From One (seriously amateur) Critic to Another (world renowned, Pulitzer Prize kind)

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I also like to think about things other than my own situation (surprise!).

A friend of mine reposted the following quote from Philip Kennicott’s FaceBook page:

“After all, I am not seeking to be reconciled with worthlessness, but what I do seek is the most ruthless war…It is not a question of convincing other people and winning them over; it is a question purely and simply of extermination…”

American politics, circa 2016? Fascist leader, circa 1939? No, Richard Wagner, in 1849, in a letter to a friend and ally about the composer’s forthcoming writings on opera and society. It’s bracing re-reading Wagner’s writings, coming face-to-face with his ugliness and mental instability. But this mentality, this idea that it’s not about persuasion but victory, not about advancing an argument but defeating the enemy, exists in many fields of human endeavor, especially those that are intricately bound up with the marketplace and competition. Humiliating other people becomes more satisfying than actual success; sadism replaces the productive, emulative force within capitalism. Applied to politics, its natural end is anarchy or fascism, with the former a way station to the latter. I suppose no one is innocent of the pleasure. Even children might acknowledge that in fact it was never about staying up an hour past bedtime. It was about defeating Mom and Dad.

 

My response to her Kennicott repost:

ah, yes, humans being humans… yet somehow we always find it surprising and disappointing. I suppose it is disappointing, considering how long we have been around as a species, knowing how similar and cyclical we are. However, I do believe that we are uniquely poised at this time in history, as in no other time, to tip over into a whole new, primarily peaceful progressive era. At no other time in history have we had so many educated people of all sexes, races, beliefs, who are able to connect and communicate quickly and without many barriers. I am not suggesting that the tipping part will be easy or without serious turmoil, I do suggest that tipping over into something positive and unprecedented, is a great possibility, more so now than at any other time in history. The end ttys xo

 

 

How are you feeling about the future of the United States of America, considering the recent controversial elections?

 

Or our collective global futures?

 

I am so curious because I recognize that I live inside of a series of concentric bubbles, which can make it quite difficult to see things from other perspectives.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps. I wish I had added a response to Kennicott’s comment about children wanting to defeat Mom and Dad. I disagree with that statement. It implies that children are able to process their frustrations in terms of “other” and I do not believe that is developmentally possible in the majority of children.  Children protest bedtimes for a number of reasons – most of which can be traced to fear and being in control of themselves, not a malicious intent toward their caregiver or parent (no matter HOW FRUSTRATING we as parents experience those moments – they are NOT about US).  My further 2 cents on the matter J xo

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