Monday, August 18, 2008

Why "Cut the Crap"?

"Cut the crap." I have never heard the phrase without an accompanying intonation of anger or frustration directed at one's conversation partner. "Crap," after all, is not a compliment or a term of endearment.

That said, I have heard the phrase used to confront dissembling and equivocation, and to good effect. It's a speech act; a confrontation to expose or challenge scam or pretense.

With Into the World I would like to confront religious anti-intellectualism, secular anti-religious intellectualism, and the dominant non-intellectualism of mainstream culture. In all likelihood that makes Into the World foolhardy. A verbal version of tilting at wind mills. A message without a sympathetic audience. An exercise in futility.

Does that sound like a frustrating predicament for me? Yea. But it might just be an appropriate description of a malaise at the core of our culture too. And if it is, then maybe it's time that someone sounds a challenge.

That's my take. And I think that you'll agree, with Nietzsche's help, Into the World will cut through a whole lot of--um--yea, "crap" is the right word.

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