Welcome to an abbreviated version of TWE. We plan to return to our full plate with the new year.
Drinking with Toddlers
I love playing with my six children and I look forward to drinking beer with them in some not-too-distant future. But we're not buddies. A recent article in the Star Tribune points this out well.
"'No 14-year-old thinks their parents are cool,'" said Michael Thompson, a clinical child psychologist in Arlington, Mass., and an author of Raising Cain. 'Cool is an attribute that is awarded by the peer group.' Thompson said he is all for parents spending more time with their children, but he cautioned that those who strive to be cool in teenagers' eyes are not fulfilling their duty. 'You are the parent; you are the floor under them, the framework around them,' he said. 'You are the bank, the police. But not best friend.'"
The Boston Globe recently described Representative Louise Slaughter as "a New York Democrat who strongly supports abortion rights." Anyone else get a chill?
Essayist Honor Role
We like lists, especially when, to the best of our knowledge, they're relatively unknown. Here is a list of the greatest essayists of all time, according to today's greatest essayist, Joseph Epstein: Montaigne, Bacon (Francis), Browne, Defoe, Addison, Swift, Goldsmith, Johnson, Sydney Smith, Lamb, Hazlitt, Cobbett, Carlyle, Arnold, Emerson, Berrbohm, Chesterton, Woolf, Mencken, Orwell, Edmund Wilson.
Four by George Santayana
In recognition of Issue IV and the abbreviated nature of this TWE, we present four quotes from one of the most poetic philosophers of all time.
"The necessity of rejecting and destroying some things that are beautiful is the deepest curse of existence."
"Veritable lovers of life, like Saint Francis or like Dickens, know that in every tenement of clay, with no matter what endowment or station, happiness and perfection are possible to the soul."
"A soul rebellious to its moral heritage is too weak to reach any firm definition of its inner life."
"A society will breed the art which it is capable of, and which it deserves; but even in its own eyes this art will hardly be important or beautiful unless it engages deeply the resources of the soul."
Naology: the study of churches, temples, and other sacred buildings. "According to Walker Percy, contemporary naology should include golf courses."