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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Put not your faith in men

I have been let down by all of my heroes and role models. Not some of them. Not most of them. All of them. Except one.

I was taught to save by my father. When I bought my first house, he very generously wanted to help me and even offered to contribute something to the down payment. I declined when I found out that I had more money in the bank than he did. He joked that his companies were his savings account; we all know how that turned out.

I was taught character, courage, and taking responsibility by my grandfather. Towards the end of his life, having exhausted his resources on caring for my grandmother, he walked away from the beautiful, twice-mortgaged house he had owned for three decades and left it for the bank.

I was taught leadership and personal sacrifice by my uncle. After attaining fame and great power, he was awarded an important position at one of the most corrupt organizations in the world. He did not resign from it when its crimes were revealed to the public.

I revered Umberto Eco for his great learning and his intellectual insight. When I read Belief or Nonbelief, his debate on religion and God with Carlo Maria Martini, the Roman Catholic cardinal of Milan, I was astonished and bitterly disappointed by the shallow, superficial, and petty nature of his arguments.

I admired and looked up to one of my father's friends of more than thirty years. I considered him to be the epitome of a good, smart, successful, civilized man. I could not believe it when my father asked him to be a character witness at his trial, and he demurred for fear of how it might look and what people might say.

I always considered The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius to be the philosophical gold standard and Aurelius himself to be an exemplary man. Then I read more human history and realized that his son and successor was Commodus, and that he had uncharacteristically failed to prepare an adequate succession plan for the empire over which he ruled.

I cannot tell you how many authors I perceived to be great, only to learn that they were charlatans, conceptual plagiarists, plodders, experts in literary sleight-of-hand, learned historians rather than brilliantly original creators, and in some cases, the apparent beneficiaries of a sprinkling of pixie dust by a flighty passing muse.

Do I look down on any of these men because they lacked the perfection that I naively perceived in them? Do I reject their teachings? By no means! To the contrary, their failings only served to teach me that they were mortal men, not demigods, and that I, too, can hope to surmount my own failings and character flaws. They remain my heroes and my role models today, I merely see them in a more mature and realistic light that shows their strengths in contrast with their weaknesses.

The fact that your heroes are not perfect does not make them any less heroic. It actually makes them more heroic, because their failings are a glimpse into the struggle they faced, every day, with the manifold temptations of a fallen world.

Who was the one hero who never let me down? JRR Tolkien. I loved his books deeply and passionately from the time I read the first page of The Two Towers, and everything I have since read of his, and everything I have subsequently learned about the man has only given me more cause to admire him. One reason that it takes me so much longer to write Arts of Dark and Light than other fiction and non-fiction is that I am always striving to write something I consider worthy of Tolkien's influence, and of which he would approve if he were ever to read it.

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133 Comments:

Blogger Kallmunz April 29, 2018 6:54 AM  

Vox, this is beautiful. I would have chosen Lewis over Tolkein but no matter. Every man has his weakness, there is only One who walked this earth who didn't.

Blogger exfarmkid April 29, 2018 7:01 AM  

Thank you for writing this. It is such an important part of growing up to understand and accept that ones' heroes are human.

Blogger idprism April 29, 2018 7:04 AM  

I've never really had a true hero, but finding intellectually honest content creators like you, Vox, and Stefan, and even allies of America like Cernovich has really given me some faith in humanity again after growing up in Los Angeles. I wouldn't go so far as to say I have heroes in you guys yet but I do look up to you all as men with a conviction and respect for truth.

I always did enjoy Tolkien and Lewis books but never looked into their lives or researched much beyond the fiction. The modern connectedness of the internet has made it much easier to learn about your lives and views than it ever was to learn about them.

Blogger wreckage April 29, 2018 7:16 AM  

It is a very cruel thing to make a man into a God.
Well said, Vox.

Blogger Gareth April 29, 2018 7:16 AM  

Hi Vox,

When I read your post, until the end, I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go. You see, from what you wrote, I don’t agree that what you wrote of your dad or your grandad was an indication of a moral fall from grace. Your father was incredibly successful but had his companies taken away from him by the law. Had the law taken his bank account aswell, but he saved in the manner you had expected, would he then similarly become guilty of not saving?

Secondly, your grandad. By that account he honourably fulfilled his moral duty to his wife. The house had sentiment attached to it but did he have a moral duty to retain it? I don’t see why. I don’t see a failing. I have in my head “the long walk” from judge dredd.

Regards,
Gareth.

Blogger The Rev April 29, 2018 7:24 AM  

I've let hero failure affect me more than I should. There's something else to work on.

Blogger Slagenthor April 29, 2018 7:37 AM  

Well said. Thank you for sharing that.

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira April 29, 2018 7:37 AM  

True, Tolkien has never disappointed.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 7:41 AM  

I would have chosen Lewis over Tolkein but no matter.

I always considered Lewis's relationship with his friend's mother and his wife to be indicative of psycho-sexual issues. As much as I admire and treasure his writing, and as much as it influenced me, the man was never one of my heroes.

I don’t agree that what you wrote of your dad or your grandad was an indication of a moral fall from grace.

I did not go into unnecessary detail. Suffice it to say that their actions disappointed me and were not in line with their advice to me.

Blogger Thomas Smith April 29, 2018 7:53 AM  

Take your own advice. Trump has done a good job thus far, but in the end he is only a man, not a god-emperor.

Blogger dh April 29, 2018 7:58 AM  

This is the type of thing you can only really write from the heart with the leaves of a more than a few autumns on the ground.

Man is fallen, heroes come from the stock of man, ergo it follows.

Somewhere out there, probably in your own house, you are the model and the hero, and it is a safe bet that you will also fail to meet the mark in one way or another before your time is up.

