This is war, friends.  Total, unrestricted, asymmetrical war.  Wherein Fr. Z rants.

UPDATE:

Read what I wrote about totalitarians back in Jan 2020 before the Wuhan Devil COVID-1984 madness took full control HERE

And check out Jennifer’s book…

The Sexual State: How Elite Ideologies Are Destroying Lives and Why the Church Was Right All Along

US HERE – UK HERE

Originally Published on: Dec 30, 2020 at 09:32

 

More news from the front.

Charles Coulombe has a piece at Crisis called,

Stupiditas Omnia Vincit.

To which I respond: rem acu tetigisti.   This has been evident lately in the shrillness of even some “trads” on Twitter.   Just reading the magisterial declarations of the dilettante tweeter flock is enough to lower your IQ.  Do your best not to get stuck in that nasty logorrhea afflicted tar baby.

Back to Coulombe and his premise: Stupidity conquers all.

The writer identifies yet another threat on the horizon from educators.  I use “educators” with a wry twist, since they are more and more revealed as agents of ideologies, rather than legitimate formators of young minds.

Go over there and read his observations about …

an organized campaign to purge such evil books from school bookshelves called the “#DisruptTexts campaign.”

[…]

Somewhat nauseated by all of this, I went to the website of the #DisruptTexts campaign. There I found its mission statement:

Disrupt Texts is a crowdsourced, grassroots effort by teachers for teachers to challenge the traditional canon in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum that our students deserve. It is part of our mission to aid and develop teachers committed to anti-racist/anti-bias teaching pedagogy and practices.

How do the harpies involved tend to do this?

Each week, join us for the #DisruptTexts slow chat on Twitter as teachers from across the country and world come together to apply a critical lens on a central text. We’ll discuss how to disrupt traditional pedagogies by suggesting alternative titles and approaches through thoughtful pairings, counter-narratives, and inclusive, diverse texts sets.

Dear reader, this is no joke.

After WWII, the Communists and Christian Democrats were fighting for power.  Communist philosopher Antonio Gramsci had laid out the Communist long-term strategy, a kind of “long march”.  He said, in effect, “Forget parliament.  We will take the schools.  In forty years people will beg us to take everything!”

After WW2 that is exactly what the Commies did.  They let the Christian Democrats have parliament.  They took the schools.  The long term results have been devastating.

This is war, friends.  Total, unrestricted, asymmetrical war.

Consider what these agents of Hell want to do the minds of your children and what they want to allow to be read and what they want to force you to read.

That’s the next step.  Not to give you a choice between a classical canon and their disruption.

These are totalitarians.

They will start out with proposed alternatives, which soon become the only option.  Then it won’t be an option, it’ll be obligatory.

That’s how they roll.  That’s what they have systematically done with the homosexualist agenda over the decades, especially through the entertainment industry.  What was once unthinkable, rapidly became obligatory viewing on all TV.  And they are not finished.  The golden ring on their “merry go round” is the lowering of the age of consent.   And when that becomes an option, soon after it will be obligatory.

Do you have the spiritual weapons do deal with this?

Think about how in time of COVID-1984, the Wuhan Devil, steps have been taken by the State and the Church alike (both infiltrated) to limit the availability of the ordinary means of our salvation… the sacraments.

It’s almost as if it were coordinated.

The Enemy is very good at being an Enemy and he always tells you what he is doing.

Again, do you have the spiritual weapons for this fight?   Spiritual weapons are, of course, a matter of personal discipline, habits of prayer and life.  Spiritual weapons include, of course, the sacraments and sacramentals.  However, grace builds on nature. Grace doesn’t replace nature.

You have to do your part to get into spiritual shape for this war.

Before a sports season begins, athletes train.  They train before and during and right up to the champion moment.   Musicians practice endlessly.  War fighters drill and drill and drill so that when it is time to GO! their training curbs their fear and the physiological and psychological changes that the “black zone” brings.

