Friday, September 30, 2016


  In the family the distinction
  between treasure and the true
  thing is characteristically
  lost in the imagery conserved.
  This violation of a pillar of
  Western thought is exonerated
  as wholly innocent, for which
  verdict the pioneering photo-
  grapher Clarence Hudson White
  supplied the evidence. At the
  age of 34, White made a photo
  portrait of a domestic figure 
  with a sheaf of camera work.

  Possibly he supplied the ex-
  ample in each case: a house,
  a raft of images, a treasurer.

  And we ask democracy to sort
  the difference? Not really.
  We ask democracy to preserve
  the question; and for this,
  we inculcate a taste for it.

Clarence White

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Listening at the Monteleone ix: scratching the surface

To sustain a house, keeps
the chronology of inherit-
ance and refreshment with
markers which are substan-
tially irreplaceable, in
case anyone were to look
into them with that eye.

Then the next generation
is given to inquire, who
would have been account-
able for an acquisition,
a transformation, a con-
servation even contrary
to assumption, which in
time acquires a kind of
pride of placement, an
offer of entitlement.

It is the same with the
old shoebox of snapshots,
the letters no one will
survey, except as brit-
tle folds are vented - 
for the hastening scrawl
to speak of supple life. 

Photo Simon Brown

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The unrounded preference

I revisited the place of Donald Trump
in Virginia last weekend, that I men-
tioned in Wednesday's entry. Of course
his yard signs were spaced across the
fields as if by tractor, every tenth
rotation of the wheel a time to punc-
ture the ground again. There were no
signs for anyone else, except for Jes-
us of Nazareth and Berkshire Hathaway.
A diversified land use plan if ever I
saw one, unsparingly contradictory.

Last evening at Hofstra, he was irrep-
arably revealed as the barstool bully
I had met through his followers last
year. Yes, he has a knack for captur-
ing the mindset of the mystified-to-be-
marginalized, because he showed it to
be his own. His signature anger is of
the fellow who is free to invent any
causation he would like to blame for
it, as if he'd never actually exper-
ienced the thrillingly habit-forming
passage of learning a thing. Infamous-
ly, this rite of refusal is widely in-
culcated in our culture by media on
the Right; but it just seems especially
sad, for billionaires to renounce the
pleasure of the mind's signal blessing.

He epitomises the adjustment of the
1960s in college admissions, moving
away from the well-rounded individual
to embrace the well-rounded class. If
only he had brought a thing with him
to contribute to that wise diversity.

van Gogh

Monday, September 26, 2016

Keep a good thought

So, the contest is tightening,
right, and time is moving now,
right, and we remember how the
hidden majority for Brexit had
simmered for months below this
very margin dividing the right
candidate from the unthinkable
one. Two points, adduced in an
interview in the Post are ger-
mane to these variations:

Britain, for all her ingenious
bulwarks against barroom popu-
list governance, lacks the re-
gal impediment of the Elector-
al College, to thwart the tiny
populations, even in their en-

And another thing to remember,
against the drumroll of might,
makes right:

              He doesn’t have a lot of patience 
              for detailed policy discussions. 
              I agree his bar is low. But for him 
              to be presidential, patient, polite, 
              and seem interested — he has not gone 
              through anything like this before. 
              With all due respect to his primary 
              opponents, they’re not Hillary Clinton.

David Plouffe
  Campaign manager
  for both of Obama's
  electoral victories

September 26, 2016

Macabre vigil

According to all reports, fully
two-thirds of Americans of vot-
ing age distrust the two persons
they have invited to entertain
them in a performance of polit-
ical theatre this evening. This
should be good news for the mo-
tels of America, those refuges
for the despairing in their dis-
placement from home. Yet, for
those who couldn't bear to al-
low their own walls to resound
any further with these voices,
the ghoulish obligation to bear
witness to their own defeat will
immerse them in plastic duvets,
for shoddy rented privacy pan-
els to tingle with a televised
bombardment. What ever happened
to hopping down to the Trans-Lux
with neighbors, to hiss Roosevelt?

Has ever an election projected
such anomie, that unanimous re-
vulsion lacks a bonding epithet?

Peter Arno
The New Yorker