Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pete and Bob: Windmill tilters?

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, the lives of Isaac Newton (1642-1727) [1] and Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) [2] almost overlapped. Cervantes is best known for Don Quixote [3] which inspired the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha [4] whose signature song’s ‘Dream the Impossible Dream’ [5]. In my life I’ve tilted at a fair few windmills [6] – with scant success, I must say. But I admire windmill tilters – which is why Pete Seeger was my hero-of heroes. (Until yesterday.) Another hero of mine’s Senator Bob Brown [7] – leader of the Australian Greens. This week the national parliament debated Australia’s involvement in the Afghanistan war. Senator Brown, a former medico, made an impassioned call for an end to Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan [8]. And he was ridiculed for so doing [9]. Both Brown and Seeger are intelligent and moral men. Their approach to conflict’s one of inclusion, dialogue, conciliation and compromise. Which sounds fine in theory. But in practice it relies on goodwill all round. If one party’s recalcitrant, the chance of that approach succeeding’s pretty well zero. However I suppose you could argue that the chance of war producing permanent resolution of a conflict’s pretty well zero too. Maybe the likes of Brown and Seeger hold the crucible of wisdom that’ll bring world peace. Or maybe they’re merely decent, principled and ascetic men who do no more than dream the impossible dream.

1 comment:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Maybe we all dream the impossible dream; homo stupidus does not seem to be able to negotiate or compromise, our silly species is so arrogant and convinced there is only one ideology/religion that is correct.
I can't even count all the times as a kid/teen I wasted a wish, wishing for world peace...sad lot we are.