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November 2, 2004

East Coker
Posted by Teresa at 05:30 PM * 16 comments

National Review is sounding depressed. The only real energy on their site is being generated by their multiple denunciations of exit polls.

O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark, The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark …

… As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away …

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Good evening, Mr. Buckley.
Comments on East Coker:
#1 ::: nate ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 05:40 PM:

Hee hee! I haven't read that since grad school. Thanks for the flashback. :)

#2 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:04 PM:

I'm not quite sure just what is going on, but I have been picking this up both from right bloggers and the conventional media. The best they seem to be able to do is "don't despair yet" while everyone in the Kerry camp appears to be optimistic, including some long time pessimists. It seems that reporters who couldn't say a good thing about Kerry are smelling a change in the weather.

I'm sitting here at work, afraid of hoping this all means something. Then I hear Morgan Freeman reading "Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things ... "

OK, I'll say it, even though I may regret it tomorrow -- It is starting to look good.

#3 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:24 PM:

I think having been a Red Sox fan is good training for this sort of waiting and watching. There are things that one learns must be kept in mind:

Maybe this will finally be the year it works. It could happen.

But it's not over until it's over, and even then you have to ask, "There's no way the Sox could be up 4-0 and still lose the Series, is there?" They might could.

#4 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:28 PM:

To put it in terms I'm sure WFB would recognize, "F. you, fugaces."

Seems to me the values of a classical education are as spiffing as ever.

#5 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 07:25 PM:

I remember that as the epigraph to Brian Aldiss's The Dark Light Years. Good novel.

#6 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 08:13 PM:

Well, if they're going to send an extraction team to bag OBL, they should really do it soon....

#7 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 09:12 PM:

There was a small problem, Nel. One of the go-team (word is it was Sam Fisher) was wearing a subdued-color Kerry button on his stealth suit, and TSA wouldn't let him on the Black Hawk.

#8 ::: Derek Lowe ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:08 PM:

Ummm. . .you're right about what the mood was over at NR earlier this evening, but those exit polls now look rather worth denouncing. Virginia for Kerry? As a Bush voter, I'm glad that I'm at least getting an evening's worth from this election. This one's nowhere near over.

To stick with Eliot, from "Gerontion":

History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions
Guides us by vanities. Think now
She gives when our attention is distracted
And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions
That the giving famishes the craving. . .

#9 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 07:42 AM:

The statements of voters leaving the booths disagrees with the total on the Diebold machines.

Foolish voters! Who do they think they are?

#10 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 08:08 AM:

I can't wrap my head around the huge turnout in FL, all those people waiting hours to vote -- for Bush. I want a Florida recount. *weeps*

#11 ::: Jimcat Kasprzak ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:06 AM:

What we need is not to replace the President. We need to replace the citizens. The ones we have now aren't qualified for the job.

#12 ::: Keith ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:40 AM:

Kerry just conceded. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Is 11:30 AM too early to start drinking?

#13 ::: Nyrath the nearly wise ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:41 AM:

From NIGHT WATCH by Terry Pratchett:

There were plotters, there was no doubt about it. Some had been ordinary people who'd had enough. Some were young people with no money who objected to the fact that the world was run by old people who were rich. Some were in it to get girls. And some had been idiots as mad as Swing, with a view of the world just as rigid and unreal, who were on the side of what they called 'the people'. Vimes had spent his life on the streets, and had met decent men and fools and people who'd steal a penny from a blind beggar and people who performed silent miracles or desperate crimes every day behind the grubby windows of little houses, but he'd never met The People.

People on the side of The People always ended up disappointed, in any case. They found that The People tended not to be grateful or appreciative or forward-thinking or obedient. The People tended to be small-minded and conservative and not very clever and were even distrustful of cleverness. And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn't that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people.

#14 ::: Jimcat Kasprzak ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 12:47 PM:

Ah, so that's where that thought fell into my head from.

#15 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: November 03, 2004, 11:49 PM:

Damn Pratchett. Right now I can't read Jingo, or Small Gods, or Night Watch, or The Truth...because they're all too depressing given that Ankh-bloody-Morpork has a better autocrat than we do.

Thief of Time might work.

#16 ::: Lin Daniel sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 11:26 PM:

Spam spam spam words and spam

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