Jun 302015

Dudes and dolls, I started kicking around the idea of taking the long weekend off from BoWilliams.com, and that quickly became the entire first week of July. I’m on a complete social media hiatus (Twitter too) from July 1 to July 7. I’ll be back with a post on Wednesday, July 8.

I need the break. I need the break from here, but I mostly need it from the way I get up and do and think about things day to day. This is shed as a subset.

There is no catastrophe. Everything is fine. The best way I know how to say it is that I’ve gradually—insidiously—lost too much of the narrative to suit me. I feel like I’ve woken up and I’m suddenly telling a different story from the one I wanted. You know the old party game Telephone?

I need a look from 10,000 feet. I need to speak the metalanguage, not the language, for a little while. I need to take a much more active interest in where I should be a motor, and where I should be a gear. I need to evict relativism from my self-assessment.

Relativism is one seductive bitch.

Thank you for reading BoWilliams.com. We’ll be back after these important messages.

Hey, want something to read in the meantime? Guess what? There are 2,811 posts at BoWilliams.com. Here are five random ones:

 Posted by at 12:01 am
Jun 272015

lovewinsMy dear friends Jennifer and Melissa, life partners since 1993, got engaged yesterday. I am so very happy for them and the many other couples who were similarly unencumbered with this ruling.

I’m also exhausted. Oh, not that I’ve been some kind of tireless activist. I’m just so weary of this being a thing. This has all been settled for me for literally decades—so settled that sometimes when I encounter continued angst over it, I’m caught off-guard.

If you are troubled by yesterday’s decision, please know that I understand that your position can be held by thinking, reasonable people. I know, because I know scores—perhaps hundreds—of said people. Please also know that if you’re interested in discussing rights and wrongs, then I will, but I’m not going to pick a fight with you, today or ever. And if I like you, love you, or both, your position on gay marriage has no bearing on that. I don’t agree with anyone in the world all the time, including myself.

What I will ask you to do is try very hard to take genuine stock of this.

If your objection is a Christian one, then what makes this hill worth dying on? Multiple Bible verses tell us that sin is sin. If homosexuality is one, it’s just another one. Shouldn’t we lead with God’s grace and loving our neighbor? Why must we also torture a piece of Leviticus or Romans and pretend it’s as important as anything Jesus said?

If your objection is a social one, then, sad to say, you just have a bit of bucking up to do. I’m dealing with a bit of the same thing. You know the gigantic gauged piercings that are in vogue right now? I find them grotesque. The very worst are the open rings. They just freak me right the hell out. You know what, though? I’m behind the societal curve on this. It’s my issue. I can learn to deal with it, or I can stay in my house and never come out. That’s life.

How big a deal is it? How big a deal is it really? Is it as important as feeding the poor? As being a person of your word? As doing your best to model good behavior for your children?

I think marriage in this country needs a lot of help. I’m just not so sure taking such severe issue with two people agitating to commit is a productive step.

From a strictly political perspective, I think if the Republicans are smart about this ruling, then it’s a huge blessing. It should be a highly effective card to play. I mean, superseded, right? Gay marriage is the law of the land nationwide, so why even talk about it? Now that’s a bit of a cheat—I would have preferred an epiphany of substance—but I’ll take what I can get. I suspect S.E. Cupp will too.

I hope we’ll be able to look back on this day as the moment this narrative genuinely began settling.

 Posted by at 12:36 am
Jun 252015
  • There’s a big break in the heat forecast for the weekend. We just might sneak into the upper 70s for Saturday’s high.
  • So a guy inadvertently recorded audio of his colonoscopy with his phone. The recording revealed that his anesthesiologist made fun of him all the way through it. It’s costing her $500,000. There is no chance of this happening to me. My gastroenterologist has already promised me I can stay awake for my next one and follow along. Watch for the live blog in 2019.
  • I was getting on the Parkway northbound from Airport yesterday, and some jackass in a red Volkswagen Rabbit stopped in the merge lane, right on top of the rise. Folks, dig: to make friends with merge lanes, shoot for 3-5 mph faster than the traffic flow. Then, you have options. Learn it. Know it. Live it.
  • “Try the DermaWand risk-free for 30 days,” says the spam in my inbox. Now don’t you think DermaWand is a hilarious euphemism for penis? I just might try to insert that into the vernacular. Pun intended.
  • Jane’s dad on Breaking Bad is the molesting OB/GYN in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.
  • There have been only 15 unassisted triple plays in the history of Major League Baseball. The most recent one was performed by Eric Bruntlett on August 23, 2009.
  • Amazon Echo has arrived for the masses—but still with a semi-long ship time. We’re really enjoying Alexa (which is what you’ll rapidly call her it), and with her brain all in the cloud, she’s potentially useful indefinitely. (She sounds better than you’d expect for music, too.)
 Posted by at 12:03 am
Jun 232015

“…the Confederacy’s primary reason for being was to preserve racial slavery — that is, to violate natural rights rather than to secure them. That is what Confederate soldiers fought for. Whatever else their battle flag may mean, it has to mean that.”

“If your ancestors fought for the Confederacy, I do not respect their ‘service’ or their ‘sacrifice.'”

So said National Review‘s “managing editor” Jason Lee Steorts yesterday.

I’ve been a loyal reader of National Review, and National Review Online, since 2000. I have contributed financially to National Review most of those years—usually with a subscription fee, but sometimes with a pledge drive donation.

I have long appreciated the consistent dignity its editorial staff brings to the discussion, whatever the discussion may be (and however irreverent the writer). It is a dignity that has always been informed by the fact that thinking, reasonable people can come to different conclusions.

This thinking, reasonable person concludes that scare quotes around “service” and “sacrifice” above are not dignified.

Jason Lee Steorts’ National Review association has taken a rather bizarre turn lately. Before this latest chapter, his most recent play was a 7,000-word discursive emesis supporting gay marriage.

Now given my position on such, I was fine with most of the content. However, so little editorial discretion with such high visibility is alarming. Too tame for red meat, yet far too long to reach anyone persuadable, it wears its self-indulgence on its sleeve. It’s a poster child piece for the power of a good editor.

And now we have the above. It is the spitting on of the notion that thinking, reasonable people can find the Civil War, its causes, and its effects complex topics indeed; the wholesale dismissal of the premise that there is room for genuine honor of the fallen on both sides.

It’s perhaps poetic that Steorts is the guy who ran off Mark Steyn from National Review because he wasn’t being polite enough, don’t you think?

As I type Jason Lee Steorts has remained silent in the aftermath of his screed. I presume said silence corresponds to a lack of regret. This stance falls unacceptably short of National Review‘s long-established bar.

Should he continue to be unrepentant, Steorts’ association with National Review should be terminated.

 Posted by at 7:45 am
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