But as you say, you keep the fire alive - an unbroken chain of toil and effort spanning back a hundred generations. That's the whole point of civilization.

OpenID redjack0198 April 29, 2018 8:02 AM  

My Grandfather was a son of a bitch, but when Grandma was dying of Alzheimer's, he gave up all he had to sit by her side. I admire him not because of his failings, which are many, but because he gave up all that he loved in this world to be by his wife's side as she slide off into the gray twilight.

"Put not your faith in Princes" is a verse I always post right before elections. Me are all bastard covered bastards served with a side of bastard.

And I love Tolkein too. Lewis seemed to have to much darkness in him and a big fixation on S&M with his dead friends mom. Lawhead is another author I like, but I won't put him on a pedestal. I respect Luther, but his constant battle with depression scarred his writings.

Men fail. Men fall down. Admire the good. Acknowledge the bad.

Blogger Miguel April 29, 2018 8:04 AM  

There is but One Man Who will never let down those who put their trust in Him.

Very good post, VD. Now Im off to google "JRR Tolkien".

Blogger jimmy_the_freak April 29, 2018 8:11 AM  

@Thomas Smith - You're already too short for this ride. Don't make it worse by cutting yourself off at the knees.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 8:15 AM  

Take your own advice. Trump has done a good job thus far, but in the end he is only a man, not a god-emperor.

I smell heresy.

Blogger Nate April 29, 2018 8:16 AM  

it is a great lesson that everyone should learn. At some point... everyone... everyone.. will let you down. No matter how good they are... no matter how much they love you... they will let you down.

And if you go through life thinking that everyone that lets you down is garbage... well then you're in for a very sad, disappointing, and lonely life.

Great post.

Blogger Rick April 29, 2018 8:21 AM  

Hemingway is a hero to me in his dedication to what he thought writing should be. In that I think he was successful. But he failed at a number of other important aspects of life which I believe he acknowledged.
I often see with heros of one thing or another that it came at the expense of their families and children. They have good ideas and run with them — and we strangers whom they never know are their beneficiaries. And if you met their children they might say “that guy you idolize was a self-centered prick.” In other words, the hero wasn’t even doing the thing for his audience.
What can you do... but enjoy the parts they got right, I suppose.

Blogger 9783 Joseph April 29, 2018 8:23 AM  

Thank you. Great post. The last paragraph gave me chills.

Blogger Nate April 29, 2018 8:23 AM  

"I did not go into unnecessary detail. Suffice it to say that their actions disappointed me and were not in line with their advice to me."

knowing what to do.. and being able to do it... are not the same thing. Your dad made choices... a form of gambling... that honestly in a similar position many of us are prone to do. "oh come on... the company is so close... it just needs another 15 grand and it will all pay off... and if it doesn't get it.. then it all falls apart and it was all for nothing."

its a very tempting line of rationalization. its also a trap.

as for your grandfather... I mean... it is pretty hard to drum up sympathy for a bank.

if he screwed a bank over... honestly... good for him. The bastards have it comin'

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 29, 2018 8:27 AM  

In this human world it's impossible to not have your real life heroes disappoint you eventually. It's part of maturation process.

Heinlein was my last. His juveniles were a part of my development as a young man. His later and lesser books...his bad books I dismissed as the works of an old man with a history of poor health and whose reason was damaged.

He couldn't have really believed any of that garbage. Heinlein was just trying to make a splash to increase sales. Just trying to get some of his Stranger in a Strange Land notoriety back.

Then I read his letter of support to Marion Zimmer Bradley.

I don't think I can ever read his juveniles again.

@Thomas Smith

Dude we don't have any illusions whatsoever about President Trump. He's a deeply flawed man who has never been able to hide his warts. We knew all about that when we voted for him. "God Emperor" is a rhetoric, not dialectic.

We don't think he's a good man but he clearly an irreplaceable one.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 29, 2018 8:29 AM  

@Vox

Interesting. I wanted to compare Infogalactic's entry on your father with Wikipedia. His Wikipedia entry appears to have been struck.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 29, 2018 8:30 AM  

At Instapundit one of its writers was trying to drum up some faith for Jonah Goldberg, I made about 50 comments out of 267 and basically Jonah and his never Trumper globalists' next step is a Hitlerian death speech about how we failed them and now they are going to China because China is capitalist as they understand it.

In the news today, snake oil sales plummet.

Blogger James Dixon April 29, 2018 8:35 AM  

> Trump has done a good job thus far, but in the end he is only a man, not a god-emperor.

Do you really think we don't know that?

> ...as for your grandfather... I mean... it is pretty hard to drum up sympathy for a bank.

If my wife passes away before I do, am I really going to want to keep "her" house? Especially if her passing bankrupts me both financially and emotionally?

Blogger James Dixon April 29, 2018 8:37 AM  

> His Wikipedia entry appears to have been struck.

I guess they've decided attacking Vox via his family is a lost cause.

Blogger Rick April 29, 2018 8:37 AM  

I think Trump is a good man. Better than I deserve.
Also, I think the Office is practically a sacred place, and when (at least) the right man enters it he receives a kind of Blessing that can transform him. It’s not “any old office” Incredible things have been decided and carried out there.

Blogger Dirk Manly April 29, 2018 8:39 AM  

@5

"Secondly, your grandad. By that account he honourably fulfilled his moral duty to his wife. The house had sentiment attached to it but did he have a moral duty to retain it? I don’t see why. I don’t see a failing. I have in my head “the long walk” from judge dredd."

Double-mortgaged.
That means he stopped even attempting to pay back his loans. He should have sold it, and paid off the two loans with the proceeds.

