Homeland and Heartland

Autumn Fundraiser 2015, Day Five

This is the fifth day of our quarterly bleg, and it’s been a hectic week so far. Fortunately, our supply of coffee is holding out!

Begging for money from our readers is a time-consuming job, and has to somehow be layered on top of all the other quotidian tasks. By the end of the day (usually about 3am) I’m beat.

Dymphna and I divide up the labor here at Gates of Vienna, and fundraising week is no exception. We traditionally alternate the writing of bleg posts — I usually take the odd-numbered days, and she takes the evens. I handle all the processing and record-keeping, with the help of the Auxiliary Brain — that is, this computer with its custom-written software. Before her health deteriorated, Dymphna used to write most of the thank-you notes, but I’ve taken on more of those in recent years. Even so, she still writes regular lengthy emails to some of our donors. Communication is one of her best skills.

Tip jarWe’ve always split up the blogging tasks, each according to his or her skills and proclivities. Early in the history of our blog we started to specialize in the topics chosen for our posts: I became interested in the Islamization of Europe, and began covering European issues extensively, while Dymphna focused on American politics and culture.

We continued the division of labor even after her fibromyalgia began to worsen a few years ago. For example, she’s very good at Twitter, and I’m not, so she does most of the Gates of Vienna tweets. I also assign her the reading of small-print documents (including both printed texts and fixed-font files such as PDFs), given how bad my eyesight is these days. Arranging for translations and coordinating with translators is almost entirely my job. Keeping up with Refugee Resettlement Watch is mostly hers.

It’s the same in our household. Despite her precarious health, Dymphna still cooks. Which is fortunate, since she is an exceptionally skilled cook, and I would probably poison both of us if the job were left to me. For her part, she says she will never change a flat tire — it’s a matter of honor.

Such is the division of labor between husband and wife in their shared home. Which brings us back to this week’s fundraising theme: “Home”.

Left to their own devices, a husband and wife will arrange the division of labor in their home according to their aptitudes and inclinations. If ideology does not interfere, the tasks will tend to be allotted according to sex stereotypes — and there are good reasons for such stereotypes; they are based on biological differences between men and women that have formed through millennia of evolutionary adaptations.

This doesn’t mean that everyone will always fall into such patterns. I once knew a husband who did all the vacuuming, not because some feminist told him he should, but because he was better at it than his wife. In another household of my acquaintance, the wife had a knack for fixing plumbing problems. Once again, this was without any interference from feminist ideology.

By and large, however, people in the oikos tend to fall into traditional roles, and if their actions are uncoerced, they and the household are the better for it.

The same process extends beyond the home to larger groups that humans instinctively form — the extended family, the village, the clan, the tribe, the nation. Each is a larger and more generalized version of home, with characteristics that are intuitively understood to be home-like (the root sense of the word “homely”) to those individuals who share that identity. Provided, that is, no pernicious ideologies interfere to impose alien notions of what the larger home should mean to everyone in it.

In other words, the extended home is something very different from the “Common European Home” proposed by Mikhail Gorbachev back in the 1980s. Absent ideological coercion, people will build a common homeland organically over time. It is a place with a shared language, culture, and customs. Its inhabitants have an intuitive sense of who they are and what they belong to.

For more than a century it has been the self-appointed task of Progressive ideologues to deconstruct this natural human home at all levels, from the dwelling where a husband and wife raise their children through the common spaces of villages and towns to the nation-state itself. All must be broken down! Marriage must be destroyed! Child-rearing must be managed by the state! Any national identity is evidence of racism! No more national borders!

To these gutmenschen, the concept of “homeland” is atavistic and oppressive. Every human community must be inclusive of everyone, no matter their race, creed, culture, or language. Diversity must triumph!

The United States may be trailing Europe in these matters, but it is still traveling rapidly along the same route.

The Department of Homeland Security does not have anything to do with a homeland, and does not increase security. It was created to add new layers of sclerotic bureaucracy to an already massively engorged behemoth, and to further control a cowed and compliant populace. No one feels any safer, but everyone knows he must do whatever the man with the blue gloves tells him, or face thoroughly unpleasant consequences.

Such is the 21st century. There is no longer any real homeland here or anywhere else in the European diaspora (with the exception of parts of the former East Bloc). If those of us who try to resist want to make real homes for ourselves, we must reclaim our homelands.

