The Merry Medievalist

As if I weren’t in enough trouble already.
I have a column! At Dangerous! My dream come true, I am writing for MILO! With dragons! And a rat!

Okay, I’m a little excited. Okay, a lot excited! It is a dream come true, and not just because I am writing for MILO. (Did I say that already?!)

I am excited because everything—EVERYTHING—is hanging on how we play the culture wars, and MILO has invited me to be out there with him on the front lines.

The front lines that he invented.

Fighting not with policy statements and think tank reports, but with laughter and mischief, symbolism and fun.

Because nobody can resist the truth wrapped in a good joke. Or a good story.

I am quite serious about this. As is MILO.

Friends on Facebook often ask me how I can stand up for MILO. Just the other day, one was pressing me:
I really don’t understand how someone as intelligent as you can defend this moron. I admit he makes some good points, he really does, but overall this guy is a cultural train wreck.
As you all know, I disagree. But it has been interesting this past year or so learning just how hard it is to help people see what I see in MILO.

Why it is so important that he tells the jokes that he does.

Dresses in the costumes that he does.

Acts out the archetypes that he does.

Perhaps it is because I am a medievalist and have spent decades studying the way symbolism works.

Perhaps it is because I was born in St. Louis, neither North nor South, East nor West.

Perhaps it is because I grew up Presbyterian, obsessed with scripture.

Perhaps it is because I love Tolkien and Pratchett and Lewis and Sayers.

But everything that MILO does seems to me to make sense. Even the jokes. Especially the jokes.

Because they make people laugh—and bring back the joy.

Friends and colleagues tell me to be cautious. They cringe when I use, you know, those words. They want me to be polite and civil and, gosh darn it, behave.

Even as our culture is crumbling and the joy is running out.

Even as it becomes impossible to make a joke without somebody somewhere taking offense.

Even as things that used to be simply givens as values—like freedom of speech—become cause for violence and mistrust.

It would be easy to become depressed and lose heart.

But that is what the Enemy wants. There is a reason Satan is called the Father of Lies. He might also be called the Hater of Joy.

My mission is to help MILO recover the joy.

As the Merry Medievalist, I will be writing about symbolism and culture, what I see in academia, and the importance of faith.

There will be columns about Christianity and the values of Western civilization.

There will be meditations on the meaning of history.

And because this is Fencing Bear we are talking about, albeit in a different hat, there will be duels.

And dragons.

Real men—and women—serve Wisdom. Who wants to be a knight?

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