Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Few Opinions, Entertained by Myself and Hopefully Worthy of at Least a Few Arched Brows

1. Richard Nixon is the only historically interesting U.S. President of the past seventy-five years.

2. France is not, nor ever has been a Romantic (capital "R") country.

3. The British Invasion was a more culturally significant event than the Kennedy Assassination, Vietnam, and Watergate combined; of which the third entry still does not bring me to withdraw statement #1.

4. America is lovable, but not likeable. (Due respect must here be paid to Sinclair Lewis, who said something similar back in 1928)

5. Personal freedom was a more common commodity in the Middle Ages than it is today.

6. Contrary to most opinion, the French are naturally more ambitious than we Americans; we label our generations X, Y, and so on, they label theirs as those of 1789, 1848, 1968; we measure ourselves merely by predictable succession, they measure themselves by how many of the bourgeois they beheaded in the morning, and then they celebrate by taking the rest of the week off.

7. It doesn't matter so much that the Obscure and the Celebrated among us return to the same dust, so much as it matters that the dust of the Celebrated is marked with a more attractive headstone.

8. Unawareness is the priviledge of the rich, Ignorance that of the middle class, and Complacency that of the poor; tragically, in an egalitarian society these distinctions are removed and all three classes are condemned to a lifetime of watching the six o' clock news.

9. Life is preferable to longevity of existence.

10. God. n. The Death of Questions.


Jeff Moss said...

Good stuff, and happy Independence Day a day late.

What is #9 supposed to mean? Are you saying that it's better to live for a short time than merely to exist for a long time?

What is life?

Thomas Banks said...

Something more than breathing.



Bennett said...


whose questions are dead? when?

Anonymous said...

I'd say that ignorance is rather the privilege of the poor and complacency of the middle-class.

Thomas Banks said...

Ben- I was thinking mostly of that class of inquiry which makes pretense of disinterest.

James- You could be on to something.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

75 years? FDR and the war? Truman and the bomb (and the "no MacArthur")?

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Well, Tom, you got me thinking. And I'm sure my brows were arched... at least one of them.

Thomas Banks said...

Glad to have been of help, Diana.