Expect artists to be among the first to apply for a guaranteed annual income. The arts are a useful pretext for the universal basic income initiatives slouching toward us. California, predictably, is in the lead.
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts explains that artists are “essential drivers of economic well-being.” This is debatable. It is also not the same as saying that the arts are essential in themselves. But let’s not quibble just yet. On the YBCA website, Mayor London Breed explains the rationale for San Francisco’s monthly stipend to artists:
The arts are truly critical to our local economy and are an essential part of our long-term recovery [from COVID restrictions]. Continue Reading
It is getting harder to do more than write off the cuff. Play it by ear. Reading the news has become painful enough. Responding to it coherently, and in a timely way, seems increasingly futile. Insanity rains down on us at such speed I can’t keep up. I am in awe of others who can. I honor anyone able to grasp a starting point within chaos, capable of imposing order on discussion of it. And has the stomach to discern its destination. Continue Reading
The fifth horseman of our apocalypse is a functionary on a mission. Religious imagination expects apocalypse to arrive in a fury. We do not recognize it when it comes, as evil does, in the banal guise of bureaucratic authority and expertise. Our seemingly rational bureaucracies are conduits for camouflaged derangements. Transgender ideology exceeds them all.
In The Flying Trapeze: Three Crises for Physicists, Robert Oppenheimer wrote of man’s technical capacity to achieve self-annihilation by weapons of his own making:
No world has ever faced a possibility of destruction—in a relevant sense annihilation—comparable to that which we face, nor a process of decision-making even remotely like that which is involved in this. Continue Reading
A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.”
St. Anthony the Great
A civilization in a death spiral can no longer maintain the moral demands that kept it alive. Neither can it tolerate an ability to see things as they are. Coherent authority shrinks. In The Triumph of the Therapeutic, Philip Rieff put it well: The dying order “demands less, permits more.” Continue Reading
Photographs mislead. Just as with Eddie Adams’s famous 1968 photo from the Vietnam War, the images of Derek Chauvin and George Floyd only tell us part of the story. Reading reports on the current trial of former officer Chauvin makes it almost impossible to believe that the man will receive a fair trial. Everyone—bystanders, the jury pool, racial malcontents—has seen the now-infamous video clip. The public mind is made up; all have judged Floyd an innocent and Chauvin a murderer. The defendant has been convicted, a priori, by an image. Continue Reading