Saturday, January 30, 2016
#30 / The Idea Of Leadership
I am a big fan of The New Yorker. It always has great articles! In its January 11, 2016 edition, the magazine published a comment entitled, "The Next Great Famine," by Amy Davidson, one of The New Yorker's staff writers. It's a comment worth reading. Davidson's purpose was to remind readers of "The Great Famine" of 1315-1317, the better to prepare us for what's likely ahead.
Then, in a section of "The Talk of the Town" subtitled "This Changing World," Rebecca Mead reported on a breakfast interview with Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan. Carter plays "Carson" on Downton Abbey, and is pictured above. Logan plays "Mrs. Hughes." If you are not a Downton Abbey fan, you may not appreciate the moral authority manifested (below stairs) by these two characters.
In Mead's recent item, Carter (Carson) spoke to our times with trenchant insight. "Downton seemed to offer modern audiences a world of certainties," Carter said. "But today is an era of massive uncertainty. You've got supine governments who give no moral leadership. The idea of leadership is to bomb people."
Pretty close to the mark, I'd say.
Mead's report ran under the title, "Final Curtain," referencing the fact that Downton Abbey is ending this season. Unless we can find a better brand of leadership (I do think that there are some options available), we're pretty much facing our own "Final Curtain," too. Bombs or a famine. Either alternative would be unpleasant.