The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

We Are The Hollow Men

Posted by keith on May 5th, 2010

The difference is stark and intense – from a vision of the sub-American suburban Utopia ringed with shopping malls and trunk roads, to a house on the edge of a Scottish village within earshot of the River Tweed, surrounded by the kind of garden that would tempt the most driven individual to pack up the campaigning and sit listening to the birds until lifedown.

I am lucky beyond dreams I never had; we sought a slower life, one that attached itself to a real community and had the potential for at least superficial resilience (a few fresh raspberries and broad beans while all around collapses the hellish system we built out of the toxic desires of our leaders). As a family we never sought “success”, “progress” or “luxury”, and as time has gone on our own desires have begun to march in step with the rest of nature. Despite – perhaps because of – the absence of conflict in my new life, I feel a huge weight of responsibility to step up the work that needs doing so badly.

Around the garden have been left a multitude of messages in stone tablet form, and literal leaves of wisdom. One of them contains a line from the T.S. Eliot poem “The Hollow Men“, which strikes me as eerily relevant to the parties vying for power in the election I cannot escape, and a metaphor that illustrates the lies, the hypocrisy that pervades the pages of this blog.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

It continues later on with:

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
(For Thine is the Kingdom)

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
(Life is very long)

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

Hollow dreams have no place in a survivable world. We must come out of the shadows and reveal our intentions for others to hear – the indescribable hypocrisy of the ruling system of death has to end; real dreams can only be fulfilled where truth exists.

4 Responses to “We Are The Hollow Men”

  1. LS Says:

    Hear, hear.

    Sounds like you have found a great place Kieth.

  2. LS Says:

    Sorry, that should have been: “Keith”

  3. Richard Kenyon Says:

    Are you familiar with the song “The Hollow Man” that Marillion wrote for the album Brave? Their singer is a big fan of T.S Eliot. I should just add that if you’re one of those people that only know Marillion to be what the media told you – some crass prog-rock band, you may want to take a few mins to hear this piece. It’s good to reassess long-held assumptions!

  4. keith Says:

    We have, LS, I don’t know how it happened – but best not to question these things, just in case…

    Hi Richard, I don’t know that album, but I do have “Fugazi” and “Misplaced Childhood” which are both musically exceptional – some of the lyrics are terrible, though :-)

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