This is how we have to think of ourselves now.  There is wisdom to the Church calling us the Church Militant.

One think I will add to this rant, is an appeal to more traditional, more conservative Catholics to shake off the fog that has been building since the Wuhan Devil has worked its diabolical erosion on hearts and minds.  Shake off the fog and cobwebs.   Stop the atomization of our different groupings or leanings.

People with slightly differing views on X or Y ARE NOT THE ENEMY.  

Pray for humility.  Pray for patience.  Pray for prudence.

Stop tearing at each other.

You are, friends, doing the work of the Devil.

If you cannot control your impulses on, for example, Twitter, to listen to another point of view without lashing out, … pluck out your Twitter and cast it off.

That’s just one example.

This is a time for unity, not further atomization at our own hands.

And… you PRIESTS and BISHOPS out there.

LEARN THE TRADITIONAL MASS.  USE THE TRADITIONAL RITUAL.

Enough of this screwing around with the half-baked, the tolerable.

Let’s get real.

St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, pray for us.

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This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Save The Liturgy - Save The World, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to This is war, friends.  Total, unrestricted, asymmetrical war.  Wherein Fr. Z rants.

  1. Spinmamma says:

    My theory on “teachers” who do not want to teach Shakespeare, Homer, or any of the classics, ancient or modern, is that they are too lazy or stupid to actually read them at any depth much less understand them or teach them. Far easier to read the drivel and vulgarity that passes for modern literature, including poetry, or, almost as bad, the edited versions of the classics, including children’s literature. This is why I have many of the classics in hard back, and often contemplate how to hide them should the time come when the book burners once again prevail.

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    Fr. Z., the manure flows from on high, it drifts downstream to our Superintendents and gets filtered out from there. Teachers do what they are told. They care deeply about their paychecks. I am not saying teachers do not care about their students, not at all, they often do, but I’ve worked in so many places and generally, teachers are not the high or principled academics they perhaps once were. It does not take a lot to get a degree in education today, even an advanced degree. It’s not that hard.
    If people want to stem this unholy and fascist tide, they can probably best do it at the Superintendent level or their state department of education and board of education. Individuals can express their opinion about this terrible movement, and certainly groups will be heard. What education doesn’t want is angry parents or taxpayers. People have no idea how powerful their voice actually is and how even a small group will be heard. Organize your points and let them know you are watching and want to be informed about changes to books or curriculums. See what they have listed as books they are recommending and using with students.
    Teachers are generally not very analytical about such matters. Many teachers are oriented toward the Left, this seems true, but it’s hard to gauge because everyone understands the unions and the administration runs Left, so nobody is going to express their actual viewpoint today. In our area I doubt anyone could make it to administration and not be on the political Left. The union materials now look like far-Left propaganda for the Squad.
    Speak up, or it’s all coming to your child. Schools are very political, but they were subtle. They would not be subtle under a Biden administration. One can see the increasing tide already building.

  3. Chrisc says:

    Old ideas, old culture, old habits, old customs.

  4. WVC says:

    The folks I find it difficult to be patient with are the “but things aren’t really all that bad” crowd. They seem impossible to reach, like the stubborn dwarves in the last Narnia book (The Last Battle), except at least those dwarves had the sense to be “in it for the dwarves.” The modern “things aren’t nearly as bad as you say” crowd refuse to put even their own self-interests on the table as something worth fighting for. Riots in the streets, closing down public worship of God, a movement that brazenly hates our history and is taking violent steps to re-write it, the most pro-abortion and anti-Catholic administration in history poised take control of the US Government, trans-gendered bathrooms in schools, the threats from the CCP . . . etc., “aw shucks,” they say, “don’t be such a chicken little!”

    In general, many folks on all sides seem to be eager to argue in order to prove someone else whom they don’t like as being wrong. It seems a rare thing where folks are actually arguing to better understand that which is true and real.

    Also, Twitter and Facebook are of the devil. Use them at your peril. Their entire business model is built on making people outraged. That’s how they make money. And they have made a LOT of money. Think about it!

