I have some thoughts about postmodernism and irony

Irony is useful like vinegar: it cleans off undesirable dirt. Still, you can’t live on vinegar- it doesn’t provide nourishment or warmth. Try to pray ironically; you’ll find that the irony falls away because you can’t control the effects of something that is truly good.


So I watched The Revenant

I’m shocked at how much they changed from the novel. The natural light really drew me in. You really get a powerful contrast, though, in two gritty characters between Fitzgerald, the man who thinks it’s best to always act in self interest, and Glass, the man who survived because of his generous tenderness and the tenderness of others (he proves his conscience when, all alone in the middle of the harsh bush, he gently touches the dead body of a horse he used to survive- fitzgerald, ruthlessly pragmatic and materialistic, wouldn’t bother with that gesture just as he wouldn’t bother with revenge).

I have some opinions about grammar and communication

I’m not a grammarian. I maintain that many grammatical rules guide clear, strong communication- others are just pedantic markers for status. It’s really interesting to me that many educated folks with massive lexicons and loads of knowledge can’t say anything memorable or really meaningful while other less educated folks with limited vocabularies have a real way with words and powerful insight. It’s often the case that when you’re emotionally overwhelmed grammar goes out the window- the shout for joy, the barbaric yawp, the speaking in tongues.

I wonder where is the voice coming from (for your consideration, that’s the title of a great Rudy Wiebe story, and, no, I’m not going to reorder and phrase that sentence so it doesn’t end in a preposition). That’s a really deep born or made sort of question I suppose. Well, every form of communication has benefits and constraints. What I like about people who have a way with words with a limited vocabulary is how it’s necessary for them to use words metaphorically with surprising and colourful combinations. I just think the grammarian impulse is often misdirected energy. If you care enough about that inchoate feeling or idea in your heart, you’ll get closer to that still small voice.

I’ve read several articles on diversity in several papers, and I have some opinions

You’ll find pieces in almost every major paper right now praising the benefits of diversity. I totally embrace this sentiment. Still, many of these writers seem to espouse a very superficial sense of diversity and a deep sense of conformity. The opinion goes something like the following: states, communities should no longer identify through race or culture but ‘shared values.’ I have to reject this line of thinking because what these commentators really want is a kind of political consensus with a diverse package of looks, sounds, and cuisine. I like that newcomers have different ideas just as much as I like  when folks who’ve been here a while have different ideas.

I hope the future belongs to people like Malala Yousafzai– she courageously stands up for women’s rights, but I suspect she doesn’t ‘share’ all the ‘values’ of many of these liberal, ‘sex-positive’ feminist writers. (I don’t think hook-up culture makes anyone happy) I’m going to learn more about Malala, because I’m inspired by people with grit and unique, hopeful social visions.

What we need is more diversity, more debate, more thinking about what a good life looks like, and that means more people who don’t fit in and will challenge the status quo. I don’t want ‘shared values’; I want freedom and everyone looking for the light.