The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Living Well Is the Best Revenge

Posted on | January 5, 2019 | 2 Comments

Friday morning I went to the airport to pick up my 18-year-old son, who was returning from a trip to our oldest daughter’s house. She lives in a crucial swing state, near the beach, and the high temperature there today is forecast at 74°F. Our youngest daughter, who recently turned 16, accompanied me to the airport, and was subjected to a few of my paternal lectures along the way. We’d left the house early, seeking to beat morning rush-hour traffic, and were so successful in that regard that we arrived at the airport more than an hour before my son’s flight arrived, and so I bought us breakfast at an airport restaurant — $27.68.


Was that too much to pay for breakfast? Yes, but I don’t spend enough time with our kids. They’re busy with school and their friends, and I’ve always got my head stuck inside the computer, trying to solve the world’s problems and/or staring into the abyss. So I wanted to do something nice and, while most people wouldn’t consider breakfast at a restaurant in the airport as something special, most people don’t have six children, and our kids have grown up with fewer of the luxuries that some other kids take for granted, including restaurant meals and vacation travel.

The cliché of “quality time” was invented by Baby Boomer yuppies in the 1980s to rationalize the way their lifestyles deprived their children of so many traditional childhood experiences. Whereas most Baby Boomers grew up in traditional families — perhaps our parents were not as perfect as Ward and June Cleaver, but we still had the basic security of a stable home life — many of the Boomers sadly failed their children in this regard. If you’ve read Barbara Dafoe Whitehead’s book The Divorce Culture, you understand how the cliché of “quality time” insinuated itself into the vocabulary of parenting. The working mother might not be able to give her children the kind of daily supervision and care she’d like to give them, but she could take them on a three-day vacation to Disney World and say they’d had quality time together. The divorced father might only see his kids one weekend a month, but he could take them out jet-skiing at the lake and tell himself that this quality time made up for the absence enforced by the custody settlement.

Rationalizations are a psychological defense mechanism — the ego defending itself against negative feedback — and everybody has to do whatever it takes to stay sane in difficult circumstances. Even if we have been able to avoid the worst impacts of cultural decadence in our own lives, most of us have friends and relatives who’ve been directly affected by the unraveling of our social social fabric. Divorce, suicide, drug addiction, criminal violence — the kind of stuff Tucker Carlson was talking about Wednesday night — are both cause and effect of the downward spiral that has been destroying American culture for the past 50 years. My work involves constantly staring into the abyss, looking for the latest bizarre deviance to emerge in the years since our decadent elite opened the Pandora’s Box of atheistic perversion. And I don’t know how to explain why this swirling catastrophic collapse has left my own family unscathed, except to say that God answers prayer.

Being blessed with a good wife, and watching our children grow into caring, responsible adults, is not something I could ever deserve, and too often I take this evidence of God’s grace for granted.



We have had a happy holiday season, and being a ’Bama family means it’s not over until the Crimson Tide wins the national championship.

It’s important not to take our blessings for granted, of course, and just as I try to remind myself to be grateful for Alabama football, I am also thankful for simple blessings like a trip to the airport and breakfast with my daughter. Watching my kids grow up — and now, watching my grandchildren grow up — is a blessing for which I’m especially grateful, when I consider all the ways in which wicked people have endeavored to destroy my family’s happiness. When I mentioned how the “social justice” trolls attacked Jordan Peterson’s daughter, this was something I felt very personally, because of how my own family has been attacked by these monstrous hate-filled perverts. And speaking of Heidi Beirich . . .


My Thursday post about Dr. Beirich got linked Friday morning by Stephen Green at Instapundit, and I didn’t even realize it until today. Sometimes I get so focused on productivity, and the endless hunt for Strange and Savage Tales of Fear and Loathing, that I feel worthless on those days when I don’t publish anything, which was the case Friday. Overall, my productivity the past couple of weeks has been substandard, and I was feeling bad about it until I woke up this morning, checked the site stats and saw that we’d just had our best traffic day since November. So my worst day ironically turned out to be one of my best days.

God bless you, Vodkapundit! This takes us back to September 2009, when I spent the morning on the phone reporting to Steve the massive Tea Party rally in D.C., which prompted the attack by LGF’s Charles Johnson that inaugurated a memorable blog war. Nearly a decade later, it’s possible for me to go months at a time without thinking back to that ordeal, mainly because most people have forgotten that Little Green Footballs ever existed. How bad is LGF’s decline? Well, in spring 2015, Charles announced a GoFundMe to subsidize his project of “exposing” the “conspiracy theories and . . . hate speech” of “the right wing.” The stated goal was $20,000, but so far it’s raised less than $9,000 in 44 months, i.e., a little over $200 per month. Sucks to be you, Charles.

Sometimes, survival is victory. When people quite literally want you dead, every day you stay alive is a win. And I’m still hanging in there.

While my daughter I waited for her brother’s flight to arrive, I suggested she should plan a trip to visit her sister for spring break. She started saying something about her other plans and I was like, “What’s the matter with you kids nowadays? Your sister lives at the beach and you’ve got other plans for spring break? Are you crazy?”

Anyway, if she booked her flight now, it would be about $350 roundtrip and, while that’s nearly twice what LGF’s GoFundMe page raises in an average month, I figure if 10 readers could kick in $35 each, or if 35 readers could donate $10 each, that would suffice and I don’t think it will take more than a couple of days to raise it. God bless all of you who remember The Five Most Important Words in the English Language:




2 Responses to “Living Well Is the Best Revenge”

  1. “Quality Time” | Dalrock
    January 8th, 2019 @ 4:32 pm

    […] The Other McCain writes about the history of the term quality time in Living Well Is the Best Revenge: […]

  2. Quality Time is a Lie – The Transformed Wife
    January 14th, 2019 @ 10:04 am

    […] Robert Stacy McCain wrote on the topic of “quality time” in his article “Living Well is the Best Revenge.” […]