Friday, August 31, 2012

Rutgers philosophy professor explains how It happens

      "the public's trust
      in public speech .. 

The argument had a grain of irony we expect in a Philosophy seminar, and most of the elegance of detachment required to play the skein out. But that it came on the heels of the best-received (and most condemned) oration of the week, and sought to explain how both these things could be possible, almost spared us the contortions of the candidate, entirely. We glanced, but with that frisson of despair mingled with fear that we had for Willy Loman. It became Friday, and we could pull off at the beach. Just to feel clean, can be very nice.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jewel of the Summer List

Recent comment here drew attention to endlessly seductive pleadings of the present heirs of two of England's more impor-tant country estates, and it is only natural to admire now a slender volume which traces the intricate but pleasingly irrevocable right of trespass, in effect, enjoyed by Englishmen through vast portions of these titled tracts.

We observe a bilious celebration of tracts of truly smelly selfishness this week in the United States, dis-reputable when they were published 4 generations ago and now so putrid as to draw only racist, nativist and misogynist theorists of the divine right of capital to attach itself to beasts. I refer, as I reasonably never thought I would have to do in adult-hood, to Friedrich Hayek's pathetic Road to Serfdom and Ayn Rand's second fattest masturbation guide, Atlas Shrugged. We are pretending that a candidate for our second highest office is a thinker and courageous, because he adores these texts.

In this hard week for the sharing of Nature's patrimony in the United States, it is amusing, pleasant and refreshing to pluck Sinclair McKay's Ramble On: The Story of our love for walking Britain from Heywood Hill's Summer List, and rusticate in the quietly unspoken 17th Century Commonwealthman roots of this nation's own commitments to a shared bounty, which it would unreasonably flatter these new Republicans to damn for forgetting. A book of humour not requiring someone to endure pain, a book embracing the land without having to rape it, on a pastime of human strengthening without having to exclude, is not likely to be read aloud this week in Tampa, Florida. 

But this is a keepsake of a reality, not a fantasy, of great charm, historic heroism, and inspiring infusions of invigorating air, terrain and vistas befitting the bedside of a republican Horace would recognise. Every chapter is a jewel of an excursion stripping vanity from the enthusiast, a toning of the sensibility that no ideology of ownership can confer. The republic of belonging, known to Horace's planter, Constable's shepherd, Clare's wanderer, and Woody Guthrie's Everyman is the defining entitlement which has distil-led these new Republicans into a cabal of irrational wrath against the rambler, the American Motor their candidate begs us to forget. Who will?

Sinclair McKay
Ramble On
Fourth Estate, 2012©

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A toning

It's all a natural skep-ticism is, a property of the mind evolved from mere exertion into a vessel that cannot be had. 
Where does it come from, how do we know it, and what does it give in recompense and tried compassion, to demagogues of tired seductions?

              Isn't it wonderful, how they will 
              all say you are something special, 
              someone who can fend for yourself 
              but need them with you to do it?

  And what part of you
  did it seem to be,
  that needed this as-
  sistance of their ur-
  ging, that they could
  be trusted with it
  better than you?


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Light work

  Via the topmost link in his blog's
  list of other pages to visit, I
  discovered a small portfolio of
  photographs of factory workers by
  the 20th Century master, Robert
  Doisneau, which naturally do put
  one in mind of Valéry Lorenzo's
  incessant explorations of the ac-
  tivity of light. It strikes me,
  his restlessness is somewhat like
  that of light, itself, unwitting
  and free in its associations, un-
  blinking in unsparing identifica-
  tion. Possibly, we contemplate a 
  boldness in any engagement with
  illumination: its impartiality.

ii   Purpose, 2009
iv   Valéry Lorenzo    
       Silver print photograph 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Stormy weather update

Since this morning's posting, other commentary from around the country has widely voiced the analysis given here, that Mr Romney's candidacy is taking depressing risks of rebuke for racism in strategy and conduct. This page enormously hopes this particular specter can be kept at bay in this campaign, because there is one very much like it, which has seemed ready for permanent rejection at last -- exemplified in the exotic speculations of Congressman Todd Akin, of which more another day. For this campaign, meanwhile, we hope that the candidates will exercise some responsibility toward those who still believe they must be Republican, to spare them excessive despair for what they do.

Waking up, Republican: Moral hazard and Mitt Romney

And who would not, you may well ask, declare a Foul Weather Day under such awful circumstances? Even so, are there not others, similarly lost and in this very tourist haven, compelled to weather the same dys-topic symptoms, swathed in linens not their own? What's a Party stalwart to do?

It's not as if the Party were all packed up, with nowhere now to go. Of course not. They assert, they have somewhere quite specific to go - the Executive Branch, may we call it - without the foggiest concept of how to take themselves there, with a vessel of no content or direction. Now, this is embarrassing, and we shall be compassionate in noting the unprecedentedly puerile Rain Excuse, where very likely it was actually the Dog on the Roof that ate their homework. Or was it, that two News Cycles in a Row, of this Party's self-impugningly vulgar jests about the incumbent's birthplace, begun and lied about by The Candidate en route and climaxed in the hall by Donald Trump, the self, threatened to expose their Goth-ically demented grotesqueries too soon?

A shrewd play. One has to hand it to them: the less Republicanism, the fewer Republicans on view, the likelier our forgetfulness of their symptoms. We hear, Rove will spend 35 million for ads in the coming weeks, presumably to discover an impressionable voter. If it were up to us, we'd sink half of that into a dozen electric magenta speedos, and the rest into candidate development. But who knew, that the Party who thought to carry the election by suppressing voter turnout, would inspire itself to suppress its own visibility?

This is the meaning of Mitt Romney's witheringly cowardly claim of meaninglessness in his rabble-rousing wisecrack on the President's birthplace - the locus of consensus for purely racist rejection by this Party, ever since the election of 2008. To the lusty approbation of the leering mob he addressed on Friday, there was no "humor" in his boast of being born in Michigan; there isn't any humor in this man, but the schadenfreude of bullying a classmate. But he will claim his exemption from the moral hazard his sanctimonious Party demands of others, and invents for them - women who are raped illegitimately, for example - as a Reaganesque slur, where everyone is potentially a welfare queen.

Now let's see moral hazard upheld for this cynical association, as they convene for their Etch-a-Sketch novation on the cusp of a critical campaign. Let's see how courageous their fiscal policies are, which saturate themselves in greater emoluments as they subject society to the privations they deem to be Good for Us. Let's see them deny in Tampa everything immorally discriminatory they praised in New Hampshire, everything recklessly negligent they upheld in South Carolina, everything demonstrably stupid they extolled in Texas. Let's see if they have anything; is this not democracy's moral hazard?

v  Jeremy Young