Rotting Fruit or Aging Wine?

by Brad Nelson1/4/17

A few thoughts on this site and where we’re going.

First off, I received a considerable contribution yesterday that will help keep the site afloat. The costs here are about $25.00 per month for the hosting plus a couple hundred dollars (or so…I forget) in annual renewal fees for the domain and such. I won’t say who contributed unless they want me to. But it’s very nice to see some people get some skin in the game (multiple times, actually, for this contributor). We are truly a communal site. (But not Communist!) Communal is okay when it’s completely voluntary and of good purpose. Other than trying to provide a rational and thoughtful organizing influence, I hate stifling top-downism.

You’ve probably gotten that I’m trying to promote aging wine and not rotten fruit. I have just grown so tired of the shallowness of what passes for essays and commentary these days. The conservative blogosphere is awash in word salad, more than likely caused in part by word quotas. I’m of the mind to write when you have something to say and not before. But for-profit sites have other necessities. And one of the results is that article after article that I read typically seems to leave the gist of the subject to the fifth or sixth paragraph, if a clear point is ever made.

Perhaps human beings are ever only capable of baloney and engaging in small-minded human drama. But I’m done with it. I’d rather have a good book review than an article listing the transgressions of the Left (or Trump, for that matter). The world is full of wonders, infused by joy or pathos — often both — so find them and write about them. But leave the boring analysis to the regular daily drama writers. Shoot for aging your wine. Many of you have and I thank you for that. Onward and upward as we create a bubble of soft reason and vibrant creativity outside this bizarre culture.

Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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8 Responses to Rotting Fruit or Aging Wine?

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Rotting Fruit or Aging Wine?

    Sometimes the greatest wine is made from rotting fruit, for example Chateau d’Yqeum Sauternes is made from grapes affected by the “noble rot” botrytis cinerea. So don’t throw out everything which might appear to be rotten.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      That’s an extension of the metaphor that I didn’t expect. But it seems apt. May we all turn our lemons into lemonade — hard or soft.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Elizabeth and I are both teetotalers, so hard lemonade (or cider, for that matter) is out. Regular lemonade, on the other hand, is quite acceptable as long as it’s sweet enough.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          So long as your drink of choice is not Kool-aid, we’re good to go! And a little sweetener is just the thing.

          I’m a teetotaler as well. I also try to drink a minimum amount of Kool-aid.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    On a related note, this is definitely not what we’re about.

    But next month, Julius Krein, a 2008 Harvard graduate who has spent most of his admittedly short career in finance, is launching a journal of public policy and political philosophy with an eye toward laying the intellectual foundation for the Trump movement. If his nerdy swagger is any indication, he has big ambitions: He noted wryly that he is — “coincidentally” — the same age that William F. Buckley Jr. was six decades ago when he founded National Review, the magazine that became the flagship of the conservative movement.

    We are not non-partisan. We are very partisan to sanity and reality. We (a royal “we,” in this case) are not Bill Buckley Jr. But I think the reality is that a new kind of “National Review” is needed. I’m not saying the existing one isn’t good enough or doesn’t have its uses. But if the main corruption of the Left is politicizing everything (as staple of Jonah Goldberg’s work, Liberal Fascism) then shouldn’t we make an attempt to not shove every livin’ damn thing through a political lens, snide comments at Obama and Snowflakes excepted?

    And it goes without saying that any such publlication is going to be corrosive ideologically. Here’s the guy’s premise:

    “We hope not only to encourage a rethinking of the theoretical foundations of ‘conservatism’ but also to promote a broader realignment of American politics.”

    If you mean more word-munging and redefining, then say so. But no one can redefine a hammer or a nail. They are what they are. And the theoretical foundations of conservatism are not arbitrary, to be “redefined” based upon the latest enthusiasts of whatever Kool-aid is swirling around the maelstrom of The Public Drama.

    If it is difficult at times to articulate what StubbornThings is about, or should be about, I can at least give you some hint when I say “Not that.” Get it? We’re not going to rethink the triangle. We’re not going to try to force round pegs into square holes because we’ve redefined the notion of square.

    But such is the postmodern (post-truth, post-holding-to-reason) world that we live in.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I was watching an episode of Call the Midwife last night. The series has some political correctness to it. Whoopee! One of the midwives is a lesbian and that’s quite alright, even commendable.

    But for the most part, this is an interesting and well-acted series. This episode in particular featured Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) who is seconded to a maternity hospital to check out this newfangled place where women are tending to for having their babies rather than at-home with a midwife.

    Agutter you know from Logan’s Run. She’s the head sister at Nonnatus House, a mix of nuns and non-nuns who are midwives…and more. Agutter’s role in the series is understated. But when she is in a scene, she’s very good. And if memory serves, this episode featured her unlike any previous episode that I could recall.

    She’s visiting the hospital and lends a hand to a difficult birth by a woman who so much wanted a daughter. It’s heart-wrenching when the baby turns out to be severely defective. The hospital staff did not put “it” (its sexual organs were non-existent) in the nursery ward, a circumstance that Sister Julienne figured out when she went there to visit it. Instead the hospital staff had stuck it near an open window in the equivalent of the trash room. It died in Sister Julienne’s arms, briefly rescued and wrapped in a blanket.

    This is a touching episode and superbly acted by Agutter. And for every dollop of political correctness there are three dollops of scenes such as this. Imagine a woman valuing and loving such a disfigured baby.

    And you realize that a site such as this, to purport to be above the gutter press, the Snowflake mob, the word quota-ists, and the tribal “reason”-ists requires more than a touch of religion. It requires a merciful and loving view of life that cannot make sense of in 99 out of 100 of the “world views” out there now that purport to know it all.

    Call the Midwife, reviewed here, is currently streaming on Netflix.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One does read about implicitly pro-life messages here and there in movies. Deep down, this evidently resonates even in Hollywood.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Call the Midwife is a BBC/Neal Street production. My rough guess is that mirrors the facts in 1950’s-1960’s England, at least in the particular place where the Nonnatus House is located. Trying to be as bleedingly fair as I can be, I say the program has an overall Progressive slant to it.

        That medical options for pregnant women were evolving need not be a “Progressive” issue to you or me, per se. It could be called “Life getting better through science and technology.” But Britain was steeped in the NHS even back then. And clearly “enlightened” attitudes (what women thought) were shown to be always superior to anything men thought, who tended to the low and gutterly. Whether this mirrors reality or not, I cannot say. But feminism is steeped deeply in the framework of this series.

        Still, it’s difficult to set a show amongst more-or-less orthodox nuns and not have it contain some implicitly conservative virtues. And Sister Evangelina plays a decidedly non-touchy-feely midwife Nun at Nonnatus House. She’s old-fashioned in a pleasing, if sometimes brusque, sort of way.

        Life is complicated. There really were men back then (as there are today) who were abusive towards their womenfolk. And there really were women (as there are today) who caused many of their own problems through a lack of prudence and virtue, although this series in particularly is completely hands-off regarding making any judgments…possibly an occupational necessity because their job was to ease the birthing and raising of babies, before, during, and after coming into the world. And you dealt with all kinds. And the babies, as always, remain blameless themselves.

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