Once again, addicted to the 'neon lights' of blogdom, rather than write anything serious I will use the time I have to jot down a few thoughts before heading off to work. I wanted to write yesterday, I had a day free, but all I managed was grocery shopping, a walk, a nap, still feeling too low to do the creative thing I felt a need for, still marinated in the bad chemistry of crazy Saturday night shifts. Finally I had a glass of wine, attempted an indoor bike ride, fell into watching Dragon Tattoo.
And getting up today, still it was easier to just scan the New York Times, finding Krugman's reflection on Paul Ryan. I agree with Krugman. I don't see a lot of opportunity anymore, I don't see the wage earner making enough gains to keep him out of serious trouble for all his hard work and sacrifice. Perhaps I was subconsciously lulled into the political need, the right to a generous society that would take care of its people, born into and taught by the generation of the G.I. Bill. I don't' know what happened to me. I thought being a decent guy working hard would let me get somewhere in life, not knowing I'd been globalized. Nor did the creative life lead anywhere, but why should it. Writing poetry, whatever, that's for the nobility who don't have to worry, like Yeats. And as far as American tradition goes, the ability of the common democrat to write in a way to survive, like a Twain, a Hemingway, well, that's all very highly tricky, look at poor Kerouac, who, nominally at least, was a success, even though it killed him.
So, as the editorial mentioned, there's a comparison to be drawn between the modern conservative Ryan and the way England handled the Irish during the Potato Famine. The Irish found it so hard with their bread, in essence their jobs, their right to a livelihood, shipped away, leaving them to subsist on a potato crop, that they had to pull up stakes and bring what they had to America, so that they might have a family life again, children, a roof. And all the while the British authorities insisted it would be wrong to let the Irish eat the bread they had gained through the sweat of their own faces.
Okay, as Egan points out in Paul Ryan's Irish Amnesia, the comparison is "a stretch," but there's a similarity, a difference between the mentality and that of the Gospels as far as how to handle the poor, the salt of the earth.
But there is something about the Irish character as it involves literature, a temperament of sharing the experiences of what might well be construed as having to deal with the experience of the poor, the meek, the humble of the Gospels...