Camassia explains what I have in common with the early fascists:
They also tend to distrust large-scale economies like capitalism and socialism and have an intermittent romance with a more localist agrarian past, which the early fascists also did. They also like the idea of themselves as an entire alternative society, rather than just an actor within a society. Paxton writes that when Mussolini decided to run for office, the purists of the movement saw this as an unacceptable compromise. “Idealistic early fascists saw themselves as offering a new form of public life — an “antiparty” — capable of gathering the entire nation, in opposition to both parliamentary liberalism, with its encouragement of faction, and socialism, with its class struggle,” he writes.
At Front Porch Republic, taking a look at the myth of religious violence:
The moderns would hold that “religion” is a trans-cultural, trans-historical reality, a universal genus of which “Christianity,” “Hinduism,” and “Islam” are particular species. The problem is, any attempt to define this genus in such a way as to include what the moderns want to include and to exclude what they wish to exclude turns out to be contradictory. Nationalism is no less a cult than Catholicism. Including a belief in God would exclude many major “religions.” One might attempt to limit religion to the “transcendent,” but ideas such as “the nation” or “liberty” are transcendent ideas, as are all values. Hence, there is no coherent way to distinguish “religious” from “secular” violence. What counts as “religious” or “secular” in any given society always depends on the configuration of power within that society. Indeed, the demarcation of the “religious” sphere is itself an expression of secular power, a political act.
Author Marie Brennan on the Monstrous Feminine:
In the case of Alien, it’s the explicitly feminine ship environment, which then violates the boundaries of the symbolic order by turning the tables on the humans: the egg Kane encounters expels a creature both phallic and enveloping, which impregnates him with an alien larva that finally emerges by bursting from his chest, in a horrific and unnatural parody of birth. Phallic features on otherwise feminine bodies are a pretty common horror trope, actually; I could point to Medusa and her snakes, but let me appall some of you by instead bringing up Ursula in the film of The Little Mermaid. By Disney’s standards, she’s grossly sexual (”don’t underestimate the importance of body language!“), and then she’s got those octopus tentacles . . . .
And finally, traditionalist Catholic gadfly Arturo on American and Mexican masculinity:
Mexican masculinity has a lot in common with this. My two prime examples in life for how a Mexican man should behave are my father and grandfather. My father is a mechanic, a Vietnam vet, used to box, and has lots of tattoos: quite masculine to be sure. My grandfather could gut a pig as unpretentiously as most people brush their teeth. My father-in-law, a Louisiana Creole of color from a sharecropper family, can probably do the same, though it has been decades since he lived on the farm. But the odd thing about my grandfather, at least, is that he cooks. You see him sitting at the table, quietly taking small stones out of the pinto beans and placing them in a pot. Women’s work? You can tell him that if you know Spanish. He also likes to sit by my grandmother and watch soap operas with her. I have never seen someone be so tender with someone else.
Update:: One more from John Scalzi about marriage:
Six years ago, when I was giving marriage advice to others, I wrote: “Marriage is work. It never stops being work. It never should.” This is something I still think is true. Human relationships are highly entropic; you have to keep putting energy into them or they fall apart. Marriages are especially entropic because they operate at such a high level of commitment, and yet ironically I think lots of people assume that once achieved, a marriage takes care of itself.