I stopped caring about my community, my neighbors, and those I serve. I stopped caring today because a once noble profession has become despised, hated, distrusted, and mostly unwanted. I stopped caring today because parents refuse to teach their kids right from wrong and blame us when they are caught breaking the law. Moms hate us in their schools because we frighten them and remind them of the evil that lurks in the world.
This story has many variants, religious and secular, scientific, economic and mystic. It is the story of human centrality, of a species destined to be lord of all it surveys, unconfined by the limits that apply to other, lesser creatures.
What makes this story so dangerous is that, for the most part, we have forgotten that it is a story.
Humans have always lived by stories, and those with skill in telling them have been treated with respect and, often, a certain wariness. With stories, with art, with symbols and layers of meaning, we stalk those elusive aspects of reality that go undreamed of in our philosophy.
The storyteller weaves the mysterious into the fabric of life, lacing it with the comic, the tragic, the obscene, making safe paths through dangerous territory.
Yet as the myth of civilisation deepened its grip on our thinking, borrowing the guise of science and reason, we began to deny the role of stories, to dismiss their power as something primitive, childish, outgrown. Religion, that bag of myths and mysteries, birthplace of the theatre, was straightened out into a framework of universal laws and moral account-keeping.
The dream visions of the Middle Ages became the nonsense stories of Victorian childhood. In the age of the novel, stories were no longer the way to approach the deep truths of the world, so much as a way to pass time on a train journey.
It is hard, today, to imagine that the word of a poet was once feared by a king. Yet for all this, our world is still shaped by stories. Through television, film, novels and video games, we may be more thoroughly bombarded with narrative material than any people that ever lived. What is peculiar, however, is the carelessness with which these stories are channelled at us — as entertainment, a distraction from daily life, something to hold our attention to the other side of the ad break.
There is little sense that these things make up the equipment by which we navigate reality. On the other hand, there are the serious stories told by economists, politicians, geneticists and corporate leaders.
These are not presented as stories at all, but as direct accounts of how the world is. Choose between competing versions, then fight with those who chose differently. The ensuing conflicts play out on early morning radio, in afternoon debates and late night television pundit wars. And yet, for all the noise, what is striking is how much the opposing sides agree on: So we find ourselves, our ways of telling unbalanced, trapped inside a runaway narrative, headed for the worst kind of encounter with reality.
In such a moment, writers, artists, poets and storytellers of all kinds have a critical role to play. Creativity remains the most uncontrollable of human forces: Words and images can change minds, hearts, even the course of history. Their makers shape the stories people carry through their lives, unearth old ones and breathe them back to life, add new twists, point to unexpected endings.
It is time to pick up the threads and make the stories new, as they must always be made new, starting from where we are. Mainstream art in the West has long been about shock; about busting taboos, about Getting Noticed.
This has gone on for so long that it has become common to assert that in these ironic, exhausted, post-everything times, there are no taboos left to bust. But there is one. The last taboo is the myth of civilisation.
It is built upon the stories we have constructed about our genius, our indestructibility, our manifest destiny as a chosen species.They must work hard toward inventing a method to help each individual student “be all they can be!” Teachers must try to stimulate students to create a hunger for learning and to expand their success in life.
Tomorrow’s Future Essay it is true, today’s children are tomorrow’s future; but how we choose to raise our children.
The main problem with writers like Joe (and to be fair, that’s a Tiny group) is that they destroy the dreams of the rest of us, I’ve always been a pretty good writer and at times I think maybe I should start blogging and try to build an audience, but then you read a Posnanski piece like this and you realise, why bother, I’d just be wasting everyone’s time, why pollute the world with my.
Let us live as Blessed Mother Teresa, who said with holy wisdom, "I do not pray for success. I ask for faithfulness." I ask for faithfulness." This should be the prayer of our hearts.
By Lt Daniel Furseth. Today, I stopped caring about my fellow man. I stopped caring about my community, my neighbors, and those I serve. I stopped caring today because a once noble profession has become despised, hated, distrusted, and mostly unwanted. I was talking recently to a friend who teaches at MIT.
His field is hot now and every year he is inundated by applications from would-be graduate students. COMMUNIQUE #3 Haymarket Issue "I NEED ONLY MENTION in passing that there is a curious reappearance of the Catfish tradition in the popular Godzilla cycle of films which arose after the nuclear chaos unleashed upon Japan.