Hope Springs Eternal

Leonard Cohen died today. I've mentioned my admiration of him before (more than once, actually) but, today I feel strangely unmoved. We all die. I think he would understand why I feel this way.

I'm listening, as I write this,  to a new album  by Future of Forestry. I like it. A lot.  Deeply Christian lyrics and superb musicianship. It's an unfortunately rare combination in contemporary music.

I charged my flat camera battery and found ten unknown, unremembered pictures. The view is from my deck, goodness knows when, though the EXIF data would tell me if I cared to look. Anyway, a  gift from outside of my memory.

I watched the video of Trump and President Obama quietly loathing each other before the assembled press. One of them a President and the other who campaigned, not to be president, but to be autocrat. One of the most worrying things for me in all this last few months has been the vitriol heaped on the good man and the willing adulation of the corrupted one. It is here, and not in Trump's dim grasp of reality, that the real danger lies.

I look at my forgotten photos. A rainbow earths itself in my lovely city and God speaks as reassuringly to me as he did to Noah. 


Elaine Dent said…
"Rainbow"...As we began the long drive moving my parents from their home in VA to a retirement community in PA, there was a fleeting rainbow in sky---enough to remind me of God's promise and hope for the life of my family undergoing painful change. Sentimental coincidence? Doesn't matter. Could use another one now :-/. "Vitriol" has seeped into facebook friends (which no longer feels safe and from which I may absent myself for awhile) and even into the congregation. Whenever I wish I could move to New Zealand, I find myself thinking of Dietrich Bonhoeffer who left NY city to go back to Nazi Germany to stand with the confessing church. Like it or not, this is where I am called to serve---just glad I am not a bishop!!! Grateful for your prayers and for your obvious wrestling with the ramifications of the election around the world.
Kelvin Wright said…
Over the last few days it's dawned on me more and more that Trump's victory is not so much about the ascendancy of the Right as the moral failure and lack of courage of the Left. Over the last 50 years we, comfortable, educated Westerners have benefited from and quietly acquiesced in policies and social/political arrangements which have laid waste to huge swathes of our own culture. Can we blame the disenfranchised for being angry? Can we blame them for seeing in us no reason for hope?

When Donald Trump flew to Washington he was offered and declined the use of Air Force One. The reasons he gave were actually sensible. It's an old plane with grossly fuel inefficient engines. The President flies the globe in it, speaking from time to time on climate change and carbon footprints and all that, and all the while spewing unnecessary tons of carbon into the atmosphere. It's a symbol of all that so angers those who are not in the privileged elite to which I belong.
We liberals have won the culture wars, well, almost. We gained power, and guess what? The Kingdom of God didn't arrive with our well reasoned self interest. And those who are illiberal are pissed off at us for selling them a line. Perhaps we on the Left are being consigned back to the barricades: wjhich is where we actually belong.
Elaine Dent said…
A good book that I read a few weeks ago and has helped me understand some of what you are speaking about in terms of the disenfranchised population is "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance.
Alden Smith said…
There is a certain amount of truth to what you say about the liberal left but Barack Obama and the Democrats have in terms of health, education, et al reforms and gun control always been cut off at the pass by a Republican dominated house or senate. In many ways the Democrats have been a lame duck administration during the last eight years. If Hilary Clinton had been elected with both houses going to the Republicans (as they have indeed gone), any of her well meaning reforms would have come to nothing.

But while the Democrats have been wrestling with domestic concerns it has continued the collective western worlds neo-colonial approach of importing goods and services produced at slave labour rates in third world countries with the resulting collapse of domestic industries. New Zealand is also complicit in this outrage.

To address this moral question (slave labour and domestic industrial decline) the response should be "Make America Moral Again" not 'Make America Great Again' a slogan which is wrapped in the brutal self interest of the president elect and as is as fatuous as the person who trumpets it. The only concerns for this guy are the old chestnuts of ego, power, money, prestige and privilege.

Ordinary working people in the United States deserve better than they have been getting for decades but a messiah in the form of this president elect that they have projected their hopes onto doesn't really seem from his track record and his approach (trickle down economics) to be anything but a false prophet of gargantuan proportions.

We live in interesting times, a time when the so called Bible Belt of the USA voted overwhelmingly for someone who to date has shown he is the antithesis of the Gospel - go figure.

Kelvin Wright said…
Yes, Alden precisely.With his family now making up a pretty fair portion of his transition team it seems he is well along the way to making the White House into just one more part of Trump Inc. Perhaps he will work in the best interests of those who elected him, but perhaps, more likely, he will work in the best interests of Donald J Trump and plunder and despoil and offend his way through the next 4 years.

But what scares me absolutely shitless is the prospect of a crisis in the USA. Imagine if 9/11 had happened when Trump was at the helm. Hitler seized absolute power with only 28% of the seats in the Reichstag by engineering a crisis and declaring a "temporary" state of emergency which delivered absolute control to the chancellor. At worst, the USA could slip into the worst kind of destructive totalitarianism. At best sheer bloody incompetence and vested interest could result in national and international decisions being taken which would be the ruin of us all.

But maybe he'll just sit back and let his cronies run the show while he gold plates the taps and fills the walls with crass paintings and nothing much will happen.

Kelvin Wright said…
And thanks, Elaine. I've just ordered it and will read it directly. Ain't Kindle grand?
Elaine Dent said…
Kindle is the best---the quickest way to delve into a book you've referenced.