Thursday, September 26, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz
 A Modern Don Quixote

Last night at Who’s Your Daddy? Lisa asked if anyone thought Senator Cruz’s herculean effort would do any good?

Here is what I said:

Have we forgotten already the lessons Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, tried so eloquently to teach us? 

To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ... 

This is my quest, to follow that star ... 
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ... 
To fight for the right, without question or pause ... 
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ... 

And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest, 
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm, 
when I'm laid to my rest ... 
And the world will be better for this: 
That one man, scorned and covered with scars, 
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage, 
To reach ... the unreachable stars ...

~ Joe Darion (1917-2001)
__ Mr. Darion was the prize-winning lyricist for Man of La Mancha __

Long ago in one of my my school English classes one of the teachers wrote this on the blackboard:

"Men do not become heroes by trafficking with inevitables."

The greatest fools in this world are those who lack the courage  of their convictions, and the passion to stand up for the principles they believe in.

If we have lost the courage –– and the WILL –– to fight TYRANNY, we richly deserve to live out the rest of our existence in chains.

I stand with Ted Cruz and the few brave souls who stood with him, and have nothing but the bitterest CONTEMPT for the spineless, gutless, utterly worthless and despicable RINO's who for fear of losing their precious positions and their undeserved perquisites, refused to stand with Senator Cruz.


GOD BLESS YOU, SENATOR CRUZ! Keep up the good work.


  1. FT,
    Ah! A post that relates to a subject about which I know quite a bit!

    As a Spanish major, I read Don Quijote, the first novel ever written, in a "modern" version of the original prose.

    DQ was supposed to be the insane idealist and Sancho Panza the sane realist.

    By the end of the novel, Cervantes makes it clear what the point of the novel is: that the world desperately needs idealists (as well as realists). "There is a time to every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes)

    Tellingly, Sancho Panza becomes more of an idealist by the conclusion of the novel; when DQ loses his dream of idealism, he dies. Upon DQ's death, Sancho Panza takes on some of the idealistic traits -- perhaps with more balance.

    I also noted while reading that novel that, although DQ often acted foolishly, his heart was pure. He was a hero, one of the types in Greek mythology: the hero on an impossible quest.

    I've noticed over the years that school literature books today hold DQ up for ridicule and never cover the big picture that the novel paints. Thus is deprecated the very ideas of idealism and traditionalism.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. It's simply amazing how many different ways and times the Left will try to lie about the supposed impending Government Shutdown.

    The Republican Controlled House has passed a bill that fully funds the Government and all it's debts. It simply fails to fund Obama-care, which has not gone into full implementation yet.

    If the Senate Democrats or or the Democrat in the Oval offices refuses to allow that bill to become law, they are the ones who shut down the Government, not the Republicans.

    Also either a short memory or a poor grasp of history. He forgets that when the Republicans DID shut down the government before Clinton would agree to welfare reform that he had already vetoed three times. But they easily retained a healthy majority in the Congress. Once Clinton caved and agreed to sign that legislation, it ushered in one of our better eras of prosperity and fiscal accountability.

    I just hope our current Republicans have as much backbone and gumption to stick to their guns because they are 100% doing the right thing on this.
    The Progressives, Liberals, Democrats and their SHEEP Cult members are in FULL FEAR MONGERING, NAME CALLING mode...don't fall for it or BUY INTO IT!

  4. Thank you, AOW, for giving us a good precis of the content and meaning of Don Quixote -- an enormous two-volume work published first in 1619, I believe.

    I, of course, see him more as as a metaphor for Jesus Christ than anything else. With that in mind is it any wonder that the modern Educational Establishment has chosen to dismiss Don Quixote as an idiotic buffoon?

    One does not need to quote Scripture directly and make a holy show of one's "piety" in order to serve the Lord.

    Jesus, Himself, as all should know, constantly used metaphor, simile and parable to convey His message.

    Truth may be stranger than fiction, but GOOD fiction often serves the interests of Truth and Love far better than any dry recitation of facts, figures, and quotations from Holy Writ.

    Ted Cruz may seem "quixotic," but I find that tremendously refreshing in a world that appears to have reduced itself to one endless Denigration Derby where Truth is cast aside and kicked to the curb in order to promote self-serving power agendas of various kinds, and Love is held up to ridicule and portrayed as "illusory."

    Deserting Principle (God) in favor of a ruthless pursuit of personal power for its own sake is a perfect prescription for the failure, dissolution and destruction of a once great Civilization.

