Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Middle December 2009 AKIC Links

Leftists like to call themselves middle-of-roaders, progressives, and liberals.  Roger Scruton, in the link above, has a better label for them.  The linked article also provides a succinct explanation of the differences in my positions from them.

Warren doesn't list Orwell among the Pantheon of writers but respects him.  I have always liked Orwell and have always been able to overlook his socialism and atheism.  But Warren looks on Orwell as a poet, and finds his political views commonplace.  So did Malcolm Muggeridge, in a way, I believe.  I remember MM noticed similarities between Orwell and the mystic Simone Wiel.  -- these two writers worked themselves to death.

This article, linked above, echoes observations and fears I have from living in China

GK Chesterton
That strangeness of things, which is the light in all poetry, and indeed in all art, is really connected with their otherness; or what is called their objectivity. What is subjective must be stale; it is exactly what is objective that is in this imaginative manner strange. In this the great contemplative is the complete contrary of that false contemplative, the mystic who looks only into his own soul, the selfish artist who shrinks from the world and lives only in his own mind.

I came across the following quote at seablogger:

The story of this ancient empire (The Mongols)acquires a renewed interest today because many of the conditions present in the vast, unsettled steppe superficially resemble the uncharted borders of the online world. In the 21st century just as in the 13th century, powerful ideological and economic forces move effortlessly across settled boundaries in ways that no single nation-state can easily control. It is interesting to speculate whether some deeply buried, subconscious memory of the peril of Xiongnu led the current Chinese government to establish the modern Golden Shield, otherwise known as the Great Firewall of China. It would be ironic if the most ancient continuous civilization on earth alone among all the rest truly understood the contemporary world.
"There are those who say there is no evil in the world. There are others who argue that pink fluffy bunnies are the spawn of Satan and conspiring to overthrow civilization. Let me be clear: I believe people of goodwill on all sides can find common ground between the absurdly implausible caricatures I attribute to them on a daily basis. We must begin by finding the courage to acknowledge the hard truth that I am living testimony to the power of nuance to triumph over hard truth and come to the end of the sentence on a note of sonorous, polysyllabic if somewhat hollow uplift. Pause for applause."
I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war.

Elizabeth Bishop
The Art of losing isn't hard to to master
so many things seem filled with intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster
(From the poem One Art)

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