One thing which is an absolute killer in the Clearance game when seeking a clearance higher than SECRET is having a personal Bankruptcy(*) in your background. Bankruptcy is a statement that you aren't even willing to wait X years for your debt to become legally uncollectable -- you want a clean slate *RIGHT NOW.*


(*) Not to be confused with a business bankruptcy. Banks know the risks of loaning to businesses is much higher than loans to individuals made against the collateral (car, house, etc.).

Blogger Korppi on oikeus April 29, 2018 8:47 AM  

Great piece.

Blogger Eze Garcés April 29, 2018 8:48 AM  

All humans are fallible,buy very few have virtues to make up For their failures

Blogger Duh-ave April 29, 2018 9:00 AM  

Some failures are permanent but most are overcome by loyalty. The occasional infighting among the regulars on this blog is nothing compared to the unity. Thanks to all.

Blogger Peaceful Poster April 29, 2018 9:00 AM  

Mr. Trump is indeed a good man.

Flawed, but good.

Blogger cmbaileytstc April 29, 2018 9:01 AM  

OT, or is it?
https://twitter.com/AnnCoulter/status/990423437503066112?s=20

Blogger Jack April 29, 2018 9:02 AM  

Great writing. I always enjoy Vox's philosophical pieces, both for their depth and for their honesty. There is probably enough content like this on the blog that could be compiled into a first-rate book of aphorisms and reflections. Just sayin'.

Blogger Uncle John's Band April 29, 2018 9:04 AM  

This is a great and timely piece. Tolkien was a transformative figure for me in a lot of ways, and it's nice to see one rose keep its bloom.

Blogger pyrrhus April 29, 2018 9:08 AM  

Ronald Reagan was a good man...but he signed the disastrous, and unconstitutional 1986 Tax Act, and the catastrophic Amnesty bill...A bad man with good judgment would have been infinitely better....

Blogger Anno Ruse April 29, 2018 9:08 AM  

"I always considered Lewis's relationship with his friend's mother and his wife to be indicative of psycho-sexual issues."

Yeah, I detected a note of "I want to fuck my mother" in one of your shitty novels too.

Blogger Slagenthor April 29, 2018 9:18 AM  

"Suffice it to say that their actions disappointed me and were not in line with their advice to me."

In the end, we all have feet of clay. It is jarring to see that sometimes, but they are always there.

It's something that I have tried to impress upon my kids early on: No matter how good, man always disappoints somewhere, somehow...but God never will.

Blogger tuberman April 29, 2018 9:35 AM  

My best friend judges himself too harshly, as he figures he has not done enough to stand against the globalists/NWO, but he is a very good man. He still has a young family, and sacrifices for them, yet sees that as a weakness overall. There must be a lot of that going on today.

On judgement day some spirits will indeed judge themselves harsher than the holy ones at the Gate. Not a warning, just true. Will we pass our own judgement?

I adore Tolkien, and have read the Hobbit, and The Ring Trilogy twice.

Blogger Jeff aka Orville April 29, 2018 9:40 AM  

This is one of the benefits of growing older. My spiritual mentor had an affair, embezzled over $500K from our church, and went to prison. That took years to process.

Blogger Matt Robison April 29, 2018 9:40 AM  

Anyone who has read Lewis' work on the Psalms will be a little disappointed in him.

Blogger szopen April 29, 2018 9:45 AM  

I think it's good to understand not just "men are men", but also that the same applies to ideologies and movements at large. Long long time ago, while discussing at historical forum there was this guy who blindly believed nazis are evil and allies were good. Were he suddenly learned that allies committed atrocities and not all propaganda was true, he became enraged and for a moment he went full 14/88. Somehow he believed that if one side is not 100% perfect and sometimes uses propaganda, that means the other side must be saints.

Blogger James April 29, 2018 9:57 AM  

Mr.MantraMan wrote:
In the news today, snake oil sales plummet.


If this ever really happened, I would expect people jumping out of windows on Wall Street. If there was such thing as snake oil futures, I would be a billionaire several times over.

Blogger Scott Birch April 29, 2018 10:03 AM  

"Here lies a toppled god
His fall was not a small one
We merely made his pedestal
A narrow and a tall one"
- Frank Herbert

Blogger Crush Limbraw April 29, 2018 10:05 AM  

Vox - this will be distributed and posted in my archive.
Christianity is Romans 7 - Apostle Paul's confession.
Christianity is Jesus's example of the publican's appeal for mercy.
Churchianity is the example of the Pharisee thanking God he is not a sinner like the publican.
Point - the Holy Spirit enables us to see who we really are!

Blogger tuberman April 29, 2018 10:09 AM  

Another thing that can happen (an earlier friend,mentor, given enormous potential in IQ {172}) wasted his gifts on collecting a couple of Ph.Ds and becoming world class in three areas, but is a liar about his past in a small area since it is no longer acceptable to the academic's Narratives. His failure/lies are due to connection to the Narrative. He is a waste compared to someone who sets his Stars on the Truth, and this is what happens to most high IQ people. There is humor in this, as he never was accepted by the Narrative academic people. He is a White Male, who never went far enough into their inverted reality to be given a full tenured professor position, which he coveted. They let him write books on getting Ph.Ds in his areas though. He refuses to see that Truth also.

I don't look down on him, but there is lingering disappointment. Still, he is a decent man, on a personal level.

Blogger Nate April 29, 2018 10:11 AM  

"That means he stopped even attempting to pay back his loans. He should have sold it, and paid off the two loans with the proceeds."

which assumes it was actually worth enough to do so.

Blogger Nate April 29, 2018 10:12 AM  

There is nothing immoral about giving a bank a mortgaged house. it fulfills the obligations of the contract.

