Monsieur Jacques d’Nalgar is a working curmudgeon with a cat-killing curiosity in politics, religion, history, and other manifestations of irrational human behavior. He resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas, a semi-autonomous region of the United States (a waning political experiment on the third planet of a minor solar system in a remote corner of the Milky Way galaxy), with his wife and other assorted wildlife.

Jacques is a son and grandson of Baptist missionaries and educators. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where his father was a school headmaster for more than 30 years (and prior to that, a B-17 navigator in the last months of WW2). He grew up in the Middle East during the turbulent 50s, 60s, and 70s, but left just before Lebanon’s nightmare 15-year civil war began in earnest. Most reputable historians do not associate the onset of that tragic conflict with his departure.

After attending college in Oklahoma and working for a large oilfield servicing company now forever identified with the dark lord Dick Cheney, he moved his family to Hot Springs in 1994. Jacques spends most of his time reading, blogging under a barely-disguised snotty “Freedom” pseudonym, and staring at the sun. He works tirelessly for the OAFS (Obsessive Alliteration-Fondness Syndrome) Foundation, as both its only benefactor and sole beneficiary.

Jacques’ political pilgrimage has meandered across much of the left-right continuum. Once a staunch conservative (by all the standard litmus tests), he found himself suddenly adrift when the rest of the country lurched hard-right after 9-11. He is a frequent critic of our national love affair with wars, rampant nationalism in general, and the resurgent, xenophobic frenzy that masquerades as patriotism.

He defines his religious confession as Zen Baptist, a burgeoning movement (of one) within the Southern Baptist Convention that is seeking to reclaim the mantle of Christian orthodoxy from fevered fundamentalists just itching for Armageddon. Monsieur d’Nalgar may be reached by sending him your questions telepathically, or by sending him money. He prefers the latter.

Most commented posts

  1. Bane of fundamentalism — 10 comments
  2. An obituary — 10 comments
  3. Climate change in Arkansas — 8 comments
  4. Some powerfully stupid stuff — 7 comments
  5. On a hill far away — 6 comments

Author's posts

Jan 28 2018

Response to the Muslim

Important!

Following is today’s flash of brilliance by one of our local islamophobic lunatics. Such is the brightness of his keen intellect (the noon-day sun pales in comparison), that were he to  focus his facile faculties on any problem large or small, surely that problem would wither and die.  Behold now, a mind like no other.  A man who needs no introduction, a man who has Jan Morgan’s back, the one, the only…

…come to think of it, idiots chasing … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2018/01/28/response-to-the-muslim/

Dec 24 2017

We’re developing a national cataract

Cardinal Tobin, Am I a Christian?

By Nicholas Kristof, Dec. 22, 2017

 

What is Christmas about, anyway? Can I be a Christian if I doubt the virgin birth? Can a woman become a cardinal? What would upset Jesus today? I put these blunt questions and more to Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, who was appointed by Pope Francis and is in his mold. Here’s our conversation, edited for space and clarity.

KRISTOF Merry Christmas! Let me [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2017/12/24/were-developing-a-national-cataract/

Dec 21 2017

Believing like Jesus

A wonderful time of year

Monsieur d’Nalgar:  Mr. Lindholm informed me of several corrections that are now reflected herein.  These corrections were made via social media after the letter was published in the Sentinel Record…  The comments that follow were also harvested from social media.  Vendredi 22 décembre 2017 à l’ère commune.  Joyeux Noël à tous!

Dear editor:

It’s a wonderful time of the year.

The world is captivated by the story of the birth of Jesus. It is a … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2017/12/21/believing-like-jesus/

Dec 14 2017

Everyone else

The Black Community in Alabama Saved Us From White Evangelicals

By John Pavlovitz, December 13, 2017 (updated December 14, 2017)

 

As news of Doug Jones’ victory came in last night I initially rejoiced.

Watching one of the reddest places in America turn blue, and seeing voters there reject one of the most reprehensible candidates in recent memory certainly seemed like cause for celebration. It felt in that moment like a victory for the nation, for the state of … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2017/12/14/everyone-else/

Dec 08 2017

We all have so much work to do

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: ‘Trump is where he is because of his appeal to racism’

By Donald McRae, Friday 8 December 2017 13.26 EST

 

Like all people my age I find the passage of time so startling,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says with a quiet smile. The 70-year-old remains the highest points-scorer in the history of the NBA and, having won six championships and been picked for a record 19 All-Star Games, he is regarded widely as being second only to Michael … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2017/12/08/we-all-have-so-much-work-to-do/

Nov 24 2017

Preserve this precious heritage

 

Important!

Several months ago, my friend Betty Halaby, an exile from Palestinian Jerusalem, gave me the following article, printed on three pages in all caps. Searching for an online version to copy here, I ran across this fitting preface:

— Monsieur d’Nalgar, Vendredi 24 novembre 2017 à l’ère commune

 

…it has always been a very short distance from serious social science to parody, and many have enjoyed the trip. Probably the most frequently reprinted example is Horace Miner’s … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2017/11/24/preserve-this-precious-heritage/

Nov 21 2017

War

Important!

Why must I live in this grim age
When, to a far horizon, God
Has ebbed away, and man, with rage
Now wields the sceptre and the rod?

Man raised his sword, once God had gone,
To slay his brother, and the roar
Of battlefields now casts upon
Our homes the shadow of the war.

The harps to which we sang are hung
On willow boughs, and their refrain
Drowned by the anguish of the young
Whose blood is … [more]

Permanent link to this article: http://levantium.com/2017/11/21/war/