Sunday, August 7, 2011

Not Eep and Urp or Archer and Loaf or Mel and Rose or Wyatt and Esme or Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66

That's him above, her below, adopted from rescue yesterday. Brother and sister, approximately four months old, spayed, neutered, all shots, $135 each. It's love.

All suggested names have been vetoed by someone, mostly Planet, who's in Michigan visiting a friend and says no to everything until she gets home Tuesday. She leaves for college in less than two weeks. Not Eep and Urp or Archer and Loaf or Mel and Rose or Wyatt and Esme or Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 are here to help us get through the next seventeen years: we'll save their lives, they'll save ours.

They've taken control. Fleabus and Jess and Sarah are PISSED! and the boy chases after them if they leave my bedroom. He has a sense of humor and is fearless. Heh.

United 3, Toronto 3

As predicted, a good time was had, as was predictable, United gave up a one goal lead twice at home, and fuck that.

First, read this guy and this guy. As for Hamid's red card, upon seeing the replay, I don't think it was a goal-denying foul, but it was remarkably stupid and reckless; perhaps it should have been a yellow, I have no problem with the red. Who's going to be Cronin's back-up in goal next week? As for St Benny's red, sure it was justified and well-earned. I'm sure he'll be rewarded by MLS with a fine and a scolding while the referee, who was no better or worse than any other shitty MLS referee, will be rewarded with another assignment.

Olsen: “I don’t have to explain it. You guys know exactly what happened. Everybody knows what happened. You’ll see [the goal] and you’ll know exactly what happened. I don’t want to talk about the referees because I don’t want them to be the story.”

De Guzman: “Any moment you can get like that, you take advantage of it. Many of the best teams in the world -- how should I put it? -- cheat when they have the chance to do something. It was a good opportunity for myself to find open space.

But fuck that: this team's defensive inadequacies, especially at home, especially with a lead, are maddening: as Fullback notes, if Pontius was half as good on defense as he is on offense he'd be in the USMNT player pool, and on the other flank Najar (usually) and Quaranta (last night) are hardly better. Left back is a gaping hole named Woolard. In central defense, Jakovic is good for at least one spectacular brain fart a game, and once Hamid was carded there was zero communication between Cronin, Jakovic, and McDonald. And I must beat this drum again: thank you, Clyde Simms, for your years of service, your transmission is blown, you can't get out of first gear. And while it's fair to assign primary blame for all three Toronto goals to Cronin (who didn't give up a fourth that went through his hands only because he was so ridiculously off his line and out of position that he was able to recover), there is still an OMFG! disorganized panic in defense that is inexcusable two-thirds of the way through a season. (As is the inability to build through the midfield, but I'll save that for next week when they tie at home versus the Vancouver Soehns.)

Standard disclaimer of perspective re: improvement over last year/reasonable expectations for this year/yadda this season is about building towards next season, etc. True but old. Older than Josh Wolff.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Whatever for Good or Ill Grows within You Needs You for a Time to Cease to Exist

Well, I seem to need to try not to gnaw and spazz, at least for this weekend - or rather, if I can't not gnaw and spazz, and I'm going to try and fail, I'm going to gnaw and spazz offline - so please read the others gnawing and spazzing today in links, and here, have two doses of Gaddis, you Mr Pivners:

Mr Pivner came out upon the street to see a crowd gathering at the far corner. He turned his coat collar up again and pulled his hat down. When he reached the crowd, he looked where they were looking, up: a man poised on the ledge eight stories above. Lights shone on him. Figures leaned from nearby windows. The crowd shifted, impatiently. - Don't he know it's raining, I wish he'd get it done, if he's going to do it, a man said to Mr Pivner. Mr Pivner only stared. As he did, the rhythm of the crowd's voice took shape. They chanted, -Jump... jump... jump... and the figure above drew back. - JUMP... JUMP... JUMP... they chanted. A priest appeared at the window nearest him. - JUMP... JUMP... JUMP... The figure drew back, further, toward the priest. A young man leaning from the door of a car with a Press card in the windshield said to his companion, - The son of a bitch isn't going to jump.

and tomorrow, Hey! did you know Washington DC has a professional soccer team?

