Sunday, April 25, 2021

Variants of Stupidity

 

The smartest people I know never call anyone else stupid. Perhaps they are just intelligent enough to recognize how much they have to learn.

Conversely, the most appalling mouth-breathers of my acquaintance are quick to accuse others of imbecility for no better reason than being at odds with their precise opinion. Little knowledge being a dangerous thing, they lash themselves to the mast of the first fact they hear, particularly if it confirms their preferences, and cling to it like grim death.

Like most people, I consider myself somewhere between those two groups; in the parlance of Costanza, not showing off, not falling behind, right in that sweet spot.

As the threat of Covid, such as it ever was, loses its wind, those who live, breathe, and pray to this happening cast about for ways to keep it alive. Since the approved narrative itself does not hang together – the same cohort who cautioned against wearing masks last year now insist they are the talisman to salvation, you must prove your goodness by injecting yourself with an experimental “vaccine” that is nothing of the sort by any previously held definition, etc. – adherents must seal off parts of their minds to contain their demons of doubt.

“Variants of concern” is a recent formulation, meant to convey a sense of next-level danger. But as the sheer illogic of their story accumulates, the willful benightedness of those who need this nonsense to rouse themselves from bed each morning necessitates variants of stupidity.

For example, I have heretofore enjoyed chit-chatting with an older lady I encounter on my bi-weekly visits to the grocery store. Most recently, however, our discussion turned to the Covid regime – as is the tiresome wont of every conversation nowadays – and the ridiculous cloth on our faces.

Whether this woman was once normal or was always one of them, I do not know, but a slyness slipped into her eyes, as though what she was about to say were gangbusters.

“Okay, BUT – were you sick this winter?”

That was it. She stepped back slightly, as though I needed space to recover. I needed no more than a moment, however, to understand her meaning: While masks may be unnecessary for Covid, they are probably good for something, so we must all wear them indefinitely.

I responded, truthfully, that I am never sick (being Irish, I yearn for death, but my perfect health is a tragic fact), adding that even if her argument were airtight, I do not want to live like this. Off the top of my head, I mentioned recent writings from the CDC, Stanford, and even the New York Times (which I suddenly supposed she might read unironically) averring that masks and “social distance” were performative at most.

“Everyone has their own opinion,” she replied in the sing-song tone one might take with a slow-learning child.

Notwithstanding my place in the sweet spot, noted above, to be patronized by someone of middling intelligence is its own chapter of infuriation.

Perhaps so, I answered, though that is of little practical value, since those of us with differing opinions, no matter how well-founded, are beholden to the opinions of those who demand we cover our faces if we wish to buy food for our families.

“Well, I need to get back to it,” she said. The words were polite enough, but she applied just enough edge to her tone to convey we shan’t speak again.

I am intellectually humble enough to accept I might be wrong about all this. But I suspect what irritated her most was that, on some level, she suspects I am right.

Covid is merely the latest religion for people who believe in nothing. In the tradition of “climate change” and identity politics, it is tailor-made for the jagged, spacey sort who send prayers “out to the Universe” because they’d rather die roaring than say the name of God.

It is often said that this godless religion has no answer for death, and so people are afraid. I waver on this, inasmuch as I see plenty of power-tripping, conformity, and self-satisfaction, but precious little fear.

It is akin to how media reflexively blame this or that recent privation on “the pandemic,” rather than the true culprit of capricious tyranny.

At this point, is anyone primarily afraid of the disease itself? Perhaps some are but, to those with a lick of perspicacity, the chief concern ought to be the medical prison being erected around us.

Covidians are strangers to both purpose and fear, which makes them fanatical. Their role-playing adventure, in which the rest of us are compelled to participate, furnishes them with meaning and power, yet they are no more afraid of death than Barack Obama is of his waterfront mansion slipping into the rising sea.

As each of their tenets is disproved – from masks and distance, as noted, to death rates, dancing Tik-Tok nurses in supposedly overrun hospitals, the notion of “asymptomatic” (previously, “healthy”), and the recently exploded myth of surface transmission – their justifications will mutate as swiftly and dangerously as they claim the virus does.

Each new strain of nonsense will be more absurd than the last, as fewer rational arguments remain available to them. Even so, they will persist, for they can do no other – at least, until some new secular shrine presents itself. When it does, the same people who moved seamlessly from saying you couldn’t use a plastic straw to demanding that everything be covered in plastic, including you, will go and worship there.

