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Imagine the scene, if you dare—for some readers this might be triggering or flat-out traumatic. There he is, a once-young, now-aging priest celebrating Mass, arriving at the homily, with Britney Spears headset microphone in place, center “stage” (er … Sanctuary), ready to “share” (not a homily, God forbid!), dripping and gushing with vacuous platitudes and, in all seriousness, stereo-typically diva-like gestures and postures.
And everyone is just beaming and smiling.
God is just soooooo big, he insists, that no creed, no doctrine can have anything meaningful to say about him! Wait, strike that—not “him”—what was I thinking? The masculine pronoun for God never passes his lips. It is always “God’s-self,” never “himself” or “he” anything. In fact, he leaves the dazzled assembly with the sense that God is really just this amazing, infinitely squishy plush pillow, a gooey, androgynous shepherd figure who really just wants to hug the stuffing out of you.
And still he is not done with this ghastly assault on his captive “audience.” To drive home his faux-homily, he approaches the edge of the Sanctuary where a pre-set, purple Kurzweil SP-88 stage piano awaits his delicate fingers.
In full vesture, he giddily plays a soft, arpeggiated accompaniment, while the lead musician of the Mass, a keyboardist with big hair who must have time-travelled from an ’80s band, begins to sing his part of their slurry duet. The priest, eyes mostly closed, soulfully sings a paraphrase of Psalm 23 with his musical partner. The barely recognizable “biblical” text seems mmm-kay with the enraptured crowd as the last vestige of a lounge-singer’s favorite major-seventh chord is heard through the harmonized “oooohhhh….” emanating from priest and singer as it mixes in with the tinkle of chimes that ends his … homily.
The chasuble-laden star arises from his keyboard’s throne as the adulation and applause washes over him like a warm wave. He bows slightly, and, sadly, the moment is over.
Well, not really over. It’s on video, actually. This is why I can unabashedly say that I witnessed the whole monumentally appalling mess that passed that day for an Easter Season Mass, which, by the way, ended with the same show-business priest styling his way through the triple-Alleluia dismissal on a digital-keyboard pad, surrounded by every last child who came to church huddled in the Sanctuary with him and holding white feathery fans, all with arms extended, ostensibly blessing themselves as the recessional music begins. The priest pumps his fists and shouts, “Go, team, go!” just before exiting the Sanctuary. He smiles and schmoozes his way down the center aisle, glad-handing and hugging everyone on the edges of the pews, while applause mixes with the heavily synthesized postlude.
And so, I ask—when will our priests sing again?
Hopefully, never, if this were to be the template. But it’s NOT the template, not by a long shot. Yet, we Catholics in the pews, with virtually few exceptions, no longer even “know what we don’t know” about the Roman Rite’s true patrimony of sung liturgy.
We need to be honest with ourselves. It wasn’t just the ambiguously cited “spirit of Vatican II” that undermined the Church’s sacred-music patrimony. The loss of our true Roman Rite identity as regards sacred music runs much, much deeper.
If we re-phrase the question in my essay title to “When Did Our Priests Stop Singing?” we might get a better sense of the problem.
Remember the oft-repeated axiom that “singing is praying twice”? Well, it is. And praying twice can seem, well, twice as hard as praying once. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that, when a priest “sings the Mass,” he needs to work much harder than he does if he just recites the Mass prayers.
There are eminently practical reasons why the Church’s liturgy developed its practice of “High Mass” and “Low Mass,” with the Low Mass being the Mass the priest did NOT need to sing. But I would assert that this practicality has come to us at a huge and costly price. It was the “Low Mass” model that won the day after Vatican II. This should have been no surprise, since it was the “Low Mass” model that had effectively won the day long before Vatican II.
What today we rightly imagine to be the pinnacle of Roman-Rite liturgy—the solemn High Mass—requires the priest to chant the Mass in Latin. Period. This, of course, is perfectly sensible—such a solemn High Mass involves everyone participating in our rightful and true heritage (fully, consciously, and actively, of course—right?) by singing in Latin, whether via chant or polyphony.
However, long before Vatican II there was a problem—it was the Low Mass, not the solemn High Mass, that was the most common liturgical form encountered by average people in the pews across the globe (I’d imagine this to have been true particularly in the young United States).
With the Low Mass, priest and congregant both could justifiably avoid the most difficult form of “praying twice”—they didn’t have to sing in Latin. The priest merely had to recite the Latin, with the people’s responses ingrained in their minds in a similar recitation, whether or not they understood the texts.
In attending a Low Mass, too, there was not much “dialogue” between priest and people. Indeed, it was the altar boy’s duty to provide the “people’s” Latin responses. Likely, what engaged the people most in those days was the permitted use of vernacular hymns in the Low Mass, in place of sung Latin antiphons and hymns.
There’s an unfortunate truth that we need to acknowledge: long before Vatican II, it was quite probably a rarity to find a Church in which the solemn High Mass was accorded pride of place in the life of a parish. This fullest expression of the Roman Rite was more typically sitting on a shelf, just out of reach, for both priest and parishioner. And throughout the first half of the twentieth century it was noticed by the Magisterium.
Ironically, what can be called the root of the “Liturgical Movement” of the twentieth century really was focused on reclaiming the fullest expression of our musical heritage. On paper, this looked edifying and worthy of pursuit.
