apparatus for personal gratification.

read more

Nov 21

image

On moving to Austin, my girlfriend gave me a warning: “This town is like Neverland”, she said, “full of pixies and Lost Boys who never want to grow up”.

At the time I thought that was pithy, even cute. But after being here for almost a year and having my own adventures, I know what she said was both completely accurate, and depressingly cynical.

This town does attract a certain kind of person. And while some squander their youth –content to do little more than bundle themselves in a particular aesthetic– a brave few stand bare-assed against the elements, offering up the most intimate parts of themselves to a world that seems determined to make them pay dearly for the privilege.

read more

Nov 3

26 Apr 2002, New York, New York, USA --- A weightlifter prepares to lift a barbell during the 2002 USA National Weightlifting Championship. --- Image by © Duomo/CORBIS

The only reason to pursue Strength is so that you can practice Kindness. A strong person has a greater capacity for being kind: providing for those they love, standing up to injustice, protecting those who are weaker.

Pursuing strength for any other reason leads to vanity, at best, and cruelty, at worst.

Oct 9

batman-like

You’re not going to click this, even if you agree with it. Especially if you agree with it. You’re going to Like this post, maybe even share it, but your relationship with digital media has been so abusive that clicking on something seems like a risky commitment to a longer-term, intellectual relationship.

And you’re not ready for that right now, are you?

Oct 9

peasantsThe difference between peasants and free men is that peasants are only allowed to bear arms in the service of their betters.

The bulk of feudal peasants led lives that, for the time, were safe and comfortable; as long as they served the nobility well and knew their places. But we abandoned Feudalism for a reason, and our ancestors faced all sorts of horrors and brutality at the hands of princes to do so for their children’s children: us.

Fear may be the most effective force for motivating large groups of people, but it tends to motivate people in one of two ways: to prepare for a fight, or to huddle together in the hope someone stronger will protect them.
Which group you fall into says a lot about your character.

read more

Oct 4

human

I love people.

No, seriously.

Why are you making that face?

You can tell how much I love people by the fact that I’m constantly disappointed by them; only a thing you love can disappoint you.

I think the source of that disappointment is a desire to see the potential of our species on full display when there isn’t some threat or crisis to rouse it; for people to come together to accomplish something based on idealism, rather than necessity.

Why does it take something dire before we demonstrate our collective potential? Why does every great collective effort seem to be the result of some sort of crisis or coercion? Even the greatest achievement of the Human race –putting men on the surface of the moon– despite what Kennedy said, came about largely because of a national fear of the Soviets beating us to it. Sure, NASA is still doing great things, but in the absence of a similar looming threat –terrorists not having declared Jihad on Space– the agency is clinging on with its fingernails under constant threat of an ever-shrinking budget.

read more

Sep 20

2015-09-20 05.20.28-1

You know, I think I finally figured out what chaps my ass about hipsters, especially the Austin variety:

If you’re in your teens or early twenties, it’s fine that you’re trying to establish an identity, or even just cultivating an image.

But by the time you’re 30, if you haven’t managed to congeal your own personality, independent of a cultural trend, it’s probably because your life has been so soft and sheltered that you’ve never earned the kind of scars that give a person some actual character.

read more

Sep 15

rocketship

It’s funny when you look back at a draft of something you wrote when your head was in a different place, in a different time –when you were a different person. I wrote this when I was high on a certainty that I knew where things were going in my life. I was a few chapters into something I thought was going to be an epic novel, only to find out it was only meant to be a short story.

At some point in the history of this country, we got sidetracked.

We became more concerned with safety and security than independence and liberty. Being entertained became more important than being informed. Being a man became more about cultivating an image than leaving a legacy.

read more

« Previous Entries