Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tragedies of Our Time

Following my discussion of the new opera "Heart of a Soldier" and tragedy, I would name some contemporary political figures as protagonists in their respective tragedies.

The most obvious one in last century was Richard Nixon.  He was a brilliant and bold man and enacted many important rules and laws in this land and opened a new chapter of geo-politics by shaking hands with Communist Chinese.  Yet, he resigned from his office not long after his easy re-election as president and that disgrace ever overshadowed his undeniable achievements.  His downfall was due to his personal weakness therefore his story was the perfect form of classic tragedy when an able and powerful politician was come undone by his personal defection.

Another recent president who suffered due to personal weakness and undermined his own achievement was Bill Clinton, whose insatiable taste for tasteless women, had cause the agony of his family and the nation, and the entire trajectory of his presidency and the subsequent officeholder of the Oval Office was affected greatly, to the detriment of almost everyone on earth.

Both tragedies were beyond personal scope; they were tragedy of the entire nation.

The most tragic period of our country in the recent memory was eight long years of George W. Bush's  nightmarish reign.  On his personal level, his miserable record as president was farcical; however, for the people who had "elected" him to the office and stuck to him during those eight years, their still keenly felt sufferings formed a collective tragedy with the people as the collective protagonists. 

It is still to be seen what history would say of our current President, Barak Obama.  However, so far, his presidency has proved a tragedy for those who blinded believed in "Hope" and "Change" mantra without bothering to figure out what those hope and changes might have been, or figure out if the man they elected to trust had the mentality, adroit and audacity to carry them out.  To them, it is definitely a tragedy unfolding.

Shadow / 影子 / Schatten
Shadow, Oil on Canvas © Matthew Felix Sun

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