Archive for March, 2010

A Universal, Inexorable Principle

March 29, 2010

With today’s news of the arrest of nine members of a violent, right-wing “Christian” militia group, and watching the angry ride to hell that the Republican/Tea Party is taking us on, I find some comfort in this passage from the I Ching.

When misfortune has spent itself, better times return. The seed of the good remains, and it is just when the fruit falls to the ground that good sprouts anew from its seed. The superior man again attains influence and effectiveness. He is supported by public opinion as if in a carriage. But the inferior man’s wickedness is visited upon himself. His house is split apart. A law of nature is at work here. Evil is not destructive to the good alone but inevitably destroys itself as well. For evil, which lives solely by negation, cannot continue to exist on its own strength alone.

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The Health Care Bill

March 22, 2010

What I would like to see someday (not likely to happen in my lifetime, though) is a completely socialized system, where, if you have a problem, you go to a doctor and it’s taken care of, and that’s it. That’s the way it should be. Nobody should get rich from practicing medicine. The bill they ended up with was the best they were going go get—and they barely got that. So to anybody from the Left who thinks this was a sellout: Please be real. Occasionally there are times when you can make sweeping overhaul. But real progress usually comes in steps.

Progress Report #26

March 18, 2010

I finished the first pass through the second draft of Chapter Thirteen, working title “The Fool on the Hill.” While only 47 pages, it was a difficult chapter, dealing, as it does, with a nervous breakdown of sorts. Monday I start working through it a second time. In the meantime, a short trip to Eureka, where I’m actually going to give a brief reading from the previous chapter, “The Diamond-studded Highway.”

Another Turn of the Crank

March 17, 2010

One of my favorite book titles is Another Turn of the Crank by Wendell Berry. The first time I heard of it was when my literary agent, Victoria Shoemaker, mentioned it to me. It caused me to burst out laughing. I’ve yet to read this collection of essays, but I’ve read others by Berry, so I got the title immediately. The meaning is multi-layered. Berry is a farmer and inclined toward older, more mechanical ways of doing things. Actually, he prefers to do things by hand as much as possible. What made me laugh, though, was Berry’s humorous acknowledgment of himself as a relentless crank—that is, someone who is utterly appalled by the direction modern life has taken and feels an urgent need to alert others to the facts.

During my hiatus from this blog, I reread every post. I’d assumed that I’d want to edit some posts and delete a bunch of others, but that wasn’t the case. I did delete a few innocuous posts, but I changed very little. Like Berry, I’m very critical of the way things are going. I understand his desire to acknowledge his persistently critical views with some humor. As far as I’m concerned, it’s very difficult these days to avoid being critical. Still, I want to make an effort at writing more about the world I’d like to see. Those of us who oppose the materialism and egotism of the modern age need to develop a solid foundation from which to build as the present-day order crumbles—which it seems to be doing. (I meet a surprising number of people who feel that the country—the empire—is seriously fraying. I feel it constantly.)

Notwithstanding the current troubles, there are answers, and we need to be able to present them with clarity to those who are looking for them.

Hiatus Update

March 4, 2010

I’m leaving Sunday for a week-long working vacation in Seattle. (Judy is doing a film shoot, and I’ll be assisting her.) We’ll be getting back late on March 14, and I’ll start posting again soon thereafter. Until then…