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Satire In The Big Easy: ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ By John Kennedy Toole

BAB's A List, Barely A Blog, Comedy & Humor, Culture, English, Juvenal Early's Archive, Literature

The plot concerns Ignatius’s long war of attrition against the 20th Century ~ Juvenal Early

By Juvenal Early

New Orleans (N’awlins, as they say in the South) has always been a city full of characters.  Port cities are like that, and, as the Mississippi River’s window on the world, New Orleans has been the ne plus ultra of character cities, throughout its colorful history. It’s a veritable bouillabaisse of Acadians, swarthy Mediterranean types, rednecks, Cajuns, Creoles, Africans, Arabs, and anyone else who ever went down to the sea in ships. The most Catholic of cities, New Orleans did Carnival so well, its Mardi Gras became a major industry. Throw in jazz, politics, the Mafia, the flesh trade, and several quirky genius chefs, and you’ve got an unusually high quotient of characters.

Set in The Big Easy, John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces (© 1976), gave the world Ignatius J. Reilly, a latter-day Thomist, a Medievalist, a Grand Inquisitor, a man for whom the standard New Orleans character was degeneracy incarnate. Given his druthers, Ignatius would’ve chosen to live in a world purged of said characters. Fictional though he was, Ignatius has ended up becoming perhaps the grandest New Orleans character of them all. In homage, the real people of New Orleans erected a statue to Ignatius, and right on Canal Street.

Ignatius is fat, unkempt, lives with his mother, is a perpetual student of Medieval philosophy, and critic pop culture. He complains constantly about the misery visited upon him by his faulty pyloric valve (abused as it is, by Ignatius’s diet). As described in the book’s first paragraph, he is distinguished by his odd dress: baggy pleated trousers, oversized flannel shirt, a scarf, and topped off by a green hunting cap with earflaps—all this, mind you, in one of the capitals of The Long Hot Summer.

The plot concerns Ignatius’s long war of attrition against the 20th Century. The elevated language he spouts in defense of his worldview—and the way people react to it—makes for non-stop Rabelaisian pageantry.

A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel, lurching hilariously from one episode to the next, from one lively conversation to another. Ignatius is a man who can attract the wrong kind of attention just by waiting for his mother in front of a store. Whenever he speaks to people—which is often—he gets deeper into trouble. Completely without self-awareness, he insults virtually everyone whose path he crosses, assuming they’ll take it as constructive criticism from someone who obviously knows better. By the end of the book, he’s pissed off everyone to high heaven, and they all want a piece of him. The clashes and conflicts, conflated into his conversation, makes for some of the best social satire of the Sixties.

Irene Reilly wants her son to get a job. Setbacks old and new have depleted the family nest egg, and they need a new revenue source. As man of the house, Ignatius must sally forth and be the breadwinner, but his long college training in Boethius and the Middle Ages have fitted him for nothing outside of academics, and he burned his bridges there long ago. What to do? Reluctantly, Ignatius, age 30, begins his search.

He quickly lucks into a job with Levy Pants, a moribund sweatshop. The loyal but dull-witted office manager, impressed by Ignatius’s pompous language, hires him as a file clerk. Whereupon Ignatius dumps the company records in the garbage, fills the file cabinets with plants, and writes insulting letters to the company’s biggest customers. For good measure, he organizes the labor force—mostly black—and impels them to attack the company office, the vanguard holding a banner—made from one of Ignatius’s crusted sheets—proclaiming a “Crusade for Moorish Dignity.” He is, of course, summarily fired.

Next, Ignatius finds work pushing a hotdog cart for Paradise Vendors, Inc., and, of course, he ends up eating much more than he sells. His pyloric valve, as he tells everyone, completely shuts down. Dressed up as a pirate—head bandanna, sash, plastic cutlass, and earring—he roams the French Quarter, looking to cash in on the tourist trade (ironic, of course, since most tourists come to the French Quarter specifically for the great variety of Creole, Cajun, and Southern cooking). He catches the eye of a prominent member of the gay community—a sodomite, as Ignatius would say. Initially appalled, Ignatius hits on a brainstorm. If gays can be organized politically, they will eventually take over. Taking power, they will also control the military, rendering it effeminate, ineffective, and fabulous! A non-aggressive US Army means World Peace. It all fits into Ignatius’s master plan. (Hey! It’s not all that farfetched.) Ignatius sets to work with predictable results.

