Category: Fleming

8

The Future Belongs to Them

The freshman Democrats in Congress are behaving like the stars of a down-market reality TV show.  Alexandria—like Cher and Madonna, she really doesn’t need a last name—has been dancing up a storm, though many of her supporters have been disappointed by her lumbering performance.  

2

Trog 6

Most of us Americans, by the time we reach a certain age, have grown used to living in our own houses with our own families and under our own rules.  Travel upsets all our  arrangements, and in hotels we are subjected to other people’s arguments and, what is worse, to other people’s children.  Here in Agrigento, we have our own little house, which is really just two apartments that make up one building.  But, for all the privacy we have, we are still on other people’s property. The other people are used to strangers, since they operate a very nice...

0

Imperialism From the Cradle to the Grave, Conclusion

In the bad old days of previous centuries and millennia,  conquering nations trashed the civilizations they occupied for diverse reasons.  (I am not now speaking of looting, which can sometimes be a back-handed token of esteem.) Some savages and barbarians just like breaking things.  Since they cannot create, they can at least destroy.  Sometimes it is to teach a lesson.  “You think you Jews can play power-politics by making an alliance with the Egyptians?  Watch this!”  Sometimes, the point is to destroy symbols and traditions to which the conquerors object on moral grounds:  Cortez was a ruthless man, but the...

1

How to Learn–and Not to Learn–a Foreign Language, Part II. Defining Goals

Many people, embarking upon a serious study of a living foreign language, dream of acquiring fluency.  While this is probably an impossible dream for most of us, so are a virtuous life, athletic prowess, and saintliness.  The difficulty should be no deterrent to the determined, though we must always keep in mind the very remote chance that we could ever succeed. What do I mean by fluency?  My second Greek teacher, Walton Morris, had a rigorous definition.  In the 1950’s he had worked in Army intelligence along the French-German border, gathering information on Communist activities.  One day, he would pose...

2

Trog 5: Excelsior!

Ancient Akrágas was built on top of a steep hill overlooking the sea.  In its century of prosperity from the late 6th to the early 5th century, when it was mercilessly destroyed by the Carthaginians, the city spread down to a ridge that slid steeply to the sea.  It was on that lofty brow that Theron, the lord of Akrgas, began constructing temples even before he teamed up with Gelon, the lord of Syracuse, to defeat the Carthaginians, who had invaded the island from the North.   I am using the term “lord,” because the Greek term, tyrannos, is almost...

3

Imperialism from the Cradle to the Grave, Part One of Two

Speaking in the broadest generalities, a  healthy and thriving religious civilization does not have to reassure itself by burning temples and overthrowing altars.   The atrocious vandalisms and massacres perpetrated by bands of Isis thugs in the name of Islam tells us something about Islam, and the same can be said for Christian sects whose members have broken stained glass windows and destroyed images of Christ, his Mother, and the saints.  They have  moral and spiritual screw lose, not just individually but collectively.

21

The End of Conservative Magazines

A few years back, from the safe perch of the Bushido  in the waters of the Ionian Sea, Taki goaded me–suffering from an almost lethal hangover– to gloat over the Weekly Standard’s collapse.  They were rescued for a time, but finally an entirely pointless exercise in ignorance and duplicity is coming to an end. National Review doesn’t actually need to quite printing since no one of any intelligence or discernment has picked it up for 20 years.  The  American Spectator was, at best, a college rag that poked fun in the right directions until its editor–a stage Irishman–was afflicted with...

7

The Decline of the American Empire, Part 4: Get Big or Get Out

Americans–especially the globalist liberals who call themselves “conservatives”–are not much impressed by the historical parallels of Nineveh and Tyre.  Even those who do not join in the chorus of New Dealers, Neoconservatives, and Dittoheads who glorify this City On a Hill, cannot bring themselves to believe that we could go the way of the Carthaginians, leaving nothing impressive behind except for our wars of aggression and heaps of dead children. Even ruthless pragmatists like Don Rumsfeld insist on the point.  When evidence emerged of American misbehavior at Abu Ghraib, Rumsfeld cracked, America is different:  “We don’t do those things.”  Ah,...

0

Trog 4

Last night, we celebrated my partial recovery by drinking a bottle of Zibibbo.  The grape, otherwise known as the Muscat of Alexandria, is most often made into a sweet wine or even a passito.  Passiti, which go back to the ancient Mediterranean, are wines made from grapes left to dry on the vine.  Columella says the Carthaginian version was called Passum, a term that may be preserved in the Italian.

5

Sicilian Trog 3

On Saturday, I finally was able to fall asleep in the afternoon, but my slumbers were cut short by the expected arrival of Il nostro amico Russo, who had driven down with my landlord, a lawyer in Palermo, who returns to his home periodically.  I was not the most entertaining of hosts, though I did bring out a good bottle of grappa di amarone, barricata.  I had managed to drink a glass or two the previous Thursday and now had to watch as Navrozov ruthlessly swilled glass after glass.  I begrudged him not my liquor, but I did resent his enjoyment.