Thursday, January 31, 2013

I don't have brain cancer

I didn't realise the other day when I put up a post about my anxiety-dreams that it could be mis-read. When I wrote that I have "cancer-brain" it was lazy writer-shorthand for "I'm experiencing post-cancer anxiety about it returning and it's giving me nightmares".

For those who mis-read or misinterpreted, sorry about that. Didn't mean to cause a panic.

This problem is apparently hugely common, like the post-treatment depression that came out of nowhere when it was all over. But of course, no one told me anything about it. Like every. single. symptom I had from the chemo and other treatments, I found out about it by experiencing it first hand.

And I guess it's more or less unavoidable because of the sneaky nature of the disease. Once you've had it, no matter how slim the statistical chance of recurrence (in my case around 5%) you just don't know whether you're going to be one of that small unlucky number. Once again, statistics say that if you get through five years you're more or less in the clear. But statistics are just that; they're not your own personal case history.

So the thought torments you more or less constantly and if you don't get philosophical about it, it can ruin your day. Sometimes it just ruins your day no matter what.

The problem with cancer is that the individual cells are indetectable by any current technology, and can quietly travel around your body, settle in and start to grow and spread long before you have any notion there's anything going on. Once it's been in there the first time, you just have to keep checking and keep your fingers crossed.

I'm more or less OK, brain-wise, most of the time, but sometimes it just kind of jumps out at you unexpectedly. I had another dream that I was on holiday with a friend and we got lost in the woods and I suddenly felt all chemo-sick again and my hair fell out. When I woke up, I was momentarily surprised and confused to have a full head of hair and not be sick, it was so real and so familiar.

No matter how well-adjusted you are, the anxiety sometimes gets to your brain in subconscious ways. Hence, bad dreams. The kind that stick with you for the rest of the day. I'm also the sort of person who fights depression and anxiety all the time anyway. My brain has been my mortal enemy most of my life.

What annoys me is that all these things are the sort of thing that, in a first world nation, cancer patients get told about and can prepare for. You get given pamphlets and things and doctors normally offer help and support services. But this is Italy, and as a culture, they don't volunteer information, even when you ask direct questions. You have to be very specific, which more or less means that you have to already know about the thing you're asking about and they pretty much just leave you to deal on your own.

But who needs a doctor to tell you things when you've got the internet, right? The internet knows everything.



We need a new word in the English language that means, "that point your hair gets to when it can no longer be coaxed into looking right, but isn't long enough to be worth the 60 bucks to get it cut..."

Work on that while I'm doing things today, wouldja?


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Duck signal

Df: your email isn't working. According to my mail search, you haven't sent me an email since 2010, which I don't quite believe.

Anyway, call me.



Latest scribbles

Auguste Rodin, from a book of photos dated 1908

Shaw, 1905

Not been doing a lot of drawing lately. These are from November.


What'd I tell you?

Don't pray to St. Philip unless you're ready for The Weird.

Before three days into the novena:

~ ticket to London (not for me) appears via email for five-day trip to meet with Important People who will help solve problems...

Keep going, everyone...

"O holy St. Philip Neri, patron saint of joy, you who trusted Scripture's promise that the Lord is always at hand and that we need not have anxiety about anything, in your compassion heal our worries and sorrows and lift the burdens from our hearts. We come to you as one whose heart swells with abundant love for God and all creation.

Bear us, we pray, especially in this need ("...a happy solution to the conundrum and general sorting-out..."). Keep us safe through your loving intercession, and may the joy of the Holy Spirit which filled your heart, St. Philip, transform our lives and bring us peace. Amen."


When you are worried and things seem to be going badly...

when the Apocalypse is getting you down,

...Alison Moyet.


My brain hates me and wants to kill me

Got cancer-brain today.

~ Dreamed cancer was back and I owed 5000 Euros to oncologists... thanks brain.

~ Spent two hours last night on the internet looking up Classical Realist painters in Pennsylvania...looking at pretty paintings of Pennsylvania in the winter...thinking about how much I miss Winter, then Cancer-brain whispers... "And you might never see it again..."

~ The January is almost over, started thinking about tidying up, leaving the house every day, getting a hair cut, sweeping up the pine needles and getting on with the rest of life... then, "Remember, cancer! Hahahahaaa"

~ Am now torturing self by looking up what they do to you when cervical cancer recurs...

Cancercancercancercancer... fuckoff Brain.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


When I was fifteen, I left home and was made a ward of the state. In effect, this meant that no one was supervising me, or really ever would again. It was 1981, and my rule was simple: if you could get away with it, you should. This meant, of course, one had to experiment a lot to see what was possible.

Applying this rule, I figured if I could get into a club, it meant I was old enough.

My moral life has developed a bit since then, but in many ways, this still the basic gist.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

He's never steered me wrong before...

"Steer this little ship of thine..."

I've said it many times, never pray to St. Philip Neri for anything vague, or non-specific. And even then stand well back.

He's one of the most powerful intercessors you can imagine, and has lost none of his mischievous sense of humour in heaven. Get ready for him to turn your entire life upside down and inside out. It'll all be great. It'll be better than anything you ever could have thought of for yourself, or dared to hope for, but it'll be weird, discombobulating and take you in directions and to places you never imagined existed.

He's a dangerous saint to know.

With this warning in mind, I am starting a novena today to St. Philip for a Particular Thing; call it, "A happy resolution to the conundrum, and a general sorting-out." Which, I suppose in Catholic-speak, means "a special intention".(If a satisfactory solution comes along, I might tell more about it later.)

The last time I did this, I was just looking for a suitable apartment in Toronto (a difficult task at the best of times) and what I ended up with was three years of a life-changing relationship with some of the most important and influential people in my life. A massive spiritual and professional sea-change. And in the end, he led me here. So, you know, be careful.

