“The Unfortunate Fate of Septimus Wise”: A Ghost Story

By |2020-10-13T12:44:22-05:00October 30th, 2018|Categories: Fiction, Halloween, Stephen Masty|

The young man intended to purchase my death and, presumably and in some manner carry it away so that I never would meet with it. Immortality, wealth, my beloved Jessica all rotated in kaleidoscopic vision before my eyes. Editor’s Note: The following short story was left unpublished at the author’s death. Thomas Masty, the author’s [...]

Stephen Masty, R.I.P.— Imagining the Epiphany

By |2016-01-08T05:18:30-06:00January 8th, 2016|Categories: Christianity, Death, John Willson, Literature, Stephen Masty|

Editor’s Note: Stephen Masty, a Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative, passed away December 26th at the age of sixty-one. We pay tribute to him with this essay by John Willson, who was Steve Masty’s teacher at Hillsdale College and who eventually became Steve’s student. They have been friends for forty years. The Test of the [...]

Russian Intrigue: Déjà vu All Over Again

By |2015-09-03T15:54:54-05:00September 3rd, 2015|Categories: Books, England, History, Russia, Stephen Masty, War|

Britannia & the Bear: The Anglo-Russian Intelligence Wars 1917-1929, by Victor Madeira (The Boydell Press, UK) Another cache of secret documents may not make forgotten history timelier than this. Modern asymmetrical confrontation truly began after 1914-1918, chiefly between Great Britain and what soon became the Soviet Union. While American troops tipped the balance and sailed home [...]

When Books Die, All at Once

By |2017-11-29T14:38:32-06:00August 31st, 2015|Categories: Books, Featured, Literature, Stephen Masty, Timeless Essays|

(Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Stephen Masty as he examines illiteracy and the death of books. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher) Never has the stock market soared higher nor the supply of affordable books been cheaper. Lucky or cursed, let us examine the latter–about which T.S. Eliot [...]

Should We Stop Dumb People from Voting?

By |2016-05-02T15:27:39-05:00August 17th, 2015|Categories: Featured, Politics, Stephen Masty|

It is not every column that solves all of America’s problems, much less says how in a single piece of popular legislation, but the back-story comes first. As the headline already revealed, it shows how to “restrict the franchise”—a lawyerly, two-thousand bucks an hour phrase for limiting who can vote. Believe me, everyone will love [...]

Lost Temples, Giant Spiders & the Death of Western Civilization

By |2015-08-11T01:02:00-05:00August 11th, 2015|Categories: Christopher Dawson, Modernity, Morality, Russell Kirk, Stephen Masty, Western Civilization|

You will need to wear your Indiana Jones fedora and stick with it, but I can promise you the big, Imaginative Conservative ending–with Russell Kirk on horseback, Christopher Dawson commanding the landing craft and Chesterton parachuting down from above as Elgar conducts the beachfront orchestra. Or something like that. Really. Our tale begins in a [...]

Newspeak, Tribal Warfare & Coming to Grips with Diversity

By |2015-08-06T00:11:58-05:00August 6th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Religion, Stephen Masty|

Spending little time in America nowadays but reading from afar, it has taken me years to understand her conservatives’ upset with diversity. It turned my American friends (at least the majority, conservatives) apoplectic, purple with rage and spluttering incomprehensibly. Anyone overhearing would have thought them idiots or stroke victims, or the hopelessly senile ranting about [...]

Top Ten Conspiracy Theories We Can Believe

By |2015-07-16T01:52:26-05:00July 16th, 2015|Categories: Mystery, Stephen Masty|

No, not all conspiracies are hallucinations, nor are all conspiracy theorists crazy or even libertarians. Here our sensible, responsible, even somewhat boring experts present the Top Ten Conspiracy Theories that everyone can trust. 1. Hillary Clinton is a Kleptomaniac You can see her here with her husband, after leaving Wal-Mart hiding a shoplifted ottoman in the [...]

They Eat What?!? Can You Bear-ly Stop Laughing?

By |2015-07-09T01:35:58-05:00July 9th, 2015|Categories: Liberalism, Progressivism, Science, Stephen Masty|

It is not simply that carnivores eat meat—that hardly justifies the news headline*—nor that cute bears eat meat or even (cover your children’s eyes) kill other animals for the meat that they need rather than, say, buy it by the bucketful from KFC. That is not funny enough. This is—scientists have seen warm, cuddly, innocent, [...]

The Roots of Ideology: Pope Francis, Warming & Hegel’s Big Hint

By |2015-06-30T00:50:12-05:00June 30th, 2015|Categories: Pope Francis, Stephen Masty, Western Civilization|

Far be it from us to strip down and leap into the hot-tub with Hegel and Lenin; and yet…and yet… there is an attraction to thoughts of historical inevitability. It seems as if Western collapse is a chain of unavoidable causes and effects, but this is a mistake. Unlike a lesser stage magician, its progenitor [...]

Empire & Paradox in Our Post-Modern Comedia Divina

By |2019-06-06T11:56:57-05:00June 25th, 2015|Categories: Communism, Foreign Affairs, Middle East, Politics, Russia, Stephen Masty|

Wordsworth sang* to Milton, “thou shouldst be living at this hour,” and the same goes for G. K. Chesterton, the connoisseur of paradox. Weighing nearly four-hundred pounds at the end, today he would float like a dirigible over modern foreign affairs; plucking choice paradoxes at every hand and drawing as many lessons from our globalised Divine [...]

Liberals Wonder if the Baku Has an Evil Twin

By |2015-06-20T00:01:08-05:00June 20th, 2015|Categories: Liberalism, Stephen Masty|

If you look carefully around your house you might see one, possibly under the bed; but most are probably invisible. A baku eats nightmares, human nightmares and all manner of bad dreams. He has a bear’s body, an elephant’s trunk, a tiger’s paws, an ox’s tail and rhinoceros eyes. “Oh! That baku!” you say, and [...]

Just Another Day in Hell

By |2021-04-08T12:13:05-05:00June 17th, 2015|Categories: Liberalism, Stephen Masty, Wisdom|

“B-b-but, Lord Satan,” stammered the imp, reluctantly raising one claw to announce a question. Although he headed one of Hell’s most effective departments, technically speaking he was still an imp, and everyone knew what happened to the last one when the boss was in an exceptionally foul mood. “Our invention, called IT, shares knowledge but [...]

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