However, having everyone sing the liturgy in Latin—including the priest—is, for many, many people (including many priests), really, really hard. It involves sincere effort, genuine preparation, and true devotion.
No matter what the century, most folks honestly don’t want to work that hard.
And that’s the real shame of it, in more than one sense of the word, given that the word “liturgy” is defined as the work of the people. The “Liturgical Movement” kind of morphed along the way, such that these much-harder aims were put on the shelf right along with the musical patrimony of our Rite. A quite opposite direction emerged—doing the easier thing, not the harder thing.
Thus, by the time we get to Sacrosanctum Concilium in 1963, the whole thrust of liturgical “renewal” has utterly shifted from what it was at the beginning of the century. Now, the Council Fathers opted to pay duly respectful lip service to our patrimony, but, instead of shaking loose from the liturgical laziness everyone seemed accustomed to and to be more fully moving toward, the document paved the way for real people in real places to jettison the entire patrimony of sacred music all at once.
With this, even the idea of “Low Mass” and “High Mass” disappeared because now priests could avoid even reciting the Mass in Latin. No more Latin, for everybody! Whew! Seminarians everywhere breathed deep sighs of relief. Just as many Catholics did, too. Easy-peasy!
We now have the liturgy we deserve, but not the one we truly need.
Make no mistake. If you think about it, it is absurd to imagine a restoration of our sacred-music patrimony without the priest singing his part, too. The fact is, we won’t have a return to our roots unless the priest deliberately chooses to chant the liturgy in Latin once more. Without his full, conscious, and active participation in the fullest expression of the Roman Rite’s liturgy, no one else can succeed in this noble and necessary endeavor.
If we end this essay much like we began—with an imagined liturgical scene—think how devastating it would be to have the most exquisite Latin-chanting choir and assembly in a Mass today, but then have showboating, effusive, gushing, me-priest come out and sing a show tune during his “homily.” One is not like the other. The dignified attempt at true, pure, sacrificial worship exemplified by the Roman Rite would remain lost to us,inaccessible.
To be frank, the “reform of the reform” rests in the hands—and the voices—of our Catholic priests. Once they decide to sing the Roman Rite again, everything else that is undignified and unseemly will be vastly out of place. No more clown Masses, no more talk-show-host clerics, no more vapid, vernacular, contemporary-music hits mumbled by sleepy pewsitters and led by pop-inspired singers. It would all fall away faced with the blazing core of true, Christ-centered worship found in the faithful and liturgically hard-working priest, the one among us truly acting in Persona Christi Capitis.
However, if our priests remain averse to even speaking our Church’s universal language, Latin, they will as a matter of course never seek to “pray twice” with it either.
Then we’ll be stuck with the superficial and thin cheer arising from that priest whom we call our highly entertaining “singing priest,” the one who impressed us all so deeply with his stage show. While he effusively glows with pride about just how impressed everyone was with his musical performance, he will dismiss us from the Source and Summit of our faith with the adolescent, “aren’t-we-all-so-wonderful” phrase: “Go, team, go!
Originally posted at Crisis Magazine.
If you live in the city, you might find yourself in a situation without power. Here is a guide on how to be prepared for such an occasion.
Build a Block Out Bag for power outages, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Keep your family safe with your own Emergency Preparation Kit.
From its very beginning in 1789, the totalitarian liberalism unleashed by the French Revolution was soaked in the blood of innocents. The little known story of the Vendée Rebellion is a telling example.
The history of the Vendée Wars was not written by the victors, it was completely written out of French history, and until recently denied by the French government, it is still not part of the school history curriculum, but is well documented. When Solzhenitsyn opened the official Vendée Memorial at Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne in 1993 the event was ignored by central government, as well as by most of the mainstream French media.
The war was the first ‘total war’ in modern history, in which men, women and children were involved. It was also the first modern war in which regular troops were repeatedly beaten by mainly unarmed (no firearms) peasants. It was a savage affair in which each side were guilty of atrocities. The name of the region at that time was Bas-Poitou, and it was a poor rural region. As well as peasants, it was inhabited by impoverished aristocrats, petit bourgeoisies and poor priests; so the social inequalities were less marked here than elsewhere in France.
The more the Jacobins took control in Paris, the more events began to escalate. No political or state organisation can control the religious faiths of its people, and the population of the Vendée Militaire, (the name given to the area of armed resistance, south of the Loire) and Brittany was devoutly Catholic. However, controlling faith was exactly what the Republican government tried to do, which engendered deep resentment that grew over the years.
In 1790 local government was abolished, followed by what was a considerable blow to poor Catholics, the vote on 12th July for The Civil Constitution of the Clergy. This was state control of their church, with the confiscation of its property, their traditional priests were banned, and all religious orders suppressed. In 1791 the Ecclesiastical Oath forced priests under state rather than episcopal control. Those who refused, (and in the Vendée most refused) were outlawed and replaced by state ‘priests’. 1792 saw an increase in taxes, and in January 1793 the execution of the king; then the introduction of conscription in February caused great opposition.
