Reverence for Words: A Case Against Blogging

From Web Exclusives

Someone recently encouraged me to write more, because “words aren’t lifeblood. Words are cheap.” Words are certainly held cheap, and the blogosphere has drastically lowered the going rate. This is a development entirely in conformity with the spirit of the age, which, as Wendell Berry observed, does not ask a man what he can do well but “what he can do fast and cheap.” Berry and I are not alone in thinking that this is a bad state of affairs. It’s no small problem that our society is trying to do very important business with increasingly debased currency. Which brings to mind Neil Postman… Continue Reading »

Morning’s Minion

From First Thoughts

Promoter, promote thyself! Amanda was so enthusiastic about Robert Miola’s piece that she forgot to direct readers to her own thoughtful and elegant review of Paul Mariani’s Gerard Manley Hopkins (subscribers only): Absent a biblical understanding of sacrifice, a biographer would be . . . . Continue Reading »

Real Neo-Paganism?

From First Thoughts

A friend sent me this piece by Alain de Botton celebrating pessimism, describing it as “your kind of article.” Leaving aside what this is meant to imply about me, I do think it warrants some attention. De Botton writes: The modern bourgeois philosophy pins its hopes firmly on two great . . . . Continue Reading »

Ground Rules for Civil Discourse

From First Thoughts

Diogenes proposes an apt analogy : I see nothing wrong with swatting flies. Let’s say that you have a different opinion. You think the lives of flies are sacred, and therefore you think that swatting flies is grossly immoral. You hold this view with the utmost sincerity. Unfortunately for . . . . Continue Reading »