So did fanaticism and hate enslave it,
And this brought forth a dream and soon enough
This dream itself had all my thought and love.
And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread
Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea;
Heart-mysteries there, and yet when all is said
It was the dream itself enchanted me:
Players and painted stage took all my love,
And not those things that they were emblems of.
Those masterful images because complete
Grew in pure mind, but out of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start,
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.
--William Butler Yeats
This poem is blessedly simple to understand. Yeats' protagonist fell in love with a fanatical, hateful woman. But he wanted her, so he created a false image to superimpose on her. He believed what he wanted to believe, instead of seeing the truth. Why? The real reason is much uglier than the fantasy. Need, vanity, lust--there are a hundred reasons, none of them attractive to look at.
I want you to look at something. Megan discusses the bailout and uses the homeless as an example. Her argument can be summed up with this bit:
How much money are we willing to pay to maintain our sense of
And there you see where Megan lives. The smooth hair and placid, unlived-in face, the MBA wreathed in the "glory" of the Chicago Boyz, the cloying networking, the prep school education, the sidewalks of New York and designer shoes and dresses: They originate in the foul rag and bone shop of her heart. Her vanity and callousness, her love of luxury, exclusiveness and privilege, her smirking disregard for torture, poverty, pain and illness. That is what Megan McArdle really is. That is the creature who passes for a human being, the daywalking vampire who would drain the blood of her country to satisfy her base lusts.
She is revolting.