Monthly Archives May 2016

Some Thoughts on Thinking (and Emotions)

Like most writers, I keep a cache of mostly random thoughts, snippets, excerpts, ideas for future projects that I store in a folder on my digital desktop. It’s a big file that I add to whenever I can catch myself in the act of thinking, and in doing so, step outside of that thinking just far and long enough to say, “Hmmm…there may be a blog (or sermon or poem) in that.”

This process, of interrupting one’s unself-conscious immersion in a thoughtstream to consciously note that one is having a thoughtstream that may be worthy of further thinking, is a rather interesting occurrence itself. It is thought reflecting upon thought, which, by virtue of its interruptive qualities, inevitably changes the original thoughtstream that prompted the whole enterprise.

So very meta.

(“I just saw this movie about these people making a movie, and the movie they were making was about the movie industry…” goes on...

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Gauntlet Thrown: President Obama’s Howard University Commencement Speech

We live in such a cynical, angry, contentious political climate that there’s a popular meme circulating and reproducing itself like a virus with every blustery speech on the campaign trail: We’ve lost our way; America is hopelessly gridlocked, wayward, paralyzed. The only hope for our country, of course, is if the candidate describing this abysmal state of affairs is elected and can thus wave a magic wand, turn three times in each direction, stomp both feet and wipe out all of our problems (ISIS, the immigrants, the atheists, Wall Street tycoons…).

This is a far cry from the themes that permeated then-candidate Obama’s rhetoric on the campaign trail eight years ago. Sure, he sounded a few pointed barbs at the way things were, but his predominant message and tone was about how things could be.

Not deriding the country’s deficiencies but pointing the way to still more improvements before we could ful...

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Contemplating “President Trump”

Like the entire Republican Party establishment and, in a profound sense, much of the country at large, I am coming to grips with the cold, hard, heretofore unimaginable fact that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee. And having achieved that status, he is just a few more improbable steps away from the presidency in a year that has scuttled everything we thought we knew about probability.

The thought amazes and appalls. And there is more than a middling chance it will come to pass. “President Trump.”

And we, who laughed heartily at the petty, petulant, juvenile showman with the orange hair who was slated to be our comic relief for a few early months of the campaign, until he either torpedoed himself with one too many offensive absurdities or the Old Guard had him summarily removed with a show of Old Money and Influence, now wring our hands and wonder why we didn’t, couldn’t, see it c...

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