30 April 2013

Kreider on 'Marketable Truth' and 'I Dont Know'

Illustration: Jim Stoten/NYTimes
This is another reason so many writers feel the need to impersonate someone wise or in possession of some marketable truth: it’s a function of insecurity, of fear. If we don’t assume some sort of expertise, why, exactly, should anyone bother reading us, let alone buy our books or invite us to appear on “Fresh Air”?  To admit to ignorance, uncertainty or ambivalence is to cede your place on the masthead, your slot on the program, and allow all the coveted eyeballs to turn instead to the next hack who’s more than happy to sell them all the answers.

My least favorite parts of my own writing, the ones that make me cringe to reread, are the parts where I catch myself trying to smush the unwieldy mess of real life into some neatly-shaped conclusion, the sort of thesis statement you were obliged to tack on to essays in high school or the Joycean epiphanies that are de rigueur in apprentice fiction — whenever, in other words, I try to sound like I know what I’m talking about. Real life, in my experience, is not rife with epiphanies, let alone lessons; what little we learn tends to come exactly too late, gets contradicted by the next blunder, or is immediately forgotten and has to be learned all over again. More and more, the only things that seem to me worth writing about are the ones I don’t understand. Sometimes the most honest and helpful thing a writer can do is to acknowledge that some problems are insoluble, that life is hard and there aren’t going to be any answers, that he’s just as screwed-up and clueless as the rest of us. Or I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Read the entire The Power of ‘I Don’t Know’ By TIM KREIDER, "Draft" NY Times, April 29, 2013  Illustration: Jim Stoten

06 April 2013

Soup Kitchen Eucharist

Easter Sunday was our annual and ancient discussion of how to kill and eat the Divine God - with its associated and copyrighted nuances by various parties, as example, the punishments regarding the belief, or lack thereof, in the johnny-come-lately miracle of transubstantiation - wiki it - much better than the miracle of refrigeration.

Here follows a rarely actioned suggestion from the gospel of Matthew about how to remember and honor the Divine God. We should add that no human has yet to be punished, killed or roasted because of his/her belief or non-belief in this pericope - not yet anyway, read on.

And, if what Matthew writes just proves to be the case, then the soup kitchen might be at the cutting edge of the true 'do unto Me' Eucharist. And our own Dorothy Day will be the great soup kitchen Saint- wiki again.  Her optimistically named organisation - Catholic Workers - follows in her dedication. However, note below, if you do not care to slave over a hot stove in a soup kitchen (or similar tasks) on this side of the veil, you still get to go to a very hot place as part of the 'deal' later on. (Illustration of Dorothy Day, above, by Julie Lonneman, used with permission of the artist.)
That Mt 25 pericope: 31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (-English NIV, others here.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...