Sunday, May 31, 2015

3 Year Anniversary: The Catholic Skywalker Dialogues

(5/31/15: Feast of the Visitation)

It's had to believe that it has been 3 years since a started this little blog.  And now, over a thousand posts later, I'm still here.  

And more importantly, you, faithful reader, are still here.

For this I thank you.

When I was younger I kept a journal.  There was a great advantage in writing my thoughts down.  It gave them structure.  It forced to me to take the chaos of mind and give it some kind of logical form.  However, I eventually stopped because I was writing for an audience of one.

That is one of the reasons that I find blogging so rewarding.  There is an interaction, a relationship with you.  I think that I'm getting better at this.  I don't have so much a personal sense of improving as a writer, but I have had more people comment about things I've written in the past year than I have ever before.  And that kind of feedback makes me want to writer more and better.

When I first started this blog, I wrote:

A little about me: I am a devoutly Catholic theology teacher who loves a popular culture that often, quite frankly, hates me.  I grew up absorbing every movie, TV show, comic book, science fiction novel, etc. I could find.  As of today I’ve watched over 2100 movies and tv shows.  They take up a huge part of my life.  I don’t know that this is a good thing, but it has given me a common vocabulary to draw from in order to illustrate whatever theological point I make in class.  I’ve used American Pie the song to explain the Book of Revelation (I’ll post on this some time later) and American Pie the movie to help explain Eucharist (don’t ask).  The point is that the popular culture is popular for a reason.  It is woven into the fabric of our lives and imaginations, for good or ill.  In this blog I will attempt to bring together the things of heaven with the things of earth.  Of course this goal may be too lofty for someone like me. 

Over the past 3 years I still been unable to reconcile this main dilemma in my mind or heart: I love pop culture, but so much of it is opposed to God.  Do I abandon pop culture all together?  Do I engage it from afar?  Can I enjoy something that has questionable morals and values.

I would venture to say that I have touched upon these ideas in the past 3 years, but I daresay none of them have been resolved.  The format of essay-writing does not lend itself as much to open-ended explorations of a topic.  To not have a strong thesis makes your essay feel like a rambling litany of nonsense.  But since I myself am unresolved on a lot of these points, I have struggled with how to address them.

Then I remembered my love of Plato.  Reading his Socratic dialogues made philosophy come alive for me.  He made the search for wisdom not just enlightening, but dramatic.  And my putting the points that needed to be made in the mouths of different characters, Plato could explore all different sides of an issue (though Socrates was almost always the one with the "right" view).  

And here I have found my method for exploring this question.  If I can write them out in a way that boldly presents the different points of view and I can have them battle each other in the arena of ideas, maybe some truth and light will emerge.

And so I would like to introduce a new feature that will be coming this summer:

The Catholic Skywalker Dialogues.

I will be writing these on various topics regarding Catholicism  art, and popular culture.  Here is where  will put in plain language the issues at hand.  I cannot guarantee that we will find the best answers.  But I will hopefully make things clear, entertaining, and hopefully enlightening.

The first part will premiere within a week.  I look forward to your feedback as always.

And I thank you again for all of your kind words over the years.  I truly treasure them.

So I praise God for these past 3 years together with you and I pray that He blesses whatever is to come next.

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