If anyone else is a Philip-keener, they could join in, and I'd appreciate the help. And you never know what might happen. But do keep an eye out for falling pianos.

"O holy St. Philip Neri, patron saint of joy, you who trusted Scripture's promise that the Lord is always at hand and that we need not have anxiety about anything, in your compassion heal our worries and sorrows and lift the burdens from our hearts. We come to you as one whose heart swells with abundant love for God and all creation.

Bear us, we pray, especially in this need ("...a happy solution to the conundrum and general sorting-out..."). Keep us safe through your loving intercession, and may the joy of the Holy Spirit which filled your heart, St. Philip, transform our lives and bring us peace. Amen."

Here's the rest of the Novena


Friday, January 25, 2013

Let it out, sweetie !

Latest comments from my thing Abortion and the Will to Power

I loved LOVED LOved this piece until the writer subtly criticized our Pope Paul VI. As a vicar of Christ on earth, he is to be respected and revered and loved; I believe strongly that our one duty is to PRAY for him but NEVER NEVER NEVER to criticize him, even in a subtle manner. I stopped reading there and have absolutely no interest in reading any more of her writings. I feel like weeping for hours over this.

You're so right.


Ever, ever




The adolescent whine

I never got a chance to thank my mother for teaching me to write. And because she was on the "side" in the culture wars that I left behind, she came to hate me all the more, so it would have been impossible. But I really do have her to thank for it all. She may never have realised what she was doing, but as a hippie/leftie/feminis of the mid-1970 pop-psych school, she told me all the time to question the accepted wisdom, not to accept what I was told on face value, but to think things through for myself.

Ironic, wot?

Here's my thing from yesterday for LSN. I'm rather proud of it. I think she might have been too, in an odd way.

One of the Abortionist Movement's apologists says, with typical permanent-adolescent bravado,

"Well, so what if it's a human life?"

Once you have responded to “It’s a human being,” with a manufactured shrug like this, there seems nowhere else to go in the conversation. So what if abortion is genocide? So what if it serves the cause of sex trafficking? So what if it enables pedophiles and pimps? So what if it’s slaughtering entire generations of girls in India and China? So what if it’s being used by totalitarian governments to terrorise women and maintain control over their populations?

So what? I want it, and I have the power to get it; discussion over.

And this is right and good because the strong must always have power over the weak. From some dark place, the shade of Nietzsche howls his mad, tortured shriek of triumph.

There is something else I learned from my mother: that the whole Sexual Revolution/femmie/hippie/commie thing is both the work of perpetual adolescents and turns you into one. This is becoming more clear in the British Parliament, where the first generation of PAs, having been trained by their non-PA parents and schools to at least mimic adults, have since given way to the second and third who have only ever known the I-can-do-whatever-I-want culture and now can no longer even fake grownuphood.

We are now at such a pass with these people that saying, "I can just damn well kill my child if I feel like it," and no one in the ruling class any longer has the chops to do what needs to be done.


Thursday, January 24, 2013


I freely admit to being a lousy Catholic. I know all the stuff, but it just sort of sits all the time on the surface while all The Bad bubbles away underneath. Can't help it.

And why? Well, as cliched as it sounds, it's the Dad thing. I got Dad-issues; who doesn't? Sue me.

It's probably why I got so obsessed with Fringe and the Walter/Peter thing.


Bowie - 20th level rock star

Basically, a minor deity.

I've told y'all my Bowie story, right?

Serious Moonlight - peak.

Glass Spider - downward slope


Wednesday, January 23, 2013


How to tell if you're really a liberal...


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Song-Guy

Try Greg Laswell


Oh crap!

Italy in a nutshell

I'm almost out of booze!

The local supermarket has started selling Lambrusco and it's so good, I have to admit I have been drinking it like pop. (And no, I don't care who knows I like it; I just do... < cough >Greg...< / cough > I can like whatever the hell I want, dammit!)

This is something ever-new and wondrous for a Canuckistani living abroad. In the People's Republic, you can't buy anything alcoholic outside of a government liquor store. The sight of shelves of booze in the supermarket is a great consolation that staves off homesickness. And because it's Italy, it's all cheap-like-borscht. In this country, even the cheap wine is good wine, compared to the awful California plonk you pay 90% tax on in Canadia. It didn't take me long to get into the habit of treating wine like milk, as in: "Damn, I'm short of milk! Gotta go to the store."

Anyway, I was horrified just now to look in my cabinet and discover I'm down to one bottle of Mirto, an untouched bottle of Bushmills that I won at Pub Quiz last year and mickey of vodka I bought to make bay leaf liqueur (which turned out amazing!). This is the most depleted my stock has been since I moved in. Damn you, Christmas Party Season, and all my worthless friends who didn't bring booze to my last two parties.


Monday, January 21, 2013

It doesn't, actually

It's rejection that does. But it's still a great song.


You make me want to shout

More Joan Jett, for when you're feeling dangerous.


The Judean People's Front

Perhaps the saddest thing about the current state of political stupidity in Britain is that the result is no one there knows why this is funny.

It's because the joke's on you.




Who'd have thought that Stupidity Shielding would be so effective.

I've had some more correspondence from our little English girlfriends afraid of the Boogey Man. Y'all are not going to believe this, but they're still asking, "So, just what are your thoughts on the BNP?"

Perhaps I was not clear below. I'll try again, using smaller words.

The BNP doesn't matter.

They were only ever a symptom of Britain's deadly political disease.

You have fetishized them because that was what you have been taught to do by the brainwashing you have undergone from the BBC/Guardian Bubble you all live in. Unless you leave the UK, in mind as well as body, you will never know how enmeshed you have all become in the Marxist honey trap.

You've been trained, like a bunch of performing seals, to ritualistically spit on the ground and make signs against the Evil Eye whenever their name is mentioned. In short, your terror of getting the BNP-cooties, and your accompanying fear of a robust political conservatism, is a result of having drunk the lefty Koolaid.

