Extremely Short Response

I’m going to keep this short, not out of disrespect for my wonderful conversation partners (whose patience and persistence I greatly admire and appreciate) but first, because I don’t want to go on indefinitely about the topic, ’cause I have the distinct feeling that very few people care, and second, because I don’t want to slight Juliet, who’s been waiting patiently for my response, and by responding to whom I’m likely to engender another whole round of this carousel. So a very brief response to David Weinberger’s morning post at this point goes like this:

(a) David’s point about “imagining” and “attributing” set me back a pace or two, but in the end those words don’t differ with respect to the activity of the interpreter. That’s one reason I’ve been so tediously persistent about the metaphor of the web as shared imagination; I don’t construe “imagination” as a sort of solitary dreaming-up-without-connection-to-anything-else, which is what David’s use of the term sounds like to me.

(b) (This is the biggy.) How does my conviction that I understand God’s intention in Scripture differ from Pat Robertson’s conviction that he understands God’s intention in Scripture?

If there’s no cogent way of comparing those intuitive convictions — and I’m Wittgensteinian enough to believe there isn’t, though I hope Joseph Duemer will check me on this — then I maintain that my assertion, “But I really do understand God’s authorial intention,” (the asseveration for which David is waiting) is syntactically blank. It puts my waving fist into words, but it doesn’t say any more than “I’m right ’cos I know I am.”

If there is a cogent way of comparing my degree of rightness with Pat Robertson’s, or for that matter for comparing it to The Big Truth, then I hope someone will show me. So far as I’ve been able to tell, all I can do is compare arguments and interpretations with Pat (or David, or whomever), and make an informed (imaginative) judgment about which is the most satisfactory.

In other words, if I’m wrong about this, I’m wrong in a big way — I’m ignoring, almost deliberately, an avenue to the truth that others on the road traverse easily. At least I’m not alone, though, because the other wanderers must include some sponsors of integral hermeneutics who are absolutely sure they’re on the right track, but who are misled, with no way to account for their erring.

Whoops! I was going to promise Juliet she was next, but her Blogger misfortunes seem to have 404’ed her archives. That’s a lousy way to get out of an argument, but perhaps she’ll remind me of the weaknesses she saw in my argument.

DRMA: “Double Crossing Blues,” Johnny Otis Quintet; “I’m So Bored With the USA,” the Clash; “Down on Me,” Eddie Head and his Family; Theme from Albert Campion, PBS TV; “Marrow,” Ani DiFranco; “When You’re Alone,” Bruce Springsteen; “2000 Man,” the Rolling Stones.


Two more quick excerpts on hermeneutics, in both cases especially Scriptural hermeneutics:

[Scripture] cannot as it were be mapped, or its contents catalogued; but after all our diligence, to the end of our lives and to the end of the Church, it must be an unexplored and unsubdued land, with heights and valleys, forests and streams, on the right and left of our path and close about us, full of concealed wonders and choice treasures.
John Henry Newman

No interpreter’s articulation of meaning abrogates somebody else’s structure of meaning, provided that what each of them says agrees with a sound profession of the Catholic faith.
John Dun Scotus (both quotations as cited in Henri de Lubac, Medieval Exegesis vol. 1)

Thanks, by the way, to the Tutor’s acknowledgement of my persistent efforts to clarify how my hermeneutics accords with my theology; would it be importunate for me to persist in affirming that my understanding of truth and salvation can’t be “noncommittal,” but that everything most important in my life hangs on these premises and that my life will be risible, ludicrous, if my faith in a Way that leads us toward Truth always by the ambiguous path of interpretation be shown false?

Insufficient Response

David Weinberger and Tom Matrullo (via email) have both gotten back to me about hermeneutics. I’ll answer David first, because I think it’ll be easier.
David tosses me a softball to start, asking whether his representation of my proposed distinction between “integral” and “differential” hermeneutics rings true. Yes, though I think that in the definition of integral hermeneutics, I’d substitute “unitary” where David says “single”: “Integral hermeneutics thinks that to understand X is to see the simple, unambiguous, single meaning behind X.” Some of my friends on the integral side of the fence are subtle enough to allow for intentional duplicity of meaning, so that the meaning is unitary but not single (if you take my point). So that’s number one.

