Sunday, 11/19/2017

"That damned hornist! Can't he count?"

Anthony on how silly intellectuals can be:

When he met Stalin in person in 1935 [Romain] Rolland compared him to Beethoven as the creator of a new humanism.

Which, said, in 1935, well into the widely reported starvation campaign against the Ukranians, well into the purges and show trials, well into Stalin showing Hitler how mass murder could be done, marks Romain Rolland as a monumental meat head.  Anyone who could think that the man who suffered such a drastic disillusionment when Napoleon had himself made emperor would welcome being compared to Stalin obviously knows nothing about Beethoven.  It is the kind of idiotic thing that a literary man will say about a musician, confirming Aaron Copland's generous estimate that half of what a literary man says about music will be wrong.  Rolland as well as the other 1930s admirers of Stalin were both epically stupid and morally defective.  

Stalin did, however, at least make the metronomes run on time...


November 19, 10:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pareidolia Idiocy

Time for Buzz to punch out another hoaxer.  Alternately, people can check out to understand the lunacy of such people.


November 19, 2:47 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

I feel like I owe it to someone

Always thought it would be Crosby to go first.


November 19, 2:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

his father’s beard is obsolete

Farming Family, 1912:

The cruelty of the men when they’re alone,
The women’s tiredness and resignation,
Do not get multiplied, as you’d expect,
When the extended families collect,
One day a year, to get their pictures taken.
It’s not that any of their faces soften,
Nor that there’s any obvious affection
Between the farmer’s mother and his son;
And only an idealist could see
In this brief cutting from the family tree
A symbol of the strength of rootedness—
Three generations dwelling in one place—
Knowing how soon the root will lose its branch,
Cut down and hacked to pieces in a trench.
The only explanation that makes sense
For the illusion of resilience
That lights their eyes and makes them look at home
Is that with every added generation
Buried potentialities appear...

Adam Kirsch.


November 19, 1:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States."

Our long national nightmare is over.  Thank you, President Clinton, for your service these last 10 months, despite all those emails.


November 19, 12:46 AM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (3)

Saturday, 11/18/2017

"Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp, shock."

Oddly enough, I was in Stratford in '82.


November 18, 11:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"The law is telling me to do something really, really stupid."

And Gorsuch obliges every damned day.  Because he thinks the Constitution is a homicide pact.


November 18, 10:29 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Српско-руски марш

Bright sun, you do not shine equally...


November 18, 1:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Prayer of Saint Basil the Great


Like a withered oak in the valley
My country waits.
No one friendly leans
His head against her,
Rain waters not her roots - 
She thirsts in vain!
The prophets dwell on hills
And read the stars.

Rudolph Gilbert.


November 18, 12:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Larry Bird Is A Hick From French Lick

It's a fun little streak (how I miss Fall in Cleveland).  If this plucky young squad keeps it up, I might be able to find joy in Mudville as I did in my youth.


November 18, 12:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chewbacca Is A Wookiee From The Planet Kashyyyk



November 18, 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, 11/17/2017

F for Frankendetta

I admit when I first saw Franken's initial, short, weak tea apology, I wanted him to step down

The longer version, along with his direct apology to his victim, along with her acceptance of his proffer, changed my mind.  He did wrong, admits it, and isn't so smarmy and self-serving as Louis CK or other men called out.  Sure, "investigate" and castigate and let his lesson be for all of us in the ruling patriarchy.

More than that strikes me as counterproductive.  No need to shoot him behind the chemical shed when Roy Moore and Donald Trump don't acknowledge their wrongdoing.


November 17, 8:55 PM in Soaking In Patriarchy, Suffering Fools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Confirmed Kills

Before we watched quaint, rather sexist Xmas movies, we took in some Iliza tonight.


