Charlie's Blog: April 2019


Voluntary Amnesia

As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is the fool that repeateth his folly.

There's this guy who will remain nameless who made a big splash a decade ago in the small and eccentric world of ultradistance trail running. With his long hair and beard, he looked like Jesus on the trail. He also lived like Jesus sleeping on floors, under beds, and in closets while in college. He upgraded to sleeping in the back of a Chevy S-10 pickup with a camper shell and spent his days logging 200 mile weeks in the Rocky Mountains which is considered insanity and risking needless injury. But the thing that really set this guy apart was his love of minimalist footwear. He would take a knife to his shoes to whittle the soles down to a more neutral and minimal profile. He advocated being light on gear and all that. Naturally, this nutty guy became a hero of mine for a couple of years until he got injured. That's when he went in a new direction.

He ditched his minimalist shoes and went back to big soled shoes. He forgot all the things he preached. His injuries never went away, so he embraced cross training becoming a skier, rock climber, and cyclist with all of the gear those sports require. Every time he went back to trail running, his injuries would plague him. He has been a disappointment despite early success in his original sport.

The thing that gets to me about this guy is he was doing it right in those earlier days. If I could give him advice, I would tell him to listen to his earlier self because that guy was doing it right. Don't listen to me. Listen to YOU.

I have a name for this phenomenon. I call it "voluntary amnesia." It's where you are doing it right, and you know you are doing it right. Then, for no good reason whatsoever, you forsake what you know is right. You can witness this sort of thing every time some vegan abandons the plant based way to become a meathead again and starts preaching about the "dangers" of veganism. These people know better.

For me, the biggest disappointment was when Samuel L. Jackson went back to eating meat. That cat had a blood clot in his leg. He was lucky he didn't stroke out and die. Sam went vegan and hit the reset button on his health. He lost weight and looked great. Then, he apsotasized hitting In-n-Out as he turned his back on the thing that saved his life. How can you forget these things?

Voluntary amnesia is not the same as simply falling off the wagon. People slip and fall. I get it. What I don't understand is the lobotomy these people do to their memory banks to erase the wisdom of their earlier selves. Once you get it right, why would you forget it?

Another example is former Fed chief Alan Greenspan. This guy was an Ayn Rand disciple and a gold bug. He believed in hard money. Yet, when he was Fed chairman, he became just another Keynesian forgetting all that he knew. Then, when he left the Fed, he became a gold bug again. That is some convenient amnesia there.

I applaud anyone who has the courage and the self-awareness to admit that he has it wrong. I had it wrong when I was an atheist. But it takes a special kind of stupid to be right, to know you are right, and elect to go back to stupid.

I make mistakes in life, but I do try not to repeat mistakes. Once I know something is the wrong way, I don't keep doing it. Likewise, once I know something is right, I tend to stay with it. It takes a lot for me to move from my stubbornness on a thing.

The issue where people employ voluntary amnesia is in the area of religion. Culturally, successive generations forget the lessons and the examples of their elders who feared God and read the Bible. Today's madness began in the sixties when Boomers forgot what their parents taught and decided to experiment with alternative lifestyles of decadence and immorality. The same thing also happens in the political and economic arenas as we have a new generation of idiots looking to Karl Marx for the answers. It really blows the mind.

For me, it all comes back to God. We forget God. God never went away. We are the ones that go away. We let God slip down the memory hole as we return to our folly. This is why we need the Bible, religious books, the calendar, and traditions. They refresh our memories on a regular basis.

There are precious few new answers in life. This is why people turn to science and technology. They think the people that give us new toys can also give us new answers to the most important questions in life. Where did we come from? Where are we going? Why are we here? How can I be happy? Technology has answered none of these questions for us.

The old answers to these questions remain the right answers. Go with God. God has the answers. Christianity is the way. Jesus is Lord. Stay true to these things. If you slip, return to them immediately. As we see our culture and society descend into madness, we shouldn't wonder where we went wrong. We already know. We have chosen to forget.

On a personal level, I can confess to voluntary amnesia. I never remember God's blessings. I always remember His beatings. God has blessed me tremendously and forgiven much in my regard. My descent into atheism was a correction to the doublemindedness of my youth, and it freed me from the prison of heresy. But I hung up the phone on God way back then. I know better now. I must always keep the line open and remember how bad my life was as an atheist. It was an empty and hollow existence.

When times of trial come, the temptation is to slip into voluntary amnesia. You want to forget. You want to return to the vomit of past errors like a sick dog. But I love these words from Proverbs:
My son, forget not my law, and let thy heart keep my commandments.
For they shall add to thee length of days, and years of life and peace.
Let not mercy and truth leave thee, put them about thy neck, and write them in the tables of thy heart:
And thou shalt find grace and good understanding before God and men.
Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence.
In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps.
Be not wise in thy own conceit: fear God, and depart from evil:
For it shall be health to thy navel, and moistening to thy bones. 
These words speak to me because they expose a pride in all of us. This is the pride of thinking we know better than God. We don't. The embarrassment of all my past failures should have taught me this, but it hasn't. I don't know what I am doing. But God always knows what He is doing. Lean not upon your own prudence. Those are very wise words. I just hope I can remember them when I need them.


The Fingerprints of God

In the designs of Providence, there are no mere coincidences.

There are two ways that you can look at events in the world. The first and most common way is to see life as fundamentally random and chaotic. There is no pattern or meaning to any of it. If you see a pattern, this is just a coincidence. The second and less common way is to see life as determined by God and His providence. There are no coincidences. Everything is following God's plan, and you must trust the plan even if you don't see it always working. This requires faith. But sometimes, you see the fingerprints of God in the unfolding of the plan. I don't think these are accidental. I think they are intentional. God lets you know He is running the show even if you can't see the bigger picture.

A great example of this was the cross found in the wreckage and ruins of the World Trade Center collapse on 9/11. For atheists, this cross was a random thing. It would be more miraculous if they had found a star of David or something more complicated. Crosses abound in structural elements, so one was bound to find one in such wreckage. For others, the 9/11 cross was a reassurance that God was there despite the horror and evil of that day. For those people, this cross became a holy relic and a memorial.

So, which is it? Was it Providence or coincidence? You're not going to get a scientific explanation on the thing because one of the features of life is that you can see it either way. You can see God in the everyday, or you can ignore God in the everyday.

Seeing the hand of Providence in things is seeing the same thing the atheist sees but with an added dimension--the spiritual dimension. These things need to be distinguished from miracles. Miracles occur in contradiction to what we know about the way nature works. These providential signs work in accord to the way nature works. Miracles are rare things which is what makes them miracles. These providential signs are extremely common. They don't matter to the atheist, but they matter very much to the believer.

