De-Lurking Day!!!

Hey y’all, since we’re all stuck in here for a while, now might be the perfect time for any longtime lurkers to de-lurk.  Assuming there are some, of course…. if nothing else, we’ll get an accurate count.  Last time I checked, we were up to Fifteen Readers.  Maybe we’ll crack twenty!!

I know, I know, the “register to comment” thing is a pain in the ass.  It was a group decision.  I initially got out-voted, but now I’ve come to see the wisdom in it, because I have to clean the spam filters.  I fully understand everyone’s concerns about “registering,” but look — I’m sure this isn’t the only blog y’all read.  I’m sure you’ve commented elsewhere.  The Thought Police will get you for that long before they get you for this.

So why not come on out and say hi?

Get a quarantine burner email account.  Stop in, say hi, share some thoughts about the passing situation.  If it helps, here are some questions to respond to:

  1. What do you like about Rotten Chestnuts?
  2. What do you dislike?
  3. What would you like to read more of?
  4. What would you like to read less of?

Consider it our own little “coming out” day.  The gays do it all the time.  Why do they get to have all the fun?

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46 thoughts on “De-Lurking Day!!!

  1. Reader no. 16

    I am Reader No. 16. I’ve been lurking for a couple of months. I live in Denmark, and like to read English language blogs to practice my English.

    On to the questions:

    1) The blog is well written and well thought out.
    2) So far, not really anything.
    3) Anything and everything. I especially enjoy the insights into the crazyness that is American academia.
    4) Nothing.


    1. Severian Post author

      Welcome! Although my English is a bit… idiosyncratic. “Spastic” is probably a better word if we’re being honest, but I prefer “idiosyncratic.” That sounds better for the advertisers.

  2. cheekibreeki2020

    Despite Z and Sailer’s extensive blogrolls, I think blogging peaked around 2012 or so. I used to read more, but those people have either quit or moved into their own weird niches. Too bad because I think it’s a better format for meta-ideas and shorter than a book.

    Twitter’s bad stream of stream of consciousness has replaced it, but it’s hard to follow with its shadowbans and clout-chasing.

    Podcasting is where the big money’s at now, but I have to listen at 2x speed. I don’t have 3hrs to burn (at least before The Great Sheltering), so everyone has to sound like a chipmunk.

    1. Severian Post author

      There it is. I read so much faster than broadcasters speak, so it’s infuriating to listen to a podcast. I get that they’re great for when you’re on the road, at the gym, etc., but I still can’t stand them. As for Twitter, you could put “Tweeted to death” on humanity’s tombstone… misspelled and un-punctuated, of course.

      1. Jeffrey

        So I’m not the only one. One of the most annoying aspects of the videoification of the internet is the ten minute video used to make a ten second point. Think auto or appliance repair. Show me a picture and two sentences.

  3. DeaconBlues

    I read all the posts. I used to run Cantandum in Ezkhaton but had to quit. I still read this blog though. I like the perspective of academics on the insanity of the college/university campus. The more posting the better. A topic I’m curious about is how college curriculums have changed since the 90s. Have they changed a lot to accommodate snowflakes, or did the grading standards just get relaxed?

    1. Severian Post author

      I wondered how you ever kept up with all that!

      In my experience (= mostly state schools and jucos), it’s both. Your typical syllabus has been dumbed down a LOT. At first, this was mostly the professors’ fault — had to get in all the profound mindthoughts of the oppressed, after all, and since there’s only so much reading you can do in ENG LIT 202: Shakespeare’s Major Works, the Bard had to be replaced by three Africans and a disabled Inuit. But then the vicious cycle started, and now the dumbing-down is student-driven. Since no one knows how to read anymore, it’s now all rap lyrics.

      The grading standards have also been relaxed thanks to the Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt NOT Fail the Blacks. But you can’t just hand out all A’s, either, because then how can Becky’s Mom preen about all the SAT prep classes and “enrichment” and other such bullshit she paid through the nose for? Grading standards must thus be totally objective and completely meaningless, so you end up making the bibliography worth 75%. The fact that you have a bibliography, I mean, not that you’ve actually read or cited anything. Then when the Diversity still won’t do the assignment — fuck you, Whitey, I’m just here to play ball — you can curve it in good conscience, because it was worthless anyway.

      Damn I’m glad I’m out of that shit show.

      1. Maus

        Oh Sev, a bibliography? It’s more likely that you have to explain to the simpletons that citing Wikipedia is insufficient. The cleverer ones cite the notes in the Wikipedia article. While it can be amusing to test whether they actually read the cited text, we need to get real. After a semester of grading 48 students’ papers at State U. as an adjunct, I learned that sifting through the drivel is like searching for a diamond in a dunghill — possible, but improbable. It’s simply too arduous, smelly and unrewarding. Dean ultimately sent me packing because I replaced the single term paper with a series of short (two-page maximum) essays.

