by Brad Nelson 8/22/15
The last symposium on The Ten Commandments I would say was a success and the best thing we’ve done yet. Someone mentioned we should make an ebook out of it. That’s fine by me if we get everyone’s permission. But easier said than done. Easy to announce projects, much harder to carry them out. I found that out when I started this site. If you don’t do it, it often doesn’t get done.
Which left me flabbergasted at the job Deana, Patricia, Annie, Jerry, KFZ, Pat, Glenn, John Kirke, Linda Harvey, Neil, Avi, and Pete did. You’re not supposed to be able to do anything of this quality online. I mean, pardon me for being honest, but one glance at the typical articles at National Review Online and you see the torrent of words that is little more than mental masturbation. You see word counts being filled, not necessarily wisdom being dispensed.
So if we stopped here and did no more, this site has already been a success. And what you all did here was something worth keeping. But how do you follow that?
That’s why I’m going to be a little fussy and try to offer some useful direction. I will do whatever enough people come to an agreement on, no questions ask. But I want to take a look at two good suggestions for topics that were offered and give a word of caution, and by doing so give you a mindset and an approach to apply to anything we do end up doing…including perhaps one of these two topics.
The Bill of Rights. This could, of course, be grist for the mill, especially with the writers we have here who have some familiarity with the topic. The downside is that I think we’d eventually end up talking about the equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. While these Amendments are regularly ignored, it seems absurd to me to dig down into them eking out grain-sized details. That is my objection, but it’s not a veto. If we took up this topic, we’d have to raise our game and not just churn out a word count as you so often see at other sites and that you didn’t see with The Ten Commandments symposium where there was some obvious thought and wisdom that went into those essays. We have to try to make these Amendments relevant to today.
The Seven Deadly Sins. This is another good idea for a topic. The downside that I can see is that it could be gloomy and preachy. And if you all want to do it, that’s fine. But I’d probably sit this one out because I think it would be dull. Scolding the culture for committing every one of these sins three times a day doesn’t suit what I’d prefer to do. But if someone can convince me they can take a creative approach to this, I’m all ears.
Education Reform. Deana changed her mind on this, I think. But perhaps no topic is more important. That’s why perhaps it could be expanded into a large topic called “The Culture Wars.” Education is just one front (although a huge one) in that war. Others are “the media” and “the entertainment industry.” Even religion is a front in that war now. Consider that.
And this-here blog post is a place to, of course, talk about all this, suggest topics, and then (eventually) declare that you’ve signed onto one that we agree upon.
But note that if we do go forward, I want people to think outside the box. If we did The Seven Deadly Sins, for instance, and someone did a short video illustrating, perhaps in a photo-journalistic fashion, the harm of a particular sin in a tangible way, great. That would be fantastic. Who said it had to be all about words? You could do a short still-photo essay to get the point across as well. The point is, I don’t want everyone sounding like Charles Krauthammer.
If you can’t put some of your own creativity and personality into it, then don’t bother. That might be a high bar I’m setting, but I’d rather you pre-screen yourself in regards to whether or not you are up to this and up to the commitment of doing a series which — I would imagine, depending upon the topic — would be mercifully short at perhaps six different articles or so. Ten was almost too many but then editing God would not be for the fainthearted.
And my overall hope is that we would produce something that you could put in an ebook (whether we did or not is beyond the point) that would be of use to young skulls-full-of-mush (or anyone else) as an honest, clear, and forthright resource into understanding some profound issues. It would not be for the glorification of ourselves but as a potential way to reach people and get them to see things in a new way (outside of the Cultural Marxist way, basically).
We’re writing to communicate, not pontificate. That’s my guiding light on this. What do you think? What do you want to do?
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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