One of the fingerprints of God could be seen when lightning struck St. Peter's Basilica after the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI. For real Catholics, this was an omen of divine displeasure and bad things to come. Since then, that is exactly what has happened as the pontificate of Pope Francis has been an undisputed disaster. Do I believe God sent us a message with this? I do.

You could see more fingerprints of God in the fire at Notre Dame de Paris. The image of the golden cross from the interior of the cathedral went viral. People also saw Jesus in the flames, and many trad Catholics noted that the spire that collapsed hit the Novus Ordo Cranmer table altar but left the high altar untouched. The fact that this cathedral can actually be rebuilt seems miraculous to say the least. In all of these things, we God's hand of Providence.

The scoffing atheist will say that if Providence was working then God should have providentially prevented this fire. The fact is that God has preserved this great work for 800 years, and it seems destined to continue on.The atheist says, "So, what?" The survival of the cathedral is just a coincidence, and its near but not total destruction is also a coincidence. Providence is never allowed in the atheist worldview. Nothing will ever suffice for the atheist. The spiritual dimension of things does not exist for them.

Sometimes, you get the ridiculous as when the Virgin Mary appeared in a grilled cheese sandwich. What makes this absurd is the fact that it was a grilled cheese sandwich. If it was the bloodstained shirt of a Catholic martyr, then it becomes a divine fingerprint. Otherwise, this is seeing a pattern in the noise. What if it had been Scooby-Doo instead of Our Lady?

Believers know the difference between the divine and the absurd. The fingerprints of God always inspire a sense of awe and reassurance usually in the midst of calamitous events. God has a modus operandi. Before or after a calamitous and troubling event or series of events, God sends a sign to His people to give them a reassurance for the dark days ahead. The most famous of these is the Transfiguration from the gospels.

Before His crucifixion, Jesus took His disciples up on a mount where He had a glorious meeting with Moses and Elijah. This awesome event should have been enough to establish who Jesus was. It should have reassured the faith of His disciples for the dark days ahead. It didn't. They abandoned Him in His darkest hour. Only St. John the Apostle was found with the Blessed Mother at the foot of cross. Seeing should be believing, but it isn't. How could they forget this and all the other miracles?

For myself, being a former atheist and a Catholic convert gives me two sets of glasses. I put on one pair of glasses when I wish to see things skeptically. I put on the other when I want to see the deeper reality. My recent accident was miraclous because I lived. The EMT crew said they expected to pull dead bodies from the wreckage. It was the second worst accident they had seen. I saw the worst accident which took out a bridge and killed the driver on impact. I never thought I would be number two to that.

Since the accident, it has become NO BIG DEAL. The amazing thing is how the amazing becomes the ordinary after just a few days. But I felt God protecting me through all of that ordeal just as He protects me today. I will not forget what God did for me. But the atheist part of me wonders why God let it happen in the first place.

God tests you. You can read this for a deeper treatment of this subject. I know God wished to test me with this trial which I am still enduring as I write this. You don't get all the answers in this life. But you do get enough to know that God is real, and He is working His plan. This should be enough to trust the plan.

I confess that I have experienced enough to know that God is real. But I am not mature enough to trust that He knows what He is doing. Some part of me suspects that God is either evil or incompetent. The world and the Roman Catholic Church are such a mess. Many of my prayers go unanswered. Yet, I have witnessed my own transfigurations. I am caught between things I have witnessed and know to be both divine and absolutely true and the things I am at loss to explain or understand. I have seen both the miracle and the atrocity.

The lesson I have learned is that it is easy to believe but very hard to trust. I believe in God's existence. I believe He has a plan. I also believe that I am going to get busted up in that plan. It's like having the best pilot on a plane that you know is going to crash, but you will survive.

The simple fact is that the miraculous and the calamitous go hand in hand. The experience of Our Lady of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun was the biggest and most witnessed miracle next to the Resurrection. Yet, it foretold the worst century humanity has ever endured in terms of bloodshed and social upheaval. The 21st century promises to be even worse.

I see God's fingerprints on everything. I see them daily in the things I read in the news and in the experiences of my daily life. These fingerprints tell me three things. God is real, and He is in control. God has a plan. TRUST THE PLAN.


Charlie's Recipe for Temporal Happiness

In perfect happiness the entire man is perfected, in the lower part of his nature, by an overflow from the higher. But in the imperfect happiness of this life, it is otherwise; we advance from the perfection of the lower part to the perfection of the higher part.

Happiness is the end we all seek. Yet, happiness eludes us. Why is this? Why do even those who seem to have it all in life--health, wealth, good looks, youth--end up destroying themselves in their misery? The answer to this conundrum is no mystery. Happiness can be found only in God. As Aquinas teaches, perfect happiness is only found in contemplation of the Beatific Vision. Perfection is found in the completion of the quest. Once you are happy, you no longer seek or desire anything else. Consequently, Heaven is our ultimate end where all that we seek and desire find their satisfaction.

Can we be happy outside of Heaven? St. Augustine said that we can't, but Aquinas disagreed with him. Aquinas said that we can enjoy an imperfect happiness in this life. This imperfect happiness is found in seeking God and becoming like God. This is the advancement to perfection. We experience this advancement when we perform a good deed or behold a beautiful work of art or watch a sunset. We have all experienced these moments. As St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:12, "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known." Happiness is found as we seek to move in the direction of God.

This happiness we experience on this plane of existence I call "temporal happiness." It's like living in a tent until your home is built. The tent isn't your home, but it is not unreasonable to expect it to keep you warm and dry. Some people live better than others, but this is not to be confused with living larger than others. To live well is not to live comfortably or pleasurably but to live virtuously. People can see this in comparing the miserable rich man to the virtuous but happy poor man who knows and loves God. Though he lacks in material things, this poor man has joy while the rich man ties the belt from his bathrobe and hangs himself from a doorknob in his hotel room. Take it from me, you want the temporal happiness because it will carry you to the eternal happiness of God. The alternative is temporal misery leading to eternal misery which is the loss of the Beatific Vision.

The reason Augustine and Aquinas differ on the issue of happiness is because of their philosophical foundations. Augustine read Plato. Aquinas read Aristotle. With Platonism, everything is either perfect or nothing. With Aristotle, there are grades in between. I think even Augustine would admit that as a saint he was happier than when he was a robust sinner. Then, there is St. Paul who gives us this command to be joyful in his epistle to the Philippians:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 
Clearly, St. Paul believes that we attain and enjoy some measure of joy and peace in this life. If he didn't believe this, he would not have given this exhortation. It would be like telling a legless man to walk.

