"The mind is a compact, multiply connected thought mass with internal connections of the most intimate kind. It grows continuously as new thought masses enter it, and this is the means by which it continues to develop."

Bernhard Riemann On Psychology and Metaphysics ca. 1860

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

History and Drama

I'm just finishing up another excellent forgotten play. Cato by Addison. I was thinking what a wonderful theme it would make for an historical study on many fronts. There are several ironies about this. Firstly, this Addison was an ally of Swift in his mission to free Ireland from the yoke of an oppressive British empire policy of looting its satrapies. Second, today's Cato Institute is the complete opposite of anything resembling true patriotism. (Perhaps they should be renamed the Sempronius Institute.) Third, there is a forgotten tale to be told which is worthy of any scholar's enterprise. Diametrically opposite of the popular entertainment of today, there was a time in our country when drama was a vehicle for nation building. View in your mindseye this play actually performed at Valley Forge in the winter of our nascent Republic's own discontent. Regard the remnants of an even greater forgotten dramatist and historian Schiller-- today only known as a nameplate for many monuments and parks around the country. (I suspect that this lapse in education was probably the result of the anti German jingoism dating from WWI.) Lastly, what more appropriate vehicle could drama today be put amidst the onrushing duel calamities of suicidal economic and military policies foisted on a mesmerized and basely "entertained" US public?

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