"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Yesterday I heard a vigorous welcoming speech by a college president who described among the great challenges facing our world today the battle between fundamentalism and modernity. That challenge, I think, was inaccurately defined. Beslan was not an assault by fundamentalists on modernity; nor, at the end of the day, was 9/11, or Treblinka. The most grand-scale and brutal of assassins have been very modern in their way. And a fundamentalist Sufi or Mennonite – or Southern Baptist, for that matter – may make mischief of one sort or another, but it is not fundamentalism, pure and simple, that detonates bombs in subways or in Balinese hotels. The threat we face today is something different, and I would invite readers to put it in better words.
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Back at Granchester, amid the notched desks and the draughty corridors, the headmaster informs him sadly that the number of classical scholars is falling off and suggests that he shall combine his teaching of the classics with something a little more up-to-date:
“Parents are not interested in producing the ‘complete man’ any more. They want to qualify their boys for jobs in the modern world. You can hardly blame them, can you?”
“Oh yes,” said Scott-King, “I can and do...I think it would be very wicked indeed to do anything to fit a boy for the modern world.”
…[W]hen the headmaster objects that this is a short-sighted view, Scott-King retorts, “I think it the most long-sided view. It is possible to take.”
What she dealt with daily goes beyond the pale...beyond the nightmares of most people; Children with all four limbs hacked off right above the knee or below the elbow. Twelve year olds who died in childbirth after being gang-raped by the Janjaweed. Women who gave birth to rape-babies who were then cast out by their families for shaming the family name, leaving only one avenue of survival for themselves and their children after the camps: Prostitution.
What is f**ing her up is the desperation, and the fact that she worked herself to death for over a month, and she still didn't really save anyone. Now that she's gone, it's like she was never there. Even the ones she helped keep alive, she didn't save. You try dealing with that reality.