The Days When We Had Rest, O Soul, for They Were Long

Culture, Justice, Media, War and Politics

While I’ve always thought that there was something particularly crass about our habits of erecting edifices of grief to strangers whom we perceive as similar to us even as we note and let pass without comment the deaths of so many more distant, more different people in our country’s wars and misadventures, and while I likewise find our habit of reacting with dismay to items like the prosecution-unto-death of Aaron Swartz even as we’re dimly aware that poorer, less connected, less important people are hounded to their lives’ ends by the dirty machinery of our penal system, which is powered by punishment wholly out of scale to any wrong, punishment which is itself quite often the only wrong ever committed, the sheer, tawdry, grotesquely ill-proportioned persecution of the young man for acts whose criminal taxonomy is something out of a Lewis Carroll poem is the sort of spectacle that really does make you wonder how long, actually, a society intent on destroying its genius in order to preserve the inbred rights of its rentier class to extract filthy lucre from the margins of genuine intellect can endure.