Satirical lithograph by Daumier

False piety wears different hats. The sentimental kind gets my back up whenever I meet it. It is a species of attitudinizing, closer to showboating than to holiness. To illustrate, let me tell you about recent exposure to a case of it. The setting was Sunday Mass in a local parish church a few weeks back. Everyone was still masking up and doing the six steps of our new dance craze: social distancing. Alternate pews were cordoned off. To compensate for reduced seating, the church folded back the doors of a large community room that opens onto the transept, stage right. Continue Reading
Painting, An Impromptu Respite

Painting is meant to be seen, not talked about. Painters are drawn to things, not concepts or doctrines. What counts is what is front of them, the very thing itself—whether an object or a vista—not an idea about the thing. For a painter, the only ideas that count are pictorial ones. Matters of fact are primary. These include the material facts of paint, the cookery of getting it right, manipulation of brushes and color chords—all physical, earth-bound matters. Fairfield Porter was blunt: “An art that finds ideas more real than things is attractive to the unemployed intellectual.” Continue Reading
stalking horse

The current drumbeat for universal vaccination with an experimental biological agent is unprecedented. It ought to be met with a certain reserve. Instead, it has been greeted with child-like trust and promoted by Pope Francis. In the time of COVID, the military-industrial complex of sixty years ago has been upstaged by the medical-industrial complex. And the pope approves. A needle in every arm and “global governance” to enforce it—pharmaceutical redemption is at hand. Francis spoke for authoritarian world-improvers from Davos to Foggy Bottom when he called for “a justly financed [read: U.S. Continue Reading
Transgenderism & Politically Correct Psychosis

It did not take long for California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner to evolve in a politically correct way about transgenderism on the playing field. And he is not even in office yet. The Federalist reports his recent evolution on the “non-issue” of biological males competing against biological women in sports:
I’m not running as a trans activist, I’m running as a California citizen that has lived there for 48 years,” said Jenner. “What I would do as governor is I would put together a commission.
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Advertising poster

“An iPhone is not a robot. It’s a personal assistant. You should be better acquainted with it.” So scolded a tattooed techie at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar. I gave a guilty shrug but did not say anything. There seemed no point in explaining that my only concept of a personal assistant was a living person. Someone to light and guide me—more like Jeeves than Alexa. I wanted the sound of a voice that came from the diaphragm, not from an algorithm. Continue Reading