Returning to the smartest people I know, albeit subjectively assessed, it is noteworthy that none of them is a medical doctor (with one exception, though he was so brilliant it was as though he earned an MD in his spare time). I myself am not a doctor, nor did I attend an Ivy League school, but I am acquainted with a sufficient number who satisfy one or both of those criteria to know that not only should one not be intimidated by their judgment – one should be outright suspicious of it.

Intelligence and credentials are worse than useless when decoupled from humility and common sense. Medicine, like any other field, requires the marriage of specific training to good judgment. And to it all, there is a bounded rationality. I would no more defer to a doctor on how society should run than allow my mechanic to dictate what times and on which roads I may drive my car.

Some medical professionals understand this perfectly well. Others – some famous and some on Facebook – seem to be enjoying this moment a tad too much.

The upshot remains that if you refuse to accept you may be wrong, allowing ego and power-lust to override reason, no matter how many post-nominals you possess, you may as well sign your name with an X.

Be warned, however: Unintelligent creatures can still be dangerous. A polar bear may be hopeless at arithmetic, but he can still rip your head off. The science is settled.

We are using low intelligence as shorthand to encompass genuinely dumb bunnies as well those who could be smart but refuse to be, but the salient factor is their religious zeal. As with the causes that preceded this one, and whatever follows, they will never cease seeking their personal fulfilment at your expense.

These people, remember, in the explicit terms of the World Economic Forum and other globalist busybodies, want you eating bugs and owning nothing by the end of the decade. They may be ridiculous, but they are still a threat.

Nevertheless, despite the daily discouragements of seeing healthy kids wearing masks in the sunshine, or neighborhood dads to whom I’d have previously considered loaning lawn equipment do the same, I remain optimistic we shall prevail. I have two reasons; one general and one specific.

First, all things, good and bad, must come to an end. The Covid hysteria is one of the great mass delusions in human history (and one could not help be impressed if it were truly planned by Bill Gates and fellow lizard-people, as some suggest) but, whether adored or abhorred, it cannot last forever, for no other reason than nothing made by man or lizard ever does.

Second, the absurdities, indignities, and internal inconsistencies of the Covid regime are impossible to sustain. Resistance and dissent may not appear on mainstream news outlets or your curated social media feed, but they are strong and determined. In cities around the world, massive rallies are regular occurrences. In private moments and everyday rebellions, people demonstrate what they truly believe. As I type, I sit in Canada’s “most vaccinated” neighborhood and yet, even here, outdoor-mask fanatics and my grocery store interlocutor are the exception, not the rule.

They are a large and powerful minority, represented as the only voice in the media we were accustomed to venerate. Even so, the traffic is all one-way. Perusal of my own social media feed will show me wearing a mask over a year ago, long before we were instructed to do so. Now, simply through observation of moving goal posts and shifting narratives, I do not believe a single word of the official Covid story, prepositions included.

Take heart and be not afraid. Time is on our side and, not for nothing, so is the truth.

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com


Friday, February 26, 2021

The Great Resist

 

Call me old-fashioned, but if you choose to speak to me through a cloth covering most of your face, I consider it as disrespectful as being addressed from horseback. Consequently, when neighbors chat me up this way, outdoors in the sun, at a good distance and with no one else about, I feel compelled to mention, pleasantly, that I simply cannot engage in our usual banter if they remain in costume.

Mostly, they peel off their rag and let loose a series of explanations as to why they were wearing it in the first place – they’d just been with people, they forgot they had it on, or some such.

It is not my intention, or my place, to make them uncomfortable or order them about. But in a world where others are permitted to command people as to what words they must use to refer to them, I reserve the right to circumscribe the sort of conversations I will have.

For a time, living as I do in the midst of go-along, get-along liberals who haven’t a clue that legitimate, differing opinions exist, I assumed this would mean a solitary, curmudgeonly existence. But green shoots of normalcy are giving me hope.

It is, as the Richard Harris incarnation of Marcus Aurelius described Rome, a dream you can only whisper. Nonetheless, it is there. It is conveyed in brief exchanges and knowing looks; a sense that people are ready to be done. Covid mania is like a hit song, loved at first but made sickening by too much play.        

There are, of course, Covid fanatics aplenty, and perhaps they will be with us for some time. One sees them on social media and in real life, but their energy is unsustainable and they are too unappealing for their influence to survive. On some level, one senses they know this.

On our street the other day, a nice couple were distributing a free newspaper, advocating an end to lockdowns and getting kids back in schools. They were accosted by a local woman of a certain age, who filled the air of our quiet neighborhood with righteous profanity. She reached her crescendo by screaming at the couple, “You should be SHOT!” (Why is that the go-to for certain people?)

