"This universe was not conceived in beauty. It was conceived in tragedy and travail. It evolved, and continues to be, only in the throes of desperate struggle. Pain and ugliness, and brute force rule it. In the midst of that continuous hurricane of destruction and death there are born from time to time men who resolve this disorder. They create another vision from the fire and dust of disaster. They are poets, and musicians, and artists. That is their answer to the ugliness of the world. They do not ask to be understood. They do not even ask to be liked. But without them we should find the universe an intolerable habitation."
I just finished watching All the President's Men. This is a movie from 1976 that tells the story of the Watergate investigation of 1972, so the visual is forty years old. I remember seeing it up at the Northgate Theater, on their big screen. It holds up remarkably well. Both Hoffman and Redford look sweetly young, but then we know how they matured over forty years. Hoffman is especially young and slim. And a lot of the actors are now gone. Holbrook, Robards, Balsam, et al. But the world of the movie has hardly changed, if you discount the physical apparatus of the Post newsroom, the dial telephones, the manual typewriters, the total absence of even the most primitive computers. Otherwise, life was as it is. The movie slowly builds up an image of the amazing criminality of the Nixon White House. It reminds us that the Watergate scandal was a small part of an utterly unrestrained group of men who ran the Republican Party in that period. And it remind one that the GOP have absolutely no grounds on which to take a position of moral high ground. The taint is not gone after forty years. And I think the bad blood is still there.