Sunday, November 27, 2005


I was restless last night. After dinner I went downtown. There were so many people, and so many unfamiliar with the city. Families would pass by the Marshall Field's and see the large trumpets and the big television display and marvel at it. That fa├žade is so common to me; I've been at that spot often. The experience has tarnished for me. It reminds me of a quote:

I do not wish to promote any morality, but to those who do I give this advice: If you wish to deprive the best things and states of all honor and worth, then go on talking about them as you have been doing. Place them at the head of your morality and talk from morning to night of the happiness of virtue, the composure of the soul, of justice and immanent retribution. The way you are going about it, all these good things will eventually have the popularity and the clamor of the streets on their side; but at the same time all the gold that was on them will have been worn off by so much handling, and all the gold inside will have turned to lead. Truly, you are masters of alchemy in reverse: the devaluation of what is most valuable. Why don't you make the experiment of trying another prescription to keep from attaining the opposite of your goal as you have done hitherto? Deny these good things, withdraw the mob's acclaim from them as well as their easy currency; make them once again concealed secrets of solitary souls; say that morality is something forbidden. That way you might win over for these things the kind of people who alone matter: I mean those who are heroic. But to that end there has to be a quality that inspires fear and not, as hitherto, nausea. Hasn't the time come to say of morality what Master Eckhart said: "I ask God to rid me of God."

Downtown, I first went to Borders and browsed for a while. I spent a while reading Sandra Day O'Connor's book The Majesty of the Law. I would've bought it but for the long cashier lines. I recommend it.

Then I decided to go to a movie. I wasn't sure what was playing, but I knew at least the new Pride & Prejudice was out. I wasn't in the right mood, so instead I chose Ice Harvest. Ebert & Roeper gave it two thumbs up, but I think their judgment is very questionable here. It reminded me a great deal of Catcher in the Rye: angst-ridden, juvenile, and never really going anywhere. It was a mediocre film, not worth the money, but better than most films I'd expect in a mainstream theater.

The movie theater was a coup however: I learned Tristan & Isolde had been made into a movie! I was thinking just the other day that someone should make Tristan & Isolde into a movie. High time! So there are a few movies from this season I look forward to seeing at some point in time:

After all this excitement, I came back to feed the cat. :)