Moralizing sadists

“Moralizing sadism” is borrowed from Foucault. I have found it invariably to be true that, when reading the moralizing sermons of politicians, their intentions are sadistic; they know perfectly well that the recipients of their exhortations are not going to be improved (who is?), and at best the intended audience will be ashamed or at least saddened and hurt by hearing a sermon that points out their failures to measure up. Hence the sermonizer’s sadism.” – Barry Cooper

In the image above, a bouncer outside of a newly reopened sporting goods retailer near my home has just shouted at this father, saying:

“Sir, step back. I’m going to need you to read all of the signs. They’re there for a reason, you know.”

“I know the drill; we were here just yesterday.”

“Never mind. I need you to walk back so I can see you read the signs.” Continue reading “Moralizing sadists”

“I will not leave you orphans…”

In today’s gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, “I will not leave you orphans…” In this time of so many ordeals, crises, and tragedies, how do these words sound to us? Do they sound discordant? Facetious? Comforting? Hopeful? Continue reading ““I will not leave you orphans…””

Cancelled? Postponed? Deferred? Adapted?

On March 10th, this article was published in The Atlantic titled “Cancel Everything.” Eventually there were more and more lists of things that were cancelled and emails upon emails announcing cancellations. But then, came the many euphemisms in an attempt to disguise the reality of just how much our plans needed to change and just how little we are really in control. 

A friend of mine reflected on this to me the other day basically musing: “Why is it so hard for people to just say and accept that things are cancelled?” Continue reading “Cancelled? Postponed? Deferred? Adapted?”

Establishing our existences

My 2019 journal begins with this quotation by Karl Jaspers: 

The truly real takes place almost unnoticed, and is, to begin with, lonely and dispersed. . . . Those among our young people who, thirty years hence, will do the things that matter, are, in all probability, now quietly biding their time; and yet, unseen by others, they are already establishing their existences by means of an unrestricted spiritual discipline.

Continue reading “Establishing our existences”

Longing for quarantine

Today I was reflecting on what it might have been like if, one year ago, people were told that in this time next year: they would have a few months during which they could not go to their places of work; they would be urged to stay at home with their families; restaurants, malls, and places of entertainment would be closed; and, that this would take place particularly over the spring and summer months. Continue reading “Longing for quarantine”