I just posted my most-read posts from 2017. It’s a good list, and thorough. (I’m just gonna keep telling that joke until it’s funny.) My most popular posts are not always the ones I’m most glad I wrote, though, so here are my own top ten favorite from 2017.
The best news is, I have not gotten the slightest bit better at making the world’s most terrible graphics! And I don’t intend to quit! Because I enjoy it!!!
If I said, “The clouds are dripping blood and the very grass under our feet has become like unto knives, because of what has transpired regarding that greatest martyr of our times, Kim Davis!” you’re all like, “YES. Preach it! Our Lady of Constant Sobbing, intercede for us!” and you share it with all your friends.
But if I say, “I see some serious problems with Donald Trump,” you’re all, “Oh, you poor thing, do you have lots and lots of secret cancer? I’ll pray for you.”
You can’t make me say I’m on one grotesque side or the other grotesque side, and you can’t make me say that if I’m not one, I must be the other. As currently presented, neither one of them is anything worth being. There’s more to me than an assemblage of cruelty, extremism, and reflexive ideological posturing. Show me something good, and maybe I’ll vote for it. I’m a citizen of the United States of America, and I reject all the monsters.
The world gleams. But it is so untidy.
So off we crept, and O YE GODS AND O YE LITTLE FISHES, what a horrible noise it made. It was a noise to freeze the marrow in your bones, a grinding, scraping, clattering, screeching squeal that proclaimed to all ears within fifty miles, “Here indeed are people who should not have a boat!”
Heck, I can remember when Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific was a product that normal people bought without shame. But when it’s a high end item that was in development for ten years, with millions of dollars in investment, for which they almost certainly employed a team of marketing and creative types to . . . you know, I once met a sedevacantist priest named Father Pulvermacher. I think that would have been a better name than “Juicero.” So that’s the first thing.
She was once brilliant (quantum-physics-as-a-hobby brilliant) and startlingly witty, with no time for nonsense. But now she has Alzheimer’s, and all she has is time and nonsense. Now she says things like, “I can use that for a sunapat. Sunapat with a T. I don’t know, I’m falling out of a tree.” Her nonsense often has a desperate, frustrated air, as if she knows people don’t understand her and she needs to try even harder to get her message across.
But I did hear her, when she could speak. I did hear her, when I did not even realize I was listening. I heard her because she said the important things over and over again, muscling past bitter experience of being ignored, and saying what needed to be said.
I was so caught up in avoiding and outwitting irrational, unlikely dangers that I had no emotional energy left to tend to the actual, present needs of early childhood: the need for calm, the need for peace, the need for a little freedom, and the need to feel safe and secure, rather than embattled and in flight.
This is . . . why you should support independent Catholic journalism? I dunno.
It’s a good thing to have standards. But it’s a bad thing to assume that “difficult” is the same as “virtuous.” Sometimes, we put obstacles in our own paths as way of proving our worth or our dedication. Difficulties, even unnecessary ones that we choose for ourselves, can make us stronger or keep us from sliding into apathy or mediocrity; but they can also be a wonderful red herring that distract us from pursuing our true vocations.
Juicero: Baldassare Franceschini [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Say it again: Photo via MaxPixel (public domain)
Fear: By Thomas.ZAPATA (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Herring: By Lupo [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons