Drooling on the Pillow

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fermenting Souls 

The New York Sun runs little snippits (I'm sure there's a newpaper word for them) on the bottom of the op ed page. Quotes -- words of wisdom, sometimes several of them on a common theme. Today I read:
The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature
imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of
life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the
character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the
ambition thick sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness.

John Keats (1795-1821)
I've imagined myself a poet all my life and mark my progress by noting that when Keats was my age, he'd been dead for thirty years.

Although you would normally define mawkishness as mere sentimentality, I take Keats to mean it in a slightly larger sense of a passionate attachment to uncertain principles. Imagination, after all, whether applied to rhymes or political thinking, is just the minds way of marking the path ahead of you.

If you can't defend your position in any other way, passion and commitment will often be employed to mark, instead, your sincerity. In this way I've seen Islamists and Palestinians formulate the notion that they must be in the right because they are willing to destroy themselves for the cause.

In the same way Senator Durbin and the microcephs at Amnesty International acknowledge that their remarks do not correspond with reality yet stridently refuse to back away from them. There's a larger truth there and if you don't believe us, well, just look how angry we are.

There's a lot of important issues that require mature conversation, but too many of the players (and certainly not just leftists, terrorists and Democrats) have never evolved from Keat's middle period of confusing suffering with rights.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com Listed on BlogShares