November 17, 12:12 AM in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (5)

Thursday, 11/16/2017

In The Long Run

A Graveyard:

Man, looking into the sea— 
taking the view from those who have as much right to it as you have it to yourself— 
it is human nature to stand in the middle of a thing 
but you cannot stand in the middle of this: 
the sea has nothing to give but a well excavated grave. 
The firs stand in a procession—each with an emerald turkey-foot at the top— 
reserved as their contours, saying nothing; 
repression, however, is not the most obvious characteristic of the sea; 
the sea is a collector, quick to return a rapacious look. 
There are others besides you who have worn that look— 
whose expression is no longer a protest; the fish no longer investigate them 
for their bones have not lasted; 
men lower nets, unconscious of the fact that they are desecrating a grave, 
and row quickly away—the blades of the oars   
moving together like the feet of water-spiders as if there were no such thing as death. 
The wrinkles progress upon themselves in a phalanx—beautiful under networks of foam, 
and fade breathlessly while the sea rustles in and out of the seaweed; 
the birds swim through the air at top speed, emitting cat-calls as heretofore— 
the tortoise-shell scourges about the feet of the cliffs, in motion beneath them 
and the ocean, under the pulsation of light-houses and noise of bell-buoys, 
advances as usual, looking as if it were not that ocean in which dropped things are bound to sink— 
in which if they turn and twist, it is neither with volition nor consciousness.

Marianne Moore.


November 16, 11:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Few times I've been around that track

This shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!


November 16, 9:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

And Gosh Darn It...

...he actually apologized, which his victim has accepted.  So the apple should stay in the Senate, and the banana can stay the heck out of the mall.


November 16, 8:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sharp Distance

How can the wind with its arms all around me?


November 16, 12:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 11/15/2017


At the Justice Department November 15, 1969:

Brown gas-fog, white
beneath the street lamps.
Cut off on three sides, all space filled
with our bodies.
       Bodies that stumble
in brown airlessness, whitened
in light, a mildew glare,
       that stumble
hand in hand, blinded, retching.
Wanting it, wanting
to be here, the body believing it’s
dying in its nausea, my head
clear in its despair, a kind of joy,
knowing this is by no means death,
is trivial, an incident, a
fragile instant.    Wanting it, wanting
          with all my hunger this anguish,
          this knowing in the body
the grim odds we’re
up against, wanting it real.
Up that bank where gas
curled in the ivy, dragging each other
up, strangers, brothers
and sisters.    Nothing
will do but 
to taste the bitter
taste. No life
other, apart from.

Denise Levertov.


November 15, 11:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Is The Carpet Wet, Todd?!

I don't know, Ericka!  Yes, this is a routine we break out every holiday season, which makes the whole family laugh with great jocularity.  I am not joking.


PS--analysis of the deep pathos Todd and Margo represent.

November 15, 9:53 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Our First Pro-Slavery Government

We have at length finished the Confederation and shall send it to the different States in a few days with strong exortation to give it quick consideration and speedy return.

 - Richard Henry Lee to Samuel Adams, November 15, 1777

Speedy return?  Not so much: didn't go into effect until March 1, 1781 (Maryland was the last to ratify about a week earlier).  Heck, it was first reported a week after the Declaration, so it took them 16 months just to agree to the final proposal.  Cut 'em slack, tho, because there was a little war on.

And as I've noted before, slavery figured pretty heavily in the debates.  The issue didn't go away after ratification, as the Confederation Congress tried vainly to amend the Articles, proposing a well-known "federal ratio" to count slaves for tax purposes.

The Framers in Philadelphia used the same math since it'd been approved by 11 of the states previously--NH and RI had rejected the amendment, so without unanimity it never was adopted, proving the Articles were pretty useless.  Why reinvent the wheel, especially when commerce was at stake, amirite?


November 15, 8:29 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

the future is all but past

Lord Dampnuts makes me miss the 1970s, for fuck's sake.


November 15, 3:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Just Need Some Bone Spurs

On Getting Out Of Vietnam:

Theseus, if he did destroy the Minotaur
(It’s hard to say, that might have been a myth),
Was careful not to close the labyrinth.
So After kept on looking like Before:
Back home in Athens still the elders sent
Their quota of kids to Knossos, confident
They would find something to die of, and for.

Howard Nemerov.


November 15, 3:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 11/14/2017

Three More Like Before

Coulda been a bad day for Dick Gordon, Al Bean, and Pete Conrad.


November 14, 11:10 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

1st Battalion, 7th Cav

It started on 11/14/65 at LZ X-Ray.  That first major battle between the US and NVA in the Ia Drang Valley ended with hundreds of Vietnamese and Americans dead, including SFC Luther Vermont Gilreath.


November 14, 10:31 PM in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, 11/12/2017

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire...

I briefly considered Voyager I's Saturn flyby, and Oregon's exploding whale, but tonight's sign off seems more apt.


November 12, 11:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)