03 October 2010

Sunday Morning Lessons ~ Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger. Photograph © Andrew Sullivan for The New York Times.

Yesterday, I finished what I hope are the very last changes in a boo manuscript entitled The Priority of Democracy: A Pragmatist Approach; assuming my co-author Jack can track down four obscure citations we will be able to ship the manuscript off to the publisher tomorrow or the next day. In any case, although he never actually uses the word democracy in this interview Pete Seeger offers us some final advice that comes very close to the core: "It’s a very important thing to learn to talk to people you disagree with."

I am not always good at what Pete suggests - if someone is spouting foolishness I tend to say so and look for more productive uses of my time. An example - Susan was watching one of the talking heads shows on TV this morning where the debate was broadly over whether we Americans should 'fear Islam'; my response was, - as opposed to what? fearing Hindusim? fearing Christianity? We are not debating those questions - despite ample historical and current reason to do so. I came downstairs to read The Times on line instead. Life is way too short. But then, having escaped the TV Lunacy, Pete was there to remonstrate with me.

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Blogger SilverTiger said...

Talking to people you disagree with is one thing, and listening to them on TV when you cannot respond, is another. I see no reason to put myself through the latter. (We don't have a TV, anyway, but catch up with worthwhile broadcasts by other means.)

Such TV "discussions" are often predictable set piece with token representatives of the various tendencies under discussion that, at their conclusion, leave things exactly where they were to start with. They may be good TV for empty minds but not much use for anything else.

04 October, 2010 01:21  

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