Living

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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Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.