Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'
Jonal entry 1154 | December 31 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Please don't mistake today's topic for
the board game with a similar name that gained wide popularity in
the 1980s. Trivial Pursuitthe game whose name lacks the final
"s" of my topic titleis all about which player has
command of more historical and social trivia, or trivial facts, and
can recall those tidbits from his or her memory when the game calls
for them. Some bits of data are significant as historians regard such
things, so they aren't truly "trivia"
. . . but the fact that you remember, for example, what President
Eisenhower was wearing on his first televised "address to the
nation" circa 1956 is trivial in the everyday scheme of things.
Historians of the Presidency and men's clothing styles may regard
these bits of arcana important, but if they're not important to you,
they're trivia; why do you remember them?
But today's topic
is on why we often occupy ourselves with trivial concerns when there
are better things to ponder. The "Trending Now" listing
that I see on Yahoo whenever I open my mail page often makes me wonder
why people bow down to pop idols (though the trend list from New Years
Eve, at right, is not all trifles; even skeptical I had to
find out why Margaret Thatcher was on it).
And, here at New
Years, I hope to give some encouragement to resolve to adjust our
mental priorities. Of course as the parent of three young adults ordare
I say it, three adults pushing middle agewhose
career was mostly oriented to youth beginning with my teen column
for the Nanty Glo Journal, I readily admit that what's trivial
for some is important to others, and I wouldn't try to impose my priorities
on you. My own preoccupations, interests, and priorities were much
more varied in my youth than they are in older age.
In fact, I almost
feel the shell of my oeuf* contracting day by day. But there
was a break in that shell a few days before Christmas. I took my grandson
to see a matinee of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the
Dawn Treader at a local mall multiplex and found myself thinking
I might start going to movies more frequently and even frequenting
malls on weekday afternoons when few others are doing so. We'll see,
but I couldn't imagine either of those changes in my routine two weeks
I may have begun thinking about
this topic when I read a blog I read a week or so ago on a Christianity
Today blogsite. The writer, wife of one of America's best-known
pastors, noted that many of the things she considered priorities a
few years ago are no longer very important. In her case, that includes
a lot of entertaining, especially over the holidays, which she has
given up. Mine include giving up the notion that I have to have the
best explanation out in the media of what the latest movie is really
saying, and why. I remember describing to an older minister when I
was at Stanford in my late thirties how important it was, in order
to speak to college students in their thought categories, to be on
top of the latest movies. He replied that for his part, he didn't
consider movies very important and he'd lost interest in them. Maybe,
as my older brother said a few days ago, he doesn't go to them any
more because he's seen them all.
I'm just beginning to see some light at the
end of this thought tunnel, but my New Year's resolution is to pursue
the things that matter most and, more and more, stop wasting time
Webmaster Jon Kennedy
*French for "egg."
Philosophers and writers often use it to refer to "the sphere"
in which they live.
and share alike!
Put your video clips on your
home town home page, the Nanty Glo Home Page.* Just send them in an
school plays, programs
youth and club projects
*The fine print:
Offer limited to residents and former residents
of the Blacklick Valley as indicated in the subdirectories at the bottom
of this page. "G & PG-rated" content only, please.
to the Nanty Glo Home
blog: Los Gatos Creek Trail, Segment Three, Part Two
C.S. Lewis Overflow
C.S. Lewis resources
Report on latest NTAMHS
Chuckle and thought for today
New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make
your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving
hell with them as usual.
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Jon Kennedy's recent book,
The Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and
Narnia, from Adams Media, F&W Publications, is available
for purchase in support of the Liberty Museum in Nanty Glo and can
be ordered here.
It is also available on Amazon.