Myths follow power, but in the years after the Civil War many powers vied to dominate the American future. Artists like Whitman made choices that tipped the scales in this battle toward terrible ends.
By the post-WW2 era, white supremacy was becoming an obstacle to money and power.
California is a living experiment in the interest-convergence dilemma.
A successful revolution must remove its Robespierres. We have many battles to win before being blessed with that problem, but it would be wise to prepare.
Elements of a new mythology are out there, like notes on a piano waiting to be played.
In a post-racial America, what are the values that should define “us?” What symbols, rituals, memorials, songs and other cultural artifacts would best cement those values into place? Who are the heroes to emulate and the villains to reject?
In the end, we can help cement into place a new unifying mythology by making villains of those who fought for the old.
These kinds of transformations seldom have a long tail. They usually appear pyrrhic until they suddenly prevail. We may have far less time than we think to imagine what will replace white supremacy as our unifying mythology. And People sharing a space without a shared definition of “us” rarely share that space politely.
We’re on our way to Austin. Closed on our Chicago area home last Friday. Sticking around the area this week to tie up loose ends. It’s been a wild, tumultuous process that’s left little room to sit and think, much less write. Might still be a couple more weeks before …
As in some backwater Islamic Caliphate, mass artistic content in the US had to pass the wary eye America’s religious mullahs until just a few years ago and Republicans loved it.