I’ve nearly completed one consulting project (site launch later this week), and another should wrap up in a week or so. I plan on writing more, really, once those are finished. So, for today, I offer little more than tidbits and snippets.

I haven’t written much about this year’s World Rally Championship campaign, but not out of lack of interest. Sebastien Loeb has run away with the championship, winning eight rallies to Petter Solberg’s two and Marcus Gronholm’s one. The WRC, however, suffered a terrible tragedy this weekend during the Rally Great Britain, when Marrko Martin’s co-driver, Michael Park, was killed in a shunt during SS15, the difficult Margham Park test. Most of the rally news outfits have gone dark, so details are hard to come by, but it seems Martin’s Peugeot slipped off the road and hit a tree on the passenger side. Martin was uninjured, but based on reports, Park was killed immediately. Organizers halted the rally immediately. Marcus Gronholm pulled out completed, and Sebastien Loeb took a time penalty to drop down the rankings to avoid securing the championship. Organizers also cancelled all post event activities, and I wonder if the FIA will simply exclude the rally result completely.

Other stuff….Godspy has an interview with Pantagruelist Caleb Stegall. Some of the more interesting bits:

Where does The New Pantagruel fit politically? Is it left or right?

I would say that the driving political-philosophical force behind tNP has been a recognition of liberalism on both the modern right and left as the engine of religious and particularly Christian destruction. Which is, of course, tantamount to the destruction of western civilization.

We concur with Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s remark referring to Soviet Communism and Western Liberalism that “the split in the world is less terrible than the similarity of the disease plaguing its main sections.” The disease being a corrosive world-immanent materialism that denies the life of the spirit, and ultimately, denies God.


Tell us more about how you understand our current situation and why the drive and discipline towards holiness is so essential.

When one lives as a modern?and we almost all do to one degree or another?he is implicated by nearly all the habits of his heart in the same culture of choice he believes he is voting against. When we fail to resist the symbolization of the modern world as a giant machine in which each part relates to all the others in a purely mechanical way, we give in to thinking in the most utilitarian way possible: how can I fulfill my needs and desires most efficiently? And the political question becomes: how can we configure the machine so that each part has the maximum freedom to pursue its own end as efficiently as possible, without interfering with the ends pursued by the other parts.

Society and work and even family and church become ladders to be climbed, and the central spiritual motifs of our time become mobility and choice, and the fruits of this are pretty apparent?massive dislocation, family breakup, the end of meaningful small town and rural life, center-city rot, the end of functional education, economic ruin of small producers and landholders, the devolution of political life into identity and victimization games, and on and on. The end result of which is a profound existential alienation in the soul of modern man; he is without a home.

And the pernicious logic of choice (which has a kind of weedy genius) in turn capitalizes on its own discontented and confused search for home and meaning by churning out a-hundred-and-one cheap and easy anecdotes. So we are awash in this expansive sea of popular mass culture which offers everything from Martha Stewart to easy birth control to empty entertainment to mega-lo-mart churches and discount-store religion. All of which functions to shield people from ever even approaching anything real: real faith, real truth, real meaning and contentment.

Interesting stuff.

Bike news. I’ve been considering some small changes to the Surly, mostly prompted by the possibility of a longer, hillier commute (more on that later). Minor tweaks would include a front brake (shocking!) and new/different bars (something a bit more friendly to out-of-saddle climbing than my Nitto track drops). I spied a pair of WTB Dirt Drops on eBay this weekend, but, as expected, the price skyrocketed rather quickly (these bars have been out of production for years, and are very popular among the fixed gear off-road community). On-One is making a version these days, but their version is running upwards of $80. Of course, these changes may never take place, and the Surly may stay in track bike mode…

There’s been an interesting discussion going over here regarding the agrarian/localist vision and its relationship (or lack thereof) to Neocalvinism. I think I tend to fall into the “localist” category, though I won’t deny the existence of the global marketplace and our need to act as stewards for it. There is, I believe, much truth in the phrase “global problems, local solutions.” How can we expect to help farmers and factory workers in Asia if we allow our own to watch their lives dry up?