When We Have Failed Ourselves

Splinter in the Mind

It is the evening of July 4. A TV station carries a clip of George W. Bush speaking in Monticello, near Washington, D.C. He begins to talk and is interrupted by the thin, yelling voice of a woman. Her words are indistinct. Cameramen in front of Bush turn to film her and the protesters at her side, but the TV clip does not show them. The numbers of the group can be reckoned by the throng of passionate cries coming from their direction. It sounds like a hundred people have turned out and are making themselves heard. Bush responds by shrugging them off with a wisecrack about free speech.

In Boston today, a young man dressed up in costume like a colonist reads the Declaration of Independence out loud on a dock to another man who films him. Two other people show up for the protest. On the dock around…

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