Although there had been sporadic riots and easily suppressed uprisings since 1792, the final spark that ignited this smouldering resentment into a barbaric war, was the prohibition of public worship and the closing of all Catholic churches on 3rd March 1793. This caused no inconvenience to the nobles, who had their own private chapels in their homes (as at La Chabotterie), as well as their personal priests. However, without access to churches, the ordinary devout Catholic could not fulfil their religious obligations. In response, the ordinary people of the Vendée Militaire defied conscription. Paris ordered Republican troops and National Guards to enforce conscription by ballot.
On 11th March, Republican soldiers billeted at Machecoul were massacred. That same day the people of St-Florent-le-Vieil turned their horizontal scythe blades into very effective vertical weapons, and routed the government troops, who were supported by cannons. Despite sustaining heavy casualties, the villagers kept advancing, until the soldiers’ nerve broke, as did their ranks, and they fled. The Vendée Wars had begun.
There were uprisings in many parts of France, but they only lasted at the most a few weeks. Only in the Vendée and Brittany was there prolonged insurrection, with the Chouans waging a predominantly guerilla war. The Vendéens invited local nobles with military experience to lead them, and although some refused others willingly agreed.
When asked by his local men to lead them, the twenty year old La Rochejaquelein spoke the immortal words: “I will show myself worthy. If I advance follow me; if I flinch, cut me down: if I fall avenge me.” The uprising was so spontaneous and popular that within a few weeks the rebels had four large armies, which won one victory after another.
Their first major battle was on 19th March, when a Republican column of over 2,000 infantry, 100 cavalry, and some cannon, marching to re-enforce Nantes, was ambushed and routed by part of the Army of the Centre, at Pont-Charrault. With this victory came thousands of badly needed muskets, as well as ammunition, horses and cannon.
Recruitment areas of the Vendéen fighters
On 20th March the four armies united and named themselves ‘The Grand Catholic Army of the Vendée’, the word ‘Royal’ was added later. Towns began to fall, first Bressuire on 2nd May, Fontenay on 25th May, and the rebels reached Niort. In the north, Angers fell on 18th June, and there was panic in Paris.
Seven days earlier the rebels elected the humble Jacques Cathelineau from Le Pin-en-Mauges as their Commander-in-Chief. They unsuccessfully attacked Nantes, but on the second day of the battle Cathelineau was mortally wounded. and d’Elbée became their new Commander-in-Chief.
The Vendéen fighters, also known as ‘whites’ or ‘brigands’ had the habit of returning home after a battle to tend their land.
At Waterloo, Napoleon had a total of 60,000 men to fight Wellington’s regulars. Yet, in October 1793, Paris sent an army of 115,000 to fight the rebels in the Vendée Militaire, who were only 60,000 ill-equipped and untrained fighters. The insurgents were supported by 2,000 irregular cavalry, and a few cannon; and those with muskets were better shots than any French or British infantryman of the day.
The battle was outside Cholet on 17th October and raged all day, at first the Vendéens were winning, but in the afternoon, due to tactical errors, they were forced to leave the field. It was no rout, they did so in good order. Sadly for the rebels, three of their generals, d’Elbée, Bonchamps and Lescure were badly wounded in the battle, the latter two mortally so.
The rebels decided to cross the Loire, and head for a port to await help from England. This journey was called “La Virée de Galerne.” d’Elbée was taken to Noirmoutier to recover from his wounds, and Henri La Rochejaquelein became the new Commander-in-Chief of the rebel Army.
The Vendéens and Chouans were unable to capture Granville, but just as they headed for home, the sails of the English fleet appeared, too late, on the horizon. Weakened by hunger and dysentery the Vendéens had to fight every mile of the journey back, constantly harassed by government cavalry and sharp shooters. Despite their plight, La Rochejaquelein won three battles on their homeward journey, but they were unable to re-cross the Loire because of a lack of boats.
Republican troops forced the rebels back north to Le Mans where, severely weakened, on 12th December they were defeated. On 23rd December the remnants of the Grand Catholic and Royal Army were annihilated in the woods and marshes of Savenay, where no quarter was given by the Republicans. Over 2,000 rebels managed to escape and find their way back home, only to look with horror on the results of General’s Turreau’s ‘douze colonnes infernales‘.
For nine months, from January 1794, those ‘twelve columns of hell’ crisscrossed the Vendée Militaire, often revisiting the same places. Their orders were quite simple and very explicit; “Leave nobody and nothing alive.” This applied to republicans and rebels alike. Crops and houses were burnt, and the department was re-named “Vendée.”
In January a reign of terror began in Nantes and Angers, where there was mass murder by drowning in the Loire, by guillotine and shooting. General Waterman (known as ‘The Butcher’) boasted to the Convention in Paris:
“…there is no Vendée. It has perished, with its women and children, under our sword of freedom. Following your orders, I have crushed the children under our horses’ hooves, and massacred the women – they will bear no more children for those brigands. I have not taken a single prisoner.”
On 6th January 1794 Maurice d’Elbee was executed, and on 28th January La Rochejaquelein was killed in action, and Stofflet became their last Commander-in-Chief.
The Vendéens were not deterred, and they conducted such an effective guerilla campaign that the Paris regime finally sued for peace.
