Thoughts on a Thursday

I believe we are going through an enlightenment not dissimilar to the one in the 17th Century.

My beliefs were validated after I read Italo Calvino’s 1967 lecture, Cybernetics and Ghosts. This quote resonated with me.

The power of modern literature lies in its willingness to give
a voice to what has remained unexpressed in the social or
individual unconscious: this is the gauntlet it throws down time
and again. The more enlightened our houses are, the more their
walls ooze ghosts. Dreams of progress and reason are haunted by

At the height of the Enlightenment, Sade and the Gothic novel appear. At one
stroke Edgar Allan Poe initiates the literature of aestheticism and
the literature of the masses, naming and liberating the ghosts that
Puritan America trails in its wake.

Does this mean that Fifty Shades of Grey is our 120 Days of Sodom?

Is Stephanie Meyers our Edgar Allen Poe?

Atheism also rose after Enlightenment, as did philosophy. They had Descartes and Newton.

We have Richard Dawkins and Alain de Botton.

The granting of civil rights of Jews in Europe and Civil War for the freedom of slaves in the US was enlightenment influenced. Think the rise of the people in the Middle Eastern and North African countries. Think London Riots. The disenfranchised are pissed and rightly so.

The rise of communism and socialism post enlightenment. Is Freeganism and Frugality our version? Austerity is being forced on many countries, is this the new Catholicism?

Is Wikileaks our version of The Rights of Man?

Bret Easton Ellis writes about Pre and Post Empire for The Daily Beast. The best explanation I have found of our most current history but perhaps this is already outmoded.

Where are we now?

What will happen next?

This is what I’m thinking about today. That, and what to make for dinner.

Happy Thursday thinkers.


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