Number two, David keeps a close eye on my treatment of specifically Scriptural interpretation. (Be sure to read his wise characterization of the Judaic hermeneutical tradition — I want to have that to quote for my students, whom I try desperately to teach to read like rabbis.) He goes on to suggest that I don’t “giv[e] enough weight to the scriptural text. His view of DH finds all of interpretation’s value in the play of differing interpretations and none in the meaning behind the text or the text itself.” To illustrate, he suggests that one difference between interpreting a restaurant menu and the Bible lies in the fact that the Bible’s author is God (a not inconsiderable difference, I should add).

This one’s harder, and I think I have to answer it backward. That is, God’s authority/authorhood in Scripture is something that he and I can take for granted, but it’s not intrinsic to the text of the Bible. The claim of divine authorship binds David (for the sake of argument) and me into a strongly, deeply-held set of interpretive conventions, but each of us knows friends who not only don’t think God is author f the Bible, but doubt that there’s any God to have done it at all. It doesn’t do any good at this point to say, “No, but really, God did write it”; the disagreement goes a great deal deeper than whether God can intelligibly be characterized as author of the Bible. I’m not reluctant to ascribe authorship of Scripture (in some sense) to God, but I refuse to exclude people who disagree with me on this from my account of hermeneutics.

Or take a Borgesian example: imagine an impious blasphemer who writes out longhand a copy of the words of the Bible, but illustrates it not with exquisite medieval woodcuts and delicate illuminations, but with caricatured exaggerations of all the most awkward passages, and who emphasizes everything that would embarrass the sensitive interpreter. I’d argue that one might make a case that this vandal had not in fact written out a copy of the Bible, even if the text of the scroll, or book, were identical to an approved version of that book.

So if that which makes the Bible special isn’t a feature of the book’s essence or nature, but of the way particular peoples regard the text, then we’re where I left off, where David didn’t want to be. Calling a book that begins “Bereshith bara elohim eth ha-shamayim. . .” (forgive my dodgy transliteration) “the Bible” already constitutes an interpretive decision that includes some people and excludes others; ascribing its authorship to God narrows the body of agreeable interpreters even further. And (as a differential hermeneutician) (“Do you have an appointment. sir?”) I have to account for those people’s interpretations, too.

Which brings me back to my main point, that I’m not beginning from a failure, but from difference. It’s failure only if we being with by defining “success” as interpretive unanimity, and I don’t do that.

I affirm David’s six-point version of a differential-hermeneutic account of revelation, except that I’m not sure how I would say that “Scripture needs a differential hermeneutic” (my tags). I think we need a differential hermeneutic to appropriate Scripture rightly.

And I don’t abhor “tyrannical relativism” — I don’t believe it exists (people who adopt the deplorable pose of being “relativists” are concealing their adherence to some occluded ideology).

So on the whole, I agree with David quite an awful lot, and I thank him heartily.

As for Tom — I ought to go to bed before I answer him, ’cos it’s past my bedtime and I’m liable to say something foolish, more foolish than usual. I need to clarify several matters for Tom (if I understand him aright): first, the business of what interpreters think and argue about, and second, the status and location of meaning, and third, how we are to go on if I’m right.

First, I’d propose that interpreters think and argue about different things. Some interpreters argue a lot about what the author meant by a text, but some interpreters argue about what the text means relative to our present situation, and still others about a sort of atemporal meaning that escapes any situational specificity. Many interpreters suppose that there’s a unitary quality to a text, a quality we may call “what it means,” that establishes the legitimacy of anything else we might say about the text; they then endeavor to show that their interpretations reveal the true meaning of the text, and other (different) interpreters have gone astray at some point.

On my account, the place that integralists fill with “the true meaning” can just as well be occupied by “the most convincing account of the text in question,” where “convincing” will always remain a more-or-less local set of criteria to which the (local) social formations adhere.That’s not because I don’t believe in God or transcendence or truth — it’s because I don’t know how to de-localize myself to recognize the universal/transcendent in a way that’ll convince anyone but me and my local colleagues. (Isn’t this the topic about which I first emailed David Weinberger, when he didn’t know me from. . . ? Oh well, I never liked that idiom.)

Which leads to the second clarification: differential hermeneuticians can’t dispense with the notion of a text’s author. We can’t think “textual meaning” without the imaginative gesture of positing an author who meant something. Differential hermeneuts will, however, allow that different people will imagine different authors, and there’ll be no way to pin a really real intention to a really real author and make from that a really final interpretation.

