Missionaries don’t really get days off. So when Christmas came, and we all (about 100 of us) got together at the mission headquarters, it was an event.
Someone had had the idea for a talent show. For a bunch of (mostly) American kids (mostly) 19-21 whose main talent was (mostly) speaking a foreign language they’d learned *to* do missionary work, it devolved into what most college-age talent shows devolve into—jokes and skits, and musical performances. Which didn’t really matter, of course—the main goal was enjoying the day.
But there was one act that made a very strong impression on me. One young man (we were called “Elders,” but we were all young) was a bit older than the rest—maybe 26 or so. He’d competed in collegiate gymnastics before he decided to serve a mission.
He stood in the middle of the impromptu stage we’d set up, told us a little bit about his gymnastics career, what he was going to do, and the importance of safety.
“But one more thing,” he said, growing serious. “I want to very explicitly dedicate my performance today to the glory of Jesus Christ.”
I don’t want to make too much of the words he said. It was more that I could tell he meant them. He certainly had the bona fides—he was on the tail end of his mission by that point, and had spent the better part of two years knocking on doors, mostly getting turned away. So it was not so much the words that he said, as much as the collected weight of the last few years behind them.
He then did some (to me, anyway) totally cool vaults, somersaults, flips, handstands, aerials, and other acrobatic maneuvers.
It was touching, honestly. Because, as I said, he’d meant it. He was not performing for us; he was performing for God, doing his very best with what he had. We were simply around, allowed to look on.
I’m a little embarrassed to say that I only recently subscribed to Porter’s Kakistocracy blog, despite it having a regular place in This Week in Reaction for a while now. But now it’s one of my favorites. The guy is just too clever—and this is an area of the internet that prides itself on cleverness.
Reading through archived posts, one in particular struck me: No Man An Archipelago. Porter writes:
But forging rhetorical weapons is actually a secondary role for these frontier garrisons[blogs in the reactosphere]. Much more important is how they impact one of any war’s most critical elements: morale. Morale is critical. It imbues men with the confidence and courage that so often determines an outcome. And morale comes not so much from having the superior riposte than having the superior side. Most men have a need to believe their cause is just, but every man has a need to believe his cause is shared. A large band of marauding pirates will typically have far more enthusiasm for a fight than the handful of honorable men facing them.
People draw fortitude from standing shoulder to shoulder, just as all but the most devout convictions shrink in isolation. The alternative right position enjoys the benefit of being moral, logical, and historical. There are practically no elements of its common platform that weren’t previously understood by all men. That is before they began frantically not-understanding them. Though being right is nothing when put against being popular. And only a rare man can keep the right idea when a multitude is accusing him of being words his grandfather had never heard.
That’s the true role of sites like this: for culture combatants to know they aren’t alone, they have a side, they have the tools, and their gibbering enemies have about as much intellect and autonomous will as a quadcopter.
I also recalled the story of Elisha and his servant:
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Western civilization is a heavy weight to bear, especially if most of your companions in such effort are pseudonymous. The rewards, though real and tangible, can fade in consciousness due to the acidity of modern culture.
I would like to alleviate this as much as I can. And the best way I can think of is to show an example of a reactionary #winning. Knowing that there is a winner on your side does wonderful things to the psyche.
How do I propose to do this? By the oh-so-bro method of lifting.
I know, I know. But what did you want? Photos of a big house? Video recordings titled “Dropit DESTROYS Progressive in Debate!”? None of those are true victories anyway. The only thing I can put on the internet that moth and rust don’t corrupt, and thieves don’t break through and steal, are the physical results of actual victory, the discipline of civilization.
So expect in the future many posts about workouts, meal plans, the works.
But before I begin, I want to make it clear who this is for. Unlike my friend on the mission, this is not so much for God, at least not directly. Rather, it is for you. If you read this blog regularly, or simply come across it at a later date,(and I’ll to link to this with every post in that category), I want you to know that I am doing this specifically to encourage you, to let you know that you’re on the winning side, and that you’re doing the right thing. And wow, you have my admiration.