Like a tree, in which there are three blackbirds, but one of them is actually just a regular blackbird.
On the one hand, yesterday’s election results want me to take everyone by the shoulders and remind them: Hey, it’s okay! We still belong to one family, the family of man. Life goes on. Obama is just a guy, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Donna Summer, it’s that there is no guy who can make life not worth living.
But seriously, here is a book which reminds you most gorgeously of the timelessness of human experience, which perdures with dignity no matter which clown is in the oval office:
The Family of Man by Edward Steichen and Carl Sandburg
This is the book version of an exhibit which collected over 500 photos from 68 countries, interspersed with illuminating fragments of verse and prose. I looked through this book maybe twelve thousand times when I was growing up, and I think I remember every single image in it. I consider this book to be an absolutely essential part of a basic education. There is no message; it simply shows you what life is like. It’s completely accessible, not overly arty — but never descends into cliches. Magnificent.
On the other hand, there is this (WARNING: uses the f-word):