Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Andy Rooney gets it

Wow! It's as if he read this blog:

Our Darkest Days Are Here

May 23, 2004

(CBS) The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.

...The day the world learned that American soldiers had tortured Iraqi prisoners belongs high on the list of worst things that ever happened to our country. It's a black mark that will be in the history books in a hundred languages for as long as there are history books. I hate to think of it...

...I don't want them in prison, anyway. We shouldn't have to feed them. Take away their right to call themselves American - that's what I’d do. You aren't one of us. Get out. We don't want you. Find yourself another country or a desert island somewhere. If the order came from someone higher up, take him with you.

In the history of the world, several great civilizations that seemed immortal have deteriorated and died. I don't want to seem dramatic tonight, but I've lived a long while, and for the first time in my life, I have this faint, faraway fear that it could happen to us here in America as it happened to the Greek and Roman civilizations.

Too many Americans don't understand what we have here, or how to keep it.
I worry for my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren. I want them to have what I've had, and I sense it slipping away.

Have a nice day.

There is hope.

Oh, and the Greece analogy. One of my favourite authors, the late Joseph Heller, wrote an important but much ignored book titled Picture This in 1988. It is a triple juxtaposition of the life and age of Rembrant, and the life and age of Aristotle whom he paints, and the life and age of Heller in which the painting rests in a New York museum. Among others, Heller draws a very strong parallel between the late 20th century USA and the Golden Age of Athens, which wasn't as nice as highschool history teachers would tell you.


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