        Why read Rotten Chestnuts? Because no one combines erudition and entertainment with the elan of Severian. I am proud to be one of the Fifteen Readers (metaphorically speaking). If I can laugh in the face of death in the internment camp, his musings will fuel my disdain.

        1. Severian Post author

          That’s why it’s “you have to have one,” not “it needs to be anything meaningful.” Write “Works Cited” at the top of the page, put something, anything, below it, and there you go.

  4. urbando

    I’m urbando. When I started reading your blog you proclaimed “five regular readers” so things are looking up!

    What I enjoy most about Rotten Chestnuts:
    1. The insight into the university hive and how they truly think.
    2. Any mention of purple-haired Obergruppenführers.
    3. The blend of current events and historical precedents. Some days you get one, some days the other,
    some days both.
    4. The hypothetical action ideas – very thought provoking!
    5. The humor – laughter is a powerful weapon.

    What I enjoy least about Rotten Chestnuts:
    1. I don’t get to read a new post every day, but that is pure greediness on my part, so, really – nothing.

    Still wearing the hat, urbando

      1. jvangeld

        He is one of Dalrock’s friends, so he talked about socio-sexual issues in Christianity. “Talked” because unfortunately his blog dormant now.

        This post was the one that first got my attention, because it perfectly described what I was seeing as a single man.

        To this day I try to encourage and talk well of other men. What he called, “The Economy of Respect.”

  5. AnonymousZek

    Okay, longtime lurker here, so I’ll bite. I must be reader 17 or thereabouts.

    I seldom comment on blogs because the 3-letter agencies are probably watching — don’t want to end up a zek in the re-education camps! — and there’s little I could say that hasn’t already been said, and said more eloquently than I can muster.

    I like your blog because it’s a little island of sanity in Crazy Clown World. When I stumbled across it I read all of the archived posts.

    I see your comments over at Z-man’s now and then and I suspect we frequent many of the same watering holes. Great minds think alike!

    I especially appreciate your campus observations. I graduated 35 years ago, but the rot had already started then and was well under way even in my backwater state school.

    Agree with urbando that it’d be great if you were more prolific, but I ain’t complaining. Happy you turn the crank as often as you do. Thanks!

    1. Severian Post author

      Appreciate it. I can only write when I have something to say, though, and it just doesn’t happen every day. How Z Man does it so consistently, and so consistently well, is beyond me. That guy’s a genius who deserves every penny.

  6. Fifteenth Reader

    Hi. Not much time to comment, since I am still employed. Apparently, I’m ‘essential.’ Who knew. I was hoping for a little corona-cation, but I suppose that is not to be.

    I read your blog because cantankerous professors amuse me. And you have some great insights.

  7. The Kaigat Of Wands

    Been lurking for some time now, unable to come up with anything witty, just want to say thanks for helping us all preserve our sanity, your work is appreciated.

  8. hoboken411

    Love your site – refreshing (not rotten) content. In fact – we’ve helped your SEO in the past year or so by re-publishing content (with full link back to your site) on our website

    It is so hard to find common sense oriented material these days. It is as if people are so utterly confused that they cannot even begin to understand where to start fixing it.

    We “fixed” ourselves decades ago by “unplugging” from most mainstream things (a little at a time). Such as sports. Then news. Then anything Hollywood.

    We still watch, but from a 30,000-foot perspective (scanning RSS headlines). Like an eagle on a perch. Just to see what the “natives” are doing. You still need awareness to be prepared.

    Thanks for your insightful thoughts and collections of articles. We need more of us.


  9. RetiredAirCommando

    Long-time lurker. Retired Air Force special operator with a PhD in US history (20th Century). Also a retired professor (three DOD schools) and dean of academics (one school). I read Rotten Chestnuts because it is written by obviously well-educated people who are not afraid to be honest and frank. Also, because the writers use history, etc., and for them critical thinking is not a left-wing bumpersticker. I also like the comments, which sometimes are as good as the blog posts. I especially like the posts regarding how the past informs the present (“From the Past the Future” was the motto for one of my schools)t. There’s nothing I dislike, but if the website becomes too popular (like the Z-man), it may decline in the quality of comments. I’d like to see more on military history (my specialty), since professional historians today ignore it (despite what Camille Paglia wrote). Even so, I like everything I read. Keep it up. If I don’t comment, rest assured I check the site often.

    1. Severian Post author

      Jeez, now I’m worried – getting fact checked by a professional! You undoubtedly know this stuff better than I do. My own specialty is a bit more… ummm… recondite. It’s not actually “The Maldives in their Second Golden Age, 309-4 BC,” as I often joke… but it’s kinda like that.

