Pick your poisons, choose your evils

I’m always a bit more introspective around the Solstice, and this year appears to be no different.

And, of course, we’re living in a time of upheaval.

So with that, for today’s post I give you Wendell Berry’s “Questionnaire.” It seems timely and provides food for thought for us all (though it is admittedly much darker than a great deal of Berry’s writing). Should we be asking this of our political leaders?  I don’t profess to know the answer, but I’m beginning to think it might be “yes.”


How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.


For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.


What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy


In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.


State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.