Thursday 31 March 2022

What Happened To Poetry?

In the 1800's poetry was regarded as one of the high arts, something that highlighted the best of our Christian Civilization. Poetry was refined, yet still earthy, mostly secular but rarely profane, it was a way of telling stories that was ancient, while still seeming modern. But over the last century poetry has fallen out of fashion. It certainly didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen quietly. Many people saw the decline and struggled to fight back against it. It was a struggle that also engulfed all of the 'high' arts. Painting, classical music and to a lesser degree literature were all casualties.   

I wrote about this in another post:

Why is Western art so bad?

Or if you'd like to listen to a podcast on the subject, I've done that as well"

Art - Melbourne Traditionalists Podcast

So what made poetry fall out of fashion?

Navel Gazing

Traditionally all art was about glory and secondly about beauty. The purpose of art, including poetry was to glorify something, to glorify God, the King, the Empire, the Faith, the Patron. No matter who it was done for it was to show them in the best possible light, to highlight someone other than the Artist. But since the 1800's we have seen that that focus has changed, instead of the subject being glorified, it instead became the glorification of the Artist. Who was then left to justify why that should be, which lead to the Artist becoming more important than the subject. Which lead to more than it's fair share of naval gazing. Poetry was not immune from this process, it took part just like the other high arts. The Poet was expected not to glorify the external, but the internal. That is quite the turnaround. 


Further, during the 1800's ideas about equality spread, but I think that the greatest effect on poetry was mass education. As more and more people could read and write it meant that more and more people read poetry. The demand for poetry increased, as did the amount of people writing poetry. You would think that would increase the amount of good poets. Poets would be revealed that otherwise would never have been discovered. To a degree that was true, it did showcase Poets who would otherwise have never written. Sadly it also brought out a ton of bad poets and bad poetry. Which began to spoil the high quality that people had come to expect. One of things that had served Poetry and all of the high arts was that it had high entry standards. Not everyone could join and it was exclusionary by design. Over time that went away and anyone could become a Poet. Which diluted the quality and the trust that people had in the form. If anyone can do it then what's special about it? 


I think that radio and then television were also great factors in the ending of poetry as a high art. There is something special about seeing a performer live and that includes a poetry reading. There is also something special about a book. Both involve a sense of intimacy, a sense that this is something personal, even that this is something that the Poet has shared with only me. While radio and television can certainly reveal poetry to people who would not normally be exposed to it. It rarely has that sense of intimacy. Instead it is a shared experience because you know that others are also partaking. Again this wasn't something that happened overnight but over time it ate away at that intimate experience. Of course there was also something that we are very familiar with today, that there are only so many hours in the day and if your watching television your not reading. Slowly that thing that you once said and felt that you couldn't live without slips away.

Can any of this be fixed?

I think the easiest one to fix is the navel gazing, because I do think that Poets and other Artists can look outside of themselves. I think that in the future it will be encouraged again for them to glorify things other than themselves. How far away that future is I have no idea, but I do think that there will come a time when these things are valued again.

I also think that technology can be used to expose the multitudes to good poetry, both from the past and the present. It is a double-edged sword, but we should not lose sight of the idea that that means that it can serve us just as easily as it can work against us.

The biggest problem is equality, the basic problem that it has unleased is one I don't have an answer for. The sheer volume is something that only good editors can defend us against. Editors who are rare today but you can live in hope.

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Sunday 27 March 2022

Where To From Here?

First Off I would like to thank all those who wrote comments on my last post, Why am I doing this, I would further like to thank those who have contacted me in other ways to offer your support. I very much appreciate it. To know that others do care and that they read what I have to say is nice.

Mrs Borrink, your quite right that blogging can be frustrating, I'm glad that you are here and that you have found things that get you thinking. I also thank you for leaving the first comment, it was a pleasant surprise to see one from someone who hasn't commented before.

Sanne I'm not quitting and thank you for being so direct. Sadly I think your correct about those on the Right not having any fight in them.

Mr. Henderson we certainly are voices calling in the wilderness, but I think you'd agree that it would be great to be more than that. One thing I will say for those I know who have found religion is that they have all done their research. None of them are in churches that support Derrida or Foucault. I thank you for your support.

