Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Raising a puppy, but writing for others

I believe I probably snaffled
this unseasonal portrait from
blr has long been registered
in the adjacent panel, Context.
Of all the works in progress
at this page - that is to say,
of all the deferred projects
that hold the most promise -
the renovation of that frame
of reference is on one's mind.
It bears listings I simply ad-
mire, without habitual consul-
tation, and it lacks listings
which would further justify
its name. 

Derek's tumblr is less contex-
tual here than I wish it were,
but there is consolation for
most readers of rmbl, that it
has its own existence. Derek
has found a rare style of tum-
blring, circumventing a form's
inherent rejection of texts,
for which he obviously cares
a great deal.

In a more modest test of bal-
ancing, I think it is under-
stood, by readers here, that
I have undertaken the respon-
sibility for raising a puppy.
I do what I can to distrib-
ute his exercises and dev-
elopment with other people,
but at the end of the day,
this duty is mine. Among my
motives for turning to this
page, I have never deceived
myself that duty is one of
them, as much as responsib-
ility may figure underneath,
from time to time; and among
my motives for raising a dog
well, I do not suppose that
companionability can carry
the sense that it does in
social comment. I do won-
der, though, how seamless-
ly a religious kind of car-
ing informs the one task,
very universally, and the
other almost not at all,
even less with affection.

Thorny is but a name I gave
my puppy. At the same time,
I'm urged to publish above
the fold, an exchange from
another entry, and because
the matter remains so wide-
ly discussed, I've agreed.
Companionship and responsi-
bility, facets of one ped-
igree, display their common
lack of austerity, all over
again; and many will say,
one should be ashamed.  

No, a shower will not get you off of the grid, although now that I think of it, giving up the right to privacy is a small price to pay to ensure more accurate google searches. I like my search engine to know that when I type "redmugbluelinen" I am looking for poetry and pictures rather than Bed, Bath, and Beyond. And if Uncle Sam is reading your blog, (which he almost certainly is), then he knows that not only does a gentleman not dine in restaurants - but he also refrains from eavesdropping an entire nation.

_ _ 

You come here in obvious good faith but possibly lightly equipped with information in the subject at issue, and the mode in which you frame it leads to infamies of conduct of the very greatest moral consequence, for which there always exist various appetites of great energy. I'm terribly sorry to draw a distinction in the midst of such sympathy, but I did not cite the right against self-incrimination as an equal little snow cone to the Everest of privacy. I cited it because thousands of persons throughout British history, the precursor nation of this one, suffered under State compulsion and were hacked, quartered, immolated and sent to their mothers in dustbins for failing to incriminate themselves and, very often, others. When Google or Bank of America or your employer does it, it's naughty. When the only power on earth of the sovereign competence to compel your death does it, it is against an inheritance of liberty which no one has the moral right to squander.

The “I have nothing to hide” school of moral self-management, by the way, is, against a power which is inherently fallible at best, not merely negligent for oneself, but antisocial in the most reckless degree. We do not measure our virtue with pride, without corrupting conduct enacted in our name. Such is the legacy of the tragic panic which has governed American society, through waves of serial Awakenings, since Massachusetts was invented. Such is the seductive pressure on us all, today, that we roast and hack our martyrs all over again, and extinguish the rights of Americans unborn. That we may be ignorant of how we do it has been the simplest of all deceptions, when that we do it remains, in the numbers of the latest Pew poll, revoltingly popular.

But this is not eavesdropping. It is populist usurpation, the elevation of the crowd to a very high place. Even in that crowd, we have friends, and can possibly find ourselves, unwittingly.


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