Saturday, July 07, 2007

Wisdom from without

I was just reading the Saturday London Independent, always something to look forward to, when I came across a meditation on the annual Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Extravaganza, just completed on July 4. I saw the words "freak show" in one of the opening paragraphs and was tempted to turn away, because the Dog contest IS a little on the freakish side, maybe not the Nation's Finest Hour. But I'm glad I continued, because the writer went on to deliver himself of this:

"And then there's that ultimate truth about the US that makes the place so fascinating and unpredictable: its ability simultaneously to display everything and the opposite of everything. For every puritan there's a hedonist; for every warmonger there's a peacenik - and for all the system's economic incentives to have the population wolf down junk food even as continents starve, there are those seeking equally vigorously to reshape those incentives, to have us eat less, and eat the right things."

I think there's a lot of perspective in this little riff. This society and culture remain impossible to characterize definitively...they keep slipping through your fingers, keep right on transforming. They are a dynamic entity, capable of delivering surprises even now, when we can't bear to watch the US leadership on television or read its statements in the newspaper.

I'm oddly buoyed, even in this most dispiriting time.


Blogger Carol Gee said...

And now I am "oddly buoyed," too! Just read your Little Gem post, and found it brilliant. Thanks, again, Buckaroo, for great new thoughts.

6:49 AM  

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