- The Next Big Idea Is Small.
- Idolatries Left and Right.
- The Enamel of Our Souls.
- Swastika Laundry, Ballsbridge.
- Empty Promises and electability.
Nathaniel Hood at the Small Towns blog highlights Elk Run, a small town Minnesota version of the Tower of Babel, and segues from there into an attractive generalization:
Elk Run is how we do growth today. It’s our modern day “big plan”. If we build it, they will come, or so the thought goes … Our system has ceased to be a one of expanding and improving existing infrastructure and has morphed into the big plan with little consideration for context.
Today, we need many small plans that can be placed together into a semblance of a whole. This should be our new big idea.
Mark Shea at the National Catholic Register takes the release of “Obama,” a flick the very synopsis of which makes one wince, to reflect more broadly on the credulity of today’s politics:
[I]f we are going to get concerned (as we should be) about the blasphemous secular messianism of Obama worship, we should also be concerned about the blasphemous secular messianism of America worship. The way to avoid secular messianism is to test everything America, Americans, and American politicians want to do against the teaching of the gospel and the Magisterium, instead of trying to figure out ways to make the gospel fit what America, Americans, and American politicians and oligarchs (but I repeat myself) want to do.
He gives an example of GOP idolatry
and one deeper back in American history
for brief explanations of which I refer you to Shea.
With the commonplace that non-Catholics won’t see the Magisterium as conclusive, the risk is real and the advice surely is sound.
But movies don’t need to be openly and absurdly propagandistic to be corrosive. I side with those who find at least an illustrative connection between what happened on the screen and what happened in front of it in Aurora, Colorado, and more fundamentally with those who think cause-and-effect, movies-to-violence correlations are not the whole story:
Am I wrong in fearing that “modern man,” deafened by sounds, poisoned by evil images and pictures, can no longer register cacophonic sounds which harm the sensitive enamel of their souls? This is why I often hear people say: “I do not see why this is shocking. I do not see why this is wrong. I do not see why others call this coarse.”
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, quoted by William Doino, Jr. in Modern Films and the Enamel of our Souls.
I had not previously heard of the Swastika Laundry,
nor of its curmudgeonly proprietor, from whose experience we might learn a thing or two.
What we’re experiencing in America, in Wisconsin, are decades of politicians making empty promises to voters. And those empty promises are going to quickly become broken promises if we have a debt crisis. What we believe we owe the country is the truth and solutions to fix these problems. Because if we have a debt crisis, which is just around the corner, then all those programs that people organize their lives around, their retirements around, are going to be broken promises, and we’re going to have severe disruption in peoples’ lives. That’s what happens when you have a debt crisis.
So far, so good. But even Ryan may have understated the problem. Because the depressing reality is that anyone who is too truthful (like Robert Samuelson, for instance) becomes, ipso facto, unelectable.
We only elect liars and bigger liars, to be blunt.
This isn’t an endorsement of aspects of the Ryan budget that may rely on the snake oil of tax cuts for the rich or other GOP nostrums. The people I know who are both serious – and not serious in the “I’m seriously in the tank for Romney (or Obama)” sense – and intelligent acknowledge the need for somewhat higher taxes and entitlement reform.
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