Skip to main content

Death of two local journalists

This story strikes me harder than most of the many stories along the lines, "idiots kill innocent people" with which newspapers, TV news, and the internet sites dedicated to such stuff are always crowded.

Alison Parker and Adam Ward died Wednesday morning, August 26, covering a story. Not a BIG story. Nothing involving ISIS or extreme volatility on the world's stock markets or exposing corruption or fraud. No, these two young journalists at Roanoke Virginia's teevee station WDBJ were doing what it is fair to call a routine interview with a woman on a local Chamber of Commerce (the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce) about lake-front tourism. 

Journalists sometimes do die covering the Big stories. The guys at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris were killed for their satiric take on contemporary Islamofascism, as big a story as there is. But this? It reminds me of the way Alexander Hamilton died, not for any reason connected to his political or financial genius and achievements but just because he couldn't find a better way out of a personal mutual grievance with Aaron Burr. History's joking anti-climaxes.

Parker and Ward, RIP.


Popular posts from this blog

Great Chain of Being

One of the points that Lovejoy makes in the book of that title I mentioned last week is the importance, in the Neo-Platonist conceptions and in the later development of the "chain of being" metaphor, of what he calls the principle of plenitude. This is the underlying notion that everything that can exist must exist, that creation would not be possible at all were it to leave gaps.

The value of this idea for a certain type of theodicy is clear enough.

This caused theological difficulties when these ideas were absorbed into Christianity.  I'll quote a bit of what Lovejoy has to say about those difficulties:

"For that conception, when taken over into Christianity, had to be accommodated to very different principles, drawn from other sources, which forbade its literal interpretation; to carry it through to what seemed to be its necessary implications was to be sure of falling into one theological pitfall or another."

The big pitfalls were: determinism on the on…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…