A treaty was signed on 17th February 1795 but broken by Charette on 24th June. On the following day the promised help from England arrived at Quiberon and Pont-Aven, too little and too late, due to the prevarication of the French aristocratic emigrants.
The following year, first Stofflet, then Charette were executed, and the war petered out.
Religious freedom was still officially denied, and so the war began again on 15th October, 1799. Republican villages and towns were seized, even Nantes fell on 29th October, but the rebels were too weak to hold it.
On 9/10th November Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in a coup d’état. He had great respect for the Vendée people and called their war “le Combat des Géants.” He fully understood that their fight was not a struggle against the revolution, but a fight for the preservation of their liberty and freedom for their religion.
Bonaparte immediately began talks with the Vendéen religious leader Abbé Bernier, and set about repairing relations with the Catholic church. By December full rights of worship were restored to the church, not only in the Vendée, but in the whole of France, and church bells rang again.
The Concordat signed on 15th July 1801 between Napoleon Bonaparte and the Pope made these rights official. In the Concordat the French Government acknowledged “Catholicism as the religion of the great majority of the French.” In the end the Vendéens won the right to practice their faith.
Hundreds of rural villages in Galicia in northern Spain are frozen in time, long-abandoned by their residents. Thousands more rural settlements all over Spain and Italy are gradually falling empty as their ageing populations fade away.
This striking short film highlights the growing demographic crisis of rural Europe. It also suggests an affordable way out to a new and safer life for Christian families now living as endangered and excluded minorities in heavily ‘enriched’ towns and cities in Britain. Your move!
Rodney Stark’s “God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades” is a minor masterpiece. I’ve never read another book that performs this book’s very tough task this well: taking a massive amount of data, on a very complicated topic, and reducing it to a reader-friendly, briskly-paced, 248-page book that an amateur could read in a few enjoyable sittings.
To write this book, Rodney Stark had to master a library full of material: the history of medieval Europe, the history of Islam, battle strategies, technology, theology, and more. He had to winnow all that data until only the bare facts, needed by an interested amateur, remained.
Stark doesn’t just tell you the history of the Crusades in a pocket-sized form. He also tells you how this history has been twisted to suit the political crusades of polemicists who hate Western Civilization and the Catholic Church.
At every turn in his text, Stark tells the reader what really happened, and what powerful, Christophobic voices insisted happened. He cites by name historians and commentators who have distorted the history of the Crusades in order to sell a tawdry bigotry against Christians.
These commentators include Bill Clinton, who blamed 9-11 on the Crusades, pop celebrity “scholars” ex-nun and ex-priest Karen Armstrong and James Carroll, who both overtly distort history to serve nefarious ends, and Enlightenment authors like Voltaire and Diderot. Sadly, those who distort the Crusades include Protestants maligning the big, bad, Catholic Church.
The first 98 pages of Stark’s book provide the historical events that caused the Crusades. In the seventh century, Arabs burst out of their peninsula. The decaying Roman and Persian empires were no match for them. By 711, jihad had reached Spain. By 732 and the Battle of Tours-Poitiers, jihad was near Paris, France. Jihad would reach Rome, and southern Italy would be Muslim territory for two hundred years.
Egypt, Africa, the Middle East and Turkey had been Christian, Jewish, and Pagan. It took centuries for many of these places to become majority Muslim. Non-Muslims living under Muslim rulers were mistreated. Pilgrims to Jerusalem were robbed, tortured, and massacred in large numbers. Christian holy places were desecrated – Muslims defecated on altars, and splashed them with the blood of Christians.
The church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was placed after crucifixion, was completely destroyed. Its foundations were gauged down to bedrock and carted away. Such maniacal atrocities – indeed a cultural and biological genocide directed against Christians – went on for centuries. Christendom had the choice of fighting back or submitting to the sword. Christendom heeded Augustine’s teachings on just war and fought for its life.
In demonstrating the inevitability of the Crusades as a military response to jihad, Stark does nothing to whitewash every aspect of the Crusades. He exposes all the ugliness of war, on all sides.
Stark provides fascinating insights into the technology of war. After the Muslim conquest, the wheel disappeared from North Africa. Wheels required roads; Muslims preferred camels. European technology of the misnamed “Dark Ages” contributed to Europeans’ battle successes.
Stark offers a much needed corrective to the invented concept of an “Islamic Golden Age” during which Islam produced great scholarship. What actually happened, Stark shows, is that advancing Arab armies co-opted the science and culture of the states they conquered. He cites many examples to support this.
Perhaps the most famous case is “Arabic” numerals, the numbers we use today. They aren’t “Arabic” at all, but products of the Hindu civilization of the Indian subcontinent, a culture all but destroyed by the Muslim Conquest.
One prototypical Muslim structure, the Dome of the Rock, was built with non-Muslim architects using Byzantine plans. Baghdad was designed by a Zoroastrian and a Jew. “‘Muslim’ or ‘Arab’ medicine was in fact Nestorian Christian medicine.” A Nestorian Christian supervised collection and translation of Ancient Greek manuscripts (60). Scribes and physicians were Christian (61).
Stark argues that as Islam became the predominant system of conquered territory, innovation ceased and decline set in. Stark points out that it was a Muslim historian who accused Muslims – whether accurately or not is unknown – of destroying the legendary, ancient library at Alexandria, using its books to heat bath water. It is a historical fact that Saladin closed the Cairo library and discarded its books.
