What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

All Things Wise and Wonderful

My relative lack of inspiration for new blog posts in the last weeks is to be blamed on the glorious weather here, which has taken me outdoors and away from the computer screen. (I'll think of a different excuse next month when it's hot and unpleasant.)

Meanwhile, here is another post more or less in this series (see also here) about things that are themselves and have value for their own sake.

Seeking to rise above politics, I commend to my readers a moment of appreciation and thanks to God for human activities that involve skill and/or knowledge, that are endlessly interesting and have justly endured for many years. I'll start the list, hoping not to duplicate too much from earlier posts. Readers are warmly invited to add to it.

Go (oriental game)
Talmud studies

Please note that the more or less sedentary nature of this starter list (with the exception of dressage) is a result of my own ignorance of sports. Feel free to name sports, but only if you really mean it.

Comments (28)

Chinese checkers
Crewel embroidery
Flower gardening

Turnstile-jumping (o.k., I'll retract it)



Making pottery
Making stained glass

I'm glad you mentioned golf, Paul. It's a closed book to me, and I sometimes make wisecracks about it, but I was pretty sure it meets the qualifications, especially according to you and Bill.

The fine, watchmaking art of guilloche.


Watching the Yankees lose in the playoffs or World Series.


The rarefied ability of a musician trained in Byzantine chanting to hit half-tones and bend pitches.

Kevin has already mentioned parenthood, but I want to add something specific: hearing two (or more) little voices scream "Papa!" when I arrive at home at the end of the day.

The delicate, soft new growths on plants and trees come this season of the year.

Church-league softball
Evelyn Waugh and a glass of red wine (Black Swan for me)
Concussions from football
Reading Tolkien to your wife

Bird watching
Pipe smoking (Sure, you can do it without any skill or knowledge, but a bit of skill and knowledge certainly helps).

My apologies for fudging several of my examples, as they require no skill. In my exhaustion and inattention, I probably conflated this thread with one of the earlier ones.

I'll suggest a few others.

The culinary arts

The brewing of beer, the fermentation of wines, and the distillation of liquors


That's okay, Maximos, you aren't the only one who did that. And good stuff is good stuff.

Dare I say it? Writing.



- The baking/firing of stained glass.

- The making of sailing ships.

- The sailing of ships.

- Folding metal into swords.

- Baking pastries.

- Singing and the playing of wind instruments.

- Comedy.

"Watching the Yankees lose in the playoffs or World Series."

I must amend this: to watching the Yankees lose. Period.


I must second this, and add; Mentoring. Talk about getting back more than you give!


Kindness to strangers.

Well done, Sage McLaughlin.

Diagramming sentences.

Yes, I wish I knew more about some of the things Sage lists. Excellent one, Kyle. I just discovered a sentence diagraming curriculum on-line for home schooling. It will be review for the one daughter in question but new for the other. Here's one I should have put in the main post:

Change ringing

(I heartily recommend Sayers's The Nine Tailors to anyone who likes mystery stories. Her best Peter Wimsey, IMO. It's about change ringing.)

...and have justly endured for many years.

That has been the difficult criteria for me. I'd love to add 'writing software' and 'hovering a helicopter' to the list, but that just reveals how much of a thoroughgoing modern person I am by disposition.

Hand-to-hand combat
Search and rescue

Debate [even better]
More reading
My wife, for whom sainthood awaits.

The last appropriate if you can regard marriage as an activity.

How long have helicopters been around? (I have no idea.) We cd. take a flexible interpretation of 'many'.

I like "hand-to-hand combat." I have a whole bunch of books by a popular and by no means high-class dog story writer of the 1920's named Albert Payson Terhune. He was an amateur boxer himself, and along with the dog rescue yarns he's always finding a way to work in a fight scene, usually boxing, but sometimes wrestling or even sword-fighting. I loved those parts when I was a kid, and I still enjoy them.

diagramming sentences


There are lists, phalanxes, patterns, rhythms, and taxonomies that perpetually fascinate mankind. The finest rhythm: being in time. Since all things are not wise and wonderful, I reckon all things won't make the list and I wonder if seeking the good should be excluded. I might exclude putt-putt golf, because, you know, golf. Our latest discussion around the dinner table has been to discover what a thing is by asking how it is best. What is a great story and why? The inquiry is endlessly interesting and for all time bound to rise up to politics.

Lydia, this post has been great fun to read.

Nothing like a little Plato at dinner time, KW. :) I only hope my own dinner table never turns to the question, "What is a great meatloaf?"



Amen. I love maps.

Great minds think alike. I had thought of cartography when I was out shopping today, buying new county map books among other things.

I'm a geographer by trade - though a very IT styled one. Every once and awhile I get a chance to take my time and dive into good map making; its one of the most enjoyable pursuits that I've undertaken.

Basketball - That may not get a lot of play in this setting but I adore b-ball and had to mention it since my beloved Pistons open their 6th straight trip to the conference finals tonight.

Dancing the waltz, much more difficult than it looks.
Research, especially historical research.
Discussing the show "Lost" with fellow geeks. (That is cheating a bit, but I expect the discussions will continue for years to come.)
Playing bridge.

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