Sunday, June 22, 2008

A gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun

When William Butler Yeats, the great Irish poet, wrote The Second Coming, shortly after the finish of World War I, he envisioned a world in tatters, a globe in chaos of the kind predicted in the bible's Book of Revelation.

Yeats would likely be greatly abashed at what Evangelical Christians have made of John's apocalyptic hallucinations, but he might be inclined to write a post-script to his well-known, and well-quoted poem.

Or, he might leave it to the likes of the AP's Alan Fram and Eileen Putnam. I just don't know what to make of their "think piece" that sees the world "spinning out of control," and in the midst of a "great unraveling." It's a little bit Eve of Destruction, a little bit of the rapturous Left Behind Series, and a whole lot of Yeats.

Let's have a contest. Which "rough beast" do you think is "slouching toward Bethlehem?"

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