Thursday, January 18, 2018

Blog URL Change Coming Soon

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you've no doubt noticed that since it began in August 2017, its image has been anything but stable. It has gone through several name changes and more aesthetic changes than I can count. I've even changed my pseudonym more times than I can remember. (At some point, I may man up and use my real name. I have been toying with this idea for some time, which is a major reason why I've changed my pseudonym and the name of the blog itself so many times. It's all in preparation for the great unmasking, which may come soon, may come in some years' time, or may never come at all. As President Donald Trump would say, "We'll see what happens.")

I hope all these changes haven't made you dizzy, dear reader. It's all part of the natural evolution in what I see as this blog's identity and purpose. Or maybe I'm just fickle. You decide.

Hopefully, these whiplash-inducing changes should come to an end soon.

In the meantime, though, one more change is coming soon. Unlike the previous changes, this one is so substantial that I feel compelled to announce it beforehand. You may have noticed that, having struck "Pelayo" from my nom de plume some time ago, I've more recently removed this name from the name of the blog itself. After all, since Pelayo is no longer my nom de guerre, why should this blog be called Pelayo's Gazette, or some such variant thereof? That would just be confusing, especially to new readers.

Accordingly, I've recently renamed the blog The Alcázar Gazette, in honor of El Alcázar, one of the most iconic newspapers of Francoist Spain. El Alcázar was itself named in honor of the Siege of the Alcázar of Toledo, one of the most famous Francoist victories during the Spanish Civil War. I had actually wanted to name this blog El Alcázar in the first place, but I was worried about running afoul of copyright laws, so I didn't. And I didn't think of the name The Alcázar Gazette until the other day!

The change that is coming soon is related to this. On January 25, 2018 – exactly one week from today – the URL associated with this blog will be changing from to

I know, I know. This is going to be annoying. But it's for the greater good. Five or ten years from now, if this blog is still going, I wouldn't want it to have a url that doesn't match its name. And it's easier to make this change now, while the number of internal links in this blog is still relatively low, than in a few years' time.

To help you remember, I'll be announcing this name change periodically over the next week on Twitter. (If you wish to follow me on Twitter, you may do so here). I'll also be tacking on a reminder about the upcoming URL change to each and every future blog post until the big day on January 25.

One more way to remember this that you may find helpful: In The Adventures of Tintin, one of Tintin's friends is General Alcázar, the ruler of the fictional South American country of San Theodoros.

General Alcázar, Caudillo of San Theodoros by the grace of God.

Since we recently had one Tintin-related post here on this blog (and will, God willing, have many more, including reviews of each and every book in The Adventures of Tintin series), let's honor this character (and celebrate this blog's recent name change and upcoming URL change) by shouting:

"¡Viva General Alcázar!"    

For Country, Bread, and Justice,

Jaime de Andrade  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Nonsense and Faith

Don Quijote tilting at windmills, by Gustave Doré. In the early twentieth century, the Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno would hold up Miguel de Cervantes's most famous character as a model for mankind, due to his values of faith, enthusiasm, and love.   

If nonsense is really to be the literature of the future, it must have its own version of the Cosmos to offer; the world must not only be the tragic, romantic, and religious, it must be nonsensical also. And here we fancy that nonsense will, in a very unexpected way, come to the aid of the spiritual view of things. Religion has for centuries been trying to make men exult in the "wonders" of creation, but it has forgotten that a thing cannot be completely wonderful so long as it remains sensible. So long as we regard a tree as an obvious thing, naturally and reasonably created for a giraffe to eat, we cannot properly wonder at it. It is when we consider it as a prodigious wave of the living soil sprawling up to the skies for no reason in particular that we take off our hats, to the astonishment of the park-keeper. Everything has in fact another side to it, like the moon, the patroness of nonsense. Viewed from that other side, a bird is a blossom broken loose from its chain of stalk, a man a quadruped begging on its hind legs, a house a gigantesque hat to cover a man from the sun, a chair an apparatus of four wooden legs for a cripple with only two.

This is the side of things which tends most truly to spiritual wonder. It is significant that in the greatest religious poem existent, the Book of Job, the argument which convinces the infidel is not (as has been represented by the merely rational religionism of the eighteenth century) a picture of the ordered beneficence of the Creation; but, on the contrary, a picture of the huge and undecipherable unreason of it. "Hast Thou sent the rain upon the desert where no man is?" This simple sense of wonder at the shapes of things, and at their exuberant independence of our intellectual standards and our trivial definitions, is the basis of spirituality as it is the basis of nonsense. Nonsense and faith (strange as the conjunction may seem) are the two supreme symbolic assertions of the truth that to draw out the soul of things with a syllogism is as impossible as to draw out Leviathan with a book. The well-meaning person who, by merely studying the logical side of things, has decided that "faith is nonsense," does not know how truly he speaks; later it may come back to him in the form that nonsense is faith.

 G. K. Chesterton, "A Defence of Nonsense" (1902)

Friday, January 5, 2018

George Washington's Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Rules of Civility

NOTE: This post is part of a recurring series of posts reproducing a series of rules that are commonly known as George Washington's rules of civility. Though Washington did not invent them, he learned them as a child, and they certainly help to explain why and how George Washington was a man of such great character. For the previous posts in this series, please see here and here

6. Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.

7. Put not off your clothes in the presence of others, nor go out of your chamber half dress'd.

8. At play and at fire its good manners to give place to the last comer, and affect not to speak louder than ordinary.

9. Spit not in the fire, nor stoop low before it neither put your hands into the flames to warm them, nor set your feet upon the fire especially if there be meat before it.

10. When you sit down, keep your feet firm and even, without putting one on the other or crossing them.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year from Tintin, Snowy, and Rudolph

For the fascinating history of these New Year's cards (which are from 1942 and are the first Tintin merchandise that was ever for sale), as well as to see more Tintin New Year's cards, click here

Happy New Year to all readers of this blog!

"And may it be shiny, too!