<= 2001.09.24

2001.09.26 =>

the beneficent, the merciful

O my people, the cold nights have begun. Last night we went to Masala for dinner and by the time we finished our dal and nan and departed, the temperature was flirting with the freezing point of water. In the winter Iowa air turns bone-dry, and somehow the total lack of liquid water anywhere reminds me of the end of Cat's Cradle, after the ice-nine cataclysm. The bright side is that with the radiator my apartment will stay dry and hot, almost like a little artificial Arizona.

Most of my link-hunting energy will probably be transferred to the farmlog, but here's a New York Times piece on the sudden challenge to postmodernism and post-colonialism:

The great ironic twist is that the values latent in pomo and poco—an insistence that differing perspectives be accounted for and that the other be comprehended—are consequences of the very ideas of the Western Enlightenment—reason and universality—that they work to undo. One can only hope that finally, as the ramifications sinks in, as it becomes clear how close the attack came to undermining the political, military and financial authority of the United States, the Western relativism of pomo and the obsessive focus of poco will be widely seen as ethically perverse.

Nes and yo, I think. The usefulness and the curse of relativism is the way that it undermines dogma of any sort; post-colonialism, on the other hand, only becomes problematic when it degenerates into dogma. I know that in these times our yearning is for an uncomplicated, unquestionable national narrative—which the networks etc. are only too happy to supply—and balanced inquiry is unlikely to happen outside the ivory towers, where it tends to look like carping. I doubt total escape from dogma is ever possible for anyone. But see where it might lead. Cave credendum.

 

<= 2001.09.24

2001.09.26 =>

up (2001.09)

The Warm South
The Roof Rat Review