There is much more: the conflict at home with his mother; forays to the local movie palace, where he declaims loudly about the degradation of cinematic art; a couple visits to The Night of Joy, a Bourbon Street skin joint, where Ignatius hopes Boethius will save the world from its worst appetites. The plot builds and builds to the inevitable denouement and the unlikely Deus Ex Machina.

Most scenes are replete with wonderfully lively dialogue, at once zany and…well, altogether real. Toole knew his hometown and he captures the peculiar Brooklynese patois heard among certain of its down-market denizens (think Stanley Kowalski). Wondrous too is the elevated pomposity of Ignatius, truculence as poetry. As a special bonus, Toole throws in Mr Burma Jones, doubtless the greatest black character ever created by a white writer.

But why take my word for it. Let the book speak for itself.

There is conflict:

“You got any identification, mister?” the policeman asked…

“What?” Ignatius looked down upon the badge on the blue cap. “Who are you?

“Let me see your driver’s license.”

“I don’ t drive. Will you kindly go away? I am waiting for my mother.”

“What’s this hanging out your bag?”

“What do you think it is, stupid?  It’s a string for my lute.”

“What’s that?” The policeman drew back a little. “Are you local?”

“Is it the part of the police department to harass me when this city is a flagrant vice capital of the civilized world?” Ignatius bellowed over the crowd in front of the store. “This city is famous for its gamblers, prostitutes, exhibitionists, anti-Christs, alcoholics, sodomites, drug addicts, fetishists, onanists, pornographers, frauds, jades, litterbugs, and lesbians, all of whom are only too well protected by graft. If you have a moment, I shall endeavor to discuss the crime problem with you, but don’t make the mistake of bothering me.”

Movie commentary (during a public screening):

Popcorn spilled down his shirt and gathered in the folds of his trousers. “What degenerate produced this abortion?”

“Shut up,” someone said behind him.

“Just look at those smiling morons!” …

When a love scene appeared to be developing, he bounded up out of his seat and stomped up the aisle to the candy counter for more popcorn, but as he returned to his seat, the two big pink figures were just preparing to kiss.

“They probably have halitosis,” Ignatius announced over the heads of children. “I hate to think of the obscene places that those mouths have doubtlessly been before.”

Criticism of the Ladies Art Club:

“Oh, my God!” Ignatius bellowed…” How dare you present such abortions to the public!”

“Please move along, sir,” a bold lady said…

“You ladies need a course in botany. And perhaps geometry, too.”

“You don’t have to look at our work,” an offended voice said…

“Yes, I do!” Ignatius screamed. “You ladies need a critic with some taste and decency…The water in this bowl looks like motor oil.”

Helpful Race Relations:

“Shit! You think I like the Night of Joy? Ooo-wee. I wanna get someplace. I want to get someplace good, be gainfully employ, make me a livin wage.”

“Just as I suspected,” Ignatius said angrily. “In other words, you want to become totally bourgeois. You people have all been brainwashed. I imagine you’d like to become a success or something equally vile.”

“Hey, now you gettin me. Whoa!”

“I really don’t have the time to discuss the errors of your value judgements.”

Don’t forget LGBT:

“Please be serious for a moment. Stop fluttering around here.”

“Moi? Fluttering? What do you want, Gypsy Woman?”

“Have you people thought of forming a political party and running a candidate?”

“Politics? Oh, Maid of Orleans. How dreary.”

“This is very important!” Ignatius shouted …”you may hold the key to the future.”

“Well, what do you want to do about it, Eleanor Roosevelt?”

“You must start a party organization. Plans must be made.”

“Oh, please,” the young man sighed…

“You may be able to save the world!” Ignatius bellowed in an orator’s voice….

“This kind of conversation depresses me more than you could ever imagine,” the young man told him.

And the aforementioned Burma Jones at the Night of Joy:

“You oughta tell your customer use they ashtray, tell them peoples you workin a man in here below the minimal wage. Maybe they be a little considerate.’

“Listen here, Jones” Lana Lee (said)…” All I gotta do is phone the police and report you’re out of work. You understand me?”

“And I tell the po-lice the Night of Joy a glorify cathouse. I fall in a trap when I come to work in this place. Whoa! Now I jus waitin to get some kind of evidence. When I do, I really gonna flap my mouth at the precinct.”

