Saturday, February 15, 2003

Saturday February 15, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:48 PM

The Recruit

From an obituary of Walt W. Rostow, advisor to presidents and Vietnam hardliner:

“During World War II, he served in the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor agency to the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Rostow died on Thursday, February 13, 2003, the anniversary of the 1945 firebombing of Dresden.

Like von Neumann, Rostow exemplified the use of intellectuals by the state.  From a memoir by Rostow:

“…in mid-1941…. American military intelligence… was grossly inadequate….

…military leaders… learned that they needed intellectuals….

Thus the link was forged that yielded the CIA, RAND, the AEC, and all the other institutionalized links between intellectual life and national security that persist down to the present.”

— Walt W. Rostow, “Recollections of the Bombing,”
    University of Texas web page

“Look at that caveman go!”

— Remark in my entry of February 13, 2003

“So it goes.”

— Remark of Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five

See also

Tralfamadorian Structure
in Slaughterhouse-Five

which includes the following passage:

“…the nonlinear characterization of Billy Pilgrim emphasizes that he is not simply an established identity who undergoes a series of changes but all the different things he is at different times.”

For a more recent nonlinear characterization, see the poem “Fermata” by Andrew Zawacki in The New Yorker magazine, issue dated Feb. 17 and 24, 2003, pp. 160-161.  Zawacki is thirty years younger than I, but we share the same small home town.

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