The theological attitude demanded by the Koran – this is perfect, settled truth – became the attitude Muslims adopted to the Ancient Greeks. This was the incorrect approach – the Greeks were advancing questions and inviting debate. The “settled truth, not to be questioned” approach to Greek philosophy stifled the Muslim world (62-3).
Stark describes a medieval anti-war movement that sprang up in response to the Crusades. Some debated whether or not Christians could kill. Others were simply war weary. People didn’t want to pay Crusader taxes.
One of the overwhelming senses I got from this book is that human life on earth is a giant cluster—-. Murphy’s Law and the Law of Unintended Consequences ultimately rule the day. The Crusaders went through massive amounts of wealth. They were often quite brave, Knights Templar vowing to fight to the death. Yet the Crusaders never achieved their long-term goal. Luck as much as skill or virtue seemed to be behind victories; laziness or stupidity was behind defeats. Christian v Muslim may have been the main event, but Christians betraying other Christians was a key subplot.
God’s Battalions is available on Amazon
The American TV series “Game of Thrones” has become a phenomenon in the realm of cinema and television. Millions of people around the world are waiting for the upcoming sixth season of the show. The series, which started in 2011, in just 5 years has collected an impressive audience. Its heroes are more known to the public than many real politicians, and it has became the source of a plurality of memes and an integral part of the culture of the young generation all over the world.
According to The Guardian, it has become both “the biggest drama” and “the most talked about show” on television. The series has received numerous awards and nominations, including 26 Prime time Emmy Awards and 86 nominations. Its influence on the minds and moods of people around the world is undeniable. It remains to be determined what kind of impact and what the phenomenon is that we are dealing with.
An American thing
Game of Thrones is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire – George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels. Martin is a typical American; a journalist by education. In his youth, he avoided conscription into the army, choosing not to fight in Vietnam. He is a fan of comics about superheroes. It is significant that Martin did not receive a systematic historical or philological education, though being quite erudite, and that was reflected in “Game of Thrones.”
The fictional world according to the author, who was inspired by the Accursed Kings of Maurice Druon, should resemble historic European Middle Ages, but the heroes, their motivations, and the structure of relationships in the world has a typically American approach – a complete misunderstanding of what traditional Europe and the European Middle Ages were, and what the fundamental difference is between the Middle Ages and the New time of Modernity.
Two types of fantasy
In fact, there are two trends in the literature, which is usually attributed to the fantasy genre. The first may be called a British one. It can be attributed to Inklings – J.RR, Tolkien, CS Lewis, Charles Williams, as well as their predecessors in the 19th century – William Morris with his novels ‘The Wood Beyond the World’ and ‘The Well at the World’s End’, and the Scottish novelist and theologian George MacDonald. Features of this trend are: careful work with the historical and mythological pictures, profound erudition of the author, who received a classical education, and most importantly – the rejection of the ideology of Modernity with its individualism as well as egalitarianism, progress, industrialism, secularism, and rejection of the spiritual dimension of man.
This perception of Modernity was very well described by J.R.R. Tolkien:
I WILL NOT WALK WITH YOUR PROGRESSIVE APES,
ERECT AND SAPIENT. BEFORE THEM GAPES
THE DARK ABYSS TO WHICH THEIR PROGRESS TENDS –
IF BY GOD’S MERCY PROGRESS EVER ENDS,
These authors rebel against the Modern World and look for an alternative to the forms peculiar to the past. They romanticize the middle Ages, and realize that it was based on a fundamentally different basis than Modern civilization.
These are the principles of the European solar male Apollonian civilization: hierarchy, faith, loyalty, honor, family, the primacy of ethics and aesthetics over benefits, theocentrism, and the dominance of the traditional relationship between man and woman. Of course, a lot of deviations from the ideal can be found in the historical middle Ages, but the aforementioned authors inherit the medieval authors in an effort to describe ideal heroes and ideal situations. Like the people of the middle Ages, they were conscious or instinctive Platonists, so for them the “ideal” is real.
What belongs to eternity, which corresponds with the heavenly ideal that in fact really is, belongs to Being and consequently to eternity, while the earthly distortions of ideal, sin, and apostasy will not inherit eternity. C.S. Lewis describes it in ‘The Last battle’, when the protagonists, after their own death, and the Doomsday of Narnia, reveal that real England is also situated in this real Plato’s heavenly world of Being:
YOU ARE NOW LOOKING AT THE ENGLAND WITHIN ENGLAND, THE REAL ENGLAND JUST AS THIS IS THE REAL NARNIA. AND IN THAT INNER ENGLAND NO GOOD THING IS DESTROYED
The second trend is more dominant in modern fantasy – it can be called American. Its pioneers were Robert Howard, together with a number of American authors who created in the middle of the 20th century lots of low-quality literature in the genre of sword and sorcery. The features of this approach are well disclosed in the personality of Howard, as well as in his cycle of novels about Conan the Barbarian: a focus on samples of mass culture, the combination of high self-esteem with the mediocrity of the author, and an eclectic mix of ancient and modern elements.
