Monday, June 18, 2007

Too big. Just. Too. Big.

That's how I feel about the quote below. I first read it in an excerpt from Mark Danner's book The Secret Way to War (about the infamous "Downing Street Memo") in The Washington Post. Danner first got the quote from journalist Ron Suskind, who published it in an article in the NYTimes Magazine which I previously linked to in a different post. The quote was given to Suskind by an "unnamed Administration official", who Danner claims is actually Karl Rove. This quote has been... well, actually, just go ahead and read it first:
“The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…. and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’”
So I first read this about 2 years ago, and it has never really left my head since then. This quote was probably one of the reasons I started this blog several months ago. Since that time, I've gotten a lot of things off my chest, but one of the things I haven't yet done is post my thoughts about this. The reason is just what the headline says. It is just too big. I can't organize my thoughts about it, or even list them all.

Maybe someday I will be able to. But now, having read this, I don't think I probably ever will. The link is to a commencement address delivered very recently by the same Mark Danner to the University of California at Berkeley Department of Rhetoric. It is rather long, but essential. And it is so thorough, so eloquent and forceful, that I feel it will be very difficult to find anything whatsoever to add to it.

Now, where's that "DELETE BLOG" button I always see and am afraid I'm accidentally going to click?


TXsharon said...

So far, they have had great success. :(

Awesome job on Liberally Lean. Just awesome.

HHL said...

Thanks txsharon, I appreciate the compliment. It is really frustrating over there sometimes. I find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that some people, who are obviously intelligent, marry their worldview to people (or parties, etc.) in such a way as to completely negate their ability to think about ideas in a rational (or "reality-based") way. This appears to prevent any real learning or growth, and I can't understand why someone would want to foreclose that possibility -- even though it, by definition, entails admitting you are wrong once in a while.

TXsharon said...

I wonder if all those people really believe what they type or if they are just baiting for the entertainment. I guess I just find it hard to believe that they could be serious.

Take today's post--Bu$h a moral man? Since when?

I kind of wish I hadn't clicked on your site. That quote which I had forgotten is now haunting me. What the hell happened and when did it start happening? I haven't read the whole speech yet but I will.

I can't get out of Wise County fast enough. My beautiful land is for sale. I'll soon to be a Wise County expatriate. What's next I do not know.