Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Caroline Kennedy has been looking for a candidate like her father…and by doing so, one would presume, speaking for millions.
OVER the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.
My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.
Her reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and all three are intertwined. Hmmmm…
I’m fascinated with this passion for selecting one candidate over another, coupled with a seemingly blissful ignorance and apathy about positions. This editorial is ten paragraphs long, and every single syllable is about mood. Nothing, the all important make-me-happy issue aside, about what this candidate will do that that candidate will not…or what this candidate can do that that candidate cannot.
And that isn’t just my interpretation. Second paragraph from the end, Caroline comes right out and tells us what she wants in a President:
I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.
A President with the capability of telling us what we want to do.
Fox guarding the henhouse if ever there was one.
Gerard Van der Leun cites a parallel between Brave New World and the…uh…malaise:
Electile Dysfunction: “The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for president put forth by either party in the 2008 election year.”
Quick, break out the Soma!
“Awful? They don’t find it so. On the contrary, they like it. It’s light, it’s childishly simple. No strain on the mind or the muscles. Seven and a half hours of mild, unexhausting labour, and then the soma ration and games and unrestricted copulation and the feelies. What more can they ask for?” — Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
HT: The Homchick Report
Ah, Huxley. I have another passage to list as my personal favorite:
“And there you are,” Dr. Gaffney concluded.
“Do they read Shakespeare?” asked the Savage as they walked, on their way to the Bio-chemical Laboratories, past the School Library.
“Certainly not,” said the Head Mistress, blushing.
“Our library,” said Dr. Gaffney, “contains only books of reference. If our young people need distraction, they can get it at the feelies. We don’t encourage them to indulge in any solitary amusements.” [emphasis mine]
Millswood Middle School in Lodi, enforces a strict one-way hallway policy, with detention for violators:
Since the school opened in 2004, Millswood Middle staff has enforced the school’s one-way-only policy inside the main building on campus.
Once inside, students must follow the school’s circular hallways on both floors and on the school’s three staircases. Teachers and staff say the campus’ one-way-only policy cuts down on fights, hallway traffic and general chaos that comes with having 800 middle schoolers in one place.
“If everybody’s going the same direction, you can’t bump shoulders and you can’t give dirt looks, because you’re looking at the back of somebody’s head,” says Principal Sheree Perez.
But…but…but…if kids go through a K-12 curriculum that places such an inordinate weight upon their ability to co-exist and all head in the same direction, just to be herded around more easily…what is to prepare them for an adulthood, in which every now and then they’ll be required to go against the grain? To do the right thing?
Ah, but there’s the rub.
When it comes to preparing children for adulthood, a great deal of talk is made about teaching them how to “do the right thing” — but when’s the last time you ever heard of a child being encouraged to judiciously swim against the crowd? How many years has it been?
How old were most of us, when we finally figured out the frequent fallibility of the majority view? Some unfortunates make it all the way to the crypt never quite figuring it out. And we can’t rely on our schools, it seems — they are now at the point of dishing out punishment, for walking against the crowd. Inconceivable to imagine the school would permit thinking against the crowd…certainly, to imagine it would provide any encouragement for same.
And what of the adults? What is required of us, along the lines of that selective thinking-for-onesself?
It seems we are increasingly being called upon by our leaders…not to do…but to be. Indeed, I’m left struggling to figure out what distresses Caroline Kennedy so much. Umptyfratz presidential candidates have toured our state primaries, debating, advertising, giving speeches — trotting out their respective versions of this dream — adapting to a New America, in which the electorate no longer tells the leaders what to do, but rather, the other way around.
And as these candidates for President have told us what they want us to do, so few active verbs have come out of any of it. Just a couple, really: believe — and — sacrifice.
We’re there. Nobody expects anyone to do…everyone expects everyone to be. To be happy. To be enthused. To be clockwise. It’s gotten so bad, that our political leaders, like ourselves, are expected to be everything, but to do very little, if anything at all. All they are expected to do, is — expect. Expect things out of us. Expect us to be, and not to do.
Brave new world, indeed.
Soma all ’round.
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