It's true! and they have a home game tonight, and I'll blog about that tomorrow (UPDATE! as well as the arrival of cats eight and nine just now that I've been told I cannot name Eep and Urp - photos tomorrow), so no need to tune in, and, while I'll have a blast regardless of result, it would be wonderfully therapeutic to primal scream at beautiful goals and even better to scream for a home game win.

O! and this blog's theme song:

More Gaddis:

     Science assures us that, "If man were wiped out, it is extremely improbable that anything very similar would even again evolve." Threat and comfort: we need only turn the particle of the earth's crust read with such eager pride to make one of the other. Here in the foremost shambles of time Mr Pivner stood, heir to that colossus of self-justification, Reason, one of whose first accomplishments was to effectively sever itself from the absurd, irrational, contaminating chaos of the past. Obtruding over centuries of gestation appeared this triumphal abortion: Reason supplied means and eliminated ends.
     What followed was entirely reasonable: the means, so abruptly brought within reach, became ends in themselves. And to substitute the growth of one's bank account for the growth of one's self worked out very well. It had worked out almost until it reached Mr Pivner, for so long as the means had remained possible of endless expansion, those ends of other ages (which had never shown themselves very stable) were shelved as abstractions to justify the means, and the confidently rational notion that peace, harmony, virtue, and other tattered constituents of the Golden Rule would come along of themselves was taken, quite reasonably, for granted.

  • The problem with "left" neo-liberalism.
  • Origins of the crisis.
  • Saving a Demotic-Oligarhical Society, part two. 
  • Hoping for hope.
  • America is no longer a Western country.
  • Shock Doctrine and the debt.
  • Civilization and its contents.
  • Crock pot king.
  • Contracting.
  • On Krugman's obamapostasy never being ready.
  • There will never be defense cuts
  • On the responsibility to protect.
  • Related to the above, a history professor recommended to me a couple of weeks ago Mazower's Dark Continent: Mark Mazower doesn't see it this way. His splendid book makes a convincing case for a different version of 20th-century European history. We are quite wrong, he writes, ''to read the present back into the past, and assume -- for instance -- that democracy must be rooted deeply in Europe's soil simply because the cold war turned out the way it did.'' The world we now inhabit is ''just one possible outcome of our predecessors' struggles and uncertainties.'' It could all have turned out quite differently, and came close to doing so.''Dark Continent,'' Mazower's new history of contemporary Europe, develops this line of argument through close attention to a number of interwoven themes. The first is the fragility of democracy and the discrediting of the liberal vision in the decades following the mayhem of World War I. Europeans were not led astray by insane dictators, he insists; the 19th-century emphasis on legal rights and constitutional systems simply couldn't meet the challenges of the time. In the face of the inadequacies of the Versailles settlement, the serial failures of capitalism and the international insecurity of new and old states alike, the new movements of the anti-democratic right had the better of the argument through much of the continent: ''Europe found other, authoritarian, forms of political order no more foreign to its traditions, and no less efficient as organizers of society, industry and technology.'' Anyone read it? Thoughts?
  • What is Cultural Conservatism?
  • Author questionity.
  • Adventures in Tea-Party cognitive dissonance.
  • Motherfucking crackers.
  • Good links.
  • Ate last night at a decent but not great Ethiopian restaurant in downtown Silver Spring (fake, not as fake as downtown Rocketville, but fake), afterwards walked into a Borders for probably the last time and saw I could buy up to a hundred of these for five bucks each:


Frank Bidart

You know that it is there, lair
where the bear ceases
for a time even to exist.

Crawl in. You have at last killed
enough and eaten enough to be fat
enough to cease for a time to exist.

Crawl in. It takes talent to live at night, and scorning
others you had that talent, but now you sniff
the season when you must cease to exist.