So, how do we get this temporal happiness? That is easy to understand. Essentially, you have to build a bridge from the temporal to the eternal. This is known as interior life. The saints have a lot to tell us about this.

1. Turn your back on the world.

In order to have interior life, you have to come to a point where you are sick of this world. For those who have suffered terribly, they are already there. For others like the writer of Ecclesiastes, you get there as you realize that all of the good things in this world are vanity. Happiness cannot be found in the world. It is only found in the divine. Once this is firmly established in your mind, you are ready to build this bridge and cross it. As Thomas a Kempis put it,
"The kingdom of God is within you," says the Lord. Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest. Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within, and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious. Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within. His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great, and His intimacy wonderful indeed. Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you; He Himself says: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him."
God does not come to you only when you die. He wants to be with you here and now. But if your heart is cluttered with the desire for the things of this world, there is no room for Him. You see this sort of thing with people who change the conversation when spiritual matters come up. "I'm not there yet," they say. "Maybe some other time," they say. They know God is the source of happiness, but they have to go down all the other fruitless paths before they will settle on God.

Jesus condemns this sort of thing such as when He called the rich young man to sell all he had and to come follow Jesus or when Jesus condemned those who put their hand to the plow and looked back. Then, there is the illustration of Lot's wife who turned to look back on Sodom and its destruction and was turned into a pillar of salt.

2. Become Catholic.

It is very difficult and virtually impossible to develop a deep interior life apart from the sacraments and the grace those sacraments impart. To partake of those sacraments, you must become a Catholic. I do not believe in the disorganized religion known as "spirituality" or the do it yourself religion known as Protestantism. The closest you will ever come to God in this life is the communion found in the eucharist.

In addition to the eucharist, you also must seek out and receive forgiveness and absolution in confession. This is another sacrament that you will absolutely need in order to grow closer to God. As you grow closer to God, the knowledge of your sins will cause you grief and anguish. God forgives. We must seek this forgiveness and mercy.

By becoming Catholic, you are drawn into the worship of God on God's terms. God does not need our worship. We need our worship of God. God is to be worshiped and adored. The Church offers additional helps and aids. You will learn faith and morals through catechesis. You will learn to be still in adoration. You can avail yourself of pilgrimages and retreats. The Roman Catholic Church is a treasure box of spiritual treasures and opportunities that will aid you in developing interior life.

3. Develop a deep prayer life.

Outside of the Church is the life of prayer. This is the personal dimension of your life with God. In prayer, you speak intimately with God. In this area, you will find the greatest advancement in interior life. You must learn to examine your conscience and express remorse for sins and imperfections. You can express your love and thanksgiving to God. And you will find that God also talks to you. You will also find consolation and aid in the communion of Mary and all the saints who are not dead but are a great help to us in our journey. They pray for us and are our friends on our journey to perfection.

The best prayer you can do on a daily basis is the Rosary. No day should go by without praying this awesome prayer. There are many other prayers in addition to the Rosary, and you should avail yourself of them. But those beads and the prayers that go with them will become a comforting and constant presence in your prayer life.

When you can, you should pray before the Blessed Sacrament. Holy hours spent with Jesus exposed in the sacrament or reposed in the tabernacle are very fruitful times of prayer and intimacy. These hours may seem like a waste of time, but they aren't. Jesus is truly present, and these times are the closest thing you can have to Heaven on earth.

4. Do daily spiritual reading.

The Holy Bible is the single best book for spiritual reading. You should read Scripture daily. but the Church has a vast library of books and writings to help you with interior life. I recommend reading all that you can from the saints like Augustine, Aquinas, Teresa of Avila, Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Josemaria Escriva, and others. A great book to begin with is The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. All of these writings will help you in learning to pray, do an examination of conscience, and learn more about God.

5. Sanctify your ordinary activities.

It would be nice to retire to a Trappist monastery for a life of silence and contemplation. But people still have work and families to tend. But these things are no impediment. Even Trappists have to work. But you can learn to turn these ordinary activities into offerings and prayer to God. In this sanctification of ordinary activities, you can be a contemplative in the world. God is with you even in your work. Offer this work as a continual prayer to God. You will find that you do your work better and with greater joy and fulfillment when you offer it to God.

6. Become indifferent to worldly things.

At the beginning, I told you to turn your back on the world. This is not a one time thing but a daily practice. As you grow in your interior life, you should place that life in a sort of mental fortress. The cares of this world are always trying to lure you back into the world and away from your interior life. You must learn to treat the world with a sort of indifference. You care enough to do your duties, but you don't allow those cares to grow larger than the life you have with God. So often, temptations and trials cause us to lose interior life. We must always find our way back to that life.

A great way to build this inner fortress is through mortification especially corporal mortification. This helps you to disdain pleasures as a source of happiness and to endure pain with tranquility. You can still find enjoyment in things, but you hold them in their proper place in relation to God. So often, these things can become idols and stumbling blocks for us. Their presence or absence in life should cause us no dismay. The world is emptiness. God is fullness.

When the storms of life hit, you will find stability and tranquility in this inner fortress. God is with you in all circumstances. He will never leave you. Like St. Peter learned as he walked on the water, he was fine until he turned his eyes from Jesus. But even when he did, Jesus was still there to catch him.


No single essay will suffice on this subject, so treat this as a starting point. The interior life is a long and wonderful journey as you grow closer to God and in the perfection of your soul. The happiness you experience in this journey beats anything that this world has to offer. People are desperate for this happiness, but they insist on looking in the wrong places for it. Yet, it is there for everyone to find. God has provided a way. But we disdain this way to our dissatisfaction and peril. The bottom line is that happiness is found in God. Once your compass is set on the true north of God, everything else falls into place as it should. The journey will not always be easy. It may be painful. You will experience ecstasies but also dark nights of the soul. This journey is worth it.

God made us to love us. We were made to love God. This is the essence of interior life. This is happiness. If you do not love God, you will never be happy. The best you can do without God is to be beguiled by a few worldly pleasures for a time that lead to emptiness of soul. But with God, you will experience true happiness even in this temporal realm. It's like being away from home, but you can still make phone calls. In Heaven, our happiness is made complete. Strive for Heaven. You were made for Heaven. And in this striving, you will find temporal happiness.


Voluntary Poverty Manifesto

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.

