As my friend Mr. Scott is fond of saying,”people are wild”. I suppose this has always been true from the hunter gatherer times but it is still very true today. Our wildness has some strange ways of surfacing these days.
The past few weeks I have been watching the conventions of the political parties. I had watched them in past years but never noticed the look the attendants have in their eyes. They’re ferocious. I think of the Yeats poem The Second Coming:
- The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
- The best lack all conviction, while the worst
- Are full of passionate intensity
The people seem to believe every syllable uttered from the lips of those leaders reading words from a teleprompter. I understand from history that these conventions were once an event when all the members of a political party met in the same place the elect a candidate, to vote a representative. But now they are little more than a pep rally or as PBS phrases it, “a four day infomercial for the party”.
And still, the crowd chants scripted replies to slogans handed out to then on cardboard plackards. The speakers are more like rock stars slinging words and rhetoric rater that guitar riffs. The faces of the crowds are in love with the ideas, they seem to believe the person they are cheering for will solve all our problems. Many of the speakers can hardly finish a sentence for the crowd drowning them out with generic planned cheers for God, country and candidate. How strange a ceremony we’ve adopted.
And true that the these political fanatics so full of wild passionate intensity for ideas that will likely never form into reality nor touch their lives with any policy. More likely that the children or grand children will owe the debt we accrue. Nor see a shift from the illusion of choice and the myth of a government that will not change itself. Their eyes wild with belief and anger and hope.