Aiming for Chesterton

When I revived this blog some months ago, I decided to set Chesterton as my ambition.� Not to rival him, of course.� But to embody his jovial, lively spirit.� To write from his point of view.�

Go back to 1993, when I wrote The Conservative Manifesto:� my goal was to carry on in the tradition of William F. Buckley Jr.� After the book, I wrote for the fledgeling Town Hall Forum on CompuServe three times a week from August 1993 to about July 1995.�

Both experiments failed.

The first time around, events in my personal life factored greatly into my decision to put down the pen.� This time, I have no such excuses.� This time, I rely on my maturity and standards to guide.�

The problem is this:� the more closely I examine the world, the more cynical, sarcastic, and angry I become.� Those terrible traits, then, leech out onto the paper–or, in this case, the screen.� When crusader88 criticized my vulgar attack on a writer, I stopped to take stock of my writing.� Crusader88 was right.�

As I said, I wanted to embody Chesterton; I ended up channeling Menken.� (Read a bio of Menken, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.)� Crusader88 called me on it, rightly so.� He or she (I think “she” from the prose) showed great courage and Christian charity by so doing.� While my emotional reaction was honest, I should never have put such hateful thoughts to paper, save, perhaps, for a private journal.

Some people can look at the world and rise above it.� I, clearly, cannot.� I take the world too personally to write extemporaneoulsy about it, particularly in a blog.� With the column, I had to come with 750 words on three different topics a week.� By definition, while all topical to the time’s events, I had little passion about most of them.� And writing under the banner of National Review and the Heritage Foundation, I was compelled to keep it sober.� The blog encourages me to tap out whatever rage happens to overtake me at any moment.� It’s too immediate.�

Even considering all of those factors, my decision to discontinue Hennessy’s View in its present form comes from the answer to this question:� Am I adding value to my readers’ lives?�

No.

The internet is peopled with far better writers, far better thinkers who have far more time to blog than I have.� No one will miss me.�

And I’m not going away.�

As I said, the discipline of column writing provides a filter of time and filter of content.� Moreover, writing a set length on a set day of the week allows the writer to rise above his world and the daily panic to look beyond tomorrow’s headline or the hour’s Breaking News.�

So what lies ahead for Hennessy’s View?�

Well, something that I hope will add value.� One column a week on things I actually do well, and screaming at the world certainly is not� among them.�

You’ll have to tune in next Sunday to find out what.�

Thanks, and God bless,

Wil

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