  5. PeterN says:

    It struck me, back in July, that the Second American Civil War isn’t just some near-future Three Percenter vs The Government, Matt Bracken scenario. It’s here, and it is, just as you said, Father, an asymmetric, 4th Generation Warfare effort, being driven from above and below.

    Study the history of Communist subversion and it becomes even clearer. It gets depressing, especially the deeper you dig and realize how far back and how deep the rot goes (it’s not just since the rise of Communism, per se; a lot of it goes back to the French Revolution and before). But unless you understand the enemy, you can’t effectively resist.

    Unfortunately, the other aspect lies with the fact that the subversion has been successful enough that most of those who would stand up for the right and the true don’t have a coherent philosophical and moral basis that they can explain. Americans tend to be philosophically incoherent (as I can attest, having really begun my own philosophical education in my thirties, after getting out of the Marine Corps). And that’s by design.

    We need to study the faith, study Natural Law, and study guerrilla warfare. The only way to counter this is a “Spreading Ink Blot” counter-insurgency, carrying the banner of the Faith and the Natural Law.

  6. mercy2013 says:

    We would be ignorant to think that this same reasoning does not affect most Catholic schools. The two primary reasons we pulled our kids from St. Typical’s parish school were history and literature. (Also the lack of Latin and classical studies, but those weren’t as obvious to us at the time.) Their history program was secular and revisionist. I also spent many hours during the kids’ last year at that school in the library trying to determine which books I would let them read which also still earned them points toward the secularly-designed reading program. The librarian and teachers thought I was crazy for not letting second and third graders read whatever they wanted. Now they can read any book they desire from their “school” library because I have taken care to stock only literature which is worth reading. I wish we had better options for in-person classical, an truly Catholic, education where we live, but we will just have to do our best at home!

  7. WVC says:

    @mercy2013 – I think it’s important to keep expectations realistic. We cannot, on our own, recreate the heights of a legitimate classical education. It would be impossible and frustrating. We can, however, preserve those parts of culture that we can and pass them on through our children for a time when this second Dark Ages ends. Just teaching our children to not hate their heritage, family, and faith is a victory which should be cherished.

    But I’m 100% with you on screening everything my kids, even the 3 year olds, have access to. Folks who say “well at least the child is reading” have no idea what they’re talking about. There’s a reason the Church used to have a list of banned books. It would be wise if she dusted that off and updated it.

  8. Midwest St. Michael says:

    “Stupidity conquers all.”

    Right. It reminds me of…

    “In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that He did not also limit his stupidity.” — Konrad Adenauer

  9. PeterN says:

    I think I should clarify what I mean by a “counter-insurgency.” Too often we think in such terms only along the same lines as insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan–physical violence aimed against real or perceived enemies. Unfortunately, again, a lot of those opposing the Left think in such terms; war is seen only as shooting war.

    The Chinese think more widely, and the Left as a whole has adopted the ideas laid out in “Unrestricted Warfare.” Non-martial conflict is how they’ve gotten to us; we don’t see it as “war” while they do. It’s like a massive game of “I’m not touching you.” And without the tools to fight back in just such non-martial arenas, we’re handicapped.

    It’s unrestricted warfare on all fronts, as you said, Father. We need to present that non-martial option to our fellows, as well, who only see blood and death as the only way out. We didn’t get to this point in a sudden outburst of violence, and a sudden outburst of violence sure won’t get us out of it. The revolutionaries are on the side of destruction and chaos.

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    WVC: Good point:

    “I think it’s important to keep expectations realistic. We cannot, on our own, recreate the heights of a legitimate classical education… Just teaching our children to not hate their heritage, family, and faith is a victory which should be cherished.”

    Anthony Esolen wrote about this in “Out of the Ashes,” so did Michael D. O’Brien in “Landscape with Dragons: The Battle for Your Child’s Mind” (the back of the book is filled with recommended reading lists by age).

