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Walker Percy, #3 June 7, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Catholicism, Smart People.

Moving on now to The Thanatos Syndrome. It is a sequel-of sorts, to his 1971 novel Love in the Ruins. (for a preview of that novel, go here).

Now, our still sometimes degenerate Dr. More is just released from prison, having done two years for -essentially- dealing drugs.

He was dealing stimulants and depressants to truckers to assist them in staying awake at the wheel, and then to sleep when they needed to. He could just as easily have written normal prescriptions for the same purpose and attached a medical fee, and all would have been fine. But, as he put it, "he needed the money now" so he skipped a step or two, got caught and sent away for awhile.

Our Dr. More is still not a saint, but he still has a great eye for delicious irony.

I wondered (in prison) what is it the passionate arguer is afraid of. Is he afraid he might be wrong? that he might be right? Is he afraid that if one does not argue there is nothing left? An abyss opens. Is it not the case that something is better than nothing, arguing, violent disagreement, even war?

More than once (in prison) I noticed that passionate liberals, passionate on the race question, had no use for individual blacks, and that passionate conservatives could not stand one another. Can you imagine Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson spending a friendly evening alone together?

One of life's little mysteries: an old-style Southern white and an old-style Southern black are more at ease talking to each other, even though one may be unjust to the other, than Ted Kennedy talking to Jesse Jackson-who are overly cordial, nervous as cats in their cordiality, and glad to be rid of one another.

In the first case. . .each knows exactly where he stands with the other, the first because he knows he is in control, the second because he uses his wits. They both know and can even enjoy each other.

In the second case -Kennedy and Jackson- each is walking on eggshells. What to say next in this rarefied atmosphere of perfect liberal agreement? what if one should violate the fragile liberal canon, let drop a racist remark, an anti-Catholic slur? (hoody here. . .not that Kennedy as a CINO would give a damn) The world might end. They are glad to get it over with. Whew!!



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