Design'd for great exploits; if I must dye
Betray'd, Captiv'd, and both my Eyes put out,
Made of my Enemies the scorn and gaze;
To grind in Brazen Fetters under task [ 35 ]
With this Heav'n-gifted strength? O glorious strength
Put to the labour of a Beast, debas't
Lower then bondslave! Promise was that I
Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;
Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find him [ 40 ]
Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves,
Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke;
Yet stay, let me not rashly call in doubt
Divine Prediction; what if all foretold
Had been fulfill'd but through mine own default, [ 45 ]
Whom have I to complain of but my self?
Milton -Samson Agonistes
Those lines always reminded me of the great people in public life, who struggle to do good for people. Some even end up in a Federal Prison.
One very good guy I know is sitting out the last of his semesters in Terra Haute, in no small part due to a very good man himself - several good men actually.
I just got off the phone with a genuine Chicago voice in print. He writes for one of the the two big Chicago Dailies.
We shot the breeze about a mutual friend who is having a particularly tough time - that friend is also in the cold and impersonal world of modern journalism.
Our conversation turned to things political -
"Hey, what's up with your Republicans?"
"Yeah. You went all McCain."
Illinois Republicans blow their toes off - not unlike up-state New York Republicans. I like Dan Proft.
"Jesus, he has about twenty seven Cicero contracts and stuff hanging on him. Why can't you get clean once in a while . . .like with that Polish Kid Andy Andrecscxzjhykczxcszch? "
I work at Leo 'cause it's easy to spell.
We went back and forth on reform and the usual Who's-Who litany of rogues, cretins, feebs, dummies, crooks and phonies.
We landed back at good people. People who actually do something for other people -who will do anything without a Press Conference or naming of a Blue Ribbon Commission, or any one really ever knowing about it.
In Poetry things are neat; in prose, things are messy. Politics is Prosaic. It is un-Romantic. The Romantics in Politics - the Goo-goos; the Boiled Beets Progressives; the Dopes Who Believe EVERYTHING is like a Julia Roberts Movie; the Raving Lunatics Left/Center/Right - are the very people who screw things up. Romantic Politics makes more taxes and more corruption. It is a Hegelian thing.
It is the same thing in my Church - Romantic Goofballs like the dippy Nun escorting victims to an abortion - the poetic romantic channel surfers screw things up. Sister! Be a Unitarian Nun! They ARE WAY COOL!
We, Catholics, have had a very, very Gay Friendly Church Hierarchy and Clergy( Well, Who's to Say?) for well over forty years and then we find ourselves shocked when Father Daffodil is taking seven altar boys to Wisconsin with a video camera. Hey, spare me the 'Pedophile's Have Nothing to Do With Homosexuality' dodge - yeah, and pipe dope has nothing to do with plumbing.
If Only more attention could be focused on the people in public life who actually make a difference - no, not The Honorable Dorothy Brown - maybe, then, politics could start to work for people again.