Commentary on Vox’s Top 10 Novels

This was written over seven years ago and may be out of date given both time and the volumes of literature Vox Day seems to go through each year. However, having seen this some years ago. I set myself a long-term goal to read all these works which I finally completed this month. What follows will be some brief commentary on each one. 


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Backing the Blue

I won’t pretend I’ve never had trouble with the police and some lingering resentment as a result of that. In my first few years of driving I ended up with a number of small fines and a loss of license. The three or four I received were all for speeding and the latter came for not displaying my provisional license plates. I made a successful appeal but it meant waiting three instead of two years for my full license. Most of this was youthful stupidity. I was careless, I tried to impress friends and I did plenty of foolish things the police didn’t call me out on so part of me thinks I got off rather lightly. 

From this experience I developed a resentment towards the revenue raising that seemed to be the focus of traffic police. With growing maturity, I ceased to feel this way and instead blamed myself for breaking the rules, regardless of whether they were fair or not. It is now getting close to twenty years since my last run in with the police. The last time I can remember being in trouble was for going through a stop sign on a quiet night and I was let off with a warning after admitting it.

Something important to keep in mind before getting into the meat of this post is that most people who have had bad experiences with police have a serious chip on their shoulder. That is not to say police are never unreasonable, rude or simply overzealous in their duties, just that many people are rude or unreasonable or simply looking for trouble in encounters with police. This really applies to everyone but being polite to police is the first step and this is especially the case if you have actually done something wrong. This is not excusing bad or unprofessional behaviour, it is just a pragmatic way to go about dealing with authority in general.

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Our Empty Overlords

“We know of periods in the history of many nations in which profound upheavals in cultural processes led to a surge of the merely talented into leading position in communities, schools, academies, and governments. Highly talented people sat in all sorts of posts, but they were people who wanted to rule without being able to serve. Certainly it is often very difficult to recognise such people in good time, before they have entrenched themselves in the intellectual professions. It is equally difficult to treat them with the necessary ruthlessness and send them back to other occupations.”

Hermann Hesse

The context of this is from the second of three short stories known as “Lives” in Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game. The novel if nothing else (and it is something else), is interesting as Hesse wrote these three short stories and poetry as authored by the fictional protagonist of the main story, Joseph Knecht. Hesse wrote the novel during the 1940s while in Switzerland and the immediate thoughts of those who read it will jump to those in power in Germany at the time. Reading it today though, my mind immediately jumped to the current world’s politicians, bureaucrats, media and corporate officials. 

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Dated Relevance

Idiocracy is a film by Mike Judge who is well known for the animations Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill and his other cult classic film Office Space. I was only vaguely familiar with these properties and only came to appreciate the latter more recently. Idiocracy was recommended to me by an American I met in my early years in Japan. This person was a liberal (in the American sense) and this was around the end of the George W. Bush Presidency. The film was also released in 2006 which was when Bush’s presidency had reached its zenith and was going down fast. Although I never liked George W. Bush or neoconservatives, I didn’t like the frequently obnoxious American liberals any better (friend excepted). As I have said before, mine was a lonely position back then. It also meant I was put off the film because I assumed it would be an unsubtle attack on the type of Americans that unfortunately tended to support Bush and his wars but generally weren’t bad people otherwise. This assumption wasn’t completely wrong but there is a lot more depth in Idiocracy than I assumed initially. 

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The Last Seemingly Legitimate Election

The last few years have highlighted just how little control most Westerners have over their governments. There are plenty of examples in the past though, most notably with immigration where governments either ignore popular opinion or pay lip service to it with token gestures that do nothing to halt the influx. For the “citation needed” crowd, just go and look how popular increased immigration was in Britain before ignoring popular opinion, relentless propaganda, lawfare and eventual demographic changes made it permanent. I’d be you could choose almost any nation and get a similar sample.  For Australia, you could also consider that the government has repeatedly refused a popular plebiscite on the issue. Something I doubt would have happened if they didn’t have good knowledge of what the result would be and that they would also be compelled to act on it. For another minor example, you could observe that the Australian government seems far more concerned with following international law than our own

