Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two Humblings

I am having the same experience reading the Chesterton essays that I had long ago reading Lewis for the first time. I had barely started - in fact is was the second paragraph of the Foreward - yet had already encountered something definitely true which I had not been doing. Chesterton wrote on war and peace with an eye to both the reader of the past and of the future. Fair enough, I do that myself, though not so intensely. But GKC intentionally downplayed the day-to-day events of the Boer War and WWI in order to more clearly focus on general principles. I felt accused, and rightly accused. We should not fit eternal principles to our daily events, but the other way 'round. I hope to do better on this.

Chesterton opposed the Boer War, which was highly popular in England, especially among the academic class; he supported WWI, which was largely disdained by the academic class. His application of principles has left me wondering what he would have made of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several comments have caused me to think to myself well, he wouldn't have been supportive of going into Iraq, then; others cause me to suspect that he would. Much to think about.

The other humbling was in the college bookstore at William and Mary. The nice shopgirl came up and asked if she could help.

AVI: Well, I'm looking, but I didn't buy any of this stuff while I was here, so it seems a little...affected to buy them now.

SG: Oh, are you an alum?

AVI: Yes, a million years ago. I might buy something for my granddaughter, though.

SG: Oh, does she go here now?

AVI: (wincing) No, she's two.

Kyle, who is having trouble finding things to fascinate him here, thinks the college looks like Hogwarts. Which would indeed be much more interesting.


Brent said...

AVI, didn't know you were a W&M grad. Go Tribe!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Uh, not tonight though. I went to the game against Towson State, which we lost - at the foul line and on the offensive boards. A week ago W&M looked like it might draw it's first March Madness bid. I don't think so now.

Brent said...

I can't cotton to the notion of W&M as an athletic powerhouse. Save that for our junior college, UVA.

Donna B. said...

Hogwarts! haha.

I had no trouble finding Williamsburg fascinating, as I was lost any time I got more than two blocks away from the older buildings on campus.

After my first visit there, my daughter tried to never leave me unsupervised.

Dubbahdee said...

I'm imagining you as a grad of Hogwarts. The possibilities are pretty damn funny.