To be good or great

For a long time now I have had only two ambitions: to be a good man and a great writer. (I wouldn't have it the other way around; that would be second best.) Pursuing both has been a terrible strain, and I think that to make progress on the second I should give up the first.

Being a good man means to me assuming responsibility, which means using one's forces to make things better. I'd like to drop that: no more time spent on petitions, demos, organizing against injustice. Too much of my life's energy has gone into those things, and too little into writing. Maybe, I think, one day I can retire from great writerhood and take up good personhood again as a hobby, the way other men take up golf.

And yet...

The cabal that seized power in the November 2000 coup, when the Black Robes awarded the presidency to the unelected You-Know-Who, is set on provoking worldwide disaster and dismanteling of civil liberties at home. And now their allies here in Manhattan are prohibiting the march on February 15. I'd really rather not get involved, but the Agents of Darkness keep pushing us into ever more constricted spaces, and if we don't push back, there won't be room enough to write.