books may be buoys but we’re on the titanic

From the New York Times here:

Other novels served as a kind of foil — something to argue with. V. S. Naipaul’s novel “A Bend in the River,” Mr. Obama recalls, “starts with the line ‘The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.’ And I always think about that line and I think about his novels when I’m thinking about the hardness of the world sometimes, particularly in foreign policy, and I resist and fight against sometimes that very cynical, more realistic view of the world. And yet, there are times where it feels as if that may be true.”

I know that in the sum total of the things we are losing, or have already lost, the sensibility to pounce on these sorts of statements and wrestle with them is comparatively small. But I do find it frightening that there was someone doing all the thinking I’ve come to feel is necessary in life, and it still wasn’t enough, and all this happened. Is happening. You can have all the power in the world, and still be a thoughtful person, really the kind of person everyone feels I feel I need to become, and you still can’t stop what has happened here.

It isn’t a good feeling.

Edit: This too. We legitimately had good people running us.

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