I got some e-mail from the Curmudgeon very early this morning. It really is a “Letter From Underground.” I think his liver may be diseased.
“Once you drag government into the kitchen and drown it in the bathtub there’s no point in being surprised if it leaves you to drown in the attic. Life in a state of nature (without a strong, efficient, well-run, intelligently managed government) is exactly what Hobbes said it was: Nasty, mean, swinish, brutal, and short.
“I might not have the quotation letter perfect, but you get the idea.
“These people are supposed to protect us against terrorists, as well as come to our aid in the event of a great natural disaster. Lots of luck. About the only thing they’ve managed to do is make airline travel annoying. I have a friend who bought metal-free shoes. They do not trip any alarms. He still has to take them off.
“It surprises me that nearly everyone in America spent hours glued to the tube and still polls show people think the President did a good job “handling” the disaster. What were they watching, re-runs of Charlton Heston disaster movies?
“I learned a tough lesson a few days ago: Don’t strike up a conversation with an old guy. I was leaving a local bakery and made a casual comment to an old geezer who was dusting his SUV with his handkerchief.
“I got his life story.
“The lesson I learned: No one gives a rat’s ass about how it used to be when you were a boy. Don’t bore the world around you to death. That was then, and this is now. The distance between then and now becomes greater with each passing month of technology-fueled change. Shut up and learn about “now.”
“A famous philosopher once said the bad art was corrupted feeling. Bad art can corrupt feeling, too. The principle applies to all art, including architecture. I would not normally obsess about this except for the fact that a local charter school has built a string of classroom buildings to house their little children that are bone ugly.
"Amphiboly warning: the classrooms are ugly, not the kids. If I thought I could count on your knowing when we use “that” and when we use “who” the warning would not be necessary.
"At any rate, I watched these classrooms being built (cheaply, I imagine) and they have all the charm of sheds assembled to house migrant cotton pickers.
“Kids are sensitive to these things. Oh, well. Perhaps the classrooms have lots of brightly colored posters.
Maybe something like, “Christ Curing The Esthetically Challenged.”