Of Dinosaurs

Today I had an experience simultaneously of homecoming and alienness. Perhaps no person feels so alienated as the person who comes home and finds strangers living there.

I stumbled on The Imaginative Conservative.


There, I read several wonderful essays that not only elucidate many of my deepest loyalties, but also taught me to think of what I had not thought of before. I foresaw myself growing intellectually and easing the pain I often feel of going through the world alone. The essays used the English language in a round, whole, and vigorous way. Without malice, the sentences landed like clean, surgical blows on forehead of The Beast.

Then I realized that every essay I’d read had the same author – Russel Kirk. His titles had simply been the most interesting to me. I began to sample other articles by other authors – the living writers who work for and submit writing to The Imaginative Conservative.

That was when I realized how alone I really am in the world. If these are the people who most appreciate a man like Russel Kirk, then they are the people among whom I should most confidently expect to find kindred spirits. And if they are those people, what hope can I continue to cherish, when I find them so diseased in understanding that reading their words makes me feel physically ill?

Dear conservative parents, please make some children for me to speak with when they are grown and I am old. Do this: Banish screen time, treat them gently, leave them to wander in nature, provide them with like-mannered companions, and ply them with mountains of old books, old poems, old music, and old paintings. Then perhaps I will end my days among my own kind.

Just don’t expect ever to understand your own children if you do this. You are of one sort; they will be of another. You are an immigrant to the lands of Men, marked by the heavy accent of your beastly origins; your children will be Men, but without countries.


    • I’m afraid not. By happenstance, I’m listening to the Silmarillion on Audible now. The purity of what is said and the obedience with which it is said really is life giving. It reminds me that it can be done. Of course, how many people with that kind of purity and obedience are also going to be highly trained genius philologists with impeccable aesthetic sensibilities?


    • I imagine you’ll have noticed, but Gregory Stackpole sometimes comments here and I’m never sorry when I visit his blog (intotheclarities.com). He’s got the vigor-and-rigor one looks for, and he covers the same triangle of culture-religion-politics that Imaginative Conservative looks at.


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