Saturday, April 25, 2015

This is ANZAC Day


     You stand up, but I get there
     first and lift the child up..
     This is my heart, and there is
     no convincing way to explain
     abandoning your own heart. Just
     disguises to assume. Just vary-
     ing levels of lies to tell.

Joakim Zander
Wahlström & Widstrand
Elizabeth Clark Wessel
Harper Collins, 2015©

i   Imperial War Museum
ii  Canberra Memorial, BBC
iii Herbert List, Naples, 1959

Friday, April 24, 2015

Suppose it were Friday civ: In for a £ ?

Why, indeed, should the Left
have all the fun; and even
then, what's ever been fun a-
bout commanding a majority?
It's the thick of a bidding
war amongst our politicians,
to see who can distance one-
self more exquisitely safely
from the pogroms one waged be-
fore. In for a penny are those
who will attend a wedding, now,
unctuously unkneeling (to be
sure); and even the next Clin-
ton has taunted the press for
never letting her embrace mar-
ital equality, by failing to
(Oh, she will be wonderful,
if not precisely priceless.)

We, for our part, are hold-ing out to see who's in for a pound, and can tummy attending the rehearsal dinner. Is the agile post-Cuban poster boy for David Brooks' New America going to sort out his togs in time to claim the toga for the title match? May God bless the child who's got his zone, and a flack for his mobile back. 

We didn't ask, you know, for this
quadrennial clatter in the bleaker
mewses of the spoken or the printed
word, much less the lurid illustra-
tions it rides in on. Ours is just
to muddle through, letting the chaps
fall where they may, one by one. It
can't be fun to be so late to the
party, when one believes it's for
oneself. And yet, is this not what
our dynasties keep telling us?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Origins of Wednesday xiv: Short sorties we attempt

 This will have been the first
 entry encountered in this pub-
 lication after its millionth
 reading. If a lot has changed,
 a lot has continued as it all
 began; and this is an occasion
 for recalling a couple of the
 strands one likes the best. I
 like discovering resemblances.
 I like the surprise of mastery,
 the triumph of the fair.

Worn out, the young ones drag themselves home far into
legs thick with thyme. They feast on arbutes all around,
on grey-green willows, on cassia and red-flecked crocus,
on the sappy linden and dusky hyacinths.
Together their rest from labour, together their labour:
at dawn they rush out their gates, no dilly-dally; and when
  at last
the evening star exhorts them quit their forage
afield, then they head for their hutches, then restore their
A buzzing: they murmur around the doors and on the
Later, when they've tucked themselves into their chambers,
is the night, well-earned sleep overtakes their tuckered
but on all sides, safe beneath the city's ramparts, siphon up
as a skiff unsteady on the tossing wave takes on ballast,
they balance themselves through flimsy cloud.

70 - 19 BC
  Book iv, 176 - 195
Kimberly Johnson
Penguin Classics, 2010©

Otto Umbehr
Night in a Small Town
Princeton University Museum of Art
The Life and Death of Buildings
23 July - 16 November, 2011©

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"By the same token"

Like you, I can say I am often
wary of an image of something
seemingly familiar, if it does-
n't correspond with expectation
in my experience. A physiognomy
stamped in red, white and blue,
for example, is not unlikely to
have me groping for the religi-
ous freedom to have nothing to
do with it, if not succumbing
to fears for social cohesion.

And then I realise, there are
not a few places where I'd ra-
ther sit, than on the United
States Supreme Court. Can you
imagine, having to nanny the
permutations of phobia, through
every iteration of inexperience
as if it raised a Constitution-
al consternation?

Yes, you were about to say:
coming out must be bad enough;
just imagine, shepherding so-
ciety through every phase of
the dissolution of panic.

And how ringingly the forbears
of today's inventors of divine
mandates for discrimination,
did regale us with the horror
of military indiscipline, many
will recall within the careers
of half the United States Sen-
ate. Wasn't it our dear John
McCain, for example, who hec-
tored witnesses before that 
same Committee on Armed Ser-
vices which he now so richly
abuses to disturb Executive
conduct of diplomacy, for un-
dermining the sacred phobias
of seamen slumbering in their
bunks, with erotic suggestion
second only to Eisenstein's
in Battleship Potemkin? It
was - and aren't we all glad
for the context of our life?

Any moment, one almost expects
a disciple of genuine "strict
scrutiny" to intone from the 
Bench, that it's high time to
accept a change of experience
before running off to Court
to suppress an image. Yet who
can blame an institution, for
reluctance to turn away its
most anxious supplicants, in
view of the mischief to be
enjoyed in trade. Thus, yes,
money is speech, and corpor-
ations are persons, by such
sleight of hand as to inspire
any nitwit to assert a piety.

By the same token, isn't it
endearing when yesterday's
testament for discrimination
becomes today's for getting
on with experience? I refer,
for example, to the brief
lately tendered by the aug-
as friend of the Court, for
the class of retired officers
in the United States military,
imploring the Court to recog-
nize a universal right of mar-
riage, in order to protect
unit cohesion in the armed
forces of the United States.
The Army and Marines cannot
recruit, the Navy cannot re-
tain its own officer corps,
the brief stipulates, if the
Court ignores our experience.

Compliments to the revolution
would not seem premature. We
are almost moot. What ever
shall we wear?

Adam Liptak
The New York Times©
20 April 2015

ii  Sergei Eisenstein
    Eduard Tisse
    Battleship Potemkin

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Never fails ii

   The extremer the
   reactionary ris-
   ing, the younger
   the acolyte they
   choose. Is Rubio
   the new Santorum,
   the Ken Doll for
   the deadest end?

   People have a right to
   live out their religi-
   ous faith in their own

   It's not that I'm
   against gay mar-

 The echo chamber monologues
 of Right Wing think tanks
 simply pass from one little
 man on the wedding cake to
 the latest, from Dewey down
 to the present. The people
 powder their dewy fanny at
 the polls, and bundle them
 off to sinecures in K Street. 

Alice Roosevelt Longworth