"It Is Unfixed Grace You Don't Respect" Edition
Lastly, I wrote on Substack about podcasting in an age of loneliness. I’ve made this post free so readers can have some impression of writing I put up behind a paywall and whether it is worth paying for. I hope my paying readers will not mind, and promise this will be the only time I do it for at least a year.
On camp. The always interesting and provocative Matthew Walther writes splendidly for The Week about how Trump and his supporters have revelled in “camp”. He could have mentioned how John Watersesque Trump fans like Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos and Rudy Giuliani have been. They have brought a real carnival atmosphere to the age.
Mere curiosity. Forgive a brief detour into writing about writing. Justin E.H. Smith laments the academic trend towards emphasising relevance and relatability above the purely interesting.
In online media, too, there is a need to connect everything to modish controversies and current events. I get it. You need to write about what interests people, for financial purposes and because there can be good reasons for that demand existing. But there has to be a place for niche, unfashionable and forgotten subjects as well. After all, sometimes people don't know they will be interested in something until they have read about it.
On cant. I like this essay by Theodore Dalrymple, despite a lot of it being familiar, because it emphasizes that the biggest harm of dogmatic political correctness is not some abstract offence against freedom of speech but the imposition of unreflective and incurious orthodoxies.
Features, not bugs. Nicholas Kristof writes a good column about the rape videos and otherwise exploitative content that ends up on Pornhub. To be fair, I think attempting to police a website such as Pornhub effectively is extremely difficult. That is one reason why websites such as Pornhub should simply not exist.
Have a lovely week,