  10. Deuce

    Hello Sev,
    My compliments to your clear thought that is conveyed rather well in a concise form, easy to read, and always with great links that are found nowhere else.
    Those links that you find important to your message have been much welcome.
    It is clear that you still enjoy teaching but focus on those students that can appreciate an arrow pointing to the right path.
    I have never felt like you were talking at me even when you making a point.
    You are most enjoyable when you are truly fired up.

    Now that I am an official lurker I will chime in If have something to contribute.
    Thanks again.

  11. Jane

    Hello, I am Jane. I accidentally stumbled upon this blog about a year ago and have been a regular reader ever since. That’s all I have to say. Now it’s probably back to lurking for me!

  12. P_Ang

    Yep, started reading RWN when it was a thing, then started reading Morgan’s House of Auto-Eratosthecism (SP?) then started reading here. Bounce on and off for a while, read a lot of Ace of Spades, mainly since I can get my daily news there now that Drudge is a commie. When I need my angst-filled, comb-over-balding wild-eyed zeitgeist professorial ranting and there’s no Sanders to be found, I come here. Of course, my occasional posts are all lyfe experience, and I know you don’t care for that, but I’m less of a philosopher and more of a…Dave Barry?

    1. Severian Post author

      Bernie Sanders? That’s a tough act to follow, man. I mean, there’s crazy and rambling, and then there’s Bernie Sanders crazy and rambling. I’m going to need to up my game!

  13. Frip

    Long time reader, first time caller.

    What I like about this fellow:

    1. Naturally funny with liquid prose.

    2. Degree of Diffulty: We can all attest as mere commenters, that it’s hard enough to convey one’s thoughts in a short comment. So I can only imagine the skill and talent it takes to write extended pieces almost daily. I remember back in high school and college, I’d take so long to write my book reports. Girlfriends would always come up from behind me after a few hours and say, “you’re still on the first page!”. I’d say, “yeah, I’m just slow. It’s ok, go to bed without me.” What I wanted to tell them was, “Yeah, cuz I’m not interested in saying the same thing a hundred other students are gonna say. We have a moral obligation to not drive professors to suicide-by-boredome!” Sev can do this, but he doesn’t take all night like I would. God it’s really amazing.

    3. Nuance: Sev is full of it. Nuance. He’s not always easy to follow if you’re not in the mood. But rewarding if you’re up for the challenge. If he were a hot chick we’d say he’s playing hard to get.

    4. Like minded: We take it for granted now that the net provides us with a full spectrum of bloggers. But just 20 some years ago there wasn’t even Fox. It was National Review and that was IT! (OK, there was some underground far right rags, but good luck finding them in 1997). I don’t know, Sev fits my mindset more than just about anyone. Sobran used to get it for me. Zman, too, of course. But Sobran and Sev have that special funny.


    1. Big Idea Glitch: Who am I to say? But I’ve noticed the big thinkers are so wonderfully abstract, that they miss easy explanations sometimes. In fact I think they detest easy explanations. Forest from the trees type thing. They often dig down 3 levels, when the reality is right on the surface. Still, most of the time they’re right and are indespensibe guides for what we have trouble discovering on our own. Plus if they simply stated the obvious, what would they have to say for 8 paragraphs?

    2. His favorite rockstar is Jesus. Not a big problem. But kinda, sometimes. Reminds me of when my religous friends are conspicously not talking sense all the sudden on whatever subject. Then I remember, “ohhhh yeahhh, God is behind this opinion and they’re trying to hide it.”

    3. He thinks modern art is a big ugly sham with the sole intention of harming us.

    4. The immitators he’s spawned in comment sections who dance The Sev terribly.

    5. He’s kinda stubborn about admitting when he’s wrong. I cut him a break on this because I’ve noticed all us tough guys of the Right or Left get told that alot. I go to bars. I overhear things. We get told that by people without thought-out thoughts of their own. People who call us stubborn see multi-layered, successive reasoning as “stubborn”…i.e. we’ve got an answer for everything….i.e. every girlfriend we’ve ever had says we’re stubborn.

    6. I would like to fight Severian.

  14. Agronomist

    Hi, I’m an agronomist.
    I like the well-reasoned, succinct, very un-PC essays.
    There is nothing I dislike.
    I would like more essays, but I’m sure I read faster than you write, so there will ever be enough.
    Your site, Z-Man, Pushing Rubber, Woodpile, Raconteur, Splendid Isolation, Bayou Renaissance Man – I read you guys daily. Please keep going.