The objective of this literature is to hit the reader and to stimulate commercial interest. The authors usually share all the myths of modernity including the belief in progress and industrialism. The literature of this kind is a not a form of rebellion against the modern world, but a way of earning money. The authors do not recreate the perfect Middle Ages, but create a fictional world in which they act quite modern, with motivations understandable to any American.
Conan the Barbarian is a typical American, he is almost lacking inner, spiritual dimension and his character is the embodiment of a titanic cult of brutal force, not Apollonian, godly wisdom. He is ambitious, striving for dominance, and almost materialistic.
A Parody of the middle Ages
In other words, in a fabulous and fantastic shell lies a figure that is quite modern and is an American man with his titanic extreme individualism, rebellion, and a rejection of tradition. A vague but noble nostalgia for better times is operated for profit and assertions of power – the inviolability of the principles of modern civilization.
The difference between the two types of fantasy is the fundamental difference between the European and American civilizations. American civilization was created, as was considered, in an empty space; it was a laboratory project of Modernity where Europe exported all of its anti-traditional and anti-European tendencies. Thus, America does not know tradition, and its imitation of the subject turns into a parody.
As Julius Evola once said:
AMERICA … HAS CREATED A ‘CIVILIZATION’ THAT REPRESENTS AN EXACT CONTRADICTION OF THE ANCIENT EUROPEAN TRADITION. IT HAS INTRODUCED THE RELIGION OF PRAXIS AND PRODUCTIVITY; IT HAS PUT THE QUEST FOR PROFIT, GREAT INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, AND MECHANICAL, VISIBLE, AND QUANTITATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS OVER ANY OTHER INTEREST. IT HAS GENERATED A SOULLESS GREATNESS OF A PURELY TECHNOLOGICAL AND COLLECTIVE NATURE, LACKING ANY BACKGROUND OF TRANSCENDENCE, INNER LIGHT, AND TRUE SPIRITUALITY.”
Game of Thrones is a typical example of such an American approach – a medieval shell with typical modern content. The indicative values of the majority of heroes of the saga includes treachery, greed, corruption, betrayal, a nihilistic attitude to religion, as if this is the main value content of the society, which at the same time is characterized by hierarchy and jousting tournaments. It is mostly about modernity with some modifications, but in order to completely swallow the bitter pill of values of the modern West, it is sweetened by adding romantic traditional surroundings. After all, the modern world is becoming boring and unbearable.
The talented combination of Eros and Thanatos, death and sex, makes the show attractive. Behind the scenes, the authors are imposing, through pop culture, a deliberately distorted image of certain values of the Middle Ages, which is not peculiar to the Middle Ages, but is promoted in the modern West via a process that Patrick Buchanan calls the Death of the West
Game of Thrones is the first mass series that has the theme of sodomite relations, which turns into almost naked gay porn. The series demonstrates the “naturalness” of such contact, and, through the frequent use of such imagery, distorts the perception of homosexuality as something sinful, secret, and ill.
It is significant that homosexual characters are shown in a very positive light. Prince sodomite Renly Baratheon is the most worthy candidate for the royal throne, but he died after refusing to compromise. His lover – Loras Tyrell – a knight without fear and without reproach, is also an extremely positive figure. Oberyn Martell, a bisexual whose sexual attributes are also widely exposed, is a noble revenger. There are no sodomite villains at all.
King-sodomite and his knight
The series also breaks the incest taboo, openly and sympathetically demonstrating incestuous relationship between the knight Jaime Lannister and his twin sister Cercei. Several times in the film they utter the phrase they cannot choose who they love, the most common sentimental excuse used for the advocacy of various perversions.
In turn, the embodiment of pure homophobia becomes a boy tyrant King Joffrey Baratheon, a sadist that is hated by the whole country, as well as by relatives. In Season 3, he proclaims that he will make homosexuality punishable by death. Thus, the traditional values and the struggle with sin begin to be associated with tyranny and cruelty.
It is needless to say that promiscuity is unthinkable, as the historical middle Ages are an integral part of the world created by Martin and the imagination of the creators of the series.
Multiculturalism and illegal migrants
The world of “Game of Thrones” emphasizes multiculturalism. In Westeros you can meet a foreigner who holds a high position (example – the eunuch Varys). In the Essos region, which resembles ancient and medieval Asia, Princess Daenerys Targaryen is fighting against white elites for the liberation of black slaves. Black lives matter! – the authors of the series tell us. In the case of the approval of multiculturalism, the creators of the series courageously go far beyond the literary prototype. Pirate Salladhor Saan, who is white in the novels, became black in the series.
Another multicultural thing is how much attention is paid in the series to the theme of migration. Who are Wildlings? Immigrants. They live behind a wall – a cyclopean structure that separates civilization from barbarism, an embodiment of Donald Trump dream. Residents of the seven kingdoms of Westeros do not welcome savages, because Wildlings behave almost like the hordes of migrants pouring into modern Europe: killing, raping, robbing, and wanting to settle in foreign lands. Soldiers of the “Night Watch”, who keep out wild and inhuman creatures, guard Westeros wall also against them.