When Call-me-Dave started his "modernising" programme for the Tories, it was, in effect, a white flag, a declaration that the left's bullshit critique, "nasty," of the party was correct. It was, in short, a capitulation, and a declaration that from now on, the goal of the "right" in British politics would be "ever-closer union" with their opponents. Classical or Traditional Conservatives (look it up) now have no representation in Britain's political life. So, good work there, guys, we've been Stockholm-Syndromed, thanks.

(My own political position has had no representation since the mid-16th century, so it's hardly surprising that the likes of you all didn't have a frame of reference to identify it.)

UKIP, as well as the BNP, only went as far as the zeitgeist would allow, that is, to libertarianism. Yes, the joke all along has been that the BNP were never "rightwing" according to any objective standards of political theory. They were socialists and statists as much as every other British political movement. None of which matters much now since they are defunct as a political force in Britain, with nearly all of their support having gone over to UKIP.

But hey, don't let these "fact" thingies stop you. By all means, continue to play your crucial role in the programme destroying our country. That none of you has any idea that fascism and socialism are the same political species, that their diseased shoots come from the same political root, is what tells me there's no hope at all Britain can be turned back to the path of the grownups.

So anyway ladies, if you want another fish from your political masters, or really feel the need of another bitch-slap, feel free send me another email asking if I support the BNP. I'm only too happy to keep mocking and ridiculing you in public.

~ * ~

Oh, and in case you're wondering? Yes, I did actually leave the link to Simon Darby up there specifically in order to get under your skin. Y'all will note that I've moved it up to the top of the list now.


Sunday, January 20, 2013


OK, remember I said the material object I want most in the whole wide world is an Aeroscraft 200-ton capacity variable-buoyancy cargo airship?

Well, I think I've found the model I want.

To hell with Planet Earth.

Now I just need a company to build one that has an anti-modern aesthetic sense. I don't know about you but I'm sick of all our technology design looking as though it belongs on the set of Space 1999.

Guys, it's not 1976 any more! OK?

(At first I wanted one of these, a Lockheed P-791, but the ballast problem and the need for ground crew and a runway would really put a damper on my go-anywhere-in-the-world chosen lifestyle.)


The glamour of evil

One of my favourite Peter Bishop scenes: "Hi, I'm the Bad Cop, and we're going to have a discussion now."

I've been thinking a lot lately on the notion of attraction. What attracts us, and from what do we naturally recoil and why. And I've got to say, I really do get the appeal of the Bad Boys. Mmm..hmm!

Don't worry, Peter reforms by the end of the series, and tells his father he loves him, rejects evil and does the right thing. But the major conflict of the whole show, was between Peter and his conscience. He spent most of his life solving problems in a more ... err, direct than orthodox manner, and the appeal of this for most of us who do try to follow the rules most of the time is certainly strong. We can't help but respond with a little cheer at Peter's correction, "No, you can't do that."

Ultimately, though, Peter gets pushed past his limits with the anger that boils away all the time inside, and his lust for revenge becomes all-consuming. Does he pull back, at the last possible moment, from the edge? In the last few episodes, will he finally choose The Real and reject the glamour of evil?

Well, it's TV, so... you know...


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Old notebook

The country around Tattenhall in autumn. It makes me so homesick to look at these photos, and it's strange because I only lived there one full year.

So, last month I moved the whole drawing studio off the dining room table in anticipation of our Christmas parties and moved it into the guestroom that is now all set up as a studio. I really do have an amazing collection of little boxes, shoe boxes, mint and sweet tins, teeny caviar jars, to contain all the multitude of little bitty things you accumulate doing this stuff. I have lost count of the number of gummy erasers I've bought. Put all together, the Art Stuff has become quite the collection.

Of course, in the process I've unearthed a bunch of stuff I've not looked at in ages too. Found a stack of old notebooks dating back into the mid-90s. A nice little Moleskine from 2006 was a present from David Warren when he was cleaning out his desk one time, and came with a fountain pen that I've kept and used regularly ever since. I seem to have been using the Moleskine to make notes on conferences given by the Oratorians, (back when I was on speaking terms...Hi guys!)

Wanna see?

~ * ~

Immaculate Conception, 2006
A poem to the Virgin, Abbess Hildegarde

Hail, girl of a noble house
shimmering and unpolluted
you pupil in the eye of chastity
you essence of sanctity
which was pleasing to God.

You are the lily that dazzles,
whom God knew
before all others

Now let the sunrise of joy
be all over Ecclesia
and let it resound in music
for the sweetest Virgin
Mary, compelling all praise,
mother of God,

~ * ~

Snippets from a conference on Confession
by Fr. Derek Cross
Toronto Oratory
Advent, '06

(Pascal on self-love)

Christ is the sacrament of God's mercy and truth. The Church is human nature restored to union with God.

...the penitent gives his sins to the Lord who dissolves them.

Self love is ruthless. It tries as hard as it can to turn man from the truth.

Without mercy, man is afraid of truth. Without mercy truth perishes. The City of Man is the city based on self love.

The good deeds we remember are the ones that God forgets. (a VERY Oratorian quote. I was reminded constantly whenever I started talking about such things: "Hilary, don't lose the merit.")

~ * ~

At Clear Creek monastery on the Feast of St. Scholastica
February 11, 2007

"Wise wert thou to spurn
the riches
and the crowns that heaven miss,

Wise to choose thy brother's teachings,
change thy way of life for his.

In the savour of thy ointments
did thou enter heavenly bliss."

~ * ~

On separation from the world, a conference by the Abbot of Clear Creek:

"the main raison d'etre of silence is to recollect all the energies, all the forces, all the faculties of the soul to prepare them for listening to the Lord."