  5. Mr. Locke, while I agree with most of what you have posted here, I should delete it, because you have made no discernible attempt to relate your remarks to the subject of today's article.

    I will, however, let your prepared "speech" stand -- just this once -- because much of what you have said does relate to the blind prejudice and bilious rhetoric Senator Cruz has made a mighty effort to stand up to, but please be aware that in future anything irrelevant to the subject at hand WILL be deleted.

    As I've said before, this blog is not a public park where anyone may stand on a soapbox and make speeches to his heart's content. We want to establish genuine dialogue here and not merely host a series of unrelated monologues.

    Thanks for your future cooperation.

  6. True?

    WASHINGTON — Following the epic, 21-hour speech by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, supporting the defunding of Obamacare, either voters made so many calls to establishment Republicans that their phone lines melted, or those GOP leaders took their phones off the hook.

    Even in this age of digital wizardry and limitless voicemail, callers could not get through at all to Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

    A message said the senator was experiencing a high volume of calls and directed members of the public to call back later or visit his website.

    It was the same story with the man who was the face of the GOP in the 2008 elections, former GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

    His phone was off the hook, too. Callers got a message stating his voicemail box was full.

    The Arizona senator apparently had other matters on his mind during the Cruz speech, tweeting, “Final episode of #Broadchurch tonight – one of the most entertaining shows on TV right now.”

    That prompted conservative commentator Michelle Malkin to tweet, “Meanwhile, McCain is tweeting about a TV show. See the problem here, America?”

    Callers to Minority Whip Sen John Cornyn, R-Texas, also got a message saying the line was busy, but at least those callers were sent to voicemail....

    More information at the link.

    Gotta run! Work beckons! Back into the trenches of the classroom today.

  7. The face of the 2014 mid terms.

    Ted Cruz !!!

  8. ... if you aren't paying attention, the party is trying to get a muzzle and leash on this guy.
    They seem to be aware of the damage he's doing.

    R's are toast.

  9. Thank you, FJ. I remember the film very well. The scenes involving Dulcinea are the most touching -- and the most meaningful -- of them all. I think Loren's portrayal of the rough tavern girl, used and abused by the ruffians who have surrounded her all her life, who then becomes transformed by Don Quixote's wistful-yet-penetrating vision of the true beauty he alone can see living inside her, is the best thing Loren ever did on the screen.

    Life may be a game no one can ever win, because no matter what we do our lives always end in death, and the battle between Good and Evil is never won conclusively, but the POINT of Existence is to "Fight the Good Fight with all of our Might," in spite of the odds against victory. Failure to pursue "The Impossible Dream" means we have wasted our time, while passively serving the interests of evil.

    The way we CHOOSE to meet "the slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune" determines our individual character -- and our value as human beings.

    By choosing to work for "Good" we are able to achieve a personal victory, even though the world, itself, is unlikely ever to change.

  10. Ducky, what you fail to grasp is that many of us true Conservatives feel very strongly that because the GOP Establishment has failed so miserably to support policies in which we most fervently believe they richly DESERVE consignment to Oblivion. In fact were it up t me, I'd buy them all a one way ticket to what-was-once-politely-known-as The Hot Place.

    You and I may be polar opposites politically, but we share a remarkably similar sense of dissatisfaction with The Establishment, as well we should.

    So quit your sneering; it ill becomes you. There are other -- better -- ways to express your disapproval, you know.

    Tell me, does anything EVER fill you with mirth?

  11. With apologies to Ducky, and no pretense of usurping his position, I'll play the sour contrarian and disagree with you and AOW (at my peril, she is a formidable intellect and knows a thing or two about Don Quijote).

    The comparison to the musical and the lyrics of that song may be appropriate, but the comparison to the novel is inapt.

    Quijote was old, his imagination seized by romantic novels, and he could see no other path.

    Cruz is a young man with a good college education, and instead of patiently accumulating good-will and explaining his views to the American people so that perhaps he could actually accomplish something like meaningful conservative legislation someday, he instead chooses to climb into a clown car and throw pies. It plays well with the peanut gallery, but he has pissed off so many people he will never be able to get any of his ideas implemented in the Senate, and that is a shame.

    So much talent wasted.

    He is Sarah Palin with more college education but without the nice figure.

    If this pisses you off, just wait, I have a whole blog post written that flames the entire GOP circus.

