I cannot divest my appetite of literature, yet I find myself eventually trying it all by Nature - first premises, many call it, but really the crowning results of all, laws, tallies and proofs.
Has it never occurr'd to any one how the last deciding tests ap- plicable to a book are entirely outside of technical and gram- matical ones, and that any truly first-class production has little or nothing to do with the rules and calibres of ordinary critics? I have fancied the ocean and the daylight, the mountain and the forest, putting their spirit in a judgment on our books. I have fancied some disembodied human soul giving its verdict.
Walt Whitman Specimen Days Final Confessions - Literary Tests 1882 i Doug Mills iv Jim Wilson The New York Times July 28, 2016
A political figure has called for the laws to be enforced, even as he insists that he, alone, could do it. He has also called upon a foreign government to subvert the Constitutional rights of American citizens under the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments, and to con- duct espionage against our govern- ment. He, alone, has ever gone so far to tempt us to ignore our law by unpardonable intimidation. Let us call that hand, and arrest him now, before his enjoyment becomes too expensive for his remaining years to remit behind bars. If he would like to shield himself by the Constitutional instruments he despises, let him thrill himself in Federal District Court, before a Judge assigned by customary ro- tation, to administer due process. Meanwhile, as is obvious at last, the Party which would shield him from this benighted day forward, with its nomination to an office which might shelter him temporar- ily, is nothing more than a crim- inal conspiracy, awaiting indict- ment throughout the court system. But he has offered his muggers, their attorney's fees. Let him do no less for Ryan, McConnell, and poor, phobic, dim Mike Pence. Ethan James
A raucous gaiety of discord gave such prohibitively handsome form to the opening night of the Democratic Convention, that one could almost have missed the subtlety with which a concerted remedial instruction in morals alternated with a tactical psychotherapy, held as well in check as could be expected, given the motives of Party. A sound appreciation of generations of impacted bigotry, reinforced by adamant permission from exploitive masters - never to yield to humane reflection or compromise with fact - at last protected Democrats from repeating their mistake in confronting the demented gangsters, Nixon and Agnew, of criticizing adherents, cultivated as sociopaths, to support degenerate policy. The President's wife surpassed every precedent of persuasion in remarking on the provenance of her House, and the unintended tenancy that redeems it. But, equally to be expected, Elizabeth Warren came perilously close to tipping the corrective hand, reflecting on the margins of Jim Crow in McConnell’s, Boehner’s, Cantor’s and Ryan’s descent into stark, raving negation. But I stray. Why ignore Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and the whole manipulative superstructure of tax-exempt casuistry devoted to one end: the emergence, if need be, of a candid fascist?
But what is Plan B, if gentle fraternal joshing should fail to deflect insensate wound-up legions from their droning march of denial? What witty theft of the right to vote will democrats indulge, to spite their principles against those resourceful tinkerers in the States, against their young, their naturalized, their non-white, and their poor? What mechanic lies in wait to shave no more than 1 to 2 percent of punch card chads, some innocently incongruous way? What is the “patriot act” prepared for the timely precipitation of slander from broadcast conduits, the handbills shoved by pastors up the windscreens of the flock? What is the slingshot saved for decency, what is its stone?
Let us be obvious. In the election anticipated for this November, we Americans are faced with a choice of mentalities. On the one hand, we are offered a brilliant political innovator, of demonstrably acute sensitivity to the fissures in society, as aper- tures so vulnerable to his mind as, impressively, to reflect it. It would have been incongruous of Milton to portray his vision's Satan with any lesser appreciation. Distinctions, at this elevation, are outrageous. He does do credit to the cult of Cohn,his name a a sizzling bonfire on his stage. He struts, he barks, he spits. On the other, we rediscover an al- most comical figure from Twain, a goose of so many merry nestings as to shift our gaze to her, from the ganders' exploitation. Say what you likely never will, to laud her indefatigability, hers is a men- tality responsive to stimuli, too often alleged to be in her control. This distinguishes her dialectical- ly, from an infant seized internal- ly, proud of his vicissitudes. A hapless but transparent cheat, she doesn't have to be. It just suits her. This has always been a negligent, if not also the most distracting of complaints about her condition- al commitments. Those of us who have sought in vain for a thing that she believes, simply must allow, she hasn't seen it yet. But she is to our barnyard, the doyenne of its devices. Yet, look at it. Where are the de- mons of mimetic madness, the spec- tral interferences of evils hatch- ed in puerile self-absorption, spun for us by a vision of itself? These she too faithfully ignores, having heard it all. We are offered the difference between a willed chaos and a seasoned comprehension of an order where even it belongs. An or- dinariness in sanity is in plain sight. What an idiotic affectation is a doubt of which is right. We shall be fortunate, to get the govern- ment we deserve. Possibly, we may muddle through with it.
There are ways of stepping into a refreshment that al- most contradict it; and al- so a way to experience im- mersion and evaporation at the same moment, which can be understood only as con- servation. The whole proc- ess of renewal is revealed as less disposing of waste than gathering equilibrium. That this could be felt as pleasure, would needlessly threaten another fact with denunciation to suggest it. Would one then wish to ac- count for air brushings of the salt, of sand and herb that lend their clarifying semblances of ourself when this takes place? To whom?