So, what do we see in “Game of Thrones”? The positive character Jon Snow is doing everything to allow the savages to settle behind the wall, because they should be saved from the terrible, inhuman danger – almost like Angela Merkel hosting Syrian refugees. Moreover, he undertakes an expedition to transfer part of the migrants in prosperous Westeros (like Pope Francis In Lesbos last week, maybe he watched the series with Angela Merkel together?).
And of course, xenophobes, who do not want to see murderers, robbers, and cannibals standing next to them, do not understand this. This is why Jon Snow is unfortunately killed, and his fate (dead or alive) is unknown. Martin may have wanted this or not, but in a fantasy entourage reproduced with a very modern theme, it is interpreted as being politically correct. How can a person, empathic to John Snow and unhappy Wildlings, advocate for limiting migration?
No God, but death
On the theme of religion, “Game of Thrones” has no qualms. The traditional worshipping of the Old Gods of Westeros and the Seven are ceremonial, and their adherents are not at war with each other – very American-like tolerance. The series shows that all is well as long as religion is a private matter. Problems arise with the appearance of people who really believe in God. The cult of the god of fire and the resurrection of R’hllor is shown definitely negatively. But supporters of the Friars “Sparrows”, who genuinely have faith in the gods, instigate religious terrorism in the capital of Westeros ‘King’s Landing’.
In the Martin’s world there is no organized church, and there is no place for God in its Christian sense, and there is no place for Christ, who explicitly or implicitly is presented in the works of the great Britons Lewis and Tolkien. Martin’s gods manifest themselves either through the pantheistic presence (Old Gods), identified with nature, or through brute force – everything is subject to his will. The latter is the typically Semitic and titanic idea of the divinity inherent in Judaism, Islam, and somewhat in the Calvinist version of Protestantism, overwhelmed by the Christian mystery of divine love and sacrifice of God for man.
God as such in “Game of Thrones” does not exist. Interestingly, all the “theological” moments in Martin’s books are removed in the television series. Their philosophy may be best expressed by a quotation from the fencing teacher of Arya Stark:
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD AND HIS NAME IS DEATH, AND THERE IS ONLY ONE THING WE SAY TO DEATH: NOT TODAY”
Syrio Forel’s theology lesson
This resembles the words of Apostle Paul:
IF THE DEAD RISE NOT? LET US EAT AND DRINK; FOR TOMORROW WE DIE.
In the world of “Game of Thrones” the dead are raised, but it does not give them or their loved ones happiness or comfort. After all, the Christian resurrection is also a transformation of man, but “Game of Thrones” does not imply that a person can be anything other than what it is now and change its nature in a god-like manner.
The world of “Game of Thrones” is a world without Christ and God, but full of magic in the New Age style. From “God is dead” to ” God is death”.
New Dark Ages?
The distinguishing feature of “Game of Thrones” is its underlined “realism.” This representation is the result of the loss of the traditional perception of politics as a philosophical and aesthetic practice in the spirit of Plato and Aristotle.
Of course, many medieval rulers were not such crown philosophers as Justinian, Frederick II, or Alfred the Great, but this understanding of policy was peculiar to the High Middle Ages and antiquity, and differed it from modernity, where the Machiavellian approach overrides the classic one. Politics in “Game of Thrones” is not classicist, but Machiavellian. It is cynical and is based on the principle of self-interest.
The political dimension of “Game of Thrones” is a very specific one. On the one hand, the authors of the series strongly demonstrate egalitarian, anti-authoritarian tendencies associated primarily with the line of Daeyneris Targaryen, one of the most popular heroines of the series. She rightfully has a claim to the Iron Throne of Westeros, as a representative of a legitimate dynasty ousted by usurpers. But she declares that she will not be another spoke on the wheel of the “game of thrones,” but will “break the wheel”. It means that she is ready to break the old hierarchal order and replace it with more egalitarian one.
Egalitarian totalitarianism of Daeyneris Targaryen
On the other hand, in the series, there are statements related to the topic of honor, order, loyalty, but almost in regards to not a country (except the important theme of the night watch), but specific families.
Mass consciousness is accustomed to the image of the world, where large families of oligarchic clans control everything, like it is in “Game of Thrones”, where family status is determined by their wealth; this is a trait of the modern and globalist world too. It’s a scary, postmodern version of the “New Middle Ages”, which prophetically was promised even by Berdyaev: the fall of the concept of the nation-state, private armies, confrontation between the houses of Rothschild and Rockefeller and other masters of the world.
It is a world of permanent wars and conflicts. A world where the only power is the power of money and brute force, not spiritual authority; a world without God, but without rationality with a lot of sects, new religions, beliefs in magic, and the occult; a world dominated by ecstatic sexuality, aiming to break all possible taboos; a world where between man and beast (hence the theme of the werewolf in “Game of Thrones”) is not too different. It is not only the world of “Game of Thrones”; it is our future that is becoming real. Welcome to the Game of Thrones!
The KTI are utterly opposed to the anti-Christian Marxist murderers of the IRA and their political wing Sinn Fein. But that does not mean that we are incapable of acknowledging the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who fought and died to free Ireland from British rule.
In particular, we are able to see and understand the immense power of the Celtic and Christian concept of the Blood Sacrifice, and the role its revival can and must play in the future Long War to free the nations of the West from the dark tyranny of political Islamism and the even more evil forces of which its rise is but a symptom.
