Thursday, December 21, 2006

Huxley on Keith Ellison's Brave New Swearing-in

What difference does ceremonial tradition really make, anyway?

"History is bunk. History,” he repeated slowly, “is bunk.”

"He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible feather wisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was Harappa, was Ur of the Chaldees; some spider-webs, and they were Thebes and Babylon and Cnossos and Mycenae.

Whisk. Whisk — and where was Odysseus, where was Job, where were Jupiter and Gotama and Jesus? Whisk — and those specks of antique dirt called Athens and Rome, Jerusalem and the Middle Kingdom — all were gone.

Whisk — the place where Italy had been was empty. Whisk, the cathedrals; whisk, whisk, King Lear and the Thoughts of Pascal. Whisk, Passion; whisk, Requiem; whisk, Symphony; whisk..."
Brave New World (1932)


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