malaise

In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning.

Jimmy Carter, 1979

wildness

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thoughts on the thinking.

J.M. Keynes

the language of groups

“Street gangs, sports clubs, political parties, families, people who for all kinds of reasons are regularly together, naturally develop a vernacular as a kind of bonding and those who want to join must learn it. Ideologues speak in language best understood by ideologues of like mind: it is called ‘preaching to the converted’; and it is probably a species of narcissism, like a budgerigar talking to itself in a mirror.”

Don Watson, “Death Sentence”, p.10

Watson’s writing made me think of the language that academics choose to use when discussing ideas. It is a language that tends to exclude and make understanding more difficult, although I suspect few of us would like to admit this.