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Caption to this picture: “How to Tell When Hunting Season is Over.”

Have you seen Zero Dark Thirty? I haven’t gone, but it has come to my hometown so I was thinking about going. After reading this review, I’m definitely going, though I don’t know if I’m going to like it.

I must say, however, that it cuts against my Candide-like preference for the garden. The world–especially our culture and society–presents one jarring episode after another (yesterday’s jar). The only (emotional, intellectual, spiritual) defense is the practical one of keeping your metaphorical head down. (From the Wikipedia entry on Candide: “The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide’s slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating a deeply practical precept, ‘we must cultivate our garden'”)

I didn’t take many math and science classes in high school. I graduated before Reagan’s pressure on public education to better equip students to compete in the modern world (which meant: emphasize math and science). My kids have to take a ton of math and science compared to what I took, and I don’t have a problem with (I have a problem with the federal government mandating it, but among the federal government’s atrocities, this one doesn’t offend me much). But I’m glad I spent my youth reading the classics, many of them required by my English teachers. A sampling of the works we studied in high school and that have remained with me to this day: Candide, The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, The Stranger, To Kill a Mockingbird, lots of Shakespeare and Poe and Twain, The Metamorphosis.

One Response

  1. C.R