"Ducam eam in solitudinem, et tibi loquar ad cor eius."

On the conversio morum:

"the stones polished by the blows of afflictions, this is the conversio morum, the conversion of life."

On chant:

St. Augustine - "The house of God is built up by singing. Because we love, we sing."

Cecile Bruyere OSB - "Holiness is the only interest of existence and life is not worth the trouble of being lived if we do not tend toward this end."

- "Only the angels have been given the capacity of accomplishing an act without flinching... As for us, God recons with our failures."

~ * ~

...And then, England.

Hoolfield Hall farm, 4 miles from Tattenhall, Cheshire.
October 10, 2007

"There is never a moment in England of being truly alone. Even though no one would dare to intrude on anyone's privacy, the sense of being continually within shouting distance of other people, of therefore always being safe, is both the price and the prize of England."

"It is truly autumn now, and the softness of the English change is all around. If only I were an artist, I would try to paint the way the colours of the trees and grasses and hedgerows seem to blend and blur softly, softly into each other.

"The smell of burning mixes with the sound of birds."

~ * ~

That's all.



Very happily surprised, btw, at the finale of Fringe.

I won't give it away, but they did actually manage to do everything they needed to do.

Here's a song.

I really was worried, it being a JJ Abrams thing, that the ending was going to be a disaster. I was expecting to get Galactica-ed again, and have it ending, as a friend said, with discovering that the entire series was really just Walter hallucinating for five years while sitting in the mental institution he was sent to in 1985 after his son died.

But no. It was great. And wrenching. And wonderful.


And now, back to the Real

Ah, well that was fun. So, I hope this can be a little lesson to everyone: don't EVER try to tell me what to put on my blog.


A very close and trusted friend, a priest no less, once tried to tell me to tone something down or adjust something. He learned that lesson.

Meanwhile, Real Life keeps on happening. We need a storming.

A very good friend has unexpectedly lost his job through no fault of his own and, due to government bureaucratic nonsense between states, now finds himself unable to collect the unemployment benefits he paid into. He's facing possible bankruptcy and the loss of his home. The stress is starting to give him health problems and is starting to weigh heavily upon the family members he cares for.

O's Picknickers will know that I don't do this often, but in your charity, please spare a prayer if you can today.



Sunday, January 13, 2013

How dumb is too dumb?

I'm holding an Orwell's Picnic Contest.

I am soliciting responses to a piece of mail I received from a British pro-lifer the other day.

Please read the following, then leave your response in the commbox...

Prizes to be announced.

Let's play a game!

When you've devoted your whole life to fighting a life-and-death battle to save humanity

when you've spent 15 years working to defeat the prevailing evils,

when you've written thousands of articles, briefs, legislative analyses, interviews, parliamentary notes, blog posts and other on-the-record work laying your position out for all the world to see,

when you've knowingly sacrificed any hope of ever entering the secular professions by defending a position that is utterly anathema to the secular world,

when you've left your country, your friends and your family to live somewhere foreign and frightening to serve in this war,

when you're being named in a half-million dollar lawsuit - by a priest - for your defence of Catholic truth,

when you've made enemies from the bottom to the top of the corruption-chain in the Church,

when you have, in short, stuck your neck out a bit for the Truth of Christ,

how would you respond to someone, who claims to be on your side, who asks you:

"So, just checking here, but do you support genocide?"


"I'm just asking because of a link on your blog..."

~ * ~ * ~

What? Seriously?

Yes. Seriously.

You might be wondering what my first reaction was to being asked this.

Mostly the urge to bitch-slap, actually.

So, I know that people in the pro-life movement often have wondered why we are so dumb. Why is it that so many people involved in sincere efforts to save the humans from their own stupidity are themselves often so stupid it is difficult to understand why their autonomic nervous systems don't just give up in despair?

Come on, I know that you know what I mean. It's a sad and embarrassing truth that we often could not be more self-defeating if we walked around with targets painted on our shoes. We've all experienced, and lamented it. One of the things we have a big problem with is trust. We often treat each other worse than we treat our political opponents.

I once had a conversation with the Great John Muggeridge about this, and he said something quite sensible. I asked him why people in the Save-the-Humans movement (giving the broadest possible definition, from people opposing abortion to those defending freedom of speech and opposing things like gun control) were so eager to vilify each other. Just what the hell is with that circular firing squad thing?

He said that people without power often turn on each other. It's one of those Fallen Human Nature things that we just can't understand.

Also, one of the most important rules of life I ever learned, and thanks-be-to-God, learned early in life: people are stupid. (A little gem of wisdom I learned working in retail back in the days when I had no scruples about using my mind-powers to make people buy things they didn't really need or want. I got out of sales when I realised that I was too good at it and would go to hell.)

Yes, people are stupid, and in our times they are especially stupid about politics.

It might be helpful to these people asking questions about my politics to remember that terms like "rightwing" and some names like "BNP" are used in the media and the political classes not as words that have specific meaning, but as psychological trigger mechanisms to induce mass hysteria. To the political manipulators of our time, words are, in the words of Chairman Mao, not symbolic representations of an external reality but "little sticks of dynamite" to ignite a violent emotional reaction in people's minds. This reaction is intended to shut down the processes of rational thought and reduce individual citizens to screeching mobs. The modern "political discourse" is in fact no such thing. It is, in reality, a vast mechanism for mass psychological manipulation.

So, congratulations, half-wits, you've been used.

I've been writing this blog for, good grief! about nine years now (!!!), in various forms and there are people in our little club here who have been reading me for that long and pretty much know the score. They get the jokes, but they also know how easy it is to fall foul of my temper, and they behave accordingly.

And in all that time, of course, I've received and shared all manner of ridiculous, offensive, insulting and idiotic communications from various people offended by my ideas. And, hell, fair enough. That's what this is all about. No skin off my nose if you don't like them. I'm up for a fight if you are. I've been fighting most of my life, and I'm pretty good at it now, so be warned. These are some pretty hardened little fists nowadays.

