Friday, December 09, 2005


All this talk in the news about "Terrorism" that just doesn't seem to die away, has caused me not a little consternation. I keep thinking about all of the other more pressing issues we should be facing, from poverty to global warming, instead of preparing for a threat based on fear and paranoia. I keep thinking of the quote below from Howard's End. Although written from the personal, I think it has some merit in this situation, especially considering our current budget issues and the economy. More later.

"Looking back on the past six months, Margaret realised the chaotic nature of our daily life, and its difference from the orderly sequence that has been fabricated by historians. Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere. With infinite effort we nerve ourselves for a crisis that never comes. The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent. It assumes that preparation against danger is in itself a good, and that men, like nations, are the better for staggering through life fully armed. The tragedy of preparedness has scarcely been handled, save by the Greeks. Life is indeed dangerous, but not in the way morality would have us believe. It is indeed unmanageable, but the essence of it is not a battle. It is unmanageable because it is a romance, and its essence is romantic beauty. Margaret hoped that for the future she would be less cautious, not more cautious, than she had been in the past."

--E.M. Forster, Howard's End, Chapter 12

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