Today I’m launching a new Category of periodic postings. Each piece will feature my brief commentary responding to a piece of writing, a video, or other cultural artifact I’ve come across that, for some reason or other, doesn’t ring true, misses the mark, or strikes me as just plain dumb. Virtually every generalist blogger goes into critical reaction mode from time to time, under the guise of revealing pet peeves, or railing against offensive people and arguments, or pointing out errors in the work of the elect. All I’m doing is putting my own activity of this sort under one roof. I thought of calling the series, dyspeptically, “You Dumb Sh*t!,” but I am no longer of swearing age and besides, I saw a value in adopting a label with a hopeful tone. Hence, “Better Thoughts Next Time.”
Blogging can turn self-expression into narcissistic preening. A know-it-all attitude can hijack one’s prose. Maybe it’s the cheapness of the medium, its dryness, that prevents growth of a richness and grace in thought. I don’t want “Better Thought Next Time” to become a ghetto of snarking. So, under this tag I will place only cases in which an established author, or speaker of high reputation, or recognized creator, exhibits a momentary lapse of judgment. I’m looking to shine a light on the rare hiccup of error (an example being a superb writer who temporarily succumbs to the lure of a terrible mixed metaphor). I will try to inject humor into my comments. Cheap and easy targets will find no home here. I seek out slips of the credible, not mistakes of the incorrigible.