In that case, interpreters make an aesthetic judgment about which version of author, text, audience, history, motivation, and intention (and other elements) hang together for the soundest interpretive argument. I don’t contrast that imaginative, aesthetic judgment with ‘the meaning of the text,’ though. Either I’ll colloquially identify the imaginative construal with the meaning, or I’ll more carefully avoid talking about “the meaning” altogether. I just don’t believe texts have “meaning” in any way that escapes our attributing meaning to them.

Then third, if textual meaning depends not on the pole star of “meaning,” but on the wandering stars (the planets, from Greek planaw, “I err”!) of human judgments, how do we know where to go?

I suppose we go in the directions we believe in: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) and (and this one’s for the Tutor) “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?” More obviously constructively, we will go on and navigate as we always have (for if now there is no meaning leading us about from extra nos, there hasn’t been such a magnetic meaning all along). We’ll rely on people we trust, we’ll look back on what the ancients have taught us, we’ll try to help one another along, and we’ll try humbly to accept correction when people whom we respect suggest that we’ve got something important wrong.

What this doesn’t allow us is a stick with which to beat the annoying people who persist in promulgating erroneous interpretations; we can’t say, “That’s just not what it means!” (not in an absolute way). In response to mistaken interpretations, a differential hermeneutic would advise that we make as plain and persuasive a case for our interpretation as we possibly can, and let willful or foolish interpreters do their best. If show-off looudmouths get more than their just share of attention and acclaim, we can with the Psalmist fret not ourselves over evildoers, nor envy those who prosper from wickedness. We can’t force our rightness into the hearts of others anyway. “Truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.” — Pope Paul VI, Dignitatis Humanae.

Bedtime. Tomorrow evening Margaret gets home, so I had better spend tomorrow productively cleaning up and writing and running errands. I hope these responses clear the air somewhat, Tom and David. Thanks for your patient attention. Tomorrow I’ll try to respond to Juliet.

DRMA: “Praise You,” Fatboy Slim (Nate’s got it bad for Fatboy); “Hung Up,” Paul Weller; “Wicked Little Critta,” They Might Be Giants; “Midnite Cruiser,” Steely Dan; “Stormy Weather,” Billie Holiday; “Love On a Farmboy’s Wages,” XTC; “Everybody’s Crying Mercy,” Elvis Costello (“Everybody’s crying ‘Peace on earth’/just as soon as we win this war,” and “Everybody’s crying ‘Justice!’/Just so long as there’s business first” — great!); “There Must Be a City,” the Fairfield Four; “The Only One,” Roy Orbison; “Tore Up,” Otis Rush; “Red Beans and Rice,” Keb Mo; “House of the Rising Sun,” the Animals; “Power of the Gospel,” Ben Harper; “In and Out,” the Pogues; “I Feel Like Going On,” the Dells; “There’s a Barbarian in the Back of My Car,” Voice of the Beehive; “Body and Soul,” the Benny Goodman Orchestra; “Can You Heal Us Holy Man,” Paul Weller.
SoundJam playlist hand-blogged by Stubborn Cuss meatware.

In Our Neighborhood

David Weinberger offers thoughtful criticism of my developing essay on integral and differential hermeneutics. If all writers had readers like David, writing would be none the less difficult—David doesn’t let me off any hooks—but it would be vastly more rewarding.

Shelley has answered us, firmly, that blogging is no longer for her, and she gives some good reasons. The minuses still don’t outweigh the plusses for me, not by a long chalk, but she’s certainly right about those minuses.

Gary Turner has uncovered my complicity in Halley’s hitherto-secret plan for world domination, which means I may have some time to spare when King George II’s Homeland Security Keystone Investigative Agency tracks me down. At least I now know who’s the anonymous other member of our cell.

And I meant to acknowledge Kevin Marks’ first announcement of mediAgora, but he’s only gotten more on target and accumulated more pertinent links. If you only stopped by Kevin’s the first time, go back again. It’s hard to imagine how anyone who reads Kevin’s pages can imagine that government-by-RIAA-and-Disney serves the interests of the people in any way.

DRMA: “Red Beans,” All That; “Got Myself Together,” the Holmes Brothers; “Talk of the Town,” the Pretenders; “Wild Women Never Get the Blues,” Lyle Lovett; “Lovesick,” Bob Dylan.

Weekend Update

Jennifer, our wonderful adjunct daughter, is here for a while, and Margaret leaves New England with Pippa and Si tomorrow early in the morning. We figure to be all together by Wednesday at the latest. It is, as Martha says, all good.