And I realise that we talk about stuff that is not exactly mainstream here. (I remember particularly the reactions I used to get when I would say - and make clear that I really meant - that a huge step forward for saving the world would be to repeal women's suffrage laws...Hee Hee! Now THAT was some hate! Pure, black, acidic, vicious and refreshingly straightforward.)

I think that in recent history we haven't received any mail here that was funnier than that from our friend the nice, naive, (and wildly talented) young painter from Duncan BC who demanded that I remove a link to his blog because, with my evil, hating, rightwing, homophobic, anti-woman positions, I was so intolerant and horrible that I could not be tolerated, even by someone as sweet-natured and tolerant as his enlightened self. I know we all enjoyed his correspondence very much.

But, unlikely as it seems, the other day I think we've topped it. I think that in all the years of stupid emails, we've finally received a communication that can truly be called the absolute nadir of stupidity. And, as anyone who's ever had anything to do with them will be totally unsurprised to learn, it was not from an enemy, but from "a friend," someone in the pro-life movement in the UK.

Do I support genocide?

Yes. I support genocide. That's why I link to Simon Darby.

Good lord!

And, of course, if I did "support genocide" and locking people up in camps for being too brown, I would certainly want everyone in the world to know about it. In fact, I'd stick it up on the sidebar of my blog, just to make sure everyone knew.

Here's the email:
From: J___
To: Hilary White
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2013 8:31:52 AM
Subject: BNP Support etc

Hi Hilary,

You don't know me very well (we corresponded a little recently about Marriage Care) but we are connected by a not so very long chain of pro-life friendships that is putting me in a difficult position and I'd be grateful if you could help me out.

I'm getting some flak from (privately for now but it could erupt in to a more public row) about the fact that you link to blogs such as Simon Darby (BNP) and are therefore (allegedly) sympathetic to "far right" fascist, racist, let's put all the foreigners in a concentration camp type views. Personally, I have no idea what your views are (hence this email) though I find it hard to believe you are pro-genocide.

Ordinarily my response to all this would be to say "take it up with Hilary" but the valid point is made that I regularly link to LifeSiteNews which in turn makes a lot of use of your writing. If you were linking to pro-abortion groups and LifeSite thought that okay then I would have a problem with LifeSite. If you do support genocide (which I highly doubt) then the same logic would obviously apply.

Anyway, I thought it best to get in touch directly and ask about the link to Simon Darby and your thoughts on the BNP in general?

Hope you are well,



Yes... I know.

So, you "highly doubt" that I support genocide.

Well, thanks for the vote of confidence there pal. Mighty white of you.


So, now that I've calmed down and stopped swearing, I thought of various responses to this amazing communication, and I've found none really sufficient for describing the depths, or indeed the multitudinous facets and nuances, of my contempt for it.

I like to think that I've got plenty of venom. I know I can send a withering look over the internet that would knock over trees on other continents. A long time ago, I made an effort to learn to control my evil superpowers for the good of all humanity. But so stunned am I by the incredible asinine inanity of this, that my finger is actually hesitating over the ingition switch of my Wave Motion Gun.

Can it really be right to turn the full blast of my scorn on such a target?

So, I thought in the end, that I would turn it over to my loyal little band of regular readers. I decided that a contest was in order.

Please leave your responses in the commbox or send by email.

~ * ~ * ~

Of course, the material on this blog, when we go there, (which is less frequent in these latter years since I'm kind of sick of it all) is not of the sort that one finds often elsewhere, and I can see people being confused by such displays of independent thought. I generally just toodle along on the assumption that if you're here (and the readership, while loyal, has never been huge) you've got a fairly high-functioning cognitive ability, can do the basic tasks of rational thought, know the difference between satire, metaphor and irony. That the people who read me, in short, do so regularly enough to tell when I'm joking and when I'm serious and have the background to be capable of getting the joke most of the time. I work on the assumption that my readers know what they're getting, even if they don't agree.

I'm not very libertarian in my politics, and oddly, not all that right-wing in objective terms (based on, you know, actual political theory, as opposed to Guardian headlines). I once took a political position test and was surprised by how "moderate" I came out on the graph. Less authoritarian than Margaret Thatcher, and a good deal less libertarian than Ghandi. I have noticed, however, that whatever the actual facts are about one's political positions, the problem of talking about them is always the same, the drooling stupidity of the people one is talking to.

A big part of the problem of defining the political position of someone like me (and yes, I'm not alone) is that the current political theory does not include categories for us. Catholic social teaching is now so little understood, so little talked-about, so anathematised in the media, that there are few political writers or theorists who are aware of its existence. If you think the way I have learned to think, you have to create new categories (or, more accurately, revive very old ones). And you have to either not bother to talk to most people, who get their political theory from the back of the cereal box, or spend an inordinate amount of time making tiresome explanations.

This is especially true of the British who seem to have received their political education from a combination of Saturday Morning Cartoons, video games and the Guardian newspaper. This is a country where the newspapers start screeching like Pod People if someone suggests politely that there might be a few too many CCTV cameras watching their every move.

Britain is, if it can be believed, even more brainwashed than Canada where all the broadcast media is directly controlled by the government. British people, particularly British young people, having no contextual knowledge, often have no idea how far to the left they are. Nearly every young British person (anyone under 40) I have ever talked to is an unconscious socialist and feminist. It's hardly their fault, of course, since there is simply no other idea allowed to be spoken in public over there.

They appear, moreover, to be so utterly without a clew as to any political theory not found in some Little Red Book or media style guide, that it is very difficult to make them understand the implications of their own positions, let alone yours. They have been so mindwiped that they don't really even have the categories or vocabulary now to make it possible to communicate with them.