OpenID markstoval April 29, 2018 10:16 AM  

Heroes are often said to be ordinary men who do extraordinary things when called upon to do so. We should not forget the "ordinary men" part.

The founders of the USA seemed to believe that no man was trustworthy enough to be given great power. So, they tried to design a government that was weak and one that no one man could dominate. They seemed to understand the human condition.

I think modern Americans, especially progressives, don't understand or believe in human nature. It does not change. You can not "perfect" man. Sowell's book "A Conflict of Visions" was about that very thing.

Short version: we all make mistakes and do things we should not do. (I sometimes dwell on my failures of character. Very painful)

Blogger Brick Hardslab April 29, 2018 10:20 AM  

If you don't want to disappoint Tolkien, perhaps a little less graphic on the rape? Or is society just too calloused now to notice without it?

Blogger Dave April 29, 2018 10:22 AM  

Thanks for the post, Vox. And who can say, but I think Tolkien would appreciate your efforts.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother April 29, 2018 10:24 AM  

The men Vox listed weren't heroes then magically developed moral failings. They possessed those failings the whole time, but still did great things.

Blogger Unknown April 29, 2018 10:28 AM  

All our heroes have feet of clay. They do not become world class at something by leading 'balanced' lives. Something has got to give, or be neglected in order to achieve excellence or brilliance in a particular area. The rest of us then assume that because they are that good in one or a couple areas of life, that they are equally brilliant, competent, or courageous in every area of their lives. This is not the reality, and sometimes we are harshly disabused of those notions. Great essay Vox.

Blogger bob kek mando - ( your mom always did like me best ) April 29, 2018 10:37 AM  

Jordan Peterson speaks every so often ( in regards to trannies and pronouns ) about how you cannot force him to "respect you". you could force him to behave publicly as though he did, but that it would only create rebellion and resentment within his mind.

and then, Jordan demonstrates that he has completely fallen for Lies of the 6 Meelions and the 115 IQ.

and i wonder; how much is it going to damage him if he should discern how and how long he has been deceived?

but on the other hand, there's nothing particularly unusual about this portion of Jordan's outlook. most Normies are completely oblivious to their life long indoctrination in this regard.

the issue arises when Vox wants to castigate Jordan while giving a pass to one of his acquaintances for the exact same crime.

i speak here of the estimable Mr. John C. Wright.

which, i'm not suggesting that Vox should go after Wright, even though Wright has agreed with an attack upon Vox Popoli.


Kratman has also engaged in public and obvious deceit, but that was more personally directed against me and so i would have no expectation that anyone else would involve themselves in it.

Blogger bob kek mando - ( your mom always did like me best ) April 29, 2018 10:44 AM  

45. Nate April 29, 2018 10:12 AM
There is nothing immoral about giving a bank a mortgaged house. it fulfills the obligations of the contract.


the contract is a matter of Law and Law has no particular truck with Morality.

is Slavery moral or immoral? or Abortion? or the consumption of Alcohol or Cocaine? for all of these things have been legal and illegal within the USA within the last 150 years.

the question is not a matter of the Law, it's about what Principles these men propounded to Vox in private.

and whether they upheld their stated Principles when tested upon them.

Blogger KBuff April 29, 2018 10:47 AM  

That's an exceptional expression of an important lesson. Thanks for that.

Blogger S1AL April 29, 2018 10:51 AM  

I can't even fault Tolkien for his "One True Church" Roman Catholicism - he lived it and advocated it in a way that I find only admirable. On communion:

"[M]ake your Communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children—from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn—open-necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to Communion with them (and pray for them).

It will be just the same (or better than that) as a mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people.

It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand—after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come."

And if one is so inclined, the Fall of Numenor might be read with an eye toward the state of our country - borderline prophetic. As was Lewis, In 'That Hideous Strength'.

You definitely know how to pick them, Vox.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 11:03 AM  

If you don't want to disappoint Tolkien, perhaps a little less graphic on the rape?

No. My purposes are not the same as his. There is an important point to the explicit horror.

the issue arises when Vox wants to castigate Jordan while giving a pass to one of his acquaintances for the exact same crime.

John C. Wright is a novelist, a great one. He is not the man designated "the most important public intellectual in the world" right now. I do not concern myself with the political or ideological opinions of novelists; if I did, I would most certainly not praise Tanith Lee, or China Mieville, or many other excellent novelists.

The majority of Americans probably subscribe to the 115 IQ myth. I do not give a pass to any of them. But it makes no sense to call out every single one of them individually. That is not going to happen.

Blogger mike jank April 29, 2018 11:14 AM  

This is what was agitating to me about the whole JP on the JQ. Both Vox and JP are just men. I gather what is of value from them and leave the rest. Neither are your friends or family. Vox has made it clear to many who have posted here he doesn't care about them. JP isn't going to invite you over to his house for dinner and fatherly chat by the fireplace. Neither have need any of use to ride to their defense. Odds are either of them at some point, in your mind, will let you down. They are not your Messiah nor are they one of His twelve. Jesus would make short work of both mens egos with few words. Fanboys on both sides need to read the above and settle down. Both men have faults as do we all. Whether or not you admit it is part of having character. And not in the vein of "My flaw is I give to much credit to those I perceive lower than me" kind of thing. In all honesty, this coming out of Vox surprised me.

Blogger J Van Stry April 29, 2018 11:33 AM  

I've never had a role model. I've always found the concept a weird one, personally. While there have been people I admired, for what they achieved, I never said 'I want to be just like him' or wanted to follow in somebody else's path.

I guess this may explain why I've done so many things that were each very different than the other in my life?

As for Hero's, well, again, not really. I learned the 'feet of clay' lesson very early in life, and again, while there are people I admire for their accomplishments, I really don't have an heroes. Guess I'm just different.

