It was the time of unraveling. Long afterward, in the ruins, people asked: How could it happen? It was a time of beheadings. With a left-handed sawing motion, against a desert backdrop, in bright sunlight, a Muslim with a British accent cut off the heads of two American journalists and a British aid worker. The jihadi seemed comfortable in his work, unhurried. His victims were broken. Terror is theater. Burning skyscrapers, severed heads: The terrorist takes movie images of unbearable lightness and gives them weight enough to embed themselves in the psyche. – New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: Everything is going to hell and no one does anything, especially the great powers.
Free-Market Analysis: This Times editorial was featured at the top of the well-known Drudge Report and has obviously had an impact on the chattering classes.
It’s written in pseudo-liturgical cadences and is reminiscent of the great allegorical poem that we have often quoted by WB Yeats, “The Second Coming.”
Yeats’s poem is justly famous for the serious nature of his topic, which was the end of World War I and the ruin it had left behind. The ruin was both cultural and spiritual. After “The Great War” few certainties remained untouched. The brutal sacrifice of so many lives to achieve nothing of import led to extreme nihilism and end of cultural certainty. We live with that today.
This article has those intonations, and the Internet is buzzing over its construction and presentation. Here’s one reaction, posted at the blog Patheos.com:
The Great Unraveling: A Necessary Look at Reality … This morning, the New York Times published an exquisitely-written dose of reality via Roger Cohen. If “only Nixon could go to China” then perhaps only a NYT columnist could spell this out and thus permit us to credibly acknowledge that the center is not holding.
This post was published at The Daily Bell By Staff News & Analysis – September 16, 2014.