What is voluntary poverty? In its most basic sense, it is the choice to live with only what you need. That simple definition is the best one. The problem comes when we try and define "need." It doesn't take much to find someone who "needs" a designer handbag or an Italian sports car. The difference between a need and a want is that needs are finite while wants are infinite. As I am fond of saying, evil is never satisfied. The keys to understanding and living voluntary poverty are to know what is truly needful and why you are choosing to live this way. To help you understand and live voluntary poverty, here is a manifesto on what I consider to be a superior way of life.

1. Material things do not bring happiness.

We have heard this many times, and it provokes mental images of Buddhist monks or Franciscan friars living carefree lives unencumbered with material concerns. Then, we contrast them with starving children in third world countries who don't look so happy. Somehow, telling a starving child that food does not bring happiness seems more cruel than kind.

True happiness is not a full belly and a fat wallet. How many stories do we hear or read of rich and famous people who are miserable and actively destroying themselves in this misery? True happiness is not a matter of the material but the spiritual. Happiness comes when we love God. God loves you. You should love Him back. When you do this, you will find true happiness.

What impedes people from loving God? This would be the cares of this world. People stop loving God when they turn their eyes from their Creator to things created. Only God can satisfy us, yet people seek substitutes for God in hedonistic pleasures, power, and material goods. Once you have found God and truly love Him, these worldly things don't matter much to you anymore.

You should never expect a material thing to confer a spiritual good upon yourself. Owning nice things without God is less than owning nothing with God. Once you have this firmly established in your mind, you will treat things according to their actual worth and keep them in their proper place.

2. Possess only what is needed.

If you don't need it, you shouldn't own it. For many people, this will be the expensive boat that requires monthly payments and spends more time at the dock or in storage than out on the water. The same can also be said for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, expensive sports cars for the midlife crisis, designer clothes, and on and on. You don't need these things.

Sometimes, it may be hard to make the distinction between having things we need versus having things we just wanted. The easy way to make the distinction is to ask yourself a question. Is this a tool or a toy? If the item is a toy, then get rid of it. Toys are for children.

3. Give your surplus to God and to the poor.

It is important to make a distinction between your supply and your surplus. Your supply is all the money and stuff you need to keep body and soul together. This doesn't mean you can't store and build up wealth for future supply. Surplus is what you possess beyond your supply. For instance, if you win $500 million in the lottery, you are set for the rest of your life in terms of supply. If you are practicing voluntary poverty, one tenth of this would suffice for your supply for the rest of your life. What do you do with the rest? You should give it away. The way to do this is to contribute to God by building His house and giving to the poor who are people in hellhole countries desperately trying not to starve to death and trying to survive cholera and malaria. These are the people who won the lottery of misfortune.

Most people don't win the lottery, so their contributions are relative to what they make at the time in the form of a tithe. You should always give a portion of your income back to God. You get the 90% while God gets the 10%. But when you get the windfall like the lottery, God should get the 90%, and you should get the 10%. If you think this is ridiculous, this would be the decision to live on $50 million after winning $500 million in the lottery. If you can't make $50 million stretch out for your lifetime, you have some problems.

By giving to God, you are able to transfer your riches to Heaven. The only exception to this transfer would be to employ that wealth as capital to put people to work and supply human needs through free enterprise. If you are savvy enough to do this kind of thing, go for it. But if you weren't rich before the windfall, you probably don't possess such business acumen. This is why so many lottery winners end up broke.

4. Show no vanity in your poverty.

Most people love to show off the vanity they have in their wealth. Conversely, some people wish to show off their sanctity in their poverty. So, they leave their shoes unshined, and their clothes unmended. They wish to show off their modesty and humility which is neither modest nor humble. This is hypocrisy. Be humble, and be humble about your humility.

5. The sweetest pleasures are the cheapest.

Voluntary poverty doesn't mean that your life should be miserable and joyless. You should enjoy life. Unfortunately, for many people, they think pleasure is enhanced relative to expense. So, they drink only the finest wines and eat at only the finest restaurants. They become snobs in the things they eat, drink, and pursue for entertainment.

I find that the used paperback from the thrift store reads just as well as that rare first print edition. I find cheap Cuban coffee brewed at home to be superior to the Starbucks. I love cheap jelly beans. As for entertainment, I have a library of classical music that I got for free or almost free. I enjoy all of these things. They don't cost very much at all. I don't feel deprived in life.

6. Don't be a bum.

When you live the voluntary poverty lifestyle, you find that you can get by working less if you are living on less. Avoid this temptation to laziness and keep working. The work ethic is a good thing, and you should have one. Too many minimalists pursue the minimalist lifestyle because they really want to be bums. But voluntary poverty rejects this. There is no shame in making a lot of money. It is what you do with it once you've earned it that matters. But you should definitely keep earning it.

7. Don't look like a bum.

This is similar to point 4, but it has to do with hygiene issues. For men, this means a haircut and a shave. For women, this means getting a sensible haircut. It means taking a daily shower and tending to your appearance. Too many people who embrace voluntary poverty think the lifestyle means looking like a dirty hippie. It doesn't.

8. Do not seek or display status.

We live in a name brand culture. It's not enough to have things. You have to flaunt it. So, instead of buying the Toyota, you opt for the Lexus even though it is essentially the same car. You go for the designer handbag instead of the plain jane purse. Even hood rats in the ghetto like to show off with thousand dollar rims on their rides. All of this is known as conspicuous consumption. You are buying things for the sake of others instead of yourself. This is vanity. Eschew this vanity.

9. Do not look down on anyone.

Rich people love their gated communities. They tend to the pricier places because it separates them from the riff raff. They talk derisively to the help and condescend to their inferiors. It can all be sickening when you see it, and I see it often. If you do not see the fundamental equality of humanity before God, this makes you a snob.

Voluntary poverty recognizes true dignity is not found in wealth or honors or belonging to the exclusive country club but in being a person of character and courtesy. No one you encounter should be treated as your inferior. All people possess the dignity that comes from being made in the image of God. When you fail to acknowledge this, you insult God who is everything. You are nothing in comparison to Him.

10. Do not be luxurious.

This pertains to seeking a life of comfort and things needed to achieve this comfort. This would be the gigantic puffy recliner or the sectional couch. This would be getting the heated leather seats in your Cadillac. This would be spending the day at the spa being pampered and getting a mani/pedi. This would be the ridiculously expensive bed with the air cushions you can manipulate with a remote control. You get the idea.

The irony of this pursuit of comfort is that it makes you soft and self-indulgent which diminishes your tolerance for discomfort. The result is that your stressful and uncomfortable life remains stressful and uncomfortable no matter what comforts you bring to that life. This is known as the hedonic treadmill. When you aim for comfort, you end up in discomfort. When you embrace discomfort, you find comfort. If you doubt this, look at the sedentary guy who complains of back pain from sitting on his bum all day versus the guy who works out and feels great.

