Saturday, June 21, 2014

Local politics and the importance of story

"The reason local politics are so bad is that so few people have enough interest to participate—save the wolfishly self-interested and the crazies." --Bruce Frohnen

From my former school district: "Baldwin-Whitehall residents search for answers in Schmotzer controversy"

Alisdair Macintyre wrote After Virtue, a book that landed like a heap of bricks in the world of academic ethics and philosophy. He diagnosed cultural ills with precision. His subscribed treatment, now famous, is the cry for a "new St. Benedict"--in other words, that people of sanity must build local fortresses in which to preserve their way of life. They are to get less involved with Congress and more involved with the local council.

But lesser known is his view on the importance of storytelling to cultural flourishing:
“It is through hearing stories about wicked stepmothers, lost children, good but misguided kings, wolves that suckle twin boys, youngest sons who receive no inheritance but must make their own way in the world, and eldest sons who waste their inheritance on riotous living and go into exile to live with the swine, that children learn or mislearn both what a child and what a parent is, what the cast of characters may be in the drama into which they have been born and what the ways of the world are.”

Good tales form people who will risk seeming crazies to confront the wolves. 

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