Wednesday, October 23, 2013
When I first started blogging, getting on for eight years ago now, I was anxious to have a forum to discuss free speech, legal issues, and whatever struck my fancy. A lot of the time, I wrote about politics--sometimes scathingly, occasionally trying to reach across the aisle and understand the views of those with whom I sometimes stridently disagreed.
Ultimately, I found that emphasis limiting, and as I found myself drawn increasingly toward the spiritual, started "Anglocat" to discuss that side of life. And then I merged the two blogs here.
Now, here's the tricky bit: In the Age of Obama, politics have, I am sorry to say,become increasingly toxic. As the Tea Party rose, and bitterness with it, I too often took the bait, and responded in kind. I noticed in the recent shutdown and debt ceiling crisis that my tolerance, my sense of humor, even of irony was gone.
What was it Nietzsche wrote? "He who does battle with monsters needs to watch out lest he in the process become a monster himself. And if you stare too long into the abyss, the abyss will stare right back at you."
I do not mean to suggest that those with whom I have disagreed are at all monstrous, let alone monsters--but I do think that it is all too easy to reflect that which is common in our politics today: Raw, roiling anger. And I have, on occasion, been guilty of feeding that beast.
As a life-long student of politics (one of my two undergraduate majors), I find the joy is gone from it for me. I find so much more interest in the novel I am writing, the study for the diaconate, cat stories, the clinical pastoral training I'm undergoing, too--all of these are edifying, fun, and joyous.
So I am taking a sabbatical from politics for now. Time for a new direction for this blog--or rather an old one. I propose to write more about the work I am doing--fiction and non-fiction (I intend to post a link to a new long-form article on that I will publish on Friday), and books I am enjoying (Simon Raven! And Anthony Powell! Not to mention it's time for periodic re-visit to Jane Austen). And did I mention that Mark Twain's Autobiography, Volume 2 is out?
It's time for a course correction--"Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning." Kirk has his flaws, but he's seldom dull.
As we lawyers say, you are invited to attend and cross-examine. Come on the prowl with me.