Every morning, the hangar doors roll open and the sunlight flares my electro-optical sensors. I drag myself onto the flight line, load up my pylons with Hellfire and Griffin missiles, and try to get some coffee into my tank before takeoff. If all goes well, I lumber into the air, loiter over some godforsaken warzone du jour, and occasionally lob weaponry at those I’m told are the enemies of the free world. By broad consensus, I’m pretty good at my job — and when I’m not soaring above the mountains of Afghanistan or Yemen, I even find time for hobbies, like posting on Twitter. But after I return to base, I self-medicate with extreme prejudice. Because I’m a Predator drone, and you people make me drink.
Allow me to explain.
In light of this long, long history, during which the poem has had to learn so much, adapt to so many circumstances, how could it be intimidated by the rise of electronic reading? “Why should I concern myself with bits and pixels? I remember the harried scribe with his papyrus sheets. I was once a song.”
Intellectual humility will be a trait of our character when we care so much about knowing, understanding, and getting to the truth of some big question that we become oblivious of how we rank, of what we are “worth” vis-à-vis the other status-striving agents in our circle. The apostle Paul says, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up,” (1 Corinthians 8:1) and we might add that love of knowledge can build us up in humility.
Dump the stereotypes. Dave Barry and others ask if we really believe all red state residents are dumb, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, NASCAR-obsessed, gun-fondling, Bible-bullying, redneck, sweatshop tycoons who claim government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it; or that all blue-state residents are godless, unpatriotic, ear-pierced, Volvo-driving, latte-sucking, tofu-chomping, tax- crazed bleeding-hearts who presume people shouldn’t have to work and beg our enemies, “Please don’t hurt me.” Seek out people with different beliefs.
THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER is that no one to date has rivaled the Homeric epic’s extraordinary staying power—nearly three millennia now, and still going strong.
Peter Green reviews the present field of translations and revisions.
Question: ‘Why did Facebook go public?’
Answer: ‘They couldn’t figure out the privacy settings either.’
obfuscatory polysyllabic officialese
Phrase of the day!
The bookstore wars are over. Independents are battered, Borders is dead, Barnes & Noble weakened but still standing and Amazon triumphant. Yet still there is no peace; a new war rages for the future of publishing.
The unfortunate roots and bad results of the helicopter parenting I see so much of at school.
So many social and professional interactions make more sense now…