  12. Mr. MacGoon -- the name suits you very well -- you WILL be deleted if you continue to make ugly, witless, irresponsible ad hominem attacks on those present or absent.

    I'll thank you to remember that in future.

  13. Well, Kurt, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that. Very frankly, it is the type of thinking you embrace is what has brought the GOP to its present pass.

    Someday, probably not until you're old and gray, you may realize that there can be NO compromise with the Devil -- NONE!

    The country is riddled with MORAL and INTELLECTUAL CANCER. Radical surgery and much excruciatingly painful chemotherapy, bound to leave us reeling and staggering with nausea and chronic migraine headaches for many years, will be necessary for us to endure, IF we hope to have ANY chance whatsoever to survive.

    The time to bite the bullet is NOW.

    I accused you not long ago of joining The Cankicker Society for taking this view of the tiny handful of courageous individuals who are trying manfully to DO SOMETHING to prevent us from going over "The Falls." I'm sorry to see that I am probably right. You disappoint me.

    The bland sweet reasonable, quasi-"realistic" approach will not faze the demons who beset us one iota.

    And as for me, I really DO prefer DEATH to surrendering the last vestiges of Liberty I cling to in the flotsam and jetsam of the wreck Progressivism has made of The Good Ship USA.

    The Founders were not feeble-minded fools or starry-eyed idealists, they STOOD for something WONDERFUL, and they FOUGHT for it knowing all the while they stood a very good chance of losing not only their wealth and property, but their very lives. Most of the signers of The Declaration of Independence DID wind up in dire financial straits, despite their victory over The Crown. I don't think they regretted their actions, however.

    Unfortunately, WE have BETRAYED them.

    "Men become heroes, because they do NOT traffic with inevitables."

  14. FreeThinke:

    I respect your opinion. My objection is not with the goals, but the means to achieve them.

    This is the equivalent of getting a rabble together, and instead of forming up and going to battle, standing around and shooting your guns in the air and firing indiscriminately.

    To accomplish your goals in politics, you need power, and power is gained more by building a reputation than brute force.

    Ted Cruz may be full of piss and vinegar, but he is lacking in wisdom.

    I'll remind everyone of the story of the two bulls standing on the hill looking down on a herd of cows.

    The young bull shouted "Look at those heifers! Let's go down and mate one!"

    "No son," intoned the older, wiser bull. "Let's saunter down, and mate them all."

  15. It maddens me to hear this line of thinking repeated over and over, like an incantation, as if the chanters believe saying it enough times will make it come true:

    "The Republican Controlled House has passed a bill that fully funds the Government and all it's debts. It simply fails to fund Obama-care, which has not gone into full implementation yet.

    If the Senate Democrats or or the Democrat in the Oval offices refuses to allow that bill to become law, they are the ones who shut down the Government, not the Republicans."

    Two words: Poison Pill.

    Political Reality: Sure, by voting down a bill with a poison pill in it, one could argue that the Democrats have shut down government. That changes nothing. Because the GOP put the poison pill in the bill, and the press is rife with Democrat Party mouthpieces, the GOP will get the blame.

    Here's a radical idea. The GOP could come up with some ideas, put on a friendly demeanor, and hit the streets and start selling their ideas to the voters.

    People will respond better to a positive message than a negative one every time. It is also human nature to favor people who build up rather than those wanting to tear it all down.

    Finally, people react negatively to smirking smartasses, and that is the face of Ted Cruz.

    So, his rabid fans may get turned on, much like Sarah's hooting rabble does, but what does it accomplish?

    Cruz is an educated man, too bad he chose to waste his talents on cheap theatrics.

  16. All right then, just for the sake of argument let's assume you are correct.

    What constructive alternatives do you propose?

    Following the likes of John McPain and Mitch McConnell over to the blacksmith's meekly to be fitted with our new set of chains holds no appeal for me.

    Senator Cruz sounds a helluva lot more like our Founding Fathers than any of the rotten turncoats and whey-faced Milquetoasts who pretend to lead us today.

    Where is your PASSION, man?

  17. It must be all that Rock 'n Roll. I've always known it was the primary source of the Addlebrain's Syndrome that is destroying our world.

    I think you need to get back in touch our good ol' Uncle Michael, Kurt. ;-)

  18. The government is not King George, and this is not a revolution.

    What you do is what I said: You get some real ideas together and you go out and explain them to people. That is what a party out of power does.

    Nowhere have I advocated watering down the message. Just don't deliver it attached to a flaming spear and sticks of dynamite.

    Nobody is won over by these tactics, and Cruz is not expanding the base.

  19. @FT --- Ducky, what you fail to grasp is that many of us true Conservatives ...
    Have become an impotent minority.
    Waxing euphoric about a clown in front of the Senate quoting Dr. Seuss? What the fringe right does NOT see is the way they have turned the Tea Party brand (it's America, it's all in the marketing) into a laughingstock.

    What did he accomplish?

    Meanwhile with the trashing of Larry Summers, Syria, the ACA exchanges and quite possibly Iran, Obama has to acknowledge the himt of a sane progressive voice, albeit small, in his party.

    It will be louder as the likes of Cruz stand up and make a spectacle of themselves.
    I understand this just fine.

    Hint: Get him a leash and muzzle.

  20. @FT --- Tell me, does anything EVER fill you with mirth?

    Well I was driving home today listening to Mahler's 9th. Now that work, beautiful as it is certainly didn't fill me with mirth.

    When it ended I was silent for a bit and then turned the car radio to Talent on Loan from Synthetic Morphine and listened to him rant about how the Republicans are doing Cruz dirty.
    Guy's close to losing it and that did fill me with mirth along with the handmade birthday card from my grand niece.

    I'm a pretty positive guy, actually.

  21. The government is not King George, and this is not a revolution.

    And THAT is the problem... TORY!

  22. "And THAT is the problem... TORY!"

    Then shut yer yap, grab your musket and start shooting, jackass.

    I am so fucking tired of all the bullshit revolution talk.

    Who are you going to shoot first? A cop? How about opening fire on Uncle Fred and Cousin Joe down at the National Guard Armory.

    You and the other looney tune nutlogs talking revolution and calling people like 'Tory' can go fuck yourselves.

    -- Silverfiddle sends

  23. HEY! Good friends or not, there is no call for that kind of talk HERE. Please save it for private correspondence. ;-)

    Everybody is so charged the kind of anger that comes from a feeling of powerlessness and futility we're all at each other's throats.

    Not good.

    I'm sorry if I appeared not to respect your point of view, Kurt, but please let's not descend to gutter level, unless it's meant to be funny.

    And, Joe, please let us not TAUNT each other when we disagree, okay?

    We're all entitled to our opinion.

  24. FreeThinke:

    I respect you and I respect your opinion. My vehemence was directed at the minuteman wannabe who called me a Tory while sitting on his ass instead of going out and blasting away at redcoats.

    -- Silverfiddle

  25. i don't have to shoot anyone. I just need to defund stupidity. And ultimately, THAT is all the "revolution" i need. :)

  26. Now grab YOUR. musket, Tory, and try and your gubermint working again. :)

  27. btw even SHUT down and unable to spend "discretionary" funds, your Congress is still DEFICIT spending. So shove THAT in your spending pipe and SMOKE it.

  28. Joe:
    I don't know who you're arguing with, but even through your incoherent babble I can see it's not me.

    I don't shoot at people with my guns and I am opposed to government spending.

    -- Silverfiddle

  29. ...and a modern revolution doesn't require a "gun", Tory.

    but then, the FACT that a shutdown government spends LESS seems lost on you. shame THAT.

  30. Now, BOYS! Remember where you are, PLEASE.

    This is a SALON not a SALOON.

    - FreeThinke's Housekeeper

  31. "...and a modern revolution doesn't require a "gun", Tory."

    Well, when I start seeing some heroics out of you, I'll reassess my opinion of you.

  32. ...and when I see a sign of intelligence from you, "ditto".

  33. In your Wyndham Lewis phase, Farmer?

  34. You dumbass over at the progressive site just don;'t get it.His recital of Dr seuss was actually a mocking of the senate carnival. Didn't think any of y'all would catch that.Are you that stupid? If the senate returns the Obamabust funding, then he will assuredly vote against it.
    Remember that old fashioned thing called a "campaign promise"? That little thingamajig you make during a campaign?

    Well Cruz had promised his constituents he would do everything in his power to attack and delay and attempt to derail Obamacare.

    Now although you might not like his position, I for one admire any public servant and please note I am using public servant, on either side of the aisle who is willing to live up to his or her campaign promise to his or her voters.
    You progressive idiots have to lie ALL THE DAMN TIME

    I have a never ending quest to find out who the REAL leader is of the GOP. Someone the whole party can unite behind. But I'm beginning to think the ENTIRE GOP party is nothing but RINO's since every time I bring up a name that's what my conservative friends call him or her.

    But now we see REAL leadership from Ted Cruz. He's the darling of at least some of the GOP and ALL of the Tea Party (who think they are the only REAL Republicans). Can he be the one????

  35. Yes indeed, Better Dead than Red! As a former Marine, I feel very strongly about this. Ambassadors and the like are a representative to a country, and as such are expected to be protected. In addition, the embassy actually stand on US soil. Yes, embassies belong to the country of which they represent. Now, this was an attack on US soil against a US representative. All the while, we had drones watching the whole debacle from the air. Meanwhile, jets were waiting on the order to take off and provide air support (a low-altitude fly-over most likely would have been sufficient).

    Soldiers are fighters, Warriors. People who to pit it bluntly, kill and destroy for a living and try not to get killed. They VOLUNTEERED to go to a dangerous location, to present themselves as targets, and to be willing to die for their nation's ideologies. This will sound as if I'm minimizing their deaths, but they knew full well they might not live, and they went in knowing that they were going to be in dangerous combat situations. And therefor they MUST be protected with ALL our might. Pretending that this was cause by a stupid internet video is just that “STUPID” and something undeserving of our brave men. It is pure hogwash.
    Democrats especially the Progressive movement have no problem at all being hypocrites. Rules don't apply to them or blacks.
    I'm trying really hard not to sound cold and unfeeling, and that's really hard to get from a message across, I know. But please, I'm just throwing in my opinion and defending it. This is not only my opinion be it has been proven to be Factual. Which is inadequately explained the stupidity of the Obama administration. Let us NOT allow Hillary and company to get off the hook and God Forbid become the next President.
    The press and the Administration is doing ALL they can to Distracting from Benghazi, by allowing ALL of their other scandals to take over the front burner. Yes the Syria crisis and ObamaCare are very important, but we must not allow this scandal to die.

  36. "In your Wyndham Lewis phase, Farmer?"

    No. Farmer's in his 'sitting in his mom's basement wearing his patriot pajamas' phase.

  37. Silverfiddle,
    Quijote was old, his imagination seized by romantic novels, and he could see no other path.

    That's one interpretation (I prefer the word "aspect"), and certainly Cervantes also implied that, at least in part as satire. Cervantes was dismayed that the Spanish were trying to hold onto past glory instead of moving on and dealing with the many changes in the world, including the rise of England.

    But with old age does come a certain kind of wisdom -- even in dementia.

    Don Quijote has many layers. Cervantes, the Shakespeare of Spain, was a master wordsmith. Many of his plays on words cannot be appreciated without a thorough knowledge of the Spanish language -- the Spain version, not the Latin America one.

    Not taking up the mantle of disagreement here, just pointing out my own observations influenced, no doubt, by one of my college professors from Spain; that particular professor was my mentor in college in my junior and senior years. Compared to that professor's knowledge of Cervantes, my knowledge fits into a thimble and doesn't being to overflow that small container.

  38. Wyndham Lewis, along with TS Eliot and Ezra Pound, certainly was one of the last classical liberals.

  39. AOW: I agree. It is multi-layered. His numerous mention of other writers and stories makes it heavy on literary criticism. Also, subsequent Spanish thinkers such as Miguel de Unamuno, who I know you have more than a passing familiarity with, took Quijote as a champion of romanticism over raw rationality and ended up running with those themes.

    And yeah, the Spanish is off the hook. I compare it to trying to read Olde English, although I Cervantes' Spanish is not near as rough to get through as say, Chaucer in the original.

    What I was really taking issue with was people citing the movie. It's a snotty point, so I didn't push it, but the movie, beautiful as it was, was not the book.

    In the book, Don Quijote never sees Dulcinea, and she was a farmer's daughter, not an innkeeper's one. But, as I said, it's a snobby point to make and an unnecessary diversion from FreeThinke's larger point which, despite my disagreement, I do say is well made.

  40. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  41. Thank you, AOW and Kurt, for returning to refine and enhance yesterday's discussion which did seem to get a bit out of hand there for a while.

    I regret never having read the great novel -- even in translation -- but am, of course, familiar with its themes, if not its myriad details.

    Senator Cruz's performance simply reminded me of The Impossible Dream, which I think astonishingly apt to the senator's character and present situation.

