Thursday, August 20, 2009


The death of Robert Novak has prompted an outpouring of emotions- contempt and hatred bundled with regret and remorse. I know little of his work and life, almost nothing concerning his relationships with the people around him, yet the ferociousness with which he is remembered gives me pause.

Disclosing secrets curries little favor from those whose hidden truths are revealed; but one would suppose that enlightening the public might prove commendable, especially in this era of concealment. In the end, however, this "Prince of Darkness" seems to have provided less illumination than incineration; fully comfortable with the role of fire-starter if it allowed him to be visible in the glow of the resulting pyre.

Sometimes the wont for self deception arises from more noble sentiments- the search for truth give birth to the striving for self aggrandizement; as the messenger seeks to become more important than the the missive he carries. As one climbs atop a pedestal, it becomes easier to mistake detachment for objectivity; until indifference slides into disregard, distaste and finally disgust.

The mere existence of opposition implies wickedness, and those holding clashing viewpoints transform into demons; denizens the nether regions fit only for the fire of indignation and abuse. An inability to acknowledge the limits of one's own intelligence often comes with a penchant towards ascribing ignorance to the minds of others; creating an impediment to both listening and learning, and a reinforcement of smug self righteousness.

If the Requiem played for one's death is an echo of such dismal sounds, perhaps such a passing is better served by silence.

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