All posts by bradbirzer

By day, I'm a father of seven and husband of one. By night, I'm an author, a biographer, and a prog rocker. Interests: Rush, progressive rock, cultural criticisms, the Rocky Mountains, individual liberty, history, hiking, and science fiction.

Tears For Fears’ Songs From The Big Chair Set For Reissue

Looking back at the album, Roland Orzabal commented, “Pop music was still a growth industry. It hadn’t sort of stagnated, stalled, diversified into streaming like it is nowadays. We were young, we were both good-looking and we had the right music. As we move further and further from that decade and you keep hearing ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, in various forms I do think it is an era-defining album”.

Curt Smith “You would never normally get three songs that strong in an album. But balance that out with tracks like ‘Listen’, ‘The Working Hour’; all those things that give it air and give it time to breathe I think is what makes it something more than just the sum of its parts. I think the album had a lot more depth than a lot of those other albums of that time. And albums of more depth tend to stick around longer”.
— Read on www.udiscovermusic.com/news/tears-fears-big-chair-reissue/

Brad Birzer writes lyrics for progressive rock album – Hillsdale Collegian

Track 1: “The Trenches.” Under­scored by ambient whistling, rifle shots, and single notes struck on a piano, Brad Birzer’s voice fades in softly at first, repeating, and echoing over itself. He speaks C.S. Lewis’s description of his expe­rience in World War I: “The frights, the cold, the smell of human excrement, the hor­ribly crushed men still moving like crushed beetles…” 

Then, cue an electric guitar intro, a chorus of “This is war!” and, finally, drop in some heavy metal drumming.  

These are the opening lines and sounds of the pro­gressive rock epic chron­i­cling the meeting, devel­oping rela­tionship, and, ulti­mately, failed friendship between J.R.R Tolkien and Lewis. Birzer, pro­fessor of history, wrote this seven-track album, “The Bardic Depths,” in col­lab­o­ration with pro­gressive rock musician Dave Bandana. 
— Read on hillsdalecollegian.com/2020/02/brad-birzer-writes-lyrics-for-progressive-rock-album/

T.E. Hulme on the Religious Attitude ~ The Imaginative Conservative

To transcend or to break through this delusion of progress, a true scholar, Hulme continued, must attempt to see the gaps in both senses, recognizing them and allowing them to exist. In other words, much like Friedrich Hayek will proclaim with the “knowledge problem” several decades later, true scholars must be humble and be content with knowing what we do not know. The modernist, of course, hates ignorance more than anything else, and in his blind zeal to know all things, he will create “knowledge” where no knowledge is possible, thus truly derailing centuries upon centuries of fine work and of understanding of the human person. Ironically, in his hatred of religion, the modernist merely creates a new, shallow, and false religion. The modern, Hulme understood, is nothing short of a full-fledge Gnostic, ultimately seeing the universe as pre-determined, mechanistic, and absent of free will.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/02/te-hulme-religious-attitude-bradley-birzer.html

Hungarian government urges defence of persecuted Christians | Catholic Herald

The world must raise their voices and stand up for persecuted Christians, Hungarian State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians Tristan Azbej said on Thursday.

Azbej was one of eight speakers at a side-event of the National Prayer Breakfast that was sponsored by the organization Save the Persecuted Christians.

“All of humanity should stand up and come to the aid of persecuted Christians,” said Azbej.
— Read on catholicherald.co.uk/news/2020/02/07/hungarian-government-urges-defence-of-persecuted-christians/

Real Community: Hutchinson and Longmont

A years ago, while on a panel with that extraordinary radio personality, Mike Church, and a few folks from another website, I think I caused a bit of a stir by arguing that a real man’s existence was about protecting one’s family from the world, conserving what little order could be found in the family against the shattering disorders of the modern and post-modern abyss.  

