May. 13th, 2011

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I don't know if any of you have ever read Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog over at The Atlantic.com, but if you haven't I think some of you would like him. Fairly wide ranging, in a sense. He's been reading up a lot on the Civil War (including Grant's memoir), talks about classic literature like Middlemarch.

One of his current blogs is built on laughing at the attempt to take down the rapper Common's appearance at the White House poetry night. His conclusion? The culture wars are over. We win.

And further down in the comments (and the comments are always interesting, since he responds and moves the philosophical debate even further) he mentions the importance of failure:

Failure is essential. I'm going to write about this next week, but there's something very Zen that's come out of my study of the Civil War.

I mean look at Lincoln--mother dies, son dies, wife has mental issues. And my God, they call him every name in the book--Ugly, The Original Gorilla, The Baboon, Poor White Trash. There's a portion in Foner's book where they send out a portrait of Lincoln to France. The French say something like "This dude is so ugly, you should never use his face to represent you again." And all the motherfucker did was become--in my humble estimation--the greatest president in American history. Self-educated. Born in a log cabin. Wrestling mo-fos out on the frontier.

Lincoln was a bluesman.

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