The last four years have been miserable, an era of uninterrupted bipartisan fury, fake news and endless propaganda. It was about Brexit, and to some extent Donald Trump. I got so weary of it that I stopped watching BBC news altogether. The year of wrath 2020 has been not only no different to this but much worse. Now the issue is a mysterious malady, with an infinitesmally small mortality rate (something like 98% of people recover), from which governments the world over have run scared as from bubonic plague (which has a cure), and enacted revolutionary and damaging policies which have effected virtually all aspects of public, and indeed private, life. To foment the right amount of fear in the gullible public, to wear down complacency and to ensure that mavericks like me know their place (at the very bottom of the social ladder, ignored, penniless, not very important...who needs the gulag?!), this government, once thought of as a right-wing junta by some, has spent billions of non-existent money on propaganda. Like this:
Friday, 25 December 2020
Monday, 10 August 2020
Someone wrote to me yesterday saying that they missed my liturgy writing and asked if I was ever going to return to it. It was a nice thing to have said and it's encouraging amidst dark times to know that I may have had a positive influence on somebody's life, however long ago. The trouble is I think I've moved on. I wrote "Liturgiae Causa" at a time of immature, spasmodic enthusiasm and false hopes. Apropos, it truly saddens me when I look around at old haunts in the "blogosphere," the blogs that haven't yet gone silent, such as the New Liturgical Movement (which I used to read daily in 2006), and I see mediocre academics much older than me entertaining stupid notions which I rejected years ago. Gregory DiPippo writes some interesting stuff but he's a prisoner of Traddieland and I wish he would escape. Then there're practitioners of the Sarum Rite, with which I have immense sympathy, most of them Anglicans, with which I have no sympathy whatever. The whole thing just strikes me as theatrical performance, which is an interesting forum for an audience of practically none. This is not to denigrate people or to claim that good liturgy is by nature esoteric. But it is to say that whatever liturgical revival these Western (and to an extent Uniate) people dream of is an immature enthusiasm and false hope. I suppose it's like the ritualist controversies in the Church of England. Who emerged triumphant? The wrong side! And it's the same today, only this time it's worse because the conditions have changed and the men are lesser. There are no more John Wickham-Legg's or Percy Dearmer's; but there are plenty of ideologues for whom tradition is the suspicious by-product of some other pursuit. It's a complete wilderness; an integrity and authenticity bypass. You start with the Rite, not the Pope!
Just over a year ago I set up an Instagram account @lucernare. I did this for a number of reasons but mostly because I think that the future of blogging is dim. I also work full-time and the last thing I want to do when I get home is to write articles about liturgy. It's an old obsession which passed. I now associate my erstwhile love of liturgy with pain and disappointment. I am also a member of ROCOR. There exist WRO priests in ROCOR (indeed I know one) but they are barely tolerated by the Bishops and we do our utmost to wean them off this fringe obsession, far from the mind of the Church. My faith is now fully Byzantine. I think I'll try to do something liturgical here, if there's a demand for it, but I can't promise much. Otherwise, if you wish to keep following me by all means do so on Instagram.
I chose the photo of the Imperial Martyrs because I love them and because their piety, as good Orthodox, was liturgical. I have adopted St Alexei the long-suffering as my patron and I believe that St Alexandra should be the patron saint of converts. May they pray to God for us!
Sunday, 26 July 2020
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Monday, 6 July 2020
Like many others in this country I was "furloughed" for most of the duration of the state-enforced quarantine. During that time, I must have put on about a stone in weight, to the extent that the black suit I wore at the Banqueting House in January (which was even then a tight fit) now fits more like a wet suit. As you know, I have a funeral coming up so I went to Bluewater Shopping Centre this morning for the first time in many months to buy a new suit. I was dreading the experience. Having become increasingly annoyed with the food shopping experience, I was expecting mile-long queues, enforced sterilisation points and other measures. My first impressions were actually eased somewhat as nobody barred me from entry to the centre, and there seemed to be no queues anywhere. Be that as it may, it wasn't long before I realised that there were ushers in high visibility vests, face masks and walky-talkies all over the place ushering people here and there and enforcing petty rules. The one way system I thought at least sensible but its rigorous application seemed over the top in a mostly-empty shopping mall. At one point I went up an escalator because an old haunt (well, I have been going to this mall since it opened in 1999!) was nearby. When I got to the top, I made the "mistake" of turning to my left. "Oh no, you can't go this way sir," said a masked usher in a pseudo-friendly way. "Why not?" said I. "We've installed a one way system for your health and safety," he said. "I know that," said I, "but the shop I need to get to is right there!" "You need to go back round," he said. "Why? There's nobody here!" "As I say, you need to back round. We can't have one rule for one and one rule for everybody else." I'm afraid I swore at him at this point, as I had already become exasperated by other things that day (mostly nice cafes and restaurants I used to frequent closed "until further notice" but other things too), but did as I was told. As I spent the next three or four minutes walking around the balcony of the escalator well, I wondered if this skinny person would be so hard and fast with a pregnant woman, or the elderly (or for that matter a boisterous teenager).