Blogger Sam Spade April 29, 2018 11:33 AM  

Great post Vox. I hate the binary thinking aspect of worshipping/disregarding people.

The only one who can't disappoint us is Jesus Christ.

Blogger Masha K. April 29, 2018 11:50 AM  

Beautiful, and timely. Thank you.

OpenID franklinfreek April 29, 2018 11:53 AM  

In general I find the modern habit of blowing every last penny of a family's inheritance on extending the life of the family's elderly to be wrong. The life extended is generally not that pleasant and the cost to the long term viability of the family is significant.

That money would be better off invested in the grandchildren - help them buy the first house, education, business investment, and the like.

Modern elderly care will bleed a family dry.

Blogger James Dixon April 29, 2018 12:10 PM  

> Modern elderly care will bleed a family dry.

Did you ever think that may be a purposeful goal of the powers that be?

Blogger Dire Badger April 29, 2018 12:13 PM  

The only hero that never lets you down is Jesus.

Blogger cmbaileytstc April 29, 2018 12:14 PM  

Whatever the Jewish IQ Peterson is telling White men to not organize for their own interests, like every other group successfully does. That can in no way be an innocent mistake.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 29, 2018 12:15 PM  

Someone said that hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. Since we are all sinners and fail pretty regularly, we should all be saying better than we do.

OpenID franklinfreek April 29, 2018 12:16 PM  

> Did you ever think that may be a purposeful goal of the powers that be?

Yes, the elderly care industrial complex. They will get court orders for you to continue care, accusing you of abuse for not spending more.

Trust funds protect that money. But you pay your dues to the lawyers involved.

Blogger Zimri April 29, 2018 12:18 PM  

"as for your grandfather... I mean... it is pretty hard to drum up sympathy for a bank."

The bank's culpability depends on the timeline of those mortgages. Did the bank know they were lending money to someone who couldn't pay back?

In context the bank didn't know, and the grandfather was plotting free money and rent at the bank's expense; or else VD wouldn't have couched this anecdote as a disappointment.

Blogger RM April 29, 2018 12:18 PM  

Vox,

I look up to you. I have for ten years. Its been a long time coming, but thank you for writing The Irrational Atheist. I was losing my mind back in 2007, then I read The God Delusion. Despite Dawkin's claims, atheism did nothing to free me. Rather it was a philosophical match to my emotional despair. His book pushed me closer to suicide than I had ever been. I was drowning without hope. For what was the point of it all if there was no God. You threw me a lifejacket. You demolished his arguments, and gave me hope that life was not pointless. I owe you. Thank you.

Blogger cmbaileytstc April 29, 2018 12:20 PM  

Oh, and anyone who doesn’t understand why the graphic parts of Vox’s novels exist is being fairly obtuse. Why do you think parts of the books are written from an Orcish POV? To remind us that beings can have understandable thoughts, feelings, and aspirations, and yet still be a force for destruction and horror at the end of the day.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 29, 2018 12:25 PM  

franklinfreek wrote:That money would be better off invested in the grandchildren - help them buy the first house, education, business investment, and the like.

Modern elderly care will bleed a family dry.


My parents were Greatest generation. They believed that children should make it on their own, and that children and parents should live entirely separate lives.

When I was in first grade, I remember my mother saw a grandmother at the store with a grandchild, and she told me ``You aren't going to get free daycare from me!'' She meant it, too. My father wanted to spend time with his grandchildren, but didn't live long enough. My mother never wanted to be part of their lives. I think she had an extreme example of her generation's pathology.

When my mother was having difficulty living alone, we were helping her and wanted to move nearer to her. She was adamantly against us moving closer, because she didn't want us too close. She wound up alone and bitter, because she wanted to depend on anyone but her kin.

We took care of my mother, and my wife and I told my children that we will be moving in with them while we are still young enough to make the adjustment. We are definitely going to help our children and grandchildren, and we are definitely going to follow the Chinese model and have a multi-generation home.

James Dixon wrote:> Modern elderly care will bleed a family dry.

Did you ever think that may be a purposeful goal of the powers that be?


They're bleeding us every way they can, literally and figuratively.

Blogger Nate April 29, 2018 12:33 PM  

"The bank's culpability depends on the timeline of those mortgages. Did the bank know they were lending money to someone who couldn't pay back? "

that's only part of it. Did they know they were lending money on a house that could depreciate?

The answer to that question is almost always left open. Because everyone wants only the borrower to take that risk. but it is the banks risk as well. The bank wants to be able to stick only the buyer with that loss if it happens... but that doesn't make that position correct.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother April 29, 2018 12:42 PM  

I'm going for the family ranch in Central Texas, and the business model, and my sons may exercise the option to take over when my partner and I approve, as well as after they have made their first $ 100,000 on their own.

Blogger Peaceful Poster April 29, 2018 12:43 PM  

VD, according to IG, your father was convicted on April 30, 2008, which means his 10yr anniversary is in a couple of days!

Please pass on our regards and let him know that we are praying for him.

Such a long sentence is a far bigger crime than what your father did.

Blogger Amos Bellomy April 29, 2018 12:48 PM  

I share your admiration of Tolkien entirely.

As for Lewis he is an exemplary apologist and brilliant writer but I wouldn't emulate his behavior. I suspect he wouldn't want me to.

I don't agree with every word of Chesterton but he is also an honorable man

Blogger Carl Philipp April 29, 2018 1:00 PM  

I enjoy reading Vox Day, but on the other hand I get the impression he may have tried marijuana at some point.

Blogger Latigo3 April 29, 2018 1:14 PM  

At one time or another we are all disappointed by others and we also disappoint ourselves.
Thank you Vox for your transparency. The Bible is full of flawed people and human history if full of flawed people.
We typically are only able to think these thoughts and put them in proper perspective as we get older.
This particular posting helped to coalesce what I am going to preach about this morning.

