I know that the Story was false. The Story of progress. The Story of people coming out of caves and slowly learning to plant and "domesticate" themselves and some dignified dogs, then the noble horse, the ponderous ox, the amusing goat. The opportunist pig. The cuneiform clay, and then the flooding Nile, papyrus-lined, and then a mongrel tribe we now call Hebrews writing it down, and then Greeks asking questions, to Know Thyself. The slow dance of philosophy and science. Until even the Tartars and Vikings calmed down, and our riparian communities prospered and we all live happily ever after around little twinkling hearths. I know the Story is false.
But there were wonderful and compelling parts. The ideas. The Love of Truth, and the Truth of Love, the excitement of the cross-roads, the way we broke out of kinship structures and tribes, the way we found objects and made them better. The clarity of conscious life, the hope which seems to illuminate the vector of evolution.
And the way the world, the entire world, old and new, came to America. The way Power was "checked" and "balanced", just in time, and Liberty took root. This is the Story of small towns across the United States, a place where De Tocqueville marveled at the hold that Justice had over the sons of sot-weed factors, rum-runners and squaw men. Americans suffered serious lapses of provincial hatreds and intermittent hangings, but as a body, they absorbed everyone. And we all understood the Story - the one told all over the world.
Well, that Story is now in the dustbin. Since 2002, the Government of the United States has killed its own Story. The American Narrative is gone -- and it took the World Narrative with it. There is no longer a "Story" serving as springboard for hope, for progress, for grace. It all looks like greed now. It looks like those huge flat periods where one prince after another kills a predecessor and replaces him with the same. It looks like a Dark Age descending. The barbarians at the gate, and the gate guarded by people worse than the barbarians.
The Bush Administration began as a monologue - a newspeak. Bush-Cheney-Rowe moved from monologue/spin to withholding information, curtailment of the exposures in the forum, and a curious vetting for idiologues with hidden agendas. There has been ZERO dialogue. There is no "public" conversation.
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.