Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Shadow Knows!

Yesterday was the birthday of Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Besides co-authoring the 1848 Communist Manifesto / Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei with Karl Marx, he was an astute social observer in his own right, a Germanic version of Mark Twain even. Years ago, someone quoted him as saying, for instance, "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."

At almost seventy, he wrote: "What each individual wills is obstructed by everyone else, and what emerges is something that no one willed."

And in 1891: People think they have taken quite an extraordinarily bold step forward when they have rid themselves of belief in hereditary monarchy and swear by the democratic republic. In reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy.

German writers may not be the cheeriest kind, but they certainly have things to say.

"Never underestimate a man with something to say." Today is Don Cheadle's birthday (b.1964). This guy is a gem of an actor. I still recall his supporting role in Things Behind the Sun (2001) and have been impressed by all of his performances -- most recently as Petey Greene in Talk to Me (2007). He's also well-known for his lead role in Hotel Rwanda (2004). Now is his time: with Toussaint (a biopic of Haitian revolutinary general Toussaint Louverture) in the works and a biopic of Miles Davis in the planning stages, Don Cheadle's arc is something to keep a keen eye out for.

Today's Rune: Breakthrough.


Lana said...

When I was younger my teachers demonized Marx to a point where I considered him "evil." Little did I know how many attitudes we'd share in my adulthood!

the walking man said...

I'm not sure that any form of government can work to solve the basic needs of its citizens. They all become a living organism and like all other living organisms its first priority is its own survival to the exclusion of all else.



Johnny Yen said...

I've long admired Cheadle as well, and am glad he's finally getting some roles he can sink his teeth into.

Engels' name has long amused me-- it's German for "angels," and he was indeed Marx' angel, financially subisdizing his work.

Lana said...

I agree with the walking man.

Charles Gramlich said...

That second comment by Engles explains a lot.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks all for the comments! It's all good . . . . .