Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dialogue of the Ages

Every generation challenges and threatens its predecessors. Each cultivates its own identity, not viewing the recent past as a source of both pride and shame, but a question that needs answered or challenge met. Each generation makes its first move in the absence of internal judgment, filled with external judgment, minus personal attachment and bias.

So, one can measure a priori, the actions of nations. The culture, the historical record, the prose and verse, all built creating an image, and identity, in judgment of those who came before, but not of itself. Such a nation is dangerously bold, exploratory, even expansive, not weighed by personal criticism.

Once a generation is established, its identifiable marks set in the measured and recorded past, it holds fast to those principles as its foundation; jutting it out into the lofty air of destiny. All crimes are justified; all methods available, for the values which are an improvement upon the previous must be maintained and abided. Pride blinds the view of irony.

Civilizations are the same, when expanded over the lands historically of others, co-opted their customs and dialects into a new order all efforts will be made to preserve that which has been come to be known as theirs. The Roman Republic, in its steady growth of including wider strata of the socio-economic castes, did not survive the domination of the Mediterranean. Athens' crude democratization and colonization efforts did not create an environment where one such as Socrates could be suffered to live.

In the process of the generation and the civilization becoming comfortable in their identity, eliminating detractors and defining clear boundaries, they grow introspective, marking turning points and redrawing the map of history to show themselves at the pinnacle of a long, arduous, and destined path through time. This edifying and aggrandizing leaves them blind to those external forces which will usurp them.

"As a writer, shall I compose a work which touches the elements of the human condition, yet in a way that is relevant to the contemporary audience and in a style which has both beauty and technique, immortalized in the dialogue of the Ages? Should such a feat be accomplished, or merely supposed in the blindness of pride swollen from accolades, will my volume of work grow with items that are self referencing tributes to the author, mere masturbation?"


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