Saturday, October 23, 2004

True Hearts of the West, No. 1

Wretchard at the Belmont club compares the resolve of militant Islam with that of our own civilization (assuming that we are still allowed to call ourselves a civilization) in The Hollow Men: "The Global War on Terror may be not so much about freeing the Middle East as about liberating ourselves. Allah spoke to his Prophet and sent forth his flame; but the West has forgotten all, even its very name."

Wretchard quotes William Blake's "Jerusalem" as a voice from the West that Was:
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.
And his title invokes T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men":
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of
the tumid river
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.