Chesterton In My Head

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (b. 29 May 1874 – d....

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (b. 29 May 1874 – d. 14 June 1936), English writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other morning I made bacon and eggs (because my cholesterol is too low, you know…) and had a couple big, stiff cups of French Roast.  🙂

Things were going on nicely until 6:15 am, when for some unknown reason I decided to pick up Chesterton. That’s NOT the name of my cat, or of a neighbor needing a lift. I mean the author, G.K. Chesterton. Needing something to tickle my language center a bit, make it all warm and fuzzy, I started to read G.K.’s “Orthodoxy”. It’s not about what you think it is.  At any rate, he quickly takes my brain, soaks it in logic, adds good words, a splash of vermouth, a twist of lemon peel, then wrings the living hell out of it. Damn, he infuriates me to no end.

I’m sure that his wife and children thought him a curious, lovable curmudgeon who liked to write. I’m convinced he was an intellectual pit-bull on gunpowder. Damn. Yes, I said that again. After saying “living hell”. G.K. does that to me.

The thing that I now try to hold in my mind as I read someone is, “what is their vocabulary, the lexicon they work from?” For instance, someone may use the word “religion”, and by that intend any one of 2000 oblique and nearly unrelated concepts. “Is that “religion” as in tight-fisted-bible-thumping-sulphur-smoking-prohibitionists? Or “religion” along the lines of intellectually-doubletalking-roundspectacled-postmodern-tatooed-donut holes? Or are we on another continent where that simply means throwing rocks at a woman who’s husband needs a younger, dumber model?” Nice hyper-hyphening…

But vocabulary is what I’m trying to keep in mind as I read. Especially Chesterton. In his discussion on love, and what it is, and isn’t, he does that frustratingly Chesterton-esque thing where he describes what a thing is, and then quickly circles back to describe it’s antithesis, what it isn’t. Here he uses the word “patriot”, and then goes on to describe misguided patriotism and altruistic patriotism. And further describes misguided patriotism as a love for country that depends upon a certain idealized history of a place. And that true patriotism, true optimism, true love for ones country, is the type of love that would burn the place down in order to make it a better place. In my mind, I see that as being the essence of the American Revolution.  And in his discussion, the pessimist arises as the cosmic anti-patriot. Kinda like chicken-little. Describing the impending doom, yet not out of general concern for the people, or with any constructive aim to help men.  Now the true patriot looks like someone who sees the impending doom, and encourages men that in the burning, a new and more perfect union can arise, free from the ashes of it’s history.

And once again my mind begins to gnaw on the back of my skull like a rat desperate to get topside, and breathe fresh air, hoping that land is in sight.


About chuck

Aha! Look what I've created. I... have... made... FIRE!!!
This entry was posted in Authors and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s