The Spectacle Blog

The Day Ahead: October 29

By on 10.29.09 | 6:30AM

Today on the main site:

Comment of the day:

Reader Mary Louise on Brandon Crocker's Lessons of the Fall:

Adams said that our own revolution was really an evolution, in that the final decisions leading to war had a history that was definable, digested and well-ordered.

I'm on the second volume of Gibbon's Decline and Fall, and I appreciate his talent so much. It's a joy to learn how to use language from him. And thank you for this review.

I do think a Nation grows weary. I'm not sure if we're tired or not, but I suspect we are.

I read a piece recently that called for a complete reordering; a hard and fast break back to a stark and undeniable federalism. And though I'm sure the writer didn't intend it, his piece read like an assault against civilization as it exists today, in the concrete. He wrote that, no doubt, there would be pain, but what can that mean for us as a Nation comprised of so many millions of souls? What will that mean concretely?

A Union fought the Cold War, not 50 disparate States, each of its own accord, deciding that the Evil Empire had to fall. For better or worse, we're a Union now in body and soul. Was it Chesterton who said we were a Nation with a soul?

I think our biggest strength, as long as it holds, is that we're an idea. We're also not Manicheans. Voegelin found refuge here. Popper found hope in America when he'd despaired of it elsewhere. These men were not only influential, they were at odds.

The Puritans are thought to have been Manichean, but I'm not so sure. In one of his books, C. S. Lewis noted that a correct view of the Puritans would have to be one that was opposite of the one we presently hold of those who currently bear that name.

NYS is a very underrated State in terms of its beauty and variety. Letchworth State Park and some of the surrounding hamlets let you easily peek back into history. Homes, a few as old as 150 years, meticulously built and maintained. Minor details that transform merchant class homes and even some agrarian homes into veritable works of art. Precision and beauty without bombast; I’m intensely attracted to that.

My dad is a stone-cutter and his handiwork dots the small town that I grew up in. It will remain long after he’s gone. We always had a pile of burgundy sandstone and a pile of sand in a small area in our back yard. And there my dad would be with his chisel, and there I would be sitting on one of the stones, and being with my dad. I love the heft and cool feeling of stone. Yet when I travel to Italy I make it a point to visit a small church in a town called Pescocostanzo. For whatever reason this town avoided the Allied bombings. The Altar, the pulpit, are all wood. Beautifully worked wood. Warm and lively wood. It was as beautiful as St. Peter's to me. Maybe more so.

What to watch for:

  • Assistant Minister of Finance Zoran Cirovic of Serbia is Moscow-bound to discuss Russia-Serbia economic cooperation. Russia and Serbia now have more in common than their shared opinion on Kosovo. With Russia's loan of 1 billion USD, Serbia will improve its infrastructure and cover its budget deficit.

Game of the day:

Wednesday's best:

White House Access for Sale:

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