One begins to suspect that over the years the ideal of individuality which lies at the root of the idea of America has become infantilized. The corruption of individualism we now so often see about us is a species of arrogance that confirms itself by excluding others and begets conflict with others, opposition and fear.
From The American Soul by Jacob Needleman
I’ve been reading Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin, after seeing her speak and being impressed (which led me to this essay by Jacob Needleman) and is largely about bridging differences and making room for disparate positions and world views among Lincoln’s cabinet.
Since my blog has been broken since June I have a big backlog of posts I’ve been meaning to write so prepare for a miniature deluge.
We say that Lincoln was honest; men used to call him “Honest Abe”. But honesty is not a quality. Honesty is the manifestation of character. Lincoln was honest because there was nothing small or petty about him, and only smallness or pettiness in a nature can produce dishonesty. Such honesty is a quality of largeness. It is that openness of nature which will not condescend to subterfuge, which is too big to conceal itself. Little men run to cover and deceive you. Big men cannot and will not run to cover, and do not deceive you. Of course, Lincoln was honest. But that was not a peculiar characteristic of him; that is a general description of him. He was not small or mean, and his honesty was not produced by any calculation, but was the genial expression of the great nature that was behind it.
From Selected Literary and Political Papers and Addresses of Woodrow Wilson
Since I broke for the umpteenth time my Movable Type install, I figured I’d just reinstall the whole thing with new blogging software. Now I am importing from MT using install instructions intended for WP 2.0 so not sure how it is going to go, but my fingers are crossed.
For the time being you can find my old MT archives here, until the time when I’m able to move it all over. Bonus archives! I put my old Caterina.net Blogger archives on blogspot, which I’m also going to (today? someday?) move over in the massive merge. Images are missing, and they’re kind of janky, but heck, all 1500 posts are there. The even earlier handwritten ones are lost to the ages. I think they may be on a Syquest or Zip disk somewhere.
And I’d blocked Internet Archive with my robots.txt a while back when I was having a mania about the internet needing to forget; and I’ve reconciled myself to internet losses. A little data loss is a good thing.
I’ve had this account since 2006, looks like, but haven’t posted here yet, because I’ve been mostly hosting my blog posts on dreamhost. I haven’t had the time lately to try to untangle the latest Dreamhost malware incident, so I’m going to post here for a bit. I keep on thinking of things to blog, but then don’t have the 2-3 hours necessary to sort out the various malware issues. I’ll reintegrate the old caterina.net posts when I’ve got the time!