August 20, 2014

Clarion Review: A Quick Apology for the Interview

It used to be that I would skip printed interviews in magazines and journals, and especially in newspapers. They seemed like rehashings of what the interviewee had already said--perhaps better--in print. As an editor, interviews also struck me as filler for slow issues. And so it went for years that I did not read a single interview even while enjoying interviews on television and especially on the radio. What you could call my prejudice against print interviews was only broken by that maker and breaker of prejudices: experience. I read a couple of deft interviews, which appeared, strangely enough, in leftist publications like Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and Slate (I have not seen many interviews, and especially many notable ones, in what could be called conservative or right-wing publications. If you know of some, please post them as a response). I say strangely enough since I had never thought that certain genres or print formats were more or less preferred by one side or … [Read more...]

Obama and Moral Imagination

Newly elected President Obama, writes John Couretas, Executive Director of AOI in his essay "Obama and the Moral Imagination" frequently makes use of the phrase "common story." This phrase "may sound strange to the ears. But it is impossible to understand the new president unless his brilliant use of narrative is first grasped," Couretas says. It's a page taken from the Reagan playbook and masterfully executed. Couretas writes: Reagan biographer Lou Cannon told the Chicago Tribune last year that Obama has "a narrative reach" and a talent for story telling that reminds him of the late president. Reagan "made other people a part of his own narrative, and that's what Obama is doing," Cannon said. "By doing it, it expands his reach because he isn't necessarily just another partisan Democrat." … [Read more...]

Freedom-Loving Orthodoxy

In the May 2008 issue of The Word,* published by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Gregory Cook looks at the ways Orthodox Christianity may "transfigure" America. "Orthodoxy has always been open to building on what is true and extant in any nation or culture," Cook writes. "America should be no different." *Also republished here (non .pdf). He quotes Metropolitan Antony Bashir: Orthodoxy is a freedom-loving, democratic faith … it is at its best in our free America. If the best of Byzantium has survived, it is in the United States, and if there is an Orthodox political ideal, it is enshrined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Cook's article, "Words We Live By: Orthodox and American Ideals in Foundational Texts" is an excellent reflection on what it means to be Orthodox in America and what America has given the Orthodox. While we're at it on this Fourth of July, read the Declaration of Independence. Can anyone … [Read more...]