Saturday, March 12, 2011

Final comment on Errol Morris's series

I can’t resist taking one last stir at the dying embers here.  @LG #6: I join many others in thanking you for what seems to me to be a very able and cogent summary.  And as you say, it has been an interesting week, certainly very different from just reading a series in the newspaper.  @Skoorby #66: thank you for your very interesting description of the process of following this and other writings and discussion; I can relate to pretty much all of what you said, and I think it’s a valuable contribution as we adapt to this brave new world (in small letters, i.e. Shakespeare more than Huxley) of the web.

@Mike G (#78 from installment #4): dude, the question about whether the ashtray was thrown or not is certainly peripheral, and perhaps inconsequential to all but a handful of readers here.  If by “keeper of the faith” you mean that I believe we do better as a society when people engage with one another with honesty and humility, and try to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their own and their interlocutor’s positions, then I happily accept what I take as a high compliment.  “The problem” which I failed to spell out clearly enough is that the “dog fight” or entertainment model of how to deal with (much less settle) differences is continuing to eat away at our public discourse with disastrous consequences, and if we want something different we gotta start being the change we want in the world.  From that point of view, the question of whether the ashtray was thrown or not has more weight.  (Incidentally, “bloodline” is a little tricky here, because although my father might well have subscribed to that faith or something like it, there is no disputing that by its standards he could be a pretty significant sinner.)  On the other hand, if you mean “defender of Kuhnianism” (if that’s what it’s called), you don’t know me very well.  I’ll buy you a beer sometime.

@sba #67: I had not heard your remark that “those wounds which we do not somehow allow to transform us we will in some way continue to transmit.”  As a psychiatrist and psychotherapist I live with the truth of it every day and I am very happy to have these words to say it.

@Errol Morris: It has been fascinating to be part of the reading community as this unfolded, and for that you have my thanks.  I look forward to seeing more of your films.

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