I know that I had earlier proposed to do a series on the culture of untruthfulness and the nature of falsehood, as it pertains to our current membership in the culture of Late Modernity. By extension, this would have necessitated also an examination of the prospects for a culture of truthfulness.
But the significant and traumatic events of the last week have intruded on that, and I have to put that purpose aside for the time being. We need to address the indications and omens of deep transformation and historical change as they arise in our experience in the present and at “the end of history”.
The UK newspaper The Telegraph has paid tribute to the victims of the Oslo and Utøya Island terror attacks by posting their photographs on its website. A great lump formed in my throat — a dam set up against a possible overwhelming flood of sorrow and tears — as I viewed the images in succession, and read off the names and ages of those who were gunned down.
One photograph, however, transfixed me. The lump in my throat gave way and the dam burst. I was overwhelmed by all the back-pressure of my sorrow and sadness. I broke down. I cried. And I cried for a very long time. (Mr. Breivik and his minions will, I’m sure, feel immense satisfaction in that “success”, gloating in the suffering that has been wrought, and the human pain and tears that have been shed).