Insincere Calls For Moderation

Not every call for moderation is sincere. It is possible to call for moderation and want none of it. How so? If a certain institution is lenient, indulgent, and slow to anger, it will nonetheless be forced to draw the line at some point.

When the institution draws the line and begins to scold, chastise, and discipline, sentimentalists will accuse the institution of being “immoderate.” In fact, the very acts of scolding and chastisement and discipline are creating a moderate condition. They are balancing the lenience and indulgence which are typical.

This is typical of a sentimental age, though. Indulgence reigns. When indulgence ends, calls for moderation are little more than calls for indulgence to return again.

In Praise of Difficult Students

“Just as small-minded administrators, parents, and students cannot distinguish between different kinds of difficult teachers, small-minded teachers lump every sort of difficult student into the same “bad” bunch. A disobedient student is a liar, a cheat, a scofflaw who disregards small rules, a queen bee enthralled by the shallowness of popular culture, a bully whose parents continually excuse sin with appeals to grace, stress, and extenuating circumstances. However, a difficult student bound for greatness might create the same number of headaches as a disobedient student, but wise teachers discern the path of greatness unfolding in the difficult student’s soul.”

-from my latest for CiRCE

Persuasion (2022)

The Netflix adaptation of Persuasion is a hot algorithmic mess which helplessly bites half a dozen better sources (a more appropriate title for the film would have been Jane Austen’s Fleabag), and yet I was pleased to find the zeitgeist has moved on from “self-care,” which is now a punchline subject to open mockery and scorn.

The Downside Of Luxury

If a man does not have enough real problems, he will invent fake ones. Fake problems are even more destructive than real problems. Why? Real problems can prompt people to seek real solutions, but fake problems only prompt fake solutions. The man with fake problems is not only stuck with a certain level of fakeness, he is actively seeking out even more fakeness.