    Perhaps WVC, we can aim higher though and instill in them the great adventure of the Faith, the Virtues and Learning.

    For example, my platoon of future sons, all named Joseph Maximus Constantine Chesty Jake Elwood Ronald (Reagan) Reuel Gumby, will adhere to the following schedule at Chuck Norris Hall:

    0500 Reveille
    0530 Decathlon and Bull wrestling followed by ice bath- while shouting Latin verb conjugations
    0630 Holy Mass, followed by “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
    0730 Greetings and Salutations with their Mother over Steak and Eggs.
    0815 Private prayer in the Siege of Malta chapel
    0830 Plow the back Forty while reciting the Odyssey and doing push-ups.
    1000 Homeschool: Castle building, Chivalry, the U.S. Constitution, and Hand-to-hand Combat Lessons against dummies dressed as Antifa and Critical Race Theory facilitators.

    I know, I left out marksmanship, that can wait until they’re five.

    [Yeah… they’ll need longer, stronger arms to heft that Ma Deuce higher than the hip.]

  11. In his 1992 book Inside American Education, Dr. Thomas Sowell said that the education department is the least academically-oriented department in the university. Truer words were never spoken. It is not surprising, considering that the college professoriate in those days was a bunch of washed-up radicals from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Since their students are now the current generation of college professors, we have no right to expect anything better, and should not be surprised that it is even worse.

    When I was in college, in the early ‘90s, about the same time Dr. Sowell’s book came out, I had a job taking notes for deaf students in their classes. Since many of them went into education, I personally witnessed a large number of education and special ed classes. These courses were mostly devoted to training teachers on how to make good little leftist foot soldiers out of their students. One course I remember particularly was taught by a Chinese lady who explicitly taught and lionized Chi-Com indoctrination methods. The highest-level brain-power education course I observed was about how to cook standardized test results to maximize the inflow of government money, and to hide the fact that the kids taking the tests didn’t really know anything. Everybody in that class was already an accredited teacher, and none of them seemed smart enough to get it. In fact, very few people taking any of these courses who spoke up in class seemed to have two brain cells to rub together. Some of them could barely make themselves understood in the English language. If there were any smart ones among them, they made like devout seminarians, keeping their heads down and flying under the radar and jumping through the stupid hoops they had to jump through in order to pursue their profession.

    If you’re a parent with kids in school, please understand that, since parents are the biggest obstacle to indoctrination, a major theme running throughout all these education courses was that parents are the enemy, and they need to be bypassed, kept in the dark and otherwise thwarted, lest they interfere in the critical work of molding the children. (Is your kid, for example, required to keep a journal for school? This is a tool to find out family private business.) If they were teaching this tripe to college kids back in the early ‘90s, then those college kids of yesteryear are still imbued with that belief, now that they are running the show. No wonder the nuclear family is under such fierce assault.

    I thought this stuff was pretty bad back almost 30 years ago. It’s obviously had a lot of time to get a lot worse.

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  13. Semper Gumby says:

    Solid article by Coulombe, many good points and he wields the term “coven” effectively. There’s a book of essays by Gertrude Himmelfarb “On Looking Into the Abyss,” the eponymous first essay in the book is worth one’s time and also delivers a broadside against “disrupting texts.”

    Anita Moore OP (lay): Good Thomas Sowell reference.

    For my money, no day is complete without a Thomas Sowell quote:

    “The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.”

    Ok, two:

    “Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination.”

    Well, we got no truck with that ChiCom brainwashing here at the Socrates-Augustine-Thomas-Bellarmine Institute of Higher Learning and Advanced Marksmanship. And, thanks to a generous grant by Rush Limbaugh, the Institute proudly announces the Prestigious Attila the Hun Chair in Advanced ‘Merican Studies.

