An Apology to My Readers
I know my blog isn't terribly entertaining most days. But it does achieve its purpose -- it permits me to rant about things not part of polite discourse: religion, politics, and sex. It also permits me to rant about things my friends are tired of hearing about from me, like bratwurst. That's my only excuse for having a blog, and if I do better than that, it's gravy.
The reason my rants tend to be so negative in tone is that I am usually feeling fairly frustrated. There are many matters on which intelligent people of goodwill may easily differ, but that's not generally what's been up for discussion this year. It's the bedrock certainties of life that seem to be offensive to many. Next thing you know, someone will found a group to repeal the law of gravity.
But I found a bit of comfort this week while reading Christopher Morley's classic bibliophile romance, Parnassus on Wheels.
"You remember Abe Lincoln's joke about the dog? If you call a tail a leg, said Abe, how many legs has a dog? Five, you answer. No, says Abe; because calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
Calling torture "interrogation" doesn't make it nice. Calling a baby a "fetus" doesn't make it a nonhuman. Calling Bush "Hitler" doesn't make him resemble Lincoln any less (or more) than he does. Calling same sex couples "married" doesn't make it so. Telling bishops and priests they have no authority to regulate abuses of the sacraments doesn't take their authority away -- or their accountability to God.
It's not a matter of "five legs bad, four legs good", even; it's just a fact. Count for yourself and see.
Black is not white, and neither is it red, purple, or aquamarine. All the talking in the world won't make it so. Neither will legislation. It may come to pass that this country will decide that naming shades and hues properly is the latest perversion. Some people may even have nothing better to do than throw people in jail for reading the labels on their Crayolas. But after years of such stupidity, black will still be black.