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

Serendipity soup du jour

Moroccan Chicken Soup As of 3/15/2020 (and subject to change without notice)   8 cups of water 2 cans (13 oz) ounces of white chicken meat, drained (or equivalent leftover rotisserie chicken, white or dark) 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained 2 cans garbanzo beans, drained 2 cans (4 oz) mushrooms, drained 8 artichoke hearts, halved …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2020/03/15/serendipity-soup-du-jour/

Despair is no option

Medicare for All Is the One-in-a-Million Shot We Have to Make Happen By Natalie Shure, 02.19.2020, Jacobin Magazine   Throughout 2019, Iowans were walloped with political commercial after political commercial, owing to the fluke that their state votes first in the presidential primaries. Remarkably, by late summer, a newly minted advocacy group called the Partnership …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2020/03/09/despair-is-no-option/

Uncle Bernie

Why Muslim Voters Love Bernie Sanders By Steve Friess, 2/26/20 at 10:53 AM EST   At last night’s messy Democratic debate in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the messiest moments came when Bernie Sanders was asked to address the concerns of American Jews over his Mideast policies. The Vermont senator firmly voiced his commitment to …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://levantium.com/2020/02/29/uncle-bernie/

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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