Although most still see the system as one that works, I’ve now long been disenchanted with it. And I used to be someone that believed wasting your vote was wrong because it really did matter. I believed that the system worked and that politicians genuinely (for the most part), followed the will of the people. The last time I remember thinking it did work was in 2007 when Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister. He faced John Howard who had been in power for over a decade. I did not like Kevin Rudd then and do not now. I don’t now think much of John Howard either. At the time though, it seemed to me like a genuine political contest decided by real Australians. In short, it was the last election that seemed legitimate even though the side I then preferred lost. Continue reading

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Breaking out of the Cult of Free

For the last few years and especially this one, I have been working on breaking out of what Vox Day has called the “cult of free”. This is something I believe he’s talked about more in his livestreams. This mostly concerns Internet websites and products such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube and anything offered free of charge. I’m not sure where it originated but there is the saying that if you aren’t paying for a product then you are the product. And indeed, all the companies above are after your data for various reasons whatever they may say. However what I’ve been doing also extends beyond this. Amazon shopping isn’t free but it is almost always cheaper than everywhere else and they can make these products cheaper partially by making their customers products too. Other services such as Netflix are cheap but considering most of the content, the moral cost is far higher.

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The Grace of God as Training Wheels

This is something I’ve observed in myself that I haven’t seen put in quite the same way though I am sure it has been discussed by theologians. When I returned to Christ — or more truly came fully to him in his Holy Catholic Church — I was given what a steady rush or stream of Grace like being hit with a blast from a firehose. This gift made it easy for me to immediately cease the most immediately dangerous sins I was committing. There was little struggle involved… at least for a while. 

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Physiognomy and Public Health

There is a saying among dissident thinkers that “physiognomy is real.” It is something of a meme as the phrase usually accompanies a picture of an ogreish female or effeminate male saying or doing something absurd or ridiculous. This generally provokes a good chuckle as the people tend to look exactly how you would expect with rare exceptions. It was also regularly brought to mind by Andy Ngo’s almost daily posting of Antifa mugshots last year. 

Although it is true you can’t always judge a book by its cover, there is something to be said for the value of physiognomy. The topic today comes at it from the perspective of personal health. As public health has been a regular topic for well over  a year now, it seems the people out to look after it would be healthy themselves. Naturally, this isn’t the case.

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The Latin Mass has been restricted because my feelings

A year ago to the day by coincidence, I did a fisking on an article I found which had been published in late 2019 but was so outrageous, I felt compelled to respond. Here we have something more recent from America Magazine and the title alone should give away my interest in responding.

Now I didn’t do more than read the title and skim through the first few paragraphs before deciding to respond to it. Something conservatives and many others on the right continue to fail to comprehend is that the left is driven almost entirely by emotion. They don’t care about hypocrisy, double-standards, facts, logic, blah, blah, blah. They employ these things only when it suits them and  If this article ever deviates from my assumptions, I will readily admit it. Looking through the other topic’s he’s written on over the last five years, I am reasonably confident. On a side note, do people who aren’t already prominent or famous writers really have full-time jobs writing fortnightly opinion columns? I’m working too hard on this blog if this is the case.

If you look at the Twitter profiles of these people which often represent both the nexus and limits of their thought, you will notice they tend to be preoccupied with leftist politics and the Catholic religion is really on there to be grafted on however a poor fit it is. The author Zac Davis looks to be little different.

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Skin in the Game in Education

The idea of cameras in classrooms has come up recently in the US as part of the ongoing discussion of Crititical Race Theory (CRT) anti-White racism. Here is a short article from Breitbart by John Nolte responding to an article from Huffington Post which I didn’t bother reading. Apparently, public school teachers in America are outraged at the idea of their student’s parents being able to see into their classroom. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone with even a passing familiarity with a public education. Accountability is something to be avoided at all costs and teacher’s unions have done a truly commendable job of making sure that they aren’t — especially it appears in America.

Now I want to get the usual stuff out of the way before continuing. Teaching can be a very demanding job and I would say the average teacher (at least in my experience), is earnest and hard working enough. The main problem I’ve found generally is an inflated sense of self-importance. This is partly the fault of society but the education industry is also rife with ghastly self-congratulatory propaganda despite what is an ever lowering bar of educational attainment. As Joe Sobran much more starkly puts it:

“In 100 years we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching Remedial English in college.”

Despite what we hear to the contrary, educating children shouldn’t be all that complicated and there are very simple ways education could be improved. As far as silver-bullets go, having cameras in classrooms would be worth a try. Though I don’t think it will happen, the outraged reaction to the suggestion is very telling.

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