Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Vermont Journal: After the Fall

These days when people tall about a fall, it’s usually in the Adamic sense employed by Arthur Miller in his piece de theatre a clef about the destruction of his relationship with Marilyn Monroe. Was it she who plucked the apple? The current civil war in America is an essay in the loss of a certain kind of innocence or belief. Talk about innocence, remember “do you want a medal or a chest to pin it on or you’re funny but your face beats you to it”?  But sometimes fall simply applies to the season of the year famed for its refulgent displays of color. Dead leaves are like supernovas and Route l00 in Vermont is the place to go if you want to experience this kind of oxymoronic dying blossoming. The brief flash of beauty is like one of those political movements for which people hold out so much hope. Generally it’s a flash in the pan of congregating and selfless brotherhood, followed by institutionalization, a process that Max Weber termed “the routinization of charisma.” The sect, according to Weber, becomes a church. After the fall comes winter, when the branches are bare and sometimes break under the weight of the snow. This is a peculiarly difficult fall for Vermont, which elected Bernie Sanders. The disappointment with politics is written on the faces of many residents who themselves are facing shorter days and darkening skies, of a not totally seasonal nature.

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