Saturday, August 3, 2019

Saturday commute clxxv: Gold rush trousers

  Far be it from us, to infer a mer-
  cantile commitment from a slouch in
  proletarian denim, but the seeking
  of one's fortune isn't always mere
  materialism on the march. There is
  shelter to be had, here and there,
  from the heat of Summer Saturdays,
  and a quaint refreshment to be pon-
  dered, whether or not fully taken.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Suppose it were Friday clxxvi: Pretenders, everywhere

What do you say, we give contenders
for the nomination a pass for their
election, in the precedents for ex-
ploitive distraction set by the guy
who's got the job, despite himself?
He, and what he has done to the def-
inition of leadership are the issue.

This is not rocket science. Leader-
ship is not revealed by attrition.
It resists attrition, and it wins.

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
The New York Times©
June 26, 2019

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The menswear candidate

A friend of mine remarked the other
day, not a little incontestably, it 
was a dark day for menswear when the 
Presidency lost this man. Those who
lived through that scintillating ep-
och have forgotten the lateral lisp,
an aplomb in the figure at all times,
even the stern rebuke of Big Steel's
impertinent price increase, through
a veil of awesomely apposite deport-
ment, calling into question how much
his clothes really do make the man,
now that we see what little Brioni
have done to humanize the incumbent.

But I stray. Laying not very far o-
ver the horizon of the next Presid-
ency, we spy a candidate who offers,
not to say threatens, to refute the
proposition that one can be made to
seem to wear what others may place
upon one's back. Tar and feathers,
for instance; or merely, a drumbeat-
en wash of hoary phobic effigies.

Have we so soon forgotten Mr Biden's
praise of an African American run-
ning, for being surprisingly clean? 

The mayor of South Bend, a place
not so far west in The Philadelphia
Story as Duluth, offers cheerily to
be elected to this office by charm-
ing the pants off the capitalist in-
telligentsia, and lightening them
of merry wads of patronage. Every-
one is tacitly avoiding the thought 
of how he shall be dressed by the
other side, if he should gain the
nomination to run for that office.

An air of make-believe, not hugely
different from the spell which ab-
sorbed the literati in Camelot, is
suspended by satisfaction with how
he dresses himself. In Center Right
and in Center Left, the sound of
ice cubes clinking in a giddy flux
is wonderfully reminiscent of the
blitheness of the last candidacy,
oblivious to the coral in the way.

Ah, but how splendid now to don
the noble togs of chivalry, what-
ever the rules of the game.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Nine over 10

What is the religion
of the Italians?

They are Roman Cath-

What do the Roman
Catholics worship?

Idols and a piece
of bread.

Would not God be
very angry if He
knew that the It-
alians worshipped
idols and a piece
of bread?

God is very angry.

Recalling that on this date, in
2010, I started writing red mug
blue linen on the pretext of be-
ing under development, I'm heart-
ened to notice that although the
blog has appeared over 10 years,
it is still only nine years old.

I don't know why, but I feel this
is a sign that there's still time
for it. Meanwhile, the dialogue
borrowed above, from a Christmas
Cracker anthology by John Julius
Norwich, can stand for two impres-
sions I've never tried to subdue:
that I'm lucky in what I admire -
worship being a condition which
has discredited itself too much
for emulation, in this land in
which I write - and that what I
do is no more than superfluously
disadvantageous in God's eyes.

But this is to address only one
of the senses. As in the famil-
iar Summer towel, drying on the
rack at such length, one or an-
other of the unblinking senses
may question the freshness of
the thing. This consideration
is akin to fretting the opinion
of God, when He is an audience
I haven't pretended to address.

Flippant as this defense may be,
it deflects a hovering smell in
the air of public comment today,
of an antagonistic struggle for
the soul of the nation. We hear
a gruesome trumpet on all sides,
from Falwell's Liberty Univer-
sity, to Joseph Biden's latest
postures for the Presidency, to 
Pulitzer columnists flogging
us to do the right thing. It's
a hideous abuse of any concept
of liberty, by the foulest
simplifications and reductions
of political importuning, this
grab at the autonomous soul, to
the telling neglect of bread.

Something strikes me as malfunc-
tional in addressing each other,
to remonstrate as if grievances
endow anyone with divine judgment.
Now we are challenged to make mer-
cy popular, and who will grow it?

A student rejects this cant with
grateful resort to invigorating
refreshment in the assets of the
senses. Here I take delight in a
picture I acquired with the trade
artist of clarity and strength. I
think of the senses in development,
and admire the company of being.

More Christmas Crackers
  being ten commonplace
  selections, 1980 - 1989
Viking, 1990©