Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thorny, who is not especially Scandinavian

  My English Cocker Spaniel
  cannot be presented to il-
  lustrate this announcement
  of his attaining the age of
  6 months, today, because he
  is out of groom at the mom-
  ent. We were just about to
  tidy him up when it became
  known that he had totalled
  a second pair of topsiders,
  as I was digging out a cita-
  tion for our Court's latest
  parody of jurisprudence. Let
  this be a lesson to us all:
  do not blog unshod, at least
  about our liberties; and do
  comb out your dog from time
  to time. You might unearth
  a shoelace in his masquerade.

  Thorny, for his part, is not
  entirely unscandinavian, be-
  ing descended from some Nor-
  wegians on his father's side.
  English dogs do get around.

Saturday commute lxxxiii: to the land of adorable distinctions

Back again, to that world
that it's not safe for us
to understand, our arcane
Court declared this week,
compulsory self-incrimina-
tion is perfectly darling
and OK and all right when
one is not actually under
arrest. As Justice Breyer
put it in dissent, a def-
endant can enjoy a choice
of how he wishes his Con-
stitutional right to be
trampled, by coercion of
words or by silence. Mind
you, the Court discovered
a most disarmingly lovely,
nay delectable distinction
in a human right, invent-
ing regeneration in a man
himself, between his null
and native liberty and that
blossoming of right which
flows from being arrested.
Little Sammy Alito has been
at his forge, Alberich in-
carnate in his counterfeit.

And just as we had heard,
the compiling of our data
is so innocent.

Where does a snarky, got-
cha casuistry come from,
need anyone ask, this de-
generate delight in false
distinctions, that carves
a path for oppression at
all costs? 

Salinas v. Texas
June 17, 2013

Leonard W. Levy
Origins of the
  Fifth Amendment
op. cit.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Some days I think I will not think about the Roberts Court


  Some days I think
  I will ignore be-
  ing the plaything
  of casuists cons-
  truing my humani-
  ty. Some days I'm
  therefore lacking
  all humanity.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Against pockets

On the whole I look upon our
aid and comfort to the prac-
tice of investigating one's 
pants for what one might do.
With inventions of so many
pockets, is there too little
alarm anymore, at this reli-
ance upon one's equipment as
the scope of one's contempla-
tions? We need hardly ask,
which came first, the pocket
or the six-gun, to assess an
illusion of empowerment in
portability. (Equally trou-
bling, but for another time,
is a corollary Barbour's Law,
after the witty haberdasher
from South Shields, whose
coats of many pockets simply
mandate that one's Beretta
must always be found in the
last one searched). The car-
rying about with oneself of
even the most infinite array
of "apps," defense du jour
against nakedness in coffee
houses, is likeliest, then,
to cultivate the smugness of
Onan at the expense of, hey,
experience. I'm not apologet-
ic to wonder, if this is not

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


    .. The coming rain
    for rain. The boy to laugh and make

    me chase him from the garden. The garden
    for the moon to find. This land for work
    which makes us whole, which holds for us
    the days and holds away the dark.

Since Hesiod at least, you were
about to say, poets have been
writing about our experience with
the land, and in this time, there
has been abundant opportunity for
the germination of cliché. It does
not seem that Nathaniel Perry has
on this relationship, but for one
who abides with a bit of it around
him, a consciousness of participat-
ing in our long extraction from it
leads to a gathering kind of awe.
And for this it is agreeable, for
there to be those who can puncture
it, with imagery of immediate reli-
ability. There are lines in the po-
em extracted here, which I'm reluc-
tant to spill, so sure am I of the
pleasure of making their discovery
in the old-fashioned way. But it
may do no harm, to cite a further
tool from his kit, which is basic
to the necessary accident of stum-
bling upon irreducible experience.

    A pen-knife for a splinter.

Nathaniel Perry
Nine Acres

Gerhard Richter
Unidentified canvas

Monday, June 17, 2013

On a seasonal prevalence of unjust enrichment

  His summer job of
  washing cars gave
  Gérard the clear-
  est impression of
  how the larger de-
  nominations flour-
  ish with sunshine,
  with almost no ex-
  pectation of being