While we await the VP debate and thus the House’s hiatus from considering the big, big bill that the Senate has sent its way, under orders to play ball or else, here’s a post to begin clarifying and focusing the orientation and purposes of this my public journal.

First the title: “The Blinded Eye.” It contains of course the aura of “blind eye” (which was already taken by more than one WordPress blog, but no matter). I first thought of the phrase in response to the frantic focus on our market these days, and its supposed benign “invisible hand.” I thought, the blind eye of the market might better describe our system, where the fundamentalism is no governance, deregulation, in essence, look the other way and let the narrow and blind profit motive decide, and adjudicate, everything.

So first, explorations of and thoughts about our blindness. Moral blindness, social blindness, political blindness, environmental blindness. The phrase the “blind eye,” in other words, relates directly to the common and to my mind persuasive critique of laissez-faire capitalism that focuses on “externalities,” all those real effects, from pollution to social degradation, that come as a result of individual and collective market forces but which are systematically excluded from the “balance sheet” and not paid for by those who cause them. The “invisible hand” folks are really also turning a “blind eye” to the effects of the market, and calling the sanitized and censored results that they choose to look at as good, benign, beneficial, “economic progress.”

To state a basic position, I’m for an economics that internalizes all externalities. Costs need to be real costs, not market-monetized costs. In a nutshell, our very money and its basis of value needs to be revaluated.

I’m also for freedom or liberty. But freedom’s an open-ended, fundamentally polyvalent concept. A consciously internalizing economics is one that brings wisdom to bear against the blindness of profit motives. Wisdom is, etymologically, related to vision, Latin video, as well as the Greek verb “to know” (oida). Wisdom brings sight and light to the blindnesses of narrow market-driven economics.

But my interests in current political economy are only as an amateur and private citizen. My profession (teaching in higher education) often requires that I ignore what’s going on in the world right now in order to focus on teaching classes and contributing to scholarship in my field (ancient studies, or as we say “classics”). I study old poetry and literature, from round the world, and I also write poetry, and am very interested in music. (In my research I study oral poetics, performance, and musical cultures, especially in the ancient world.) Since I believe that psychic integration, bringing all the pieces of one’s mind and heart into some sort of workable and symbiotic synthesis, is the ultimate goal of ongoing self-education and maturity, I want to bring all these interests and passions together in this blog in some creative synthesis. I’ll be posting my poetry on other pages (and tinkering with creative hyper-texting), and sometimes discussing my scholarship, intellectual, and artistic interests here as well.

As I see it, the internet is an excellent tool for fusing the old genres of the private journal/diary/notebook and published (=public) genres from journalism to high literary (and multimedia) art. One can simultaneously engage in the therapeutic self-dialogue of writing, communing with one’s thoughts via the written word, and in real time publish these thoughts for the benefit, amusement, curiosity, even education/help of others. The worlds of private thinking and public thinking have come together in an unprecedented way. This too is one way out of the cave(s) of modernity. (Just consider the massive resurgence of grassroots activism since the age of the internet began. People can connect, for meaningful collective action, in ways not even dreamed possible a generation or two ago.)

My goal here then, too, is to bring my psychic/creative life into an ever more meaningful fusion, while at the same time contributing thought-work when and where I can to the collective mind-cloud of the internet, for the amusement and nourishment of others and their thoughts.

I study mythology (professionally and casually). The myth of Odysseus in the cave of the Cyclops is one of my all-time favorites. In fact I am writing (slowly) a book about this myth (which is much more complex and historically fascinating than it might seem at first read)….

More on this. I got sidetracked with dinner time and now, Palin v. Biden is coming on soon. I can’t wait….