That is not the behavior of someone serenely confident of victory. Nor is it the conduct of a dispassionate believer in science (or “The Science,” as it prefers to be called).

Politicians are a different matter. Thus far, with some pleasing exceptions in Florida and the Dakotas and elsewhere, they are intransigent in their refusal to let this madness die.

But one must remember, for all their deployment of that risible euphemism, “public service,” these are people who got into the racket so they could exercise power over others. Their actions will serve that interest, always. And when the winds change, so will they. For the moment, they suppose this is what people want, and it satisfies their need for control and self-drama.

The mayor of my hometown of Toronto, a pudgy non-entity named John Tory who has all the right opinions, has canceled all city events until at least July 1, the 154th anniversary of Canada’s founding. Ontario’s premier, meanwhile, a positively corpulent mouth-breather named Doug Ford, has evinced a level of stupidity and malevolence that has shocked his erstwhile supporters, including me. His latest move – on the heels of insulting and threatening his former voting base and canceling Christmas – has been to spend $2.5 million of taxpayer money on wristbands to be worn by citizens, and which will beep if people are fewer than six feet apart.

But as always, the most appalling performance has been turned in by Justin Trudeau, a deeply embarrassing young man who effectively inherited Canada’s leadership from his father.

As is the way of children and leftists, Justin has a cruel streak and lacks proportion. His most recent obscenity is to imprison citizens returning from abroad in hotels for days, while billing them thousands of dollars for the privilege, and transporting them to quarantine internment camps if they test positive for Covid.

To a normal person with reasonable expectations of a free country, the hotel arrangement is horrifying enough. Travelers are spirited from the airport in windowless vans, their families are not told where they are being taken, they are ushered down plastic-lined hallways and locked in rooms for days, unable to leave.

But now, allegations of sexual assault by hotel guards against female travelers have been raised. One would think the government of a self-proclaimed “male feminist” (a red flag if ever there were one) would be outraged and embarrassed that a policy of theirs has led to such a dreadful (yet predictable) result.

Rather, female ministers of Justin’s Cabinet have responded with the government’s robotic and minatory mantra: “Do not travel.”

Again, there will always be ghastly people who think this is a reasonable reply. One sees them in online comments, and their wording is often similar; something like, “I, for one, have ZERO sympathy for these people. You were TOLD not to travel in a pandemic!”

Benighted to the tradition of freedom they inherited, such individuals fail to understand it is not within a government’s remit to tell citizens that they cannot leave the country. But just as there have always been cranks who insist the Berlin Wall was erected to keep West Germans from availing themselves of all the free services in the East, their perception of reality is precisely inverted.

“You were warned” is no kind of governing policy, and it is a positively satanic response to victims of assault.

For those lucky enough to escape the hotel prisons and internment camps, government-funded stalkers have been dispatched to the homes of recent travelers to ensure they are remaining quarantined. In Ontario, one such agent has been charged with extorting a cash “fine” from a female target, and sexually assaulting her.

It is noteworthy that these are merely the stories that have been reported by the mainstream news – a cohort that by and large favors centralization and Covid restrictions. Politicians with a studied, lifelong ignorance of both liberty and human nature have re-created the Stanford Prison Experiment from coast to coast. Normal people see this, at once, even if their leaders do not.

Much of the media criticism of Justin’s Covid-handling focuses on his failure to acquire and distribute the new vaccine. The assumption of major news outlets is that these treatments are an unalloyed good and every reasonable person wishes to receive them as soon as possible.

Certainly, there are many who are eager to be injected. But there is also a widespread and respectable view that the inoculation should be delayed or eschewed, if it is necessary at all.

An experimental injection, mere months in the making, with a suppressed but unmistakable early record of deaths and complications, and which does not protect against infection or transmission, is not a vaccine in any practically understood sense.

A common defense of this new “vaccine” is to point to the improvements in quality of life attained through vaccines of the past. Sorry, but this parvenu does not get to trade on Jonas Salk’s street cred.

Consequently, allow me to go on record that I will never take that jab unless you hold me down and force it on me. Please note that ten to one is not a fair fight; you’re going to need more guys.

And it may come to that. In a world where I am forbidden to travel, where government stalkers will come to my home, and they seek to foreclose routine living unless I present medical papers, anything is possible. Ideologically, at least, I am on a war-footing.