Integral and Differential, Again

Picking up near where I left off, oneof the aspects of the whole discussion that flummoxes me involves the extent to which the argument tends to presuppose a Protestant-vs.-Catholic worldview, with no room left for anyone else. I would have a hard time imagining the same vigorous arguments against plurivalence in the context of Judaism or Eastern Orthodoxy (I don’t know enough even to guess about other traditions). Judaism isn’t the exotic rain forest of unchanneled meaning that some critics in the 80’s made it out to be; we are talking about the Torah, after all, not a capricious textual free-for-all. Even the Catholic tradition embraced some plurality of interpretive meaning through Medieval exegesis. Once the Reformation took root, all parties to the dispute over theological authority felt the need to say, “The Bible supports us and not them,” and at that point plurality in meaning can only complicate the power moves that the advocates of Rome or Geneva or Augsburg, or for that matter Canterbury or Westminster or Plymouth, felt the need to make.

But authority in Judaism and Orthodoxy devolves more directly on performative criteria than on the theoretically exclusive textual correctness of one party’s interpretations. (By “performative,” I don’t mean to refer to Lyotard’s attention to the crtierion of performative productivity in The Postmodern Condition, but to something more like what Raoul Eshelman describes in the article wood s lot recently blogulated for us: testing truth-claims by living them out). This, too, may make a connection to hermeneutics in Judaism (and in Christianity outside the West?); questions of interpretation often resolve themselves the more clearly by trying them as part of life. As such, and permit me some emphasis here, my “postmodern” differential hermeneutics is intrinsically, inescapably ethical. Bad interpretation isn’t only a matter of insufficient cerebration—it’s a moral failure. Good interpretation isn’t a matter of being smart enough, but of interpreting with spiritual wisdom.

It doesn’t follow that someone we think good will always interpret rightly, or that being smart is irrelevant to interpreting well. It does imply that there are as many ways to interpret well as there are to live well.

[Brief interval as I’m overcome by the urgency of implementing relative font sizes in my blog template. Either I’m not an adequate direction-follower, or something about Blogger and CSS and the way I implemented the HTML dysfunctioned, so I went back to the old fixed sizes, with apologies. Movable Type will be here some day, I’ll begin working directly with Dorothea’s version of my template, daisies will bloom, relative sizes will work, we’ll get just the right amount of rain and heat, and I’ll have a sabbatical.]

So I just argued that differential hermeneutics is so far from being a-moral that it’s radically ethical (not that being a partisan of differential hermeneutics makes you ethically praiseworthy, but that it is, as Nate would say, all about ethics.

In this context, the Tutor’s question — plaintive, were it not so thornily pointed — “What must I do to be saved?” should find its native habitat in the differential approach to hermeneutics. Now, I anticipate that some readers, if not the Tutor himself, would like a single, unambiguous answer—and will reject any reluctance to provide that simple injunction as mere deconstructive stammering, unwillingness to commit oneself to the plainly-marked narrow gate that leads to salvation.

On the other hand, Jesus tended to respond to such questions indirectly, with parables or prophetic actions or aphoristic deconstructions of the presuppositions on which the questions seem to rest.

“What must I do to be saved?” First, neither I nor you can determine that you be saved — right? Salvation depends not on our efforts or on your or my wise advice. Salvation as a free gift from God comes not by way of diligent good behavior or (certainly not) from good advice from an online theologian, but always only as a gift (I ran through this same set of premises way back on the “forgiveness” topic).

Do I then mean that there’s nothing to it, that we can shrug our shoulders, kick the homeless beggar at our feet, and laugh all the way to the pearly gates? I would not dare suggest so. At the same time, it does imply an awareness that salvation comes not through our power—and “power” marks one of the cardinal points in the conflict over interpretation. So here, too, I would urge a benefit of differential hermeneutics, as an approach to interpretation that duly observes the humility befitting fallible followers of a God who blesses not the exercise of coercive force (whether social, interpretive, or military), but patience and resolute faithfulness and integrity.

Now, there’s more to be said about these and many other dimensions of the topic (as readers moan), but not tonight.

