Thursday, June 19, 2008

So I Guess I Can Post Here Now.

Though if I'm doing this incorrectly, please don't tell me or anything, because that would just be embarrassing.

So, the blog hath been renamed. What, you might ask, does this mean? Assuming, of course, that you are inclined to be inquisitive about the nomenology of blogs. Luckily I am here to pretend to know what I am talking about. This is not sarcasm; for in a situation in which the origins of a thing are largely unconscious and therefore unknowable, an explanation invented after the fact, for similarly unconscious reasons and indeed the same unconscious reasons in all likelihood, is the surest way of getting the true explanation. For it is an explanation not of why something happened, but of what it meant when it did happen.

The name "The Flying-Ins" arose from two sources; an observation and a misunderstanding. It should be pointed out now, before further misunderstandings arise to give further names to as-yet-undreamed-of blogs, that the thing observed was not the thing misunderstood. The thing misunderstood was the title of Chesterton's early novel The Flying Inn. I assumed that this was about someone or something who entered some structure very suddenly from the air, metaphorically if not literally. I maintain that such a concept would have been eminently chestertonian, but this is, alas, not what The Flying Inn is about. Of course, I then proceded to misunderstand and expect the book to contain an Inn which was actually self-supported on the air, but that is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

The observation was on what might be called the present generation of chestertonians. If you attended the conference, you most likely know what I mean, and may feel free to skip the majority of this post. I observed that we all differ in behavior not only from our peers, but from our elder chestertonians. We tend to be loud. We tend to dress oddly, and often anachronistically. We tend to behave with an excess of personailty; whatever we act like, we act like even more than we do ourselves. We enjoy things; wine, beer, cheese, singing, joking, comic books, serious tomes, video games, christmas lights, space westerns, waterfalls, regency dancing--I heard each of the above recommended to me sincerely and enthusiastically. And we are multiplying. Every year I attend the conference, the ratio of young to old is more heavily weighted on my side of the scales.

Likely the best explanation is simply that we have grown up with Chesterton and chestertonian parents. The philosophy of surprise was made a central component of our personalities from the time they first developed. This is not to say we do not have our faults. But we have something that very few of our elders could ever have had: the opportunity to take Chesterton's approach to existence the way Chesterton approaches existence. Our elders had to discover Chesterton. We are the first to have the privilege of rediscovering him.

It was simplicity itself to remember the mishearing, which has always seemed to me charming, and connect it with the group who, I presume, would favor it as their preferred mode of entry in any circumstance. I know I would.

You have seen the Greatest Generation. You have endured the Me Decade. It is, of course, futile to say whether any thing may be the "next" thing, but it is not futile to hope. Therefore, I beg to recommend to your hopes another generation. The Flying-Ins.

We'll be seeing you.

3 comments:

RoseinFaith said...

Oh joy! I've become a member of the "Flying-In Generation." Thank you, fellow Chestertonians! I just joined today; I'm looking forward to posting on this site! :)

God Bless!

Lucia said...

WElcome! You'll all love this blog, it's marvelous!

Algernon said...

I agree, it is! We make no sense except for when we do, and even then we usually don't!

[you see what I mean?]

Algy