“Watch your tongue.”

“Times changin,” Jones said, adjusting his sunglasses. “You cain scare color peoples no more. I got me some peoples form a human chain in front of your door, drive away your business, get you on TV news.”

When Ignatius is home alone, he fills Big Chief writing tablets with his unique invective, gems of nihilism, as his half-foe/half-ally Myrna Minkoff describes it:

I can at last describe to you our factory…The scene which met my eyes was at once compelling and repelling. The original sweatshop has been preserved for posterity at Levy Pants. If only the Smithsonian Institution, that grab-bag of our nation’s refuse, could somehow vacuum-seal the Levy Pants factory and transport it to the capital of the United States of America, each worker frozen in an attitude of labor, the visitors to that questionable museum would defecate into their garish tourist outfits. It is a scene which combines the worst of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis; it is mechanized Negro slavery; it represents the progress which the Negro has made from picking cotton to tailoring it.

You won’t want to put this novel down. But you also won’t want to rush through it.  You’ll want to savor every dialogue. There’s nothing else like it. Sadly.

Everyone loves this novel. Everyone I know who’s read it is also saddened, disappointed, and angered to know that it’s all we’ve got. John Kennedy Toole spent most of the 60s writing A Confederacy of Dunces and trying to get it published. Failing in the latter, he took his own life in 1969. His mother, believing ardently in her son’s genius, shopped the manuscript around, until she was finally able to press it into the hands of another Louisiana novelist, Walker Percy. In the novel’s preface, Percy describes how he reluctantly took up the dog-eared pages and was dismayed, after reading the first few pages, to find that it wasn’t bad enough to dismiss. He read on and gradually came to relish its genius. He managed to find a publisher for it, and a year later it won the Pulitzer Prize.  See if you don’t think it’s not the funniest novel you’ve ever read.

I could say a lot more about the book. Subplots involving a half-dozen of the novel’s eccentrics; Toole’s not-so-hidden messages; the sexual tension between Ignatius and Myrna Minkoff; strippers and cockatoos; theology, geometry, and the consolation of philosophy. But in the end, it’s just a great book to read. What’s it all mean? Who knows? Just read it.

With apologies to Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer (which is the great Mardi Gras novel), A Confederacy of Dunces is the great New Orleans novel.

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“Juvenal Early” is a contributor to Barely A Blog. His first essay was “The Dissident Right Has An Idiocracy Problem.” It made waves! He has a BAB archive.

Must-Read AMERICAN Novel: Blood Meridian, Or The Evening Redness in the West, by Cormac McCarthy

America, Art, English, Juvenal Early's Archive, Literature, Morality

“This is prose that is akin to a neo-archaic channeling of the King James Old Testament by way of Herman Melville”

By Juvenal Early

Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian is, in the estimation of many critics, among the finest half dozen American novels of the 20th Century. The late Harold Bloom thought it the greatest novel since As I Lay Dying. Unlike no other novel in contemporary letters, the book has been called an American Iliad, also compared to The Anabasis of Xenophon. Published in 1985, Blood Meridian is a revisionist, maybe even a nihilistic, Western. It’s also an epic. If you want a sense of how the West was won, you will find no finer fictional work.

The Plot: A character known only as the Kid, born in Tennessee with a predilection for “mindless violence, in 1833, runs away from home at 14, and by 1850 finds himself in Texas. He takes up with filibusters—mercenaries—hired to solve the new state’s Indian problem. The Comanches and Apache had dominated the plains for three centuries. Texans demanded eradication.

The fictional Kid eventually joins the historical Glanton Gang, and falls sway to the gang’s philosophical leader, Judge Holden. McCarthy learned from his sources that the Judge was an uncommonly tall man, a completely hairless albino. In Blood Meridian, he turns the bare facts into the mythical. The Judge is perhaps the most nightmarish monster in all of fiction. Not Ahab but Moby Dick himself.

The Glanton Gang murders its way across Texas, Northern Mexico, Arizona, eventually to the sea. They take many Indian scalps (proof for the money men). They take non-Indian scalps too. Who can tell the difference? It all pays the same. In time, these bounty hunters will have a bounty on their own heads. Few are left by the end of the narrative.

