I suppose there are still people around here and there who complain about the creeping secularism of the Holidays and who in consequence admonish others to “keep Christ in Christmas”. I well remember such exhortations from the time of my childhood, growing up in Wichita, KS. Such hortatory rituals were often accompanied by carols, religious services, and – I would argue, curiously enough – by a reading of Charles Dickens’ perennial A Christmas Carol. I say “curiously enough” because I have just finished reading Carol for the few-hundredth time and for the first time, I noticed the absence of Christ in Carol, except in a very "thin", allusive sense. Carol without Christ, or with Christ in the background of the background, is a much more universal, even “archetypal”, story of the awa
Like most everyone else – that is, except probably for the actual actors and staff of Game of Thrones (hereafter GOT) – I have only watched the penultimate episode “The Bells”. So I know no more about how the series ends than anyone else. Least of all do I know who ends up sitting on the Iron Throne. That question presumably is answered in the final-season episode next week, as this is written (14 May). But if the Westerosi elite were to ask my counsel about who is best suited and equipped to sit on the Throne, I could recur to some ancient Greek texts, specifically Plato’s Republic, for some very wise advice.
But first a solemn
warning: If you have not seen this next-to-last
episode of GOT, then read no farther,
because reading past this paragraph will almost certainly
According to Greek mythology, Cassandra, daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, spurned Apollo’s sexual advances and was cursed by the god with the gift of uttering prophecies (about the fall of Troy, the assassination of Agamemnon, etc.) which were unfailingly accurate ... but which no one ever believed. I can sympathize.
If you read nothing else I write in my “Skeptic’s” columns, for your own sake please read this one. If you don’t have the time, then make the time. It really is that important:
If you have children, especially little children, and if your finances and circumstances permit — which I fully realize they may not — if at all possible, leave, or seriously prepare to leave, the United States. And go where? I would suggest Canada (preferably) or New Zealand o