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Some Things You Have to Face Alone

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”

—Anonymous

Fall 2000 already seems like a long time ago, and it actually is.  Perhaps I remember in a haze of nostalgia for that period, a brief entertainment of hope for the American polity, one which was soon snuffed in a blizzard of dimpled chads and a lot of votes for Al Gore, who talked as if he were teaching a remedial class.  Since then, things have changed, and I now know not only a lot more about Arab newspapers and Islamic sects than I ever wished, but even more about the hauteur of William Kristol and the blustering of Charles Krauthammer.

However, like a narrator in an old flick with a flashback/voice-over, or like the Ancient Mariner mugging the wedding guest, I have to insist that there was life before the 2000 election, and it was pretty bad, too, even though a lot of people made a lot of money without doing anything to earn it.  That was called “prosperity” by some and “a Ponzi scheme” by others.  That’s right: Repression is hard to surrender because it’s so painful to give up, but here we go.  I remember the first Iraq war and the disastrous election of 1992 and the consequent appearance of the Clinton Cabinet, which I noted because it was obvious and also because Bill Clinton said that he wanted a cabinet...

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