Okay, after a long hiatus, lots of personal changes—a move, and more things than I’d tell here, I’m warily resuming my blog again! I have been busy with work, life, family, grandchildren, parents and other miscellania (!). I have also completed a first solo book (I’ve been part of seventeen books previously, mostly collaborative or as a contributor, and primarily theology and professional non-fiction). This was my first foray into something of my own, creative, and self-publishing. It was a great experience!
I’m glad to be back, writing about this and that, avoiding politics, which is currently antithetical to everything I love and care about. Where my vocation is to employ words in the search for depth and life, our current American politics (at least in the media) seems bent on being the greatest cause of the death of the spoken and written word ever. Partisan politics now is mostly about obscuring things, misusing them, mischaracterizing others, or polarizing people. It is beyond distasteful. It is lifeless, a paean to piddlyness. So, no politics of the partisan variety. Ideas are worth discussing, but they deserve respect, not domestication.
Politics is necessary. It is very important. But it is not ultimate, and many have fallen into that idolatry in the current moment. I am always hopeful, will do my part, but if you ask me to hate my opponents by calling them enemies, stop listening to the other side, label this party or that “evil,” then we have nothing to say. It is toxic to my soul and to the national neighborhood.
So my steering away from it is not a disregard of its importance. There are other places where I can engage it, so I’m focusing here on good things, I hope—art, music, writing.
You should be thoughtful about whacking your neighbor over the head with a worldview. They’re really heavy and hurt.
Furthermore, I have, in recent times, thought more and more about the weirdness of the internet and how strange it is to simply toss our words “out there” for any and every one. Sherry Turkle has raised the alarm about the destructive risks of our “virtuality”, and it bears hearing. We somehow are more and less connected with one another simultaneously.
Now that I have that off my chest, here we go. I close with my song, “Ballad of Harley the Printer,” which is my musical reflection on the perils to the printed word of this moment. (You can buy any of my songs for $1.29 direct with a click).