Monsieur Jacques d'Nalgar

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 preachers, missionaries and educators. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where his father was a school headmaster for more than 30 years (and before 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 15-year nightmare began in earnest. Most reputable historians do not associate the onset of that tragic conflict with his departure. He returned for a visit in 1978, three years into the civil war. His right eye still occasionally twitches as a result. After 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 Fries” 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 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 once defined his religious confession as Zen Baptist, a burgeoning movement (of one) within the Southern Baptist Convention seeking to reclaim the mantle of Christian orthodoxy from fevered fundamentalists just itching for Armageddon. When evangelicals embraced the tangerine wankmaggot Trump and rejected Jesus, the futility of his quest was apparent. He abandoned the family faith and embraced Episcopalians' peculiar cocktail of ancient traditions and progressive inclusion. 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. What we should be talking about — 9 comments
  4. Climate change in Arkansas — 8 comments
  5. Funny things — 7 comments

Author's posts

Impeachment 101

Trump’s Not Richard Nixon. He’s Andrew Johnson. Betrayal. Paranoia. Cowardice. We’ve been here before. By Tim Murphy, January/February 2020 Issue of Mother Jones   It’s not hard to think of a historical precedent for President Donald Trump’s attempts to trade military assistance to the Ukrainian government for actionable dirt on his chief political rival. The …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2019/12/28/impeachment-101/

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

  Ramblin’ Jack By The Arkansas Times’ The Observer, December 13, 2018   The Observer, like a lot of folks, is drawn to the real places: barbecue joints and honky-tonks, seedy truck stops and greasy little diners where the waitresses and clerks still call you “Hun,” used bookstores that have been there since Faulkner was …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2019/12/16/ramblin-jack-elliott/

And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

  Faith and Immortality Christian belief in immortality is a corollary of the total Christian faith. It is not the initial affirmation of the Christian creed, not is it a detachable item that can be held in isolation; it is an involved consequence, part and parcel of the whole Christian view of life. Uniformly the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2019/11/17/and-no-one-dared-to-ask-him-any-more-questions/

May new joy wait on you

  COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS (page 1) Delivered by William Blakemore at the graduation ceremonies of the class of 1974 of the American Community School of Beirut, Lebanon, held in the American University of Beirut Assembly Hall/Chapel, Friday, June 21, 1974 at 9:00 A.M.   Thank you Mr. Usellis. Parents, teachers, friends and guests, and especially graduating …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2019/10/12/may-new-joy-wait-on-you/

Against the New Nationalism

An Appeal to Our Fellow Christians By The Editors, August 19, 2019   Each day more signs point to a tremendous shift in American conservatism away from the prior consensus and toward the new nationalism of Donald Trump. This is evident not only in the recent National Conservatism Conference held in July in Washington, D.C., …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2019/08/20/against-the-new-nationalism/

If I could apologize

If I could apologize   To the Honorable Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, United States House of Representatives representing the 5th District of Minnesota, If I could apologize for how Americans have treated you this week, where would I begin? I apologize for being part of a privileged “white” tribe that thinks itself superior to all others. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2019/07/19/if-i-could-apologize/

Gristle in your tea (deep thoughts for dark times)

Love and be killed   The Gospels insist upon two antithetical truths which express the tragedy of the human condition: the first is that if you do not love you will not be alive; the second is that if you do love you will be killed. If you cannot love you remain self-enclosed and sterile, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2019/07/15/gristle-in-your-tea-deep-thoughts-for-dark-times/