That informs the ad hominem nature of much of this prose. These politicians and their fellow-travelling bureaucrats are not my friends or chummy compatriots with whom I have a policy disagreement. What they are doing, or attempting to do, is anathema to the founding of Western nations and antipathetic to the human spirit. They must be defeated, discredited, and the earth of their careers must be salted so they are never in proximity to power again.

Ironically, it is that matter of medical papers that has given me my greatest source of hope. Doubtless, you have seen news items regarding the supposedly forthcoming “Vaccine Passport,” without which you will be forbidden to travel, shop, or live anything resembling a proper life.

Such stories are ubiquitous and synchronized, to make you feel surrounded. But those green shoots find a way. In this case, they take the form of comments on videos and postings where vaccine advocates have not taken care to curate the responses.

When first I saw this reported, on Irish news last year, the item was positively destroyed in the comments (“ratioed,” as the kids say), without a single peep of support.

This week, in my native Canada, a similar story was broadcast by CTV News, Canada’s answer to CNN inasmuch as you know precisely their view on any given topic, such that one wonders why anyone bothers to watch. They interviewed a “bioethicist” – one of those modern professions that prompts one to ask what that person does all day – who averred that these passports are inevitable.

The reactions were glorious. Everywhere the interview was posted – including on CTV’s own YouTube channel – one could find thousands of downvotes and damning comments, with but a handful of upward thumbs and, as of this writing, not a single voice in favor.

The Great Reset, as you may have heard, is a program whereby nefarious groups, including everyone from the Davos crowd to Bill Gates to the Bay City Rollers, seek to remake the world in an image of their choosing. It is not some imaginary conspiracy, as a number of its proponents openly advocate it. The global legibility and attendant controls of the Vaccine Passport was to be an integral part.

But as with all the plans of those who love people in groups of a million or more, it fails to account for ground-level behavior. Similarly, it does not contemplate next steps.

Just as anyone over the age of 5 can see that locking people in hotels and sending government-deputized stalkers to women’s homes is wrong and will end badly, it should be obvious that grand, life-altering policies will require enforcement.

If a person wishes to do some grocery shopping, must they present their vaccine papers or scan their Ford-issued wristband at the door? Who will guard the entrance – police, private security, or some put-upon hourly worker with a nametag? And how long are we meant to live like this?

In an instant, normal people see this is madness and slavery, no matter how tidy it appears to international bien-pensants.

To be human is to be free, in equilibrium between good and evil and empowered to choose. They do not understand this and so they push too far, always.

They want you to believe their vision is inevitable. But do not be fooled. The Great Resist is stirring to life.

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Lamps are Going Out

 

A common analysis of the First World War posits that European leaders failed to anticipate the effects of the Industrial Revolution. War had always been with us, but heavy artillery and mechanized weapons made it exponentially more dreadful.

Similarly, those who expect today’s global grasp for totalitarianism will run its course like all its predecessors are not taking into account the modern arsenal of enforcement.

Perhaps your bank has not closed your account, declaring that your conduct is inconsistent with their values. Hopefully, your heat and power have not been shut off, and police have not come to your home, because you have hosted family or friends on your property. Ideally, social media or some online marketplace where you make your livelihood have not decided to ban your presence.

If you ran afoul of those who make such decisions, how difficult would it be?

The question is not theoretical, and one need not be a major celebrity or some world-bestriding lightning rod of controversy for such things to happen. Friends not much better-known than I, with views not much more outrageous than mine, have found themselves unable to sell products or cash checks, simply for trespassing approved wisdom.

Remove politics from the equation, and all manner of non-compliance with central authority can result in this treatment. The mayor of Los Angeles, for just one example, has been explicit that private homes suspected of hosting guests will have their utilities shut off.

Across the formerly free world, we have seen video of police storming residences, assaulting citizens, and arresting them in their homes for so much as opining online against health and safety orthodoxy. And those are just the incidents during which someone had the presence of mind to pull out a camera and post the footage.

Until recently, Australia seemed most afflicted by the new penchant for jackboots. My native Canada has risen to the challenge, however, with viral footage of police violently separating six family members in their home over New Year’s.

Analysts of every ideology have long understood that socializing health care fundamentally alters the relationship between the citizen and state. The dawning of the Age of Coronavirus has revealed the dark side of that dynamic, particularly in the mother of the Commonwealth and world-leader in socialized medicine: Great Britain herself.

For generations, the British people have been obliged to bow down before their National Health Service as though it were Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Now, sequestered in their homes across the Sceptred Isle, they can enjoy the consequences of that idolatry.

They may as well go ahead and sing the lyrics to “Rule, Britannia!” at the Last Night of the Proms, via Zoom, for all the good it will do.

