November 10, 2016
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If you are dismayed and wringing your hands over the recent demonstration of democracy in America on November 8th, it might be good to keep in mind a quote by Benjamin Franklin. When Franklin exited the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, a lady in a group of citizens asked him, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic, if you can keep it,” Franklin replied.
Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy , which BBC Radio broadcast in the late 1970s/80s, provides this additional helpful insight:
From Fit the Seventh:
Narrator: There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory mentioned, which states that this has already happened.
Adams’ advice in HGG is something that DeTocqueville and Franklin, themselves fellow travelers in this existential universe, might subscribe to: Don’t panic, and carry a towel.
November 8, 2016
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Because someone will win and someone will lose at the end of this election day:
Born Losers: A History of Failure in America by Carnegie Mellon University’s own Scott Sandage (who is gay).
What makes somebody a “Loser,” a person doomed to unfulfilled dreams and humiliation? Nobody is born to lose, and yet failure embodies our worst fears. The Loser is our national bogeyman, and his history over the past two hundred years reveals the dark side of success, how economic striving reshaped the self and soul of America. — Harvard University Press
Here’s a bit of traveling music for Hillary and The Donald and the rest of us who endured and persist in our hopes and dreams long after this year’s long dark night of the poll is over:
Just a small town girl
Livin’ in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin’ anywhere
Just a city boy
Born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train goin’ anywhere
…Payin’ anything to roll the dice
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on, and on, and on
From Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey, Copyright 1981