Lombardi editorial: Against arms
When does incessant lecturing become mommying?
The Nick Lezard controversy... new developments
8 minutes ago
Last night I did a short radio (taped) interview with Jeff Deist, Ron Paul’s Chief of Staff, for the Al Korelin Show. Jeff noted this has traditionally been a hard money show, but that he and Al are crossing over into other topics every now and then. The interview was on paleo-primal, the industrial food machine, and how libertarianism is a natural fit with paleo-primal principles and the rejection of politicized conventional wisdom. Jeff, as many of Ron Paul’s staffers, has a great passion for this topic from a free market perspective.
What do matchmakers know that eludes the common man? What does the common man know that escapes the matchmakers? Austen’s novel shows that true romance originates from equality of social background and education, compatibility of temperaments, similarity of moral ideals and manners, natural attraction based on reason and feeling, and mutual admiration. Matchmaking ignores these facts and truths on which good marriages are founded, exaggerating the role of the feelings and ignoring the importance of the mind, moral character, and the virtue of prudence in marital choices. Matchmaking imagines sentiments that do not exist and does not let love follow its natural course in which like is attracted to like.Is Emma an argument against matchmaking? Or are her attempts marked by her lack of wisdom and lofty, perhaps even romantic expectations? The problem is not matchmaking, but the one doing it (and her principles of judgment). Could it even be said that Emma is fortunate to be saved from herself by an older, wiser man? I don't think that would be an exaggeration. The equality of education that is needed is not in book-learning (though it may be important for some men), but in moral formation and culture. In the androsphere it is said that the current situation is the result of women being left to their fallen nature and their own judgment about what is best for them. They might actually benefit from the services of a matchmaker, an older person situated in a social network, if they had the humility to admit that their judgment may not be that good. They'd also need the beginnings of a good character which would aid in governing or diminishing their more wild or base impulses.
Nature intends us, so to speak, to be social animals concerned with perpetuating ourselves, our genetic material. Genetic perpetuation, for animals such as ourselves, depend on experiencing ourselves as parts of wholes greater than ourselves. But such wholes can only be so big. There's no evolutionary reason to imagine that our empathy could or should expand to include billions of people. So "universal love" and "universal brotherhood" are impossible. All men and women are not, in fact, brothers and sisters.
I don’t find the word in English literature before 1600. The earliest use I’m aware of, in literature, appears in Tourneur’s The Atheist’s Tragedy (I think; it could be Webster’s The White Devil), when a mocking epicure blurts out, “O dead Dad!” My guess is that the word comes into English through Welsh: tad, father. In the novel How Green Was My Valley, grown sons call their patriarch father Dada, which for them was not baby-talk, but rather the affectionate way to address him: cf. Papa. Though the basic word is tad, Welsh alters the beginnings of nouns under many common conditions, so that my Father = fy Nhad, her Father = eu Thad, and your Father = dy Dad. Jesus, in the New Testament, addressing the Father in prayer, begins, O Dad! It’s strange but true, that of the four forms, the “lenited” or softened Dad is probably the most common, given the typical constructions of sentences. Our Father, in case you’re wondering, is ein Tad.
And yet, ultimately, the word does come from baby-talk, as does Mama. These words seem to be universal in human language. That’s not because they all spring from one identical ancient word. It’s rather that it is natural for babies to make certain sounds as they learn to speak. The easiest of all is the m, made by putting the lips together, like a baby at the breast, and exercising the vocal cords. That’s a sound that all languages seem to have, even Hawaiian, with its paucity of consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w). If we keep our lips there but block the air passage, suddenly letting go, we make a p sound, or a b if we use the vocal cords. Also easy for the baby to sound is d: da-da-da-da.
So we see in Hebrew, which is wholly unrelated to English and Latin and Greek and Welsh and German, that father is abba (ab, in ancient Hebrew), and mother is emme.
Children are not just receivers of language, but create language too; they are remarkably inventive, and many of their inventions “teach” their parents and enter the language for good. We’ll see this phenomenon again.