Even so, polls show majorities of Britons favor the lockdowns and, in fact, wish for more of their freedoms to be curtailed. No doubt Britain’s Prime Minister, the formerly sane Boris Johnson, will oblige.

They are like the ancient Israelites, against all good advice, demanding a king (“Saul 1020 BC: Build Back Better!”).

Normalcy will return “after Covid,” some blithely say, as though there were any reason to expect such a day will come. Certainly, the routines and required sacraments will change – perhaps masks will be exchanged for vaccine verification, and the hand sanitizer you must dip into like Holy Water at the grocery store will give way to some cleansing light – but where is the glimmer that people great and small will ever let this go?

Mask fanatics and their scoldy looks, that sanctimonious toothache who makes a big show of walking 15 feet around you on an empty street on a beautiful day, the pursed-lipped, concern-addicted politicians announcing that yes, they have come up with something else to take away from you – they are all enjoying this too much. For all their pretense of heroism and self-sacrifice, the lot of them have the credibility of dancing Tik-Tok nurses.

And now, thanks to the global interconnectedness we hailed barely a generation ago, including the device on which you are reading this column, they have the power to keep that mask on that human face forever.

The carefree waving at this new regime as though it were some passing scene, the cheerful eagerness with which new restrictions are embraced, is reminiscent of those who thought soldiers of the Great War would be home by Christmas 1914.

One is reminded of the foresight of Viscount Grey who, in August of that year, mournfully observed, “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Confessions of a Branch Covidian Apostate

 

Do you know how many people I had over to my house for Christmas? As many as I wanted.

I hope you did the same, whether that number was zero or had a comma in it, because this needs to end, and right now.

As an early advocate of safety measures to guard against this Coronavirus (I even wrote and recorded a song in support of the effort), I no longer believe a single word of the official narrative on this disease, prepositions included.

Even taken at face value, the logic of what we are instructed to accept does not hold together. A disease with a recovery rate well above 99 percent, which poses real danger only to the elderly and those with underlying conditions, necessitates that you may or may not be permitted to purchase grape soda, depending on the whims of your local authorities.

Deaths from all sorts of causes are attributed to the illness, and it is undisputed that the Centers for Disease Control admitted that 94 percent of its reported Covid mortalities died with or from other symptoms. And yet petty government tyrants and their neighborhood-level acolytes continue to trample freedom and fun in the name of “safety.”

Out of necessity, “cases” have replaced deaths and hospitalizations as the metric of doom. Hospitals have never been overrun – which was, the older among you may recall, the original justification for “15 days to slow the spread” at the start of this madness.

People (or a certain sort of person, anyway) can be seen pridefully sporting masks everywhere they go, including alone outdoors or in the car. In severe cases, the masks are personalized and pompously conspicuous, as though they are wearing a piece of the One True Cross.

Masks are worse than useless and, if your fingers are faster than Google’s censors, you can find sources ranging from the US Surgeon-General at the beginning of the year to the recent Danish study explaining why. If and when this insanity ends, we may find mask-wearing caused countless deaths from bacterial pneumonia, as was the case after the Spanish Flu of 1918.

And yet, they persist, despite (and perhaps because of) the demonstrable incompatibility of undisputed facts. Corona-worship has become a cult and I am an apostate from the Branch Covidian.

A cult in service of whom? You need not believe all of the Great Reset theory to appreciate that, at every level, this delirium serves someone’s interests.

That fusspot at the store who yells at someone or rams their shopping cart for not observing the grotesque secular sacrament of “social distance” was looking for someone to afflict. Government-types, elected and unelected, who, despite all the bilge about “public service,” campaigned or signed up to wield some measure of power, are stunned and delighted at just how much power they now hold. And yes, at the very top, there may well be billionaire lizard-people who planned it all (Bill Gates, call your office).

Whatever their station, people are finding excuses to behave how they always wanted.

Again, this is so transparent that if you are still mouthing the official line without irony, I must conclude that you are mentally defective, or in on the scam, or both.

Speaking of Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario has locked down Canada’s largest province yet again, concurrent with the now-familiar dazed and concerned argle-bargle about cases and that new strain in England and how the real heroes are the ones who eat alone over the sink. This, as Ford has admitted that his government is including suicides among the number of Covid deaths.

There is no evidence that lockdowns have saved a single life, anywhere in the world. And yet that suicide number is interesting, for reasons beyond the obvious derangement of including them in the quantifiable rationale for isolating people even more.

