Thursday, August 02, 2007
Where you going, covenanter?
This week we had some reason to give a little thought to what we're doing, because someone wanted to know. Just to anticipate our meeting tonight - as every Thursday, 7-9pm in the atrium of the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library, in front of Blenz Coffee (look for the blue scarf) - here's a couple of samples of what was said:
1) we want to build a network of people who can help each other on various projects for renewing our stakes in Western culture and combating nihilism and relativism. Starting with ourselves: we meet every Thursday to motivate each other to avoid despair and cynicism and uncreative anger, to figure how to make our minds, faith in humanity, and arguments for them, stronger. This means we do not have any narrow agenda or political objective. It means we are always trying to defend the openness of our political and cultural system, and to prove ourselves trustworthy, disciplined, deserving of attention and compacts from others.
2) Increasingly I don't feel that the meetings have to "launch" something, or exist as planning platforms for "covenant zone events". I view them as similar to going to church: I will be with like-minded people engaged in pursuing a shared long-term objective and the meeting allows me to affirm my individual commitment to seeing things through despite the scale of the odds against us, while providing a much-needed dose of intellectual ammunition to draw upon when acting on my own outside of meeting times.
I agree with the need to discipline our writing to greater effect on the blog. I am so in love with the image that Hirsi Ali projected in her interview, and I try, vainly, to prop it up as a guide. Just compare the emotive ramblings of her inquisitor, that [Avi] Lewis guy, to the becalmed grace and tact she calls up to deliver her responses; that's a role model we can all learn from. **How we say** what we say is more important and consequential than what we say. I mean the style is more important than the substance. If i was a lewis fan I think I would have to harbor second thoughts now about the righteousness of the lefty cause, in the face of such unflappable self-control on the other side. Lewis won't change, but his fans might; when we get trolls, they won't change, but more moderately-leaning lefties may be enticed more to start entertaining our point of view, if we ourselves are viewed as more entertaining.
So, as the truth of freedom, our shared covenant, can be made entertaining....