“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts’ desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
H.L. Mencken wrote this and just to make sure it was true I googled these two sentences, discovering that he wrote them in the Baltimore Sun on 26 July 1920. He was referring to the fact that since Presidential campaigns are waged in the media the candidate most likely to win is the most vacuous.
This of course also appears to be an anti-populist phrase. But I am often struck to see how accurate portrayals of nations still are decades and centuries later, and I am beginning to think there is actually an “American” national character.
That post was about as interesting as I could get today, a day I spent sifting through papers, taking notes, and having the impression that although I was now being diligent I was quite behind and was not advancing. When are things progressing by fits and starts, and when are they going in circles, was my question – in other words, how does one distinguish between optimism and sanity?
In desperation at 7:15 PM I discovered the best online cultural agenda of Lima and ran off to the play listed below, whose nature I was able to discover ahead of time by googling it. Really I was going because it was at 8 and I was interested in seeing a play directed by Francisco Lombardi, with whom I am only familiar as a film director. You can tell how behind I really am because I did not know the play, the author, or how famous both were. I also did not realize that the play would address in part my question of the day, how to distinguish between optimism and insanity.
Teatro del Centro Cultural PUCP
(av. Camino Real 1075 – San Isidro)
Teatro: “La prueba” de David Auburn (Estados Unidos), a cargo de Wendy Vásquez, Carlos Gassols, Vanessa Saba y Diego Lombardi, Dir.: Francisco Lombardi; a las 8:00pm.
Entrada general: S/.25
The Centro Cultural de la PUCP is lovely and elegant, and I do not know how old it is; I had not been there before. It has the theatre, a café, a good bookstore with genteel libreros, and more. It also has parking and everyone but me had apparently come in a car. Therefore cabs do not pass in front of it at night and the buses that stop at the corner are not going to my house. If you want to catch a cab, or choose from among a greater variety of buses and collective vans, from the CC-PUCP at night, I recommend walking to the Ovalo Gutiérrez which is nearby and has many vehicles.
Cabs here don’t have meters – you negotiate a price. It cost $3.67 to ride to the CC-PUCP from my house and $3.33 to ride back. That was because the second cab was older and smaller, I believe. Peruvians pay slightly less, but I do not get the very best prices because I look foreign. The play cost $8 so this most refreshing evening cost $15.