The writer's role--to keep vigilant watch.
Nobel Laureate, Jose Saramago, spoke to writers and journalists in Caracas [Nov.26,2004] :
"I always ask two questions, and only two: How many countries have military bases in the United States? And in how many countries does the United States not have military bases?”
But he asked the journalists in Caracas a third question, to illustrate his point.
"Can you just imagine what Bush would say if someone like (Venezuelan) President Hugo Chávez asked him for a little piece of land to install a military base, even if it was way off in Alaska, and he only wanted to plant a Venezuelan flag there?”...
"I wouldn't like to leave this life without at least knowing that I tried to do something,” he added. As to what should be done, ”I don't think there is anything more effective than demanding and keeping a vigilant watch over rigorous respect for human rights.”
It's the holiday season and Saramago's novel The Cave (Harcourt,2002) should be required reading for those of us depressed about the 2004 election:
"I just happen to think that there are times in our lives when we have to let ourselves be carried along by the current of events, as if we didn't have the strength to resist, but then there comes a point when we suddenly realize that the river is flowing in our favor, no one else has noticed, but we have, anyone watching will think we are about to go under, and yet our navigational skills have never been better, Let's just hope that this is one such occasion." (pp.303-304).