Monday, August 28, 2006

Healthy Criticism of Criticism

"Criticism is one of the most heady luxuries in which the human being can indulge. It gives a sense of power. There is a sense of rising above. It can tear down in a moment a system of organization that took a thousand patient acts to build. Perhaps it needed tearing down, but has criticism put even a faltering substitute in its place?

It is perfectly true that old ways are often worn out, perhaps even overrated from the start, but to give them a kick and watch them totter is not enough. This is the immature responsibility of childhood. All this does is feed the ego without creating a new good.

We are becoming experts at seeing wrong in the past, in our neighbors, in ourselves, with political systems, economic systems, religious systems, political figures, stuffed-shirt artists, poor workmen, and poorly designed and constructed machinery. One of the clear symptoms of a degenerating sense of value and security in life is the manner in which many try to salvage some shred of self-respect by criticizing anything and everything. . . .

Criticism cannot be the answer. Somewhere society must find the means of reassuring itself of the dignity of life, the value of conscientious effort, and the truth of the presence and worth of the inner man" (Don E. Stevens, Man's Search for Certainty [New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1980).

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Sadness, The Gladness

The sadness
Of consciousness
Is madness
For free!
The gladness
Of lonesomeness
Is radness
Beyond me!

Friday, August 04, 2006

As If (a double rant)

As if nothing is arbitrary.
As if everything is arbitrary.
As if the world is obvious.
As if the world is not obvious.
As if you are what you say.
As if you are not what you say.
As if things are not under question.
As if everything is under question.
As if you have a right.
As if you do not have a right.
As if you made yourself.
As if you did not make yourself.
As if nothing can be done.
As if something can be done.
(As if this is interesting.
As if this is not interesting.)
As if everything is beautiful.
As if nothing is beautiful.
As if you are being honest.
As if you are not being honest.
As if thought comes from somewhere.
As if thought comes from nowhere.
As if nothing is missing.
As if everything is missing.
As if things are other than what they are.
As if things are only what they are.
As if you are in charge.
As if you are not in charge.
As if there is no end.
As if there is an end.