On a lighter note

Perhaps to dispel the gloom of the previous post, your feel-good story for today, lifted from the Bleat:

Prior to relocating Online Insurance Brokerage World Headquarters to it’s new swanky digs last October, I had seen a middle aged fellow on a a rather routine basis near our old building from 2006 through 2011. Every time I saw him, he was pan handling. I always declined to donate to his situation. Every time, for almost five years. The last time I saw him pan handling, he seemed near death. It was just heart-breakingly horrible to witness it. I finally relented, and gave him the $40 from my wallet, on the conditions that  he go get some food, and then get to an emergency room: And that if I he drank the $40 or got a $40 high, that I would summarily beat the tar out of him. Saw the fellow again in December as we removed the last of our surplus network gear from the old building. Did not recognize him. He had gone to the ER – found he had pneumonia, got treated for three weeks, got himself into a shelter, and was working on staying sober. He was doing the sign spinner gig for cash on the barrel for a sandwich joint a block over.
I normally never give anything to panhandlers – We all make choices in our lives, and I don’t want to contribute to self-destructive behavior, for anyone’s sake, theirs’ or mine. But something about that moment called me to do things differently. Haven’t seen the fellow again since that last week in December, as our new offices are about eight miles away. Hope he’s doing okay.

And I still don’t give anything to panhandlers.

So there. And yes I am that wierdo that actually reads the comments on a blog post.

That Frightening Wisdom

I’ve been reading Roger Kimball for many years now, and I have always found his blog to be a refuge of calm and well-considered discourse. The commentariat there has always been well-read, intelligent, and bone-deep supporters of our Grand Experiment, the United States of America. So it troubles me that I find the following within a comment thread on a post about Enoch Powell, the now-discredited British politician and statesman. I quote the comment in full, but the italics are my own:

I sense a certain unforgiving mood right now – I know I recognize it within myself.

The other side as a group has sold us all into slavery to the state, and did so with a smile on their faces content in their opinion they have not only done right but have succeeded in doing right in their own minds, and even now take a great deal of joy in their victory.

To them, they have won and now all is well and they think things will just go on, that no negative repercussions will occur, and that the losing side (us) were wrong in our warnings. They will smile and think to themselves that we will just get over it, that no grudges will be held. It’s just politics. We’ll come around to their way of thinking if it is just forced down our throats far enough.

In their happy world, they cannot imagine how furious we are.

My perplexity at how brother could fight brother with deadly intent 150 years ago has now been resolved.

I don’t think we are going to have a hard and sudden cultural collapse, but in the long run I fear we may end up at the same place. As prognostications of the end of the world as we know it do not clearly and concisely come to pass, they will point to this as proof of our error in judgement and laugh at those preparing for the future.

Just like the ant and the grasshopper.

It may now just be a matter of time, and there will be no clear physical borders or battle lines to distinguish one side from the other, though certain states/areas will be more predominantly one side or the other.

This time it will be literally neighbor against neighbor, and it will devolve over a period of years into a hot mess. Those of like political views will begin to associate more exclusively based on those views, furthering the divide.

With such a diametric opposition in views, how can it be any other way?

Those who dragged the rest of us kicking and screaming into their darkness will refuse to accept responsibility for what happens, and indeed will likely blame us as society becomes ever more unpleasant for being “obstructionist”.

Some of those who are preparing for the worst will become complacent when no sudden negative shift happens, or will question their own judgement and believe the other side was correct after all, and will therefore find themselves ultimately just as unprepared as those who are blind to what is happening when the ultimate end game begins.

I suggest we prepare for the worst anyway, yet begin planning our lives for this shift as it occurs to ride it out to it’s inevitable conclusion over a period of years. We cannot withdraw from society because there is no realistic place to withdraw to, therefore we must figure out how to survive within the chaos that will occur.

I think I need to read up on Enoch Powell some more- it sounds as if he may have been an uncomfortable prophet, who naturally enough was crucified by his contemporaries. Perhaps I’ll start with the Rivers of Blood speech. Perhaps Mr. Powell’s time in the desert is coming to an end.

(updated to correct incorrect links and attribution)