65 Maxims for Life

On the 15th of each month, a reminder pops up to read my maxims (they actually come from two American Orthodox Priests, one living, one reposed). Sometimes I don’t get around to it until, say, the 17th.

As I read them today, it occurred to me that they give a decent idea of how an Orthodox mindset should cash out in “practical” life (if only we weren’t always missing the mark).

I do try to live by them (that’s why I review them monthly). Even falling short, it’s a much saner way to live than not trying at all.

Quotable, wherefore quoted

I’ve been using Readwise to store and remind me of my book (and some other) highlights. Out of the blue this morning it came up with some great ones I’m sure it hadn’t featured before:

  • We approach a condition in which we shall be amoral without the capacity to perceive it and degraded without means to measure our descent. (From Ideas Have Consequences)
  • Smith argues that the noun religion is an unhelpful reification of what does not as such exist. (From The Myth of Religious Violence). I can’t see how we’d function today without this “reification,” but I’m ever-mindful that there’s a lot of play in the joints.
  • When men must no longer win bread by the sweat of their brow, the primal curse will have ceased; and we are assured daily by advertisements that the goal is not too far off. (Another from Ideas Have Consequences)

RESOLVED: This is a great blog installment.

DISCLOSURE: I’m unequivocally in support of free speech. People who want to ban “hate speech” may feel hurt by the blog installment.

I haven’t been willing to invest the time to gain pop-culture literacy, but the way @Ayjay uses Walter White’s decision to hold Krazy-8 captive in a basement, I kinda wish I knew more about Breaking Bad.

Learning helplessness: I have always been quite good at parallel parking. But now I have my first vehicle with park assist, and there’s no way I’m as good as it is. Soon, I will be quite bad at parallel parking (though my vehicles will compensate).

One of two choirs I sing in, Lafayette Master Chorale, is announcing on Thursday our return and our concert schedule for 2021-22. We also just released our virtual recording As If We Never Said Goodbye.

The conjunction is magic. Artistic Directors are gods.

Bari Weiss lends her Substack to a Bitcoin debate. Balaji S. Srinivasan says Bitcoin Is Civilization. Michael W. Green makes The Case Against Bitcoin.

I understand Bitcoin a bit better now. Still won’t go there.

I recently started listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast. When he’s good, he’s very good.

My Little Hundred Million, is very, very good. Listening to it is instructive, but you could spend a lot of time thinking about other applications of the insights.

Apparently today is National Eat What You Want Day, the “one day a year of eating with no regrets.” You can eat what you want the other 364 days, too, but you have to regret it.

The Morning Dispatch

A secular feast day! Do tell! Who says humans aren’t intrinsically religious?

I notice an awful lot of orphans in Obsidian, and when I re-read them, I find nothing to connect them to.

I think I need to return to using Pinboard for mere curiosities like them.

A local grade school principal challenged her students to collect 1000 cereal boxes in a week, promising that she’d let them ritually duct-tape her to the wall if they did. They did and she did.

Problems with disrespecting teachers and administrators don’t come from nowhere.

Happy Monday to everyone except Medina Spirit, this year’s Kentucky Derby winner (for now) who, it turns out, is actually a total fraud and a junky. You should be ashamed of yourself, Medina.

The Morning Dispatch

Doyle has 43,000 Twitter followers, a fan base 20 times smaller than that of the Sarcastic Mars Rover parody account.

How Substack Soap Operas Change the Media Business - The Atlantic

Comparative measures of smallness like this are another usage I’ll never consider proper.

In the past few days, my wife has gotten official-looking certificates congratulating her on her 70th birthday from both our state representative and our state senator. Unless the intended effect was outrage over creepiness, they have not had their intended effect.

Environmentalism, the Tower of Babel and the Disintegration of Culture | with Paul Kingsnorth. A terrific interview.

Disclosure: Contains the deftly-told story of Kingsnorth’s reluctant conversion from eco-Pagan, through Buddhist and Wiccan, to Orthodox Christian.

I just finished watching Julie & Julia on Netflix. 🍿

I watch very few movies. I’d watch more if they were all this good.

I don’t even feel like I need to shower off any slime! Pure pleasure!

I understand that language evolves. I reluctantly admit that usage (eventually) makes proper.


But—usage be damned—I will never, ever, accept that “literally” means “I’m about to engage in wild hyperbole because I feel strongly about this.”

Thank you.

Sunday was the 10th Anniversary of SEAL Team 6 killing Osama bin Laden. Politico has a terrific, well-sourced long read, mostly on the political side rather than any SEAL tactics. ’I’d Never Been Involved in Anything as Secret as This’

I’m not sure EWTN sees what I see in this swag:

I just bought Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in full expectation of finding much of interest in it, despite the book’s bugbear usage by the Right. Anyone who got an acknowledgment from Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities can’t be all bad.

Finished The Overstory. Ingenious winding of characters. 📚

Tonight, Orthodox Christians keep midnight vigil for Christus Victor. Knocking Down the Gates of Hell - Glory to God for All Things

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree …

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree, The King of the angels is decked with a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the Cross with nails. The Son of the virgin is pierced by a spear. We worship Thy passion, O Christ. We worship Thy passion, O Christ. We worship Thy passion, O Christ. Show us also Thy glorious resurrection.

Miscellany, 4/23/21 – Tipsy Teetotaler ن

If evangelicals can come to the realization that the United States is the more superior the less it is a religious juggernaut or a military hyperpower, they may actually become truly conservative.

D.G. Hart, From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin

My main blog is the Tipsy Teetotaler, http://intellectualoid.com.