DRMA: “Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday (I can hardly listen to this, but I make myself; it feels as though this recording, once made, ought immediately to have converted the hearts of anyone who ever hears it); “One Day,” Dixie Hummingbirds and Angelic Gospel Singers; “When I See His Blessed Face,” Sister Wynona Carr; “All This Useless Beauty,” Elvis Costello (a live version wherein he pertinently observes, “People are always asking me, ‘What does that song mean?’ and if I could say it in other words than are in the song, I would have written another song, wouldn’t I?”); “I Want to Go Where Jesus Is,” Ernest Phipps and his Holiness Singers; “I Thank You Lord,” James Bignon and the Deliverance Mass Choir; “Heartbreak Hotel,” Elvis Presley; “Balm in Gilead,” Sweet Honey in the Rock; “The Girls Want to Be With The Girls,” Talking Heads; “Sunken Treasure,” Wilco; “I’m Someone Who Loves You,” the Roches; “All of Me,” Billie Holiday; “Here at the Western World,” Steely Dan; “Function at the Junction,” Shorty Long; “People Say,” the Meters; “Opening” from Glassworks, Philip Glass; “Watching the Wheels,” John Lennon.

The Shadow Over Evanston

And I thought it was just the typical Chicago summer heat: Alex Golub continues the saga — I hear Spielberg is interested, your people should talk to his people, let’s do lunch — of his intrepid defense of Baroque music and everything else worth saving in yesterday’s blog, in which my hitherto-secret weakness imperils the All-and-Everything, or at least Mayan commercial traffic. As an aside, I feel obliged to say that Alex has taken literary license and disguised my Achilles meal as Tim-Tams, perhaps as a way to draw in the Australian contingent. I’ve never had a Tim or a Tam, though, and my particular gustatory shame lies elsewhere. . . .

Then the Tutor reminds me that more than intellectual fashions, more even than lives are at stake in talking about interpretation. I’m still working on this; something so important deserves painstaking attention. (Recently I read that bloggers take less time to write their posts than readers take to read them — excuse me?)

DRMA: “Svefn G Englar,” Sigur Ros; “Oh No!” Camper Van Beethoven; “Didn’t It Rain,” Golden Gate Quartet; “London’s Burning,” the Clash.

Another Miscellany

Just ran into two weblogs-in-education sites, Sebastian Fiedler’s Seblogging and (linked from there, but I found it before) Will Richardon’s Weblogg-Ed. I’m encouraged not only by their enthusiasm for blogs in education, but also by their informed aversion to BlackBoard. I’m beginning to think of BlackBoard as a litmus test for understanding of the potential for technology in education: if you’re impressed by BlackBoard, you’re not on the educational Cluetrain.

Now, having said that, I’m sue there are some insightful educators who, for circumstantial reasons, are enthusiastic about BlackBoard, so consider this an insta-retraction. But only sort-of; I’m systematically enough dubious about BlackBoard that it would take an awful lot of persuading to convince me that the local circumstances warrant a positive estimate of the courseware’s value (especially at the rates they charge, especially when Blogger non-Pro and Movable Type are available at no charge, and Radio and Blogger Pro are available at extremely low cost).

And to anyone who’s been waiting for me to take up the e-learning topic again, I will indeed return to that after I square away this hermeneutics essay. I also want to tackle another facet of the forgiveness-identity-integrity metablog — but for now there’s a lot of other writing to be done.

DRMA: “I’m Bad,” Katie Webster; “My Hit Parade,” the Beautiful South; “Overture” from Tommy, the Who.

Way Cool

One last thing: It looks as though the Wabash Center will be setting up a wifi base station so that the participants in the Teaching and Technology Conference there can (a) watch their TIAA-CREF protfolios vanish (b) play Unreal Tournament against one another (c) check email and (d) (in my case) live-blog the proceedings, which will include presentations about classes where we used emergent technologies to positive effect, discussions of the obstacles, possibliites, and dreams realtive to realizing a stronger use of technology in teaching, responses to assigned readings including David Weinberger’s Small Pieces, Lessig’s Code, and Duguid & Brown’s Social Life of Information.

More On Hermeneutics

That’s “more on.”

If I try to respond to David Weinberger’s notes to me about the hermeneutics post, I may find myself coming round to a more satisfactory way of addressing Tom’s enigma. He pokes me about the extent to which revelation, the divine illumination by which biblical writings bespeak truths that reach beyond run-of-the-mill human knowledge, affects my account of hermeneutics. After all, he points out, one wouldn’t necessarily treat the authorial intention that shaped the menu at a California restaurant the same way one might treat the authorial intention that shaped Genesis.