  14. PostCatholic says:

    And poor Pantagruel thought he had it tough. Do the boys get a solid eight hours prior to reveille, Semper? :-D

    I first read the WSJ article, then this post, then the linked post at Crisis, then read a few articles about what the organization in question has been doing. Their motives seemed to have intensified asking the way. I like the canon that we commonly call “English literature,” and I want more people to read it. I don’t think literature in translation is always high art–beauty is lost that way. But I really can’t object to a constant evaluation of whether any given book suits the time and experience of any given school audience. Most of that canon is from southwest England and the northeast US. I can think of some masterful writing in English from Canada, North Africa, Australia, Nigeria, the American southwest… Why not have them? And when a tale is told from a perspective of the writers dominant culture (imagine e.g. Mark Twain or Faulkner), why not examine that bias and pose questions to students about the portrayals of minorities in such works? Twain was sympathetic, but was he accurate or fair when it comes to Jim’s experience? Getting young mind to engage with such questions means that they realize such books are important.

    Also–why are all the high school canon novels so serious? Writing comedy is hard! Does anyone imagine eg Wodehouse could endure if he wasn’t such a master of grammar?

    This group does not have a list of books they want to ban. (No, I’ll not state the obvious.) They seem to want to add to the list of worthies. Isn’t that something someone had to do a while ago to get The Scarlet Letter and Far From the Madding Crowd taught in schools? Newer works from many more compass are, objectively, standing the test of time.

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    PostCatholic: “Do the boys get a solid eight hours prior to reveille”

    *chuckle* There is Matins and fire drills.

    “I like the canon that we commonly call “English literature,” and I want more people to read it.”

    Agreed. Time is better spent with a good book rather than most TV shows and movies. Obviously there are some movies and shows that are enriching, uplifting, or simply entertaining. But most TV shows and movies are produced by disordered individuals who are intent on attacking the Virtues, weakening critical thinking, conditioning the viewer to accept as normal behavior unhealthy behavior, and leaving the viewer agitated and depressed- and thus more responsive to utopian and vengeful Leftist politics.

    This applies not only in the U.S. but also Japan, Europe, Africa, Middle East, China etc.

    “And when a tale is told from a perspective of the writers dominant culture…why not examine that bias…Getting young mind to engage with such questions means that they realize such books are important.”

    No, here we disagree. A twelve-year old boy living in west Iowa near the Missouri River and who reads Tom Sawyer and the Journals of Lewis and Clark already knows those two books are “important”- he’s taking the time to read them, which makes them important to him.

    Now, the boy may be reading because of an interest in local history, river travel, an adventure tale, slavery, a friendship story, wilderness exploration, Indian tribes and their customs, a quest to reach the Pacific coast- who knows at first? Time will tell. This is where discussion with parents or siblings or friends or relatives or a good teacher is important. With those discussions the boy also develops interpersonal and communication skills.

    A deeper understanding of these two books begins to develop, it takes time. The actions and emotions of the book’s characters are weighed and considered, the historical context becomes reasonably apparent, the drama of human nature unfolds, the boy’s character and intellect develops a bit more.

    What is counterproductive, what has baneful consequences, what was on display in the streets of many American cities in 2020 was the effects of the “Education” Industry bludgeoning students into an immediate acquiescence to the biased, racist, bitter, willfully ignorant and vengeful worldview of socialists and revolutionary Marxists.

    Which brings us back to this post and assymetric warfare.

    Antonio Gramsci, early 20th century Communist:

    “Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”

    Joseph Stalin:

    “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”

    During the 20th century twelve-year old boys and girls around the world (and many adults) were viewed as empty vessels to be filled with Communist, National Socialist, Islamist, Baathist, and other insanely lethal ideologies. We know the results.

    In the 21st century Socialists, the fascist Antifa, the Marxist BLM, the Death Parties in many countries from Argentina to the U.S., Islamists, the Communist Chinese and the utopian Globalists around the world do not have the element of surprise. What remains to be seen is what we will do about this situation. Christus Vincit.

