The Last Boy Scout: On Taking a Positive Turn

In some sense, this is an update to my Addicted to Distraction post at The Mitrailleuse. Let me just note what worked: On a few individual days since, I’ve got up and read the local paper for local stories of interest like the weather and school sports, gone to work and completely ignored the swirling events of the “news” for an entire day, got a lot of work done, and felt very content and satisfied heading home in the evening.

Other days, I reverted to my old habits to an extent–spent breaks and lunch hours reading blogs and web pages and posting tweets. Listened to the “news” on the radio on the way to work. Read entire articles about the war, or whatever it is, in Yemen and the one in Syria and the one, apparently in Kenya. Am I the better for this?


During those evenings there has been more anxiety, less energy, and, strangely, even more tweet reading and “reacting.” It’s not really that anything is so bad about what my friends are saying and posting; in fact, given the quality of the blogs and Twitter accounts I follow, the content is well written and on point about the problems of our age, and what ought to be done about them…yet I can feel a certain negativity, even despair, being driven right into my soul by all of this. There is such a thing as pessimism porn, and though I don’t see it as the main thrust of the Reactosphere or the Dark Enlightenment, he who hath eyes to see knows it’s there. Even someone as level and grounded as Malcolm Pollock indulges in it when discussing the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton:

Mind you, I might be coming round to Hillary’s camp myself. As I mentioned in a comment last month, “there are times — and they are more frequent now — when I think that the only way to move beyond this tottering wreck, and begin to build whatever we can upon its rubble, is to help it fall, as quickly as possible.” If that’s the goal, then Hillary’s the gal.

Of course he’s not the first person to express similar sentiments about Mrs. Clinton. Over a year ago, Jack Donovan made the point that Hillary would at least wake up the remaining non-feminized men to the fact that:

President Hillary Clinton will reveal to American men that America is no longer a nation that elevates rugged cowboys and pioneers. That’s the bad, old America. The new America wants its men emasculated, weak, and completely controlled by a corporate-owned state that’s far more concerned with the wants of acquisitive career gals. Who better than Hillary Clinton to put the “nanny” in “nanny state?”

The Hillary Clinton Presidency will drive home the fact that America isn’t “our” country anymore.

We just live here.

Look, I like to do this as much as anybody. Sometimes I indulge in a bit of fantasy myself, imagining that Washington DC has been put to the torch. The cleansing fire will consume that foul nest of corruption and sodomy and finally, finally we can start over and build something clean and decent on the ashes.

But, no.


We may get Hillary for President, we may get more regulation of “greenhouse gases” and subsidies for bird-killing wind farms, more subsidies for sodomites in the schools, more “diversity” training and generally, more Prog bullshit thrown in our faces in the coming years, but I. WILL. NOT. DESPAIR. Nor will I “root” for massive destruction of the West in the interest of cleansing.

Beside this list, we may get cheap space travel, cheaper energy, quantum computing, genetically tailored treatments for illness. I have a 10-year-old son, who I’m training to be a Dangerous Child. I can’t change the world, really, I can only change myself, and I can prepare him for whatever may come in his life.

There are, no doubt, some great, horrible, terrible, wonderful things to come in the next years and decades. I choose to meet them with a song in my heart and on my lips. Certainly not “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” but one much older and deeper and substantial, something that will be with us as long as we’re human:

Freude, schöner Götterfunken

Tochter aus Elysium,

Wir betreten feuertrunken,

Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!

Deine Zauber binden wieder

Was die Mode streng geteilt;

Alle Menschen werden Brüder,

Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

And if that could be created by a Man, I think I can do things more joyfully even in our own Strange Days.

7 thoughts on “The Last Boy Scout: On Taking a Positive Turn

  1. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/04/17) | The Reactivity Place

  2. This seems like a sane response. Shouldn’t we admit that we don’t really know what’s on the horizon? That we have, at best, a kind of intelligent poetic intimation of what may be or what’s likely? “Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous” (George Eliot).

    In the end, it remains possible that we’ve all overlooked one crucial factor, or that such a factor remains invisible at the present, and so all calculation is off with respect to something essential. Besides, we should be conscious of the pleasures of imaginative destruction and be wary of how we indulge them, since it is revealing. Think of the kind of perverse indulgence of seeing the White House annhilated in “Indpendence Day”, or a toppled Statue of Liberty in “The Day After Tomorrow.” These scenes horrify but also excite. Hollywood has staged a number of these cathartic scenes of urban/ civilizational ruin that, though we root against the disaster by virtue of our siding with the heroes, is undeniably satisfying to the ego since it puts it in a position of power as the unharmed and quasi-divine witness to a massive, sacrificial spectacle. In the end, it indulges the child in every audience member in the moment he kicks his sandcastle or demolishes his latest lego-fortess. Behind the “noble” aim of wishing a quicker destruction for the sake of some higher ideal might just lurk the nihilistic pleasure in destruction as such. All political movements have an interest in fencing in that indulgence, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Chaos Patch (#58)

  4. Who cares much about the birds killed by wind farms? I have seen in person birds killed by shorting airborne power lines in flight, fish that died under the ice from oxygen shortage, various size road kill, from frog to elk, and even some animals that died in poachers’ snares. A single visit to a butchery would be enough to realign your perspective. As a farmer, I guarantee that farm machinery like harvesters and grass movers also collects its share of gruesome death each year.


    • If you’re being ironic, you’re being even more ironic than me about wind farms. It’s that they’re supposed to be “green.” I’ve killed and gutted a number of animals, so that’s not the problem…


  5. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Chaos Patch (#59)

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