The new gloomsayers
America is an empire. Call it what you will, but it is an empire and we should learn to manage it. This is the point made in the cover articles in this months Atlantic Monthly
. If Rome's empire entailed the capture of territory, our's is in the spread of freedom, capitalism and democracy. We should get good at managing this spread.
It sounds like Fareed Zakaria's book
seems to hint at how to manage our empire.
To manage anything, we need to know how to measure it. What is empire? What are its components? How do you measure its ascent or decline?
AlterNet: Strom Won't Be Missed
I think Christopher misses the point. Strom Thurmond is a great American as he embodies our history. He was a living reminder of our collective past and of the progress made and not made in his life time.
I'm not going to celebrate on his birthday and there shouldn't be any statues raised in his honor, but we shouldn't disparage the dead man. Let's remember him to remember where we've been and where we still
need to go.
The final irony
If postmodernism is irony, what is it that it really means?
Getting into the act
You know. I have things to explore and to wonder about. I have plenty of discovering to do about meaning and purpose. I have questions of my own.
What requirements of solitude are there for curiosity?
Kids are not the answer. There once was a smart kid who said that men who look for satisfaction by breeding are of the lesser sort. Perhaps that was why he was so smart. Hew was on the road to wisdom (which, as it turns out, has many detours leading to dead-end cul-de-sacs infested with SUVs). I should listen to that kid, again, and rejoin my dreams and hopes on his road.
In the individual is found what great power that cannot be, by anybody’s attempts, shared with the audience?
Pleasure is a seductive choice. It feels so obvious; it caresses the tongue and licks the fingers as it absconds itself from the mind and enraptures the audience. Exquisite! Delightful! Ohhhh, it feels so good. But to what end! You can masturbate until the end of the world and still find no meaning it
9masturbating nor the world). Reductio ad absurdum: Man aged 26 experiences ultimate pleasure. Man dies aged 26 plus one day. Ergo, who cares about man and why didn’t he die the day before?!
My ideas are the residents of my mind and what of the world exists but in ideas?
Happiness must be the answer. Smiles all around, for it is the pursuit of most. What do you make of all the vacation resorts, amusement parks, and happy meals? Well, spend your time on the ferris wheel, eating cotton candy, popping uppers and getting Mickey’s autograph. You’ll die just the same as all the sad, hopeless types (including the big biz boys that happily sock away your Disney dollars), meaningless and devoid, an empty corpse but of a different color. (I imagine red instead of blue, but that's taking the metaphor too far.)
For if happiness is found within, what is found without?
Truth. Search for it; get closer to it. Is this the answer? Can it be true? How will you know it is true when you find it? Who’s to decide? Your happy, pleasure seeking kids.
Why is there not only me?
Needless to say, the two days since Thursday have been torture. The funny thing is that they were not much different then the two days before Thursday. I wasn't in your physical presence any of the four days. The only difference was that you weren’t walking next to me in my minds eye. That image I’ve gotten used to over the last 5 years. It's not easy to erase that image.
There is nothing anyone can tell me that will make sense of what has happened. That fact combined with the fact that you are convinced that this is the right course of action frustrates my senses. How can one love another and not be with them?
You are searching for your core identity. Your core never changes despite education, experience, vocation, friends, family or lovers. I understand this search as I’ve been looking for my core for a long time. Some would say that the definition of a wise man is one that is undergoing this search. You, too, have been searching for a long while…
Your core is singular reason why I love you. It’s who you are, but it seems impossible to articulate. On the other hand, I know what its not… It’s not your sex, your beauty, your politics or your love of me. These things change and they tend to come and go.
There are hints of it in your laugh and sense of humor, in your humility and self-assuredness. The first things that attracted me to you were your sense of wonderment, your curiosity and your need to explore meaning and purpose.
The door to our love remains, and always will be, open. If I misunderstand our relationship and the door is closed, it has been closed a long time and this set of events is the sixth act in a Shakespearean comedy (where it turns into tragedy). I don’t believe I misunderstand our relationship. No matter what either of us does, has done or will do, our love is meant to be forever. To me this means that at some point we’re meant to be together forever.
You know how to get a hold of me. Call me if you ever have a change of heart.
Tomorrow, I won’t be home when you come and get your stuff. While it has been torture so far, it would kill me to see you under these circumstances. I hope you understand.