We had a great conversation about a great variety of topics, including the basic decency of George W. Bush and the general disappointment many conservatives feel about that man. Faulting Log Cabin for its ad attacking Mitt Romney, this fine Missouri blogger observed that the group needs do a better job of convincing Republicans that they are committed to the GOP, especially because many rank-and-file GOPers might be skeptical of gay people claiming to be Republicans.
A good point, especially given Log Cabin’s history of public criticism of the party it claims to support.
After meeting that Midwestern pundit, I headed west, crossing eastern Missouri while listening to the conclusion of Joseph Ellis‘s course on Patriots: Brotherhood of the American Revolution. I wish more Americans were familiar with the greatness of the founding and understood better the contrast between the differing visions of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, a tension we see even in contemporary debates. While these great men were often at odds over a great many issues, they worked together to secure our independence, were united in their love of our nation and renewed their friendship in the last decades of their lives.
Then, it was onto Beowulf, first listening to Robertson Dean’s reading of the Robert Gordon translation, then to Seamus Heaney’s reading of his own translation. I’ll have to say that while I thought I’d prefer the former, as it strives to more accurately translate the Old-Saxon language, I actually preferred the latter, even though the translation is less accurate. It’s just better poetry.
As I entered into Kansas, driving a stretch of I-70 I had driven numerous times, this being the first time I crossed eastern Kansas in the dark, my friend Sean called me to inform me J.K. Rowling told an audience recently that Albus Dumbledore of the Harry Potter books “is gay.” When I heard the news, it just made sense. There was something in the wise wizard’s manner which suggested a certain gay sensibility, but also a sense that he had somehow sublimated its sexual aspect.
Rowling said that the Hogwarts headmaster had once fallen for the charming Grindelwald who figures in the latest Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. “Let down” when he learned of his one-time beloved’s fascination with the Dark Arts, Dumbledore would work to destroy this man for whom he once had the most tender of affections.
A mark of that great wizard’s character–choosing to do what is right even it meant hurting the one he loved. I may have more to say about this at a later date.
As my journey nears its end, I’m beginning to wish it were longer, not only so that I had more time to spend with my family and friends, but because I do enjoy the open road, the chance to see this country and talk to people I might not otherwise meet. Even the banter tonight while checking into my hotel here in Salina, Kansas.
Tomorrow, it’s off to the Centennial State to have an early dinner with a dear aunt in Colorado Springs, then to overnight with her younger daughter in Denver before crossing the Rockies on Monday and returning to the Golden State.