Ignorance Is Bliss

An English poet, Thomas Grey, ended his 1742 poem, Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, with what has become a well-known aphorism: “where ignorance is bliss, / ‘Tis folly to be wise.” The part that’s quoted most often is, “Ignorance is bliss.” Considering ignorance bliss has a long history. One of the central stories of both Judaism and Christianity is Eve’s being tempted by Satan to eat the fruit of knowledge and then persuading Adam to do the same.

The theme has been important to me for a long time. The title of my 1974 Ph.D. dissertation . . . → Read More: Ignorance Is Bliss

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

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coronation

Although all presidential elections in the US are “historic,” our most recent election will probably go down in history as the most historic of all. As most of you already know, the election featured the first woman candidate to be nominated by a major political party, and the first major oligarch who pretended to be the candidate of the people. It also featured more—a lot more—of the usual yelling and screaming—and sometimes punching and shoving—than most US presidential contests.

One of the influencing factors was, of course, accomplishments of President Obama, many resented him because he was the first . . . → Read More: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Coronation