Blogger bob kek mando - ( your mom always did like me best ) April 29, 2018 1:15 PM  

55. VD April 29, 2018 11:03 AM
He is not the man designated "the most important public intellectual in the world" right now.


a - i have no idea if Peterson has been thus acclaimed. whether some numbskull has actually asserted this or you are inferring it, i don't know.

b - i would pay no attention to the assertion if he has been. after all, i have been "reliably informed" that Hillary Clinton is the smartest female politician in the world, that Barack Obama is the best Peace Prize President of all time, that Mary Beard is the best historian, that Michael Mann is the best climate scientist, that Keynes is the best economist, that Freud is the best psychological theorist and therapist, etc, etc etc



55. VD April 29, 2018 11:03 AM
But it makes no sense to call out every single one of them individually.


i'm not asking you too.

nor am i asking you to stop attacking these obviously false "facts" or to stop critiquing Peterson. i critique Peterson myself. he has said on a few occasions that he could probably kill his wife with one blow if he were to strike her in anger. he doesn't impress me as much of a physical specimen and i think he's over estimating his "one shot kill" capabilities.

but you're the one who introduced the "importance" of being personally acquainted moderating your attack on other people in one of your earlier essays on this. and that's just absurd.

had i known Jeffrey Dahmer, should i excuse his cannibalism? had i known John Wayne Gacy, should i excuse his pedophilic rapes and murders? had i known Stalin, should i excuse the Holodomor?

Mr. Wright is an author and internet / youtube ( various interviews with the Honey Badgers and others ) personality.

Jordan Peterson is an author and internet / youtube personality who has seen a great deal more resonance in his connection with the public audience than John has.

would John not like to someday have an audience that large? or has Jordan simply been more successful at the game that John is trying to play?

you said earlier that you thought that Peterson was being presented as the public face in order to divert and control the Right.

am i to infer that it's your opinion that his Youtube popularity was generated via Google force serving his videos as suggestions?

because i don't see how else that could have happened, artificially. Peterson's confrontation with Cathy Newman on BBC 4 would never have been seen in the States had it not been widely shared and commented on in Youtube.


i'm in an odd position right now. i'm debating AGAINST Jewish intellectual superiority on Greg Cochran's site ( and possibly being deleted ).

and here i suppose i would be construed as defending Jordan, a Jewish intellectual supremacy proponent.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 1:18 PM  

I enjoy reading Vox Day, but on the other hand I get the impression he may have tried marijuana at some point.

I was a techno band member during the rave scene. I've sampled pretty much every chemical known to Man, except heroin. That struck me as being more trouble than it was worth.

Heck, one of the t-shirts featuring our band said JUST SAY N2O on the front.

I was never a pothead, although I lived with three of them. One of my housemates, the smartest one, has spent his life attempting to breed ever more potent marijuana strains.

Blogger Mandos April 29, 2018 1:25 PM  

Great post. I can relate, both to the message and that relationship to Tolkien, whose influence on my character will remain unparalleled. I like to think this is related in no small manner to why among all my political and cultural influences, you are the one I generally feel closest to.

So you started LotR with The Two Towers? Did you go straight to the end or did you stop at some point to step back and read The Fellowship of the Ring?

Blogger MickDundee April 29, 2018 1:37 PM  

Tolkien supported the destruction of Germany and wholesale slaughter of white Europeans in WW2. His “England” committed suicide. He raised his son to divorce and sell his work to (((Hollywood)))... the pozzed travesty of the future Lord of the Rings series on Netflix will be his legacy. Tolkien and his generation turned the British Empire into global Mordor.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother April 29, 2018 1:41 PM  

Mick, white Europeans have been killing each other for hundreds of years.

Go be alt-Retard somewhere else.

Blogger MJimmy April 29, 2018 2:00 PM  

"There are no good people" -- Turkish shopkeeper of my acquaintance.

Be your own hero.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 2:00 PM  

but you're the one who introduced the "importance" of being personally acquainted moderating your attack on other people in one of your earlier essays on this. and that's just absurd.

It's not at all absurd, Bob, and only a complete idiot or an individual with no friends or family would believe that one should treat one's family, friends, and co-workers exactly the same as everyone else.

I'm not going to play "let's you and him fight" on your behalf. If you are sincerely questioning my integrity due to my refusal to attack every single individual who disagrees with me on anything, that's absolutely fine, but then leave this site and never comment here again.

I do not tolerate anyone telling me what I should and should not do. It is not your place.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 2:01 PM  

It's 2018. You're still retarded, Mick. If you want people to stop calling you Alt-Retard, stop being retarded.

It's not that hard.

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. April 29, 2018 2:09 PM  

Yeah. I was shocked to learn that the Lord of the Rings was written over 12 years, pieced together from world building, notes, short stories, scribbles and such that he had been thinking of his whole life.

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion April 29, 2018 2:13 PM  

There really was a ring. It was Roman, gold, and inscribed with a curse. Supposedly, it was one of the inspirations for the books. Tolkein was called in as a linguist.

Apparently, JRR loved Finnish, which became an influence for elven. I guess that makes Markku an elf.

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion April 29, 2018 2:22 PM  

I doubt that anybody holds the GE as a moral exemplar. I have utterly zero hints of financial dishonesty, but his relations with women seem just as immoral as I'd probably have been with his bankroll and opportunities and temptations.

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion April 29, 2018 2:36 PM  

My college roomie accounting major called it "The Accountant Full Employment Act of 1986"

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion April 29, 2018 2:38 PM  

Dude, that was rude and uncalled for.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 29, 2018 2:47 PM  

@88
Excoriations are more useful when you let us know to whom they are directed.

