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August 06, 2003
What Rough Beast?*

Again, I think we have to ask ourselves, is this who we want to be?

Considering the failure of this country to win this place as a free and open society based upon the production of useful, innovative, life-affirming technology, I'd say no. As this column makes clear, we've built our 'hyper-power' status on the ability to deliver death anywhere in the world.

I have one of those insulated holders for bottled water. It's sitting next to me right now and I can see the words on the side.

This is not the life I ordered.

From the second section of the column on, this is a compelling discussion on the nature of international power and the forces that exist, or arise, to balance it.


The Second Coming (W.B. 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: somewhere in sands of the desert
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
Reel 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?

(Note: In spite of the biblical flavor of this poem, I don't believe the "second coming" is at hand. I don't believe in those things. However, I do, however, believe that 'what goes around, comes around' and I think our hubris is headed for a fall.)

Posted by AnneZook at 08:05 AM