Saturday, August 16, 2003

the dots.
One of the things that impressed Peter Stothard, in his "30 Days: A Month at the Heart of Blair's War," [and I don't link to Amazon] was the steadfastness with which Blair stuck to his script.

Religion is best used as a skeleton upon which to build a system of rhetoric. For the peasantry, it's a collection of stories used to give simple answers to basic questions, as distinct from those questions of daily life that remain complex. The Bible is Shakespeare to intellectuals, Jacqueline Susanne to the peasantry, and chains and manacles to ideologues and hypocrites (the difference depending on who is supposed to wear them.) These days, however, any intellectual worth his weight in salt is jealous of the depth and breadth of those cultures associated with the collective origins of what we value. Our definition of re-naissance is the moment of birth, not maturity. When the pull of the collective is gone, culture is void.

A few days ago NPR covered a Howard Dean fan club meeting in New York. The reporter interviewed a young college educated Manhattanite in attendance who was overflowing with praise for her hero. "He's just what I've been waiting for" she gushed.
Everyone wants someone else to do his thinking for him. Whether that someone is God, George Bush, Howard Dean or Arnold Shwarzenegger, it makes no difference. For the peasantry, their god kept them honest; drought and floods always kept them aware of the limits of their understanding. If they had no interest in foreign policy, it was because they had no time for it. If we are all peasants now, it has nothing to do with such necessity.

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