Swans Commentary » swans.com January 2, 2006  



Holding Breath


by Milo Clark





(Swans - January 2, 2006)  Most of us, anticipating something, will take a breath and hold it a moment or two awaiting closure. A diver takes a breath and holds it before leaping. A shooter draws in a deep breath to coax steadiness of aim. A singer charges herself before going for high C over C.

So much seems to be in a state of chassis as an Irish playwright once described the moment about to be now. I am not sure I want to know what will be next. Orwell's 1984 appears to be catching up with today. And that sentence appears to be very much understated.

The world of Islam is being driven by Wahabi/Salafi extremes. The world of Christianity is being driven by born-again fundamentalists, one of whom sits in the American White House. Jerusalem is under sway of Jewish extremists.

Philosopher-economist Leopold Kohr saw that size would consume itself when excesses exceeded capacities. Historian John Lukacs told us to expect a return of barbarity about now. Science fiction guru Robert Heinlein speculated that we would be in a theocracy early in the twenty-first century.

My side table groans under a burden of tomes decrying what Kohr would describe as relevant excesses. Humpty Dumpty sits on his wall leaning over further and further to see what is at the bottom.

The rational mind balks. Whether by Wahabi/Salafi, born-again evangelical, or black-hatted scraggly-bearded Orthodox by whom events appear more and more to be driven; reason, however defined, has fled. To where may be the next question for which answers elude us.

Wahabi/Salafi Islam exists as the state religion of Saudi Arabia. Washington is held in stasis by a born-again mentality. The Wailing Wall is passionately kissed by men rocking back and forth and holding veto power over Jerusalem.

Logically, virulent Islam could be contained by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia. American voters could reject fundamentalism in office. Israel's secular Jews could marginalize the Orthodox extremists.

How far will this pendulum swing before a moment's hesitation and then return? What is return? To where may we return? As no one of these possibilities is likely to become probability, breath is held. May we not asphyxiate!


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Internal Resources

US Elections & Democracy

Patterns which Connect

America the 'beautiful'


About the Author

Milo Clark on Swans (with bio).



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This Edition's Internal Links

2006 Infamous Predictions™ - SWANS

The Shamefulness Of That Shamelessness - Michael Doliner

The Bottom Line on Two Too Long Wars - Philip Greenspan

Predicting A Republican Sweepstake - Milo Clark

Tête-à-Tête - Book Review by Charles Marowitz

Whether You Sing Along Or Not - Poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith

Battling The Demons - Short Story by Joe Davison

Understanding The Media's Liberal Bias - Ben Mack

Blips #32 - From the Editor's desk

Letters to the Editor

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art12/mgc174.html
Published January 2, 2006