Blood Meridian may be the most appallingly violent great novel ever written. Be prepared for several particularly graphic scenes but do stick with it. As Shelby Foote said, the book’s hero is the American Language, and here it is presented in prose that is akin to a neo-archaic channeling of the King James Old Testament by way of Herman Melville.

There is movement, always movement, mixed with a sense of place in Blood Meridian. Few have ever combined the two better than McCarthy. To take a random sample:

On the day that followed they crossed a lake of gypsum so fine the ponies left no track upon it. The riders wore masks of boneblack smeared about their eyes and some had blacked the eyes of their horses. The sun reflected off the pan burned the undersides of their faces and shadow of horse and rider alike were painted upon the fine white powder in purest indigo. Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augered the earth and some said they’d heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang.

How do McCarthy’s mercenaries talk? Aside from the Judge, they are as terse as a John Ford Western. But, oh!, when the Judge does speak, you hang on every word. Here’s a short speech he delivers about halfway through the novel. He expounds on the nature of God’s cruel universe and man’s place in it. It explains the book’s cryptic title:

If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creature could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet? The way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night. His spirit is exhausted at the peak of its achievement. His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day.

Notice that the passage quoted contains no punctuation, save for periods and question marks. Commas appear infrequently in McCarthy, but little else. There are no quotation marks. Even James Joyce set his dialogue off with dashes. McCarthy assumes you’ll figure it out. You will. McCarthy’s oeuvre is all this way. He used 42 semicolons in his first novel and only one in the nine that followed. Most writers need a more formalistic approach. But I wouldn’t try to enforce Strunk and White on Homer—and not the modern Homer either. Art has no rigid rules, and Blood Meridian is high art. But don’t be intimidated by art. Blood Meridian is not particularly arcane. After four readings, I think it’s lucid—and exhilarating.

Does McCarthy take sides, Cowboys or Indians? We never really get to know the Indians. From the viewpoint of the settlers who hired the filibusters, they’re a problem to be solved. As for the Glanton Gang, it takes a tough bunch to solve a tough problem. I doubt McCarthy was concerned with questions of right or wrong—only about getting the story right. In that, he succeeds triumphantly. The reader—grateful for such poetic prose—can make of the ethical lessons what he will.

Cowboys and Indians alike, they are forces of nature, compelled to do what they have always done. The novel’s 3rd epigraph is your first clue.[i] Scalping didn’t originate in the Wild West of the 19th Century. The culmination of Blood Meridian could not be otherwise than what it is.

We would do well to keep this in mind as we go about assigning blame among our own ancestors.

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[i]
“Clark, who led last year’s exhibition to the Afar region of northern Ethiopia, and UC colleague Tim D. White, also said that a re-examination of a 300,000-year-old fossil skull found in the same region earlier showed evidence of having been scalped.
THE YUMA DAILY SUN
June 13, 1982”

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“Juvenal Early” is a contributor to Barely A Blog. His first essay was “The Dissident Right Has An Idiocracy Problem.” It made waves! He has a BAB archive.

Tucker And The Trucker: Condescending About Canada; Wrong About American South

America, Canada, Juvenal Early's Archive, Liberty, Race, Racism, The South, The State

Tucker Carlson: “Canada, they always steal our ideas and produce a slightly shoddy copy of them.”

Tucker Carlson’s segment, “There’s no more fearful despot than Canada’s Prime Minister,” is an important one. However, as a Canadian (an American too), who grasps very well the fundamental differences between Canada and America—Americans think they are God’s Country and operate with such imprimatur; Canadians don’t—I found it was remarkably condescending, as the famous and important host cackled that, “Canada always steals our ideas and produces a slightly shoddy copy of them.”

I have pinpointed and analyzed the differences I experienced personally between Canada and the US in an interview series with Dissident Mama: “Ilana Mercer, part 1: Roots, writing, & resistance” and “Ilana Mercer, part 2: Lady Paleolibertarian.”

To the extent Canadians have aped American state legislation and cultural trends; they lose. To the extent they stick with their more reserved, understated, quieter, far-better spoken civility and civilization; they win. On the whole, the Canadian State is usually far less menacing to its citizens than is the American State to its legal inhabitants. The US jailed Conrad Black; not Canada. And even when they reproduce their facsimile of the prototypical, American, TV Fox News blonde, Canadians do it better: Witness Lauren Southern versus dummy Tomi Lahren. (Oy! And my Dutch relative tells me Holland is now producing what is considered in The Netherlands déclassé, hackneyed, American-style TV blonds. Tucker already had one on!)

