Archive for the 'Books & Reading' Category

Other Than Eldritch

Posted in Books & Reading, Politics, Society on February 23rd, 2015

When one thinks of H. P. Lovecraft, if one does think of him at all, one thinks naturally of his Cthulhu Mythos. That’s unsurprising since Lovecraft is heralded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, writers of horror fiction of the twentieth century and the Cthulhu Mythos was the centerpiece of his writing. Lovecraft, however, wrote more than just horror. He also published a journal heavily focused on sociopolitical thought, The Conservative.

H. P. Lovecraft’s The Conservative had little no nothing to do with eldritch horrors. It was a journal edited and self-published sporadically by H. P. Lovecraft between 1915 and 1923. Some of its pieces were written by Lovecraft himself, but many of them were written by others. They included not just political and social commentary on the issues of the day, but also poetry, short stories and literary criticism.

The period in time covered by The Conservative coincided with some of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century, including the First World War and the Russian Revolution.

It’s quite the interesting read.

Note, however, that I said it was an interesting read. It is not an easy one; not at all. It is firmly grounded in the society, issues, and history of a century ago. Still, I wholeheartedly recommend it as an addition to any American’s library.

Related Reading:

World War Cthulhu: A Collection of Lovecraftian War Stories
Believer: My Forty Years in Politics
America: Turning a Nation to God
The Conservative's Handbook: Defining the Right Position on Issues from A to Z
Society: The Basics (13th Edition)

Reared For Immortality

Posted in Books & Reading, Politics on January 27th, 2015

 

Joseph Story, who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845, is best known outside of legal circle for his magisterial treatise of US Constitution, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, which was first published in 1833 and, to this day, is considered one of seminal publications on the highest and most fundamental sets of American law and jurisprudence.

In all truth, Justice Story’s various writings but most especially his Commentaries, should be required reading in schools. Sadly however, I have never even heard about it being on an optional reading list.

Then this oversight might be explained by Story’s own words in Book II (2nd edition and later) of his Commentaries:

If these Commentaries shall but inspire in the rising generation a more ardent love of their country, an unquenchable thirst for liberty, and a profound reverence for the constitution and the union, then they will have accomplished all that their author ought to desire. Let the American youth never forget that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capable, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence. The structure has been erected by architects of consummate skill and fidelity; its foundations are solid; its compartments are beautiful as well as useful; its arrangements are full of wisdom and order; and its defenses are impregnable from without. It has been reared for immortality, if the work of man may justly aspire to such a title. It may, nevertheless, perish in an hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, THE PEOPLE. Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people in order to betray them.

If the Commentaries accomplished all that their author ought to desire, America would never have reached a point when and where what passes for our educational system did not include the work in the curriculum. Now, our nation having reached the point when and where it is only the profligate who are rewarded, Justice Story’s work is antithetical to ideology that the school system wants to inculcate in the rising generation.

After all, since the 1960s the schools system has been more and more striving to teach the American youth to forget that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors. Indeed, quite the opposite is taught now in what passes for our public schools.

And therein is meat of the problem. America’s domestic enemies know and capitalize upon the fact that America has been reared for immortality, but that it may perish in an hour by the folly, or corruption, or negligence of its only keepers, the People.

Related Reading:

School of the Prophets: Advanced Training for Prophetic Ministry
Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life (Norton Paperback)
America: A Narrative History (Brief Ninth Edition)  (Vol. 1)
Constitutional Law, 18th, 2014 Supplement (University Casebook Series) (English and English Edition)
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

Girl Genius

Posted in Books & Reading on November 8th, 2014

Girl Genius
Adventure, Romance, MAD SCIENCE!

I have no earthly idea who this young woman is but for some reason she looks a lot like Agatha Heterodyne from Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius series of comics or, at least, she does to me. And hey! While I’m not one to dabble in watercolors, I like that look a lot.

And what’s not to like? The character, Agatha Heterodyne is a strong, vibrant female protagonists. She goes far beyond the realm of “perky” or “plucky.” She’s both possessed of strong physical prowess and is a multi-talented genius, hence the series’ title. She’s also far less waifish of vampish and far more robustly curvaceous than is the norm for women in graphic novels.

Girl Genius is now a web comic or, if you’re like me and like a good book, you can get the omibus edition. Either way, this comic series is a lot of fun and has a different sort of cast of characters and plots than is the norm.

It’s billed as Gaslamp Fantasy as opposed to Steampunk because it combines magic with big, clanking, Victorian-style steampunkesque tech, old-fashioned clothes, Frankenstein monsters, and airships – lots and lots of airships – to create a new whole and a new genre.

More importantly, it’s a rollicking good read.

Related Reading:

Girl Genius Volume 2: Agatha Heterodyne & The Airship City
The Geek's Guide to Dating
The Fabulous Fanboy
White Girl Problems
The Tinkerer's Daughter