Thursday, February 05, 2004

Yesterday was a good day. We managed to forstall getting yelled at in Russian by having an abstract conversation on what it means to have a revolution; the nature of political instability; the moral justifiability of Bolshevik action; whether or not human beings have free agency in the universe, etc. My Prof. enjoyed it. I didn't get as much out of it as I might have liked to have. I'm not really in a class of debaters. But My Prof. seemed to have the issue at the throat: In the end, it all depends on whether or not you believe in God. That's a very Russian opinion, I think. Or maybe I only think so because I didn't figure it out myself, systematically, until I read Dostoevsky.

Other parts of yesterday were equally strange. I was violated by a vibrating cell phone; I spilled Mt. Dew all over the Union in an attempt to hide my goods; I was axed on the stairway by two boys, screaming "Hold her down!" So that was strange. But after school I was talked into going out for a beer. It felt strange to be in a group of my peers, that I didn't go to high school with, doing that sort of thing. I don't know why it felt so weird, but it really did. I enjoyed it though. It was good times and all that. Actually, I didn't drink though. I have to not be nervous around people before I think it's a good idea to start sucking down alcohol. I guess I don't like the idea of being out of control very much.

All in all, a strange and varied day, of the order that I could probably use more of.

On a more philosophical level, I was thinking about how societies really are organized around basically shared values. And I was thinking about how American shared values are a rapidly decreasing phenomenon. There's a growing schism in American society that is rapidly changing the landscape. The reason that our last election was so tight is that the schism is so poignant. Encroaching liberal secularism, of a brand more common in post-Christian Europe, is incompatible with the American system we have experienced thus far. If it wins, and historical precedent tells us that it will, the America of 20 years from now will be as utterly foreign to us, as the America of the pre-student uprising 1950's are foreign to us. And in a hundred years, there may be differences in society which exceed even the changes we've seen over the course of the last century; and this is no small thing. Schisms in traditional gender constructs, to use one example, have been so radical that they utterly fly in the face of everything that every human society since the beginning of time have sacredly held to be true. Changes in social constructs since the Industrial Revolution, I think, are even more vast than our advances in technology and science.

Anyway, Russian reading. Must do it now.