Juvenal Early, a regular writer for Barely A Blog, was furious:

“Tucker disgusted me with his coverage of the truckers last night. He asked one of them to refute the leftist assertion of racism in the crowd. What does that have to do with the vaccine mandate protest? Tucker also continues to demonize the Confederacy and the battle flag. Among real Southern right wingers, that’s a big non-starter.”

The Confederate flag segment is at the 13:00 minute mark.  The trucker interview starts at 16:45 and goes until 19 minutes.

Dreary Vs. Dishy: Rod Dreher’s Still As Dull As Ever And … Jealous Of Eric Metaxas (Dah)

Celebrity, Conservatism, Critique, Europe, Globalism, Iraq, Juvenal Early's Archive, Neoconservatism, Paleoconservatism, Populism, Pseudo-intellectualism

By Juvenal Early

Some time back, I did a survey of some particularly ineffective (flaccid, ILANA might say) conservative voices. It’s time to provide an update on one of them: Crunchy superstar Rod Dreher, or Dreary, as I call him, a blogger who needs no introduction—unfortunately. Evidence that there is no justice on this side of the grave: Dreary has one of the most coveted platforms on the right, plus he has a publisher ready to print whatever 90,000 words he can throw together in any given year.

Dreary spent a few months in Budapest earlier this year, and I think he should move there permanently. Or to Paris, which also seems to hold a special place in his heart. No malice or disrespect intended toward either city, holy places of the West, I would say. But Europe does wonders for Dreary’s attitude—and his opinions. He’s actually good writing about Gothic cathedrals and haute cuisine. Europe is right in his wheelhouse.

Plus, a European posting would more or less preclude him from commenting on the local scene. In America, Dreary is the apotheosis of the craven, sniveling, virtue-signaling Conservatism Inc. (Con-Ink) apparatchik.  I think we’d all be a lot happier if we never again had to read his Never-Trumpisms; or his faint and hollow praise of the Founders; or his weaselly approbation of Confederate memorial removal. Or to never again have to see him expound on race and racism in America.

He was doing very well in the land of the Magyars, and near the end of his three-month stay he enthused over Tucker Carlson, who had taken his show to Budapest. Dreary commended Tucker for courage (true) for interviewing Orban and highlighting Hungary’s common sense immigration policy. It was as good as you can expect from the old Crunchy Con.

This was early August. Dreary posted at least one long article in TAC praising Tucker’s efforts. John Derbyshire—of VDARE and “The Talk” fame—praised Dreary’s article, in his own Orban piece. Dreary saw that story reposted in Unz, liked it, and tweeted it out to all his followers, with the message “Good piece by Derb.” Subsequently, he was called out by lite-libertarian Robbie Soave for commending the work of a racist. Dreary, at first disavowed all knowledge of VDARE, claiming that he didn’t know it was a white nationalist site (it’s not, btw). Then he deleted his original tweet.

It brought to mind other times when Dreary virtue-signaled about race. He doesn’t like being associated with anyone on a SPLC list. The trouble is that anyone to the right of Rich Lowry is likely on a SPLC list, and if a conservative wants to stay off the list, he’d better start off conceding about 90% of the playing field (argument) of any given issue to his left-wing opponent.

Back in 2017, Dreary threw a real hissy fit over Pat Buchanan’s post-Charlottesville column. Pugnacious Pat (God bless him) took issue with the Left for labeling enveryone connected with Unite the Right a white supremacist. By present day standards, Pat reminded us, all of the most historically-important Americans were white supremacists. Typical for Pat, he laid out the facts and left it to the reader to decide—although he wasn’t shy about sharing his own conclusions. In this case, the Founders were great men in spite of whatever we think they might have done, and the nation they gifted to their posterity was a generous offering indeed. Read the column and see what you think.

Poor Dreary couldn’t deal with the nuance of it all. His takeaway? “Buchanan is defending white supremacy, straight up.” When I saw that “straight up,” I couldn’t help being reminded of that cutting edge mediocrity Janeane Garofalo on Keith Olbermann’s late, unlamented MSNBC show. That’s not a bad role model for Dreary to emulate, come to think of it.

