Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxxiii: Alibi of Broadway

   Surely, we remember, the knock
   on the door from the Execution-
   er, to console the widow for a
   natural mistake. Instead of or-
   dering, "Fire," he says he did
   say, "Fire is not what I ask."

   Innocently, explicably, circum-
   stances intervened to suppress
   any sound of such distinctions.
   Truly, he is a man of his word.

Ansel Adams
Portfolio V
Coll. Laurent

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Baguettier insouciant, parlez-vous?

I wouldn't go so far as to say,
nominations are closed, to des-
ignate proof of country of ori-
gin, for the couple in apparent
flight, in this hundredth or so
viewing of their progress. That
said, I don't think the dubious
pedaling technique could satis-
fy demand for "Papers, please."

In Saturday's entry, a distinc-
tion was suggested, between pol-
itical taxonomy and existential
or anthropological citizenship.
I suggest it again, but rather,
this picture does: if one seeks
something to celebrate in the
one, you get papers. In the oth-
er, aromas. An almost unobtain-
able North Carolinian voter ID
card, or a ubiquitous baguette, 
for the republic of freshness.

Elliott Erwitt

George Gershwin
Ira Gershwin
Nice Work if You 
  Can Get It

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday commute cliii: Always chasing

Now and again the fraternal third
in liberté, égalité, and so forth
leaps off some page or some wall,
or now some floor, as the immort-
al distinction in the celebration
of a certain nationhood, which no
one has ever been able to explain.

I accept the premise that this is
a nationhood of coincidence, many
coincidences, whose full range of
possibility cannot properly be as-
sayed without comparison to ours,
which is a nationhood of policies.

Nothing compelled there to be the
nation celebrated today, but this
compilation of endowments captiv-
ates the mind of the West like no
other, and its birthday arises on
the calendar as that of a brother
one is always chasing - even with
all the time in the world.


The Barge Children

Friday, July 13, 2018

Suppose it were Friday clvii: And Her Majesty were indisposed

 Just as we'd thought. Royal protocol
 has conceived a hypothetical beyond
 the contemplation of the oddsmakers.
 It says, right here, that when Her
 Majesty's government calls upon her
 to entertain a hostile foreign head 
 of state, it is appropriate for her
 to delegate the task to any Duke of
 Essex there may be about the place,

 This section goes on to provide, it
 is appropriate for Her Majesty, if
 upbraided from any quarter for let-
 ting down the side, to claim their
 visitor's exculpation, of just be-

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxxii: Make Yourself Big Again

ages ago, when Republicans were doubt-
ing him as an indiscreet image of their 
dreams of dominance. He hadn’t yet pen-
etrated the sanctum, but he had certain-
ly defiled it to their level. Now that 
they’ve inserted him, the question an-
swers itself: you wind him up, and you 
get an experience which reason and re-
ality have always denied you. Bigness.

He enjoyed a conspicuously wound-up day 
on Tuesday, revealing visions of things 
to come by legally, once his henchman of 
the previous night’s investiture had been 
installed in the court of last resort. He 
bestowed one of his revoltingly self-indul-
his horde’s “Second Amendment” fantasies, 
jumped-up claimants to non-existent rights 
crushed (and did) without a second thought. 
He went on, to strip the agency almost bare 
of funds, charged with informing the public 
of its rights to health care, to refresh his 
drooling claque with putrefaction much too 
rich to be saliva. And then, heigh-ho, it’s 
off to Belgium he would go, to smear resis-
tance to his sneer with the same foul paste.

Over the weekend, a right-twice-a-day sage, 
Maureen Dowd, icebreakingly analogized Donny 
Thump-Thump to an addict, who has addicted 
himself to his flock’s adulation. In the im-
potence sweepstakes, addicts and sex toys 
share a lot in common, always granting sen-
sation to account for most of it. Sensation, 
that is, which Thomas Jefferson famously in-
sisted was the highest intellectual attain-
ment of his slaves, compared with his genetic 
gift of reflection. A sex toy, we would say, 
doesn’t really care what effect it procures; 
it merely exists to be used. So far as we’ve 
been told, this one’s users are Republicans. 

In crushing the right of health care, exalt-
ing arms against a lawful, lenient government,  
and blocking every exit from their policies in 
legislatures and in courts, where does their 
taste rest, for enslavement? What do addic-
tion and the perpetuum mobile lack in common,
which could ever threaten a user's bigness?

Alexander Calder

Nicole Eisenman
Riding Down the River
  on the Jawbone of an Ass

Capitoline Museum

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

An anniversary with precedents

We are aware of a principle in the
courts of the United States, call-
ed the Exclusionary Rule, in which
evidence gathered impermissibly or
falsely must be barred from delib-
erations. This does not carry over
into public discourse. If it did,
the United States would lie ungov-
erned today, by manifest defaults.

Yet now we bask in a wholly re-im-
agined state, cast from new Exclu-
sionary principles, originating in
a novel religion and claiming uni-
que entitlement to humanity. These
achievements in rule are complete,
an Anschluss of decided swiftness. 

Tiziana Loiacono