I have no remaining fondness for Ted Kennedy, my early hero worship of JFK & RFK long since eroded by understanding the meaning of their actions, they retain no aura to shelter him with in my thoughts, and he has generated a deep, deep guilt of wrong doings, political and personal, all his own. The words "Good riddance" comes tantalizingly to mind.
It brought home to me again, the importance of remembering that the principles you grasp, are not necessarily all of the principles involved; the facts you plainly perceive, are not necessarily all of the facts involved; nor is your perception - right though it maybe in its context - the only perception available and justified (though his son Patrick's sailing anecdote about his Dad's pursuit of the details of rules as a way around a rule, sums up my perspective of him, his party, and much more).
I doubt I have any need to detail the many, many points of disagreement, if not downright revulsion, I have for the figure I know of as Ted Kennedy, but it seems likely and proper to remind myself, and us all, that though he can properly be roundly condemned for his actions, he was a person, something which is captured neither well nor fully, in a profiles portrait, or in any series of pictures.
Watching the service, it is obivous that his children and family obviously saw something much more than we did.
(Ugh... Obama is on now... trying to get through without the TOTUS... reminding me of both what I dislike about him... and, yes, the point of this post at the same time.)
Because someone is obviously wrong, does not mean that they willfully turn away from the truth. Because someone does evil, does not mean that they recognize the evil they are doing. Because someone hurts and wrongs people horribly, does not mean that they did not also treat others with deep love and affection.
People are amazingly Deep creatures, capable of an infinite number of facets... and our philosophies will never thoroughly plumb those depths. A single misperception, unwitting or self deceptive, can mis-draw the world and what is Right and True, into an elaborate and seeming real cognitive illusion, every bit as apparently true, though actually false, as any mere optical illusion you could produce.
We are well justified condemning a person and calling them on accounts for deeds they've done, delivering whatever punishments are justified by their actions. We have no need to leaven our condemnation of him for those actions we are so well aware of.
But we are foolish, we deceive ourselves, when we think that we know all that there is, or needs to be known, about someone we know only from a distance - or even close at hand.
Truly, "What a piece of work is a man".
I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation
prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king
and queen moult no feather. I have of late--but
wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all
custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame, the
earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not
me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling
you seem to say so.
My lord, there was no such stuff in my thoughts.
Why did you laugh then, when I said 'man delights not me'?
To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what
lenten entertainment the players shall receive from
you: we coted them on the way; and hither are they
coming, to offer you service.
He that plays the king shall be welcome; his majesty
shall have tribute of me; the adventurous knight
shall use his foil and target; the lover shall not
sigh gratis; the humourous man shall end his part
in peace; the clown shall make those laugh whose
lungs are tickled o' the sere; and the lady shall
say her mind freely, or the blank verse shall halt
for't. What players are they?
Even those you were wont to take delight in, the
tragedians of the city.
How chances it they travel? their residence, both
in reputation and profit, was better both ways.
I think their inhibition comes by the means of the
Do they hold the same estimation they did when I was
in the city? are they so followed?
No, indeed, are they not.
How comes it? do they grow rusty?
Nay, their endeavour keeps in the wonted pace: but
there is, sir, an aery of children, little eyases,
that cry out on the top of question, and are most
tyrannically clapped for't: these are now the
fashion, and so berattle the common stages--so they
call them--that many wearing rapiers are afraid of
goose-quills and dare scarce come thither.
What, are they children? who maintains 'em? how are
they escoted? Will they pursue the quality no
longer than they can sing? will they not say
afterwards, if they should grow themselves to common
players--as it is most like, if their means are no
better--their writers do them wrong, to make them
exclaim against their own succession?
'Faith, there has been much to do on both sides; and
the nation holds it no sin to tarre them to
controversy: there was, for a while, no money bid
for argument, unless the poet and the player went to
cuffs in the question.
O, there has been much throwing about of brains.
Do the boys carry it away?
Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too.
It is not very strange; for mine uncle is king of
Denmark, and those that would make mows at him while
my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, an
hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little.
'Sblood, there is something in this more than
natural, if philosophy could find it out.