While I’ve always favored a republic and have been a republican as far back as I can remember, my republic would be a Harringtonian one of extremely well-armed small families and associations of friends and like-minded persons.  In my Harringtonian vision, admittedly somewhat idyllic and medieval, communities would come together for cultural celebrations, book festivals, commerce, and a celebration of the sacraments.  

It would also, to my mind, uphold the essence of the American founding as understood through the Northwest Ordinance.  

And, in the just preservation of rights and property, it is understood and declared, that no law ought ever to be made, or have force in the said territory, that shall, in any manner whatever, interfere with or affect private contracts or engagements, bona fide, and without fraud, previously formed. 

While I very much agree with our own John Willson that no “founding” ever existed, only foundings, I would not look askance at any one who claimed the above, taken from Article III of the profound 1787 law, serves as the “mission statement” of the founding of this republic.  For those of us who love ordered liberty, we might speak in terms of commerce and business, but the right to associate applies as much to families, churches, and schools as it does businesses.  If we do not have the right to form a family as we chose, the right to open a business means nothing.  The right of association is all-encompassing.  We have the right to form families, businesses, universities, and, even, websites dedicated to Russell Kirk’s vision of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

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Batman at 75

[From 2014]

“Happy Birthday, Batman”

Just a little over a year ago, I came out of the closet.  I admitted it to the world and without reservations.  

I was and remain a Batman devotee.  Much to my surprise, a lot of The Imaginative Conservative readers are also rather fond of Batman.  So, in my weirdness (at least in this particular one), I’m not alone.

[http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2013/08/batman.html]  

Even more, I’m a Batman snob.  No “pows”or “ka-pows,” no silly side kicks in Disney-lite costumes, no Bat dances, and no Bat “shark repellants.”  I don’t want Adam West, Michael Keaton, or George Clooney as Batman.  I don’t want the Batmobile driving up to the Burger King drive thru window to order something.

I want my Batman dark, serious, dedicated, persevering, swift, and, when necessary, brutal.  

Happy 75th Birthday, Batman!

As you might very well know, today is Batman’s 75th birthday.  On this day, three quarters of a century ago, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics 27 (cover date: May 1939).  Here’s the official write up from the company, DC (Time-Warner) that owns the Batman name:

In celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary, DC Entertainment is partnering with thousands of comic book retailers and bookstores across the nation to celebrate “Batman Day” on Wednesday, July 23. As part of the festivities, fans who visit participating retailers receive a free, special edition of DETECTIVE COMICS #27, featuring a reimagining of Batman’s 1939 comic book debut, designed by Chip Kidd with a script by The New York Times #1 bestselling author Brad Meltzer.

In addition to the comic book, DC Entertainment is providing retailers access to an assortment of other collectibles to help in the celebration of “Batman Day” including a Batman 75th anniversary cape, bookmarks featuring essential Batman graphic novels and four Batman masks designed by comic book artist Ryan Sook spotlighting a variety of the character’s iconic looks from his 75-year history.

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Making Sense of a Chaotic World: “Red Metal” ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Now, three decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, we have Red Storm Rising’s more than worthy successor, Red Metal, by Mark Greaney and Lt. Col. Hunter “Rip” Rawlings IV. While Lt. Rawlings is new to me, I have been reading Mr. Greaney’s novels for over a decade. He roared onto the literary scene during the revival of Tom Clancy co-authored books around 2010 and with his own extraordinary novel and hero (or anti-hero), The Grey Man, a year earlier. I have had the chance to praise Mr. Greaney several times, but never enough. Mr. Greaney is, in every way, our current and better Tom Clancy, taking thrillers into the twenty-first century. By this, I mean that Mr. Greaney fully understands that we live in a post-Communist world, a world of fundamentalisms as well as of nation-states and tenuous alliances. His own analysis of world affairs—though couched in fiction—is every bit as interesting as that coming out from any current periodical or think tank.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/02/making-sense-chaotic-world-red-metal-bradley-birzer.html