Wednesday, February 19, 2003[posted by jaed at 4:21 PM]
One of the last heroes:
A profile of Vaclav Havel, as he leaves office, in the New Yorker:
Within a few months of Havel's ascension, the euphoria of the Velvet Revolution began to fade. The poetry of those winter weeks, the theatrical press conferences and the street rallies, yielded to the prose of governing a ruined state. No more scooters, no more sneaking out of the Castle for a drink at a local pub. Havel allowed that he felt "strangely paralyzed, empty inside," fearful that dissent and governing were hardly the same. "At the very deepest core of this feeling there was, ultimately, a sensation of the absurd: what Sisyphus might have felt if one fine day his boulder stopped, rested on the hilltop, and failed to roll back down," he told an audience in Salzburg. "It was the sensation of a Sisyphus mentally unprepared for the possibility that his efforts might succeed, a Sisyphus whose life had lost its old purpose and hadn't yet developed a new one."
So many people I used to admire have said stupid and hateful things lately that I find myself tensing up when I see this man's name in the news. Has he, too, turned into an angry mushhead? So far, he hasn't disappointed me....