Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wittier than Homer?

Who among us can regard it as
practical, to ignore The New
York Times? Every now and a-
gain, mind, the Times has to
concede that it has come up
with a doozy of a malaprop,
such as salivating for inva-
sion of Iraq, yet portraying
no cumulative therapeutic 
effect of these serial self-
reprimands. How disappoint-
ing, even as a standard of

Did you know, that in all
of Homer there is no occur-
rence of the conception of
battlefield destruction in
which the English-speaking
peoples, particularly ours,
excel with such rote and
raptured relish? And he was
no ninny, either, no skin-
flint when it came to the
seductions of force and the
extracts of its application.

A poor liar, this merchan-
diser of myth, he did not
stoop to that ugliest obscen-
ity of which our christened
poets have been capable. You
will find it in all its shin-
ing treachery, ornamenting a
slapdash attempt at respon-
sibility, in the exactly last
word of the paper's editorial
of the day. What a Collect of
self-seduction this exposes,
in the language's debasement:

And, if nothing else, we owe it to our grandparents
 and great-grandparents and the millions of others 
who suffered and died on the battlefields of Europe 
not to forget their awesome sacrifice. 

We watch war. This admission
must be at fault, for leav-
ing us with no integrity re-
maining. As we shun thought
of how to justify this de-
praved and desperate dalli-
ance, it's expedient to a-
dorn its imagery with lies,
lest we come to know it. We
find our ease in sacrifice.

Serge Schmemann
  for the Editorial Board
The Guns of August
The New York Times
7 August 2014©

No comments:

Post a Comment