The Second Coming (Yeats)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

-William Butler Yeats, 1919

Progress?

It's not a sofa, it's a KLIPPAN.

It’s not a sofa, it’s a KLIPPAN.

(This is a continuation of a thought, it started here.)

So then, progress.  As I was asking before, who doesn’t like to make progress?

But when I pull that IKEA furniture out of those nifty flat boxes, I know I’m building a couch (or a SCHWERGENKLEIN, or something).  I know where I’m supposed to be going, even if it takes me a while to get there.  Ok, a long while.  And a few drinks.

But what is our modern progressive movement building?  What are we progressing towards?

The two great arms of the modern Democratic party are encircling America at this point, and I have no doubt at all that it was intended to be a hug.  But while the one arm gives me a gentle pat full of tolerance, non-discrimination, of letting me do pretty much whatever I’d like to do with full government and legal sanction, the other is squeezing way too tight and micro-managing my behavior, right down to how much sugar I eat, because I certainly can’t be trusted to make my own decisions responsibly.

And here is where it all breaks down, because somewhere in this contradictory mix we think we’re making progress.  And while I do agree that some things should be different than they are, perhaps we should pull out those instructions, count the screws [insert political joke here], and get a clear picture of what we’re building before we start with the hammering and the sawing.

Just a thought.  Now I need a drink.

name

Even though the moment passed me by, I still can’t turn away
All the dreams you never thought you’d lose got tossed along the way
Letters that you never meant to send lost or thrown away

Now we’ve grown up orphans that never knew their names
We don’t belong to no one that’s a shame
But you could hide beside me maybe for awhile
and I won’t tell no one your name
And I won’t tell ’em your name

Scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far
And did you lose yourself way out there, did you get to be a star?
Don’t it make you sad to know that life is more than who we are?
Grew up way too fast and now there’s nothing to believe
Reruns all become our history
A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio,
And I won’t tell no one your name
I won’t tell ’em your name

I think about you all the time, but I don’t need the same
It’s lonely where you are come back down
And I won’t tell ’em your name

-Goo Goo Dolls, “Name” (A Boy Named Goo)

all that is gold does not glitter

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings