A piece for Sunday. In a 2004 Vanity Fair article James Walcott wrote: “Mass culture secretes condescension and borderline contempt for any quest for artistic expression that requires discipline, difficulty, sacrifice, and a devotion to traditions larger than oneself.” It is an apt description of the darker side of the self-oriented, ADHD, individually rewarded society.
Thus, the same society which allowed lenders to separate risk from mortgage approval – after extracting profits – by bundling and selling the risk downstream until all connection to the original transaction had been completely severed (net effect: a society-wide housing collapse) is the same society which, to date, has held no one individually responsible (except the sodden fools lured into the quagmire). Instead the putative powers-that-be saw fit to bail out the culprits, because the culprits continue to control the reins of power through their brib — campaign contributions. And we wonder why faith in the underlying system has eroded, and abject cynicism is so rampant.
Absent Ron Paul, politicians on both sides of the aisle cynically tell us what they think we want to hear. Then, when out of recording range continue to go along to get along as the rewards are all in the running rather than the governing. Yet the path to achievement in the sport of running, itself, is grounded on individual responsibility and dedication to a process of tension and release in an orderly fashion over an extended period. That is the lesson the sport teaches, no secrets, no shortcuts, no easy ways up. (more…)