Proverbial, Episode 55: Horace the Bear

“In the same way that very few people who have tattoos only have one, very few people trying to buy happiness are trying to buy it for the first time. You try to buy happiness—you buy something— but when it doesn’t make you happy, as opposed to concluding that happiness can’t be bought, you assume it was a swing and a miss and that you just need to keep trying.” 

-from the latest episode of Proverbial, which is available now

Free Lecture: Love What Lasts

“While some Christians still prefer worldview analysis as a cultural hermeneutic, worldview analysis has largely been replaced by cultural engagement. With the ascendance of Emergent Christianity in the years following the World Trade Center attacks, worldview reductionism fell out of fashion and young Christian essayists and bloggers adopted a softer approach to analyzing secular films. Worldview analysis came to be seen as nitpicky, strict, overly intellectual, and overly critical. The worldview analyst wanted to build a hedge of protection around his heart which could keep the world out, but Emergent Christians fancied themselves bridge builders and accordingly styled their approach to secular culture as one of deference, sympathy, and respect. Emergent Christians went so far as to pride themselves on the familiarity and kinship they felt towards the world, even going so far as to claim the world’s complaints with Christianity were an essential aspect of Christianity itself.”

-From the forthcoming Love What Lasts

I have received the editor’s notes on the rough draft of Love What Lasts and am now in the process of revising it before it sent off to the copy editor. The idea for Love What Lasts began almost four years ago with this blog post on the subject of mediocrity. Since then, I have often written and lectured on the subject of mediocrity and commonness. Proverbial was intended as both a lab and a clearinghouse for the ideas which would ultimately become Love What Lasts.

In the next month, I will give a free lecture through on the subject of film wherein portions of Love What Lasts will be presented. Links to this lecture will be sent out through the mailing list. If you would like to attend the lecture, all you need to do is sign up.


In his well known speech on order from Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, Ulysses claims that the sun sits “amidst” the other planets and “corrects the ill aspects of planets evil.”

While Ulysses does not believe the sun is at the center of the solar system, the geocentrist does believe the sun is at the center of the spheres, because the sun is in the fourth heaven of seven.

Against “Wellness”

“Wellness is a state quite beyond health; a state of being completely free from aches, pains, irritations, stress, anxiety, inflammation, fear, distress, or disquiet. Wellness is not only a condition of bodily perfection, but spiritual perfection, as well, high energy, perfect mental acuity, peace, sexual fulfillment, empowerment, control, contentment.

Wellness is a divine state.   Wellness is a state of being which can realistically only be achieved beyond death, which is to say that the search for wellness in this life is the search for a deathlike state. Wellness is death.”

The latest episode of Proverbial is dedicated to Davila’s claim, “Dying societies accumulate laws like dying men accumulate remedies.”

Against “Mindfulness”

“Because so many billion-dollar corporations now use mindfulness, leadershipcommunitypassion, and teamwork to describe themselves and their reasons for existing, many Christians now tacitly understand the monetary value which attends an ability to speak of corporate values with familiarity. The more often a classical community hears these words, the more parents believe the point of a classical education is getting ahead in the world—which will eventually lead them ask for the removal of Milton and Shakespeare from the classroom and to add laptops, at which point a classical school has no reason to carry on.”

-From “Mindfulness Is A Waste Of Time, Not A Virtue,” my latest for CiRCE  

For A Living Artist

Some tool called Beeple sold a jpeg for $70 million last week thus making him the third-highest-paid artist alive.

You have to be rather oblivious to the contours of modern life to pay $70 million for a piece of art made by someone who is still alive. If I were Beeple, I would contact the person who bought the jpeg and make an offer like, “Give me another $25 million or I’ll go and get myself cancelled, in which case your original investment will be worthless.”