Ours is the first society in history in which parents expect to learn from their children, rather than the other way around. Such a topsy-turvy situation has come about at least in part because, unlike the rest of the world, we are an immigrant society, and for immigrants the only hope is in the kids.
Ireland is not at all a simple place, and in many ways it is spare and sad. It has no wealth, no power, no stability, no influence, no fashion, no size. Its only real arts are song and drama and poem. But Limerick alone has two thousand ruined castles and surely that many practicing poets.
Ours was the Togetherness Generation. We equated togetherness with salvation, and expected so much from it that it was bound to let us down. Companionship, security, lifelong physical and spiritual and emotional warmth - all were to be had for the twist of a ring and the breathing of a vow. And to be had no other way.
The Federal Building's large Ceremonial Courtroom, reserved for show trials, is veneered in executive teak. Bench, counsel tables, jury boxes, entrances, and exits -- all are as formally arranged as an Elizabethan stage. Only the drama is shapeless, at least to those of us who have never seen a trial before. We see only random movements, sequences, comings and goings, no form or agenda apparent. To us the action is less like watching a play than watching an aquarium.
The rich plankton of pop heroes and pop villains on which we Americans are accustomed to feed, the daily media soup of sports figures, ax murderers, politicians, and rock singers, the ever-running river of celebs, heavies, and oddballs that we use to spice up our own relatively humdrum lives has of late become a very watery gruel. Where have all the good guys and bad guys gone? Why does everyone out there look so gray?