Musings of an Entish Presby-Catholic medievalist on life, liberty, and love in the postmodern West
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The Big Pay Off
We all want it, the big pay off. The watershed that will make all of our problems go away. We spend our lives convinced that if only I could win the jackpot, if only my book would become a best-seller, if only I could win that gold medal, then, then I would be on Easy Street. And what happens when we get lucky and all our dreams come true? As everyone who has been following the happiness studies knows, nothing. We are typically right back where we started, more or less just as happy (or not) as we were to begin with. Happiness, it seems, is indifferent to success.
Academics (like me) are supposed to be immune to the allure of fame. After all, they purposefully choose to write books that only a few people will actually want to read, many of whom they already know. If we (academics) wanted fame, surely we would write something less obscure, more salesworthy, right? Well, maybe. All writers want an audience, including those of us who spend our time researching what to others may seem obscure, even (heaven forbid!) narrow questions, hardly the stuff to show up on best-seller lists. Because, of course, to us the questions really aren't narrow, otherwise we would hardly spend our lives thinking about them. We want people to read our books and we work very hard to write as well and clearly as we can. And yet, we are very lucky indeed if our books ever make it below the 100,000 mark in Amazon.com's Sales Rankings; even luckier if they manage to stay there for more than a few days.
Imagine, therefore, how we feel when mainstream writers ha…
Feminism is cancer because it is built on a lie. Actually, it is built on a whole pyramid of lies, but there is one gigantic one at its base.
Here it is in its most diabolical form. The author is Ludwig Feuerbach, his translator the novelist George Eliot, the work his Essence of Christianity, published in English in 1854:
But here it is also essential to observe, and this phenomenon is an extremely remarkable one, characterising the very core of religion, that in proportion as the divine subject is in reality human, the greater is the apparent difference between God and man; that is, the more, by reflection on religion, by theology, is the identity of the divine and human denied, and the human, considered as such, is depreciated.... To enrich God, man must become poor; that God may be all, man must be nothing....
The monks made a vow of chastity to God; they mortified the sexual passion in themselves, but therefore they had in heaven, in the Virgin Mary, the image of woman—an image of…
I am so disappointed. I never saw these “alt-right trolls,” although clearly others were able to see them.
I even went to the panel on diversity and inclusivity that Professor Stoyanoff mentions in his tweet expecting to see some—it was, after all, exactly the kind of event guaranteed to attract trolls! I have read through the tweets from that afternoon, and I can’t see what he is talking about there either. Perhaps if there had been time for some Q&A at the end, the trolls would have exposed themselves, rather than sitting quietly with the rest of the audience as they apparently did.
(I wouldn’t know, I couldn’t see them, but then I was sitting up front so as to be able to pay proper attention to the panel. Perhaps they were behind me.)
The panel itself was extremely instructive. The panelists talked about how much they loved studying the Middle Ages and how encouraging it was to find others like …
What's in a wall? On Sunday, one of the women in our RCIA group mentioned that she is an elementary schoolteacher and last week the children in her class, shaken by the result of the election, were drawing walls.
"They're frightened," she said. "They are worried about what having a wall is going to mean. Their pictures were all about fear of the Wall." Her voice got anxious in the way everyone's voice seems to get these days, as she painted for us a picture of her students drawing pictures about their fear of walls, about their fear of the Wall that the adults have convinced them is going to bring about the end of the world. Nothing good, she seemed to be suggesting, could possibly come of a wall. One of the men made a joke about drawing birds flying over the wall, but even he didn't seem convinced that it was possible to take away the power of the Wall. Walls, my new friends seemed to agree, are bad.