slouching towards Jerusalem

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slouching towards Jerusalem

Post by Archived Topic » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:10 pm

Someone used this phrase in a meeting concerning self improvement and motivation. I have a pretty good idea what it means but I am not sure. What does it mean and is it in any way derogatory? This seems to be a variation of some original quote. What is the original quote and its source?
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slouching towards Jerusalem

Post by Archived Reply » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:25 pm

Milton, SC forgot to list his name in the Jerusalem post
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slouching towards Jerusalem

Post by Archived Reply » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:39 pm

William Butler Yeats: "The Second Coming" (1921)

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand;
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

It would help if you could give the context in which "slouching towards Jerusalem" was used. From the poem by Yeats, the beast is a approaching Bethlehem which is symbolic of Armegedon moving towards the final battle against Christianity. Perhaps it was misquoting Yeats, Jerusalem vs. Bethlehem, or it might be in context with the Palestinians claiming the right to the whole city which they could equate with a disaster, i.e., Armageddon.

Leif, WA, USA
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slouching towards Jerusalem

Post by Archived Reply » Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:53 pm

Yep, that's what I thought. The context of it usage was in a meeting which was called to discuss the shortcomings of an administrative group within a large bureaucracy. The part about "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity" may somehow sum up the basic point of view of the person who used the quote in the meeting. I guess the folks who are tired of entertaining their excuses are the ones who have "A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun" and could be equated to the "rough beast, its hour come round at last" and is now slouching towards Jerusalem or Bethlehem, whichever the case may be.

Milton, SC, USA
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