Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Before the Law"

I'll be teaching Kafka's famous parable tomorrow morning.  Usually I have trouble trying to relate this parable to reality, at least in a form easily accessible to a group of very bright high school students.

Then I read about Mississippi, and think about how much power courts don't have over state programs (Texas has been caught up in a fight in its courts over public school funding for decades; there is no end in sight, and no solution, either.  Public school funding is as bad as it ever was, and no court order is going to make it better.  But what will?).  The logic of a nightmare is so akin to the logic of reality that we can only tell them apart by ignoring reality in some circumstances, by convincing ourselves the world doesn't work that way and, when it does, it's just an isolated instance, the exception that proves the rule.

Brueggeman is right:  we need a counter story, and we need an institution (!) that tells it, that keeps that story alive.

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