Why not read some books about the ampersand?
On July 10 at 1:30pm Eastern Time I’ll be conversing with the good folks at the Trinity Forum about Christian humanism in a time of crisis. Please do join us. You’ll need to register and you may do so here.
David Michael on martyrdom and Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life: “Here, we face the limits of what art (and film in particular) can achieve. The artist can lead us to the martyr’s cross, but the question posed there cannot be represented or recapitulated. That may be Kierkegaard’s point: to pose the right-to-martyrdom question is to make a mockery of it. It is inaccessible. It depends on an outside voice no one else can hear, which is the definition of transcendence. As such, the apostle presents a paradox.”
I wrote a post about how tough it is for a Southern boy to be on Twitter — and how I finally escaped that monster. Again.
In Dublin there’s a plaque devoted to the memory of Father Pat Noise. Who is fictional.
I’ve been reading Matt Crawford’s new book Why We Drive and it’s really making me reflect on my own experience as a driver. The feeling of freedom that he describes is one I rarely have — usually only right at the beginning of a long journey. When I throw whatever baggage I want to carry into my car’s trunk and toss some drinks and snacks into the front seat, knowing that I won’t have to go through a metal detector, or leave useful stuff at home because it won’t fit in a carry-on bag, or sit next to someone sneezing, then yes, I feel free. But half-a-hour later as I’m stuck behind two tractor-trailers and a blue-haired lady in a Chrysler who have all three lanes of the interstate blocked — not so much.
Here’s a smart and funny passage from Crawford:
Americans noisily claim the idea of liberty as their own, but the more you see of the world, the more comical this becomes. A Harley rider wearing the costume of rebellion swelters in a traffic jam in Virginia while an inviting yard and a half of space goes unused between lanes. The word FREEDOM is spelled out across the wings of the eagle on his vest. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a family of four on a 50 cc motorcycle deftly weaves through the congested streets of Mumbai, a garlanded image of Ganesh (Remover of Obstacles) attached to the handlebars.
But you know, there are situations that even Ganesh is powerless to address.
Crawford writes, “The technocrats and optimizers seek to make everything idiotproof, and pursue this by treating us like idiots. It is a presumption that tends to be self-fulfilling; we really do feel ourselves becoming dumber. Against such a backdrop, to drive is to exercise one’s skill at being free, and I suspect that is why we love to drive.” But I don’t love to drive, not usually. In some circumstances, yes — I absolutely treasure the drive down through the Hill Country to my beloved Laity Lodge — but not usually. I might need to find some other ways to exercise my skill at being free.