Friday, June 30, 2006

Taskbook for the New Nation 

As an addendum to the interesting thoughts regarding the deadliness of empty notions of "progress" in the comments thread in the "Focused on the Future" post below, the following is the epigraph to the first section of George Saunders' latest story collection, In Persuasion Nation:

Our enemies will first assail the health of our commerce, throwing up this objection and that to innovative methods and approaches designed to expand our prosperity, and thus our freedom. Their old-fashioned clinging to obsolete ideas only signals their extinction. In the end, we must pity them: we are going forward with joy and hope; they are being left behind, mired in fear.

--Bernard "Ed" Alton,
Taskbook for the New Nation,
Chapter 1. "New Man, New Growth-Community"

Saunders also includes an Alton quote as the epigraph to section ii:

They will attempt to insinuate themselves into the very fabric of our emotional lives, demanding the dissolution of the distinction between beloved and enemy, friend and foe, neighbor and stranger. They will, citing equality, deny our right to make critical moral distinctions. Crying peace, they will deny our right to defend, in whatever manner is most expedient, the beloved. Under the guise of impartiality, they will demand we disavow all notions of tradition, family, friends, tribe, and even nation. But are we animals, forced to look blankly upon the rich variety of life, disallowed the privilege of making moral distinctions, dead to love, forbidden from preferring this to that?

--Bernard "Ed" Alton,
Taskbook for the New Nation,
Chapter 3. "Are We Not We? Are They Not Them?"

For more Ed Alton and his ideas about America's enemies, check out the book. The only story I hadn't previously read in magazines is "The Red Bow"--and that one alone is worth the price of the book. Goodbye, yellow ribbon--hello, red bow!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

new comic 

Following in the hallowed footsteps of Get Your War On comes The Pain.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

quote of the day 

Do not fight for a dying regime. It is not worth your life.

- President George W. Bush


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