Since the contraceptive pill flooded Western markets, the populations of Europe and the United States have seen a staggering decrease in fertility. At the time of its introduction, the Catholic Church was one of the only voices brave and powerful enough to speak out against its use, knowing full well the long-term repercussions; for this they were subjected to the most extreme venom and the slur of "misogynists" was ferociously hurled at them by feminists and their anti-Western liberals.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s most memorable and controversial encyclical letter, dealing with the “regulation of birth,” and many Catholics are taking advantage of the date to commemorate a “prophetic” teaching.
Catholic speaker and author Terry Polakovic wrote Wednesday that like many other women, she initially rejected the teaching of Paul’s encyclical Humanae Vitae “before really knowing anything about it,” something she now regrets.
Whilst we welcome her realisation that the Church was right all along, the question remains why, at the time, more people did not heed the voice of one of the oldest and sagacious institutions on earth?
Cardinal José Gomez, the archbishop of Los Angeles, agrees that Paul’s encyclical was prophetic, noting that much of what the pontiff warned of 50 years ago has happened.
The fallout to the sexual revolution, foreseen by Paul VI, has included everything from “rampant divorce, infidelity and pornography, to test-tube babies, widespread abortion, ‘demographic winter,’ and the total confusion about gender, sexuality and the human person that we see in our society today,” he said in a recent tweet.
As Christians it is our duty to “be fruitful and multiply.” Those societies that reject the teachings of the faith will be relegated to the dustbin of history!
Traditional marriage meme “doesn’t follow community standards”. This is the sort of censorship which, together with a crippling clampdown on the reach of advertisers, has plunged social media giant Facebook into a share price meltdown.
Take a look at this screenshot. Can you imagine what is going on inside the head of the Facebook executive who produced the guidelines that allowed one of their ‘administrators’ to remove a post for using the words “I support traditional marriage” and “straight pride”?
Or perhaps it was the image that triggered this latest example of the crushing intolerance of the tolerant? Stunning!
The lunatics are well and truly running the asylum and their vice-like grip of the means of communication become tighter by the day.
Post one article or meme that contradicts the liberal narrative and you will be banished to the cyber gulag for wrong speak!
Hundreds of hardcore anti-Assad insurgents and their families are to be resettled in Western Europe thanks to meddling in Syria by ‘our’ political elite. While these "medics" have been caught on film helping to execute prisoners, however, their main role has been as propagandists for terrorist groups in Syria.
The evil thugs in question are members of the so-called ‘White Helmets’. Unlike their ‘brothers’ on the front line, they did not (usually) carry guns and knives with which to kill the brave men fighting to save secular, tolerant Syria from a Jihadi take over. Instead, they used video cameras and faked ‘atrocity’ scenes in efforts to get Western war planes to do the job for them.
But with their throat-cutting friends being crushed on the battlefields of Syria, the White Helmets are in trouble. Which is why the liberal elite in the West are now pulling out all the stops to rescue them.
Canada, Britain and France have been joined by the USA in urging Israel to step in and organise the evacuation of all the White Helmets who had holed up in the shrinking strip of ISIS-held territory on the Syrian/Israeli border – and to arrange to transfer them on to Europe.
Yes, you read that right: Committed Jihadi propagandists who have been happy to work with ISIS are being moved to our countries, with the help of our governments and Israel! Here’s part of a report on the operation in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz:
“Evacuating hundreds of people from Syria into Israel with the support of Canada, the UK, Germany and the US was an unprecedented level of international cooperation. In addition Syria is an enemy state and the war was closing in on the men and their families in need of evacuation. This was a key part of the emerging crisis over the weekend, it was not just 90 members of the White Helmets, but also their families, an estimated 800 people.
“The UNHCR was contacted by the US, alongside the UK, Canada, Germany while Jordan authorized the UN to receive the Syrians who UNHCR agreed were “at risk and seeking asylum and solutions in above mentioned countries.” While in Jordan UNHCR would work with the three governments to support a “temporary stay.” This was a key to Jordan’s agreement: A special legal assurance the White Helmets would move on to the West.”
The same report confirmed that the so-called ‘humanitarians’ were extremely close to ISIS:
“With the UNHCR on board and Jordan agreeing to host them temporarily, the operation could proceed. In the day before it began the Syrian regime and Islamic State began a massive battle not far from areas where the White Helmets and their families were sheltering.
“Another problem faced at the border, according to foreign reports, was that checkpoints and fighting with ISIS, which had gone on all day Saturday before the evacuation began, hampered efforts.”
Meanwhile, Israeli efforts to prop up the collapsing remnant of the ISIS territory on its border included shooting down a Syrian jet which was bombing ISIS.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) employed two Patriot air defense missiles to shoot down a Syrian Su-22 warplane involved in the Syrian Arab Army operation against ISIS in the area. One pilot, Colonel Umran Mare, died in the incident.
Syria’s victory over the ISIS monsters now looks certain. Equally certain is that the terrorist-propaganda teams of the White Helmets now being flown to the West will take their taxpayer-funded houses and benefits, and then settle back down to the job of spreading support for Jihad among the Muslim populations of Britain, France, Germany and every other country whose ‘leaders’ are stupid enough to take in these ‘vicious snakes’.