Saturday, February 02, 2008

Maybe America should be more like Rodin's "Thinker"

"The Thinker" has been seriously misinterpreted in the U.S. It doesn't really represent studious thought, but instead racking problems swirling around in your mind, serious things that life and death depends on. We know this because "The Thinker" was part of a larger installation of works by Rodin entitled "The Gates of Hell" which was about hell, sin, and damnation. "The Thinker" was originally located outside of the Gates themselves, signifying the sort of moral struggle a person was thought to go through, or that people hoped others went through, considering issues that could lead to a person's damnation for all eternity.

This sort of critical, existential, thinking is foreign to the U.S. of the present day. Instead of thought, or religious scruples, we respond mindlessly to the rest of the world, creating chaos and havoc reminiscent of the Mongol invasion of the Middle East.

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