March 30, 2010

Not Dead Yet

Tight Sainthood is on a temporary, fitful hiatus while I slowly sort out Blogger-related hosting issues. Nothing serious, but I'm way too lazy to spend the concentrated time on solving it all at once, so it might be a few weeks before it's all usable properly, and articles or even the site itself might disappear for a few hours or even days at a time until things are stable again….

March 17, 2010


As a front-page headline in one of today's local rags blares out something like "How To Have An Authentic St Patrick's Day!" it's hard not to respond with a morose little vignette about sitting in a gloomy church somewhere in Cork having the priest note in passing that it's St. Patrick's day before passing on to more pressing things….

Authenticity? Overrated. Especially in a context of no context at all.

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March 10, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along?

In some probably long-forgotten "Why Oh Why?" Grauniad commentary on the US culture wars I re-read recently, Timothy Garton Ash says "this war will not finish with a victory of blue over red, or vice versa. It will finish with the accepted, peaceful coexistence in one society of different faiths, value systems, and lifestyles — along the line laid down centuries ago by the classical liberalism of John Locke and others […]".

Well, he got the first part right in some ways: the US culture wars really aren't about left vs. right or red vs. blue (or green) — they're a struggle between people who believe in Timothy Garton Ash's tolerant liberalism and those on the right, the left, or wherever for whom that tolerance is the enemy, for whom True Belief is all that matters.

But the rest of that sentence is, for most of his opponents, equivalent to saying the culture wars will only be won when they lose — the whole point of most cultural warriors is to impose intolerance, to ensure that coexistence is impossible, to kill off or at least suppress the people who don't believe what you do. It's equivalent to TGA's saying "the culture wars will only be over when my side's won". Which may or may not be true, but it's not useful.

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