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  • From Surmises

The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today

"In times of strong emotion mankind disdain all base considerations; but such times are evanescent. The permanent constitutional condition of the manufactured man, thought Ahab, is sordidness."


Musing: I wonder if Melville was right about his take on humanity. It is true that in times of tragedy or great harmony, people tend to walk the high road. But, Melville points out, that emotion is fleeting. Soon humans return to "base considerations." In fact, Melville writes, "manufactured man" is sordid. A manufactured man is one, to me, who is in lockstep with capitalism. And in this era of prez. _rump, many people are "manufactured" - made, bought, created by an industry of greed. So if in times of 'great emotion,' which we are not in, men put aside their sordidness, we are now, I would argue, in the bowels of base behavior. The Obama's always said, "They go low, we go high." Please. Remember.

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