Foxfire

I touch on these every now and again because they’re cool. I’m talking about the Foxfire Books.

My great uncle (I would love to know his name if anyone has the family history) was apparently the last or one of the last coal engineers in pennsylvania. One of these years I mean to take my kid to Strasburg for the rail tour and pick their brains to find out who he is and what sort of strange cancers I can expect to get. But anyway, the family has been living and working in Pennsylvania for the last few generations and while not all of us are rail engineers or police, we at least can say we contributed something to the landscape.

I will link to the first three books, the remainder of the text is available online or sold online. The introduction is long but the relevant part follows:

Many older people in this area, for example, still plant today by the signs of the zodiac and the stages of the moon. I had heard them mention it, but I didn’t know what it meant. Rather than interrupt a con- versation to find out, I figured I’d get my students to tell me. They’d probably know since it was mostly their parents and grand- parents who were doing it. But my kids didn’t really know what it was either, and soon they were as curious as I was. Why not find out and turn the information into an article?So they went home and talked—really talked—to their own rela- tives, some of them for the first time. From those conversations came superstitions, old home remedies, weather signs, a story about a hog hunt, a taped interview with the retired sheriff about the time the local bank was robbed—and directions for planting by the signs.

In short, it is appalachian history and makes for a wonderful read. Please enjoy the first, second, third, fouth and fifth issue. Another fun book in the same vein but less folky is the American Boys Book of Camp Lore and Woodcraft.

The War On Oblivion

The Occidental Quarterly has an excellent article they call The War On Oblivion. We should remember as a culture that we’ve traded “father knows best” for Homer Simpson. In a lot of ways it’s true – as men there’s certainly examples of abuses by our hands at the expense of society.

As a new dad the lightbulb went on awhile ago when my father jokingly said “Well you’re doing good to save the race”. Take it how you will (the Knarrs are paragons of entendre) but it’s true. If you’re looking to save decency, then decency has to begin at home. You can’t possibly say to another man that this is sacred and profane without yourself reserving such things.

As I get older I get more and more fed up with pop culture. Gone is Leave it to Beaver and Bill Cosbys Pound Cake, we as dads and people of decent society put on the Simpsons and Dora The Explorer. Objections to Bill Cosby invoking the Nation of Islam include the fact that he never did solve crime in the streets – all they did was redirect it into the Black Panthers – but the point is they did something. They were obviously decent enough parents to make it work, be it Chistianity, Atheistm, Agnosticism, Islam, whatever. But back to our present, morally bankrupt culture, fatherhood used to be something to look forward to and a personal test. Now it’s dad goes to work, fucks off at his job all day, and provides no moral support for his family. I realize I’m making an argument against feminism here, but I don’t see why dad has to be a goon while mom holds up the family. On a more positive note, I feel Dora the Explorer has the right idea. Dad coaches baseball, mom tends to the home (and apparently works in an office). If you’re saying “That sounds like a traditional, really boring whitebread family”, you’re correct. Dora was originally white. Which brings me to part two of my rant, Hispanics never had a family problem and frankly supporting your inlaws was a good thing. If they wanted to make a political statement with it, they wouldn’t have a negro who was a monkey and an overtly jewish fox, complete with yamulka. But they chose to racialise the program, which is completely and totally strange, so now we’re left with Dora The Explorer And Racial Stereotype Friends. Again, Bill Cosby is rolling around in his grave – except he’s not dead yet.

I have no idea what her backpack is, it migth be an eskimo.

But back to the article, I think it puts forward a really interesting point:

The problem is simply that the means [to promote marriage and family] have been removed. I don’t think it will take any pressure or convincing to get men to have children, and to love their children and wives. In fact, pressuring them will inevitably backfire, because our culture apparently has a sadistic tendency to apply only coercive, punitive measures when it comes to men. This only creates more female entitlement, which, as previously mentioned, is one of the biggest problems we have today. Hatred of its men is probably the most critical flaw in Anglo civilization, and if that can’t be changed will probably be its downfall.

And that really sums it up. Next time you’re watching TV, count how many “American Dads” are on there as the strong role model for the family. Then count how many shows don’t show a father figure, or for that matter have one who isn’t worth his salt morally or ethically. Then think about Bill Cosby, and have a poundcake.

EDIT: I would like to add that I very much prefer Handy Manny for my bilingual TV shows. Not only is he a positive male role model, but the program also has moral messages against hubris, promoting respect and family. Aside of the porn, I see nothing to object to in Handy Manny.

I Had a Wonderful Birthday

I had a wonderful birthday yesterday thanks in a large part to my wife and my parents. Of course, I got the XBOX 360 with the 60GB drive as my Christmas (Yuletide?)/Birthday present, so this was simply a bonus on top of an already excellent birthday. We went to Iron Hill and the food was fantastic as were the beers. The only problem with Iron Hill is that it’s very easy to get pallet fatigue because the food and beer are both excellent. The service occasionally is questionable but otherwise it was a nice sit down with my parents, my brother, and my wife. Thank you all.

My wife also started going hunting with me. While the Marlin 39 is only good for small game, it’s all she needs and frankly I’m just happy to have her go out with me. That was a better present than the XBOX. Hopefully we can keep that up as a family tradition also.

Hunter Safety and Arms Dealing

I AM SO PSYCHED UP FOR HUNTING THIS YEAR.

I’ve possibly taken it beyond general interest and approached rampant fetishism.

Part of this is because my wife is interested in hunting. She’s also decided that she wants to make wine, which on some level overlaps the brewing hobby. However unlike beer, winemaking is a lot less involved. So as a “together” hobby, that one doesn’t really pan out since there’s a surprisingly minimal time investment for something that is going to age for six months plus.

On the other hand, it’s really nice that she’s interested in hunting, which is a fantastic “together” activity. Men who read this blog – take your wives hunting.

She wants a bow, but they’re marginally expensive ($300 buys you a midrange compound) and the accessories can be insane ($100 for expanding tip graphite arrows, twelve of them). There’s cheaper alternatives, but like bullets it doesn’t behoove you to hunt with match bullets nor does it work to shoot targets with expensive hunting bullets. But, bows are on sale right now, and if she catches the hunting tradition, then maybe that’ll be for next year. I would like to know where people go to dump their used bows – there’s nothing like bowbroker.com (gunbroker, but for bows). To further complicate things, we’re both left handed, and not a lot of second-hand lefty stuff is floating around out there. Unlike guns which are generally ambi-, bows are almost entirely single-handed.

Anyway, the point is that it’s just nice to have my wife involved in something I’m interested in. It certainly means that our family will continue the hunting tradition. I’m also dragging my friends into it – both Travis and Jon are taking or will have taken their hunter safety courses, so now you guys need to get your women into it also. Women don’t seem nearly as turned on as men are at the prospects of DIY BBQ potential though.

Everything is cyclical – one family enters the tradition as one family leaves it. A guy here at work hadn’t hunted since 1991 and was a fairly typical “drop out” of the hunting scene. He hunted with his father and went through the motions when his dad stopped hunting and never seriously pursued it past a “together” activity. His Remington 700 in the popular caliber of 270 hadn’t seen the sotto light of the woods since then, and he was looking to sell it. A hunter safety instructor is interested in buying it where once again it will be reborn into it’s purpose.