About a third of the shops I passed in the centre were closed, some boarded up. There were no decent cafes to buy a cup of coffee; all the nice restaurants were closed, with only the pleb fast food places open to trade (albeit with restrictions, similarly enforced by masked men). The whole place seemed like a jobsworth's paradise. At one point my brother, even more of a hothead than me (if you can believe that), threatened to headbutt one of these men. I don't blame him. These silly rules remind me very much of the work of Sharkey in the Shire as I very much doubt they have anything to do with COVID-19 (the mythical plague*) but a cynical power grab by the government. We've been led to believe that this was all about protecting the NHS and our most vulnerable. I don't think it is. I think it's a ruse to transform this once-free nation into the Soviet Union. We've already seen supply chains exhausted by panic buying. Have they been restored to pre-COVID levels? I haven't seen it. I used to walk into my local Sainsburys and there would be almost 100% availability. Now, availability has improved but it's not as before, and there are still empty shelves and many of the new lines on sale are obviously inferior products; "brands" I've never heard of. And people queue up to buy it! You can't go near or by a supermarket these days without having to stand in line.
And then there's the cancel culture, woke, Cultural Marxism or whatever you want to call it. We've all heard the expression "political correctness gone mad," well, what we're seeing nowadays is woke on steroids. Today we've had the wonderful Prince Harry and his whinging slut lecturing us about the evils of the Commonwealth and how we can't be "anti-racist" enough. We're compelled to examine our past interactions for traces of latent racism. All reminiscent of how we examine our consciences before Confession or the self-examination precepts during China's Cultural Revolution. And then there's the sackings and social ostracism of prominent academics; David Starkey being the latest. Starkey is rich and venerable enough to withstand that axe blow, but a young academic who steps out of line? We may not have gulags and secret police (yet), but a man's life can be ruined in other ways. He may have a mortgage and a family to support; but then he says something that can be misconstrued as racist or transphobic (homosexuals have served their purpose), and his house is repossessed; he's homeless, destitute and has no friends.
I'm sorry but you can't tell me that we have not undergone a Revolution. It has taken place right under our noses, and many gullible people have cheered it on, for mixed motives; progress, being nice to people, national security, public health. And this will be much worse than the Soviet Union because Russian people under that dreadful yoke were not like us; crass materialists, sexual libertines and in many other ways ripe for it. Knupffer says in "The Struggle for World Power" that many Russian expatriates actually returned to the Soviet Union because they were appalled by the West's godless materialism and godless science. We're too comfortable to believe in (and indeed rely on) God, so we have no recourse. We hate our own culture, so who is going to protest when the tattered rags thereof are finally burnt up? And we're also too collectively stupid to suppose that our own government(s) could possibly be against us. I mean if a disgraced (former) member of the Royal Family cheers on this stealth revolution, what hope is there in the Royal Family? If the Archbishop of Canterbury celebrates Easter from his kitchen table, what hope is there in the Church of England? None whatsoever. All we can do is pray. But we have to be pragmatic. There's no use in pining after dead institutions and bastardised culture. We must transcend culture and nationalism and strive for the Holy Cross. By all means read and appreciate the works of English literature, until they're rewritten by the woke scribes (as they did years ago with Gilbert and Sullivan), but don't mourn when they're gone forever. Mourn instead when the police raid your church for some perceived "violation" of the new normal.
