Thursday, March 6, 2014

Enshrined mediocrity is our national ideal

One of my favorite books is Walker Percy’s  The Moviegoer . I read it many years ago and can hardly remember either the entire plot or why I love it so.  What I do remember are certain speeches that were appropriate then and now.  I've kept them all these years and now I have a blog where I can share them.

The third quote is the most pertinent for me.  The search is everything. The first two quotes are, sadly, true, true, true.

–Walker Percy, The Moviegoer “I have discovered that most people have no one to talk to, no one, that is, who really wants to listen. When it does at last dawn on a man that you really want to hear about his business, the look that comes over his face is something to see.”

“Ours is the only civilization in history which has enshrined mediocrity as its national ideal. Others have been corrupt, but leave it to us to invent the most undistinguished of corruptions.  What is new is that in our time liars and thieves and whores and adulterers wish also to be congratulated by the great public, if their confession is sufficiently psychological or strikes a sufficiently heartfelt and authentic note of sincerity. Oh, we are sincere. I do not deny it. I don't know anybody nowadays who is not sincere.”

The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life…. To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.

On a personal note:  I fell last week and messed up my left arm. I discovered it's nice to act feeble and sit around and look dazed.  This morning I said to myself, it's time to get up and act normal.

1 comment:

  1. Best wises for complete and speedy recovery, and thanks for sharing!