Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Theban trails

Possibly I should open a parallel blog this 12-month, of footnotes and diagrams for readers who know the United States only as the foreign country that it is. At the moment, for instance, we note that the leading Right Wing columnist for the paper of record has warned Right Wing voters that it would be insane of them to nominate either of their two favorite candidates for President, while the leading Left Wing columnist for the capital paper has warned Left Wing voters that it would be insane not to nominate the least trusted operative in either Party, the wife of the only President impeached in the 20th Century. 

In the midst of all this, an urbanite gadfly and publisher in his own right has intimated that he will nominate himself, if this insanity is perfected. Here was impressive agreement, then: insanity must not be so unconstructive as we'd thought. 

Yet maybe I'm right. Wouldn't it be happier to write for Thebes? We do the next best thing, to read about the house of Atreus, where the political Chorus was just as gloomy as America's is, but you could stay home at will. In previous postings, I've likened our volatility to that of Bacchae in revolt; but now we see, we'd been watching the Oresteia all along, a chronicle of endless palace coups. There is, however, a self-defrocking effect of our mentors' good advice. It had been obvious in Murdoch's farce, but now it's come to the most exalted pages. They bring readers' disgust to greater heights with these diagnoses, than tragedy is designed to bear. We therefore approach the exile of the Chorus, which has exhibited itself to the Left and to the Right, as vested middle managers of privileged play. Suddenly and simultaneously, their earth has shifted by our exposure of the protagonists. It was nothing personal. They might still sell us other bubbles. 

Just not today.

Andrei Tarkovsky
  The sacrifice

Stay Sane, America,
The New York Times
26 January 2016

Democrats Would be Insane
  to Nominate Bernie Sanders
The Washington Post
26 January 2016

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