11. Make treasure out of trash.

Western societies are very wasteful. We throw away very good things because they are no longer in style or because we have found something marginally better making the old thing obsolete. The result is an ever increasing pile of clutter and garbage.

The first thing you should do in this regard is to not be wasteful. Unless the item you own is completely shot, you should hang on to it and keep using it. If you can, mend it and extend the life of the thing. I have work pants that I still wear that are over a decade old. I patch and sew them up when they get torn or worn. In terms of food, I try to eat leftovers or make a potluck soup, so the food does not get thrown away. I turn junk mail into scrap paper for notes and shopping lists.

The second thing you should do is buy used items. I love thrift stores and used book stores. Before I go to Walmart for an item, I shop at Goodwill to see if I can buy the item used. The irony is that I find many of those old things to be of better quality than the new things.

The third thing you should do is repurpose old things in new ways. A great example would be a cigar box turned into a storage box. I use one to hold the scrap paper I make from junk mail. Another example is the way we turn old peanut butter jars into food storage containers for things like grits or popcorn.


When you pursue voluntary poverty, you notice some ironic things happening in your life. The first and most basic is that your money problems vanish. The disparity between your income and your expenses becomes so large that you end up saving a great deal of money whether you want to or not. The second is that you find more joy and pleasure in your humble lifestyle than rich people do in their luxurious lifestyles. The third is that people envy you even though you have done nothing to provoke that envy. This envy comes as people recognize that you have discovered a superior way of living. And that produces the final irony which is that this lifestyle can't be bought with money. It can only be had by eliminating your wants, reducing your needs, and using your ingenuity to meet those reduced needs.

Life is more than the material, and voluntary poverty allows you to pursue the things that truly matter. Many people don't get that message. The result is that they end up experiencing involuntary poverty of both the material and the spiritual kind. I can only speak for myself, but I have yet to regret living this voluntary poverty lifestyle. It makes me very happy.


Supernatural Faith

Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and stiffen your neck no more.

What is supernatural faith? In a nutshell, supernatural faith is having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This sounds like something you hear from an evangelical Protestant especially a Southern Baptist raised on the Billy Graham Crusade. But those evangelicals are correct. You need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be saved. If you don't know Jesus, then Jesus doesn't know you, and He will tell you this on Judgment Day.

Catholics have a hard time with this personal relationship talk because they believe those sacraments are what make you Catholic. This is true. Being baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church makes you a Roman Catholic. Those sacraments along with communion and confession impart real grace. As a Christian, you should avail yourself of these graces.

Supernatural faith is a different thing. You can be married to your wife and not love your wife. You can be married to your husband and not love your husband. We know about these types of relationships, and they are sad and tragic. The ring on the finger does not put love in the heart. Well, the same applies with Jesus Christ. You can be in His Church and not love Him in your heart.

We all know Catholics who don't love Jesus. These would be Catholic politicians that support abortion on demand and genocide. These would be sodomite priests who rape boys and each other. These would be prelates who cover for these crimes. As Bishop Athanasius Schneider put it,
But to me, the deepest cause of the clerical sex abuse crisis is the lack of a deep and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When a seminarian or a priest does not have a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ, in constant fidelity to a life of prayer and really enjoying a personal love for Jesus, he is easy prey for the temptations of the flesh and other vices.
You need to love Jesus Christ. This love is the fire of supernatural faith. Believers in the Old Testament talked about being circumcised in your heart. Likewise, Catholics need to be baptized in their hearts. Supernatural faith is what makes sinners into saints.

Evangelical Protestants stress this need for supernatural faith, and they are correct. You need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be saved. But because they reject the Catholic Church which is the true and only Church instituted by Christ, what they propose is a form of spiritual fornication in the same way that couples will shack up without benefit of marriage. These fornicators will claim that all they need is love, and love is what matters. But how can you love someone if you won't put a ring on their finger? And what kind of love is it that can be dissolved the moment the eye wanders to someone more lovely?

Evangelicals propose a love for Jesus without commitment. Catholics propose a love for Jesus with commitment. Jesus wants this commitment from you. If you can't make this commitment, then you do not love Him.

Loving Jesus is a package deal. You don't come to the Savior on your terms. You come to Him on His terms. Those terms are mediated through the Roman Catholic Church. Anyone who rejects "organized religion" is proposing disorganized religion as a substitute. It would be like a man proposing a one sided open relationship to his bride. This also explains why so many Protestants fall away from the faith and embrace spirituality and atheism. Faith needs to be committed.

For many Roman Catholics, they coast on presumption. These would be cultural Catholics raised in the faith from the cradle and feel free to take a heaping dump on that faith later down the road. As one lapsed cradle Catholic put it to me, "I am more Catholic than you." I had to laugh at this knowing those words will come back to haunt him on the Day of Judgment. He is without supernatural faith and in a permanent and unrepentant state of mortal sin. He has misjudged Catholicism as some sort of exclusive club that you have to be born into to truly belong. He is like Govenor Andrew Cuomo who defended his support for infanticide by reminding people that he used to be an altar boy. Well, Hitler was an altar boy, too. What difference does this make? Do these people love Jesus Christ?

But the hypocrisy doesn't end with lapsed Catholics who haven't been to Mass in decades. There are those who even attend daily Mass and confess monthly who have hearts far from the Lord. If a priest who offers the Mass daily can be dead in his heart, it is also possible for a member of the laity to have a similar deadness of heart. These would be Catholics who do good works for the sake of show or being noticed. Jesus called out this hypocrisy. This is not love but vanity.

Our hearts should be alive to Jesus. Mortal sin is where we have allowed the love for Jesus to die in our hearts. This is where we have extinguished the love for Christ in our hearts by our sins and wickedness. It's like a husband who professes love for his wife but commits adultery. That does real damage to a relationship. But unlike that wife, Jesus truly does forgive and forget. Your sins are not bigger than His heart for you. He will forgive you. He is truly merciful, and He loves you.

Jesus wants your love. He wants your heart. He wants to have a personal relationship with you. He wants to know you better than any friend you could ever have. He wants this so much that He suffered and died for you. This is the essence of supernatural faith. You know that Jesus loves you, and you love Him back as hard as you can.


The Architects of Deconstruction

Every sign, linguistic or nonlinguistic, spoken or written (in the usual sense of this opposition), as a small or large unity, can be cited, put between quotation marks; thereby it can break with every given context, and engender infinitely new contexts in an absolutely nonsaturable fashion. This does not suppose that the mark is valid outside its context, but on the contrary that there are only contexts without any center of absolute anchoring. This citationality, duplication, or duplicity, this iterability of the mark is not an accident or anomaly, but is that (normal/abnormal) without which a mark could no longer even have a so-called “normal” functioning. What would a mark be that one could not cite? And whose origin could not be lost on the way?

