Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter, or else

Spending a day in the ER clarifies. Behind the (mostly) smiling professionalism a grim reality. Keeping the Destroyer at bay. The banality of chest pain alerts, IV's and blood draws. Pain and death. The great levelers. Someone you love and anonymous strangers. Thrown together. Not for me vapid platitudes. Pain is my sworn enemy. Death is Satan's suicidal Hail Mary. Jesus! Oh Death where is thy sting? The seeds of your final defeat are ripening. I dance on your grave. Driving home (it's late). The homeless man hunched in the dark intersection as cars whiz by. No hope! Busiest intersection in Palm Beach County. Another victim of the Fall. This world sucks! But we get to go home. Air conditioned and cozy. Wine and ale to console the heart. Kiss the tears away. Surprised by joy again. Life is grand. But life sucks. But life is grand. Am I schizophrenic? I think not. The Apostle was struck down but not defeated, sorrowful yet always rejoicing. How can that make sense? The hope of the resurrection. "A crutch for the weak", sneers the philosopher. Yeah I'm weak and crippled. If not for the empty tomb I'd shoot myself. Give me the risen Christ or give me nihilism.

Behold, I am making all things new!

Lord, give us a song in the painful night and sustain us thru the grim tomorrow. Come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth. The high countries beckon.

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

(Originally posted in 2007)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Peggy Noonan gets it

Among the many analyses and diatribes I've read on this unprecedented, surreal, crazy (insert your own adjective) election season this essay by Peggy Noonan stands out. Here are the opening paragraphs. Click on the link to read the whole thing. It's worth it.

What is happening in American politics?

We’re in the midst of a rebellion. The bottom and middle are pushing against the top. It’s a throwing off of old claims and it’s been going on for a while, but we’re seeing it more sharply after New Hampshire. This is not politics as usual, which by its nature is full of surprise. There’s something deep, suggestive, even epochal about what’s happening now.

I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. Gloria Steinem thought she owned feminism, thought she was feminism. She doesn’t and isn’t. The Clintons thought they owned the party—they don’t. Hedge-funders thought they owned the GOP. Too bad they forgot to buy the base!

All this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions...
Read the rest here.