Monday, June 02, 2003

Just too Much

I'd intended on providing a little commercial break from the belated tale of my travels of old by scavenging through my usual array of news and commentary, but there's just too much. But, Brad -- you say -- there's no war going on, CNN doesn't know what to do with itself, it's a slow news month! Hooey! From the relaxation of FCC rules (Neal Pollack is especially good on this) to the Christian terrorist / nutter / bomber Eric Rudolph's arrest in North Carolina to well-intentioned if equally nutty G-8 Conference protesters to the general daily disingenuous, tax-cutting shenanigans of our fuckwit of a President ("I'll bet you're the kinda guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I'll be watching you") to a staggeringly high death toll of southern India's latest heat wave to a very unpopular war that's still killing U.S. soldiers to . . . well, you get the idea. There's lots going on. Too much. There are bloggers far better, and who have far more time, than I to equip you with the talking points. Many of them are linked on the right-hand side of this page -- all of them (yeah, I know some are dead links, I really need to get on that) are worth checking out. In the meantime, I'll take leave from this post with a quote. A commercial break, we might say:

By exercising great and manifold skill we manage to produce a dazzling deception by the aid of which we are capable of living alongside the most uncanny things and remaining perfectly calm by it, because we recognise these frozen grimaces of the universe as a table or a chair, a shout or an outstretched arm, a speed or a roast chicken. We are capable of living between one open chasm of the sky above our heads and one slightly camouflaged chasm of the sky beneath our feet, feeling ourselves as untroubled on the earth as in a room with the door locked. We know that life ebbs away both out into the inhuman distances of interstellar space and down into the inhuman construction of the atom-world; but in between there is a stratum of forms that we treat as the things that make up the world, without letting ourselves be in the least disturbed by the fact that this signifies nothing but a preference given to the sense-data received from a certain middle distance. Such an attitude lies considerably below the potentiality of our intellect, but precisely this proves that our feelings play a large part in all this. And in fact the most important intellectual devices produced by mankind serve the preservation of a constant state of mind, and all the emotions, all the passions in the world are a mere nothing compared to the vast but utterly unconscious effort that mankind makes in order to maintain its exalted peace of mind. (Robert Musil, Mann ohne Eigenschaften [The Man Without Qualities])