The Death and Rebirth of Culture

I recently made the mistake of purchasing a used book online, not realizing that it had a previous owner’s comments scrawled inside. Although I, like probably everyone who still has a quaint attachment to paper, have seen this before, I was struck by these comments in particular.

Though short — mostly only four or five words at most — the scribbler’s nauseating snobbish personality and sense of self-importance shined through. He had dated many of his worthless comments, addressed the publisher (Oxford University Press) in several of them — as if to psychically alert them to his overblown sense of self-importance — and had concluded the 300-plus page book with, “Interesting, but reference material.” He had, of course, signed and dated this as well, as if it were equivalent to Picasso signing Guernica. Continue reading “The Death and Rebirth of Culture”

The Decline And Rise of Authentic Manhood

A friend of mine recently described a first — and last — date with a young woman he met online. Things went fine at first, but then he mentioned that he liked going to the gym and — worse still — that he felt that men should be physically strong. Although this would not offend anyone of any culture prior to the modern era, nor anyone of a non-Western culture today (masculinity is seen as normal and valuable in Middle Eastern and African cultures, for example), my friend found himself being lectured on why this was inherently evil and why he was on the wrong side of history. Continue reading “The Decline And Rise of Authentic Manhood”

Testosterone And The Alchemical Transformation Of The Body

A criticism leveled at the paleo diet also applies to one spiritual practice in particular:

Paleo dieters aim to eat only the foods that man would have eaten some thousands of years ago, before, most especially, industrial farming. However, the beef we eat today may not be much like the beef of a thousand years ago. Fed on soy and corn (with the exception of those on some organic farms), the cow of today doesn’t necessarily resemble the roaming bovines of antiquity. The same can be said for most fruits and vegetables.

The paleo dieter might rebut such criticism by pointing out that his aim is to stay away from foods that, until relatively recently, were not part of our diet: refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, non-organically grown vegetables, etc. We have to begin where we are. Continue reading “Testosterone And The Alchemical Transformation Of The Body”