Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pet Peeves

Blogs are for venting, right? A few annoyances that I hear repeatedly:

"I'm more conservative than Republican." Guess what? If you're an American conservative, you've got one serious political option - support the Republican Party and its candidates. Whether or not they're conservative as you'd like them to be, they're invariably more conservative than the Democrats, and this alignment isn't changing any time soon, so this statement has a cash value of about zero. And no, I don't consider third party support to be a serious political option.

"Christianity isn't a religion; it's a relationship." I know that you're trying to be provocative, that you're trying to emphasize that what Christianity is aimed at is the repair of relationships between God and people. But Christianity is also a set of doctrines and practices concerning the ultimate meaning and purpose of the universe, making it a religion. Your formulation is cute, but it's not true.

"That's so meta." Used to describe any ponderance or statement that's esoteric or abstract, and usually pejorative, an accusation of snootiness. However, "meta" is a prefix, not an independent adjective, and there's nothing wrong with snootiness. Legitimate use as prefix - "Many of Harold Bloom's writings are metacritical, describing the proper role of a literary critic in society."

"I like to listen to classical/jazz (only) when I need to relax." - It's certainly true that there is relaxing classical music and that there is relaxing jazz. But I find that both genres are more often invigorating, terrifying, demanding, wrenching. That's also why I don't listen to them as often as I should. Nothing wrong with listening to music to relax, but people who say this are usually revealing a very narrow vision of what these types of music can do.

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