I was told recently by my wife, current and previous, as well as others that I Scowl. It is a fact that I am well aware of and a face I seem to make more often the older I get. As a young lieutenant, a colonel that wanted to be helpful once told me after a meeting in which I disagreed strongly with some folks that outranked me too much for me to be heard that I had to learn to control my expressions. I never tried, I used it as a tool of communication at times I was unable to speak. I scowl, more now than then.
I have my reasons, I write about them here. My wife Bri tells me she thinks that 50% of what I write is correct and the other half is me being a curmudgeon. By that, she means I make polemic statements and often do not support them with facts. I believe a large portion of the curmudgeonness is a result of believing I know things that should be obvious and require no justification. Things based upon common-sense, first principles and universal truths. I am wrong about a lot of things but not things based upon those principles. So I often scowl.
Resolutions are overdone, but this year I am going to make one and stick to it. Before I resign myself to being Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino, or Andy Rooney or Robert D. Raiford I am going to take some time to figure out some things. There is a lot I just do not know, and even more, I do not understand. I am going to spend my time between January and May being introspective, inquisitive and a little stoic. A little critical thinking, some self-improvement and a journey of inquiry await me.
What makes me scowl?
I have great suspicions about the megachurch, corporate Christianity movement. I believe it has in some cases and will in many others lead to heresy, cult-like behavior, and false Christianity. It was easy to see years ago with a place like Newspring, it is hard with less well known operations that share the same sorts of heretical shepherding mentality and are built upon cults of personalities. This trend is changing America and Christianity, and I am not sure it is for the better. Even entire once sold denominations like the SBC are falling for error. But I cannot say all of this with assurance. Heresy and wrong Christian behavior is a lot like pornography, you know it for what it is when you see it but it is sometimes hard to describe.
I do not understand why the entire new generation of Young Men is so feckless and effeminate. I recently spent some time with youngsters that I can only term as weak dweebs, there were only two potential men in the group. Why is this? Have men of my age always looked at young men and shook their heads. I suspect so, but something seems different now. Am I just wrong? I do not know. I need to think about this more. I am reminded of what I read in history books about Korean soldiers during the 1950s and how tough they were. When I was last in Korea young men dressed in pink and carried Hello Kitty purses. Is that where we are headed?
I am convinced, beyond any point of correction that politically the US is finished as we knew it, the old republic is long gone, the empire failed, classical liberalism failed, and the political process is broken beyond repair, dire times are ahead. I know enough about history to see the similarities between other great changes and falls. Am I wrong? If I am right, is just saying it enough? Does it need to be explained better for more people to see it? Should I just have fun, fiddle on the roof and not care? I don’t know yet.
Yes, I have scowled a lot, sometimes when others wish I would not… I Scowl at:
- Junior camp directors, I scowl.
- Folks that have no shame and no honor, yep, I scowl.
- Young men that do not act or think like men, I scowl.
- Someone that does something so crude, banal, rude or stupid I have only the option to say words, cane them or scowl, I usually begin with the scowl to let them know where I stand. It seems the most polite and least violent of those options.
I am going to write a lot less, read more, pray more, think and question a lot over these next few months. I need to understand why I believe and feel as I do. I need to wrap my head around where the world is going. If I come out on the other end believing as I do now, I will scowl more freely.
Happy New Year y’all. See you in a few months.
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