September 17, 2002

Bob Greene
Read about columnist Bob Greene's fall from grace via Nancy Nall. (Is it a tendency among journalists to become corrosively cynical? To be constantly immersed in what is sick in society - since virtue doesn't make news - probably isn't too spiritually healthy. It dovetails with the idea that our job influences us to the point where we risk becoming it).

Bob is one of my mother's favorite columnists, and his seeming innocence and "boy next door" attitude appeared incompatible with middle-aged forays with teens. But then looks are always deceiving (eg: the priest scandal). I don't judge him. There but for grace go I.

I remember reading a Greene column that lamented how a sense of wonder evades us as we age. When we were kids, everything was new and we were capable of being surprised. The capacity for awe seems so crucial in keeping us honest, in keeping us from sin. For the middle-aged and elderly, may God surprise us.

I'm kind of surprised at how large Nancy Nall's readership is, btw. But heck, Nancy is interesting. I guess things really exploded for her when featured on Amy Welborn's site, and now she has at least 100 regular readers, many of them "Amy-Catholics" (like myself) who have stayed, despite her cynicism and liberal view of things. Surely there is some jealousy, given I was able to retain my obscurity even after Amy linked to me. (There is a sense of anti-climax to this blog now, as if I had my turn at bat and should step away gracefully, thankful I got that shot). There is a certain deliciousness in the objectivity of blogs - the stats don't lie. I always loved it about baseball that you could check the back of a baseball card and tell if someone were a .260 hitter or .290. (I'd love it if God gave out report cards every week...St. Paul says we cannot even accurately judge ourselves and I believe it). Of course all this is pride, pride and more pride. But as Chris Matthews says, "what is it that motivates men but competition?". So we should thank God for low blog stats, because if we care- unless it be out of concern for His glory - then we obviously couldn't handle fame, or what passes for infinitessimal quantities thereof.

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