Sunday, September 30, 2012

John Haldane References Chesterton... a talk organised by the Iona Institute.

On Friday night I attended a lecture given by Scottish philosopher John Haldane on the topic, "Sex, Marriage and Love in Liberal Society" (I think that was the title and I'm too lazy to look it up). It's the second lecture organized by the Iona Institute that I've attended.

John Haldane is a very respected philosopher and there was a packed house-- in fact, the talk had to be delayed so that more chairs could be brought in.

I am not really a lover of all things Scottish (I am sad to admit), but I was completely charmed by Professor Haldane. He must have delivered hundreds of lectures in his life, but he showed a zest and a relish for the occasion that was both surprising and admirable. There was a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his lips through the whole event. He spoke fluently and incisively, neither blinding us with philosophical terminology, nor speaking down to us. And he showed a positive eagerness to answer questions and to enter into a discussion. (I should also say that, for once, the questions were real questions and not simply occasions for audience members to launch into a disquisition.)

He mentioned Chesterton twice-- once explicitly, when he spent a few moments discussing What's Wrong With the World, in relation to its chapter on education, and once more obliquely when he said he liked to think of Alexander De Tocqueville's Democracy in America as What I Saw in America-- which is, of course, the title of Chesterton's memoir of a trip to the States.

It seems that nearly every Catholic intellectual and writer has been influenced by Chesterton.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What is Operation Black Arrow? And What Does it Have To Do With Guinness?

I will let fellow Chestertonian Stan Reynolds enlighten you...

Just now, the sight of so many posters around town advocating that on “Arthur's Day” we should all “Paint the Town Black” has me coming over feeling all Jungian.

Truly the collective unconscious works in mysterious ways, its wonders to perform.

The lads at Guinness have even got the date (27th September) nearly right, which isn't bad considering their whole poster campaign was probably designed after working hours in the brewery, when fluids quite additional to the “creative juices” were also likely to be freely flowing.

The (eventual) arrival of any artistic response to the dark and extraordinary events culminating and centering on the night of 28-29th September 2008 is certainly to be welcomed and can, I suppose, even be carefully celebrated with (just one) balloon and some bunting.

Certainly, given how much many folk are now “in the red”, the posters' radical artistic proposal that whole towns can “paint” themselves into “the black” is most meaningful.

Whilst the black paint overall prevents the viewer from being distracted from the unfortunate philosophical reality underlying our modern situation: The Irish Endarkenment has killed the Scottish Enlightenment.

But you know I don't wish to burst Uncle Arthur's big black birthday balloon. Besides, now that I look at the poster again a little less closely (after a few pints of his excellent black porter) it seems more like a portal than a balloon. A portal upon the nihilo....Megob, now there's art for you!

Funnily enough, if we are to solve the debt crisis we need just such a very rarely visible target and I do happen to have an arrow handy.

In keeping with the dark theme it is a black arrow and I designed it -about a year ago now- specifically to burst the ballooning burden of debt.

Well, time to give it my best shot...Look out!

Subtitle / Abstract: How To Use The Philosophies of Republicanism (Sensu Stricto) and Distributism, in Combination with an Overnight “Type 2” Euro Money Creation Event, to Help Solve Both The EU's Debt and Pensions-Crises, Help Save High Social Utility Capitalism and Help Re-establish and Widen Trust-Horizons, Both Amongst the EU's Populations and Towards Their Political and Financial Institutions.

Yours sincerely,

Stan Reynolds.

Forty-Four Followers!

Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Charity is the imagination of the heart.

Chesterton, Illustrated London News, March 11 1911