A homeland is one’s heartland. My heartland is Virginia, or at least the parts of it that still remain essentially Virginian.

I lived in cold, soggy Yorkshire for four long years of my youth, and despite the fact that I learned to love the place, my heartland remained somewhere else. The place I pined for lay between the Blue Ridge and Tidewater. It had freezing winters and steaming summers and fireflies and red clay back roads and a Piedmont drawl and morning glories in the hedgerows. A place where people say “y’all”. And “I reckon.” And “Yes, ma’am.” And “It’s a right good ways from here.”

This is my home. It’s where I was born, and I’m grateful to be here.

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Thursday’s donations arrived from:

Stateside: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia

Near Abroad: Canada

Far Abroad: Australia, India, Israel, and Slovenia

We owe a debt of gratitude to all of you.

The tip jar in the text above is just for decoration. To donate, click the tin cup (or the donate button) on the sidebar of our main page. If you prefer a monthly subscription, click the “subscribe” button.

14 thoughts on “Homeland and Heartland

  1. This fundraiser has produced what I consider to be a series of articles that have been brilliant in their simplicity and have given me an idea that I wish to expand upon at some later date. I left my own homeland three years ago, primarily because I saw it slowly being taken away from under me until it hardly resembled the place where I grew up. But that is for another time.

    My only objection to this fundraiser and those you have conducted earlier, is that you refer to them as begging. This is not begging in any way shape or form..

    In the days when I used to buy newspapers, I would pay a small amount of money daily to read what was inside, regardless of the fact that large corporations, political parties and pressure groups had paid even larger amounts of money to insert material that I did not wish to read. By the same token, if I wish to read a book, nowadays I purchase it from Amazon because they deliver to the small corner of South East Asia to which I have retired. I tend to read a lot these days and my wife keeps telling me that I need to buy a new bookcase.

    I tend to spend a good few hours a day reading Gates of Vienna and realise that while the browsing of websites is free, someone has to compile them, write the items and manage day to day issues-your goodselves in fact. This takes time and you also have bills to pay and need to eat reasonably regularly, too.

    I am beginning to ramble. What I mean to say is, I appreciate what you are doing and your commitment to it. Thank you very, very much.

    • Thank you, Peter.

      Ah, but the difference is that your newspaper had a price printed on it, and if you didn’t pay it, you couldn’t read the paper. Unless, of course, you unwrapped it from your fish and chips a few days later; then you could read it through the grease spots.

      We could make payment mandatory, I suppose. Establish a paywall, and post only a few little bits outside it. Then we’d have no readers, just like The New York Times.

        • For me, too. Only the last time I ate fish and chips out of a newspaper was in Hayes and the paper was the Daily Jang, a newspaper printed in Urdu for expat Pakistani readers. My helping of haddock and chips didn’t taste quite the same.

  2. A house is not a home. I don’t recall who originally said that. . . but I remember it.

    I enjoyed your essay, Baron. Morning glories in the hedgerows. Lovely.

  3. I do the laundry, cook, and do the pots and pans. You are correct, it is all a matter of who is best suited for the particular chores that keep the household going.
    My specialties include “off the Waldorf Salad” and 24 carrot salad (with 24 carrots) and pumpkin pie.

    • acuara- what’s in your “off the Waldorf”? I ask because as a child my favorite food was Waldorf salad. The orphanage where I lived from my 5th to my 10th year (called St Mary’s “Home”) was part of a complex which included a parish church and school, plus a rectory for three priests.

      Most of the priests were Irish, fresh off the boat – or plane – from Maynooth, the seminary from which our diocese drew many of their priests. Since my mother was from Dublin, the priests found me to be a touch of home for them. One in particular was very kind to me. He’d take me to the rectory and have the cook fix Waldorf salad for me -heaven!

      It’s apple season now and I’m waiting to get to town to buy some organic- or at least some non-sprayed apples. In particular Arkansas blacks and Albemarle pippins. I read years ago the list of pesticides that can legally be applied to apples and quit eating conventional ones.


      Getting mayo without soy or cottonseed oil is a problem too. I sometimes make my own, but that requires eggs from hens whose living conditions I know…an advantage of living in the country.

