Saturday, February 13, 2016

The fact

     The fact, that the passing
     of one single jurist, ap-
     pointed for life, can in-
     stantly be appraised as
     the most consequential oc-
     currence of 2016, before
     more than half its second
     month has expired, fills us
     with tempering consolation,
     to recall that a decent man
     will select his successor.

     Of course, the bitterness
     that will resist his duty
     has already congealed, and
     will excoriate the gods as
     faithless arbiters of fate.

     The President was elected
     twice to exercise this pow-
     er, for a term of four full
     years - not to a term sub-
     ject to the longevity of a
     life appointee, elsewhere.
     Now no nanosecond has de-
     tained the rabidest dogs of
     our time from howling, that
     a treason is embedded in a
     soul's release from care,
     its warfare, accomplished.

Ingmar Bergman

A principle of growth
28 July 2012

Saturday commute cxxiii: Boys, no running!

As much as anyone, I resent any
appearance of the descent of in-
telligence, as an infringement 
of decorum, although I'm not un-
aware of the power of suggestion,
from one generation to another.

On the contrary, I rail against
it with some perpetuity, given
its tricky relationship with hu-
man development. At my college,
two brothers preceded me by a
few years, children of the art
historian Erwin Panofsky. The
boys were graduated something
like 1st and 2nd in the Class,
forever after to be dubbed,
the smart Panofsky, and the
dumb Panofsky. Now, news out of
Palo Alto (where we have a u-
niversity, laid out with a lin-
ear accelerator on a ranch) for
this weekend is of a symposium
to celebrate a Nobel laureate's
lifetime contribution to physics,
as a colleague also of one of
the plentiful Panofsky boys, and 
father to the art historian, com-
posing now the life of Alexander 
Calder. In my simple mind there
is something one can almost un-
derstand in such a coincidence,
as a shimmering suggestion.

It's enough to make one believe,
something is going on, at least
as the descent of frolic, and
to be glad of it, incorrigibly.

Baptiste Radufe

Louis Carré
Catalogue cover

Friday, February 12, 2016

Contest of fugitives

I listened to the two
candidates for the Dem-
ocratic nomination, in
Milwaukee; and I was
only moved to wonder,
what is going on, here?

What was wrong with the
voice we knew from the
land, to digress as we
hear now? We can't say,
the king of the crickets
in Lorca absconded with
it, because they were so
audible in imitating him.

     I am for those who walk abreast with the whole earth,
     Who inaugurate one to inaugurate all.

     I will not be outfaced by irrational things,
     I will penetrate what is in them that is sarcastic upon me,
     This is what I have learnt from America --

Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass
1891 - 1892
  By Blue Ontario's Shore
    17 [fragment]
Justin Kaplan
The Library of 
  America, 1982©
op. cit.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Nevada coming

    Yes, I think if there
    will be a campaign to
    share breakfast, that
    might not be stopped.

    And we'll see who the
    heirs will be, of his-
    tory so large, it was
    plenty to start anew.

Doug Mills, photo
The New York Times

An absence of ground beneath one's feet

By a very great margin, I admit,
I would be found in the loading
dock of the Pierre with Gérard,
for breakfast today, before the
window seat at a Harlem eatery.
What I'd sacrifice in gastronomy,
economy, and sartorial bonhommie,
I'd recapture in an extraordinar-
ily superior plane, for slouching
with my elbows. The glazed quad-
rant always turns out to be more 
than the linens deserve.

But I caution myself against mis-
take. The spectacle of democracy
in America is heading promptly
into markets of ignominy as a way
of life, where the sane Party has
to summon the confidence of the
profitably abandoned. At long last,
they have the genius to ask, What
is in it for me, if I should dream
of trusting you?

The conversation, after all these
years of lullaby, has turned upon
how to live, not whether one is
welcome to a life, now plausibly
protected. The conversation has
turned to working for a decent
living, and not, as the Tories 
so bitingly say, getting it, as
if snatched from their flesh. 

There is a candidate, competing a-
gainst the figure on the right, who
has cherished the expediency of de-
nouncing discrimination. But this is
not an election about discrimination.
So advanced is the joyride of neglect,
that any number of people, across ev-
ery sliceable spectrum, and possibly
anxious to vote, are animated now.
It is an election about what one can
give to one's family, of the loveli-
ness of this world; and it is an e-
lection, about why they may not have
a decent breakfast.

I want to know, myself, what that
extremity must be like. Under the
alternatives to this breakfast in
Harlem, I may well find out. I do
not fear sharing, as confiscation.
I fear corruption as confiscation.
I fear hunger for anyone; I fear
maldistribution more than malfeas-
ance, and I want a child to know -
a gorgeous orange.

                     Si muero, 
                     dejad el balcón abierto.

                     El niño come naranjas.
                     Desde mi balcón lo veo.

                     El segador siega il trigo.
                     Desde mi balcón lo siento ..

Federico García Lorca

Al Sharpton & Bernie Sanders
The New York Times
New York, 10 February 2016

Migrant farm worker

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Snowball out of nowhere?



    And upside down in air were towers
    Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
    And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

T.S. Eliot
The Waste Land
  382 - 384
op. cit.

Hugo Daule

Monday, February 8, 2016

85 today?

       I don't mind.

Dennis Stock
James Dean

What did she see?

Have you taken the walk around the
lake at Wellesley College with your
sweetheart, after a Sunday at the
MFA and profiteroles at the Ritz? I
think you should. The place is beau-
tiful, which never hurts; and she is
very likely to be finer than bright,
cultivated, which can sometimes hurt
but tends rather to inspire, instead.
I know, I did it, I was betrothed.

Hillary Rodham Clinton was a sophomore
at Wellesley College, when she woke up
one morning in April to see this photo-
graph in the Boston papers. She had al-
ready been drawn to the Civil Rights
movement for African Americans, she had
already been weaned from Republicanism
by the last war we would ever fight in
the plain view of citizens, because of
the draft.

But I think, this is a sight one would
carry in one's heart, as the most friv-
olously unjustified abuse of talent re-
siding in gender, one would ever need
to see, to devote oneself to equality.
Here, despite no clear rule to the con-
trary, Kathrine Switzer is assaulted
and detained by officials of the Boston
Marathon, simply for running with men.

Things happened in this American life,
to everyone I've ever known who went
through it then, which spawned tremen-
dously paradoxical later careers. No
one I know, can surpass the paradox of
a marriage with Bill Clinton. Everyone
I know would leap to extract a damsel 
from it, not to be patronising, but to
be humane.

I am very doubtful that Mrs Clinton
conscientiously capitulated to cyn-
icism on the scale we associate with
but she denies against every visible
rubric, that she is a caricature now 
of her youthful idealism. Possibly,
she has never grasped the distinction
between remedy and progressive change.
Possibly, her sympathy for the runner
has diminished her awareness of the
passer-by. Imperceptibly, perhaps, a
blizzard of policy term papers and a
fine sense of justice have condensed
into the only two planks visible in
her platform, anymore: I deserve it,
and, you can't pin anything on me.

Yet, what supports this collapse is
a picture she saw in her youth, in a
beautiful refuge from Boston. Who
would not cling to that spectacle of
outrage, to suffer the life she en-
to assuage her deprivation of remedy?
But is a Presidency an office to seek, 
to soothe oneself?

Now youth, betrayed in Boston still, 
have heard about the bucolic lake.
Male or female, together, they know
and thrive in their equality, already.
Many do not possess those propulsions
of possessivism, which so well channel
her archaic grievance, enough to ac-
cept the mercies of the rushing gorge.


Gilbert Stuart
  portraitist of Washington
Sir William Grant