10 July 2011

Fireflies in the Night

L’affaire Elevator-Guy continues, Congress worries over defending us from the scourge of energy-efficient light bulbs, the King James Bible celebrates its 400th anniversary, and the people rehash the Casey Anthony verdict. I’m sure all these things are important, and I intend to throw in my two bits’ wroth on them all in the near future, but I don’t really feel motivated right now. Enervation takes over. It’s hot, not July summer hot, but hot enough to sap energy and will for all that. Fitful firefly weather—not that we get fireflies here in the pacific northwest. I’ve seen them, though, eerie and silent in the summer night.

Random thoughts flicker aimlessly through my night-dulled mind. An airplane crash in 1951 that took the life of a young West Point cadet who left behind a remarkable monument to his life—a thirty-page account of an Indian war that in some respects surpassed any serious work available at that time. A proposed duel between a future president and a political opponent that would have involved broadswords and a pit on a Mississippi island. A bizarre 1966 album by some guys from New Jersey that could have changed the course of rock ‘n’ roll (well, no, but it would have been an interesting collectable if it had been released). More sightings of Christian Nationite faux quotations. A strange Supreme Court case which Daniel Webster—who once beat the devil—lost in arguing that only Christians were capable of charity. But none of it jells. I need something for each of them—some further bit of information, some way of putting the inexplicable into perspective, to do any of them justice. If History isn’t to be just “a bunch of stuff that happened” (to quote the great Homer Simpson) or “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (as a British playwright once put it), there has to be something more to it. A place to stand that puts the whole into some sort of perspective. And right now my perspective is limited indeed. Events look like nothing more than fireflies flitting fitfully through a hot summer night.

1 comment:

Scott Stiefel said...


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