If you are scratching your head on that quotation, give your scalp a break. It is utterly meaningless. This is the language of an architect of deconstruction. Not only do these words make no sense whatsoever, the deconstructionists would agree with you. For them, language is inherently meaningless. Then, they argue for their point with meaningless language.

Deconstruction is a philosophy of language that says that words cannot convey meaning. Pseudo-intellectuals deep into these theories will recoil at my gross oversimplification of their position and claim that I have built a straw man of their sham philosophy. Yet, they will be unable to refute what I have written because this would require words. When they do use words, these words are so abstruse as to be meaningless. This leaves you, Gentle Reader, to choose between my meaningful words and their meaningless words. This is an argument that I cannot lose.

My introduction to deconstruction came as a clueless undergraduate student when I enrolled in a class about theory as an English major. I can't remember if the class was required or not. I just wish I had never taken the class as it was the only English course I have ever taken where I got a C. I was grateful for that C because it is the only course in my entire life where I learned absolutely nothing. But it was providential that I took the class because I would spend the next decade coming to understand why I did not understand it. It also allayed any concerns about forfeiting a possible career as a professor of English. With garbage classes like this one, I never stood a chance.

This class was taught by a cultural Marxist sodomite who rode to class on a ten speed bike covered in Clinton-Gore campaign stickers. Nothing about him told me that he was a homosexual pervert, but I got the vibe. Recently, I looked him up online and confirmed that he was a sodomite as he had pictures of him and his lover.

I will refrain from posting his name. But he did seem to be a nice and agreeable fellow despite the damage he must have inflicted on the rectal vault of hisboyfriend. He even writes poetry about such violations and crimes against nature. But I digress.

This fellow did not teach the class so much as assign readings for the students. We would return to class utterly clueless about what we had read because they made no sense whatsoever. We hoped he would clear up the confusion, but he never did. He would just ask what we thought about the readings. Then, we wrote papers where we used what we had "learned" to analyze various texts. These could be poems or even song lyrics. I was into U2 at the time, so I wrote about songs the band had written. None of what I wrote made any sense because I was just making it up. This sodomite never noticed that I was writing garbage. The entire class was writing garbage.

Things sort of came to a head when the prof expressed a bit of exasperation about the papers we were writing. He told us that even though our readings were hard to understand and were completely inscrutable that our papers needed to be clear as a bell and understandable. At that moment, the penumbra of bullsh*t had burst for me and for everyone else. It must have also burst for the professor because he would leave the world of English lit and get advanced degrees and a new career in computer science where you actually have to do things that are rational and make sense.

Fortunately for me, all of my other English classes made complete sense, and I would get A's in those classes. Those professors were old and were taught in a time when language actually conveyed meaning. One of my professors taught me a valuable lesson about literature. Great literature was a source of moral education. As Russell Kirk put it,
Real literature is something much better than a harmless instrument for getting through idle hours. The purpose of great literature is to help us to develop into full human beings.
Most people don't learn morality in philosophy classes. They learn morality from the stories and poetry they encounter throughout all of their lives. Whether it is Aesop's fables, Shakespeare, Star Wars, or the Bible, we learn about the way we should live from those great tales and lines. Great literature is a tool for God to teach us something about the world, divinity, and ourselves.

It was not enough for the nihilists to produce bad literature of which there is a great abundance. They also had to corrupt the good literature by first stripping the morality from those lines and tales and making them say something quite different. This is how you get Hamlet turning from a man torn by a moral dilemma about avenging his dead father into a son who desperately wants to have sex with his mother. I bet that turn of plot would be a real surprise to William Shakespeare.

This perversion of literature is made possible in much the same way that the perversion of the sexual function has been made possible. With sex, objective morality was overthrown in favor of subjective morality which is really no morality at all. Likewise, with literature, objective meaning of the text was overthrown in favor of subjective meaning which is really no meaning at all. Words don't convey any meaning, so you are free to make those words say what you wish. For some reason, those meanings always revolve around sodomy, incest, feminazism, and the overthrow of capitalism in favor of socialism.

To make this madness possible, there needed to be a philosophy undergirding it and providing an "intelligent" rationale for this absurdity. So, the world of literary scholarship turned to philosophy and a set of philosophers who comprise a school known as deconstruction. These architects and proto-architects made it possible for fools to reject the reality of a text and substitute their own reality. Somewhere, philosophy turned from the love of wisdom to the love of foolishness.

Friedrich Nietzsche

The first proto-architect of deconstruction was Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote the obituary for the Almighty by declaring that God was dead. Without the objective sense and morality that God gave, the individual was forced to rebuild his worldview on new subjective foundations. This gave the individual unfettered freedom and license. Existentialists like Camus and Sartre would reckon with this unfettered freedom. The individual can either build from scratch or he can reimagine and repurpose old myths for new purposes. As Nietzsche put it,
Anything in existence, having somehow come about, is continually interpreted anew, requisitioned anew, transformed and redirected to a new purpose.
The individual is free to make new use of the old things he has been given in much the same way that a sodomite makes new use of his partner's orifices intended for other functions. Or, he can destroy his biological plumbing and transgender into a mutilated male and declare himself a woman. If all this is possible, then it is possible that Huckleberry Finn and Jim had a sodomiti relationship out there on that raft. It all becomes possible when that raft is no longer moored to any fixed object or worldview.

There are many ideas floating around in Nietzsche's writings, and they can be quite complex. But they are understandable with a bit of reading and study. Nietzsche is not easy reading, but his ideas are comprehensible. One of those ideas has to do with the Apollonian and the Dionysian from The Birth of Tragedy.

Nietzsche wrote and published Tragedy at the beginning of his career. It was an immediate failure and would cost him his career as a philology professor. The reason for this is because Nietzsche went against the grain of scholarship at that time as he gave a new interpretation to old forms. The Greeks were not writing plays about morality and the gods so much as writing about living heroically in the face of the abyss of nihilism. Professors in the Judeo-Christian tradition immediately got a whiff of the stench emanating from this work and rejected it. But it had made its mark.

The essence of the work is between the concepts of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Apollonian represented order and reason. The Dionysian represented ecstasy and chaos. The Greeks would weld this order and chaos into their art forms. By extension, the composer Richard Wagner achieved much the same thing in his music. Wagner was a contemporary of Nietzsche, but the relationship between them would not last. Nietzsche probably appeared to Wagner as more of a deranged fan than a philosopher.

