Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Defining Conservatism

Jonah Goldberg:
From what he could tell, [my father] liked this new pope too. "We need more rocks in the river," my dad explained. What he meant was that change comes so fast, in such a relentless torrent, that we need people and things that stand up to it and offer respite from the current.

I loved the literary quality of the expression "more rocks in the river," even though the imagery doesn't quite convey what my dad really believed. Dad was a conservative, properly understood. By that I mean he didn't think conservatism was merely an act of passive and futile defiance of what Shakespeare called "devouring time." You see, unlike human institutions, the rocks do not fight the devouring river of time, it just seems like they do. My dad believed that conservatism was an affirmative act, a choice of prudence and will. In the cacophonous din of perpetual change, the conservative selects the notes worth savoring and repeats them for others to hear and, hopefully, appreciate.


Below are many ocarinas for Jonah to tootle as he drowns. They kinda look like submarines so it fits the underwater music metaphor.

17 comments:

NutellaonToast said...

Literary quality? pffft, why doesn't that effete windbag just go back to Vassar

M. Bouffant said...

Which erodes first, the fish or J-Load's hair?

Smut Clyde said...

In the cacophonous din of perpetual change, the conservative selects the notes worth savoring

Apparently a conservative is a hollow resonating cavity.

Smut Clyde said...

Also, only a pedant would point out the clash between the overall frame of sonic metaphors established by the words "cacophony", "din" and "notes", and the gustatory metaphor introduced by 'savor'. If Jonah wants us to imagine the conservative as someone licking and smelling a page of note music, then go for it, let him fly his freak flag.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Was that mermaid murdered by Jonah's rocks, or by the lobster people?
~

Substance McGravitas said...

Don't overlook the swimming doom of Stanley Fish.

fish said...

I do not erode, I grate.

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

So I guess it's now:

Lying underthwart History repeating your favourite bits to the like-minded.

Wow, Jonah's conservatism certainly sounds a lot less passive and futile.

Another Kiwi said...

Once I was on a bush craft course with a very experienced outdoorswoman. She told me about the time that she was in group walking beside a flooded river and she kept hearing a clinking clonking sound. "What's that?" she asked.
"Rocks getting swept downstream" came the reply.

mikey said...

Rocks in the river
Ants in his pants
Jonah does the language
Like Bristol does the dance

Rocks in the river
Like rocks in his head
Can anybody tell me
What the fuck he just said?

Rocks in the river
A cacophonous din
Oh, you want a copy of Jonah's book?
Go look in the remainder bin

Kathleen said...

In the cacophonous din of perpetual change

you'd think a real writer would go with "the cacophony of perpetual change" but I suppose he has a word quota

Kathleen said...

Was that mermaid murdered by Jonah's rocks, or by the lobster people?

she was struck on the head and killed by someone lobbing Liberal Fascism into the pond

Smut Clyde said...

I suppose he has a word quota

I would have opted for 'pandemonium' but I have a syllable quota.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

"We need more rocks in the river," my dad explained. What he meant was that change comes so fast, in such a relentless torrent, that we need people and things that stand up to it and offer respite from the current.

Of course, it's the rocks that cause the rapids in the first place. He's just as dumb as his kid.

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget, please, "conservatism." It has been, operationally, de facto, Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

"[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

Substance McGravitas said...

Certainly for sturdy principles I look to the noble efforts of the gentlemen of the Confederacy.

mikey said...

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

Hokay. No, seriously, lemme get this straight, OK? So this god fellow is a great big dickhead and he's essentially fucking up the lives of millions of people for the well thought out and perfectly understandable reasons that:

1. We're fucking facing the wrong direction? You mean all we need to do to restore America's greatness is TURN AROUND? Kinda like doing the hokey pokey?

and

2. He's bugged because we won't totally perv out on his kid? Look, seriously, dood, the kids fine and all as those things go, but I'm not kissing him til I know he's had all his shots and somebody wipes his freakin nose, y'know?