Like So Many Dried Beetles

Blog & Mablog | 8/15/2018 | Douglas Wilson
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INTRODUCTION:

And so—as we continue to work our way through Aimee Byrd’s book, Why Can’t We Be Friends?—we continue to find stuff to talk about. In part I suppose that this is because life between the sexes is variegated and complex, and not a simple and straightforward relationship, like that which exists between Point A and Point B. Even Solomon was outdone by the way of a man with a maid (Prov. 30:19), and when we add the complexities of multiple relationships—married and unmarried, flirting and not flirting, attractive and not so much, stupid and wise, and so on—we are getting into post-grad physics levels.

ROUSSEAU - RAG

THE ROUSSEAU RAG:

There is some good stuff in this chapter, but there is also an unfortunate tendency to undo it all a moment later, like a comedian stepping on his lines.

Example - Section - Rousseau - Rousseau - Loc

For example, there was this promising section where she started in on Rousseau. “Rousseau sounds pretty self-absorbed, does he not?” (Loc. 1422). And then, quoting Alan Jacobs, “Rousseau’s self-deception is immense” (Loc. 1425).

Now I can take a good deal of this kind of thing, as I am sure most of you realize. In fact, I could eat it out of the can with a spoon. Rousseau is, in my view, the font all the even-numbered troubles of the modern world, and many of the odd ones. He was an intellectual pestilence who rode into human history on a sickly green horse. So right about this time, I am sitting up straighter in my chair, hoping in my heart that Aimee continues to lay it on thick.

But then she says this:

“Rousseau’s notion of friendship sounds an awful lot like the view of those in the church who want to impose restrictions on friendship between the sexes” (Loc. 1429).

Wut

Wut?

So those who keep their distance from the comely Mrs. Schwartz...
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