Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Other Hanson: Victor Davis

While I wait for the coffee to brew I will alert my readers to a website worthy of their consideration: Victor Davis Hanson's Private Papers.

VDH is a historian of Ancient Greece as well as a contemporary political commentator. His comments on Walmart, from an article called "Losing the Enlightenment", made me take the store a bit more seriously.

Instead of appreciating that millions get up at 5 a.m., work at rote jobs, and live proverbial lives of quiet desperation, we tend to laugh at the schlock of Wal-Mart, not admire its amazing ability to bring the veneer of real material prosperity to the poor.

"Veneer," I've noticed, is a word that crops up frequently in VDH's analysis of human nature and civilization. He said during an interview I watched on Book TV (I was bored at a party and chased a kid from the set in order to watch it) that the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina showed how humans behave when the "thin veneer of civilization" is stripped off.

Thank God for police - but WalMart?

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