Author Topic: Suicide of a Super Power, Pat Buchanan  (Read 1336 times)

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Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Suicide of a Super Power, Pat Buchanan
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2011, 11:39:55 PM »
Kipling was a member of the upper classes, even though he was a long ways from being a royal. And his tragic flaw was his feeling of British imperial superiority.

Nixon was also a tragic figure, as was Evita Peron.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Michael Tee

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Re: Suicide of a Super Power, Pat Buchanan
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2011, 11:46:34 PM »
So what about the "awe and wonder" that should have attended Kipling's "genetic death?"  IMHO, it was non-existent.  Do you agree that there was no awe and wonder associated with Kipling's downfall, or do you think that there's no real requirement for "awe and wonder" as a necessary condition of tragedy?

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Suicide of a Super Power, Pat Buchanan
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2011, 12:47:40 PM »
I agree that there was no "awe and wonder". I am thinking that in our times, "awe and wonder" are increasingly rare.

There was a huge amount of "awe and wonder" shown in the films Independence Day, the last War of the Worlds film and even the final scenes of Howard the Duck. But no one much wonders or is awed anymore. Special FX has made the most wondrous and awe-inspiring scenes mundane.

I remember being scared sh!tless by huge rubberoid Japanese monsters in old Sci-Fi flicks. The ants in the original film "The Thing" terrified me. Now I just laugh to think that I found these scenes even remotely scary.

By the way, if you do not mind subtitled films, here is an excellent one El secreto de sus ojos. The Secrets in their Eyes. Juan Jose Campanella is as meticulous a director as Polansky at his best, and this is a murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Michael Tee

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Re: Suicide of a Super Power, Pat Buchanan
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2011, 01:14:21 PM »
We live in a skeptical age.  I guess there are no classical heroes any more, so there can't be any more "awe and wonder" either at the stature of the hero or at the depth of his fall.  We still can have some heroes, like "Sully" Sullenberger, who landed his plane on the ice of the Hudson River and walked through it twice as it was sinking to ensure that there were no passengers left behind, or Lt. Hugh Thompson Jr. of the My Lai massacre, who forced murdering US troops back at gun-point.

I grew up in an age of heroes - - Winston Churchill, FDR, MacArthur; I can still recall, as a pre-teen, crying my heart out, listening on the radio to MacArthur's farewell speech.  (My excuse is, I didn't know any better at the time.)  The great heroes are all dead, except for Fidel Castro, and I'm afraid he won't be around much longer either.

But I guess if the "awe and wonder" go, then the tragedy goes too.  Or just lives on in a diminished form.  On a spectrum ranging from "it's too bad" to "tragic," we've been dialed back to the "too bad" end of the scale.  Or, coming back to Kipling, isn't it really more of an irony than a tragedy?

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Suicide of a Super Power, Pat Buchanan
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2011, 05:04:10 PM »
Evita Peron could not become pregnant. As a result, she managed to sleep around and all the way up to the Casa Rosada. As it turned out, the same ovary problem resulted in the cancer that killed her at a rather young age. So I have always considered Evita to be a true tragic figure.

Nixon was insecure, and always looking for a way to grab an advantage over those he thought were socially superior to him, who would obviously include JFK, who was from a rich Boston family rather than a middle class bunch from some podunk California place like Yorba Linda. Hie insecurity caused him to hire the Watergate burglars, even though he would have win the election without any of their shenanigans, and that was what got him impeached. Another tragic figure.

Clinton's obsession with nookie almost made a tragic figure of him, but it seems that he surpassed it, and is not a tragic figure at all.
Napoleon the short Corsican who sought fame among taller Frenchmen could be a tragic figure.

Now I am wondering how about Herr Adolf, whose poor Austrian roots and rejection as a painter caused him to become the most successful anti-Semite of all time. And of course, that brought about his doom as well. I realize that few historic figures are as loathsome as Hitler, but can we consider him as a candidate for tragic figure as well? Hie downfall was the most dramatic of all those I have mentioned.

Would we have been better off had Herr Adolf won the prize at that artistic exposition? I think Vonnegut wrote about this...
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."