Dreary, of course, like the rest of the craven horde that is Con-Ink, was quick to point and splutter when it came to Charlottesville. Whereas, Buchanan gathers facts, analyzes, and decides based on firmly-held principles, Dreary is the type to see how the wind’s blowing, then jump on the bandwagon as close to the front as he can. Thus, you had a man of principle being smeared by a drone of the hive mind.

This, of course, was wrong on so many levels. Back in 2003, when Dreary was writing for pro-war National Review, Buchanan was putting his considerable reputation on the line to co-found the American Conservative, a magazine explicitly started to provide a home for anti-war right wingers (with the assiduous exclusion of Mercer, so even that attempt wasn’t an honest reflection of the reality on the right). One of Dreary’s associates at the time, David Frum, wrote a famous article in NR condemning the likes of Buchanan as “unpatriotic conservatives.”

Later, when the Iraq war was exposed for the deceitful quagmire it was, Dreary was able to slink his way over to TAC. By then, Buchanan had left (as had Moneybags Taki), but, let’s face it, there would’ve been no TAC without Pat. Thus, I think Rod Dreher is not only a mediocre dolt, but an ingrate too.

He’s also an ad hominem hit-and-run bandit.

In October, in a particularly egregious case of the pot calling the kettle black, Dreary called out a couple of fellow religious conservatives, John Zmirak and Eric Metaxas, as Beta males, when they backed Donald Trump’s call for a Boycott of the GOP in 2022, should they nominate a lot of RINOs and Never-Trumpers. The tack Dreary took was rather odd, sort of a variation on a theme I first took notice of in a classic Seinfeld episode, “The Outing.” Seinfeld fans will remember the repeated line from that show; “I’m not gay!!!….Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Dreary took issue with a conversation between the two men on Metaxas’s radio show. Both voiced strident opinions about Never-Trump conservatives, like the truly awful David French. I have no problem with strongly-voiced opinion, especially those I agree with. I’m sure you don’t either, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But Dreary didn’t think they had a right to attack French, because French had been a soldier (Ooooooooo!), “a manly thing to do.”

Of the Catholic Zmirak, Dreary—in his oft-confusing style, writes:

He is a short middle-aged man with a belly as big and as soft as a beanbag. Hey, I’m not short, but I’m only two years younger than Zmirak, and I have the same belly he does. We are men who make our living writing. Unless you’re Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, … it’s not especially the occupation of badasses.”

Of the objectively handsome Metaxas (author, by the way, of the definitive Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography), Dreary writes:

“Eric is an expensively groomed dandy who lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This is not a criticism; I like his style! But the idea that Eric Metaxas, of all people, was urging people to give their lives for Donald Trump, is risible.”

Notice what he did there? Dreary basically says, Zmirak is a fat-ass (not that there’s anything wrong with that), so he doesn’t have the right to attack manly-man David French. Metaxas is a fop (though Dreary aspires to that as well), so he should be proscribed from talking tough too.

Incidentally, that “dandy” unkind cut seems particularly misplaced with regard to the urbane Metaxas, who most 58-year-old men wouldn’t mind resembling. Could it be envy on the part of the bedraggled, shirt-out and wispy-goateed Dreary, he of the Mies van der Rohe spectacles? Eric dresses in the stylish manner that at one time was a requirement for grown-up American men, especially those who lived in New York.

In the Who/Whom Era in which we now live, Dreary’s only going to attack the people and ideas he doesn’t like (or can’t understand). If he likes who you are and what you’re peddling, you can conjure up the whiniest hissy-fit in the universe to proclaim it, and he’ll gladly blog it to all the minions who come to his trough for their daily quota of slop.

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This is “Juvenal Early’s” second piece for Barely A Blog. His first was “The Dissident Right Has An Idiocracy Problem.” He now has a BAB archive.

Once upon a time, the epistolary fluff ensconced at The American Conservative was detonated daily by the “pugnacious” Lawrence Auster. When Auster died, a void opened up. The “typically shapeless pieces” coming out of paleoconservative quarters, at once “weird and solipsistic”—Auster’s delicious descriptions—have escaped scrutiny. Going by the pen name “Juvenal Early,” a disillusioned former donor to Chronicles has stepped forward. I’m more than delighted to have launched and to continue to unleashing Juvenal.
Enjoy.
ilana