As regular readers of this blog know and understand, I hold the conviction that outrageous truths, suitably qualified, are nothing other than common sense. So when I write something that is sure to get the chimps jumping, I always try to make a point of anticipating objections, and I do so as a matter of principle. For those interested, I explain it a bit further here.
So it is apparent that I believe that there really is a time for rhetorical qualifications. That time is not this coming November.
Allow me to explain. No, no, I insist. During the course of this approaching month of November, my plan is to write a series of blog posts where say what I think, flat out, and to do so without qualifying anything. The things I will write could be qualified, and it would be no sin to do so, but my plan is to let you all know what is going on out there without any of that “but on the other hand” stuff. There is another hand with five fingers on it, and there are qualifications to be made, and you can rest assured that I know all about them, but am keeping them to myself.
Now there will of course be posts where I am my normal gentlemanly self. But if I am planning to cut loose, there will be fair warning. If you see that Wyeth Jolly Roger graphic, or a No Quarter November tag, or something similar, and reading my regular stuff is sometimes way too much, and this bold experiment with an unqualified satiric bite makes you feel as you would if you were to eat lemonade concentrate out of a can with a spoon, and you would rather not participate, then it is fine to just pass on by. I would prefer you not call it a trigger warning, but it is fair warning. December 1 and it is back to normal.
This is kind of like a word-smithing Mardi Gras. Or what happens in November stays in November.
If there are any themes or topics you would like me to address, please feel free to submit them when comments are open (using the Tuesday letters post and the Thursday Content Cluster), or submit a suggestion via the letters to the editor option. Like the Lord High Executioner in The Mikado, I am compiling a little list.
The list below is a tentative one, that will change as I think of things, and as ideas come in:
Burn All the Schools, Hang All the Teachers
Smash the Matriarchy
Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Preachers Evolution as an Uncommonly Silly Idea PCA, RIP Those BioLogos Unbelievers Against Justice Immodest Wenches Sexual Imbecility for Imbeciles Modern Art and Dearth of a Culture
Your Suburban Church Needed a Drum Kit the Way J.S. Bach Needed a Kazoo
Surplices are for Sissies In Praise of America In Hell Where They Already Have It
In Defiance of the Schoolmarms
If we get it worked out, our plan is to give away a free e-book every time I do this, in order to help with any bruised feelings. And the books are full of qualifications.
For some reason, this whole thing reminds of a particular definition from Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary.
EXILE, n. One who serves his country by residing abroad, yet is not an ambassador.
An English sea-captain being asked if he had read “The Exile of Erin,” replied: “No, sir, but I should like to anchor on it.” Years afterwards, when he had been hanged as a pirate after a career of unparalleled atrocities, the following memorandum was found in the ship’s log that he had kept at the time of his reply:
Aug. 3d, 1842. Made a joke on the ex-Isle of Erin. Coldly received. War with the whole world!