Shifts in the Zeitgeist

What do Giuliani and Mother Teresa have in common? Perhaps they share a permanent “smile-in-the-face-of-adversity.” The difference? The source of Giuliani’s pain is public, overt, sensational, epic (9/11). Teresa’s pain? Covert, hidden, spiritual, obscure. Regardless, their respective approaches share an underlying similarity. They both exemplify a move away from the hedonism, indulgence, materialism and shallowness of the post-WWII decades, and towards, perhaps, a grim new reality. A reality, perhaps, where the cautious, perfectionist and angsting temperaments stereotypical of lawyers may actually be in the center of popular culture and “world feeling.” It will be curious indeed to see where this leads. For more musings, click here. (Portrait is of J.G. Herder, who popularized “zeitgeist” into the German isogloss).

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