    Later, FJ gave the link to a very touching scene between Peter O'Toole as Don Quixote and Sofia Loren as "Dulcinea" which was the basis for my comment.

    At any rate, from the way I look at things, an understanding of the underlying themes and basic principles of a literary or dramatic work is much more important than remembering a boatload of "facts" ABOUT a given work.

    Facts have no significance without the kind of perception and intuitive understanding, and interpretative skill that enable us both to see "The Big Picture" and "read between the lines" at the same time.

  42. Anonymous, my note to "Locke" above should give adequate explanation as to why you were deleted.

    We do NOT welcome irrelevant remarks here. The place is neither a dumping ground, nor a public platform open to heterogenous speeches and outbursts, etc.

    you're welcome here only IF you address the topic at hand.

    Thanks for your future cooperation.

  43. FT,
    One of the things that I love about fiction is that it can speak to matters that span centuries.

    Cervantes made the point that Spain at the time needed both Don Quijotes and Sancho Panzas. A "whole" man encompasses both!

    It is interesting to note that Don Quijote, the dreamer, was a contented man whereas Sancho Panza, the realist an the skeptic, wasn't a contented man. By the end of the novel, Sancho Panza decided that he needed to be more like Don Quijote, who was making his exit from this earthly life.

    There's one more important trait that Don Quijote had: it didn't matter to him that people ridiculed him. Now, perhaps it SHOULD have mattered somewhat to him; I can make the case for that. But marching to the beat of one's own drum does have its advantages.

  44. No problem, FreeThinke.

    You know that I don't fight just for the hell of it.

    AOW: Have you read Rodo's "Ariel?"

    Although not a work of romanticism, it is a South American reaction to utilitarianism as embodied by the Norteños.

  45. Anonymous,
    Have you read Rodo's "Ariel?"

    Not that I recall. My degree in Spanish focused almost exclusively in the literature of Spain.

  46. I recall reading most of the key authors included in The Generation of 98. An entire year for that course, I think.

    Oh, and an entire year of Medieval Literature of Spain.

  47. The story of Franco's wife rescuing Unamuno upon his public confrontation with Astray is a fascinating piece of history.

    I am neither a teach nor an academic, just a guy who likes to read, but I am continually amazed at the incidental connections as well as the threads that run through things.

    -- Silverfiddle

  48. We already participated, Joe.

    Those animals aren't worth hunting, because they're ugly as sin and eminently indigestible.

  49. Silverfiddle,
    Back when I was in college, Unamuno was one of my favorite authors!

    When I mention his name now, mostly I get blank stares.

    Thanks for reminding me of the story about Franco's wife rescuing Unamuno!

    I hope that you understand that my comments here in no way were intended to put down your knowledge of Spanish literature. As you can tell, I am enthusiastic about the topic.

  50. If you had been trained as an academic, Kurt, we'd probably find you intolerable. I spent twenty years teaching, but had to get out of the racket, because of militant takeover of a perverse, destructive mentality. I could not fight it alone, and found the scene more enervating and depressing by the day, so I walked away. I was a darned good teacher, and had good, productive relationships with most of my students many of whim came from "The Ghetto" and "The Barrio," if I must say it for myself, but the leading mentality that suddenly arose in the Sick-sties truly has turned academia into a poisoned well.

    Having a high IQ, earning A's in coursework, scoring high on SAT's, and having the fortitude to win two or three advanced degrees are NOT worthy substitutes for GENUINE Intellectual Curiosity.

    Or as the late, great Duke Ellington put it:

    "It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that Zing."

  51. @ AOW: "I hope that you understand that my comments here in no way were intended to put down your knowledge of Spanish literature."

    Of course! Your knowledge of it is beyond mine. You studied it in a concentrated fashion, while I picked up bits and pieces here and there in slapdash fashion.

    I will have to go find commentaries on much of what I read, in order to orient myself, since I was not formally trained in it.

    That is what I find so refreshing in Unamuno's writings. He is a gifted and intelligent man, but his philosophy is straightforward. Unlike Kant and others, Unamuno wants ordinary people to 'get it.'

    I also find Kierkegaard very accessible. Must be something about the proto-existentialists...

    I've lived years on and off in Latin America and still enjoy many friendships and an occasional visit, so that is where my experience comes from.

    I visited Spain twice, but only for a few weeks each time. As my latin American friends warned me, there wasn't a lot of similarities.

    -- Silverdiddle



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