Jan 28, 2002

PROPHECY-- Tim LaHaye, end-times author and promoter dispensationalists-pretribulation theories (essential the heir of Hal Lindsay) is facing some real Preterist heat. While he still refuses to debate Gary DeMar, a Preterist author who is breaking some hard ground in evangelical misconceptions, he did have to dance in this January 24 Washington Times article. www.washingtontimes.com/culture/20020124-642497.htm.

It is good to see great ideas making headway and corrupt misinterpretations of the Bible being seriously confronted.
SUCCESS-- Another publishing story, this time Seth Lipsky's. He grew up in Brooklyn, wrote for his home town daily, went to Harvard writing as a stringer for Time magazine. He covered Isreal's six-day war in 1967 and Chicago's Democratic convention in 1968. He was drafted into Vietnam and eventually wrote for the military paper there.

Later Lipsky took his skills and his courage to the editor's desk, turning the Forward into a national Jewish daily paper. He worked as an editor a few other places without much fanfare but is now going into the NY City daily paper market with a conservative broadsheet. He is starting the New York Daily Sun this spring and looks to have some solid financial backing and some guts to take on that market.

This is the kind of story that makes me excited.

I wish Lipsky the best of luck.

Jan 26, 2002

SUCCESS AND FAILURE-- Tina Brown's story is the kind of story that scares me. Her story is the story of someone who rises to the top with hard work, intelligence and talent and then suddenly those things didn't work any more.

I read Andrew Sullivan's and Lucianne Goldberg wrote on her rise and fall in the last few days and I found both stories interesting. Here is someone who had everything going for them, who had arrived in a role of influence--was one of the elite shping the world we live in--and then fell.

What's scary to me is that even when she arrived she wasn't safe.
What's scary to me is that the reasons why she fell are the reaons she rose.

Luck can be a quirky thing. I guess Tina rode hers out.

Jan 25, 2002

A FEATHER IN MY CAP-- I wrote a story over Christmas break for the local daily newspaper, The Peninsula Daily News (Port Angeles, WA), about some folks who had lost a large amount of land in their back yard when the Dungeness River flooded. One fellow had an entire homemade baseball diamond wash down the river.

They were stuck, essentially, because flood insurance and Government aid only goes to those who have lost houses. To make it worse the Department of Fish and Wildlife (an agency, in that neck of the woods, dedicated to serving salmon) had to approve the permits to resore their back yards and shore of the new river bank. I wrote the story, expressing their frustration and their doubt that anything would get done by the officials. A little while later, permits came through and only about 11 months faster than they normally do.

I can't prove it was my story but am I sure my story made a difference in these peoples lives.
ERASMUS-- I've been reading Erasmus' "The Praise of Folly" for Literature class (Hillsdale College). A great piece where a personified (in the form of a goddess similar to Athena or perhaps like Soloman's Wisdom or like Lady Liberty) Folly defends herself against her critics.

You have to wonder in reading it what Erasmus was thinking in writing throuhg Folly's eyes and if he was condemning those given to Folly or those who shun her, but I think my professor is wrong in his analysis. Dr. John Sommerville thinks that Erasmus was actually thinking about what he agreed with and what he didn't when he wrote it. I don't think he even knew. It was probably an experiment just to see what Folly would say to defend herself and to support her casue if she had the chance to say it. My bet is that Erasmus, like the rest of us, is sympathetic to some folly and apalled at other folly.

I don't think placing writers a rank or two above the rest of us actually helps understand them any better. It probably make things more complicated and more dificult.

Erasmus just had an idea (a very good one), said "I wonder how this would work," and tried it. He didn't know what to think anymore than the rest of us.

Jan 23, 2002

AIRPORT WRITING-- It was a cliche for a while that good writing could be done from airplanes cruising at 3500 feet "where everything seemed so clear. I've never found that to be true but did do a bit of writing in the airports themselves while spending two 12 hour stretchs in the Detroit Metro.

Airports, with people rushing and everyone going somewhere, people leaving and arriving and returning, can be inspiring. The train whistle is a classic muse of this same type but with less and less train travel I think airports could come to fill this void even though (or perhaps because) there is a general frustration in the airport air.

Here's a bit of what I wrote:

Seeing a pretty girl in an airport is a sad thing for a young man. He realizes then, even as he sets off into the world full of vigor, that his world is narrow, his scope is bounded. He knows that the pretty girl walking the other way will be loved by another man.

Through the history of man many a jealous young lord has cast his eyes on a pretty dame and demanded her as his own. This experience is no different, inside. But he sees her passing him, admiring her well formed face, and knows that he will never again see her smile, never make her laugh, never put his arm around her, never touch her skin. A woman with whom he will never be friends or more than friends of just friends is walking away, passing from his narrow world and his limited scope.

He sees her walk by and sees where her shining curls are caught behind her ears and knows how many pretty girls he will never know.
MOVIE REVIEW-- I watched "Dark City" last night and found it interesting. I'm not a science fiction fan but scifi does have the ability to explore philisophical ideas. With a real "film noir" feel it explores the question of memory and man's dualism. It touches briefly on epistomology but spends a lot of time looking at the nature of man. The aliens/occult/demons of the movie are trying to discover what makes man individual and is man more than the sum of his memories.

There are some dumb looking scenes with mind waves and using the will to alter the physical world but it's not too hard to get past for enjoying the movie.

Jan 22, 2002

Through the influence of Jonah Goldberg and Andrew Sullivan (mad Andrew as they call him) I have come to the world of blogging. I paln to just write but expect I will cover politics, philosophy, culture and journalism. This will be an adventure.

You gotta love the 21st century.