April 28, 2003

John Berger: Not Dead Yet

It's nice to know that John Berger is not dead, just brain-dead.

It is beyond me why The Nation would waste its paper and ink on such landfill as this.

Can anyone tell me what the hell this means?

Married as they are to fear, they cannot come to terms with, or find a place for, death. Fear keeps death out, and so the dead desert them. And people deserted by the dead lose any sense of continuity. The past becomes obsolete and the future frenetic and short-term. The present is reduced to a sequence of instants, unrelated to the experience of past and future lives. Those deserted by the dead find themselves alone on the planet. Married to fear, deserted by the dead, they still wield incomparable power, both economic and military, and are terrifyingly dangerous. But, in the long run, can their power survive? Ask the dead and the not-yet-born. I doubt it.

Oh well, Ways of Seeing was a pretty good book for it's time, but Berger's kindergarten Marxism got old long before this.

Posted by campbell at April 28, 2003 04:01 PM | TrackBack

I think I know.

Berger sees the Bush administration and other allied leaders of their ilk as scaremongerers, milking and mining political profit from fear.

Berger believes that this profiting cuts Bush officials off from healthy connections with previous, still-useful and prematurely abandoned ideals and relationships. Berger also believes that it seals off natural and authentic connections to the future.

Ultimately, Berger believes that these guys' disconnect from past and future, and their drive to show and prove American power, will not succeed.

Berger's language reminds me of Kubler-Ross' grief process; I think he might say that Bushites are in the denial or the searching-yearning stage immediately after denial.

Posted by: george at April 29, 2003 11:04 PM