Happy birthday to me

Happy birthday to me. Well, not exactly to me. It’s just that my blog turned 10 yesterday, as a numerate reader kindly reminded me.

Today’s sacred cows shouldn’t feel safe

The blog was born on the same date as Winston Churchill and Mark Twain, though in all modesty I can’t claim any other than a chronological commonality there.

But never mind megalomaniac parallels. Instead I’ll answer the question that must have haunted you all these years, keeping you away from any normal routine and driving you to sleeping pills: Why the hell did he decide to do this?

The answer is as short as it is embarrassing: crass commercialism.

The idea, nay demand, came from my publisher. I had a book coming out at about that time, and he insisted that any hope of decent sales rested on “getting my name out there more”.

He knew that by then I had fallen out with most conservative editors in town, those who could get my name out before a big audience. My own bloody-mindedness and exaggerated sense of self-worth were to blame for those fissures.

Having spent 30 years at ad agencies, writing what and how others told me to write, I decided that in my other career I’d do things my way or no way. Editors agreed – and happily went for the second option.

They hated my tantrums thrown every time I heard the sacramental phrase “You can’t say that”. I hated their passive complicity with woke subversion.

They felt the need to edit my style. I protested that their sub-editors were illiterate.

They feared a lawsuit every time I wrote something ‘controversial’, and they certainly got flooded with torrents of PCC shrieks (the Press Complaints Commission, in case you’re wondering). I screamed freedom of speech.

Above all, respectable publications didn’t know how to handle someone who rejected post-Enlightenment modernity root and branch, not just its various excesses. Editors of even conservative papers didn’t feel I was on their side. I didn’t feel they knew what exactly they wished to conserve.

It just so happened that at about the same time my friends Paul and Jacqui also mentioned the possibility of doing a blog. Paul, aware of my computer illiteracy, even volunteered to set it up.

That he did, and he is still managing this space, gently but firmly overriding my Luddite objections every time the software gets more sophisticated. If Jacqui is this blog’s godmother, Paul is the midwife (midhusband?).

Long story short, the blog was born and, in common with so many children these days, there was no pre-planning involved in its conception. Also in common with many children, it failed to live up to lofty expectations: the new book didn’t do noticeably better than my pre-blog books had.

Yet the child isn’t exactly unloved. I’ve grown fond of the idea of running an abattoir for the sacred cows of modernity. And thousands of readers around the world don’t mind indulging their voyeurism by looking at all the blood and gore.

Thus the child has grown to a mature age of 10, but it’s moribund. Unlike most children, it’ll never outlive its father.

That’s it. No more self-indulgence, mawkish or otherwise, not until the next 10-year anniversary. Dum spiro spero, eh?  

25 thoughts on “Happy birthday to me”

  1. The traditional 10 year anniversary gift is tin or aluminum, which symbolize preservation and longevity – so I raise a tin cup to toast you!

    I honestly cannot recall the link that brought me to your blog. The years are a blur and thus I can’t recall the year I was pointed your way either. I’ve never stopped enjoying your acerbic style though, not to mention bravery. Loved your books and your history. I, too, started my blog ten years ago this month. I had no idea I what I would write about or how long. Every time I post I wonder if it’s my last. I guess one day it will be.

    Happy 10th! Hope you keep on keeping on. The world needs brave souls who are willing to say what ought to be said even though they don’t listen.

  2. As with Miss Fields above, I do not recall how I stumbled across this blog. I do not visit many sites, but age has caught up with the little grey cells. Once found, I went back through every entry. I do not visit every day, but when I do I make sure I not to miss any new entries. I keep a file of various passages. Occasionally I read through them, hoping some of it will stick in case I need to argue the conservative case. I have learned a few things (the correct time of day to drink a martini), expanded my vocabulary, and enjoyed knowing there are like-minded folks on both sides of the Atlantic.

    I raise a glass (of juice – it is only 7:30 AM) and toast 10 more years (at least).

    1. That’s the advantage of being in a proper time zone. Your 7:30 is our lunch time, and I’ll clink a glass of wine with your juice. Thank you for your good wishes and undeserved compliments. I’m just a poor boy from downtown Russia, trying to do his best. And thanks for reminding me of this anniversary. It slipped my mind, as, alas, many things do these days.

  3. From this good old boy from North Texas, I raise my sweet tea and burrito to you in honor of the big one-oh anniversary. I value and cherish your thoughts and hope to read more from you for some time to come.

  4. I’ve been around since the beginning, when the site was brown. I first discovered our host on the Mail.online’s ‘Right Minds’ page. One day I logged on to the latter site to discover our host had been purged! I typed his name into Google and found this blog, which I have been visiting ever since, looking for wisdom in this most interesting time.

    Hopefully our host will continue to maintain this most precious space. Amen.

  5. Ironically I first came across your name (How The West….) in 2008 on a library shelf of one of the most woke Universities on earth, in Canada. Your books and blog have left a deep influence on me, especially a greater respect for Christianity than I’ve had before reading you.

  6. I have visited daily for a very long time. It is my daily ‘sanity’ check, and I feel very disappointed when you have a day off. Congratulations, and very best wishes for the future too.

  7. I read your very unique book, “How the West was Lost” and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Initially, I could not understand why this book resonated so much with me (and continues to do so), since we have almost nothing in common. Trying to solve the mystery, I re-read it multiple times over a period of years, taking time to think about it and absorb it. Then unexpectedly one day, I discovered this blog, and what a pleasant shock it was to discover that the author was a living person with fresh ideas and thoughts on various topics! I’ve since read your other works. “West” still tops the list, but the second favourite is “How the Future Worked.”

    Happy tenth anniversary!

      1. No argument here: Tolstoy was indeed excellent; it is the book I that I bought extra copies for friends, but after reading the “West”, I could anticipate many of your arguments. Same for Neocon Trick. “How the Future Worked” rates higher because it strikes out of the blue; nothing you previously wrote prepared me for it.

        1. The idea from the beginning was to set the stall by writing an overview of modernity, and then to fracture it into specific areas, such as politics, economics and so forth. That meant not so much coming up with new arguments, but deepening those already made.

  8. Congratulations Mr Boot ! I discovered your site maybe six or seven years ago and quickly devoured all your previous articles , agreeing with pretty much everything , and enjoying your prose and writing style . May you celebrate twenty five years of bloggery !

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