Anonymous it's always good to get a comment from the worlds most prolific author. You ask, what would I do to fight back? The point is to fight, to be active, the activity hardly matters. If you look at the left they have a finger in as many pies as they can, that's how we should be. Maybe your right about why people don't support me, maybe. I thank you for your comment, very thoughtful.

Mr. Neal you wrote quite a lot, but the last paragraph is the most important.  

It might be helpful, however, to look at the what rather than the why. You having been speaking truth to a world addicted to lies.

Thank you that is quite a compliment!

 Maybe your right, maybe that is enough.

Mr. Rusade I don't know where you went but I'm glad your back to writing. Thank you I appreciate your comment.

To be honest I don't know where I'm going from here. The reason that I was writing, to make things happen in the real world has not worked. But maybe as Mr. Neal said speaking truth in a world of lies is a good enough reason. 

I guess stay tuned.

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Monday 14 March 2022

Why Am I Doing This?

I have been finding it increasingly difficult to find the mental energy to write. Over the past decade I have been active at the blog, this will be the 904th article that I have written. I have done a podcast and recorded my articles. I have organised festivals and conferences. I have been a senor member of a number of organisations and about 6 months ago something happened that has greatly affected me. I was removed as the President of a group in what can only be described as a coup. Everyone who supported me lost and everyone on the other side won, it was a massacre. 

Since that time the feeling that I have wasted my time and all of my efforts have only increased. If this is my reward for turning a failing group into a successful one, if this is my reward from the people who are supposed to be on my side, what is it all for?

My aim has always been to achieve things in the real world. To form groups, have conferences, to be a political activists, to fight back against everything that I hate, to make things change. Instead I became a political philosopher and while I had never intended for that I felt I had come up with some things that pointed the way forward. I thought that there had to be others out there who thought like I did, it turns out that there aren't that many. Not even on the right.

Even within the Melbourne Traditionalists that turns out to be true. At the last meeting two members stood up and gave talks on how they became Traditionalists, they talked about religion. I'm not anti-religious, but I always thought that the Melbourne Traditionalists was a political group. But it has never become what I wanted it to be, I have always wanted it to be politically active, to fight back. Instead it has been a social club for people to come and talk about whats wrong with the world. But no matter where you are on the right that is the main topic.

I'm very strange because while I like to complain as much as the next guy I always wanted to make things happen. But I have not achieved that, I have achieved very little. Partly because most people on the right do not want to make things happen. It has been so amazing to me that for a long time I refused to see what was right in front of me. But I truly was amazed at the passivity that inhabits the right. To give but one example, of the five people who support me on Subscriberstar, three of them know me personally. To get any kind of support is like pulling teeth.

Yesterday, two months in, I received my first comment of the year. It is indicative of this blogs place in the world. Myself, this blog and my ideas are quite obscure, rarely do any of them get any interest. To be honest I don't know why I'm doing this anymore.


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Sunday 13 March 2022

Happy Ninth Birthday Upon Hope!

Here I am two days late with the blogs birthday post, just like last year, but for a different reason. I have an article written about that which will go up tomorrow.

I'm higher than I was last year, however I know that I cannot trust the numbers that I received for my best month. In July 2021 I was told by Blogger that I had had, 14,847 visitors, which is double any previous month. However nearly 12,000 of that number came from one country, Sweden. These people came onto the site and looked at only the home page and not a single one clicked on anything else. That might be possible but it also sounds more like bots. This is not the first time that I have seen this, but it is by far the most extreme. My worst month was in December 2021, when I had 1,884 visitors. 

I have had 346,572 visitors to the blog in the past nine years. 

2014 15,000 visitors
2015 20,000 visitors
2016 30,000 visitors
2017 38,000 visitors
2018 44,000 visitors
2019 43,000 visitors
2020 52,000 visitors

2021 50,000 visitors

2022 54,000 visitors

Every week one of my articles goes up on Youtube and on Podbean, recently I have had more views on Podbean than on Youtube, in one case nearly double the views. 

My thanks to all of my Subscribestars, it's great to have your support!

Most of my articles appear on Subscribestar early.

My most clicked on article is the ever popular What Do Traditional Conservatives Believe? which was clicked on 7,267 times. My least clicked on article is China And Wolf Warrior Diplomacy which has only been clicked on 37 times.

Over the past year the number of Americans has gone down to 39%, my Australian visitors has also gone down to 14%, which leaves the rest of the world at 47%.

