|Politics||27 Feb 2009|
|A Coalition of Opposites by Tony Ellis|
More thoughts following on from my last blog about the need for a silent center in our lives.
According to the Legal Times blog (http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/02/justice-alito-imagines-john-lennon.html) Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito quoted at length from John Lennon's Imagine in a recent ruling (Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum) which "redefined monuments placed on public land -- such as a Ten Commandments monument -- as a form of government speech, rather than private speech that can run afoul of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause." Not only does this prove that aging Baby Boomers never hang up their musical socks (the right-leaning Alito was born in 1950), but it gives further credence to the adage that "conservatives are people who worship dead liberals."
The reason I mention this is because we are still beset by these eternal political wranglings from both right and left about every aspect of national policy, which not only is exhausting but also makes it nigh on impossible for government to function effectively. This despite the fact there was a clear request from the voters in the last election for a more unified way of doing things. I mean, I know I'm being a tad simplistic here, but if conservatives eventually come around to revere liberal icons, why can't they appreciate them a little sooner and with less abrasion? It would save us all a lot of grief. And why, for example, can't the opposite end of the political spectrum occasionally understand the need for fiscal restraint?
These two elemental forces of expansion (liberal?) and retraction (conservative?) happily co-exist in the nature. The moon waxes and the the moon wanes; neither direction is sustained forever. The two opposing forces of expansion and retraction pull each other into a perfect circle of life. Why can't we do that in our national debate?
I once watched an interview with the film maker David Lynch, one of the most creative voices in modern cinema, where he described his relationship with his executive producer. I decide what I want to do, he said, and my Executive Producer, tells me if we can afford it. Together they reach a practical solution. Such a simple formula to balance out their opposing energies. If only our politicians could follow suit.
Lynch's production team is renowned for harmonious way of working. It's no accident that Lynch himself is a long term practitioner of transcendental meditation, as are many of his crew. It's the experience of silence in meditation that Lynch says provides the ground for his creative energy (see his book Catching the Big Fish). It's something we all need as a nation. In many ways, making a film is no different from running a country or living our personal lives. Many complex and varied elements have to be brought together and made to function in a coherent way. If a film crew can do it, surely so can we.
But it helps if we each have a silent center from which to organize everything.