In my younger, arrogant days (I am now in my older, arrogant days -- still obnoxious, but possibly smarter) I used to scorn the idea of writing for posterity. "What has posterity ever done for me?" I'd snort. (Snorting was a bit of a tic; these days I growl.) I wanted to make my impact within my lifetime, on my contemporaries.

But now I realize that posterity is all we've got. The momentum of destruction that the cabal in Washington has accelerated (Rumsfeld, Cheney, W et al.), set on destroying American values (remember civil liberties?) and economy (wasn't the government supposed to maintain the necessary public services, like health, education and public safety, so that we could get on with our private lives?) and the global ecology (even the Kyoto treaty was too much for those guys to bear) is too powerful for sensible people like you and me to deflect, even though we gather in the millions to protest against the latest utterly unecessary and extremely costly war. It is noble to stand up and argue fiercely against these abuses, and I admire my friends who do so. It is noble, but for now, futile -- except to leave a trail for future generations to know that even in these dark times, there were honest, courageous people.

This tragedy will play out till its end, possibly by bankrupting the American power that is propelling it, possibly by the rise of other forces, possibly by the boredom of future generations who begin to wonder what ever happened to all those other interesting cultures that the leviathan has extinguished, and if there may not be some way to recover their values and their songs.

This I believe -- that spite all, human beings will survive, though I hope for the world's sake they do not, as Faulkner predicted, prevail. (I'd like to believe that Faulkner was drunk when he made such a stupid remark at his Nobel Prize speech.) The world itself will prevail, if we let it, and if we human beings accept that we are only part of it. And for them, those future human beings, I write.

But I have not made myself clear. I've been assuming, as I might for a private diary, that too many other things are understood. What I am telling myself, and announcing to you (and I've recently discovered that there are more of you readers of this blog than I had imagined), is that I intend to write less and less political & social analysis (which used to be my main thing) and more fiction, for one old reason and one newer one. The old reason, discovered long ago, is that the only way to really understand other people's lives is to imagine oneself living them. The newer reason is that I now believe that only through metaphor (fiction) can I leave something intelligible and useable for those future generations.

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