W. Hunter Roberts
Transformative Arts


moral values
the world

The World
Thoughts about What's Happening in the Larger World

Conservatives know that politics is not just about policy and interest groups and issue-by-issue debate.  They have learned that politics is about family and morality, about myth and metaphor and emotional identification.  They have, over twenty-five years, managed to forge conceptual links in the voters' minds between morality and public policy.  They have done this by carefully working out their values, comprehending their myths, and designing a language to fit those values and myths so that they can evoke them with powerful slogans, repeated over and over again, that reinforce those family-morality-policy links, until the connections have come to seem natural to many Americans, including many in the media. 
As long as liberals ignore the moral, mythic, and emotional dimension of politics, as long as they stick to policy and interest groups and issue-by-issue debate, they will have no hope of understanding the nature of the political transformation that has overtaken this country and they will have no hope of changing it."

--George Lakoff

Hunter's commentaries on the war in Iraq Feb-May 2003:

On Love and War
February 24 2003
At the march last weekend I saw a sign that made me consider our president in a new light. It had the predictable: "Make Love, Not War," written on it, but below that was written, "WE MISS CLINTON."

Human Security Council
March 3, 2003
I went to a meeting Sat. night, a reunion, really, of folks I knew well during the cold war and anti-nuclear era: spiritual teachers, deep ecologists, citizen diplomats, futurists, academics, organizers, writers, systems theorists, and psychotherapists thinking on the cutting edge of psycho-politics, making up a loose network called INTERHELP.

Troubled Tickets - War and Poetry
March 2003
I was feeling the need, on the cusp of this particular genocide, to salve my soul and strengthen my conviction with poetry. Besides, it is nearly spring, and the tiger tulips are in bloom in my garden. So Sunday I had friends to tea, to read aloud from our favorite poets. A civilized pastime, anachronistic, on the verge of insanity; I wanted everything to be beautiful.

Winning and Losing
Spring Equinox 2003
Virginia Woolfe said that one should not write in the red light of passion, but in the white light of reflection-or something like that. Well, this past week I was in the red place, unable to write anything except maybe four letter words on walls. Searing red-hot pain; deep, dark red anguish; and flaming red, red rage. I lay down and asked myself "what's the point?" You know.

Thoughts on War-nograpy
April 8, 2003: I've been amazingly silent these last days. What is there to say? Television is saying it all. We are eyewitnesses to war. We are in the army, behind the lines, invading Saddam's palaces, blowing up tanks. I want to see a reporter embedded in an Iraqi home, not just in the 22nd Battalion, but oh well. We 're getting to see stuff exploding (wow, cool), people waving to greet the "liberators," and occasionally a little, what do they call it, oh yeah, collateral damage. That's the official term for "accidental" civilian death. They call it that when they've killed or maimed someone they didn't "mean" to kill or maim, but hey, that happens in war, right?

It's All in the Game
May 2003
I am at the gym. There is a row of televisions. Some are showing whatever game is on. On others the war being broadcast in living color. We run on the treadmill or climb the stair-master, looking from one screen to the next. Both are being discussed by the sportscasters, who are commenting on the moves.