A Muffled Lantern

November 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm (Uncategorized)


There’s almost no new news about the “West Side terror attack.” I can’t decide if that’s media amnesia—the accelerating addiction to ever fresher thrills—or an admirable determination to go on with life.
All I know is, you’re still resonating with the emotion of a story and the media hustle you on. My first experience of this was Tiananmen Square, and it put me off media news consumption ever since. I am a slow-paced ruminant, I guess. I resist being turned into a media lab rat conditioned to await the next jolt from the electrode. Partly, it’s having lived with Jacques who had lived through something very real in real time. I got it a distant second-hand (second-hand is always distant*) and worked very hard to make it as real to myself as was humanly possible (which is not very) using only an imagination. Vicarious media participation in traumatic events is film-thin and can be peeled off just that easily. One feels one owes the directly traumatized more respect than that. And of course we privately give, in our imaginations, more respect than the amnesic media with their ratings cravings.
*(Jacques loved this quote from L.–F. Céline: “Experience is a muffled lantern that sheds its light only on the bearer.)


  1. A said,

    I like that quote from Celine; it certainly frames a large aspect of my own existence. A blogger I sometimes read has a sort of “six degrees” relation to one of the murdered cyclists, amplified because of suicides in several families. I noticed in myself a strange hunger for this bit of individual awareness, just as it feels important to me to witness, in person, people’s stories of loss after the recent fires in Sonoma County. Human connection.

  2. amba12 said,

    Yes, a direct relationship to event is like a live nerve that enables you to feel something not hypothetical, that isn’t like eating cellophane.

  3. Eve Santiago said,

    Here is the way I looked at your synopsis…l wub U…my Daahlink…Experience-GREEK(counterpart)-PASCHO’-to suffer, to be acted on (verb) Transliteration=pascho’ (pas’-kho/phonetically) [short defin.-I am acted upon/suffer] Def..I am acted upon in a certain way, either good or bad; I EXPERIENCE ill treatment, suffer. –PRIMITIVE VERB: pax’xo= to feel heavy emotion, passion or suffering, affected-experienced feelings-(literally=”sensible”-sensed-experience) HEBREW : YADA=to know/know by experience- (Joshua 23:14), RAAH=to see, MATSA=to attain, to find, experience sorrow, (Ecclesiastes 7:27-29, 7:14) experience sorrow: Psalm 116:3, / NAPHAL= experience calamity, opposed to: (Micah 7:8, Proverbs 24:16, Psalm 37:34, Psalm 145:14, Proverbs 28:14) Eveie…

  4. amba12 said,


  5. Eve Santiago said,

    the Lord Loves you…intensely…

  6. Ron Fisher said,

    I can’t help but wonder if we’re getting to the “bored now” phase of crisis fatigue…..terrorism reduced to the mere level of auto accidents or boat sinkings. Hey, maybe if terrorist see that, they quit in frustration! “We tried killing them….and they still ignore us! WTF!”

  7. amba12 said,

    The Guardian asks pretty much the identical question

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