Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Home, home on the range

Has anyone else been noticing the
recurring burbling in the classic
cassoulet of nativist paranoia,
on the evils of pedestrian migra-
tion to this sacred melting pot?

It was not ever thus, of course.
Pedestrian migrations were cel-
ebrated, before the emancipation
of slaves, in regular compulsory
expulsions of undesired Americans,
to various deserts not yet covet-
ed by the boaters and their des-
cendants, for their oil and gas
or railhead potential. Through
it all, however, transit on foot
has marked a populace with disfa-
vor, stigmatizing the stroll as
an act of such outcaste indecency,
as to ostracize the practitioner.

Not since Andrew Jackson have
Americans enjoyed the Presid-
ency of so avenging an angel of
this cassoulet, as the incumbent

Famed for his devotion to ham
hocks, his adoration for the
white bean is reciprocated even
more ebulliently by the longest
to swelter in his marmite. His
great project, like that of the 
beans, is to sustain the horiz-
ontal layering of the cassoulet
against the vertical inevitabil-
ity of its burbling evolution.
This lends his passions a truly
fatal air, widely apprehended
by his cherished, sodden beans.

One senses, through the turmoil
this upstart Jackson brings to
the protectorate of white beans,
that there must be some obscure
complication in their resistance
to the laws of physics - beneath,
that is, their corruption of na-
tionhood and faith to conceal it.
Various gurus murmur along think-
tank lines, of North-South versus
East-West forces of upheaval or
renewal, depending on the bean.

But insofar as they cannot bring
themselves to migrate to a waste
land of their own, cannellinis
think only to hoist the marmite
from its flame, or by closing it,
enjoy the thrill of its explosion.
Simple operation of steam, really. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Fingers first, memory last

A friend wrote in the other day,
reminding one that politics play
only a part. At the end of it, I
agree, though they do take their
time, up front. These are photo-
graphs by the 20th Century Bolog-
nese master Nino Migliori, which
compose themselves as a sequence
in the direst crime of politics,
against which naïveté holds fast.

"The hands speak," was the title
of one of his exhibitions in New

Nino Migliori

Il Complanto di
  Niccolò dell' Arca,
  La Matière des Rêves,
  Gente dell'Emilia

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A singspiel for our times

Now that our fabulist President
State to concoct a libretto for
an abduction from an Ottoman ser-
aglio gone awry, all confidently
anticipate an enormous enhance-
ment of his original premise, a
band of rogue murderers infil-
trating one autocrat's embassy
in another's secured city, only
to chop the captive for lunch.

Much prettier music, much mer-
rier ribaldry; with a score al-
ready in the public domain, by
no less than Mozart. Ah, so much
to dazzle: who could rue the in-
cidental disappearance of the
corpus delicti? Take that, O.J. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

You will grow up to be marvelous

A couple of predators, not always
our favorite character, especial-
ly given how they stack the odds,
and prey without any literal nec-
essity. Still, what comes down to
breeding and obedience in the one
is more a function of cunning and
exploitation in the other, and in
time there is little to call mar-
velous in him. In the other, how-
ever, a readiness to be judged is
entirely off the charts in trust.

What an extravagance, we observe;
an enviable, dangerous mentality.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Melting sovereignty

To many of us, the gathering data
of unwonted volatility and degrad-
ation in the planet's climate re-
main no more than symbolically co-
incidental with the rise of the
New American Government. To some,
there are elements of correlation
to admire, because this Rome had
not been built in a day. To a man
stepping out with his dog for a
pre-sunrise walk in the North Am-
erican Mid-Atlantic, an unseason-
able tropicality of the humid rain
from the Gulf of Mexico set a jar-
ring counterpoint to the falling
of acorns in their path. How odd,
one does have to admit, that in a
pentecostal surge of nativism in
world politics, our diverse ter-
roirs are intermingling with a
radicalism that many will find,
ironic, but which some have long
been charting as coherent effects.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxxxii: What is one to do with this?

I'm not very happy with how well
the New American Government out-
fought all resistance in the el-
evation of its obvious perjurer-
partisan to the post-sacrosanct
Supreme Court. It is especially
dispiriting to find resistance
not merely strategically incap-
acitated, but more stunningly
self-absorbed than the narcis-
list it's resisting. We contem-
plate our powers of revulsion
and indignation more ostenta-
tiously, but less pointedly
than the other side regards
theirs, as if we could win a
contest of taste, to gain our
illusions back. We could more
plausibly do that by knocking
back a melon full of hooch on
the beach, if we wish to dream.

On the day in 1940, when Brit-
ain had substantially cleared
a beach in France of her Army,
Winston Churchill went down to
the House of Commons to promise
never to surrender. That night,
he wrote a short note to his
predecessor-but-one, Baldwin,
to be even more blunt. We are
going through very hard times,
but I feel quite sure better
days will come; though whether
we shall live to see them is 
more doubtful. To read our 
generation of commentators,
our diapers are wet, and we
deserve to be changed right
now. Our nemesis has thought
in terms of decades, and de-
spite the most monstrous de-
formity ever to take its lead,
has routed us all by constancy.

It is immaterial in the contest
to be more deserving. It is im-
material to inherit a grievance.
It is immaterial to linger in
elegant dissonance. Prettiness
is for débutantes, correctness
is for schoolmarms. If anyone
wills a battle, he must accept
not living to see its triumph.
It is the only way to know it.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Younger's not so bad

So the demagogues give us
more to do, because they
truly can do nothing else.
Which would you have: bore-
dom like that, or diverse

Giovanni Dopico

Sunday, October 7, 2018

What happened to you?

Oh, nothing, thank you for asking.
I'd say, let's not talk about it. 

Who hasn't noticed, exhibiting ban-
dages, what a disturbance they are
to the well-intended, not to say a-
rousing, in all the wrong ways? We
notice especially the curiosity of
the children, whose natural reac-
tion of fear is seldom allayed by
a kindly wave or a smile. But with
all the evidence pointing to a prob-
ability that we're a monster, with
divine disfavor so obvious, revul-
sion is a risk among all the immat-
ure. To the guilty, it's no longer
a pleasure: less stimulating than
annoying. And that's our beginning. 

Gerard Sabé