Terrific point, and (actually) one of my strongest impulses toward differential rather than integral hermeneutics. Why? After all, some of my integral-hermeneutics colleagues argue that the unity of God’s will and its realization in the composition of Scripture require the ascription of a unitary meaning in Scripture (and the concomitant integral hermeneutics). Moreover, they suggest that the idea of God offering an ambiguous or plurivalent revelation contradicts the idea of revelation itself.

Sed contra (as my Dominican teacher used to say), experience teaches us that the Bible has indeed provoked a panoply of divergent interpretations among unquestionably earnest, diligent, intelligent, devout interpreters. On the account of integral hermeneutics, we are obliged to reckon that one among these scholars has been right, the others incorrect — but without any manifest way of determining which. If we subscribe to integral hermeneutics, we find ourselves taking a crapshoot on which spokesperson truly divined what was to be revealed in the Bible. Especially where interpreters divide diametrically, as interpreters have from time to time in Christian history, integral heremeneutics simply fails to give an adequate account of how we might ascertain to whom we ought to listen.

Differential hermeneutics, however, can locate revelation not in the text by itself, such that we’re left to assay the content of an unambiguous revelation that we can’t get at. Instead, differential hermeneutics can locate revelation in the shared practice of interpreting the Bible under the social, liturgical, communal, ethical conditions of participating in life under the Law, or under the Cross. Judaism (as David has pointed out) already demonstrates the theological cogency of a tradition that recognizes plurality of insight within a shared commitment to a very specific Torah. Christianity offers too many examples of “our way or the highway” interpretations of Scripture—but araen’t those schismatic gestures warranted, if not outright required, by a rigorous application of integral hermeneutics?

By contrast, the pre-Reformation Western tradition, and many aspects of the Orthodox traditions to this day, preserve an appreciation for the extent to which the Bible may engender divergent harmonious interpretations.

One last thing before I crash for the night. David’s question about a difference between sacred and secular hermeneutics favors a differential approach in another way, too. Although English departments may shelter some of the most erudite, persistent, articulate practitioners of integral hermeneutics, few if any would ground their practice on theological premises. But that’s just what certain sorts of integral hermeneutics suggest that they ought to do. If one does not believe in a Triune God, for instance, why should one be especially moved by the trinitarian resonances of the author-text-audience triad? (And what if one adhere’s to Kenneth Burke’s schema for interpretation; would that oblige one to proliferate divine Persons?) Differential heremeneutics offers both an account of why people read the Bible differently from their dinner menu (because they do so under different conditions, with a different stake in what they’re interpreting, and different goals in taking on the interpretation) and a (unitary?) general account of why people interpret texts as they do.

More tomorrow; this felt good, and I think I’m getting at some of what I’d been hoping to say to Tom.

DRMA: “Mothership Connection,” Parliament; “You Are My Sunshine,” Norman Blake; “Christiana,” Prince Nico Mbarga and the Rocafil Jazz; “Desert Blues,” Leon Redbone; “Immigrant Song,” Led Zeppelin; “I’ll Never Be Your Maggie Mae,” Suzanne Vega; “Shake It Up,” the Cars; “Don’t Keep Me Wondering,” the Allman Brothers (a propos in several ways); “Shhh/Peaceful,” Miles Davis.


I’m putting off resuming the hermeneutics blog, partly because I sense that I haven’t answered Tom well enough yet, and partly because if I don’t continue working on the blogged version, I might not have to write the version for print. It’s pretty lame as an excuse, but it’s all I’ve got.

Dave Rogers (no, not that one, the other one) enjoys seeing what’s playing from my hard drive as I blog. Glad to note it, Dave, though I think I’ll ite a new, smaller-type style into my stylesheet when I get around to incorporating the Pilgrim relative-size strictures. I’m not using the BlogAmp tool ’cause I play from SoundJam and iTunes mostly. What Dave may not realize is that this playlist saturates my sermons (and “scholarly” writing as well), running indeed as a sort of soundtrack album to my life. A big, long soundtrack album.

Gary Turner thinks I’m sincere. Oh, yeah, surrrre.

DRMA: “He’s Got Better Things For You,” Memphis Sanctified Singers; “Whenever,” Shakira; “Weapon of Choice,” Fatboy Slim (at Nate’s urging — if you can, check out the video with Christopher Walken!); “Turn Around,” They Might Be Giants; “Love At First Sight,” XTC (glad that came around); “Dreamer In My Dreams,” Wilco; “To Sir With Love,” Trash Can Sinatras.

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