Blogger MJimmy April 29, 2018 3:21 PM  

Tolkien and his generation turned the British Empire into global Mordor.

We all have our peccadillos. Seeing his friends ground into hamburger in the First War may have influenced him politically.

...the future Lord of the Rings series on Netflix will be his legacy.

Someday the glory of his work will be faithfully represented visually, and N*tflix and Jackson relegated to footnote status at best.

Blogger Chent April 29, 2018 3:38 PM  

Vox, this one of your bests. Thank you

Blogger Eli April 29, 2018 3:39 PM  

My crazy hope would be for Castalia House Productions (or whatever you end up calling it) to retain the rights to Tolkien's works. Not Peter Jackson. Not Amazon or netflix. People who admire and love the world that Tolkien created.

Blogger SciVo April 29, 2018 3:45 PM  

J Van Stry wrote:I've never had a role model. I've always found the concept a weird one, personally. While there have been people I admired, for what they achieved, I never said 'I want to be just like him' or wanted to follow in somebody else's path.

I always feared that I was weird for not having one. But then again, considering that Jesus Christ, Andrew Breitbart, and my first brother-in-law all died younger than I am now, I probably shouldn't ape any of their lifestyles.

OpenID ghost-tiger88 April 29, 2018 3:51 PM  

That was beautiful VD. Thank you for writing that.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 29, 2018 3:53 PM  

Eli wrote:My crazy hope would be for Castalia House Productions (or whatever you end up calling it) to retain the rights to Tolkien's works. Not Peter Jackson. Not Amazon or netflix. People who admire and love the world that Tolkien created.
Rights to LOTR and the hobbit are owned by Saul Zaentz, not New Line, Peter Jackson or Netflix.

Blogger SciVo April 29, 2018 3:56 PM  

MJimmy wrote:"There are no good people" -- Turkish shopkeeper of my acquaintance.

"Nobody is a good boy" -- Calvinist dog

Blogger Eli April 29, 2018 3:58 PM  

Thanks Snidely. I didn't know that. Seeing as how the Hobbit was treated and the upcoming prequel(?) amazon series is likely to be I still wouldn't mind Saul Zaentz losing the rights. Even the LOTR trilogy was flawed although still watchable. I wouldn't mind a redo of them.

Blogger MJimmy April 29, 2018 4:04 PM  

That's effing hysterical SciVo, thanks for the laugh.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener April 29, 2018 4:22 PM  

Apparently one of the things that would really set Tolkien off was when people would ask him if his books were inspired by World War II.

Blogger Avalanche April 29, 2018 4:38 PM  

@26 "That means he stopped even attempting to pay back his loans. He should have sold it, and paid off the two loans with the proceeds."

Oh Dirk, I'm guessing you've never lost a spouse, nor tried to fight the horrendous battles necessary to get (any, much less the best, or even just good) medical care if you don't have gold-plated insurance... By the time you are finally alone, there is essentially no *you* left to carry on the fight to pay even one mortgage and all the medical bills you can't ever get paid.

I pray for you that you NEVER get into that situation, nor love anyone who does.

Blogger Avalanche April 29, 2018 4:47 PM  

@36 "I adore Tolkien, and have read the Hobbit, and The Ring Trilogy twice."

What? Only twice? And you haven't yet read the Silmarillion? You've got some catching up to do -- Tolkien's next book is coming out here soon. (I'm chuckling because, like many, I actually taught myself to write in Elvish... and now there are actual computer fonts for Elvish (Sindaran and Quenya) (and for Dawrvish).

Blogger MJimmy April 29, 2018 4:56 PM  

There's an internet troll that calls himself Zyklon B. Peterson. I find this amusing.

Blogger Unknown April 29, 2018 5:14 PM  

I smell heresy

Truism of the day.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother April 29, 2018 5:33 PM  

I'm losing my edge here. All this jibber jabber and I forgot where to really put your faith!

"And the secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan, you must learn its discipline. For no one, no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts... This you can trust."

Blogger Nate73 April 29, 2018 5:49 PM  

There's a difference between finding your heroes are flawed and finding out they are complete frauds. I felt the latter when I realized not only is ADwD indicative that TWoW is going to suck, but the series won't even be finished. The "American Tolkien"!!!

Blogger Brick Hardslab April 29, 2018 6:03 PM  

Zantz can't dance but he'll steal your money...

Blogger tz April 29, 2018 6:25 PM  

While I can elaborate with a long discussion, I think you will ultimately have to choose between writing like Tolkien, which was G-rated and would have no problem being a movie before 1961, and the coarseness and vulguraity which actually detract from AoD&L. I can't imagine Tolkien writing explicit details of a creature voiding urine. Or other vulgarity. For all the flaws, Rawlings avoids this in Harry Potter. You may have to choose between earthly-fall vulgarity and heavenly literature along Tolkien and Lewis.

Blogger Bogey April 29, 2018 6:27 PM  

Was there a reason why you left out Jesus Christ?

Blogger Angantyr April 29, 2018 6:31 PM  

Saul Zaentz died on Jan 3rd, 2014... ironically on JRR Tolkien's birthday! Strangely fitting, I think.

His company does still own the rights to some of Tolkien's work, though not all of it.

Blogger Kallmunz April 29, 2018 6:35 PM  

If you haven't already, this Christmas do read Letters from Father Christmas. As an aside, do you think JRR would have ended "The Children of Hurin" as a Greek tragedy? I think Christopher played the wrong card.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 6:39 PM  

Was there a reason why you left out Jesus Christ?