One small example will have to suffice:

I was in a conversation about gun control laws with a British priest who is widely considered "conservative" in the UK Catholic Church. He was in favour, it hardly needs to be said, and was lamenting loudly on Facebook that these awful Americans were running around waving their guns all over and killing children. I started pointing to the, you know, facts, letting him know that the violent crime rate in all heavily gun-controlled countries is a great deal higher than it is in countries where the citizens are free to arm themselves. I then noted that I found it surprising that he, a Catholic priest from control-freak Britain, would at such a time be taking such a strongly statist position. He replied that he didn't know what I was talking about, "This has nothing to do with abortion or gay marriage"...

At that point, I realised there was so little knowledge to talk to, there was no point in continuing.

British people have so little awareness of what "conservatism" is, what "right wing" means, what positions constitute Socialism, what the influences of Marxist feminism have been on their own thoughts and society, that there is rarely any time when I consider it fruitful to talk to anyone over there about anything but gardening.

But every now and then, the urge strangely rises, like those occasional freakish high tides. So, in the interests of fairness, I'll try to use small words.

~ * ~ * ~

So here is the nutshell version for those too lazy or stupid to be bothered looking up everything I've said publicly over the last 15 years.

(I've often commented that while people often ask me what I really think, they are usually rather sorry they did on the rare occasions when I am feeling bloody-minded enough to tell them.)

The first thing I am is a Traditionalist Catholic, one deeply skeptical of current Catholic culture and of most of Catholicism's interactions with and concessions to the general culture.

- I believe that post-Englightenment, Protestant and post-Christian "liberal democracy" is a failed experiment and that one of the very few things that might save us is to start moving back towards Catholic monarchy and the Catholic confessional state - the Social Reign of Christ the King. But I also think that our culture is so far gone that it is far more realistic to expect that we will simply carry on committing cultural suicide. We have become a culture of addicts, and addicts will destroy themselves, with full knowledge that they are destroying themselves, before turning their backs on the Sexual Revolution and returning to sanity.

- I believe in a limited nation state, based for the most part on the natural cultural and linguistic separations that were the basis of the European civilisations until the end of WWII. I am opposed to Socialism for many reasons, primary among which is its assertion that the state is the first and last authority. I am both anti-statist and anti-libertarian: I believe in Subsidiarity as it has been defined and defended by Catholic teaching since the rise of Marxism.

- I believe the Welfare State has reduced men to being supplicants and slaves in their own lands and that statist welfare is a form of grand larceny on a mass scale that has the effect of turning to stone the hearts of citizens and reducing the poor to a condition of animalistic moral degradation and corruption unknown in all of human history.

- I think Socialism is evil primarily because it inverts the purpose of the state; it says that man exists to serve the state, not the other way around. It also usurps the proper place of God, attempts to flatten the natural hierarchical nature of society, de-divinise human beings and reduces them to little more than meat-puppets enslaved to the state.

- I believe in the rights of property, that the state does not have the right to confiscate the property or wealth of citizens to fund projects that dehumanise and ultimately kill fellow citizens.

- I believe in a very limited state, run according to the moral and political teaching of the Catholic Church (look it up yourself for once), the government of which concerns itself primarily with defence. (All of which puts me at odds with the BNP, by the way.)

- Second, and perhaps even more passionately, I am actively anti-feminist. I violently loathe every. single. thing. feminism has ever held or declared and believe that it is probably the single most evil and destructive ideology ever to stalk the earth sowing misery, despair and death. (Yes, actual death, and plenty of it.) It is a disease that has come close to destroying our entire civilisation at its most basic level and that, if we want any hope of surviving, even as a species and certainly as a culture, Absolutely. Must. Be. Stopped.

- I do not care about "race". At all.

- I believe that most of the "race" issues have been created by political opportunists of various stripes, mostly on the left but plenty on what is usually termed "the right". People who concern themselves with "race" as a political issue are being manipulated through their emotions and ignorance. Most of the "race" issues consist of screaming, name-calling and idiot polemics.

- Most of the vocabulary of "race" is that of Marxism and as an issue it is mostly aimed ultimately at maintaining state control of individuals, mentally and financially. Blacks who allow themselves to become obsessed with "race" as a victim category, are being used, as are the bonehead whites that go along with it. It is nothing more than a manifestation of the Victim Politics that was designed by the likes of the Frankfurt School to keep the citizens at each other's throats.

- And as for the BNP, I am continuously amazed at how eager people who regard themselves as upright and sensible are to create a scapegoat and to believe the headlines and the idiot pronouncements of politicians and BBC pundits. The BNP is nothing more than a Boogey-Man in British politics. Moreover, most of their support has gone over to UKIP after the last election, so they are more or less defunct as a political force; whatever effect they may have had (which was mostly forcing Tory politicians to out themselves as leftists) is now finished.

When I first arrived in Britain, I had to learn as much as I could about the political scene. I therefore attended meetings of the local Tory organisers, watched political conference coverage closely and talked to everyone. (Yes, I mean everyone.) I subscribed to email lists and dozens of Google news alerts, feeds and websites.

I did this because it was my job.

I was fascinated, as an objective outside observer, by the incredible hysteria that the mention of the BNP could create. It was this strange knee-jerk screeching that interested me enough to send for a copy of their manifesto and read the whole thing.

What I read made me even more surprised. They are not right wing. The BNP, looked at objectively and rationally, are, in fact, socialists and Republicans (in the British not US partisan sense, of course... try to keep up). The believe in the state confiscation of private property and forcible re-distribution of wealth to support the British welfare state.

Their positions, as far as I could tell, were a combination of socialism and some leftover and rather dated nationalist ideas imported from the Continent in the 1960s. That they are called "rightwing" and "fascist" and "promoters of genocide" is much more a comment on the mendaciousness of the British media, dedicated as it is to its project of national self-destruction, and the gullibility of the fools who listen to them. This didn't surprise me, of course.

