"Be the kind of person who makes Mike Pence leave."
Friday, October 9, 2015
All the best people still say "It is meet that we reflect" on First Things and its flapdoodle
Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009) was a strikingly original Lutheran thinker who got orthodoxy late in life and went off the rails entirely. His magazine, First Things, has become an airless simulacrum of thought, where Anglo-Catholic white men rule the world from a club in New York where the wood is burnished by a high sheen by priest-interns, the brandy is always the best, and the wing collars are perfectly set. It's a world where this can be published with a straight face:
"The current brouhaha over smoking has made everyone painfully aware of tobacco’s effects on the body, but it has also obscured a more profound reason for smoking’s popularity: its relation to the soul. As the heyday of smoking passes into the ashheap of history, it is meet that we reflect on this connection.
"The soul, of course, is a complex thing. Long ago Plato suggested that we consider it as divided into three parts—the appetitive, spirited, and rational—that correspond to the three basic kinds of human desires: the desire to satisfy physical appetites, the desire for recognition, and the desire for truth. Once this tripartite division is recalled, tobacco’s relation to the soul becomes clear: the three prevalent types of smoking tobacco—cigarettes, cigars, and pipes—correspond to the three parts of the soul..."