No Atheists in the Foxholes

David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.—David Foster Wallace, “This Is Water”

 

Cruz (Unguided) Missile

Why Do I Suddenly Feel This Is the Weimar Republic?

Why Do I Suddenly Feel This Is the Weimar Republic?

Who is this man and where did he come from? Oh, yeah. Texas. Well, I should have known.

One interesting phenomenon about all these Tea Party darlings, from Michele Bachmann to Sarah Palin to Rand Paul to (now) Ted Cruz, is that they rise up suddenly from the backwoods and hit the news media with a sudden and glittering éclat before they sink into the malodorous miasma of bad reputations.

I suppose there are people who subscribe to the Tea Party principles of “That government governs best which doesn’t exist.” If you’ve read anything I’ve written over the last year or so, you know I don’t hold with that brand of anarchism. The sad thing is that many adherents of those beliefs are dependent on the same government programs that they oppose on quasi-ideological grounds. It wouldn’t be the first time that large masses of people shot themselves in the foot.

In the end, I think that Ted Cruz will be one of the people responsible for the latest demolition of the Republican Party. In the past, the GOP has come back Phoenix-like from its previous devastations—only to blunder into even more destructive ones. What can one do with a party that is paid for by uncaring CEOs for the sole purpose of lightening their own personal tax loads and that of their business enterprises? The Tea Partyers are merely low speed bumps on the road to where the 1% wants to go.