Writing Day

January 12, 2004

Today is a writing day. I have been terribly distractable; it is as if I would rather do anything than write. Well, almost anything - I still have not deferred a dangling clause to go scrub the bathroom.

I am typing up the material I wrote over the last few days to try to fix chapter four. I have a new, simpler argument. I find it sort of boring, but boring can be good. I am having trouble making myself do the grind of getting the words down. So, I shall whine about my lack of productivity, and then use said whine to kick my own butt.

And back to William Ellery Channing, Lyman Beecher, and the Unitarian controversy of the 1820s.

It looks like I will have to cut one of the sections that most amused me because of its contrast to present stereotypes. During the 1820s a few Unitarians were aggressive proselytizers, sending missionaries to Kentucky, Ohio, and other strongbeds of evangelicalism in order to convert the poor misguided fools to "truly Biblical" religion. We just don't see that missionary zeal any more, which is why jokes like the following are funny.

"I got the Unitarians mad at me again. Last night they burned a question mark on my lawn."

One of the fun things about doing history is seeing how organizations change, and how perceptions of those organizations also change.

And yes, that was a bigoted religious joke. I shall either apologize, or make countervailing bigoted jokes about several other denominations in order to prove my impartiality.

Posted by Red Ted at January 12, 2004 09:33 AM | TrackBack