In an honest-to-goodness death-trap of a pandemic, as we were told to expect, you would likely have a large and growing count of those known to you who had passed away from the disease. Perhaps you do know someone who died of Covid, in which case you have my condolences. The one person I knew who succumbed was, indeed, elderly and, things being how they are, I have a dark opinion of the veracity of the death certificate.

What is more likely, however, is that you have a list of people who have lost their livelihoods, who have not seen their parents or their grandchildren all year, and who have contemplated, or committed, suicide as a result of this humanity-throttling mass hysteria.

A word on that “new strain” in the UK (incidentally, if I were a lizard-person scripting this whole thing, that’s just the sort of plot twist I’d toss in right about now): As I watched Britons cramming into airports and train terminals, a chilling thought occurred to me. They were not running from the disease, they were running from their government.

Britain’s Prime Minister, the previously palatable Boris Johnson, has become more unrecognizable and plunged deeper into Covid madness than any other world leader. What new level of insanity would his lockdown fever reach? His once-free people did not care to find out.

Decades of war did not displace the Vietnamese people, but when the tender mercies of communism were upon them, they fled. Heathrow was the embassy roof in Saigon, writ large.

And so it goes, all over the planet, until there is nowhere left to run.

I can barely control my own home, let alone the whole planet, but, to the extent I can, this madness ends now. I will welcome whomever I choose, and send away whomever displeases me. Government agents will require not only written authority but, most likely, the use of force to gain entry.

Being Canadian, this is not how I prefer to behave. Even so, it must be done.

Convenient as it may be to say I dissent from Covid orthodoxy because I don’t care about other people, or I want to kill grandma, that is not the case. I just don’t believe the story anymore.

Theo Caldwell wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Christmas is not Caesar's


  Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. – Matthew 22:21

From the very first Christmas, there has been some self-important government official who thought the day was all about him. When Caesar Augustus decreed that all the world should be taxed, and regular people undertook the massive inconvenience of traveling to the land of their birth to be counted, everyone assumed that was the big news.

As we know, nestled within the moving throngs were some previously unknown people, whose story is what we celebrate today.

And celebrate we must, since, just as Augustus sought to bend the world to his will, Caesars large and small are trying to cancel Christmas now. Of course, the stated rationale is public health and safety; but incontestably good intentions are always how tyranny advances – at least, at first.

There are times when it is appropriate to obey local authorities; for example, paying taxes (the topic of the scripture quoted at top), or observing traffic laws. Celebrating Christmas is not one of them.

A lot of people went without birthday parties this year. But by golly, Jesus won’t; not on my watch.

You need to spend Christmas with your loved ones, to the extent you are able. If you cannot, do not let it be because some petty tyrant told you to maintain “social distance” (a repulsive yet apt neologism).

This unsolicited (and, doubtless, immoral and illegal) advice is offered for two reasons. First, it will not just be this Christmas. So long as people continue to comply, this regime of lockdowns, restrictions, and things you can no longer enjoy will never end. You may have seen news of the new, “super-contagious” Covid strain in the United Kingdom. That will be the next step, with mutations and complications lined up thereafter, to maintain the culture of control to which our leaders have become addicted.

Second, Christmas is not only God’s day, but it is the ultimate link that remains between Him and us in our secular age. Moreover, those who wish to rule you know that.

In his lament that his countrymen “didn’t love freedom enough,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “how we burned in the camps later,” for not banding together and resisting when the authorities came to scoop them up, one by one.

This Christmas, this year, is that moment to band together. If we do not do so, then every future holiday – Easter and Christmas, in particular – will be permitted only with the sufferance of the state, if not prohibited outright. Again, not only is that no kind of way to live, but it is an inversion of where true authority lies.

All this is proposed with the full understanding that holidays, even with those you love most, can be a challenge. The memories and aesthetics of Christmas, both within families and as embraced by the wider culture, are not always so sweet and glorious as we suppose.

For example, I am not one hundred percent certain I would want to spend a family Christmas with Bing Crosby.

Relatedly, much as I enjoy the song, one wonders how that little boy concluded that a woman who had just given birth, and was convalescing in a stable, needed to hear a drum solo.

It is not a question of whether you still trust politicians and bureaucrats on the nature of this disease and what must be done (I do not). The decision of how to commemorate the most important event in human history is not within the remit of your local heath czar.

To grant them that authority is to assume the people in charge know what they are doing, and have your best interests at heart. There has never been a government in world history of which either of those things was true.

God trusted you with what is most precious to Him – other people – and it was not so they would “stay safe.” It was so His love could shine through you to them, and vice versa.

