The central very large subject, the Whale of the title, is morbidly obese Charlie, who teaches college-level expository writing online because he is far too debilitated to leave his ill-kept little apartment. He has one friend, a nurse named Liz. The college students he deals with online seem to be, without exception, inarticulate and unengaged, and he in turn appears equally clueless about how to live or even save the life he is rapidly growing too large to hold onto, despite Liz’s best efforts. His path to this lonely and isolated place only comes out gradually. As the story emerges, though, it becomes apparent that he is engaged in a heroic quest of sorts to salvage something of importance from a lifelong struggle.
Archive for January 2015
In a modest and untrained way, I was evolving a theology of escape and renewal, if you will. I still believed in building lasting things – sometimes. But sometimes, I thought, you needed to leave off, and leave. It wasn’t contrary to God’s plan; it was God’s plan. And I wanted to share my point of view.
But call it disrespect if you want to. That does not solve the problem. Does that policeman really think that de Blasio’s warning words to his mixed-race son about being stopped by the police were without foundation? In 2013, the Department’s overwhelmingly imbalanced use of stop-and-frisk against people of color had been found after an exhaustive trial in the Southern District of New York to be a simple and undeniable fact, based on the most objective of evidence: the forms the police had to fill out every time these encounters occurred. Only 10% of all stops over a decade were of white people.
I reflected that Moses could never have had a business plan when he left Egypt either. You had to be crazy enough to count on some parted seas and columns of fire and manna and burning bushes and water flowing out of rocks. As a wiser Jiminy Cricket might have said, Always let your anger be your guide.