What's Tony Thinking

Comments and Notes at Week’s End


It occurred to me that some of you who haven’t signed up for the “Unapologetic” webinar might still be interested in seeing tapes of the session. So here is a link to the tape for Week I. You’ll see that the tech people spliced in the video that was included in the Webinar from “Live From Here” where the host and crew join guest artist Sufjan Stevens in singing “Ah Holy Jesus” in a strangely touching moment.

In connection with that incursion of the sacred amid the secular I mentioned another, during the Webinar session. The moment in the movie, “Don’t Look Up” at a last supper of sorts when the skateboard punk, who is embarrassed by his Christianity and doesn’t want anyone to know about it, prays when no one else any longer has the words. Nadia Bolz Weber had the text of his prayer in her sermon of last Sunday. Here it is:

“Dearest Father and Almighty Creator, we ask for your grace tonight, despite our pride, your forgiveness, despite our doubt. Most of all, Lord, we ask for your love to soothe us through these dark times. May we face whatever is to come in your divine will with courage and open hearts of acceptance.”

It too was a strangely touching moment, an incursion of the transcendent in the immanent.

We’ve been in the Wallowa’s for a couple days, in northeastern Oregon. It’s been a beautiful week. Sunny every day. This morning I went cross-country skiing with a friend at Salt Creek Summit. Including a couple photos. Above are mountains on the east side of the Wallowas. Here is one of me while skiing. In the background you can make out the “Seven Devils” mountain range, which is actually in Idaho, on the other side of Hell’s Canyon.

We came over, in part, because Linda has three paintings in the current “Nature in the Abstract” exhibit at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture. Here’s a link to her Facebook page with a photo of all three pieces. The top one was awarded Second Place in the overall exhibit. Congratulations and bravo, my dear. To see the whole exhibit go to the Josephy Center website.

Speaking of the week’s end, two of things that have been in the news a lot this week have been the Canadian Trucker’s Ottawa protest and the debate over Joe Rogan and his hugely popular podcast on Spotify. Andrew Sullivan in his “Weekly Dish” today manages to tie the two, and a couple other things together, under the theme, “Between the World and Men: Truckers, Rogan, Peterson and the Revolt of Masculinity.” Here are two paragraphs from Sullivan’s piece.

“The rise of the angry macho right is easily explained by its progressive foes. It’s a fevered backlash to white patriarchal privilege finally being dismantled — so enjoy the white male tears. And this contains, as many woke insights do, a kernel of truth. It is a good thing that the default identity in America is no longer white, straight and male. It’s a great thing that women’s talents and abilities are no longer so constrained. The workplace-harassment bill that just passed with wide bipartisan support, for example, seems a positive development. It’s wonderful that gay and trans people who are sometimes seen as foils to this “cis-hetero-patriarchy” are so much more visible than before, most recently with Amy Schneider, the brilliant and charismatic Jeopardy champ.

“But the successor ideology will not stay there. It never rests. It insists that masculinity itself is entirely socially constructed and can and should therefore be entirely deconstructed; it regards the construction of masculinity as inherently oppressive; it regards men as problematic and privileged; it affirms that the “future is female”; and it treats the straight white male on campus as an unfortunate burden at best.” 

I agree with Sullivan on the excesses of woke/progressivism. He cites some important trends and stats in that regard in the balance of the piece. It also seems to me an example of the way progressives have shifted focus from economic issues to cultural issues with the result that the Democratic party is no longer the party of working people.


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