Thursday, May 21, 2015

Quickies: Time Out For Some Brilliance

     We interrupt this sententious progression of politically-focused tirades by a retired engineer and hack novelist for an example of genuine brilliance from a previously unknown writer. Here’s the pith of it:

     We have become so focused on results that our actions have become a secondary concern. We judge men based on what they have instead of what they do. We signal our ideals instead of embracing them.

     In his short book Do the Work, [Steven] Pressfield relates a New Yorker cartoon that cleverly skewers our preference for thinking about things, rather than doing them:

    “A perplexed person stands before two doors. One door says HEAVEN. The other says BOOKS ABOUT HEAVEN.”

     He’s perplexed. He’s considering the book. It’s funny because it’s absurd… and because we know we’d have the same consideration.

     That’s where we are as a culture. We run desperately to abstraction and avoid action at all costs. Thoreau’s man of “quiet desperation” has never been so prevalent.

     The world is full of men who are “stuck” in life. There has been some mass paralysis. Modern man has forgotten how to take action.

     Author Kyle Eschenroeder goes on to note that action does not guarantee success. Indeed, most action eventuates in failure – but failure is itself a step forward, if embraced and understood. As Louis Nizer wrote in My Life In Court, “Defeat is education. It is a step to something better.”

     Words to live by...especially for a retired engineer and hack novelist. I commend them to you all.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a little-known fact, revealed in certain books about Heaven, that written above the door to Hell (Alighieri be damned) it does NOT say "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here!"

Instead, the inscription reads, simply, "Heaven".

You know, ... just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Just Sayin…some Questions the nation’s socialist left cannot answer:

Why did they change it from Global Cooling to Global Warming to Climate change?

Which of the historic climate models predicted the ‘pause’?

And if they failed to predict the 'pause' why should rely on them?

Why does the left deceive people with labels like ‘Liberal’ and ‘Progressive’ when they advocate neither Liberty or Progress?

Pascal Fervor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pascal Fervor said...

At the heart of the matter this quickie exposes is the rotten fruits of the Frankfurt School's Critical Theory. Hesitancy has always been consequent of the virtue known as prudence. They found a way to exploit it -- the threat of ruthless critics -- so as make it dangerous to do the most basic right things.

Louis Redmond's world is a fantasy not primarily because Malcolm is at the center of your narrative, but because Louis is nearly always in the right place at the right time and reacts always for the right reasons without hesitation.

We who could try save our world from the downward spiral tend to hesitate because, echoing in our heads, are the fatally flawed signature words of GHWBush "wouldn't be prudent."

Every Prog program, such as this overly critical internal voice every Western man has had inculcated in him -- some few less than others, but every one of us -- is designed to regress the West. Their Forward is Backward. Lewis Carroll nailed it as The Looking Glass; exposing where they were intending to take us more than a century ago. And then the Frankfurt School seeded it into the common man; a success, I bet, beyond anyone's expectations.

However few Louis Redmonds that our world might have been blessed with there might have been, each is anticipated early on by what we recognize in the Left's attack on culture. It is now guaranteed that every young person is provided with scatter-shot media inducements* often out of parental control, one or more of which affect his character development long before he can come into full bloom. And the relative cushy existence of every American leaves the vast majority angry at you and me for intruding upon their willful blindness only makes such a role seem even more unattractive to any candidates who may have escaped that conditioning.

The consequence is a complete derailment of the development of real men and leaders. We lack persons who grok and appreciate what our institutions were created to preserve or prevent, and who could staff them and adequately keep them dedicated to their original purposes. And, of course, there is our extension of Gresham's Law: "the presence of the bad drives out the good."

Because you created Louis Redmond I am surprised it took you this long to discuss what makes him unique. And you did not even mention him! :)

(BTW, this almost sounds like it's from a portion of a nascent review, doesn't it?)

*The subject of one of my more esoteric analyses.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Gee, Pas, thanks for reminding me why I feel inferior to my most popular fictional character. I really needed that.

Pascal Fervor said...

Well. it was no put-down.

I have little doubt that your awareness of your personal limitations was a driving force behind you creating him in the first place. It could not be a matter of inferiority but of unpleasant cognition.

Our world needs for us to have ideals. And it would not hurt for posterity that may curse us to know that we knew what they were even if forces worked surreptitiously to prevent their near achievement. Your writing demonstrates the dream. None of us could possibly live in this world and not be molested for what Louis Redmond unhesitatingly does for many more reasons than those I laid out above.

Thank you for creating him. And that's how I'm considering presenting Chosen One to the book reviewing public. If I fail to do it, you have my permission to quote me if you wish.

tz said...

The universe, reality, is complex.

The only way to know is to test. To conduct the experiment. To ACT and then see if the action produces the result.

We can think of thousands of universes that God didn't create, governed by some other set of laws, etc. We are not there.

If "education" means to acquire knowledge of the real world, then the only test is action.

If you think something "true", act thusly.