CURRENT AGE: COLLISION OF DYING WORLD MYTHOLOGIES
Joseph Campbell published this in 1972 and gave the speech from which it was produced even before that time, but think of fundamentalistic religions in conflict now (2005)—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All dying together, they make the world unsafe for those of us with the non-religious religions of the future, the rational ones which, with love, live in awe of the natural world.
"Nietzsche, nearly a century ago, already named our period the Age of Comparisons. There were formerly horizons within which people lived and thought and mythologized. There are now no more horizons. And with the dissolution of horizons we have experienced and are experiencing collisions, terrific collisions, not only of peoples but also of their mythologies. It is as when dividing panels are withdrawn from between chambers of very hot and very cold airs: there is a rush of these forces together. And so we are right now in an extremely perilous age of thunder, lightning, and hurricanes all around. I think it is improper to become hysterical about it, projecting hatred and blame. It is an inevitable, altogether natural thing that when energies that have never met before come into collision—each bearing its own pride—there should be turbulence. That is just what we are experiencing; and we are riding it: riding it to a new age, a new birth, a totally new condition of mankind—to which no one anywhere alive today can say that he has the key, the answer, the prophecy, to its dawn. Nor is there anyone to condemn here. ("Judge not, that you may not be judged!") What is occurring is completely natural, as are its pains, confusions, and mIstakes." (MYTHS TO LIVE BY, p. 263)
HITLER AND BUSH COMPARED
I don't want to go overboard here, and I'm not calling Bush a fascist, but I am making a personality comparison between Bush and Hitler which is quite revealing, if you ask me. I've been watching a lot of public TV recently, specially all those late night world war two documentaries. And I don't know how many times I've listened to descriptions of Hitler as a man who would not listen to advice and who spoke of tests of will and who wouldn't admit he was wrong and who refused to let his generals run the war because he thought he had all the answers. He was, at the end, a man who was completely out of touch with reality. Now that stubbornness is exactly what Bushites credit Bush for, his blind will to aim toward a goal no matter how wrong it might be or how destructive of all those around him. His inability to change direction or admit he is wrong about anything remind me of what I read and hear about Hitler. Stalin too, for that matter. I don't know how much Hitler drank, but I do recognize the traits of a dry drunk in Bush and traces of megalomania too for, anyone who is so vain as to think he knows or is doing a god's will is certainly a bit above himself.
YOU CAN'T KEEP THE BRIGHT ONES DUMB AND DOWN FOREVER
The following is an interview with a trouble maker from Texas. This young woman is definitely not Laura or Barb Bush material. She's actually got some brains which she uses for something other than keeping her ears apart.
[Open quote] At 15, Shelby Knox, a Southern Baptist girl from Lubbock Texas, donned a promise ring as a symbol of sexual purity until marriage. Living in a county where I in 23 female teens becomes pregnant, she then spent the next two years fighting the school board in an effort to replace an abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum with a comprehensive one, teaching contraception. "The Education of Shelby Knox", a Sundance award-winner tracing her transformation, airs June 21 on PBS's P.O.V. Now 18, Knox is a rising junior at the University of Texas-Austin.
What's wrong with abstinence-only sex ed?
Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent STIs [sexually transmitted infections] and pregnancy. The problem is when kids who take abstinence pledges break their pledge, they don't have much [sex] education. So those pledges are really very dangerous.
What was your school sex ed like?
Ed Ainsworth [pastor and local leader of a Christian abstinence program] comes in your seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade year and before the junior and senior prom and tells you condoms don't work, and if you have sex your life is over. We also have health classes where we're shown advanced stages of sexually transmitted disease but aren't told how they can be prevented or cured. It's all scare tactics.
Why so much controversy over sex ed?
A lot of parents think, "If my kid goes to church, they're not having sex." In reality, a lot of kids have sex in junior high and high school.
Do you still wear your promise ring?
Are you asking me if I've had sex yet?
Well, I have not, but that is because I have not found the person I want to have sex with. It's not that I won't wait until marriage, I just don't know.
And your ring?
The ring got stolen. If I still had it, I would not wear it.
Did you face fallout for your activism?
A Spanish teacher called me a baby killer—evidently abortion and sex education are synonymous in her mind. The school board wrote my principal saying I was causing problems. And once someone broke my windows on my car at school. People at my church told me I was on the path to hell.
What did you say to them?
Thanks very much for your input, but I think I'll let God decide. [Close quote]
Interview by Caroline Hsu
"We had a quicksand box in our back yard. I was an only child... eventually." —Steven Wright