Posts Tagged ‘in memoriam’
Ted Kennedy died last night and while I recognize the passing of a significant political figure and legislator I find myself fairly apathetic towards his death.
I think I feel this way towards most politicians. A couple of months back when President Barack Obama was inaugurated I watched coverage of people who were swept up by all of the emotion and energy of this figure. And as I said above about Ted Kennedy, I recognize the significance of someone like President Obama, but I have never been moved to tears or to such a degree that I feel the need to attend a speech or a rally.
I think that I am much too jaded for the world of politics and I distrust the politicians that represent me. Do not misjudge me, I vote and pay attention to the news and listen to the topics and issues that affect me. But I find myself unable to be moved emotionally in any way by most politicians.
Writers and authors are figures in our culture that inspire me. The deaths of David Foster Wallace, Susan Sontag, Arthur C. Clarke; these are the types of figures I tend to feel great emotion for, frequently because their passing is often overlooked or quickly forgotten and so too their contributions to literature, media, and culture.
But this should not be surprising as my blog focuses primarily on authors and writers that I’ve read and that I find inspiring. I have devoted my life towards English Literature and so I focus more on these figures.
Still, there is something very uninspiring to me about so many of the politicians I see before me. I will note their significant contributions towards society and history, but I have not been moved by such figures, at least not yet.
It is easy to fixate on Michael Jackson’s passing or Ted Kennedy when there is 24/7 news cycle of these figures, but a writer like Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn gets a few days and then the world moves on.
I figure Ted Kennedy should last towards the week’s end. Hmm, how sad that the media coverage a person receives reflects our current societies value of that person in our culture.
I’ve not had the chance to read any Frank McCourt but I’ve listened to a few interviews about his thoughts on writing and teaching and someone who had that much passion for teaching children will certainly be missed.
“You have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. It is your house of treasure and no one in the world can interfere with it.” – Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) –
This next statement makes me sound like I’m a really old man, which I know is not true, but I was chatting with Erin earlier and we both realized we’re getting to that point where many of our favorite artists are getting close to passing: Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, etc. A whole generation of artists around this age, while they’re not ancient, they are not so young as well. Kind of depressing. I realize that people are constantly dying but I’m edging close to 30 and many of the artists I grew up with who were in their prime, and many who are now well past their prime, they’re just getting really old and are going to start to die off and its just fucked up to think about. What a depressing post. Ah well, enjoy some Leonard Cohen:
Harold Pinter, Britain’s top contemporary dramatist died yesterday at the age of 78. R.I.P. my friend you will be missed.
When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us. –Art, Truth & Politics: The Nobel Lecture (2005)-
Pinter was best know for his plays, including his 1960 breakthrough production The Caretaker, The Dumb Waiter and The Birthday Party. But he was also a screenwriter, actor and director and in recent years a vociferous campaigner against human rights abuses, including the occupation of Iraq by western armed forces.