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THINGS I REALLY HATE: VOL. II, PART 4

The world is far too dangerous for blind optimism. This is an excerpt from The Seven Pillars of Wisdom and it is both jarring and frightening in its relevancy.

"In the very outset, at first meeting with them (referencing tribesman and townsman of ME, was found a universal clearness or hardness of belief, almost mathematical in its limitation, and repellent in its unsympathetic form...

…They were people of black and white, who saw the world always in contour. They were dogmatic, despising doubt, our modern crown of thorns. They did not understand our metaphysical difficulties, our introspective questioning. They knew only truth and untruth, believe and unbelief, without our hesitating retinue of finer shades.

This people was black and white, not only in vision, but by inmost furnishing: black and white not merely in clarity, but in apposition. Their thoughts were at ease only in extremes. They inhabited superlatives by choice. Sometimes inconsistents seemed to possess them at once in joint sway; but they never compromised; they pursued the logic of several incompatible opinions to absurd ends, without perceiving the incongruity…

…They were a limited, narrow minded people, whose inherent intellects lay fallow in incurious resignation. Their imaginations were vivid, but not creative. There was so little Arab art in Asia that they could almost be said to have no art, thought there classes were liberal patrons, and had encouraged whatever talents in architecture, or ceramics, or other handicraft their neighbors and helots displayed. Nor did they handle great industry: they had no organization of mind or body. They invented no system of philosophy, no complex mythologies. They steered their course between the idols of the tribe and the cave. The least mobid of peoples, they had accepted the gift of life unquestioningly, as axiomatic. To them it was a thing inevitable, entailed on man, a usufruct (means: The right to use and enjoy the profits and advantages of something belonging to another as long as the property is not damaged or altered in any way), beyond control. Suicide was a thing impossible, and death no grief."

on and on...

To get a sense of the sad, maybe Churchillian, state of affairs, peruse the transcript of Meet the Press. In all his pomposity and churlishness, Russert exchanged barbs on the NSA controversy with the ranking Senate Republican. He began by obfuscating the facts about the allegation L. Libby released classified information on direction of superiors (see Powerline discussion). Then his puerile behavior turned to defending the indefensible (treason in effect) using parsed legal definitions, equivalence and recrimination. Another nail in the coffin performance by the Fourth Estate (and for all the free speech chicken littles, information has never been as democratized as it is today).

Comment Posted By Welcome.... On 12.02.2006 @ 16:47


 


 


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