Sand in the Gears

Archive for the ‘Curmudgeonry’ Category

A more perfect union

Monday, October 10th, 2016 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | 14 Comments »

“So, Dad, did you know Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are having a debate tonight?” “Yep.” “Are we watching it?” “Nope.” “Why not?” “For the same reasons we don’t watch German porn, or videos about how to treat gangrene.” “Dad.” “Also because I rented Jungle Book.” “Dad.” “Trust me—it’s ...

The dividing line

Friday, September 2nd, 2016 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 13 Comments »

Look, maybe it’s time we cash in our chips. Blow this popsicle stand and buy that cabin in the hills we’ve always talked about. Sink a well, set out the rabbit traps, and settle in for a long-ass winter. Don’t get ...

Backwards in a sideways world

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 20 Comments »

When I was twelve, we were evicted from our house in Florida, a consequence either of Reaganomics or our failure to pay rent for three months, depending on whose story you wanted to believe. We faced a long, hungry drive ...

Intolerant mercy

Thursday, November 19th, 2015 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 14 Comments »

Most of us have never endured war amidst our homes and so we can only imagine, if we care to, the terror that drives people to take their children and elderly parents and spouses and flee all they have known. ...

Politics, porn, and football

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on Politics, porn, and football

Some of you may like my attempt, though it probably deserves more thought, to articulate why we pay little attention to big-money sports in my home. Here's an excerpt: Now, let’s not quibble over semantics; I know the Canadians spent millions ...

The turned back

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Sermons | 79 Comments »

I will tell you something about courage and cowardice. I will speak primarily about men, because I am a man, and because the evil that grieves me was glimpsed by men, and these men turned away their eyes. News accounts from ...

On just saying no

Friday, July 18th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 1 Comment »

Related to my previous post, I have an essay at Good Letters digging into the hypocrisy of evangelicals, as represented by the American Family Association, who simultaneously support the Drug War while demanding that we reject child refugees from that ...

Cantering to the gas chamber

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 11 Comments »

A society doesn't capsize all at once; it leans by degrees. It tilts, and the opinion mavens who are its deckhands rush about reassuring everyone that it's the horizon that is at fault. We are finally leveling things, they say, ...

Scientific passions

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on Scientific passions

Forty days have passed quickly and the feasting is over, so I suppose I should start putting together words again. When it's not on this novel I'm revising, my writing mind has been on science—on the art that is genuine ...

Civilizing the civilizers

Monday, March 31st, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 1 Comment »

What happens when you gather thinkers in thrall to scientism, and ask them to list the most important books for civilization? A compendium that includes books on robot sex and immortality, but nothing on plumbing, or farming, or the God ...

The worldly vision

Friday, March 28th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Sermons | 22 Comments »

(Note: An expanded version of this essay—which attempts to address some of the objections leveled in the comments below as well as at The American Conservative—is over at On Faith.)   I am angry, and so I hope you will forgive me for whatever I ...

Children and pornography

Monday, February 24th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on Children and pornography

Some of you might appreciate my latest essay for Good Letters. Others of you may not like it at all. Maybe it's proof that I'm no less angry today than I was ten years ago, when some of you first ...

Snips and Snails and Puppy-Dog Tails

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | 5 Comments »

Cathy Young, whose writing I sometimes enjoy, suggests in her Reason Magazine essay that the wildly popular Dangerous Book for Boys is dangerous indeed, because it reinforces traditional sex roles. Why couldn't it have been titled "The Dangerous Book for ...

A Different Kind of Father’s Day Gift

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 10 Comments »

Rick Hilton needs a swift kick in the ass. That's my opinion on the never-ending Paris Hilton spectacle. And while we're at the butt-kicking, we can line up any number of successful businessmen, movie stars, and sports heroes who have ...

Plain Talk

Thursday, April 19th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 12 Comments »

It took the slimmest of Supreme Court margins to afford states the right to stop the practice of seizing the skull of a partially-born infant and either crushing or puncturing it. I used to think that people just didn't know, ...

Christ v. Christian

Monday, March 19th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on Christ v. Christian

Though I expected Michael Lewis's Blind Side to do for football what his Moneyball did for baseball, I found my stomach churning as I read the story of Michael Oher, a black child neglected for years in the slums and ...

All Politics is Local

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on All Politics is Local

"I always get a little queasy," I began my speech, "when a group of people gets together to spend other people's money." Last night was my first attendance at a homeowner's association meeting, and I was there to defend my ...

Lost and Found

Friday, January 12th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on Lost and Found

I'm trying to work from home, after flying back early to beat the ice storm. The youngest boy is in the next room with his belly on a big recliner that can spin 360 degrees. He is racing around and ...

Lying as Business Strategy

Friday, January 5th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on Lying as Business Strategy

Those of you who take The Wall Street Journal probably caught Wednesday's story about the efforts of Abbott Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company, to sell more of a very lucrative AIDS drug. The challenge for Abbott was that one of their ...

Terrible fathers

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on Terrible fathers

I'm sitting in an airport restaurant near three men, three boisterous men drinking at 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. The oldest, who appears to be about thirty-five and dressed like he's twenty, is instructing the others on the tragedy of ...

All Over But the Crying

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on All Over But the Crying

It appears that Republican control of the Senate now turns on Conrad Burns in Montana, and George Allen in Virginia. I have an image of a desperate Snow White, perhaps not so snowy white any more, pinning her hopes for ...

None of the Above

Friday, October 6th, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on None of the Above

Last month we got a letter from an organization that calls itself "People to People International." They were writing to invite our daughter to attend, at our expense, be sure, an educational experience in Australia. The letter assured us that ...

On Willful Ignorance

Monday, October 2nd, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on On Willful Ignorance

I'm 30,000 feet above vast stretches of empty American land, thinking about how our legislators want to protect us from Mexicans willing to do the work we're too fat and lazy to do for ourselves, and I'm wishing we could ...

About Your Princess

Thursday, June 29th, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | 16 Comments »

Word to the wise, formulated during my morning jog: it's probably not a good idea to give your daughter a vanity plate, or any type of gear for that matter, that says: "Princess." Because she just may start to believe it. Do ...

Driving III: Brake Not, Lest Ye Be Beaten

Friday, January 6th, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 11 Comments »

Okay, about the exit and entry ramp. We all face the challenge of adjusting to those around us. Some of us, like the Unabomber, fail miserably. Others, like Regis Philbin, are annoyingly good at it. Still others, like Dick Clark, ...

Driving, Deux

Thursday, January 5th, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 8 Comments »

I feel a host of driving missives boiling up, reminiscent of my series of critiques of libertarianism a few years back, also affectionately known as "The Great Ayn Rand Beat Down of 2002." So let's talk about a sub-species of the ...

Driving Instruction

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 13 Comments »

Did you know I used to drive professionally? There are all kinds of interesting secrets I keep from you. It's all part of the mystique, the allure that keeps you coming back to Sand in the Gears. What kind of driving, ...

C.S. Lewis for President

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Artful Life | 9 Comments »

I've been reading "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" to Caleb and Eli in the evenings. Caleb has been on the edge of his seat during parts of it, wondering if the Witch will turn Edmund to stone, if ...

The Alien’s Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24th, 2005 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 15 Comments »

Since today is the day we sons and daughters of unwanted immigrants offer thanks that the Almighty did not see fit to give those who got here before us gunpowder and military organization, it seems a fitting time to reply ...

Decommissioned

Saturday, November 5th, 2005 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 22 Comments »

While driving to work yesterday morning I hit a rarely-used button on my radio, one set to a mainstream Christian station where one in ten songs is not, for my tastes, awful. Every once in a while I try them ...