The trouble with writing poetically is that if you hit the target, the result is beautiful; if you miss, it is rotten. Poetic writers are usually uneven. A prosaic writer like me, who consistently misses the heights, also avoids the depths.
I think that's true. On request, though, just because I'm a pedant, I'll do a side-by-side comparison of literary and Ted, and then people can get hysterical about that, if they want to. But I think it's probably not worthwhile.
(What kind of a snobby reader am I, anyway? The kind that largely agrees with Harold Bloom about Harry Potter, but mostly likes Bloom's headline: "Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes." There, now I've alienated all six of you.)
Anyway, about Midgley: I hadn't meant to turn this into the Mary Midgley Hour, but she writes seriously, and without appeals to God, about why we shouldn't believe Rodney Brooks (remember Rodney Brooks?) when he says we're machines and no different from any other kind of biological machines, possibly no different in any important way from any other kind of machine, period. And why Dawkins is wrong when he says that science is the only way we have of understanding the world. So I'm taking my time reading her book, and doing something that's unusual for me, scribbling arguments all over it. I don't usually write in books, but hers needs a conversation.
Hang on, I've got to go tell the shrink I don't want any more Xanax. Half a pill and I felt like one of those things you poke with a stick and it doesn't move. To think people build an empire on this.