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the gateway of delight (was Net-porn bill)
On Tue, 22 Mar 2005, Randy Bush wrote: > > maybe i am slow or jaded, but i am not learning much new from this > rather large thread. yes, politicians grandstand on 'moral' issues. > yes, it is popular to legislate rather than educate 'morals' (thanks > lucy for the reference to > <http://www.philip-pullman.com/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=113> and for those of you who don't have the time to read this whole thing, two tasty bits: "So the relationship with books and plays and stories we develop in the school of morals is a profoundly, intensely, essentially democratic one, and it`s characterised by mutual responsibility. It places demands on the reader, because that is the nature of a democracy: citizens have to play their part. If we don`t bring our own best qualities to the encounter, we will take little away. Furthermore, it isn`t static: there is no final, unquestionable, unchanging authority. It`s dynamic. It changes and develops as our understanding grows, as our experience of reading - and of life itself - increases. Books we once thought great come to seem shallow and meretricious; books we once thought boring reveal their subtle treasures of wit, their unsuspected shafts of wisdom. And this progress is real progress; it`s not the endless regression of shifting sand underfoot and the shimmering falsity of a mirage endlessly retreating ahead, it`s solid stepping stones, and clear understanding. And it`s voluntary. Because this is the thing I really want to get across: the school of morals works best when it doesn`t work like a school. The way real reading happens, the way in to the school of morals, goes through the gateway of delight." AND "I haven`t mentioned simple human wickedness. Or laziness, or greed, or fear, or the strongest regiment of all in the army of darkness: stupidity. Any of those can bring down the school of morals in a day. I haven`t mentioned death. I haven`t mentioned hazard, or the environmental recklessness that will do for us all if we don`t change our way of life. These are mighty forces, and I think they will defeat the school of morals, in the end. But that doesn`t mean we should give up and surrender. Nor does it mean we should turn the school of morals into a fortress, and surround it with rules and systems and procedures, and look out over the ramparts with suspicion and hostility. That would be a different kind of surrender. I think we should act as if. I think we should read books, and tell children stories, and take them to the theatre, and learn poems, and play music, as if it would make a difference. I think that while believing that the school of morals is probably doomed, we should act as if it were not. We should act as if the universe were listening to us and responding; we should act as if life were going to win. We should act as if we were celebrating a wedding: we should act as if we were attending the marriage of responsibility and delight."