Saturday, August 4, 2018

Saturday commute cliv: Dumpster dreaming

On bad days he threw a few things
into a knapsack and left for America.

Anne Carson
  TV Men: Tolstoy
Alfred A. Knopf, 2000©

iii  Fosco Maraini

Friday, August 3, 2018

Nocturne: The Solent

I admit, my deepest impressions of Fake News are from Homer, of a strait at sea where the flouting of impinging, vital realities accounts for breathtaking illusions of mastery, up to a point. 

James McNeill Whistler
Nocturne: The Solent

Thursday, August 2, 2018

For Jerusalem, Mexico, and Roger Casement

     For some 2000 years, no one has
     reasonably ever entertained any
     hope of seeing this day. If you
     have thought we live outside of 
     history, take a deep and daunt-
     ed breath as you watch it move,
     sometimes in our favor, and ac-


Sir Roger Casement
1864 - 1916

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxxv: "What's wrong with collusion?"

Such fine moments of clarity as the
original settings of reality have
provided, under the quaint name of
history, as the self-sacrifices by 
for their people's safety, persist
in responding to the American Pres-
ident's bafflement with a single,
constant refrain, so infuriating
in its intangibility, so galling
in its improbability, so humiliat-
ing in its instincts of humanity,
as to call into question, by its
impenetrability, any use at all.

Now that we do not care for cap-
tives, what's the big deal with

Sculpture in bronze
The Burghers of Calais 
  Pierre de Wiessant

Museum of Israel

Mem Quad

Monday, July 30, 2018

New news of Harvey Weinstein ii

If I could defend Donald Trump for the
criminal assaults he has boasted of a-
gainst women, I'd probably be morally
obligated to do so. But we have Ameri-
can "patriot Christians" to carry that
impossible cross, to every vale of im-
pious wreckage he can bring upon this
nation, the Constitution most of all,
instead of allowing him to be brought
to the secular justice awaiting him.

The word isn't mine, wreckage. It was
reported by the Post today, in a pro-
test by Anne Sofie von Otter, a voice
we've associated with harmony since a
pin dropped in the first hall she en-
tered. Donald Trump teaches us, star-
dom is an immunity from reproach for
gross misconduct, yet even this is a
lie, unless you have those divisions
Stalin marshaled against the Papacy.

Now this lady is a widow because one
really can break a privileged person
after all, with piety she witnessed.
When people deny the existence of i-
rony, terror reigns to protect them.
I'll take secular justice, if I may;
it has less to learn of God's mercy.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Drums along the Ad Hoc

It's a fine Summer weekend, apart from this year's agitations of accelerated climate change, from wildfires on the Coast to torrential ruination of crops in the East, and the appointment of Dow's Dioxin defender to the EPA, in vengeance upon America for betraying Scott Pruitt over a few perks of the job. Even those hanging from trees are mostly Aryans, or at least accept their superiority. But the news is full of conjecture over how hazardously the President's career of lies has approached an indictable standard of obstruction of justice - when, beyond doubt, his instructions to send immigrants to hell have been followed, verbatim. We shift to another font.

Jason DeParle
Extract from a review, 
The Far Away Brothers:
  Two Young Migrants and
  the Making of an American
Lauren Markham, 2018
The New York Review of Books, 2018©

As the outrage mounted, Trump simply lied—he called family separation a Democratic policy. Sessions quoted the Bible. On Fox, Ann Coulter suggested the wailing children were “child actors,” and Laura Ingraham defended juvenile detention centers as “essentially summer camps.”  . . .

The book ends with the election, but the hostility to migrants has only grown since Trump took office. For natives of what Trump called “shithole” countries—nearly 90 percent of immigrants come from the developing world—his presidency is a study in venom. The revocation of DACA made political hostages of several million “Dreamers” brought to the US illegally as kids. (Trump’s move is currently blocked in court.) Trump’s rant about sending Nigerians back to their “huts”—in addition to being unapologetically racist—overlooked the fact that 60 percent have college or graduate degrees.
Even by Trump’s standards, taking children from their parents is extraordinary in its malice. The suffering that families have endured looks less like a byproduct of the policy than the policy itself—cruelty posing as strength. “Womp, womp,” chortled Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, after being told that a ten-year-old girl with Down syndrome had been taken from her mother. The suffering of disabled children has become a punch line. Though for now Trump has backed down on family separation, the episode only helps distract from the more routine insults to immigrants and incursions on their security and rights.
Trump and his supporters warn that the influx of poor immigrants may lead to the rise of an underclass—an estranged and antagonistic ethnic community—but their animosity only helps to create one. Trump asks for immigrants who “love our country.” The Flores brothers feel the hate some Americans have toward them. While the Trump presidency will pass, this wise book alerts us to how deep the damage may be and how long it may endure.

Ancient errands

   How did this calamity befall us?
   Alas, the solace that your music brought us,
   Was it so nearly lost to us, Menalcus?
   Who else would sing of the Nymphs? And who would scatter
   The wildflowers on the ground or shade the springs
   With the green shade of trees?

   Tityrus, while I'm gone, please feed my goats
   (I won't be gone for long), and when you've fed them,
   Please drive them down to the water, and when you do,
   Be careful of the billy goat; he butts.

   So that your cows may feast on clover grass,
   That makes their udders prosper and be more ample,
   And so that your bees may avoid the Corsican yews,
   If you have any song to sing, begin.

Eclogue IX
  extracts of Lycidas
40 - 35 BC
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999©

red mug, blue linen