Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Wondrous Critique

This post continues my theme of drawing wisdom from UrsulaLe Guin’s Orsinian Tales.  You can check out some of my previous posts for a more detailed summary of the book or the Wikipedia page.

This post is a little different for me because the subject of the quote I want to expound upon is politics.  I usually don’t pay much attention to politics, much less write about political issues.  Maybe this is more of a social issue.  I suppose when you engage social issues, you’re going to run into politics sooner or later.

This is taken from the story A Week in the Country.  This is something a man’s grandfather says to him.  Remember, the setting is an oppressed [fictional] Eastern European country.

“What would we do with freedom if we had it, Kosta?  What has the West done with it?  Eaten it.  Put it in its belly.  A great wondrous belly, that’s the West.  With a wise head on top of it, a man’s head, with a man’s mind and eyes-but the rest all belly.  He can’t walk any more.  He sits at table eating, eating, thinking up machines to bring him more food, more food.  Throwing food to the black an yellow rats under the table so they won’t gnaw down the walls around him.  There he sits, and here we are, with nothing in our bellies but air, air and cancer, air and rage.  We can still walk.  So we’re yoked.  Yoked to the foreign plow.  When we smell food we bray and kick. –Are we men, though, Kosta? I doubt it.”

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