Thursday, June 16, 2005

Nausea and Loathing in America

The news has been boring me lately, but the things reported still have the capacity to sicken me--and at the moment I don't mean the horrific crimes we hear about all too often, but the seemingly unending accumulation of small stupidities along the path to total wussification of Western society. How many more articles on things like schools eliminating the honor roll because someone who wasn't on it might collapse from deflated self esteem when seeing a list of high achievers (if the honor roll in government school might be said to represent high achievement) that didn't contain his own precious name will I be able to read before I snap and take to the woods. And I would have to take to the woods, because now that I'm Catholic I'm not supposed to take to the bell tower anymore. And do you know how horribly humid the woods in my part of the world are?

The only two articles in recent weeks that I've really enjoyed were the one about the 74-pound Labrador retriever who fought down a 120-pound, rampaging Pit bull to protect a stranger child (I'd link to it, but the Chicago Sun-Times no longer has the story up) and this one about an increase in Catholic hermits. I mostly enjoyed the latter one because (in addition to suggesting something is stirring, as the Anchoress suggests about the increase in the more usual kind of religious vocations) it provides me with an excuse for my coming withdrawal to the woods. "Religious hermit" probably sounds better on a resume than "crazed misanthrope".

Incidentally it's dogs like that Lab and that sweet African dog who rescued an abandoned baby a few weeks back that make me wonder why anyone would think it's an insult to be called a bitch.


Michele said...

Hello Suzanne,

I discovered your blog by following a link offered by The Anchoress. You have a wonderful written voice and equally wonderful sense of humour.

Thank you for the "Life in Solitary" link. Although I do understand that "many people are simply sick of the overwhelming busyness that characterizes so many lives." Oh yes, I do understand that! However, I also feel sad for Agnes Long's children because their mother is not part of their life.

If only there was a way to embrace some of the hermit-like characteristics without straining familial ties? Yes, as a matter of fact I do want it all.

Sidenote: When called a bitch I always thank the person for the compliment, it takes the air out of their attenpt to insult me.

Have a glorious weekend, and thank you for this wonderful post.

A. Noël said...

I, too, am here from the Anchoress' link. Thank you for your post! I agree, agree, agree... and am very sorry the heroic Labrador story is not still available. I, too, am a dog person... but didn't really realize it until I adopted my current companion. :)

Thanks again...

Suzanne said...

Welcome. I tried a search to see if any other newspapers picked up the story, but no luck.

Suzanne said...

A. Noel, I looked at your profile, and I noticed you like the Amelia Peabody books. My husband and I started reading those shortly after we married, and we both love them. I only recently found out Peters has continued the series; I was afraid the one that ends with Ramses' children speaking would be the last.

I think good names for a pair of matched cats would be Agatha and Amelia.

Becca said...

another visitor via The Anchoress ... so pleased to find your blog ... very interested in the resurgence of spiritual disciplines and ancient Christian practice.

Tony said...

Hello Suzanne, I came here via the Anchoress also. I have to disagree with you. I don't believe Catholicism is designed for isolation. Jesus instituted a community, not a book club :)

Nice Blog.

Tony said...

Oh, and I found a link to that dog story


Suzanne said...

Tony, I know Catholicism was meant to be a community. It can be rather hard on us poor introverts at times, though. :-) And sometimes even on the more extroverted. C. S. Lewis said that the hardest thing about being Christian was having to associate with other Christians. Kathleen Norris said she thought much of the "I can worship God in the woods or on the mountaintop" type thinking is generated by a desire not to have to deal with other people. Fortunately we Catholics have the idea of redemptive suffering!

Religious hermits are a part of our history, though.