Happy Remembrances: November 2007: Archives

November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving Wish genre: Happy Remembrances & Rhyme-N-Reason & Snapshot Thoughts

I'm not a big fan of the way we celebrate holidays...especially the focus that is placed on the commercial aspects. In my own way, I have made them all about a celebration of people I have known who are no longer here. Thanksgiving for me is about my friend Mike who died on October 27, 1995. The following poem is from a card Mike made before he died that he asked me to send out on Thanksgiving if it turned out that he didn't live that long.

Maybe that's when I began to make holidays about the dead. In making cards to send out even after he died, Mike kept giving of himself even though he was no longer with us. His insightful gesture captured the essence of remembrance...found in our ability to give and receive even though we no longer share the same existence...but all the while sharing something far more valuable...our humanity. I am thankful to have known Mike and so many others who have left this world and I celebrate them all each day.

Fountain in Auckland - 2005

A man searched for a gift to give
To a troubled, divided and despairing world
A token to radiate his unfailing hope
For better things, for better times;
A gift to becalm the tormented soul
Of a world suffering from its own inhumanities
A gesture, perhaps, to give a voice
To his fervent yearning for a mood of peace;
Something to express what he could not say:
That universal love for man must survive.
Yet he found no gift, no token, no gesture -
Nothing in the shops, nothing in the faces,
And wept at the futility of his search,
Not knowing he had it - the gift of himself.

Daniel DiRito | November 21, 2007 | 8:19 PM | link | Comments (0)
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November 13, 2007

Norman Mailer's Prescient Thoughts On The Iraq War genre: Happy Remembrances & Just Jihad & Polispeak

While seeking a fitting tribute to Norman Mailer given his recent death, I stumbled upon the following video clips from his appearance on Charlie Rose in early 2003. On the show, Mailer provides a reasoned analysis of the merits and pitfalls of invading Iraq. Mailer's comments harken to the concerns raised by Niall Ferguson in this prior Thought Theater posting.

Both men have a keen understanding of the objectives of the Bush Doctrine...though they approach it from different perspectives. Ferguson offers the views of a studied historian and Mailer provides the perspective of a prescient thinker capable of drawing insightful and informative connections frequently missed by those in the mainstream. Notwithstanding, both men appear to reach the same conclusion...a conclusion which suggests that the active exportation of democracy is likely a futile effort. Both men also touch upon the flawed logic behind the initiation of preemptive military actions in response to perceived fears.

Mailer's words in 2003 ought to instruct us well into the future and offer an important warning about the risks of losing the nobility of democracy and acceding to the lure of fascism. His comment that an invasion of Iraq is apt to be the start of something that we cannot finish without changing the nature of American democracy may someday be hailed as one of the most omniscient and prevailing perceptions offered in modern American history.

His anticipatory thoughts on Iraq with regard to it's position in the world political equation are astounding and when they are compared with the logic of the neoconservatives, his amazing visionary capabilities are illuminated. His conclusion about the nature of democracy is nothing short of brilliant and a rational review of the status of our efforts to export it to Iraq highlight the very concerns Mailer raised when he suggested that the Bush administration ultimately sought to change the nature of American life. Nearly five years after Mailer offered these thoughts, one would be hard pressed to refute his hypothesis or the ample evidence of an eroding democracy at home which exists to support it.

Flawed as he was, the magnitude of Mailer's life...and what was lost with his death...will undoubtedly become more evident with the passage of time.

Norman Mailer Discusses Iraq With Charlie Rose - Part One

Norman Mailer Discusses Iraq With Charlie Rose - Part Two

Tagged as: Charlie Rose, Democracy, George W. Bush, Iraq, Neoconservatism, Niall Ferguson, Norman Mailer

Daniel DiRito | November 13, 2007 | 10:27 AM | link | Comments (0)
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