Homemade Chipotle

The summer garden bounty now includes jalapeño as well as tomato. Since I have a smoker and a dehydrator, I decided to make my own chipotle chilies. These are, of course, merely smoked jalapeños. Given the much higher ambient humidity here, I finish them in the dehydrator for preservation. 

These combine with fire roasted tomatoes to make a fine salsa. Three jars of it are pictured at the top. 

Are You Kidding Me With This Stuff?


I get that the administration is just calling its opposition evil now, and trying to reframe the election in terms of 'semi' fascism versus 'our democracy' rather than (ahem) discuss the recession and inflation, the military failures in Afghanistan, the impending war in Taiwan for which they are unprepared, and so on. 

Nevertheless, has anyone in post-WWII American political rhetoric staged a more actually fascist display than this? Flanked by blood red light 'banners' with a military guard on display, calling opponents creatures of chaos who live in darkness, who have made their choice and must face the wrath of the nation: rhetorically, at least, this is right out of the playbook. 

Wildly, it's an adoption of anti-American Chinese propaganda as the chosen self-presentation of the Biden administration. 

In May 2021, another person shared a post on Twitter with images of purported Chinese propaganda against Biden. The illustrations show Biden, with yellow glowing eyes, sitting on a throne of AR-15s that looks like the Iron Throne from the HBO series Game of Thrones. Some Biden supporters liked the images, saying how they looked so "metal."

This "Dark Brandon" meme has apparently become quite popular among the same young Ivy-educated White House staffers who wrote his "targeted" student loan relief to benefit chiefly and especially themselves. They love that it makes them seem part of something badass, and are sharing and encouraging variations of the meme on Twitter.

After a string of “good news” for the Biden agenda, White House officials elevated a meme from terminally online obscurity, reclaiming ironic images of a tired and gaffe-prone president cast as a demi-god-like figure.

The meme was supercharged after the FBI’s raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort home in Palm Beach, Florida[.]

As a consequence, we get a speech that misses the smooth rhetorical tone of Chancellor Palpatine accepting the emergency powers that he used to establish the Empire...

...and the visuals have fully skipped ahead to the actual Empire.

The rhetorical and visual embrace of the 'badass' and 'metal' is going to have real political consequences. They may well get what they want, reframe the election into a referendum on the guy who isn't even in power anymore, and survive what ought to be a punishing midterm. Whether they do or do not, the cost is going to be real damage to America.

19th Century Medieval

Eric Blair has made this point occasionally: a lot of what we think of as 'Medieval' is really Victorian. The Arthurian renaissance that accompanied Victoria's rise and reign gave us a lot of the symbolism we associate with Malory and older things. Romantic music and opera, art, literature: and this, eventually, gave us Tolkien and Robert E. Howard. 

Pretty illustrations.


City Journal wonders if you needn't do something heroic to be a hero.

I'm not sure how sympathetic I am to his examples. Nevertheless, it reminds me of a very recent post here: "[M]any a reverent Christian prays fervently for forgiveness for the sins he can't seem to avoid: failing in virtue does not keep him from justification through faith. Striving and failing is acknowledged to be part of the moral life, and even the pathetic sinner may be beloved of God; whereas failing at virtue is vice, and you can't be a virtuous man without in fact exercising the virtues (at least most of the time and to a greater or lesser degree)."