May 28, 2018

Source: Bigstock

Can a Pope Change Moral Truth?

I did Infectious Diseases for a career during which I shepherded many a gay man to a death due to AIDS. These men are wired differently; their sexual fantasies, even from childhood involve only other males. These feelings pain most of them.

The pope is right to accept this biologic truism. The moral issue is when the homosexual men (or women) indulge in their fantasies, join the gay lifestyle and have sex.

Sexual relations among gays is rather like fornication among heteros. And, of course, they can’t commit adultery since the latter is a mortal sin or in some states a crime defined by sex among married people.

Erwin Haas
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Still my favorite Bob Hope joke from when the anti-sodomy laws were struck down in California. “Homosexuallity is now legal in California. I think I should move before it becomes compulsory.”

Kelly Harbeson

The Tiger Mother’s Son

A minor point about how, 55 years after it happened, it seems unimaginable that a black man could win a NASCAR race today. Not that unimaginable. Bubba Wallace finished 2nd in the Daytona 500 just this year. 

Terry Sautter

One thing I have always admired about Mr Woods is that he never submitted to the various racial, political and other (victim) identity groups, although those people almost certainly must have given it their very best try.

Jerry Starr
Simi Valley, CA

My Name is Joe Bob, and I’m an English Major

A degree in English is a foundation for about anything you may want to do. I enjoyed being a professor – but it was going to be pretty much the same for thirty years with pressure to get that PHD and do professor-things. Instead, I constantly re-invented myself. I wrote one of the first grants for female opportunities in engineering, I partnered with Ohio State University in doing occupational analysis for curriculum development, I worked with our four local county’s public school and the State Department of Education. We broadcast “Homework Hotline” and “Tech Talk” over local cable. I did so many things I can’t remember them all. I was never bored; I was always challenged to do things that had never been before. I had a hell of a lot of fun.

I was no exception. Fully half the members of the SC Technical College Distance Learning Coordinators Peer Group were Liberal Arts majors. They were grant writers like me who ended up managing what was funded.

So would I advise young people to major in English (or other liberal arts) ? Sure ! There are more opportunities today. I remember how excited we were to buy the first Apple 2e’s, the Radio Shack Model II, and a portable computer the size of a large suitcase.  Now, there’s almost no limit to technology or imagination.

I remember being criticized for including technology in my grant applications that was not yet available. But I never worried – I was sure that if I could imagine it, someone would put it on the market. I was usually right.

Fred Seitz
Beaufort, SC

I am bothered by several of the points Joe Bob Briggs makes in his article. His personal assertions are, of course, entirely his own business. But I am concerned that he falls into the modernist trap of mistaking statistics for truth. 

He offers: ” And eventually, if you study the data, which is what the Modern Language Association does, you have to reach the conclusion that studying English is good for.nothing.”  I criticize his insight and trust in someone’s assertion that they have studied the data and offer their summary
as the foundation for a personal conclusion. I have, for example, read that Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake is merely verbigeration without meaning. As I have not been able to make headway at all in reading this book, I would like to say that this forgotten source is speaking the truth; otherwise I would have to suspect that I am not gleaning much meaning from a book that may indeed contain content.

Other concerns I have must be offered in outline form, and listed in haste:

It is a tautology that seems to be now forgotten that human society is principally occupied by, and involves, human beings. We may be able to call
down the One IT God to rule us. I suspect that our modern assumptions will draw us back into medieval rigidity and orthodoxy. The humanities are only of as much use as humans are.

The capacity for independent reason has withered severely in the endless flood of propaganda and advertising. We are trained from youth to surrender our attention to whomever delights the eye with bright spangles. Mr. Briggs discusses the habit of honing one’s attention to glean hidden meanings out of texts. Achieving such skill is worth merit.

For an individual, the assignment of value is a choice. We are nudged constantly this way and that to surrender our active choices to the maker of
the current commercial message that we are captivated by. Whether or not the study of English literature is worthwhile, is not a fact, but a valuation.  If one passionately values this path out of the depths of one’s own humanity, there is no objective quality measure of whether that is a “stupid valuation.”

Joe Bob recites a global and cynical refutation of the arguments for majoring in English, without much willingness to probe the details. We live in a broadly cynical age, for at least two generations. Might there have been other cultures and ideas that are different than our own murky pessimism?  How would we know?

The ability to reason and seek deeper insight is the only skill for adapting to the future. Perhaps our society is on the ebb of greatness, and progress is always met with a sardonic sigh.  Perhaps we do not have a future, but how might we think if we did?

Stephen A. Vaughn MD PhD

Diversity Comes for Science

There’s an old med school joke: Q “What do you call a med student who scraped by with a D average and who had to retake critical tests numerous times?”  A: Doctor!

The professional classes of our glorious Utopian future will be populated by legions of ill-tempered Elena Ceaușescus with very large chips on their shoulders.  The fruits of diversity are beginning to smell like freshly-cut Durian.

William Peters
Rochester, NY

The genesis of this perception, of course, varies widely between the sexes. Men are (finally) beginning to realize that awarding the franchise to that 50% of the population which has shown itself to be silly, irrational, and generally uninterested in any but the most personal of subjects was a fatal error (now at 99 years and counting).

Women are (finally) beginning to realize that the roles projected for them by the MSM (SEAL team leader, martial arts champion, patent holder) were never possible without reducing the quality of performance the position entails: you may get the job, but only keep it if no one notices your incompetence. Since “it’s not my fault”, men must be blamed.

In my opinion, the critical moment in history, when the consequences of these changes could be avoided by concerted effort, has long since passed. The car has already gone over the cliff, what remains is the speed of its descent.

I won’t see the wreck, my soft landing is my life expectancy: I’m 73.

Jeffrey Diamond

Ah, yes….right to the point.

Our declining civilization. Seeks not to know itself but to burrow down blind to all else.

English literature, any literature, works in the opposite direction, promoting knowledge of the culture, self, history, et al….

And you know what thought came to my mind immediately upon reaching the end of your article?

That the study of English: literature, words, the hubbub of the human, was the essence of Taki’s unruly and often obscene, annoying, stupid, etc…  comments section.

That is what we were truly immersed in. That is what that was.

Hence Taki mag imitates the ‘progress’ of the Universities.

David Hawcroft

I am very happy to see the ‘Comments’ section go; the ‘Letters” are more interesting. I can do without the guy in ‘Comments’ who wants the re-enslavement of American Blacks, and several nasty antiSemites constantly attacking Jews and denying the Holocaust. The Germans have for a very long time been almost obsessive documenters of everything they could possibly document. In the German archives there are over a million separate documents that one way or another related to the Holocaust. The Holocaust is the best documented set of events in all of human history, I am told by a University Librarian/Archivist of my acquaintance.

Donald Todd

Thank you for Takimag. As a 63 year old white American female, I find your articles so refreshing. I have also enjoyed the “Takitariat” commenters immensely, but quite understand why commenting was discontinued, as it tended to not reflect the site content, as immensely, and hilariously,  entertaining (and unique) as it was. I miss Boris.

I have never regretted not being wealthy, or one of the “elites”, royalty, etc., until I read this site. I am sorry that I will never travel the same circles as Taki, and meet true elites.

Thank you for the great articles and POV.

Kathy Grable
Pittsfield, PA


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