Now, if you have concluded that the best way to love your fellow man is to stay away from him this Christmas, then perhaps we are done here.

But if you believe, as I do, that keeping people apart at this time of year is above the government’s pay grade, then you have a duty to keep Christmas in your own way, in defiance of the edicts of your home prefecture. If you allow them to stand between you and God because of some crisis, real or exaggerated, then they can do it for any reason.

A society such as ours, which has studiously rejected all that is eternal and good, has no answer for death. Fortunately, an answer has been provided:

“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.’” (Luke 2:10-14)

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Karen Force, Assemble!


Are there enough silly women and wine moms to force us all to get vaccinated?

Perhaps like you, I have been mulling the advent of this totally-not-mandatory vaccine and how it might play out. The question above is the purest I can distill it.

Any truly bad idea that finds legs in modern culture, from banning plastic straws to drag queen story hour, requires a certain sort of woman in its vanguard. The idea rarely starts with them but, for whatever reason, there is an archetypal, entitled fusspot brigade eager to make it go.

Call them Karen Force, or something similarly martial and impressive, but they are the ones you need on your side if you want to make things worse.

In a wealthy society where basic needs are met, people will cast about for meaning, exaggerate dangers, and often presume that their mission is to thwart some grand threat. Add to that at least three generations, and counting, of imbuing every female with infallible, superhuman qualities (assuming she holds the proper political views) and watch what happens.

If a man talked about himself the way women are constantly encouraged to do, you would correctly assume that man was a mental case.

“I am incredibly strong, brave, and independent!” A man declaring such a thing would be hooted down. But if a woman said it, they’d put it on a T-shirt.

It starts early. By all means, send your daughter to school in a “Girl Power” shirt. Adorable and empowering! Send your son to school in a “Boy Power” shirt and the women who run the place would burn the building down, then salt the earth so nothing could grow again.

Perhaps neither sex should go about claiming empowerment on the basis of immutable characteristics, but finer minds than mine can debate that.

In any case, the end result is a societal cohort that is immune from self-criticism, prone to bad ideas, and which refuses to think things through.

We live in a secluded, cul-de-sac neighborhood. There is little signage on our streets and people move about more or less as they wish. Occasionally, someone will do a foolish job of parking, such that their car is directly opposite someone else’s, thus narrowing the road and necessitating delicate maneuvers for other drivers to get through.

On seeing this recently, one local woman exclaimed, “They should make it illegal to park on one side of the street!”

What she was expressing, quite correctly, was that people ought to be more considerate as to where they leave their cars. It seemed unlikely, however, that she had contemplated the practical effects of her proposal.

It would mean unsightly signs, perhaps posted on her front lawn, enforcement officers and other authorities taking an interest in our quiet neck of the woods. One can imagine this same woman, mad as a wet hen, raging after receiving a parking ticket in front of her own home.

If one had the courage, in that moment, to point out that she was merely on the receiving end of a policy she had advocated, it is reasonable to expect the logic would be lost on her. She might respond with a furious, blinking expression, as if to say, “Your point being?”

Again, her underlying sentiment is sound. Society functions on what Lord Moulton called “Obedience to the unenforceable.” But laws and rules are like heroin to such people. They must have their fix.

Which brings us back to the vaccine. Let us suppose there were no controversy regarding the safety of this hurried concoction, or its necessity to prevent an ailment with a recovery rate above 99 percent. The most recent proposals are that, while the vaccine will not be legally mandated, proof of vaccination will be required in order to travel, attend crowded events, or enter public places such as playgrounds.

This approach has been loudly championed on social media and in neighborhoods like mine, particularly by women such as I have described.

But even with 100 percent of the population cheerfully lining up to be jabbed as Bill Gates tents his fingers and coos, “Excellent” like Monty Burns, those provisions would need to be enforced.

Do we want marshals stationed at local parks, checkpoints and papers required wherever we go? Regardless of the reason or how deeply ingrained the mindless mantra “safety first,” is that how you wish to live?

Almost a year into this, with restrictions increasing rather than decreasing even as we learn that the disease is treatable and not especially deadly, please do not demean us both by saying, “It’s just until this is over.”

This will never be over until we rise up and take back our freedoms. At this point, we have a large enough sample size of government behavior to make that call.

“There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program,” averred Milton Friedman. Remember that time over a century ago when government imposed a “temporary” tax on income to fund the war effort? QED

Chances are good that the women declaring everyone be vaccinated or ostracized have at some point proclaimed, or hoisted a placard reading, “My body, my choice!” As with the hypothetical parking ticket above, they well might miss the inconsistency.