It also didn't surprise me how eager most people who thought of themselves as "pro-life" and "conservative" in Britain were to jump on the BNP witch-hunt bandwagon. I have observed many times the phenomenon of Pro-lifer Stockholm Syndrome, that manifests itself mostly as a desperation to appease our enemies on the left by demonstrating how warm and cuddly and non-rightwing it is. Certainly throwing anyone under the bus who might not want to play along is the first task.

And the saddest part of the joke is that the BNP are not in fact "rightwing" by any objective political measure. The label has simply been attached to them by political operators looking for someone to point at and screech. The fact that nearly all the nice, warm, friendly pro-lifers, desperate to appease their enemies, do not know this, have never bothered to learn anything about the object of their trumped-up hatred only makes them all the more pitiable.

As for the BNP's claims, (the ones they actually made, not the ones the Guardian says they make... please learn the difference...) they have mostly been demonstrated to be true. Documents and statements have been made public that prove the Labour government under Blair did indeed consciously and deliberately use mass immigration from non-European countries to dilute and undermine the traditions of British society.

It has also been proven beyond any reasonable person's objection that Pakistani drug gangs have for years been targeting white girls in places like Blackburn, "grooming" them and forcing them into prostitution. It has also been demonstrated that the police and other social authorities did nothing to stop this out of fear of being accused of "racism" and being anti-Muslim. And anyone who is still determined to believe that Islam is a "religion of peace" certainly deserves everything he gets at the hands of its missionaries.

Nearly all of which I've said before. I do wish people would do a little research once in a while. In fact, I'm surprised that anyone is still interested in this, and it is what makes me think that my "friends" in the pro-life movement who are asking J____ about it must be either very young or in some other way very ...err... sheltered.

~ * ~ * ~

Finally, in case anyone is wondering, my response to my friendly interlocutor above:
You might want to point out to these six-year old girls you're talking to that the BNP, whatever else they say, is the ONLY political party in the UK that has reduction of the abortion rate as part of its platform.

I read the platform, and I also didn't notice any mention in it of advocating genocide. I might have noticed such a thing.

The Brits are the biggest political morons on planet earth. Every. single. one. I've talked to is utterly incoherent. No British person has the ability to think his way out of a wet paper bag on politics. And the idea that I would take advice about what to and what not to link to on my blog from any of them when they're having their usual little hysterical tizzie fits over a differing opinion, is simply laughable.

I'd like to revise my previous response. Please tell them, "Hilary told me to tell you this very precisely: Grow the ___k up."

In fact, I encourage you to post my response on your blog.

...only there were no blank spaces.

I now open the floor to you all...

~ * ~ * ~

Update: we've had our first responses by email.

Chris Ferrara responds:
"Hi, Hilary, you don't know me very well, so I thought it would be a good idea to meddle in your blog site and give you unsolicited advice about which other sites you ought to be linking to. I know you must welcome this intrusion from a virtual stranger, but there is no need to thank me. Providing enlightenment to the little people is my duty, for what I do to the least of my brethren, I do to Him."

And the inimitably furious Kathy Shaidle commented that her brain hurt too much from reading J___'s email to say much but...
Well I can't accept his premise, [that] the BNP is pro-genocide. Well if you could find a clever clog at the BNP and I'm pretty sure they've all decamped to UKIP -- they might say they are interested in PREVENTING the "genocide" of old stock Brits. Too hard for J___ to understand.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Three left.

(Love this song!)


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Real men, please


Don't have to be from the country, or the South, but please, less sissy, OK?

(Hands up, all the girls here, who look first at a man's hands? Yeah? I'm right, aren't I?)

I'm working on a thing today about what feminism has done to men: either angrified or sissified them, neither of which makes anyone happy. It's depressing.


Monday, January 07, 2013

Re-Post: what's your favourite teenage sub-culture?

Mine was Goths...

As I indicated below, I recently had occasion to re-take the old 4 Temperaments personality test and came up with what I usually come up with. But this time there was a difference that rather surprised me.

I wonder if I might be mellowing in my old age but I as somewhat surprised to see that my spread was 85% Melancholic and only 15% Choleric.

Good grief! I thought, what has happened to my cheeful, bloody-minded fightyness? Am I depressed or something? Is it the weather? The short daylight hours at this time of year? It's been stormy and windy and rainy out in the last few weeks, unusually so for this part of Italy, getting pretty dark and gloomy by 4 o'clock. Is this putting me into a Gormenghast sort of mood?

I admit that I did attend a Hallowe'en party a few weeks ago dressed entirely (and quite elegantly I might add) in black. People asked me what I was dressed up as. I managed to resist the temptation to reply, "my mood".

But being professionally Emo is just sooo 1980s. Didn't that guy from the Cure actually have the eyeliner tattooed onto his eyelids? Or was that just a rumour?

I have to admit to having admired the Goths when I was a teenager. I would have gone in for it myself, but I thought to do the thing properly you really had to be wraith-thin. We've all seen it done badly, but I thought I could do it justice. I think I just had too much of a sense of sense of personal irony to go for it though.... But really, deep down inside, I always wanted to be Morticia Addams.

A while ago, a friend was talking about her ideal wedding. The usual thing really. White fluffy dress, orange blossom, one of Rome's gorgeous Baroque churches... I will cherish the look I got when I said I'd always dreamed of an Addams Family wedding. "All the bridesmaids can wear black satin, I'll carry a bouquet of rose stems with the flowers cut off...We can have Faure's Libera Me for the processional..." She thought I was joking. (People often do.)

I can't help but think there's something more fun about the Goth subculture than we usually give them credit for. John Zmirak recently delighted me when he wrote that the appeal of the Addams Family was that they were really Goth Trad Catholics, afloat in a sea of suburban banality.

