Thursday, April 18, 2019

Scrubbing commandments, not washing feet






Everyone seems to be bracing himself
this Maundy Thursday for the New Am-
rican Government's Revisionist Ver-
sion of the Special Counsel's Report
on the most recent Presidential elec-
tion and its monstrous aftermath. The
day could not be better selected, in
view of how militantly sectarian the
New American Government is, because
it's an occasion to recall our Lord's
final commandment to love one's neigh-
bor, and act with the humility He ex-
emplified in the washing of our feet.

(These are not widely cited features
of the doctrine of the NAG, but we
have grounds to anticipate their re-
collection soon enough).

The state of law and language on the
American scene today is more than e-
nough to compel the most diligent re-
sort to that groveling state of beg-
gary for human correction, which is
widely mistaken as prayer, when the
personal mastery of the flinch, or
the occasional wince, will have to
do. The country is divided: the es-
tablishment, which is perfectly 
willing to preside over the decline
of the language, if it may resume
its rule; and the roundheads, who
haven't met a lie they don't adore,
provided it screws everything up.

This morning's release of the rem-
nants of the roundheads' feast on
the facts recounted in an establish-
ment Report, should be enough to
guide us into Good Friday with the
brazenest fanfares of ecstatic mis-
representation. Recognize them?





















Mattia Pecchini 
  x Ira Giorgetti






Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Origins of Wednesday xcii: Asylum can wait






How movingly the New American Gov-
ernment has claimed the soul of its
tidier successor to Jeff Sessions,
whose testimony to the Senate Judici-
ary Committee, in protecting his nom-
nation, bore all the stalwart recti-
dude of the failed rapist, Justice
Kavanaugh. This sleeper collaborator 
has just promulgated his revival of
our Fugitive Slave laws, with the 
odd view, that aliens asserting the
legal right to claim asylum in this
nation must be jailed now, without
bail, indefinitely. Who could con-
ceive of sounder advice, as we claim
our own asylum from awareness of the
New American Government, in a bowl of
berries which are not yet in season?

















  

Monday, April 15, 2019

Every city needs a building it could lose






Yet every city holds a building for
which a temptation exists to trade
the city, and rebuild from scratch
around its island. This paradox is
easier to accept, if the city isn't
Paris. Everything that's tempting,
is easier to indulge if the tempted
The belovèd city can't be exchanged.



















Notre Dame de Paris
Rose window
  South façade
1163-1250







Sunday, April 14, 2019

Return of the native






 Fine wines do the same
 thing. They hide for a
 while.  

 Then suddenly they are
 back. This is true. At
 the revival, we should
 know better than to be
 amazed, but nobody ob-
 jects to the sensation
 of a reprimand of awe.



















Tiger Woods
Augusta, Georgia
2001

Myron
Greece
5th C BC
Discobolus
  Bronze
Rome
2nd C AD
  Copy
Glypothek, Munich






Saturday, April 13, 2019

Saturday commute clxvii: Approaching Palm Sunday





Our shameless Californian bias,
which is much less intended to
be prejudicial than evangelical,
rears itself again in the vege-
tation's tonsorial inspiration.
Still, they also serve as palms,
to stand erect and shaggy in the
sun, often planted symmetrically
in parallel, to trail a stately
progress of some length. A chan-
nel, not of monotony but certain-
ly of concentration, is bounded
firmly but shaded sparingly by
their height. We are to imagine
but of openness at the same time.















Timothy Egan
Hot to Break the Repub-
  lican Lock on God . .
The New York Times
April 12, 2019©





Thursday, April 11, 2019

Decay by cynicism: Marseille on plastic





A vulgarian hospital bloc, in-
dispensable dispensary of medic-
ations of impeccable hazard, is
now a bland sea of taupes and
extruded plastic reading chairs,
under the dour Intercontinental
bracing aromatics, unaccountably
dismissed as "grit." The soul of
duced to a "milk shake," sparing
cast iron its raison d'être, and
les fruits de mer their fame, for
drawing thrill-seekers with cred-
it cards. The integuments of the
place and its purpose are no long-
er fluently flexed; even Le Corbu-
sire's wonderfully incongruous
Cité Radieuse is impressed into
service to taxable tourism. And
yet still he saw us coming. An
architecture, a city, a culture
defying mockery, met its muleta.
















Eduard Galia
untitled
undated

Le Corbusier
Taureau
lithograph
1949





Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Did Yagoda never tire?






An upheaval of purges at the moment,
at the highest levels of the slippery
slope of the New American Government,
can claim no comparison with the ar-
duous labors of disposing of Stalin's
enemies in the mid-1930s, championed
up to a point by his court liquidator,
Genrikh Gregoryevich Yagoda. The set-
ting was the subterranean punishment
blocks, a catacombs of remodeled sew-
ers, now resembling empty swimming
pools with uncountable pockmarks in
their walls, and a darkening at their
drains. But it was tiring work - not
to be besmirched as tiresome - given
the urgency of preserving loyalty to
that embodiment of the government, it-
self, the very master of its betrayal.

No. No resemblance can be claimed, be-
tween these indelicate orgies, and the
splendidly ventilated cells of Twitter.
Meanwhile, our own servants do not tire,
but retire under ritual humiliation by
show trial, in the same fastidious venue.


















Svetlana Alexievich
Secondhand Time
  The Last of the Soviets
  An Oral History
2013
Bela Shayevich
  translation
Random House, 2016©