  16. The Masked Chicken says:

    This is a relatively simple analysis, with an unfortunately complicated implementation. There are supposed to be constraints on advancements in knowledge for the sciences and the arts/humanities: for the sciences, it is the correspondence with the physical world or laws of nature; if a theory does not conform to this constraint, it should be thrown out; for the arts/humanity, it is the correspondence with correct morality or the natural law; likewise, if the theory does not conform to this constraint, it should be thrown out.

    The problem is simple for the sciences: there is only ONE correct physical world – anything else is a delusion. The problem should be as simple for the arts/humanities: there is only one correct moral world – anything else is a delusion. Just as the laws of nature are subservient to God’s will, just so, the only true and correct moral law is the one that is subservient to God’s will. True advancements in both the science and the arts/humanities should, then, be based on a natural law given by God.

    Unfortunately, while most people agree with physical nature as a constraint in the sciences, because of improper notions of “religious freedom,” people in the arts/humanities will not accept a single unified true and consistent morality (which is identical to Catholic morality). In the sciences, the truth of an experiment is judged by the feedback from nature, but in the arts/humanities, today, people do not accept the feedback from the revelation of the gospel, which became fixed, just as surely as physical laws were at the Big Bang, with the death of the last apostle. Thus, an unconstrained art/humanities gives rise to all of these delusional movements. These movements do not seek to nest their findings within an objective truth, but, rather to define the truth, as any delusional system will.

    I see no real remedy until there is a collective restrain on improper religion. Everyone has the right and should have the freedom to seek the truth. Occasionally (and more and more), people fall into error with the resultant formation of a false religion or ethic that does not conform to reality. They do not, however, have the right to stay in this error anymore than a physicist has the right to use the wrong value of the speed of light. Religion cannot be a matter of opinion. That is at the heart of these idiotic calls for diversity and disruptions. They are all clandestine attacks on the Catholic faith, because it is the only genuine source of consistency and constraint for the arts and humanities.

    One may argue that other cultures have valuable things to say, but to the extent that their expressions deviate from a correct morality, they should be rejected just as strongly as a chemist would reject the notion that water is not wet. Ultimately, this nonsense about counter-narratives and diversity should be seen as the lie, the anti-Christ, that St. John talks about. It is true that other cultures can, in their own ways, restate the Christian truth, but to the extent that their cultures are not informed by it, every such express is nothing more than delusion.

    That societies will embrace error so willingly is a sign that the Church is not doing its job of being a light for the world.

    The Chicken

  17. Semper Gumby says:

    PeterN: Thank you for your service to God and Country.

    “Study the history of Communist subversion and it becomes even clearer…But unless you understand the enemy, you can’t effectively resist.”

    Good point.

    “…most of those who would stand up for the right and the true don’t have a coherent philosophical and moral basis that they can explain. Americans tend to be philosophically incoherent…”

    No need to single out Americans, most of the human race at any given point in time tends to be philosophically incoherent. What is being eroded under Leftist subversion- confidence in the Faith that cultivates the virtues and historical knowledge that cultivates patriotism- can be regained. It’s been done before and we can do it again.

    “We need to study the faith, study Natural Law, and study guerrilla warfare.”

    And here in the U.S. we need to study the U.S. Constitution and American history: holding politicians and election officials accountable when they violate their Oaths and counter-attacking Leftist anti-American propaganda designed to dispirit and de-moralize. True, this is being done, but the situation today requires additional effort.

    “The Chinese think more widely…”

    This is a common misconception. The Chinese people are no more intelligent, wiser or stronger than the rest of humanity. At this point in time there is a Communist regime in Beijing not bound by the two- or four-year election cycle or by morality. The predatory ChiCom regime certainly thinks differently and has a large Fifth Column inside the U.S. and around the world- that’s the problem.

    Underestimating one’s enemy is a mistake, so is overestimating. The ChiComs and their collaborators can be beaten. What remains to be seen is at what cost.

    No doubt PeterN you’ve heard of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. In December 1950 eight ChiCom divisions surrounded and attempted to destroy a single U.S. Marine division in the frozen mountains of Korea. This battle is legendary. The ChiComs failed.