It's our very comfort with the queerness and creepiness of the whole soul-body mystery that marks the Catholic faith off from its closest competitors. I grew up loving The Addams Family, without knowing quite why, until one day as an adult I realized: These people are an aristocratic, trad-Catholic homeschooling family trapped in a sterile Protestant suburb! Shunning the utilitarianism and conformity that surrounds them, they face the Grim Reaper with rueful good cheer, in a Gothic home stock full of relics. Indeed, I think I might have spotted several Addamses at the indult parish in New York City...

I thought he hit on something there. Goths are outsiders, like us, and they are people who know instinctively that they have been robbed in the sterile materialist "real world" of something that we all have a rightful claim to.

Beauty, mystery, transcendent Reality filtering down through the sacraments, through painting and music and sculpture, into our banal little material world.

Why do we think everyone went mad for Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code?

We need secret meaning. And we have a right to the sadness that permeates life in this world.

And what's not Goth about the mummified incorrupt head of St. Catherine displayed in a silver reliquary? In fact, I'm surprised there aren't armies of Goths coming into the Church since Summorum Pontificum just for the Requiem Masses. Memento Mori and black velvet and gold thread vestments with banks of candles and skulls and crossbones everywhere? They should be like ants at a picnic.

Anyway, maybe the solution to being mildly depressed, (or maybe even seriously depressed) is to embrace it and laugh at it a bit.

Finally, we know that such things are not of The Real anyway.

To paraphrase Aristotle, if you can't get out of it, get into it.


How to waste time on the internet

Have you ever thought of something clever to post to your blog or facebook but it needed one. particular. video or photo, then you end up spending so much time looking for it that once you find it, you can't remember what the clever thing was you were going to do with it?

Yah. That's how it's done.

Anyway, I found the video.

And here's some more old music to listen to


So, do you think it's possible to find religion really tedious and religious people really annoying, and still go to heaven?

Here's some old music to listen to while you think about it.


Friday, January 04, 2013


I want every. thing. in this shop.


Apparently, it's a thing. It's called French Farmhouse

I've often thought that after 15 years of producing gorgeous clothes for myself and my friends in the SCA - Elizabethan, "Cavalier," Italian Ren - I have no excuse whatever for dressing as frumpily as I do. Now here is proof that there is scope in the design world for incorporating the beautiful styles of the past into modern clothing. It doesn't have to be costumes, it can just be beautiful, exquisitely constructed, flattering and feminine clothes.

Must. Get. Off. Sofa...


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Think, think, thinkety-think...

Some years ago now, a good friend and good priest told me, "Hilary, you just think too damn much." He was right. But I can't stop. And what I think about most is what is wrong with the world. Just what the hell is wrong with it, anyway? And how come, even though I think I've more or less figured it out, can't I leave it alone?

So, it's January 1st, a "holiday" that I usually don't like. And I'm liking it even less here. This is my fourth, and one of the things I like about it the least is the habit the Italians have of setting off firecrackers in the streets, randomly, all through the Natale season. For those of us who spend a lot of time immersed in our thoughts, sudden, loud and unexpected noises originating from six feet away, can be a very unpleasant experience. One of those jumping-out-of-your-skin, heart-pounding, leaping-for-cover kinds. (And the poor cat is ready to have an aneurism.) I lived five years in the mean streets of strictly gun-controlled Toronto and eleven years in beautiful, bucolic, peaceluvgroovy East Vancouver, and my reflexes are well trained to react a certain way to any sudden, unexpected and very loud, sharp bang.

Of course, one can't help, when one is not too busy and has spent the last couple of weeks eating a lot of turkey and drinking more wine than usual, but think Thoughts about Life at this time of year. The internet is full of it, of course, so it's doubly difficult for us internet addicts to avoid. One of the many reasons I'd like Catholicism to take over the world and all its cultures, is that we would be spared the annual pagan festival of deadly-dull introspection and (gawdhelpus) political synopses. We would all still be talking about the Miracle of the Incarnation and partying it up, going to late night Masses and goofing off with the kids.

Next year, as soon as Boxing Day Bloat is over and I can move again, I'm going to go up north somewhere, maybe Germany again, and visit Winter for the remainder of the holiday. Shovel some snow.

Anyway, what's wrong with the world? I just dug this out of an old piece I did last year for the Remnant:
Cancer and depression have in common the tendency to bring on bouts of introspection, the drifting of the mind to large and unanswerable questions. What is life, my life in particular, actually for? If it were to end this year, or next month or tomorrow, what would it all have been about?

Catholics love these kinds of questions, we rub our hands gleefully when we hear them, and we love to imagine that we have the answers. Why, it's easy. Right here in the catechism, Lesson First, "On the end of man". Question 6 gives us the smug response to all the Existentialists' agonies: "Q. Why did God make you? A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next." You can almost hear the little click as the Catholic snaps his book smartly shut in the Existentialist's face and goes on to wonder what to have for lunch.

Is it any wonder all the world hates us? I certainly do.

For the last ten years or so it has been my job to pose and smugly to answer those large questions at the heart of the Culture Wars, but recently I have also found the quick little Catholic catechismic answers too easy and too trite. How much more then do we imagine that the World, never even having heard of the catechism, is aching for a good answer? How can we be surprised, now that the Church has fallen silent, that the World is ready to give up?

Its teenage Angst and Existentialism period has failed to give an answer; how can we blame the fallen World for turning to impure thoughts of nihilism? The terrifying mass mental illness we abstract as the Culture of Death is really the depressive's reaction to his failure to answer the First Question (or Question 6). When that depressive starts giving up he gives off signals, signs of a dangerous turn of thought. Since World War I, the World has abandoned the search for meaning and is now asking a much more dangerous question, "How many people ought there to be?"