Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Washington Crossing the Delaware

Washington Crossing the Delaware (Larry Rivers, l953)
Were there pickpockets, liars and rapists accompanying George Washington when he crossed the Delaware? The point is that collective actions like VE Day tend to result in idealization, but when everyone goes home, especially after a war, the shit hits the fan. Remember The Great Santini, the movie made from the Pat Conroy novel starring Robert Duvall as the Marine F-4 Phantom flyers who has trouble adjusting to family life. Kiev is a big city whose population was 2.8 million before the conflict with Russia. Are all its inhabitants heroes like Zelensky? Max Weber famously dichotomized between sect and church, the former like early Christianity being characterized by selfless fervor and the latter by institutionalization, what he termed "the routinization of charisma." It’s wonderful to see the unity of Ukrainians against the evil invader, but is it being a sourpuss to point out that human beings are characterized by their humanity—which includes a certain degree of selfishness and weakness of the flesh. Does a realistic attitude about the human condition make it impossible to hope?

Read "Trumpeters" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Donna" by Richie Valens

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