There’s really no point, for instance, in aggregating ephemera here. Ephemera are moving quickly to blot (especially the political stuff), micro.blog (which has a genial social media aspect) and, in some cases, no further than my private digital journal.
My pseudonymity is now pretty well blown, but I’m retired, and my opinions were always my own, not those of my colleagues.
I wrote to see what I thought, and it has proven clarifying. The contemporary distortions of God’s world around me I now consciously detest as deathworks.
Phillip Rieff, who coined that term to the best of my knowledge, used it in a somewhat limited sense:
[N]ot every work of literature or art upholds the authority of the sacred order; some can also serve to undermine it. For a century or so, the most celebrated ones have been of the latter category. These Rieff refers to as “deathworks,” his term (he is a great coiner of terms) for a work of art that poses “an all-out assault upon something vital to the established culture.”
Not all deathworks are necessarily bad art. They include some of the works that Rieff most admires, such as Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. In these the assault on sacred order is veiled and oblique, and couched in exquisite form. But in others the assault is explicit and purposeful, as in some of the coarser images shown by Rieff: Andres Serrano’s notorious urine-immersed crucifix; the Italian artist who canned and labeled his own feces; Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographic self-portrait in the act of buggering himself with a bullwhip.
I would add that not all assaults on things vital to sane culture are “art” at all. Some of our social movements, including some that now are regnant, are nihilistic deathworks — some of them consciously nihilistic and subversive. (I alluded to a specific example here, but decided to delete it, perhaps for another day.)
Warring against all deathworks is the urgent task of the hour, and to that task this blog has turned to such an extent that the “Tipsy Teetotaler” title seems anachronistic. Today, I have abandoned it in favor of “War Correspondence.”
The way WordPress works, I think all my past posts will be renamed, too, but I don’t care to try to prevent that. I’m not tinkering with the record any more than I was when I changed my templates over the years.
Postings are likely to become rarer because I’m not a George Will, Charles Krauthammer or Andrew Sullivan, capable of keen scheduled insights. I hope you’ll stay tuned anyway.
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You can read my more impromptu stuff at Micro.blog (mirrored at microblog.intellectualoid.com) and, as of February 20, 2019, at blot.im. Both should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly, should you want to make a habit of it.