Friday, March 11, 2011

I Have These Essays...

For a year or so I have been working on a set of essays about all sorts of things. Some are only titles at this point. One is finished--or at least I'm almost satisfied with it. I want to work on these and maybe if I go public that will force me to make progress on them.

Here's the list:

An Essay on My Father
He was a handsome and intelligent and talented man, and an alcoholic. This essay helped me sort out and acknowledge what I owed him, after years of mainly remembering his weaknesses.

An Essay on My Mother
A saint--but all I have so far is a title. Want to give her equal time, but too big a subject, can't get it started.

On the Pleasures of Adult Children
When Mary and I married she had three teenage daughters standing next to her at the altar, and I had three small boys next to me. Everyone cried, it was obviously an answer to many prayers. We'd have been crying too had we known what hell it would be to force all those personalities (actually only five of them, one daughter was on her own) together into one involuntary "family." In contrast, they now give us great joy...

Where is HL Mencken when we need him?
Looks like Mencken's "ignoramuses" are on the rise. We have politicians who believe climate warming is a UN conspiracy, that evolution is a humanist conspiracy, that if we can scale government power to 1890 levels everything will be OK again. This is just ignorance, so Mencken's term appears to apply...

Why Is It so Ugly: The Politics of Hate
My theory: we’re getting older as a nation (a fact) and so turning into a collection of fearful grumps…
And we have the internet as amplifier: the morons now all have a soapbox, and the stuff that gets forwarded to cascade all over the web is whatever catches your attention, whatever is cleverest, inflammatory, hateful.

Good and Evil in Hollywood
In my memory it used to be, in the movies, that the good guys and the bad guys were different...

It is morning.  A fine spring day.  In my nightshirt I take a cup of coffee out on the deck and watch a band of bright yellow sunlight in the top of the trees widen downward  into the understory.  I can hear Mary’s Falls splashing down the hill. A pileated woodpecker is making a racket up the hill (often heard, seldom seen, the owls too). As I move to a part of the deck under which a pair of phoebes have their nest, they zip out to the trees twittering. I have dreamed about this moment for 40 years...

The Liberal Conundrum

There is hardly anyone left in the educated community of the world who hasn't become convinced that some form of capitalism with its power to unleash creativity and innovation and self-serving ambition must be allowed to happen.  But how do we help those who are not ambitious, innovative, energetic, smart--or just unlucky?  They must be saved from their natural fate, because they are, as Jesus said, our neighbors…but how?

On Prejudice
Progressives rightly point out that prujudice is wrong, unfair, cruel. But it is also a completely natural and evolved response, and must be attacked as such...

The problem of being Presbyterian
We are modern Christians, and for many if not most Christians, that is an oxymoron...

That's the list though I hope there will be more. As I get them drafted I will bring them here.


  1. I am looking forward to reading these.

  2. I'm looking forward to reading them as well.

  3. you are invited to follow my blog