      So tell us about these recipes. My pumpkin pie is made with cream or drained yogurt – no milk sugar – and I’ve long since turned to nut crusts or just punkin baked in cups. I love all the spices…

      Yes, I’m hungry!

      • The “Off the Wall-dorf Salad” is comprised of apples (I like Braeburns as they are tart and sweet at the same time), finely chopped celery, dried cranberries, and chopped pistachio nuts and cashews. The dressing uses mayonnaise with soybean oil, but I think Hollywood Brand mayonnaise that uses cold-pressed safflower or sunflower seed oil is still around. To about 1 cup of mayonnaise I add a tablespoon of Blue Agave syrup (no, I don’t cook with sugar), a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg, a quarter teaspoon of powdered mustard (or a bit less) and about the same about of black pepper (to taste). The idea is for the dressing to liven up the flavours of the salad components. The Baron tells me that you are a chef in your own right so you should do well. You could always substitute coconut oil with a shot of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice and a bit of yellow mustard powder (or even brown mustard) and have some pretty good mayonnaise.

        As for the pumpkin pie, I steam the pumpkins that I (actually the Lord) grew so I know what went in them (only water). I scrape out the steamed pumpkin leaving the rind and then puree’ the pumpkin with a hand-held puree’ wand I have. I then mix in eggs and heavy cream to make the custard. I have a hand zester so the ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and lemon rind are fresh (makes a big difference). I have pre-steamed and pureed enough for about 3 or 4 pies that is in the freezer. I had to because I planted the pumpkins too early. So while I am making my pies during the next couple of weeks I will b e thinking of you and Baron and wishing you both all t he blessings of the season.

      • Dymphna, thank you (and acuara) for stirring a memory with your Waldorf salad stories. Indeed, a home builds so many memories for those of us so blessed to have had a happy and loving one. My late mom made Waldorf salad often in our rural Pittsburgh home when I was growing up. As I am now retired here in Southern Colorado, a retirement not planned but a long story of a bureaucratic screw up that eventuated it, my wife and I are very aware of the changes to any family the passing of time demands. I think of that rural Pittsburgh house that’s no longer there, at least in the form in which I grew up in, the people who are no longer there, and the area that the city grew out and surrounded and has now commercialized it so it’s nearly unrecognizable. The peaceful little valley is no longer peaceful as in one of my long absences in the 80s and 90s a long threatened freeway system bisected it and now instead of hearing the quiet rural Summer sounds of frogs in the nearby creek and bees in the flowering crab apple trees, one only hears the loud hum of the interstate. As my mom often said, “tempus has a way of fugiting”. I still have a cousin in the area and her son and daughter in law. Their other daughter and family live in North Central PA. We were privileged the two previous Summers to be able to travel to see them but not this year as the surprise retirement process scotched that. My ramble is I guess just a lament of the changes we see close by our lives that spreads around the world in this age of instant information and slaps us in the face to remind us what is really important…family, and its memories to be preserved in our sons and their families. And the Grace and Love of God in our lives these many years. As we witness the onslaught of evil throughout Europe, the Middle East and its unabated infiltration in our homeland, I often lament as many do, I don’t recognize my America any more. She’s not the America of my youth, that of the late 40s and into the 50s, even with the Cold War, America was vital, important and strong. And she had integrity, honor and character. I am blessed to be able to once again, donate to you and your fight to bring at least a few “lights” of truth amid the blizzards of PC blather that clog the many media highways. Many thanks to you and the Baron for your dedication in the face of many obstacles. May His Blessings of Wisdom and Health and Provision fill your lives and your home for many years to come.


          • I’m glad you liked it, you may indeed use it! Many good memories come from our happy family gatherings where it was standard family practice of turning phrases and injecting horrific puns into conversations with much hilarity and groaning. I come by the practice honestly and was blessed to marry into a family with the same hilarious proclivity to mangle the English language. Puntification abounds. The comedian Norm Crosby comes readily to mind as a skilled mangler!

  4. PS. because several in the household are allergic to gluten, and gluten free flour is plain useless, and a few other things, I have been baking a crust less pie in a glass pie dish we have. I am still looking for a decent gluten free flour that doesn’t fall apart when you are trying to roll it out. Bob’s Red Mill should be coming out with something soon.

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