Sunday, October 15, 2006

5 October: An Inexplicable Truth

I am sad for my country today.

I saw An Incovenient Truth the other night. The Al Gore documentary on climate change... Anyway, I sat there watching the slideshow, listening to Gore go through the information and I was struck by something more powerful than the information he was conveying. This is a smart man. Here is a man who was introduced to a revolutionary (and less than mainstream idea) by a professor in his undergraduate training. Here was an Your text goes hereengagedYour text goes here man, someone who absored information, felt compelled by ideas, struggled to comprehend was sat on the verge of his absorption. Gore, for all his personality flaws, or campaign woes, is fascinated by knowledge, and he has the capacity to be changed by changing information.

In the course of the movie Gore points out to what lengths he's gone to really grasp the ideas at hand. He has distilled difficult scientific understandings, and put together conclusions in a way that they become available, know-able, to the general public. And yet, here is a man who is not the President of the USA. More moving than the faux sentiment running through the movie, more saddening than the news that one day soon we will be faced with dramatic climate catastrophes, was the thought that this man did not compel the people of the United States to vote for him. That the anti-intellectual sentiment raging within the borders of this super-power brought to power an igornant, bumbling, distainful, disasterous, administration. How do we stand a chance in realizing the potential for good embodied in the position we have in the world if we can't, as a country, put a smart man in power?

I want a president who is more captivated by learning than I am, than I will ever be. I want my fellow citizens to feel the same. But that is not Australia's strong suit, either. Intellectual curiousity doesn't win much of anything for politicans, anywhere it seems. And I am sad, for my country, my countries, this world and its future.


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