Weekend 213.1 (Memento mori)

(1) A Supreme Confidence: A level-headed leader of men and nations—Eisenhower is revered today by both conservatives and liberals (WSJ)

“Despite the spate of revisionist histories in recent decades, Eisenhower remains an enigma: A quiet man projecting an image of almost leisurely detachment whose leadership won a global war and helped secure for America its position as unrivaled leader of the free world.”

(2) A Convergence of Faith and Reason (WSJ)

“Below the patrons who kneel just outside the sacred space is a skeleton laid out on a sarcophagus. Above it, an inscription reads: “I once was what you are now, and what I am you also will be.” This memento mori, placed under a symbol of Golgotha, suggests that the skeleton represents both Everyman and Adam, widely believed to have been buried under the place where Christ was later crucified. The reminder of physical death is contrasted with God the Father holding the cross, offering the promise of everlasting life.”

(2a) A related quote from “Why I Write” by George Orwell

“So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information. It is no use trying to suppress that side of myself. The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities that this age forces on all of us.”

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