Sunday, December 28, 2008

Complexity, Paradox, and Hope

Deborah says it better than I could:

...what I am hoping to see on the 20th is a vision of our collective spiritual mind-scape in which it's clear that everyone wants the world to be a better place, and yet the only mental tools we collectively have to do that are tools of destruction, of hammering complexity into brittle certainties. And I am hoping that by putting the two halves together and winding up with a total complexity, we wind up seeing a door to allows us to collectively comprehend complexity in the future.

I might be disappointed, but I am going to hold out hope because I think that this is the most important thing we could possibly be doing right now. We aren't going to get anywhere if we can't inhabit the world as it actually is--in terms of its profound complexity and irreconcilability and connectedness. Every time we create a construct that allows us to think that the world is simple or understandable, we are actively breaking something--shutting off understanding of something else. Defining the parameters of our minds and refusing to let in more. This has real physical consequences outside ourselves. We can't keep breaking things, but at the same time all the tools we have are the tools these men offer: lenses that focus one true or beautiful or correct thing to the point of oversimplification. We all do this. We all have beautiful smashing tools that tell us not how the world actually is, but how we want the world to be. So that means that we are all at this really funny crossroads: we have to learn how to stop breaking and hammering by selectively breaking and hammering our way out of the habit.


Pretty Lady said...

Did I go to Times Square???!!! Are you KIDDING???!!!

It was eighteen degrees in Times Square last night, I am 32 weeks pregnant, and can hardly stand for five minutes without sinking into the nearest rocking chair, much less in Times Square for six to eight hours. Plus I loathe large crowds. Times Square on New Years' Eve is my worst nightmare. I wouldn't consider going even if I were in tip-top aerobic condition and the weather was balmy.

You will have to do it for me. Go, and tell me all about it. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Magic. A change of tone and heart in the Rethuglicosphere:
An Inaugural Poem-
A new day's dawn
is a-dawning
over a new day.

You can see it.
Touch it.
Feel it.
Taste it.
Intuit it.
Guess it.

Things are different now.
Change has come.

It's as if AMERICA woke up and realized,
it had worn the same pair of boxers
for 5 straight days
during a Vegas bender.

And it was time,
time to change
from the worn,
the sweaty,
the stinky,
the skid-marked,
And replace that history with
a fresh, clean pair
of y-front jockeys.

With extra ball support in the crotch.
Because America with Obama at the helm
Obama's loving hands
will provide the comfort and support
we need
to pull it off.

Yes, a new day's dawn
is a-dawning
over a new day.

It's all around you.
It's in your face.
It won't let you be comfortable
with your flaws.
It will make you work
to exorcise
the post-racial ghosts
that haunt
your typically callow and pallid souls.

For what is Obama,
if not
a healer,
a lover,
a father,
a giver,
a mentor,
a leader,
a man who is so much more
a man.
A filter of apathy and
A filler of souls.

They say that some institutions are too big to fail.
Like Detroit's Big 3.
I say Obama is too American to fail.
And Kenyan too.
We can't allow America or Kenya to fail, can we?
Because what would that say about us?
That we care more about one than the other?
Why do you hate Africa so?
I bet you didn't even watch Live Aid.

America is about
looking to the future with
more hope
a hopeful attitude
that expresses

And it's about
change that changes
the things that need
other changes
changed things
for those
who measure
by change.

Yes, a new day's dawn
is a-dawning over a
new day.

It's a day rife with promise.
A day rife with expectations.
Millions of Americans
line the National Mall.
Flags waving,
faces smiling,
braving the cold,
and the traffic,
and each others company.
Expanding their carbon footprint
for nothing more than the silent
unspoken prayer
that they
shall be a part of history
if only as a footnote,
because as great as he is Obama
can't possibly satisfy them all.
Of course he can.
In fact,
Yes, HE can.

A new day's dawn is
over a new day.

And while there are
those among us
who will say that
we don't deserve a man like
I'm here to tell you
indeed we do.

We need him to deign to lead us.
Now more than ever.
Because the apocalypse approaches.
According to the Mayan calendar.
December 21, 2012.

But with Obama at the helm,
I'm willing to bet a new day's dawn
will be a-dawning
over a new day
on December 22nd.

And then won't you feel silly
for having ever doubted
the intrinsic, extrinsic,
power of
a solid
baseline jumpshot.

Yes, a new day's dawn
is a-dawning over
a new day.

I'm standing in the light.
Trying hard,
to delay the encroaching night.
Because my soul needs saving
my country too,
And I don't want to shortchange
our President
the time he needs to
see the job through.

Yes, a new dawn's day is
a-dawning over
a new day.

Things are different now.
Change has come.

Anonymous said...

And more:
I realize that there has been a lot of divisiveness between Republicans and Democrats for the last eight years. But let's not quibble about who supported America's enemies for political gain. Now that a Democrat has taken office, it is time for us to come together. Dissent is fine with a Republican in office, but that's all ancient history now. We are one, whether you like it or not. If you're not with us, you're against us. That's something that's only scary when a Republican says it. Democrats, being all purity and holiness, can only mean good things. Not like those horrible, evil Republicans, who should be thankful that Democrats are willing to put the extra effort into pointing out their many flaws in the name of unity. As our President said, "Don't be bamboozled. Don't buy into it."

Pretty Lady said...

Er, Anon--I kind of don't think the sentiments expressed there are entirely sincere.

Anonymous said...


I am crushed...