Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interim musings, continued

A friend recently had a houseguest, an old pal who has exacerbated a host of health problems by becoming grossly obese. Taking a set of native flaws and adding to them by their own choice and behaviors. My friend reflected that everyone really has their own “200 pound belly”, though often not so obvious. Sadly true. Reminds me that, with very few exception, it’s the rare misfortune of mine that I have not been the author of.

Ethos anthropo daimon, said Heraclitus. A man's character is his fate.

Without my laptop, I was forced to read an actual book. What was for most of my life a compulsive practice is now a rarity. I still read compulsively, but on a screen, not on paper.

I re-opened The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom, 1987. A homosexual man with a deep knowledge and love of Western civilization, Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein. He can think and he can write.
He shows how deeply relativism, in the paradoxical service of an absolutist and dogmatic political agenda, has become the default mind of American youth. The very same people who will clock you for being judgmental or Eurocentric will nail you to the wall for any slight against the code of racial or gender orthodoxy.

One of his many bull’s eyes pointed out the difference between the socialization of men in classical education and the current post-60’s liberalism.

The traditional order accepted the human and masculine passions of ambition for glory and rule as natural and tried to train and order them; the current Boomer regime of feminist “histrionic moralism” requires the demonization, repression and extinction of these natural drives. At least in men.

And he shows the untrained and denied power drive hidden underneath the egalitarian rhetoric. Good stuff.

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