Mourn The Loss, Find The Center
MP3 – John Adams: On The Transmigration Of Souls (34.4 MB)
From Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul:
Ours is a time of connection. All must be touched. All touch corrupts. All must be corrupted.
[I]f you look closely at the trend lines since 9/11, what is remarkable is how little the world has changed. The forces of globalization continue unabated; indeed, if anything, they have accelerated. The issues of the day that we were debating on that morning in September are largely the same. Across broad measures of political, economic, and social data, the constants outweigh the variations. And, five years later, the United States’ foreign policy is marked by no greater strategic clarity than it had on Sept. 10, 2001…. Perhaps the truest thing that changed because of 9/11 was the way in which the Pentagon’s budget soared.
From In The Shadow Of No Towers by Art Spiegelman:
Martin Amis reminds us in The Guardian that the Iraq War may be but a distraction to the war in which we have been engaged:
Suicide-mass murder is astonishingly alien, so alien, in fact, that Western opinion has been unable to formulate a rational response to it. A rational response would be something like an unvarying factory siren of unanimous disgust. But we haven’t managed that. What we have managed, on the whole, is a murmur of dissonant evasion… Contemplating intense violence, you very rationally ask yourself, what are the reasons for this? And compassionately frowning newscasters are still asking that same question. It is time to move on. We are not dealing in reasons because we are not dealing in reason… The opening argument we reach for now, in explaining any conflict, is the argument of moral equivalence. No value can be allowed to stand in stone; so we begin to question our ability to identify even what is malum per se. Prison beatings, too, are evil in themselves, and so is the delegation of torture, and murder, to less high-minded and (it has to be said) less hypocritical regimes. In the kind of war that we are now engaged in, an episode like Abu Ghraib is more than a shameful deviation – it is the equivalent of a lost battle. Our moral advantage, still vast and obvious, is not a liability, and we should strengthen and expand it. Like our dependence on reason, it is a strategic strength, and it shores up our legitimacy.