I am a student. I study things. I’ve been working my way through matters as diverse as Basque goat herding skills to what automobile company manufactured the most powerful in line 6 cylinder engine.
These are interesting if you are interested. The answer is 405 horsepower for the motor. It was a British sports car company- TVR- that concocted this record setter.
I also learned that there was an Australian Chrysler motor that never came toAmericathat made 365 southern hemispheric horsepower. This must have been a wicked fun motor to mash the throttle to if you get your fun from acceleration.
The thing you may or may not know is that the inline six cylinder motor is by its very design prone to running smoothly. It is anything but like our politics right now.
The Basque are great herders. I am particularly fond of their cheese making skills. Better still I can afford to eat their finely crafted goat cheeses.
The variety and breadth of man’s inventions are quite remarkable. What is more remarkable is when we hit on a good thing. Improvement is always possible.
I stumbled upon a razor sharp awakening today in my reading. From Norman Mailer and I quote, “One should not live with the given when it is vapid and vaguely immoral.”
This is about an artist’s duty. The animating notion in this sentence is to speak up and speak out. If something has become lifeless it is our duty to reignite our fires and reboot life. It is our ‘inner Zorba’ that must get off the sofa of boredom and dance.
I think the “vaguely immoral” part of this exhortation is hugely resonant with the events of this day and era. The wheels came flying off our collective economic bus and the streets of life are littered with the carnage.
Moneyed interests might be able to afford slick public relationships firms to get their message out about what good citizens they are. Lobbyists might hustle up to Capital Hill and leaven the politicians with timely contributions. And their sympathizers in the media can orchestrate a defense for the indefensible.
One thing they can’t do is stop creativity. Artists often visualize a better path, prescribing a more just and fair way forward. I’m not just concerned about the truly poor I am truly concerned about anyone who is not truly concerned about the truly poor.
You start hollowing out your soul at your own peril. Hiding your money in offshore bank accounts is a step in that direction. Kicking money up to the fat cats while you hollow out support for the weak won’t win you a pass through the pearly gates. It is explicit, graphic, and small. You can encourage a better self or you can cultivate a smaller self. So, we pick, we choose, we can only really be one kind of person, even though all of us can fall prey to this other beast within ourselves. The ultimate fact of a good decent human life is that we must finally reject the least parts of who we are because we can’t be both.