Living In Interesting Times

The expression, May you live in interesting times, is usually considered an ancient-Chinese curse. Whether it’s true that it is an ancient Chinese curse is doubtful, but the part about the curse definitely seems true. The reason the expression is considered a curse rather than a blessing is that interesting “times” result from political intrigue and wars rather than from peace, happiness, and tranquility. We (and that includes the mass of humanity at this point) are living in interesting times. Charles Dickens begins his great novel, A Tale of Two Cities with the following paragraph:

It was the best . . . → Read More: Living In Interesting Times

Slouching Toward Bethlehem

An English poet named William Butler Yates wrote the poem, The Second Coming, in 1919 not long after the First World War had come to an end. I was thinking about the current political situation in the U.S. when the poem bubbled up into my memory. Here’s the entire poem. As you read it, think not only about the chaos during and after the First World War, but also about our current politics:

            THE SECOND COMING Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the . . . → Read More: Slouching Toward Bethlehem

The Fire This Time

With apologies to James Baldwin for appropriating his title: If people could actually “spin in their graves,” my guess is that he would be doing a very rapid rotation at this time, as would, I think, Abraham Lincoln and many others who have done their best to make the United States a better country than it has been in the past. We have taken at least one big step backwards with the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. I am both angry and sad that “white nationalism” is on the march, and that the Ku Klux Klan is crawling out from . . . → Read More: The Fire This Time