Monday, June 13, 2016

Of pride and probability

       Take me to your trees.
       Take me to your breakfasts,
       your sunsets, your bad dreams,
       your shoes, your nouns.
       Take me to your fingers.

       The thing I embrace in this par-
       odox of celebrating Pride is the
       opportunity it gives to remember
       those who prepared the way, sus-
       taining it still with the daring
       one needs to be gentle. Charisma
       is a fluency in that instrument,

That said, the parents of the most prolific gunshot murderer in 21st Century American life have just explained, their child annihilated as many people as he possibly could, on the strength of observing a kiss between two men. Nothing distinguishes this response from the cold crucifixion of Matthew Shepard, really, except the numbers. In haste to claim credit for anticipating all this, Donald Trump has only too modestly ignored his Party's fetish for stuffing American closets with automatic weapons, and has hit upon his genius for fomenting nativist hysteria instead. This does legitimise a little pride, in exposing the desperate hooliganism now embraced by that sorry Party. This carnage marks the convergence of a fulfilled statistical probability, which gun-freak Republicans have labored tirelessly to generate, with an intolerably recurring crime against a demographic group they have oppressed, just as assiduously, since Joe McCarthy showed what fun it is. As partisan denunciations proliferate, against the President for rational forbearance, their toxic jingle of bigotry and violence steeps this coincidence in all too familiar shame. "Radical Islam," eat your heart out. 

Margaret Atwood
Good Bones
Coach House Press, 1992©

Michael Elmquist
  Simon Purchase James
  Isaac Tullis
  Loammi Goetghebeur

Franz Schubert
An die musik, D. 547
Ian Bostridge, tenor
Julius Drake, piano
EMI, 2005©


  1. Amen, Laurent, I could not agree more.

  2. There has been an edit (a substitution of the final portrait, of the same figure) since your kind acceptance was delivered here. Before this great test, it is objectionable to profess any expertise of analysis or judgment, beyond an educated trust in the ruts of deeply etched and undeniable patterns, especially as we observe them being carved with almost unprecedentedly reckless folie de grandeur. But you offer the sobering, "Amen," to restore us to the scope of our bewilderment before such anger against us, in those who offer us their protection. They must be stopped. Look, what they do. Their interchangeability with their ostensible nemesis is made plain, right here, right now. Every folly they invite us to, places us all in their gunsight.