  15. AltRightPlaywright

    Another longtime lurker. I’ve been quietly hanging around Rotten Chestnuts for about as long as I’ve been reading Z Man (4+ years). Greetings from Upstate New York. Currently under quarantine (house arrest) via dictates from Benito Mussolini Cuomo. I particularly love Severian’s insights regarding academia. I spent many years as an adjunct, teaching in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric & Discourse (you can’t make that up) in the nation’s largest Catholic university™ and everything Severian says, particularly about Basic College Girl, is the gospel truth. If I’m not spitting up my coffee on my keyboard, I’m just nodding in sad, silent agreement.

    For all the economic havoc COVID 19 has wrought, I have hope that the social ramifications will be more positive – especially if this pandemic can dismantle the foundations of higher education as we know it.

    And I just like reading everyone’s responses. It’s nice to know there are like-minded folks out it the world. I’ve been working in enemy territory (academia, news, theater) for so long, it’s easy to forget I’m not alone – except for my 2 cats. Yes. Feminism has been a cancer for me too. But I digress…

    What I dislike? The long breaks between posts!

  16. ganderson

    I’m Ganderson, soon to be retired high school History teacher. I come here because our host articulates what I believe much better than I could.. And, living in a northeastern college town much of what is written here sounds VERY familiar.

  17. Recusant

    By ‘eck, that was the hardest registering process I have ever had to undertake; have I joined a Secret Society?

    Don’t change a thing Severian. Since the Last Psychiatrist’s sad demise, you are one of the few remaining bastions of tangential thinking. With added history and philosophy as a bonus.

    Been visiting you for a long time. Used to comment a bit, but kept on getting bumped off the registration process – which maybe because I use the Brave browser – so I eventually gave up trying and remained a lurker.

    From a semi-lockdowned London, greetings and What Ho!

    1. Severian Post author

      Yeah, the registration is a pain, no doubt. WordPress be like that, yo… or so I’m told. But yes, you have joined a secret society. The secret cypher is “huffi-muffi-guffi.”

      I thought I recognized your handle. Welcome back! I thought maybe The Plod had gotten you for thoughtcrime or something. Glad you’re doing well!

  18. Skedastic Racket

    I’m skedastic racket, which is a joke about statistics, and I am a biostatistician. I think that makes me one of the few non liberal arts guys here. And I’m one of the younger readers.
    I’m glad that Sev hasn’t panicked over this virus.
    I found that RC has been very instrumental in expanding my general view of history, and helping me to contextualize what I am watching happen, because I don’t have the background to do that on my own.
    I don’t have much to suggest. What’s written is often useful, and readable, regardless of my personal interest in it. I do prefer posts that explicate how assumptions determine explanations.

    1. Reader no. 16

      Me: Former archivist, judge’s clerk, policeman*, investigator and now I work at a hospital.

      * Not “law enforcement officer”. A nasty term, in my opinion. It rhymes with “jackboots” and “gestapo”. I policed. Enforcing the law was a very small portion of my job.

  19. L. Beau Macaroni

    I’m not truly a lurker, since I am confident that I’ve commented here before. I’ve been a reader of Severian long enough to know what he meant about the “hat thing”:

    1) “Basic college girl” comments

    2) 2000+ word essays on how U.S. society/culture got to this lowly state.

    3) Severian thinks modern art is a big ugly sham with the sole intention of harming us. (I’ll admit that I was originally “evangelized” on this topic not by Sev., but by Blowhard, Esq. over at )

    Dislikes: Nothing comes to mind. I’ll try to comment more often in order to let you know.

  20. contrariandutchman

    Well as the name implies born near the North Sea and a little (too) fond of a discussion. Delurked quite a while ago. Our fourletter agency probably doesnt mind and the volunteer auxiliary thought police are too busy on the twitters.

    When the internet is the big famous tourist-infested city, RC is the little bar in a back alley that only a few locals know, yet has the best local wines and liquors in town and a proprietor who has a humorous story to go with them all. All the best talk and interesting people in town are in this place.

    On to the questioning:

    1. a host who is… interesting as a writer, many think they are, far fewer manage to do it, and usually with a bit of humour to make it lighter on the mental stomach, also a comment section that rises far above the usual dismal stahdards;
    2.not much to really dislike, maybe when our host is a bit stubborn about something, then again, I should be the last one to hold some stubbornness against people;
    3.anything history would be good, anything related to how the Cat Fancy playbook would look now seems especially propitious right now; entry here

    And it looks like in these comments the Fourteen Readers have quietly expanded their number toward two dirty dozens, almost a platoon, or should that be trupp? Congrats, and to an even livelier and better conversation.

  21. Wildgoose

    Lot of people commenting.

    Day 1 of the Quarantine (here in the UK anyway), and everybody is already stir-crazy.

    1. Everything
    2. Nothing
    3. Everything
    4. Nothing

    Yes, I know that’s a cop-out.

    Just keep up the good work!

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