So in answer to the titular question, how long will this nonsense last? Probably forever. This is the new normal. And who on earth, besides the bankers, saw it coming?
*Please don't misconstrue my comments as a denial of the existence of COVID-19. My late mother's car was sold to a man who survived COVID-19, and indeed almost died. My comments are an appraisal of the fact that this is not bubonic plague and the fact that this virus has not killed nearly as many people as would legitimately constitute a true "pandemic" in my considered view. If COVID-19 had killed Boris Johnson then maybe I would take it more seriously. But it didn't, it just killed lots of elderly people in care homes, paramedics and nurses. And may their memories be eternal.
Sunday, 5 July 2020
Saturday, 27 June 2020
Tuesday, 9 June 2020
Since I was proven right about the toppling of other statues (if not Lord Nelson's...yet), I wonder if I'll be proven right about this. I can see the drafting of a new Race Relations Act on the horizon. This Act will enshrine the preliminaries for the new social order, a new conquest of the institutions. It will evince the fact of our invasion by people who are not sympathetic to us, but who will rule over us, largely because of the craven ideology of their sympathisers. It will be like the Norman Conquest, only more vindictive and thorough. Soon the majority of white British people in this country will be ruled by a cabal of minority groups in a new racial and sectarian "balance;" all government positions will have to be filled by homosexuals, cripples, blacks, Asians, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Wiccans; all executive jobs in major public institutions will be the same, as will key positions in the newly-disestablished multi-faith "church" of England, with its new lesbian Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop of York will still be a man (for now), but we all know the historic subordinance of that see to Canterbury, as men are to women. Perhaps, even better, he'll be a trans-man or non-binary! There'll be no more white privileged hereditary Christian Monarchy. We might still have an elected (drag-) Queen, but the Coronation order will have to reflect the diversity of modern Britain (renamed Africa Minor), with representatives of all faiths (except the Anglican) playing equal parts. There'll be no Crown, as such, as all the Crown Jewels will be put away into museums and explained by tour guides as relics of a nasty colonial age of non-global, homogenous Britain, when people are literate and civilised and not stupid and barbarous.
If you think I'm going a bit far, perhaps you're right but I think we'll finally know we've disappeared up our own contradictions when something resembling this happens. Enoch Powell was right! Even Mrs Thatcher admitted that. What interests me, as someone who has met people of the Windrush generation (the real generation, those who came in the '50s), is how different these aging people are to their descendants. When I was at Sixth Form one of our lay chaplains was a black lady who came to Britain from Saint Lucia in 1960. What a marvellous, gentle and thoroughly decent woman she was! She undoubtedly encountered racism in her youth but there was no sign of resentment. If you contrast that with the younger generation, who seem to want to level racial scores with white people, irrespective of their perceived "privilege," and it makes me wonder about racism. Similarly when I worked for the bank one of my colleagues was a young Turkish woman who wore a hijab. She once told me that her mother never wore a hijab, except to go to the mosque. Why do you suppose that is?
It's obvious to me that with the passing of the years, as a result of state apathy (or not) about the lack of racial and cultural integration among different communities, people have retreated for a sense of belonging and meaning not to the collective national culture, which is void now except for the names of dead institutions like the Church of England, but into themselves. Or perhaps this kind of stuff was not an accident but a deliberate policy to "rub the right's nose in diversity," as Andrew Neather, a speech writer for Tony Blair, admitted in The Evening Standard newspaper some years ago. It's now generally well-known that Blair, and many in his cabinet, were Trotskyists. The same is true of news anchors like Andrew Marr.
What room is there in such a world for men like me? I'm only 32.
