Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The argument for whole sight...

This will seem like a shameless plug for my own blog, but I don't mean it that way (and since it's a plug on my blog, what good would it really do me?); but everytime I write a post that sparks a memory of something I noted earlier, and I go looking through the archives (such as they are), I realize something:

Every event today, especially those concerning New Orleans, was predictable.

The Internet is great at one thing: disseminating news immediately, and especially disseminating the telling and crucial details that easily get lost in "headline" coverage. But it has an Achille's Heel: it feeds the American predilection best expressed by Henry Ford: "History is bunk."

The news is not always the story. "Those who do not learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it," the axiom goes. It is no less true for being a tired cliche. Everytime I step back even one month, even less than a month, by plowing through the September Archive of this blog, looking for a link I'm sure I left behind like a bread crumb to some story that verifies my memory, I think: The most important part of this story, of the response to Katrina and Rita in Louisiana and Mississippi, is going to be told by keeping the whole story before us. The only way to fully grasp this story, is to keep the history of it always in our consciousness, to be always aware of what was done, because that is the direct antecedent to what is being done now. Falling poll numbers and plummeting hopes of Republicans or the improving fortunes of Democrats, are not the story. The story is not the latest headline either; that is just another falling domino.

The issue is: who set the dominoes up in the first place? And who tipped them over? And that is a question for history. Because only in the full sight of history, can the answers be seen.

We need to examine this story in full, at all times. We need to keep in mind everything that has happened, been done, been said. As John Fowles said in the first line of Daniel Martin (ironically, about himself, in America, so it could be said to be an insight on how America should be seen, and see itself): "Whole sight; or all the rest is desolation."

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