Thursday, August 27, 2009

The End of an Era

Silliman isn't usually all that sentimental, but he is today. RIP Ted Kennedy.

Sure we still have the King of the Filibuster, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, but being that he is both older than dirt and was late to the civil rights party, he's really a horse of a different color.

I won't make any grand statements for good or ill concerning politicians, but I will say that this morning I am feeling nostalgic for a bygone, Modernist sensibility concerning politics and world affairs. For all of their short-sightedness and failings of one kind and another, the so-called greatest generation approached civic life with a sincerity that not only preceded, but optimistically failed to anticipate today's universal irony. The baby-boomers had different causes, different priorities, but dammit they could still believe in something without cracking a smile or rolling their eyes.

Obama's easy skill as an orator and effortless and inspirational command of a room give me hope, but I have to wonder how long it will be before we have only leaders who have never known either true hope nor true struggle. I wonder what kind of a country we will live in when we are governed entirely by the children of comfort and privilege, by the generations that know no history and live entirely in the taken-for-granted present.

Today, in honor of Ted Kennedy and those who went on before him, I want to do something in analog; in black and white.



  1. Unfortunately todays young politicians (the 'genX'ers) horribly confuse sincerity with zealotry, especially those on the conservative side of the spectrum. But, we can thank the neocons for that, mostly.

    It's a given that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It's quite obvious that these children of privileged have not only failed to learn from it, but have dismissed it as irrelevant. They've been coddled to the point where they believe their ideas are the only correct ones, and been allowed to delude themselves into thinking that anyone who disagrees with them is unamerican.

    I'm glad I picked up bike racing. I'd _really_ suck at politics.