a light-hearted satire
At drinks with the integralists, three separate people ask if I’ve read Carl Schmitt. ‘Wasn’t he a Nazi?’ I ask. ‘Only to the extent that everyone in 1930s Germany was a Nazi,’ answers a Frenchman who is writing his thesis on the future of secularism. He is twisting the ends of his waxed moustache into an upward curl with a level of irony I can’t match.
I get so angry walking past the art shop with its windows full of funko pop fandom merchandise that I have to go to confession about it.
‘Everyone here talks a lot about natural law,’ says an interloper at the based Aquinas reading group, ‘can someone explain what that is?’ ‘Well,’ replies a philosopher, ‘we’re traditional Catholics and it’s a way of presenting traditional Catholic morality within the language of the secular academy.’ There’s pizza afterwards, but up-market pizza, probably less likely to have seed oils in it.
Everyone talks a lot about truth and beauty and goodness. Truth and goodness are definitely things that Jesus talked about, but I’m less sure about beauty. Maybe beauty is more a method than a goal—an aspect of revelation or of prayer. There are too many lepers and scourgings in the Gospel for the vitalist statue avi traditional architecture accounts to be totally right about beauty. The Scrutonians are happy talking about wine and opera and T.S. Eliot.