June 27, 2004 at 9:19 am (Uncategorized)
The father of the bride (and others who are in certain ways like him) often have a thousand yard, tired, I-know- something- that- I’m-not- saying- stare at weddings. What is it?
(pick one or more)
1.) These men, like all men, feel awkward at weddings, since weddings are girl parties that men are forced to attend. Wedding receptions are as feminine as Dionysian baccanals or bridal showers. The old guy is more aware of this, and tries to keep quiet.
2.) The man is relating to the whole event in terms of “how much it is costing”. This depresses him, but he is not about to bring it up.
3.) The older married guy knows that the couple is woefully ignorant about marriage, and his many years of dealing with kids has told him that he should just keep his mouth shut about what is coming up.
4.) The married guy sees in this marriage his own marriage, and he recalls all his original hopes, but sees them in light of all his failures.
5.) The older married guy doen’t really think that anyone is good enough to be with his little girl, and so he is depressed that someone is with her.
6.) He is acting that way in order to counter-balance the emotions of his wife, who like all the women at weddings, is an ecstatic basket case.
7.) The wedding overwhelms him, and men respond to being overwhelmed by retreating into themselves.
8.) He is trying to teach by example, since he knows the groom is watching him. The lesson is something like “the next time your wife wants to do something like this, put this look on”
9.) The man is exhausted, and simply looks exhausted. His attempt to look wise is a mere pretence.
June 23, 2004 at 4:16 pm (Uncategorized)
No one has ever claimed that poetry is progressive. If poetry were in any way tied to history, it would not be through poetry getting better and better over time, but rather it would be man’s continual attempt to regain the glory of the first poem our race ever produced: The Iliad.
June 22, 2004 at 4:10 pm (Uncategorized)
There are parts of me which are not the same as myself. The most obvious are physical parts: my hand is not me, my eyes are not me, my right side is not who I am. All this can also be said about my immaterial parts: my soul is not me, neither is my will. So too are none of the parts dealt with in metaphysics are the same as myself: I share existence with all things, I share essence with all knowable things, I share my bodily nature with all the cosmos.
The imagination gives out when we consider that this sort of distinction is wholly removed from the nature of God. All that we can distinguish in him is God. What our mind distinguishes from the divine substance is not distinguished in the divine substance. He is absolutely simple, and the only distinctions possible are ones made in our own account of the divine attributes.
June 16, 2004 at 1:14 pm (Uncategorized)
All who come before the government demand that their rights be recognized.
To demand something of the government is to assert an authority higher than the government, which binds and limits the government.
Authority requires a being in which the authority rests.
And this being all call God.
June 9, 2004 at 12:54 am (Uncategorized)
Certainty and Politics
The certainty we experience in political things cannot exist separately from good taste. The politically true refers per se to right appetite.
June 7, 2004 at 3:07 pm (Uncategorized)
Malaise is a lack of confidence, and the events of the world will always provide an opportunity for it. We will never lack compelling reasons to think things are hopeless and not worth fighting for. In one sense, this is a problem of knowledge, because we fail to take into account the ordering of all things to the good. In another sense, the problem is one of will, for we have little problem being aware of the truth and yet marginalizing it, ignoring it, and not acting in accord with it. Malaise cripples the will and destroys our ability to act- regardless of whether we know that malaise is evil. It is, by definition, something we cannot heal by our own efforts.
Malaise is rarely driven out by abstract arguments. Aguments may help the one who does not suffer from malaise to see more clearly why it is wrong, but it cannot cure the suffering one. What is needed is not an argument, but a man who testifies against malaise by his life- and who thereby gives all men the confidence that hope is possible.
Hope is the confidence that good will come. If we lack either confidence or some good we are hopeless.
I am aware that some champion malaise as the correct attitude for an American to have. We have no claim to goodness, they say, and therefore should have no confidence that we will be delivered from our ills. This opinion is in some way correct, but it is of no consequence. The world will never lack compelling evidences of decline and immanent ruin. The world, considered in itself, will always abound with irrationality, absurdity, chaos, and evil. But so long as the world also suffers malaise, we will most certainly suffer more greatly at the hands of these evils. Our loftiest vocation is not to a world enjoyed without evil, but to a world where evil is worth fighting against- which will only happen when we live in a world seen as tied to something greater than itself, as seen exemplified through the one in the world who has that greater vision.
June 5, 2004 at 1:52 am (Uncategorized)
Newport sells itself from the neck down. The place is uncanny, fantastical and overwhelming- a premium of magiziney beauty and sculpted “10’s”.
The eyes tell a different story. Everyone looks bored. I figure I looked like that for a few hours. Speech is awkward, stop-gap, shallow, and largely yelled out.
June 3, 2004 at 9:27 pm (Uncategorized)
Self- Medication and Its Opposite
We often use the same thing to reward ourselves in good times, console ourselves in bad times, and pass the time in neutral times. It has to mean more to us than we would admit to anyone, including ourselves.
Perhaps everyone needs some such thing. Perhaps the heart demands a single master. If this is so, that same master determines what we are in truth. Our deepest actual self is the one we have through that master.