Ceremony of innocence



Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

How on earth did WB Yeats manage to predict, nearly 100 years early, the Australian election of 2013?

Work out the metaphors for yourself, and there is certainly no intention to suggest here who the “rough beast” might be.

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2 comments on “Ceremony of innocence

  1. Alan Phillips says:

    I thought the we’d been through the Second Coming during 1995-2007! This would have to be the Third.


  2. Pioj says:

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    That pretty well represents the climate change debate, except I wouldn’t say that scientists and those who understand the science lack conviction: it’s just that the issue is complex and, hence, they’re handicapped by the fact that stupid people cannot understand the science, not even what it’s broadly about _ I bet the majority of them don’t know what a greenhouse gas is. It’s much easier to manipulate and brainwash these type of people with suggestions of conspiracies and hoaxes; scientists being on the payroll of greedy socialist governments, the UN etc. to follow an agenda which would justify a carbon tax.

    Plus the fact that scientists and science communicators can’t compete with the amount of media coverage that deniers get.

    Sure, there’ll be occasional news announcements about the IPCC saying this or that about temperature projections or the Arctic melting, but even these are often misrepresented and distorted by many popular media outlets. And who can compete with the sort of audience numbers and influence that denier shock-jocks like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt command. The most popular global warming blog is that denier cesspool of cretinism WUWT. In other words, denialist lies, distortions and stupidity have by far the greatest reach and influence on the mainstream population. There no way the science can compete with that.

    There is one thing you can say about teh stupid _ they are full of passionate intensity. Anyone who’s read denier blog posts over the past few years cannot have missed the hatred and disdain directed towards public figures like Al Gore or Tim Flannery. You can’t reason with brainwashed imbeciles like that; they’ve got it into their heads that Gore, Flannery and others in the science community are leading this evil push to interfere with their lives and tax them to death.


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