I lived a good life – a hard one, but I sleep peacefully at night knowing that I have made a difference in someone’s life…
“Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
If God infact exist, then all the suffering can be measured, every tear cried can be counted, everything happens for a reason and has a meaning, and every faithful sacrifice will be remembered, for eternity. — by me
No Struggle, No Progress
Frederick Douglass, 1857
The whole history of progress of human liberty
Shows that all concessions
Yet made to her august claims
Have been born of earnest struggle.
If there is no struggle
There is no progress.
Those who profess to favor freedom,
And yet deprecate agitation,
Are men [and women] who want crops
Without plowing up the ground,
They want rain
Without thunder and lightning.
They want the ocean
Without the awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one;
Or it may be a physical one;
Or it may be both moral and physical;
But it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a demand.
It never did, and it never will.
Find out just what any people
Will quietly submit to
And you have found the exact measure
Of injustice and wrong
Which will be imposed upon them,
And these will continue till they are resisted. . .
The limits. . . are prescribed
By the endurance
Of those whom. . [are] oppress[ed].
Men [and Women] may not get all they pay for
in this world, but they pay for all they get.
If we ever get free
from the oppressions and wrong heaped on us,
we must pay for their removal.
We must do this
and if needs be
by our lives and the lives of others
War creates no absolutely new situation:
it simply aggravates the permanent human condition
so that we can no longer ignore it.
Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice.
“Human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself.
“If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun.”
We are mistaken when we compare war with normal life.
Life has never been normal.
Men are different from other species, he said, in that “they propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, conduct metaphysical arguments in condemned cells, make jokes on scaffolds, discuss the latest new poem while advancing to the walls of Quebec, and comb their hair at Thermopylae.”
Because his holy defiance rests on a deeper obedience, because he knows, as Socrates knew, that no ultimate harm can befall him, the just man is made free of the world. Baseball has its place. Banquets have their place. Jests can be made on a scaffold. He can read Dante while under a bombardment and Ezekiel in a Dodgers’ bullpen. And even when the civilization that nursed him seems to be dissolving before his eyes, he can give himself cheerfully to Padre Pio and Weird Al Yankovic and Semitic philology.
That’s when arts (science and philosophy) become truly liberal arts, they become liberating as well; they are subversive because they have refused the bribe offered to and accepted by the servile culture at large. The despot may or may not despise propositional logic, or astrophysics, or the music of Bach. He may be President for life in Romania. But what infuriates him is radical spiritual freedom, displayed by those who pursue logic or physics or Bach – precisely in their unconcern for the opinions of others and indeed for their own comfort or safety or success.
These activities of defiant detachment are not our ultimate end or telos. They may serve our damnation as easily as our deliverance. But they resemble our ultimate end in that they are pursued for their own sake and not for the sake of some ulterior good.
For people who cannot understand this, all of you also fail to understand the limitations of a pragmatic life on deeper desires and transcendental callings that we all have: work, obey, and work and then plan a little fun with your woman on the weekend in exchange for some marital-whoopees (Ã�Â¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½) — a standard ritual for a practical life. People like you actually want to be domesticated by both the capitalist and by a world of women and posers.
But this is America. Some people here want more out of life!! Why do you think people dream and sing about a one-way ticket on a west-bound train, taking them to the frontier of unbounded adventure and unfettered freedom — away from all this bureaucratic bull. These people have a love for life that cannot be suppressed by economic restraints, pragmatism, or the fear for failure. Their raw courage and passion help them overcome all obstacles and allow them to be all that they are daring to be. They have a grand vision that want to take them to a place where no man has gone before them.
Oh by the way, I’m from China: Downtown, China…