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Thursday, November 13, 2014


Some days it is hard not to ask, 
"Is our culture decaying?"

“The five marks of the Roman decaying culture:

Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth;

Obsession with sex and perversions of sex;

Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original;

Widening disparity between very rich and very poor;

Increased demand to live off the state."

 - Edward Gibbon

 “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” 
   - Alfred Joseph Toynbee

 “Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms such as you have named...but a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. 

Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.” 
   - Robert Heinlein

 “A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage.
   - Aleksander Solshenitsyn

“Of the twenty-two civilizations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now."
   - Alfred Joseph Toynbee

"The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

"We killed Martin Luther King and now make an icon of  Kanye West.  Something is dreadfully wrong with this country."
   - Lady Lovelace


Our friend, VR Barkowski
is included in a new anthology!



  1. About thirty years ago I began talking about the idea of our decline. People thought I was crazy, but I said, "Imagine saying this to a Roman citizen a hundred years into their decline. They would say you are crazy, yet they would be wrong and history shows that." We may be look like a strong country still, but we are decaying quickly from within. From the things you list, I think the vast wealth disparity is by far the largest cause, along with the strident divisions and the news channels no longer being unbiased in what they present.

  2. Uh, Kim Kardashian kind of freaks me out. What is that black thing she's wearing? Every generation reaches a point when many of them think culture is decaying. Yet somehow we go on.


  3. Personally, I'd rather look at your pet cat, he looks much better in his black outfit than KK.

  4. It certainly seems like things are slipping every day. Morals, values, respect for elders, all seem to be getting worse. These Kardashians are the worst example of what is becoming of our civilization. They find ways to keep people talking about them, no matter how much they have to debase themselves. The scariest thing is that people seem to admire them.

  5. Hi Roland - we need to think and to care ... I hope the values that count win through ... cheers Hilary

  6. It's decayed irreparably :) We live in the age of instant gratification with offensively stupid songs (ANACONDA, BOOTY, ALL ABOUT THE BASS) with repetitive lyrics and tones, with vulgar videos, with series and movies which present torture porn, with the audience which demands darker, grittier, edgier things.... I think the governments and our rulers like it that way because it is easier to manipulate with stupid people than with the smart and complex ones

  7. Ted:
    Sadly, I agree with you. Humans adjust to prevailing conditions without asking how we got there. If you sit at a fancy restaurant with dim lighting, the longer you're there, the better you can see. But the room hasn't gotten any brighter, you have just gotten use to the dark.

    It is a garbage bag. Yeah. No further words needed, right?

    Both Maukie and K.K. are cats -- K.K. just comes from the alley.

    And I would rather look at Maukie, too. You will notice I made K.K.'s picture as small as possible.

    It seems we are heaping coals around the fire at which we are being burned at the stake, laughing all the while, doesn't it?

    I was just thinking the same thing about music on my way home last night. Ray Stevens' EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL, Johnny Cash's MAN IN BLACK, John Lennon's IMAGINE -- I am sure you can remember older tunes with substance.

    Torture porn could not have been made 25 years ago. It is sobering.
    Me, too. But the headlines do not seem to point that way, Sigh.

  8. I may be in the minority, but I don't think it's decaying at all. Worldwide, more counties are free-er than ever before, volunteerism is at an all-time high, and people generally seem to care more about what's going on in the world.

  9. Yep. I do despair. Enough said.

  10. Keith:
    I don't see what you do, but that's what makes horse races, right? :-)

    Sadly, I am right with you. :-(

  11. Another thoughtful post, Roland. To me, a far more ominous sign than what's-her-name in the photos is that our country has the largest gap between the wealthy and the poor in the industrialized world, and the middle class is being destroyed.