Below are the top 10 articles that have been clicked on with the number of visitors each has received.  

7267 What Do Traditional Conservatives Believe?

4636 Free Trade Versus Protectionism

4448 What Is More Important, The Past, The Present Or The Future?

4325 Why Don't The Poor Marry?

4092 Why Do Conservatives Believe In Different Social Classes

3807 If You Need To Lie

3306 The Balanced Society

2994 Feminism, Why We Are Not Feminists

2824 The Problems Of Monarchy

2608 Housewives, Good For The Economy And Society

The list will be different to the list on the left as I believe that they are weighted towards more recent clicks.

Friday 11 March 2022

The One Hundred And Eighth Month

Last month was bad and this month is even worse in terms of numbers of visitors. Two articles a month isn't much I admit, but to be honest I'm surprised that I've been able to get even those out. In the past month I've had 1,770, which is not a lot. My lowest since 2015!

My best day was the 11th March when I had 136 visitors and my worst was the 3rd March when I had 16 visitors, the same worst as last month. 

United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand

Saturday 5 March 2022

China and Wolf Warrior Diplomacy

The term Wolf Warrior comes the Chinese movie of the same name. The second movie in the franchise, Wolf Warrior 2 is the highest grossing movie in China ever. A third movie, Wolf Warrior III is currently in development. The first two movies are standard action movies, the only difference between the movies we've seen and these is that the heroes in these are Chinese.

Over the past decade China's diplomacy has changed, from the 1970's China had made efforts to fit more into the established international order. Now China wants the international order to fit in with what it wants. This change in empathise has come to be called Wolf Warrior Diplomacy.  A more aggressive and uncompromising attitude to diplomacy and I think a more traditionally Chinese approach to how it see's it's place in the world.

The word China means 'the middle kingdom' and traditionally that meant that China was at the centre of the world and everything revolved around it. China was quite literally in the middle. All other countries and people were on the outside. China may not of set out to conquer the world, but at the same time it did consider itself superior to everyone else. Which meant that it expected that other countries, all other countries, pay tribute. By tribute I mean pay money or give other goods to China for free, in exchange for a friendly relationship. 

I think that China has returned to that way of thinking, to the idea that China is the centre of the world and that the rest of the world should revolve around them. In theory the current international order is built upon the idea that all countries are equal. But at the same time that the great powers are greater and can do things that lesser powers cannot do. China now regards itself as a great power, as do most other countries. But for China that does not mean joining the international order as a great power instead it means that as a great power it can transform the international order. 

China can return to being the middle kingdom.

One of the interesting things about modern China is that while most acknowledge it's power and wealth, that does not seem to translate into respect. The only friend it has in the world is North Korea. Certainly it has good relations with other country, but when the chips are down and China needs sincere friendship who else could it rely on?

The truth is that Chinese diplomacy is linked to it's economic success and that success has often been ruthless. It promises friendship and traps countries into debt. It threats it's neighbours on a regular basis. Which I believe comes down to a series of questions that China and the world ask but to which there are no easy answers, such as.

Is China a rich country or a poor country?

Is China a strong country or a weak country?

Is China stable or unstable? 

The thing is that all of these points are true at the same time, China is both rich and poor, stable and unstable, strong and weak. Because it has not developed the same all over the country at the same time. It is unequal and in some ways bizarrely unequal. Just to give one example, there is very little of a social safety net because they just cannot afford it. I roll my eyes whenever I see a story about China developing a new reserve currency for the world, a rival to the US dollar. Because the reason the US dollar is the worlds reserve currency is not simply Americas wealth and military might. It is because property rights are respected in the United States. Certainly there have been times in recent decades when property rights have been usurped, But those have not affected the vast majority of people and nearly everyone can still trust that their property is protected. In China that is not true in the slightest. 

I remember having a boss who had married a Chinese women, she had been successful in China and she had given it all up to move to Australia. Her husband who liked money, found it hard to believe that she would give it all up. But as she explained, in China you own things because your allowed to and once they take away their permission then everything that you thought you owned is taken from you. Nothing is secure.  

That is also how China views things on the international stage. That it is China's right to give and to take away. If China continues on it's current course then it seems that some kind of confrontation will occur. The West's view that every country is sovereign and equal and China's view that it is the centre of the world will be hard to reconcile. 

China is still very poor - 20 minutes long

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