"The stars are threshed, and the souls are threshed from their husks."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

And I'm not the first to cry in my bed or in my beer

"I think because our zealots subscribe to the conversion myth, they can only experience virtuousness as difference. They do not really want to enlist or persuade-- they want to maintain difference. I am not the first to note their contempt for the art of suasion. Certainly they are not open to other points of view. If it is true that the shaping impusle behind all the stylized language and all this pietistic behavior is the desire to maintain social distinctions, then the moral high ground that in other generations was held by actual reformers, activists, and organizers trying to provoke debate and build consensus, is now held by people with no such intentions, no notion of what progress would be, no impulse to test their ideas against public reaction as people who do not to accomplish reform. It is my bitter thought that they may have made a fetish of responsibility, a fetish of concern, of indignation."

--Marilynne Robinson

Summing up what I have felt about many people and places of late. Special thanks to Ms. Neher for providing the book.


At 2:08 PM, Blogger Anna said...

"Though etymologically 'morality' means something like social custom, as we use it it means the desire to govern oneself, expressed as behavior. People who attempt this fail, and learn in the course of failing that to act well, even to know what it is to act well, is a great struggle and a mystery."

I'm glad you like the book. This was one of my favorite essays.


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