Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rigorous Intuition: Fight the Real Enemy

Fight the Real Enemy
Rigorous Intuition

Gonna raise me an army, some tough sons of bitches
I'll recruit my army from the orphanages - Bob Dylan

In the United States, in the forshortened weeks before its next post-modern election, every action appears to have an equal and opposite distraction. Telling one from the other, that's the hardest thing.

This time, the Democrats may do just well enough to revive faith that the system works and that its workings are of consequence. (Like Jonathan Richman sings in "Walter Johnson": "Boys, this game's no fun if you don't get a hit once in a while.") Simone Weil wrote that "imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life," and if we can't imagine a better world than this then we can be certain one will be imagineered for us. A bipartisan soft tyranny that rules by mass delusion will concede the odd happy ending, that is actually neither.

The quote is from Weil's essay "Some Thoughts on the Love of God." They're wartime words, written during the worst of it, and imagination and storytelling remain our best means to interpret our attenuated circumstance that already passes understanding.

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