The proclamation and repetition of first principles is a constant feature of life in our democracy. Active adherence to these principles, however, has always been considered un-American. We recipients of the boon of liberty have always been ready, when faced with discomfort, to discard any and all first principles of liberty, and, further, to indict those who do not freely join with us in happily arrogating those principles.
Superman comics are a fable, not of strength, but of disintegration. They appeal to the preadolescent, (sic) mind not because they reiterate grandiose delusions, but because they reiterate a very deep cry for help.Superman's two personalities can be integrated only in one thing: only in death. Only Kryptonite cuts through the disguises of both wimp and hero, and affects the man below the disguises.And what is Kryptonite? Kryptonite is all that remains of his childhood home.It is the remnants of that destroyed childhood home, and the fear of those remnants, which rule Superman's life. The possibility that the shards of that destroyed home might surface prevents him from being intimate- they prevent him from sharing the knowledge that the wimp and the hero are one. The fear of his childhood home prevents him from having pleasure.He fears that to reveal his weakness, and confusion, is, perhaps indirectly, but certainly inevitably, to receive death from the person who received that information.[...]Far from being invulnerable, Superman is the most vulnerable of beings, because his childhood was destroyed. He can never reintegrate himself by returning to that home- it is gone. It is gone and he is living among aliens to whom he cannot even reveal his rightful name.
Society functions in a way much more interesting than the multiple-choice pattern we have been rewarded for succeeding at in school. Success in life comes not from the ability to choose between the four presented answers, but from the rather more difficult and painfully acquired ability to formulate the questions.
You know, I once read an interesting book which said that, uh, most people lost in the wilds, they, they die of shame. Yeah, see, they die of shame. 'What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?' And so they sit there and they... die. Because they didn't do the one thing that would save their lives. Thinking.
Every reiteration of the idea that _nothing matters_ debases the human spirit.Every reiteration of the idea that there is no drama in modern life, there is only dramatization, that there is no tragedy, there is only unexplained misfortune, debases us. It denies what we know to be true. In denying what we know, we are as a nation which cannot remember its dreams--like an unhappy person who cannot remember his dreams and so denies that he does dream, and denies that there are such things as dreams.
The basis of drama is ... is the struggle of the hero towards a specific goal at the end of which he realizes that what kept him from it was, in the lesser drama, civilization and, in the great drama, the discovery of something that he did not set out to discover but which can be seen retrospectively as inevitable. The example Aristotle uses, of course, is Oedipus.