Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday commute clx: Thunderbird days

Wistfulness for the decline in toys,
from one generation to the next, fol-
lows so well the trajectory of Thun-
derbirds that eventually the manufac-
turer felt compelled to issue a reviv-
al of the original's profile, albeit
heavily laden with extraneous amenity
and oppressive adjustments for safety.

The arrival of December can always be
counted on to stir nightmares of itchy
trousers and interminable devotional
silences, in our house at least; so if
an instant bares itself for celebration,
it is likely to be out of bounds, away
from traffic of every kind, with a
grateful dash into consoling distance.

I realize, one is expected to defer to
the taste for shorter sentences, shaped
by the extraneous and compulsory enter-
tainments of our current toys; but some
of us have never lost our distaste for
itchy pants, and devotional longueurs.
We love a time of not being followed,
our discovery of admiration at stake.

Miles Davis 
Columbia Studios

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

English language vacation day

Kindly do not bother me,
because I am one happy
fella. Mississippi just
elected an utterly inane
poster child of Confed-
erate dog whistlers to
the Senate, against an
African American veteran
of progressive governing.
And it wasn't even close.

On top of that - can you
stand it - the President
gave an occasionally on-
the-record interview to
certify conclusively his
imbecility. And it wasn't
even close.

November is a confusion
of holidays, some noted
for their original date,
with some known for our
penchant for long week-
ends, as in the day the
Germans quit the First
World War, and others
known for possibly not
actually happening at
all, as in Thanksgiving.

Here, on the other hand,
was a day that happened:
the most immaculate vaca-
tion ever bestowed by a
suspicious nation upon an
innocent international
language. Let the final
Tuesday in every November
hereafter, be remembered 
for no reliance at all 
upon English as the world
has ever used it before.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


  The essential features of this
  subject require no more than a
  glance at the hands - an audi-
  ence documents its whereabouts
  at the nadir of an election cy-
  cle, entertained by its heroes
  of ballot suppression, defama-
  tion's handmaiden when the mic-
  rophone is "on." The leader of
  the free world hustles his un-
  derstudy off-stage, to bask in
  the backdrop of his power limo.
  Well, it's Mississippi, friend.

 Just when you were thinking, a
 Senate might have been formed,
 there came the simpler answer.

Cy Twombly
Alessandro Twombly
  in Rome

Michelle Goldberg
Maybe they're just
  bad people
The New York Times
November 26, 2018©

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Wine routes of Iberia, 2nd ed.

The half-life of meticulous scholarship,
when devoted now to the regions hereto-
fore praised for sustaining a distinctive
form of life -- as opposed, say, to the
American South's fetish for a way of life
-- has shrunk perceptibly under the novel
strain of climate adjustments, almost as
unforeseen as the transformation of Chic-
ago under the pressures of Jim Crow, asy-
lum seekers fleeing sharecropping's desert
for shelter in blue collars. There are e-
even those who say, Honduras is going out
of business under terror's pre-emption of
drought and rising sea levels. But have
these Cassandras reckoned with our Little
Father's genius for slamming the door, and
discounting the price of military hardware
to suppress the locals in situ? I fear not.

Now the chaos written on the vine of Iber-
ian viticulture has its reverberations a-
cross the vinous continent, as growers
scurry to plant varietals in spontaneous-
ly misplaced habitats, and investigate
the higher predictability in bottling Co-
ca-Cola. So much for the antiquated "chât-
eau" system, and on to the conglomerate's
dispassionate virtuosity with synthetics.

Is it the fault, strictly speaking, of a
Gamay to take on the attributes of Cab-
ernet Sauvignon under rising heat levels
and higher winds? One might as well insist
that it's the fault of an orphan, to be
suckled by wolves. Can Rome turn on a dime?

Joan Miró
Blue II
  [from a triptych]