Signs of Life

A reporter secures a brief interview with the proprietor of this weblog, who has been out of the public eye in recent months, and asks a few frivolous questions.

Q: What have you been reading lately?

A: All kinds of things – but usually in 20-minute snippets after our toddler goes to sleep. I decided to take a stab at The Lord of the Rings recently, and love the world created by its author. More germane to The Heritage American’s themes is The Tragic Era, a history of Reconstruction in the United States by Claude Bowers, written in 1929. The book is a passionate denunciation of the Radicals in charge of reconstruction policy and the devastation they wreaked. The tone is hardly objective and one has to admit that Bowers shows no concern over the plight of the freed slaves, but it is so refreshing to hear the other side of the story, and the work is scrupulously documented. Shakespeare’s sonnets – not something I have ever learned to appreciate well. My word, some of them are amazingly complex and difficult! It’s hard to relate to sonnet after sonnet addressed to a young man, I’m afraid.

Q: How about music?

A: I seek out songs that I want my toddler to learn, naturally with an emphasis on Anglo-American music. It turns out that children’s songs really are best for children. “Horsie, Horsie,” which I found quoted on a handout from the library, turns out to be a real oldie:

We are enjoying “Bonnie Hielan’ Laddie” by the Kingston Trio. Here is commie Pete Seeger breaking it down for a not-very-responsive audience in Australia:

“Old MacDonald” really does appeal to children, but I don’t know of any version an adult would like to hear.

Q: When is the Heritage American coming back?

A: It’s never gone away. Posting has just slowed down to a ridiculous rate. I admit to getting fatigued by contemporary American culture, with its unending parade of outrages that we apparently are supposed to take as normal. I also find it harder, perhaps, then I did a few years ago, to dig back into American history and find continuities with our present culture. The American people still live here, but they have largely forgotten their heritage, and I don’t see how we can regain actual sovereignty as a people when we’ve lost so much. I agree with Lawrence Auster’s recent statement on the elections.

Can a movement that currently lives mostly in weblogs created by politically powerless people evolve into something with real power? Or can an equivalent movement arise somewhere within the current political and social system?

Q: Thoughts on the upcoming election?

A: I’m more inclined to vote for Virgil Goode than for Mitt Romney, even though I want Romney to win (more accurately, I want Obama to lose). If he had expressed the slightest intention to work on reducing legal and illegal immigration, I would have voted for him, but morally I can’t support someone who allowed “Administrative Amnesty” Obama to attack him on immigration.

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2 Responses to Signs of Life

  1. Liam says:

    Hello Stephen. Don’t have anything particularly clever to add re the wider political situation, but if you’re reading Lord of The Rings I’d just say it would be worthwhile for you to read The Silmarillion also. It puts the whole LOTR trilogy into a historical, mythic context.

    In some ways the Lord of the Rings is a tragic lament for the downfall of a more glorious past chronicled in The Silmarillion, with a fair amount of redemption thrown in. You’re more than clever enough to see it all for yourself, do take the trouble to read it if you can. Hope family all well.

    • stephenhopewell says:

      Thank you for the suggestion, Liam – I certainly will try to read it. My impression was that as a posthumous edited work it might be of interest only to real devotees, but it sounds like it’s an essential companion to LOTR.

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