Hell on Earth

I’m not exactly what you’d call an active member:

Since 2004, American Mensa has had a virtual makeover, debuting our new online Community. The AML Community features a personalized My Mensa page, online forums, a Meet-A-Member program that connects you with members who share your interests, and The 2% Journals – a collection of articles and essays of interest to Mensans from various online sources…. As always, Mensa members have the chance to meet new people and share ideas at local, regional and national events. Special events in 2008 include Mind Games®, a 48-hour game playing marathon; CultureQuest®, where teams of Mensans go head-to-head in a test of cultural knowledge; Tracking Granny’s Granny, a Colloquium focused on genealogy; and, of course, the Annual Gathering, Mensa’s largest event, bringing together more than 2,000 members from across the country.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry. And how sad is that, coming as it does from a man whose greatest achievement in the last year is commanding a 478-0 Alliance victory in Alterac Valley.

The bitch, she is slapped

It’s not often that I find myself impressed with a dictatorial Communist leader, but I have to say that I was most amused with Vladimir Putin’s most excellent response to Hillary Clinton’s jab:

The former KGB lieutenant colonel appeared to lash out at U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton — a leading Democratic candidate for president — when one reporter quoted her as saying that former KGB officers have no soul:

“At a minimum, a head of state should have a head,” Putin said.

Yeah, that’s going to leave a mark. Although it’s probably just as well Putin doesn’t have a soul, because you can bet that otherwise the Lizard Queen would already be offering her own to the Devil in return for it. She would if she had another one to sell, anyhow.

So, a female President, you can already see how that’s going to work out just dandy for everyone concerned. Can someone please ask Maureen Dowd if it’s okay to cry when a foreign head of state that possesses nuclear weapons bitch-slaps you via the global media?

The empty shell of Dawkins.Net

Despite their literally hundreds of comments on The Irrational Atheist, (1,983 to be precise) Dawkins.Net wound up conceding that the book did indeed trounce the targeted god-deniers and that they’ve got neither the collective capacity nor the courage to confront the refutation of their hero contained in TIA. Other than Crazy Ivan’s valiant but unconvincing efforts and Stephen Bain’s ability to demonstrate that science has actually inspired a few little poems here and there, the Dawkins.Net troop was unable to come up with any substantial responses to the Seven Impossible Things believed by their iconic Red Queen.

I also note that the various individuals who declared their intentions of doing to do a chapter-by-chapter rebuttal seem to have mysteriously given up right around the time they reached Chapter Three. Apparently, they discovered that while it’s possible to dispute aspects of the rhetorical framing of my arguments, it’s not quite so easy to finesse the arguments themselves presented in TIA… especially when I anticipate many of the objections that were, as expected, raised to the first two chapters. On a tangential note, I must say that I particularly enjoyed The Professor’s classic Fighting Withdrawal, when he cut the heart out of the New Atheism movement as well as Richard Dawkins’s OUT campaign by trying to argue that atheists can believe in the supernatural and in Heaven and Hell, to say nothing of his demonstrated inability to perform the basic math required to determine the relationship between the fraction of a larger population and a fraction of a smaller population.

By the way, it occurs to me that we appear to have the need for a little TIA-related lexicon. If there’s any words you think should be included, leave them in the comments here. And yes, we already know about the O-word, the T-word and the Four Horsemen of the B-word.

The toothless smile

Rod Dreher on the maturation of the male psyche:

I used to get stoked on the idea of taking Julie to the perfect little French cafe, and speaking torridly of romantic matters over candlelight and good wine. I wouldn’t mind having the time to do that now, but you know, it’s hard to describe the fulfillment of opening the front door at day’s end, and hearing three little voices scream “Daddy!” in unison, and come running into the front room to give me a hug. God, I love that. That’s how romance has been sublimated for me. That’s what it’s ripened into. And it’s great.

It will be impossible for those with more hormones than sense coursing through their brains to understand, but Dreher is absolutely right. Heedless romance and wildfire passion have their merits, as do psychologically scarred young women with self-esteem issues and eating disorders, but no romance, however wickedly fiery, can compare with the unadulterated joy to be found in the sudden appearance of a toothless smile on a fat-cheeked face.

The ongoing collapse of post-Christian culture notwithstanding, the human race and Christianity will survive, because faith, hope and joy always survive fear, hate and selfishness.

Experience and odds

Another woman laments her lack of appeal to men:

Men are like eggs. They must hatch or go bad. I came to this conclusion after seeing in the new year with a gang of university friends and hearing one of them, a single guy of 35 called Jamie, declare with complete sincerity that his resolution for 2008 was not to get a girlfriend.

I groaned. His vow struck me as odd, not just because Jamie is a remarkably warm, kind and entertaining individual rather than some ropey Lothario, but because I knew him ten years ago when he was mustard keen to marry his then girlfriend. And when I thought harder about it, I realised that over the past decade Jamie has effectively been degenerating from the man he was at 25 years old to the boy he is today.

Let me get this straight. Men are often willing to settle down, get married and start a family in their mid-twenties, however, the women they know are too busy having fun and enjoying the peak of their appeal to want to do so. Ten years pass. Now, the woman is sensitive that her looks are fading and the quality of the men she attracts is declining, so she wants to lock in and settle down. The men, who are having more fun than ever because they are more secure, making more money and are of more appeal to women than ever before, are no longer interested in settling down.

This is the MEN’S fault?

Look, it’s not that hard. Women are at the peak of their appeal from 18-25. If they don’t settle for whatever is on offer then, they can always settle later. However – and this is the significant point – what will be on offer later will usually, (although not always), be of lower quality than was available before. This is a vicious circle… it’s both amusing and painful to hear from aging single friends and see how they are carefully weighing the marital merits of men with whom they wouldn’t have even contemplated having dinner ten years ago.

And how can a woman who has just spent a decade dedicated to “having fun” possibly begrudge her male peers electing to do exactly the same thing, albeit a bit later? Furthermore, speaking of experience, it’s worth noting that the divorce courts have rendered all women but the most exemplary unmarriageable. A twenty-something single guy may not realize this, the thirty-something single man knows it all too well.

Cross or crescent

Secularists may not like it, but that’s the choice they’re facing. A shiny, secular science-fiction society is just that, a fiction:

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a body of the country’s leading military and diplomatic figures, says the loss of British values and national identity caused by “flabby and bogus” Government thinking has made the country vulnerable to attack from Islamic extremists.

“The UK presents itself as a target, as a fragmenting, post-Christian society,” the report says, and is “increasingly divided” on its history, national aims, values and political identity. That fragmentation is worsened by the firm self-image of those elements within it who refuse to integrate…. The deep guarantee of real strength is our knowledge of who we are. Our loss of cultural self-confidence weakens our ability to develop new means to provide for our security in the face of new risks. Our uncertainty incubates the embryonic threats these risks represent.”

Cultures do not survive if they do not propagate. Secular culture is sterile in every sense, this is why it cannot survive except on the foundation of a religious culture. But, because it erodes its foundation, it dooms itself to a short-lived existence and inevitable replacement by that which it was believed to itself replace.