The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.
Song: “Living Hell” by Morcheeba
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"I have grown increasingly frustrated with how the mythology of leadership has been spread in recent weeks. I have yelled at the television set, “Didn’t any of you ever read Richard Neustadt’s classic Presidential Leadership? Haven’t any of you taken Politics 101 and read about the limits of presidential power in a separation-of-powers system?"
Norman Ornstein, one of the best analysts of American politics, takes apart the “if only Obama would lead!” myth.
This is worth a read.
—oh, and the answer to Ornstein’s question is: no.
When people demand “leadership” from presidents, I want to point them to the vast scholarship on populism in Latin America. On the examples of strong presidential executive “leadership” demonstrated by Perón, Vargas, Fujimori, Chávez, and a host of others.
The public’s trust in “organized religion” is on the decline. While wearying, Martin Marty says that these polls offer insights and lessons on how religious institutions must serve the public better.
Read Professor Marty’s full commentary and offer your thoughts. I’m curious: how you interpret this trend and the larger implications?
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor
Everyone’s passionate about their favorite running shoes, right? We were curious about how different shoe brands were represented in the RunKeeper community, so we asked you on Facebook about your favorite kicks.
Here’s the exact percentage breakdown:
Other (includes sandals, bare feet, Reebok, Puma, Skechers,and more): 15%
New Balance: 5.3%
Where do you fit in? Are you loyal to one brand or do you experiment? Have you found your perfect shoe yet?
To be part of other conversations like this, be sure to like us on Facebook!
I think the human condition is just baffling for everybody. We are alive for a few decades in a universe that is 15 billion years old and vast beyond our imagining. We define ourselves as having a fixed age of 30 or 40 years when the truth is that at a quantum level there is no part of you that is less than 15 billion years old.
Music provides us with a strange self-generated celebration of the human condition in the face of a universe that is ancient and vast beyond our understanding.
For me, music is an end unto itself but also a way of representing every aspect of the human experience. You can represent joy, despair, confusion, anger and so on.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
By John Masefield,
© 1901, All rights reserved.