“This is different,” they may retort, “you could harm someone else!”

“You mean, like a baby?” one might reply.

At this point, you could expect to be blocked, doxed, and fined by the HOA.

For whatever it is worth, I have no plans to receive the vaccine, no matter what public events they bar me from. In my case, I and those in my orbit may mutually consider that a blessing.

It is often said that before tearing down an old wall, one should determine why one’s ancestors built it in the first place. Likewise, before building a cage, consider carefully whether that is where you wish to live.

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Sacrifice on Demand

 

If I found myself demanding the rest of the world live like this just to keep me safe, I like to think I’d die of shame.

Christmas reminds us that God took human form, in one of the harshest eras in history, and became a willing sacrifice for all mankind. Currently, people who don’t believe in any of that are demanding you sacrifice everything to make them feel better.

Freedom is dead as disco and safety is all the rage. You can find it everywhere on TwitFace; comments like, "YOUR freedom ends where MY health begins!" This is often followed by some mangled analogy of Oliver Wendell Holmes yelling "Fire!" while wearing a seatbelt in a crowded theatre. 

And then they leave it at that. The little darlings honestly believe making it all about themselves is checkmate.

One can scarcely blame younger generations, having been raised in a therapeutic culture of self esteem, self-involvement, and the constant cataloguing of what they are "going through."

It is of a piece with our zeitgeist of grievance, complaint, and the harnessing of that energy to exert power.

Identity politics is all about dictating rules to other people for being in your presence. Call me by this name now, not the one you have known; agree that I am this “gender” and not the one we both know me to be; refer to me by this made-up pronoun, not any of the real ones that are available. Do this, or I will bring the wrath of the state and the mob (to the extent they remain distinguishable) down upon you.

There is no nobility in that, only self. It evinces a bitter, even demonic, desire for control over others, and an urge to punish and inflict pain.

No one is truly harmed by being called by the wrong name and, if they are, that is on them. For most of humanity, our ancestors eked out survival upon brutal terrain. If you cannot keep it together when your uncle fails to call you “Moonbeam” on command, you are beyond our aid.

Brushed back by the accusation that they are being selfish, the young may retort that Covid restrictions are not about them, but about protecting the elderly. 

Finding myself in the September of my years, I can attest that aging is no picnic. Apart from the lovely things one must daily learn to leave behind, one becomes vulnerable to old pleasures that become new dangers. 

Perhaps the elderly would like to speak for themselves, and not with one voice. Many understand the reality of time as I have just articulated. 

Conversely, if you are willing for forego what might be your final family Christmas in obeisance of bizarre ordinances, then I question your priorities. 

Moreover, if after a long life of freedom you insist younger generations live in captivity so that you can dodder on a little longer, then you and I would not have been friends at any age. 

"Captivity" is the word. You will notice those in charge are not even pretending anymore. From "15 days to flatten the curve," which sounds downright adorable now, they are promising years of masks, restrictions, and lockdowns, even if we follow their insane and capricious commands to the letter. 

Everyone eschews the word "mandatory" in reference to the forthcoming vaccine, while threatening that those who refuse to be injected with this absurdly rushed concoction will be unable to buy, sell, or participate in normal life. That is a de facto mandate, if not de jure.

We can dispense with talk of the slippery slope or where this all might lead. Days from now, your church will be shuttered for Christmas. People attempting to worship will be fined and arrested. Seemingly normal citizens will call the authorities on their neighbors and police will break up families eating together in their homes.

We are through the looking glass, people. 

All of this, it is claimed, is for a virus with a recovery rate over 99 percent, and from which nearly all mortalities occur in those who have pre-existing conditions and/or are beyond average life expectancy.

But this is not about a disease, or safety, and even the most committed Faucists would admit it, if they were honest with themselves. If “We are all in this together” sounds risible or minatory to you, that is because it was always an order, if not a threat.

The human desire to control others is a dangerous thing and, once indulged, it is insatiable. That is why politicians and bureaucrats – who talk of “unity” even as they have not missed a paycheck – no longer give dates or timelines for when this will end. They would not know how to stop, even if they wanted to.

All of it turns the notion of sacrifice on its head. The official aesthetic is of cheerful giving, but the reality we are living consists of compulsion, intimidation, and enslavement.

Compliance is not a virtue and compelled sacrifice is nothing of the kind. It is theft – of life, of dignity, and of freedom.

Theo Caldwell just wanted to be left alone. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com