June 8, 2013 4 Comments
“I am interested in making a good case for distortion because I am coming to believe that it is the only way to make people see.” Flannery O'Connor
I suppose this is a corollary for last night's post. In a fit of the customary and perpetual shame I feel whenever I open my mouth, utter a word, think anything, or write anything (actually everything: there is no moment shame does not accompany me. It's like we're total besties, by curse and not by choice), I was going to remove the post of last night. Not because I think the argument is wrong or will be seen by many people, but because a great many people I respect are fond of the argument and because the post has the potential to offend. I mean, there's profanity, both actual and implied. Then there's what can be seen as a rant, particularly if you don't know me well enough to know the all-important tone in which all those words were actually being expelled.
But there is a chance, with a post like that, of causing offense: of someone reading it and thinking I called them stupid, vacuous, and (repeatedly) “damned dumb.”
Well, I didn't. I called the catchphrase dumb. But still. I want never to hurt people or cause offense or be inappropriate…well, you get the gist.
But the fact is this: the tone of the thing was exaggerated. And the point of the thing was that the debate about how and how much we limit government and the ways in which we limit government is very important. I concede that these questions and the answers we have for them do not make for great bumper stickers. Complexity isn't great at being condensed and packaged for widespread adhesive public consumption.
Yes, I am very sorry if I offended anyone. I meant no disrespect. I really never do. But instead of being a simple apology, I'm providing a corollary apologia to explain. Plus, the really great reminder that, while distortion is not the only way to make a point, sometimes it's a very satisfying one.
Cheers. Happy Saturday.