    An 18-minute podcast by Jocko Willink: “We Have Not Been Defeated.” Fr. Cornelius Griffin, a chaplain with the Marines, is mentioned here.

    https://youtu.be/rxyL-Z6xWLM

    A blessed New Year and Semper Fidelis.

  18. PostCatholic says:

    I think the canon of literature needs constant revision in order to make additions. Very rarely, subtractions; A Bell for Adano is an instance in which the zeitgeist had more to do with its encomiums than the actual literary merit of the book. There are new books which are literary masterpieces because the art of mastering the English language to communicate stories, and via stories, ideas, did not cease upon the death of Queen Victoria. A few modern authors who deserve close attention might be Tartt, Coupland, Doyle, McEwan, Didion, Auster, Morrison, Díaz, or Achebe. All those names have distinguished themselves as stylists and thinkers of the highest order and won the most important awards in the literary establishment. One cannot teach them in isolation from the rest of English literature. of course. And in a high school curriculum, there’s no time for all of them. Shakespeare and Twain and Conrad and Wharton and Frost and Whitman still have there place. But new ways of discussing them and of tracing their influence on the state of literature today are only fitting.

    The thing about posing new questions and adding new books to the canonical curriculum is that it crowds out other worthies. I simply say this: if a book is likely to make a connection with a student and lead them to a love of literature, they’ll find the rest. It’s that love of learning that’s most important to inculcate.

    I really enjoy the film “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and have rewatched it many times. I ask you, could the Coen brothers produce such a marvellous comedy without a comprehensive study of all of the English lit canon? Not just the Odyessy? I mean, I think it also takes the influence of Faulkner and Welty and even Fannie Flagg to craft a tale like that.

    Semper, just as an aside–thank you for the gentlemanly debate. It’s so hard to exchange ideas across the cultural divide these days and I appreciate your good humor.

  19. Semper Gumby says:

    The Battle of Chosin Reservoir podcast mentioned above contains a reference to Fr. Griffin, note also at one point the reference to “love.”

    As the topic of this post is Asymmetric Warfare, here are brief remarks about a hill in Korea in 1950 (a small part of the larger Chosin Reservoir battlefield) and a hill in Afghanistan in 2009- where events turned above-average “Asymmetrical.”

    First, Korea 1950. Note the podcast reference to “Fox company’s hill.” (Specifically, F Co., 2nd Bn, 7th Marines. To illustrate the intensity of the “Fox Hill battle” one Marine, Pfc. Hector Cafferata MOH, used his E-tool to bat away at least a dozen incoming Chinese grenades.) [Which reminds me: I have to get back to the batting cage.]

    The podcast at about four minutes describes Fox Hill: the hill where an outpost of 200 Marines strengthened their isolated position by building a wall of frozen Chinese bodies. Still, many more hundreds of corpses blanketed the hillside in “thick bands.” In the podcast note the reaction of other Marines when they battled their way five days later to the relief of Fox company and saw the battlefield: “Men bowed their heads in prayer, some fell to their knees.”

    Afghanistan 2009: Do an internet search on “OP Rock Afghanistan” to gain a sense of what occurred. You’ll see a 2009 Times of London article (the Brits observed unusual events before handing the hill over to U.S. Marines), a NY Times article and even a YouTube video of some guy opining with over a million views. Please ignore the abundant editorializing, instead acquire a sense of the Highly Asymmetric happenings at Observation Post Rock.

    For those contemplating a military career, those just a few years into such a career, and for prospective military chaplains, it’s helpful to be aware (and I understand I’m not saying anything new here) that the battlefield can be not only quite stressful but at times unusual.

    “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”

  20. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z: A Swing and a Miss would be frowned upon. Verily, baseball is the game God loves best.

    Yogi Berra:

    “You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.”

  21. Semper Gumby says:

    PostCatholic: Thank you for an interesting exchange.

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