Dream of the Dragon

Tag: buendia

Obama should study Reagan

by Justin

Change and hope. Those words, the ones Americans so desperately wanted to hear in the oblivion of Bush’s second term, dominated Obama’s nearly immaculate campaign and became symbols of a new era. The timing of Obama’s ascendancy couldn’t have been better, really. The old guard had failed miserably at leading, American’s were disenchanted with the GOP and wanted a radical shift. By and large, you know. Democrats and liberals were, of course, going to dodge any Republican candidate. But Obama tapped into the independents and the more moderate republicans. Running a black candidate was a serious gamble, but that was the moment. And Obama seized the hell out of it. Then what happened?

Okay, so we go into his presidency with impossible expectations. Absolutely unrealistic. I wrote about this before, about the inevitable meeting of his idealism and the labyrinth of politics – how liberals should have seen it coming and should take his stumbles and compromises with a grain of salt. Read the rest of this entry »

Mourning Aftermath

by Justin

“A ritual is an opportunity to participate in a myth. You are in one way or another putting your consciousness, even the action of your body, into play in relation to a mythological theme, and, as I hope I’ve made clear, mythological themes are projections of the order of the psyche… by participating in a ritual occasion you are in a magical field, a field that is putting you in touch with your own great depth.”

Joseph Campbell from The Myths and Masks of God

In the thick of a more immediate and shocking wave of grief, I’ve started mourning the absence of ritual in my life. Ritual, mind you, not worship. America, or rather post-industrial culture in general, lacks a strong tradition of practicing ritual without specific and distracting religious baggage. Read the rest of this entry »

‘Let’s do it.’

by Justin

I can’t imagine any death-row inmate choosing lethal injection. Sure, if the choice is between the notoriously unreliable and undeniably painful electric chair or some fatal cocktail I’d leap for the syringe. But what if one of the choices is to stand in the open air and brace against a bullet through the heart? Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I’d take the instant and dramatic gunshot over feeling my life ebb away in the cold, sterile air of an indoor execution chamber.  Not to mention recent accounts of botched injections that required additional doses or observable pain in those last breaths.

This article in the Times about the last bastion of firing squad executions made me imagine the scenarios for the first time since Colonel Aureliano. Read the rest of this entry »