Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Surely not another society scandal?

The matter consists of a teenager
from Florida's most famous second-
ary school, a notoriously powerful
university outside Boston, and the
factor noted by its admissions of-
fice in a notice of demand address-
ed to the teen -- "the media."

The media.

We need to bear in mind that moral
dynamo, in the decision of the u-
niversity, through its undergrad-
uate college, to exemplify its ad-
missions standards by renouncing
a candidate already welcomed to en-
ter, in a thunderously gaudy sniff.

Admittedly, to coin a phrase, the
university is under intense pres-
sure of litigation to justify its
incongruous weighting of Asian ap-
plicants, and chronic embarrassments
in accommodating more than one gen-
der. Now has not seemed the time,
to expose itself to reaffirming ad-
mission to a teenager guilty of an
ancient outbreak (in Puberty Stan-
dard Time) of scabrous bigotry.

What could reek more of prejudicial
exclusion, than this stark confes-
sion of uselessness in education?
But I stray. My university admitted
little Sammy Alito, despite a per-
colating zealotry to affiliate him-
self with a conspiracy of alumni
against gender and other natural
attributes inconsistent with male-
ness in all its shimmering white-
ness. Princeton did him no favors.

Now, is that a gun in his pocket,
or is he just glad to be a Judge? 

Thursday, June 13, 2019


        Of all the barbarities made famous
  by the American President, the re-
  mark, I, alone, can fix it affords
  the most pristine image of proven-
  ance one could want. It feels odd,
  therefore, to find pretenders busy
  scrambling to articulate some cure
  of our unease, by application of a
  vanity only more decorous than his.
  The project of leading is a craft,
  disciplined with humble confession.
  All his kind confess only a genius. 

i  Simone Nobili

Sunday, June 9, 2019

I don't care for wine at the sea

     One has to be able to enjoy a dis-
     crimination notwithstanding a wave
     of popular feeling these days, for
     the proposition that anything good
     is good anywhere. The sea and wine
     share a context in common, called,
     the air, in which an inhalation of
     the one is irreconcilable with the
     same gesture toward the other. The
     complication imposed on breathing,
     then, is not the least of the con-
     siderations to be invoked in favor
     of keeping them apart. They antag-
     onize each other in numerous other
     ways, with the deck heavily stack-
     ed in favor of the sea, but I need
     cite only one more to satisfy this
     observation. The quality of solit-
     ude with the one is so immeasurab-
     ly finer than with the other, that
     it would never occur to us to say,
     I don't care for the sea with wine . .

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Saturday commute clxxi: Remembered sentences ii

I seldom mean anything, by
the poetic interlineations
here, but to celebrate the
virility with which phenom-
enally basic passages from
a scholastic past find il-
lumination, eventually ex-
perienced. And I'm content
especially, as forgiveness
arises by this provenance.

     The bewildering, intricate maze - 
     Never got through until Daedalus, out of pity
     For infatuated Ariadne, 
     Guided a prince's blind footsteps
     With a payout of thread, past every wrong turn
     And every dead end he himself had devised
     And constructed.

                      In which grand design
     You too would figure significantly,
     Icarus, had sorrow allowed it. Twice
     Daedalus tried to model your fall in gold, twice
     His hands, the hands of a father, failed him.

  Book VI
  40 - 52
Seamus Heaney
Faber & Faber, 2016©

Friday, May 31, 2019

Suppose it were Friday clxxiii: And recycling went on

     Sometimes I think one can
     complain too much of the
     calm of an orderly way of
           What became of that
     in the intricate calcula-
     tions of campaigners for
     our electoral affections?

Thursday, May 30, 2019

What's with all this talk of impeachment?

  Really, I just don't think I'm up
  for it at all. Such a whole lot of
  drama for the gratification of ap-
  petites to disapprove. What is the
  source of this failure to be satis-
  fied, and what is it about impeach-
  ment which promises a fulfillment?

  I've heard of the fog of war, but
  this strikes me as the war of fog:
  people groping heedlessly for mech-
  anisms they cannot control, because
  of frustration with a language they
  haven't mastered. What would Tacitus

Robbie Davidson
  x Maxwell Poth

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Further remark on Dean on screen

James Dean participated in three movies
in his career and died in that same year,
1955, at the age of 24. He was directed
by Nicholas Ray, Elia Kazan, and George 
Stevens. Probably nobody in the history
of American film has been showered with
more diverse support in so short a time;
and certainly nobody else so instantly
or enduringly outstripped so much fame,
becoming more universally recognized
than all three films put together. What
shirt today is not born, knowing, it
will never dress James Dean?

Now we have another historical study
of American cinema, to approach this
Alexandrian career with as much well-
sourced research as the years and the
author's visible diligence can allow,
and I'm happy to recommend it for com-
ing to grips with Dean's enigmatic as-
pects with obvious care, legitimate ar-
gument, and enlightening appreciation.

One never minds being informed about a
body of work from the craftsman's point
of view, the merit of which is better
to recognize its singularity. The crit-
ic is David Thomson, familiar for his
masterings of films for dvd. The style
is conversational, the temper is calm,
the manner is dignified, the thinking
is continuously impressive, and the
curtain of fame is congenially lifted.

We read of many artists engaged in the
suggestion of desire, and of how their
personalities may have been tested in
a variety of ways. What one learns of
Dean is that if all the fame which had
fed his fame were suddenly to be extin-
gushed, the screen would reignite it.
One never minds discovering what one's
always seen.

David Thomson
Knopf, 2019©

Monday, May 27, 2019

Decoration Day

  One wouldn't wish to make light
  of a seasonal holiday set aside
  for the last Monday in May, to
  express a debt to the fallen in
  the nation's military services.
  It is of course, beyond payment.

  The occasion began life under a
  title better fitted to the cost,
  Decoration Day. Stripped of all
  the cant of the occasion of any
  combat death, is the nation's
  deprivation of a young life bet-
  ter fitted for the illumination
  of our lives, than the enactment
  of politics' most sordid habit.