Having looked at the personal in terms of creativity, psychology, and community, the book then looks at the larger issue of social change, with particular focus on political processes in Chile (and, secondarily, Bolivia). Having been involved with this part of the world in different ways from the time when Salvador Allende became one of the world’s first democratically elected revolutionary socialist presidents, it offers a unique perspective on the possibilities — and challenges — of trying to change fundamental social and economic relations on a national level.
Not to be daunted by the enormity of the question, the book turns finally to the question of the search for meaning, stressing the value of agnosticism in a world where so many people seem quite willing to kill each other over everything from religious variations that are virtually incomprehensible to anyone outside their own sects to which city they root for in soccer matches or baseball games. Perhaps this explains, or at least justifies, my attraction to irreverence. Some of the artists I admire most were also most adept at challenging “conventional wisdom” as well as conventional “virtue.” So, some essays take a rather reverent look at the value of irreverence.
Along the way many tidbits slip in. Some are minor observations about big questions, some are just minor observations. A few are personal anecdotes that I hope are amusing and occasionally enlightening.