That’s the shorter Paul Auster.
For the longer version you have to wade through these leavings. I don’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for the guy. Feel sorry for him because the tone of the piece is one of a broken man. A man broken by his experiences and perhaps, just perhaps, the inkling of a realization that he could have prevented such a state.
Laugh? Well, laugh because for such a smart guy he’s so completely uneducable. Well, here, go check it out for yourself.
I was not a violent person. Looking back on those days now, I see myself as a quiet, bookish young man, struggling to teach myself how to become a writer, immersed in my courses in literature and philosophy at Columbia
I was a pussy.
I had marched in demonstrations against the war, but I was not an active member of any political organization on campus.
Even in a movement full of pussies, I was a pussy.
I went because I was crazy, crazy with the poison of Vietnam in my lungs….,and since we were all students at Columbia, why not throw bricks at Columbia, since it was engaged in lucrative research projects for military contractors and thus was contributing to the war effort in Vietnam?
I can say this now because I am older and wiser – and also thankfully well beyond the draft. But if I blame it all on mob rule I can possibly, possibly mind you, convince myself I have no culpability. Or courage.
What had happened to the gentle boy who planned to spend the rest of his life sitting alone in a room writing books? He was helping to tear down the fence. He tugged and pulled and pushed along with several dozen others and, truth be told, found much satisfaction in this crazy, destructive act.
I finally had a chance to be one of the cool kids!
What did we accomplish? Not much of anything.
But it took me 40 years to have the courage to admit the pointlessness of our acts, even as I still lack the courage to admit that we were and still are narcissists.
I hesitate to draw any comparisons with the present
But let me do so anyway…
— and therefore will not end this memory-piece with the word “Iraq.”
I am 61 now, but my thinking has not changed much since that year of fire and blood,
For all my education, I still haven’t learned anything.
…and as I sit alone in this room with a pen in my hand, I realize that I am still crazy, perhaps crazier than ever.
Mostly because I, like my peers, have thought the same thoughts every year since 1968 and I keep expecting a different result.
This is the bilge which passes for deep thought on the political left.
And you wonder why Obama won’t just man-up and admit Ayers and Dohrn are reprehensible? Don’t.
What you read here is the symptom of the same disease Obama has. The disease is the inability to recognize that life in the classroom is not reality and life outside the classroom is not theory. Rather, it is vice versa.