The contributions Nietzsche made to the school of deconstruction was nihilism and the permission to reinterpret classical forms in new and deranged ways. This is how you get today's communist, feminist, and LGBTQ interpretations of Shakespeare and Chaucer despite the fact that neither man had any clue about these modern ideologies. It no longer matters that the writers of the past wrote for a time and a place and had their own ideas about the world. This literary historical method of interpretation is old hat. These interpretations derived from deconstruction would also spill over into things like constitutional law, music, and the law. Even this essay that I am writing can be reinterpreted by these idiots to say something completely different from what I have actually written.

Jacques Lacan

The next proto-architect in our journey to madness is the French psychotherapist Jacques Lacan. Lacan lived and worked during the early twentieth century and had a lot of theories building on what Freud had taught. The most prominent of these theories involves the mirror stage of human development. You don't have to bother reading this man because he said and wrote nothing of substance. And if he did, you couldn't understand a word of what he was writing or saying anyway. This inscrutability did not hamper him in the least but helped make a sort of intellectual celebrity out of this mumbling fool.

You may feel that I am being unkind to Lacan, so to make my case, I will let the man make the case for himself. Here is Lacan on whatever:
I think where I am not, therefore I am where I do not think. I am not whenever I am the plaything of my thought; I think of what I am where I do not think to think.
Spend some time pondering that deep thought. If you find that one easy, here is one more challenging:
I identify myself in language, but only by losing myself in it like an object. What is realised in my history is not the past definite of what was, since it is no more, or even the present perfect of what has been in what I am, but the future anterior of what I shall have been for what I am in the process of becoming.
I think the only process of becoming here is the process of becoming bullsh*t. But my mockery of this man's thinking and writing would be incomplete without a third ridiculous example. Here it is:
Reading in no way obliges us to understand.
Wow. I actually understand that one. Somehow, Lacan accidentally wrote the truth there. We are not obliged to understand what we are reading which is a relief because I don't understand a word of anything this man wrote. I don't think the man even understood what he wrote himself. Like the tailors of the emperor's new clothes, this man weaved a garment of pure crap and dared the world to call him out on it. Apparently, no one did. They embraced him as a genius which had become somebody who said things you couldn't understand. Because you couldn't understand it, it must be profound. Nevermind the smell of crap attached to it.

Jacques Derrida

We now arrive at the chief architect of deconstruction--Jacques Derrida. Derrida lived from 1930 to 2004 and destroyed Western civilization in his lifetime. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but he did introduce the poison into the waters of today's intellectual establishment that makes whatever pours forth from their fountains unfit to drink.

Derrida's aim was to tear down the edifice of Western civilization, so he was the one who called his philosophy "deconstruction." Derrida belongs to the school known as "post-structuralist" which David Foster Wallace described this way,
"deconstructionist" and "poststructuralist" mean the same thing, by the way: "poststructuralist" is what you call a deconstructionist who doesn't want to be called a deconstructionist.
I give Wallace credit for his refreshing candor on this matter. What is the difference between a structuralist and a poststructuralist? I honestly couldn't tell you because they both strike me as madness and gibberish. But apparently this academic fight between two maniacs in the insane asylum were a big deal. But if I had to venture a guess, the structuralists still believed words meant something while the poststructuralists argued that words were meaningless. Here is Derrida on the matter,
How can another see into me, into my most secret self, without my being able to see in there myself? And without my being able to see him in me. And if my secret self, that which can be revealed only to the other, to the wholly other, to God if you wish, is a secret that I will never reflect on, that I will never know or experience or possess as my own, then what sense is there in saying that it is my secret, or in saying more generally that a secret belongs, that it is proper to or belongs to some one, or to some other who remains someone. It's perhaps there that we find the secret of secrecy. Namely, that it is not a matter of knowing and that it is there for no one. A secret doesn't belong, it can never be said to be at home or in its place. The question of the self: who am I not in the sense of who am I but rather who is this I that can say who? What is the- I and what becomes of responsibility once the identity of the I trembles in secret?
Did you get that? Me neither. It is all the gibber-gabber of a fool writing nonsense arguing that all writing is nonsense. In this way, Derrida turns his own language into a foreign language that is unable to be understood even by himself. But like Lacan, Derrida wedded his nonsense to celebrity and became a big deal. The world has suffered for it ever since.

Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault was a French sodomite who was born in 1924 and died in 1984 after his lover(s) pumped disease into his shattered anus which resulted in his contraction of AIDS which killed him. These scandalous facts matter because Foucault pumped large amounts of his intellectual disease into the shattered minds of the postmodern world which these fools gladly accepted. As Foucault put it,
I wasn't always smart, I was actually very stupid in school ... There was a boy who was very attractive who was even stupider than I was. And in order to ingratiate myself with this boy who was very beautiful, I began to do his homework for him—and that's how I became smart, I had to do all this work to just keep ahead of him a little bit, in order to help him. In a sense, all the rest of my life I've been trying to do intellectual things that would attract beautiful boys.
So , Foucault pretended to be clever in order to get laid. Since he was slightly more clever than the other academic idiots, Foucault must have succeeded in this endeavor. You don't really have to be a genius in life when you can just fool people into thinking that you're a genius. Foucault was a real genius at this sort of thing.

Foucault had one distinct advantage. He wrote clearly. You can read Foucault and actually understand him. What made him different was that he was utterly amoral and nihilistic. The only constants in his thinking was a favoritism for the underdog in the fight against power. This is why he could support communism at one time and oppose it at another time. It is how he found support for both the Ayatollah Khomeini, Jews, and the Solidarity movement in Poland. Try getting all those groups in a room together.

The only consistent thing with Foucault was his love of the revolution and the revolutionary. There were no overarching ideas of justice or morality with Foucault. There was only power. Taking ideas from Nietzsche, Foucault made it fashionable for left wingers to be fascists, too. Of course, the moment they won the fight, Foucault would probably oppose them. This is why Foucault was instrumental in the campus revolutions of the 1960s and 70s but would probably oppose the PC thought control that exists on campuses today.

For some odd reason, Foucault is a likable fellow despite being an amoral nihilist. I think it may be because he was a snappy dresser and looked really good with a shaved head. I don't know. But this is what Noam Chomsky had to say about Foucault:
"He struck me as completely amoral, I'd never met anyone who was so totally amoral. I mean, I liked him personally, it's just that I couldn't make sense of him. It's as if he was from a different species, or something.
Foucault believed that knowledge was power and that language and discourse were means of control. Therefore, you should strive to change that discourse in order to gain power. Power is all that matters and not truth or justice. This is the thinking behind today's plethora of crap majors like Women's Studies. African-American Studies, Queer Studies, Transgender Studies, and on and on.

