Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Diary of an Insomniac

I'm still awake and it's 4a.m.. That's what happens when you take too long naps in the daytime. But there's something wild and wonderful about staying up all alone when the city is sleeping and only the leafless trees move.

The side of me that turns outwards at night is not the daytime face. Night darkens things, softens the edges of logic and wakes up the deep pits of the soul. Everything is deeper, with stronger shadows, and the thoughts that come are untamed, both fiercer and sadder. This is the time to make serious mistakes.

Here is one of them:

"The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press -- in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past years."

This quote is by Adolph Hitler, and it's always a mistake to quote Hitler. It breaks Godwin's Law, and it implies unwarranted sweeping generalizations from the many things that he said to the horrors that he committed. But at night it is very quotable, and its point seems both very important and very obvious: that things which sound moral may hide something much uglier. Always stay on your guard.

I'm going out to bay at the moon.