Friday, January 14, 2011

Beyond words

Though I've apparently been on a bit of a vacation from this blog, I did idly consider writing various posts on pleasant topics over the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, the impulse to not write was compounded by the general impulse to sit, eat, and drink by the fire. And since getting back to St. John's, class prep has kept me pretty insanely busy.

So it's unfortunate that I feel prompted to return to ye olde blog on a dark and disturbing subject. Since Representative Gabrielle Giffords and numerous others were shot this past Saturday by a deeply disturbed and mentally unbalanced young man in Arizona, the rhetoric and argument has saturated the blogosphere. Aside from the predictable back-and-forthing between rightwing and leftwing pundits, it has been heartening to see a significant amount of thoughtful, sober discussion.

That being said, I have attempted for the past three days or so to compose my own thoughts on the subject, and really failed entirely. And then, listening to President Obama's speech in Tucson, I just gave up—he said everything I would have wanted to say, and said it better. By several orders of magnitude. In the face of such a tragedy, he said, "We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame - but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others."


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