Re: MF America, Dynamic Improvement and Soup

From: Valence (
Date: Wed Jul 14 2004 - 03:08:54 BST

  • Next message: Amilcar Kabral: "MF wheat from chaff"

    Hi DMB,
    Sorry about the quickie response.

    > Have you ever heard that old Graham Parsons tune, "100 Years From Now"?

    Nope. Did a google search on it... didn't find anything.

    > dmb replies:
    > Extremists? I don't see it that way at all. I think he's talking about the
    > main currents in the culture. Let's put it on the table. The quote takes a
    > broad view of the century and is quite relevant to our elected question. I
    > also think it describes how the "end" of the century began....
    > "By the end of the '60s the intellectualism of the '20s found itself in an
    > impossible trap. If it continued to advocate freedom from Victorian social
    > restraint, all it would get was more Hippies, who were really just
    > its anti-Victorianism to an extreme. If, on the other hand, it advocated
    > more constructive social conformity in opposition to the Hippies, all it
    > would get was more Victorians, in the form of the reactionary right.
    > This political whip-saw was invincible...[snip]

    What else could the metaphor of a "political whipsaw" be meant to evoke if
    not intellectualism being whipped back and forth between two mutually
    undesirable political extremes? I think this is the dilemma which caused
    the paralysis that let the "rust" set in.

    > dmb finishes making the point:
    > Extremists? No, I think he's talking about "a genetic defect within the
    > nature of reason itself"...

    I think you're missing the finer points here DMB. The genetic defect in
    reason, that reason is allegedly emotionally hollow, esthetically
    meaningless and spiritually empty is only the _root_ of the problem. I
    believe Pirsig's overall suggestion is that this defect caused society to
    polarize in two separate, but equally anti-intellectual groups, here
    represented by the neo-Victorians and the Hippies. Both rebelled against
    reason in their own way. The neo-Victorians by clinging to social value,
    the Hippies by identifying directly with DQ. From the perspective of
    intellectualism, neither of these options were acceptable since the both cut
    the legs off of intellect. Thus, the "political whipsaw"... and eventually,
    the rust.

    take care

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