Sunday, September 11, 2016


Reading Peter Wehner's "George Orwell's Fierce Modesty" (First Things, September 7, 2016), our underground correspondent we keep on retainer, Guy Noir - Private Eye, comments:
OK, and I have thought similar thoughts. A needed word.

And Orwell actually wrote a very appreciative review of Frank Sheed's Communism and Man.

But "fierce" modesty? Where on earth did that word come from, and how does it fit at all? "Sober," maybe, "measured," "admirable," "honest," "consistent." But "fierce" ? Sounds like a Bro Country album title.

You know what we really need? A fierce resistance to defaulting to intense words to try pump up our relevance and vitality. I saw a sign for "The Surge Church." We need "robust interior lives." We have to be "Gospel centered," there is the "New" evangelization, and Orwell was "fiercely" modest. It is exhausting enough to make you want to yawn. I know every age has its phrases, but have we peaked and overshot, in an era when new books routinely come out with a page of seven to nine book blurbs hyping a little known author, and even article titles have to have so.... much ... zing!