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On Velvet Undergrounds and Velvet Revolutions: Havel and Jonathan Richman

Topics of Capricorn

Last month, poet, playwright, political philosopher and [former-Czech] president Václav Havel died. While this blog has a commitment to no pop culture and no politics (as those subjects are indubitably covered more capably and thoroughly elsewhere on the internet), the more I read about Havel the more my admiration grows.

Havel’s most famous writing is on the subject of totalitarianism. He lived and worked behind the Iron Curtain and as both an artist and political writer paid the price for his unwavering commitment to truth over and over again. While the Eastern European totalitarian regimes that inspired his work have faded, his insights remain prescient and relevant today. Take, for example, this excerpt from his 1978 essay The Power of the Powerless, on how ideology within what he characterizes as “post-totalitarian regimes» unmoors itself from reality.

“Increasingly, the virtuosity of the ritual becomes more important than the reality hidden…

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MANON KUBLER. PERIODISTA , ESCRITORA EN RETIRADA. A LA SAGA DE UNA NUEVA CRONICA. PREPARO MIS BALAS. EXPULSO MIS FUEGOS. AFINO MIS LLAGAS. AVANZO. ME DEMORO. VUELVO A AVANZAR. BUSCO ESTOMAGOS QUE SUJETEN TOXICOS Y EXTREMOS. AQUI ESTOY, A LA SAGA, VIVIA Y SOBREVIVIDA PARA LA ALEGRIA DE POCOS, SALUD MANON

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