Moulton Lava

Moultonic Musings

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Location: New England, United States

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Of FDR's Four Freedoms, the one that is most problematic today is the Freedom from Fear.

There cannot be Liberty when a people is enmeshed in the grip of fear.

When I meet someone older than myself, I ask them if the current levels of fear that pervade our national psyche are at an all-time high. Without exception, I am told that these are the darkest times in modern memory.

There are a number of everyday fears that psychologists speak of. They include Fear of Boredom, Fear of Failure, Fear of Abandonment, and Fear of Humiliation. For much of our lifetime, we were able to subdue the most dreaded nightmare of all — Fear of Annihilation. Since 9/11, that one has returned front and center to the American Psyche.

But there is another fear that seems more ubiquitous, more all-encompassing.

And that is Fear of Disappointment.

If there is one dread that never fails to show up, it's Fear of Disappointment.

No need to make an appointment. Fear of Disappointment is always there, like it or not.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Beloved Alienation

There is a nagging theme running through my mind that seems ripe for discussion.

It has to do with Acceptance/Rejection, Participation/Withdrawal, Approval/Disapproval, Hope/Despair, Hero/Villain, Winner/Loser, Inclusion/Exclusion, Insider/Outsider, Popularity/Loneliness.

In a word, Alienation.

The opposite of Alienation is Belovedness. When I read novels like Harry Potter, I note that almost every character is battered back and forth along this axis (or one of its many variants).

Nor is this theme especially unique to the characters in the Harry Potter series. It's a universal and oft-recurring theme in both drama and real life. And especially so in Politics.

And I daresay it's one that everyone struggles with.

It occurs to me that the impetus for this zig-zag excursion is masked beneath demonstrations of Leadership and Power. There is a fine line between Benevolent Leadership and Corrupt Power. One man's Beloved and Benevolent Leader is another man's Odious and Malignant Tyrant.

It is not so easy to neatly divide the world into Good and Evil. There are far too many axes along which to measure emotionally affecting degrees of Benevolence and Malignancy.

Perhaps these notions are best expressed in poetry, literature, and music.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

How George Bush Got Pissed, Got Wild, and Got a War

OK, so the title isn't original, and I don't have anything original to say on the subject, either.

I'm afraid, dear reader, that you will have to recall from the misty depths of your unconscious memory some pithy lines of previously published prose to flesh out this pretentious item of political punditry.