Friday, October 10, 2008

file under: sweeping generalizations

this evening, while reading the crunchy con blog, i ran across the following quote from peter suderman concerning "why the republicans are so bad at communicating."

"One of the major problems with the contemporary right, broadly speaking, is that when it comes to communication, it's good at manipulation, but it's not very good at conversation. That makes it fairly effective when it comes to TV ads and speeches, which are one-way broadcast mediums. That's great for telling people what to do, and the GOP, especially in the Rove era, has become masterful at figuring at ways -- usually involving fear, of change, of the other, of political enemies -- to tell people what to do in ways that will actually get them to follow instructions."

now read the quote again, but substitute the term "conservative evangelicalism" for "contemporary right" and "the GOP."

maybe it's just me, but i find the critique fits both the GOP and much of evangelicalism quite well. the second part of the critique, which i've posted below, seems to apply to both groups also:

"But it's borderline catastrophic when it comes to new media, which emphasizes networked interactivity -- which is where the left, online or off, seems to shine. Part of this is the way the right appeals to authority while the left appeals to community. The left's infrastructure has always (and unremarkably) emphasized communal action -- whether in 60s and 70s anti-war protests or in Alinsky-style community organizing . It also has a lot to do with modern conservatism's trouble with doubt: For decades, the right has had trouble with ambiguity (Postmodern Conservatism doesn't seem strange for no reason), and systems without authority and hierarchy -- systems like the web -- are inherently ambiguous."

i'm not trying to throw bombs here. i just think that suderman's critiques are worth considering.

ht: rod dreher
in celebration of disability employment month

Thursday, October 09, 2008


i have always been particular about my pens. when i was in high school i preferred the uniball onyx micro in blue. everything from my indexed notes on the religious right to the d-quality homework for geometry class was scratched with the exacting point of the onyx pen.

shortly after entering college i developed a penchant for the uniball vision .7mm in black. this medium point, ink profusive pen enabled me to write boldly about my narcissistic struggles with identity, indifference concerning the early or late date of the exodus and my first simplistic, essay inspired sermons.

fortunately late in college, while on a bus bumbling through southern europe, trent seggelke introduced me to the black pilot g-2 .7mm pen. the g-2 produced a line almost as bold as the vision, but it also featured a refillable cartridge and a protective rubber grip. unfortunately the g-2 did not follow the vision by including a clear, plastic, color coded top that was easy to pop off, chew on and suction stick to my inner lip, but in general i considered it an exceptional tool. thus, as the g-2 graveyard in my desk attests, this pen received my unswerving allegiance for the past nine years. i have written completely forgettable exegesis papers and sermons with the g-2, stroked love notes to my former girlfriend and current, remarkably gracious and eternally forbearing, wife, and penned brilliant copy for the faith of george w. bush that produced thousands of dollars in sales for

throughout the years my signature pen has changed, but my penchant for ink has not. i can still remember professor johnson bemusedly remarking that i always completed my greek homework in pen as though i was certain my answers were correct.

i'm not so certain anymore.

in the past few weeks, i've set aside the pen and picked up a pencil, any pencil, that allows me to render my halting, half-believed sentences with an instrument that encourages revision and suggests impermanence. as i've grown a little older my confidence in my assertions, which i've always presented with more certainty than i ever felt, has waned and inking my shifting thoughts and unbelieving beliefs has started to seem a bit hypocritical and very impractical.*

all this is not to say that i am without hope or am ashamed of the gospel that i eagerly serve. i simply realize that life requires an eraser and little that i say is worthy of permanence.

* as attested by the six pair of inked pants that are currently crammed into the corners of my closet

too funny

if you support "that one" for president, you can pick up your new gear here.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

oh wait, no they didn't. it looks like christmas came early this year!
in times of nagging uncertainty it's good to know that some things never change.