Monday, August 7, 2017

Bank Holiday Thoughts

Thanks to the reader who sent me a nice message and said I seem down. Yes, I've been down recently, for many reasons. My fast-approaching fortieth birthday is one of them. Being forty is not something that excites me.

Today is a bank holiday in Ireland so I have time to feel reflective.

I write a lot about "political correctness". I have quite a broad understanding of that term, and perhaps an idiosyncratic understanding in some respects. When I complain about PC, it's far more than having to listen to feminist or gay propaganda all the time. It's a hundred silent assumptions that pervade public discussion every minute of every day, no matter what subject is being discussed. This is a big subject.

I've been writing a novel. I have thirty thousand words written so far. I've written novels before, none of them published. This is the first novel I've written with a Catholic theme. The small amount of people who've read bits of it are enthusiastic. The plot of the novel is something I've actually mentioned before on this blog, though not as an idea for a story. I don't think anyone would be able to work it out, though.

As mentioned previously, I'm feeling more and more drawn towards the realm of imagination and poetry, rather than the realm of analysis and prose. I've been on Twitter for a while, and it soon becomes obvious that there is no real discussion between right and left, conservative and liberal, globalist and nationalist, liberal Catholic vs. conservative Catholic on that platform. People throw arguments at each other, but nobody expects to convince anybody, or even to make them think twice. And there's something absolute about the differences. Between a progressive and a conservative a great gulf is fixed. I believe that the fate of society is decided in the imagination, individual and collective.

I'm also increasingly tired of point-scoring and triumphalism. I find that so boring. I want to live with contradictions, to explore them. Yesterday I was in the supermarket, looking at the shelves of casserole mix. The song "Harvest for the World" by the Isley Brothers came over the radio-- it's a soul song from the seventies. I felt a tremendous wave of peace come over me. How could a traditionalist conservative admit to such a thing? Consumerism! Pop culture! Things of evil! And's true.

Perhaps this wobbliness is why my blog readership has been falling. A few months ago, I got about five hundred to seven hundred views a day-- sometimes close to a thousand. Now, it's a hundred and fifty to two hundred, usually. Perhaps my increasingly right-wing views are to blame. I don't know.


  1. I suspect your other readers are as tired with it all as you are Mal. Your previous post mentioned your boredom with the same discussions. I recently had a bit of a reunion with some old likeminded friends and was dreading the relentless discussion of issues. Yahboo to issues. It takes determination to try to steer the conversation away from the same old but I was more determined to have fun. If I were to be kind and merciful I would say that it is because it's so unusual to meet likeminded people there's a relief to speaking your mind without fear of comeback. However, I still regularly tried to steer the conversation away from such things because it's so bloody boring. I think we're all withdrawing a little. I've been praying for you and yours Mal.


    1. Thanks Sinéad. I appreciate the prayers. I think you're right. I'm pretty lucky in that my small circle of friends tend either not to have such discussions at all, or to do so in a way that isn't in any way shrill or combative-- more exchanging and exploring ideas.

  2. I hope the comments aren't turning readers off !
    But there could be a few factors.
    A. Some may read the Forum instead or Roger Buck or even Iona who you refer to.
    B. Papist is probably not an attractive word at present. Conservatives find Pope Francis disappointing, progressives will never be papists, no matter who they have

    1. To be honest I don't feel particularly papistical myself these days! As for progressives, many have become positively ultramontanist.

      I think comments tend to draw people in if anything. Well, they have that effect on me.

      Thanks for your messages, I don't think I ever heard the whole of Wonderful World but I did like it when I heard it on TV. It's a bitch that it's ironic.