10 Apr. 2008

Misery And Joy

"Fifteen months ago, Americans were worried about the prospect of failure in Iraq. Today, thanks to the surge, we've renewed and revived the prospect of success."

- G.W. Bush, April 10, 2008.

Who knew? Michael Leunig has a regular column in The Age. I've only ever seen sporadic articles in other papers. Here's a delightful sample:
I would like to thank you, B, wherever you are; you gave me my first worldly lesson in false witness and dismay.

You helped greatly to open my eyes to the mysterious human darkness where I eventually learnt to see - you helped to prepare me for many things disgusting and consoling in the human story: the passion of Christ, The Crucible, Kafka, politics, dog whistle politics, dirt files, hate mail, hate blogs, hoaxes, satire without values, envious attacks, art critics, book critics, suburban blood lust, lynch mobs, witch hunts, sanctimonious warfare - and the shower of shit that falls from the sky upon anyone who dares to go it alone and live creatively, holding what is personal, unique and vulnerable above what is corporate, systematic and tribal.

Thank you B, ours was a forlorn and pathetic little episode compared to what followed for me and perhaps for you. It comes to us all in time...

Later in life I saw it again and again - even in intellectual and cultural life - the most innocent thing, the most natural unadorned and beautiful idea or the most weak, wretched and vulnerable situation was sometimes, perversely, the thing that was most viciously targeted and abused. Nothing awakens fiendish and destructive anger like the presence of the naked and the powerless - and the vast contemporary culture of popular perversity is energised by an eternal envious loathing of innocence and integrity.

Thank you, thugs, for your precious and profound lesson in life. Your vulgar indiscretion gave the game away - the same deeply human and deeply canine game we see played out at the highest levels of polite society in more cunning and sophisticated ways by the guilty, who alas, all too rarely stand accused or face trial.