Goodbye Is Too Good A Word, Babe
January 29, 2009
I tried writing this last night, but it wasn’t clicking. Not only am I incapable of writing two non-obits/non-elegies back-to-back, but what’s to be said in memorium has been said better than I could hope to.
I always viewed Conor’s essay, “Electric Kool-Aid Conservatism,” as something of a manifesto for the site. The fate of Culture11 in particular notwithstanding, the piece remains true. What conservatism needs now is more journalists, broadly defined, not activists. I say “broadly defined” because I want to include the full breadth of form that could be included in this very apt definition of his (emphasis mine):
“Unless colleges and journalism schools start assigning Burke, Hayek, Friedman, and quite a few others, the answer depends upon whether the right is willing to invest in talented young people who understand conservatism and libertarianism, but whose foremost loyalty is to investigating their world and conveying whatever they find.“
Perhaps it’s arrogant for a would-be writer to go about proclaiming that what we need now are “writers” — but that word alone kind of misses the point. If a general conservatism is more right than wrong, then the recording and transmission of what we see in the world around us should prove that point. Showing, not bloviating, is the way forward. And — lest we forget that the title was composed of words (well, a word and a number) — it establishes culture. The “culture wars” are the wrong wars in our society because they are a fight between “cultures” rather than a fight to retain and further establish the beautiful one we have, and the tradition underlying it.
That essay, and a week-long spate of pure energy crackling out of PoMoCo last fall, pushed me into getting started with this writerly experiment you’re reading (a form I never imagined using and at a time I would have never imagined beginning), and, like many others, gave me my first opportunity to see my writing published. I’ll always be grateful for that, even if I wish I were more satisfied with the piece.