Thursday, October 07, 2010

Best of March 2007: Remainder

As before, better to comment here than there.

First, the post with the odd name that for some reason is my major spam-attractor, even years later: Half-Syllables and Barrow-Wights.

A post about blasphemy, which includes my only use of wanker on this site.

Some reminiscence for those under 55 of the impact of Solzhenitsyn's Harvard Commencement Address over 30 years ago.

Brief parenting advice.

Seeker-friendly churches. "What we call seeker-friendly churches are those which appeal to as large a number of who they think is out there as possible. The complaint against them would be that they appeal to a lowest-common-denominator. The complaint against the other churches would be that they have narrowed their appeal so enormously as to become useless."

Some Contradictions, when towns in VT were finding it necessary to vote to impeach Bush.

Finally, some serious posts about subjects I have revisited many times since then, but not at such length. I confess to being rather proud of a few of these, and may even repost them individually in the near future. I tried to argue with some exactness, giving due weight to possible objections while summarising key ideas of mine. All, unfortunately, depend somewhat on the posts leading up to them, but I think you'll pick it up. Doubly unfortunately, some are long.

Lots of odd cameo appearances here: NPR, Wordsmith Tribe, Chief Seattle. Christmas pageants, competitive bridge, Swedish newspapers in America.

Liberal Ideas, and why they're wrong.

A reply to my uncle about our family's membership in the Arts & Humanities Tribe, and why said tribe is not really the smartest.

Turning the other cheek, as applied to nations and individuals. Many comments, including a typical argument with copithorne.

Related: Why Transnationalism Is The Last Refuge Of A Scoundrel.

Also related: Why Do Intellectuals Oppose The Military?

A quote about Bernard Lewis: "Lewis urged us to have a little sense of proportion, and went on to say — and it was an illuminating line — ‘The crusade was a late, limited and unsuccessful imitation of the jihad.’"


karrde said...

I read the Solzhenitsyn address shortly after I left high-school.

(I was not born when Solzhenitsyn addressed Harvard...should that make you feel old, or me feel like I am still a toddler?)

After reading Solzhenitsyn's address, I wondered why his ideas were not common currency in the educated world. I wondered why his speech had not caused a deep soul-searching among the intellectuals of the West.

Sometime later, I realized that the intellectuals of the West did not want to hear those words.

The realization was hard to put into words at the time; for some reason I held the notion that intellectuals of our age cared more about truth than about their self-image. (Is any age truly free from this problem? I wonder...but it appears to take different shapes in different centuries.)

I have only read sections of the Gulag is a work that is at once depressing and angering, and it is hard to finish.

karrde said...

On a lighter note, I really enjoyed your take on the whole concept of blasphemy.

Not only have you now used 'wanker' twice in your blog, but you used it in such a creative fashion.

The idea that blasphemy is as much lifestyle as it is words is a frightening thought, though. The frightening part is that I may, by choosing selfish desires over things I know to be good, blaspheme by my life the God whom I praise with my tongue.