By and large, the news is pretty cruddy.
The state of Florida proves itself irrational with a piece of legislation to require that history be taught as pure fact and not as something with nuances of interpretation. As part of an education bill signed into law by Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida has declared that “American history shall be viewed as factual, not as constructed.” How interesting that Jackson County, Florida, tried to ban the book 1984 in the year 1981. They said their reasons were that it was “pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter” but really – given the weakness of that claim – one has to wonder if some of the challengers of the book are still around looking to open their own Ministry of Truth… “nytimes 17.3.07 bush speech malreported iraq rectify”, eh? “All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”
In “The Destabilization Game” about U.S. & Russian relations and the larger strategies of the Bush administrations, along with a grim and well-referenced summation of the intential tipping the boat being done by these gamblers, we encounter this quote ‘I am convinced that dialogue and not isolation of one or another state is what leads to resolution of crises’ and it’s depressing to note that it’s Putin giving an opposing view to that of our President.
O, Israel and Lebanon, what have you done to yourselves? “…three dozen of the dead were children…” I hear on the radio and my heart cracks. Self-defense? Or collective punishment? Whatever it is, it sucks and I wish it would stop.
At least there’s a good article about Wikipedia in the New Yorker.
One thought on “”
It’s not the whole answer, I’m sure, but it seems to me that so much of the misery we humans inflict on ourselves originates with the wish for absolutes — absolute heroes and utter villains — good and evil, nothing in between. Seeking that clarity, we react to flaws in one entity by embracing the opposite entity as surely good and perfect. Thereby we do an injustice to the first, and are likely to be let down, perhaps victimized, by the second. The truth is, the world is mostly middling and muddling, and we are better off if we recognize that.
Interesting sidetrack based on recent theater-going: the “simple” world of Gilbert & Sullivan pretends to have heroes and villains, but the heroes have flaws and foolishness and the villains have aspirations and principles. No wonder I’ve loved G&S all these years…