Friday, March 15, 2019

An Ides of dangerous ideas

It's a pretty cool Ides of March
which can report even a delicate
an autocrat's arrogation of not
just every power, but every rep-
resentative voice of the State 
as his own. Few other than The 
New York Review might have been
ready for this, hence their of-
fer of readings to help us nav-
igate these straits with reason-
able awareness of where we are.

I chose Simone Weil, but I don't
know anyone who'd not be tempted
by Geoffrey Household's rollick-
ing good tale, about a Second A-
mendment Type on the prowl in Ba-
varia, or Kingsley Amis' hilari-
ous treatment of the chorister's
change of voice. It's not that I
mean to advance the fortunes of
an unsupervised press, on this,
of all feast days of autocracy's
comeuppance. It's that I'd rather
these occasions could be spotted
before a happier road is blocked.

Weil, whose essay on the Iliad
has drawn notice here, before,
was infamously brilliant and 
inveterately provocative; and
in a time when provocation a-
gainst intelligence is the
sworn policy, duty, and func-
ion of every Cabinet office,
I expect nothing less than a
rare revelry in her dexterity,
in avoidance of this conflict.

To be fair, it would waste her
utterly to measure challenges
she faced and posed, by the
decadence of the present con-
text. But why deny pleasure,
just because it's on sale?

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