And Another Contrarian Voice….

Speaking of contrarian voices, Charles Pierce did a post yesterday (h/t commenter danimal) motivated by his return to a state park where he worked back in the 1970s. Among other things, it shows that Pierce is not simply the American Left’s greatest satirist, but someone whose bitter snark often disguises a form of patriotism that used to be familiar and even beloved. A sample:

Deep in the forest, there’s an old abandoned railroad bridge, a relic of the days of the WPA, a monument to the dead triumph of public purpose in a country that has surrendered its soul to a cramped sort of accountancy. There is a sense of political commonwealth, of public spaces that belong to all of us, that we need desperately to revive, and not merely in cyberspace. Being American — truly, fully, deeply American — has always required physical space. It was the country’s original promise, the basis for the American dream. There is something in my old forest now that feels very much like an ancient, weathered shrine, the songs of the birds like mournful monks at a kind of vespers. I have hope, though, because I still know how the wind sounds here.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.