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Archive for June 22nd, 2005

A New Anatomy of Melancholy

I found a new blog today, A New Anatomy of Melancholy, although it’s not so new. It goes back to 2003, although there aren’t nearly as many entries as I’d like.

Back in April of 2003, David Lettvin, the blogger wrote this as part of what can be seen as a statement of policy:

I am tired and I am sad. I look at politics and I see children playing “king of the castle.” I look at religion and I think of Aesop’s fable of the dog in the manger. I am weary of those who know they are right, and I can find no trace of those who know that they may not be.

I am disturbed at the ease with which people stop thinking in order to follow a leader. I am disgusted by the cant of art critics who praise for fear that condemnation will show that they know nothing of their subject.

Discussion has been abolished in favor of certainty. There is no conversation, there is no thought. The new mantra is, “if you do not think as I do, you are wrong.” I have no problem with those who are passionate about their ideas. I am disheartened by those who think that there should be no opposition.

It is so easy to think that you are the only one who knows the truth. It is even easier to think that the person you idealize is the only one who knows it. Blind faith allows no argument. It is too easy to take refuge in the evangelical argument, “If you do not believe as I have been told to, you are damned.”

I place the blame on the complexities of modern society. There is so much to know, so much to understand. Blind faith removes the complexity. It is too easy to dismiss other world views. It is too hard to think for ones self. It is so easy to discard logic. Logic is messy, faith is easy.

(There is no permalink to this one.)

He’s also written some very funny variations of songs from West Side Story, such as this one, to the tune of “Officer Krupke”:

Dear Private Lynndie England,
You gotta understand,
Our faith will not be shattered
Nor vanish on command.
Our mothers all are wailing,
Our fathers all are dead.
Golly Allah, shot right through the head!
Gee whiz, Private England, we’re very upset;
Your country blocked the food and meds we needed to get.
We ain’t no Al Qaeda,
We’re misunderstood.
But still on our head there is a hood. There’s a hood!

Or this one, to the tune of “Maria”:

Scalia …
I just met a judge named Scalia.
And suddenly I find
The Bill of Rights’ not signed
For me.
Scalia
Say it loud and it sounds like braying,
Say it soft and you’d better be praying.
Scalia
He’ll keep me from straying
Scaliaaaaaah …

Go check him out.

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