Yes. I'm not a preening Churchian.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 6:43 PM  

I think you will ultimately have to choose between writing like Tolkien, which was G-rated and would have no problem being a movie before 1961, and the coarseness and vulguraity which actually detract from AoD&L.

I've already chosen. There was never any chance that AODAL would be G-rated. That would be totally false and untrue to my philosophy. I want to paint with all the colors, not merely the pastels.

You are confusing trying to write something that is as good as Tolkien with trying to write like him. I am not trying to write like him. I'll leave that to the Terry Brookses of the world.

Blogger James Dixon April 29, 2018 6:52 PM  

> I've sampled pretty much every chemical known to Man, except heroin.

You were wise beyond your years. Heroin is deadly in it's addictiveness.

Blogger VD April 29, 2018 7:02 PM  

I think "not quite entirely stupid" is probably a better description than "wise".

Blogger Nell Fenwick April 29, 2018 7:15 PM  

Great post.

Blogger MJimmy April 29, 2018 7:22 PM  

Maybe Tolkien could have benefited from a more realistic approach.

Gandalf scratched his testicles thoughtfully. His nose wrinkled at the foul stench rising from the feet of the sleeping hobbits.
"Varda dammit I wish I was back in Valinor banging that one elven babe" he thought. The sacred quest game wasn't what it used to be. He was down to his last ingot of dwarf silver..


I've yet to read AoD&L, very much looking forward to it.

Blogger Skyler the Weird April 29, 2018 7:32 PM  

Terry Brooks is a semi plagiarist and an Abomination. The Sword of Shannara was a crap fantic Lord of the Rings. It was like Scalzi imitating Haldeman, Heinlein, and Asimov.

Blogger James Dixon April 29, 2018 7:46 PM  

> I think "not quite entirely stupid" is probably a better description than "wise".

Point taken. :)

Blogger Nate73 April 29, 2018 8:08 PM  

@116 You're killing me. If GRRM decided to do a straight rip-off of Tolkien I'm sure every town no matter the race would have a prominent brothel, Frodo and Sam would be lesbians, and by book IV we'd be following a very manly female knight named Aragornette as she aimlessly wandered the lands!

Blogger Mr. Bee April 29, 2018 8:53 PM  

Hmmmmm. A precursor post to losing faith in the "God Emperor"?

Blogger Brick Hardslab April 29, 2018 10:44 PM  

Vox
I have to say that the graphic descriptions are harsh but they brought very real feelings of anger and even desire for vengeance.

If you can stir that in a guy who has investigated real rapes and murders you're doing good.

Blogger Doug Northcote April 29, 2018 11:22 PM  

Thanks Vox, this is one of the nicest posts and most topical for me that I've read in a long long time. I agree with your choice as well. Tolkien is like the best uncle I never had who taught me a great deal before I realized it and without my knowing it.

Only thing else that comes to mind is "Feet of clay" for our heroes.

Blogger Resident Moron™ April 30, 2018 2:38 AM  

"One reason that it takes me so much longer to write Arts of Dark and Light than other fiction and non-fiction is that I am always striving to write something I consider worthy of Tolkien's influence, and of which he would approve if he were ever to read it."

Just write the book, fat man!

Seriously though, from the first book and a half I'd say you're succeeding in this ambition.

Blogger Resident Moron™ April 30, 2018 2:40 AM  

Mr. Bee wrote:Hmmmmm. A precursor post to losing faith in the "God Emperor"?

So you think Vox is Britney Spears?

Maybe you should read what Vox has written about the man a few more times ...

Blogger VD April 30, 2018 6:29 AM  

Hmmmmm. A precursor post to losing faith in the "God Emperor"?

Seriously? Some of you really need to pull your heads out of your self-composed narratives.

OpenID Anonymous April 30, 2018 11:16 AM  

redjack0198 wrote: I respect Luther, but his constant battle with depression scarred his writings.


This does not even begin to make sense. Not only was Luther not in any way a deep theologian, it was precisely the melancholy of Kierkegaard that made Sören Kierkegaard so brilliant. Why are Anglo-Saxons so shallow? They are known for at least totally shallow philosophies: utilitarianism and empiricism. No Kierkegaard emerged from them, no Schopenhauer, no Nietzsche; no depth to their thought or living; depression -- a melancholy disposition rather -- is the natural response to this wicked (1 John 5:19) and evil (Gal. 1:4) world, this vale of tears (Psalm 84:6). Who would choose to live this life again? Like Nietzsche -- "I don't want to live this life _again_" as he wrote -- I wouldn't.

Blogger wreckage April 30, 2018 11:19 AM  

"Vox, stop being vulgar and coarse, lest ye fall by the wayside in ages to come!"

Said the person who hadn't read Shakespeare.
(Or the Bible, or Chauser, or any of the myths and folk-tales that inspired Tolkien.)

Blogger Angantyr April 30, 2018 11:23 AM  

"I loved his books deeply and passionately from the time I read the first page of The Two Towers,..."

Odd - why did you start in the middle of the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

Blogger S1AL April 30, 2018 11:46 AM  

"Why are Anglo-Saxons so shallow? They are known for at least totally shallow philosophies: utilitarianism and empiricism. No Kierkegaard emerged from them, no Schopenhauer, no Nietzsche"

Seriously? Chesterton alone counters this argument.

Blogger Assyrian Nationalist May 01, 2018 2:25 PM  

Very powerful message, brother.

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit May 02, 2018 1:00 AM  

Well said.

Blogger justaguy May 02, 2018 2:20 PM  

Man is a flawed creature able to act both as the angel and the devil. This is something Christian philosophers have known and written about for centuries. Holding a role model to perfection is an exercise in failure. Learning what is good and bad from your role models (hopefully most is good) can help shape the character of a man.

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