a summer mystery…

Posted on Friday 29 June 2007

A friend sent me a summer mystery she thought I might enjoy. It was a murder mystery built into Freud and Jung’s trip to America in 1909. She was right. Though the plot was tortured, the history was accurate, and I did enjoy the book. But the part that stuck with me was the opening page – which had little [or everything] to do with the rest of the book:


I wish I’d had that thought all by myself. It’s a gem that I doubt I’ll ever forget. We’re about to leave for a trip to Eastern Europe – Budapest, Prague, and the Danube in between. When we lived in Europe in the early 70’s, we couldn’t visit those places – the iron curtain was very "up." So we’re going now to pick up on the piece we missed. There was a welcomed lull in the preparation, and I was happily on the front steps lost in watching the various bees and insects busying themselves in the blooming buckeyes and hydrangeas, and I thought of those paragraphs.

Oddly, the thoughts ultimately brought to mind these pictures :

I wonder if he’s ever really happy – ever just watches the bees moving from blossom to blossom. He looks happy when he’s with his daughters sometimes. And there a few shots of him gufhawing [though I wonder what the jokes really are about]. But, mostly, I was wondering about how he got to be the way he is – what wound he suffered, what blow to pride, what indifference he dealt with that gave him such a dark persona. And the part that’s with me the most these days – his lies. I wonder if he believes his own lies, or if he’s more one who believes that what he’s doing justifies them, or if he’s just a person who doesn’t feel the pangs of guilt and shame that keep the rest of us in line.

I expect he’s "ruth-less" in person, in the true sense of that word – lacking the qualities of Ruth, the biblical figure. In a perverted way, Cheney is "in the moment" – he’s lost in it. He’s in the moment of getting the Oregon farmer’s votes – without thinking that he’s destroying the Northwestern fisheries. He’s in the moment when he thinks of invading Iraq, unseating Hussein, and opening up the Iraqi oil fields – without considering that he’s destabilizing the entire Middle East, wrecking our Military, and probably changing the world’s view of America forever [for the worse]. He’s in the moment when he’s protecting the oil industry by suppressing the science about the progression of Global Warming.

But, I doubt that he’s ever been really happy. I expect that the best it gets for him is feeling "pleased with himself" when he pulls off one of his schemes. And what of "meaning?" The "meaning" Cheney’s achieved in the last six years is anything but what I think he must have envisioned. I expect he had a vision of returning to his glory days – Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Papa Bush. His legacy [besides becoming an icon for power-mongering run amok] will be a string of failures on two fronts – failing to advance his own ideal of an Imperial Presidency and, in the long haul, failing at everything he set out to achieve – the War, the Oil, the Reagan World of his fantasy Maybe there will be enough like-minded types around to say "great job Dickie." But I expect he’s at least smart enough to know the truth, even if he can’t tell it. Yet I doubt that he’ll ever acknowledge that the roots of his failure lie in his own flawed soul. If there were ever a man wrecked by success – Dick Cheney’s that man. History offered him a chance to shine, a chance for pride and maybe even happiness, and he threw it away – skillfully…
    June 29, 2007 | 11:15 PM

    Do you remember when people and media types would say that It’s a good thing Cheney is Vice President because Bush doesn’t have enough experience in foreign affairs and Cheney is such smart and knowledgable guy. Boy were they wrong. I hope you and your wife have a wonderful trip.

    June 30, 2007 | 8:11 AM

    Have a lovely trip!!! I can’t wait to see the photos.

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