Monday, 8 June 2020
Wednesday, 3 June 2020
We've all seen this kind of bogus outrage before. I remember some years ago, when Theresa May formed a flimsy coalition government with the Democratic Unionist Party, I was in London visiting a friend. I wandered into a bar for a drink and was met by a shabby, smiling young man who was in Westminster protesting the coalition. I listened with polite indifference to his version of Irish history and politics, which was untested by reality, and got the impression that, probably having never even heard of the DUP before last week, he'd just jumped on a bandwagon. The delicious irony, of course, came when this self-proclaimed champion of social injustice and progressive values said that I looked like a leprechaun (I was wearing a tweed jacket), which, if I were that way inclined, I might have taken as a racist slur. At a guess, I'd say he was ten years my junior but our brief, painful, interaction brought to my mind a lot of concerns about the state of education in this country (and at a guess the entire western world). When I was at school, the only literature we read in higher tier English was To Kill a Mockingbird, so that covers race relations; the only history we read was about Nazi Germany, so that covers Jews (and to some extent other minorities). If you think about it, if the only two references in your education cover how nasty and evil western civilisation has been towards minorities, of course you're going to be obsessed with social injustice! You're also likely to despise your own country. In my case, I am the counter product of my education. Everything I know that I consider to be of value I taught myself, not only because I felt decidedly welshed by my teachers but because deep down I thought there was much more to our civilisation than what I read in Harper Lee and second-rate history textbooks. As for our impressionable young man in the bar, what can I say? If, as seems likely, his education was as bad as mine, why should we take his protests seriously? They aren't based on real knowledge or grievances at all.
Let me show you some of the things that I've seen on social media in the past week.
I took other screenshots but I'm sure you get the idea. The latest one was a petition calling on the British government to make "anti-racism" compulsory in schools, as if freedom of thought wasn't already under threat. This sort of stuff is Orwellian!
So far I have "unfollowed" 69 accounts. You may think I'm taking it all too seriously; in fact I am giving serious thought to giving up my Instagram account altogether, but if my devotion to the Imperial Martyrs has influenced me in any way, it is to oppose Marxism in whatever form it takes. It is obviously what this all is; the dialectic has simply shifted from haves vs have-nots to oppressors vs oppressed. One crucial difference between these two is that the latter is largely based on myth. Racism, as practised by white people against minorities, is largely non-existent. How could it possibly be an issue in countries with meticulously enforced diversity laws? On the contrary, I think that white people are scared of minorities. We may not have gulags or concentration camps but we do have sackings and social ostracism. We live in a society completely emasculated by this doctrine, running scared from its history, its culture and from the Church. And this, for me, is the worst of it. Whenever I come up against Diversity and Inclusion, I have no recourse to the faith of my country because my country is not Christian, where once it was. I have no just cause to discriminate between a married couple and a pair of homosexuals because laws based on the Bible no longer apply.
You may think that I digress but this is all part and parcel of the revolution-by-stealth that we have endured in the western world, largely since the 1960's but set in motion long before. Of course, I am not excusing racism or police brutality in this post. It behoves the
This illumination by Jean Colombe (1430-1493) depicts the defeat of the "People's Crusade." The Crusades remind me of the the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who once said:
"To do evil, a man must first of all believe that what he is doing is good...Ideology - that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honours."Like most ideologues, Peter the Hermit had good intentions and intelligible motives but the destruction caused by this populist movement cannot be measured by a raw body account but by the retarding of western civilisation forever. He went on crusade in the name of Christ; now people march in the name of Floyd, transformed in death from the banal into the sublime. Some people think that revolution is good, that the creation of equality in this life and worldly utopianism are attainable by taking to the streets. I don't and history shews that attempts to create these things have left behind hecatombs of the innocent. If these people shut their ears to all the racialist slogans and looked to their souls, they might realise that they're not angry because they are discriminated against but because they have abandoned the Church. If they reformed themselves first then perhaps their material lives would improve as well. Otherwise, I have nothing more to say other than to offer my condolences to the family of George Floyd.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 1John 2:15.
Tuesday, 26 May 2020
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Fr Andrew Phillips over at Orthodox England has written the first sympathetic biography in English of Gregori Rasputin-Novy that I have ever read. At 12,000 words it's worth reading. See here.
What are your thoughts about Rasputin? Do you believe the stories of the "mad monk?" The drunk debauchee who wormed his way into the good graces of the Tsar? Do you share the naive disdain of Grand Duchesss St Elizabeth and Archimandrite Nicholas Gibbes, who despised all Russian peasants? Comment below.
I personally see the atheist revolution in Russia as the ultimate culmination of the Raskol. When Russia abandoned its purity of worship in favour of contemporary Greek praxis, and the Tsars were educated by foreign (sometimes Jesuit) tutors, this sort of thing became inevitable. Decembrists and Turganev be damned!