The impact on the study of literature is that the accepted meanings of texts are rejected and reimagined in terms of power relationships. This is how you get things like "male privilege," "white privilege," "cisgender privilege," and on and on. Language is reduced to a tool of repression and must be deconstructed and reconstructed into a tool of revolution. Eventually, you go beyond that to the absurdity that mathematics is racist and sexist.

Why did Foucault see the world in this way? It all comes from his homosexual perversion. In the world of sodomy, you are either on the top or on the bottom. You are either violating or being violated. There is nothing more to existence than this power relationship. And if you think I am pushing this madness too far, Foucault was deep into the world of gay BDSM and extolled it as "the real creation of new possibilities of pleasure, which people had no idea about previously."

This power thesis comes from Nietzsche's concept of the will to power applied in realms and ways beyond Nietzsche's corroded mind of his time. The Nazis made use of this madness for their ends, so why can't everyone else do the same for their ends? In a world beyond good and evil, there only remains power and submission. This is what makes Shakespeare a homophobic cisgender privileged antisemitic white male chauvinist unless you think Shakespeare was a closeted homosexual which radically alters your reading of Richard III.

Julia Kristeva

Julia Kristeva's primary claim to fame is being a girl who rose to prominence in a boy's club of bullsh*t. Combining the ideas of Lacan, the inscrutability of Derrida, and following in the wake of Foucault's revolution, Kristeva took her deconstructionist crap to ever greater heights of complete gibberish. But I don't need to say all of that. Here is what Kristeva had to say,
Mimesis is, precisely, the construction of an object, not according to truth but to verisimilitude, to the extent that the object is posited as such (hence separate, noted but not denoted); it is, however, internally dependent on a subject of enunciation who is unlike the transcendental ego in that he does not suppress the semiotic chora but instead raises the chora to the status of signifier, which may or may not obey the norms of grammatical locution. Such is the connoted mimetic object.
That quotation makes it all clear. Kristeva could shovel crap just as well as Lacan and Derrida. But wait, there's more:
The other that will guide you and itself through this dissolution is a rhythm, text, music, and within language, a text. But what is the connection that holds you both together? Counter-desire, the negative of desire, inside-out desire, capable of questioning (or provoking) its own infinite quest. Romantic, filial, adolescent, exclusive, blind and Oedipal: it is all that, but for others. It returns to where you are, both of you, disappointed, irritated, ambitious, in love with history, critical, on the edge and even in the midst of its own identity crisis; a crisis of enunciation and of the interdependence of its movements, an instinctual drive that descends in waves, tearing apart the symbolic thesis.
It was writing like this that garnered numerous awards and accolades for this woman who wrote pure crap. These accolades would not have come had Kristeva possessed a penis. But the fact that a woman could dazzle the world with pure nonsense is a superlative achievement.

Removing the Emperor's New Clothes

Now, when a modern artist defecates on a canvas and hangs it in a gallery, people immediately recognize it for the excrement that it is. Likewise, when avant garde serialist music is played, even the untrained ear will tell you that it is noise. But with the deconstructionists, calling out the bullsh*t is harder because we encounter many things in academia that are confusing when we read them. This could be a book on Einstein's theories or a history of China written in Chinese. Usually, when we don't understand a thing, we look to our peers to tell us that this work is worthwhile and profound even if we don't understand it. If you take the time to learn calculus and Chinese, it will actually make sense.

With these deconstructionists, nothing they say will ever make sense. This is because it is nonsense. But if you question this nonsense, you run the risk of being seen as some sort of dumb ass. So, you keep your mouth shut and go along with your peers who claim this crap is brilliant. The reality is that they possess the same fear of being outed as a dumb ass just like you. The result is a mutual gaslighting until someone has the courage and the humility to call it out for what it is.

One of the people who has no problem calling out these fools is Sir Roger Scruton who is something these fools never were--an actual intellectual. Here is what he had to say about our current topic:
There are philosophers who have repudiated the goal of truth -- Nietzsche, for example, who argued that there are no truths, only interpretations. But you need only ask yourself whether what Nietzsche says is true, to realize how paradoxical it is. (If it is true, then it is false! -- an instance of the so-called 'liar' paradox.) Likewise, the French philosopher Michel Foucault repeatedly argues as though the 'truth' of an epoch has no authority outside of the power-structure that endorses it. There is no trans-historical truth about the human condition. But again, we should ask ourselves whether that last statement is true: for if it is true, it is false. There has arisen among modernist philosophers a certain paradoxism which has served to put them out of communication with those of their contemporaries who are merely modern. A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is "merely relative," is asking you not to believe him. So don't.
It would be nice to merely dismiss these fools as fools, but they have become dangerous fools as deconstruction has infected other fields and explains the current fascination with puberty blockers and penis removal among boys. It is not just literature but reality itself which can be deconstructed and reconstructed to reflect whatever you choose.

Another vociferous critic is the physicist Alan Sokal who punked a postmodernist journal of deconstruction by writing the sort of gibberish you would find in Derrida and Kristeva and submitting it for publication. Naturally, those fools took the bait in what has come to be known as the Sokal affair. The whole article was made up garbage but neither the editors nor the readers seemed to notice. Sokal had to reveal the truth himself. The hoax showed that the emperor was very naked indeed. As Sokal put it,
But why did I do it? I confess that I'm an unabashed Old Leftist who never quite understood how deconstruction was supposed to help the working class. And I'm a stodgy old scientist who believes, naively, that there exists an external world, that there exist objective truths about that world, and that my job is to discover some of them.
As far as I know, Sokal is a leftist and an atheist. But science makes him believe in objective truths which today makes you a conservative. This is a guy who could no longer stand the stench coming from the other side of the campus in the philosophy and English departments. So, he did an experiment to make his point. He discovered the objective truth that deconstructionists are full of crap.

Like Sokal, I hope that I have made my point. Deconstructionism is part of the larger disease known as postmodernism where God is dead, men can be women, and truth cannot be known but can be asserted with as much ferocity as you can muster. The whole goal of deconstruction is to change reality itself. But as I said at the beginning, this is an argument that I cannot lose. Words do convey meaning except when those words belong to these architects of deconstruction. Then, those words truly are meaningless garbage that we can safely ignore. What can't be ignored is the danger these fools have brought to the modern mind. Without truth and the means to convey this truth, what else is there? It is only madness and opinion which is an apt description of the left wing of today.