Crawl in. Whatever for good or ill
grows within you needs
you for a time to cease to exist.

It is not raining inside
tonight. You know that it is there. Crawl in.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Eternal Inflection of Moments and the Infinity of Mathematics Chase Me Across this World Where I Undergo Every Civil Success, Respected by Strange Childhood and Abnormally Large Affections

I thought Wednesday afternoon about quick-posting about Obama's nomination of an ultra-cracker lawyer to be a U.S. attorney in Utah, then thought no (because yawn) and no (because I've these sillyass self-prescribing codes of blogging, and bleggalfuck me), but remembered the above story when I read this:

Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, have been urging Mr. Geithner to stay, administration officials say, not only for continuity when the economy has weakened and to avoid an all-but-certain confirmation fight in the Senate over a successor, but also because Mr. Obama has developed a close rapport with Mr. Geithner...

I've said this before but here is my dream scenario: it's April 1, 2012, John Roberts has just been applesauced by a bus. Who does Obama nominate to replace him?

The remaining Obama faithful I know still play the SCOTUS card on me. They say going into the 2008 election I was saying SCOTUS is the most important reason for voting for Obama, and true that. If they say Sotomayor and Kagan are representative acts of Obama's true heart and I now say they were free squares on a BINGO card that cost Obama no capital, that doesn't deny that Obama made two choices to the left of anyone John McCain presumably would have chosen by the American political spectrum metrics I held as true in 2008. I've moved the goalposts, not Obama or Obama's faithful. Fair enough.

Wouldn't it be wonderful, in an election year America with Obama's political survival at stake in an America seven months shittier and seven months angrier and seven months crazier than today, to make that motherfucker make that choice?

For the record, I say he nominates Zombie Roberts.

Daily Gaddis:

In the fragment of sky which the buildings permitted above him flags were being lowered. For the full day they had floated, as much as the rain would allow, heraldic devices of marvelous power, far more impressive than a fiery cross or the six balls of the Medici. A great bell signaled a telephone company which was omnipotent. Three strokes of white lightening on a blue ground hailed an electric company which controlled the allegiances of an office force equal to the medieval duchy on Mantua. The whole scene was lit by electricity, escaping statically in incandescent bulbs and, in splendidly colored fluidity adding a not of metaphysical (Bergsonian) hilarity to the air or well-curbed excitement, in tubes of glass cleverly contorted to spell out cacophonous syllables of words from a coined language, and names spawned in the estaminets of Antwerp. Any natural light which fell in from the sky, pale in impotence, was charitably neglected; but that sky, as has been noted, was a safe distance away.

  • On the above linked article on Geithner.
  • A hybrid demotic-oligarchy.
  • Our way to fall.
  • Run, Hillary Run! Not a fucking chance, though I could see Obama throwing Biden away so HRC on the ticket as VPOTUS.
  • There will be no defense cuts.
  • Cratering.
  • Cures.
  • Six reasons the media hides the true cost of war includes this: Fourth, the political establishment, including the Democratic leadership, would not touch this issue, and the news media was left without an opposition voice. The implication of so many deaths, a large fraction by the hands of U.S. soldiers, was politically a third rail. For many reasons—not least the hunger for heroes in the aftermath of 9/11—the troops have been accorded nearly unprecedented adulation, and such heroes cannot be accused of excessive use of force. So politicians have steered clear, and the rare one who did raise a question, such as the late, pro-military congressman John Murtha, were mercilessly attacked.
  • Obedience for dummies.
  • Stockholm syndrome.
  • Obama Comedy Hour.
  • America's non-political political system.
  • You know, no matter how much we're aware of the reasons for baiting motherfucking crackers, that doesn't change the reality that crackers are motherfuckers.
  • Pastor Sanctimonious says, without a wink of irony: This use of religion in politics is a source of cynicism. It should raise alarms when the views of the Almighty conveniently match our most urgent political needs. A faith that conforms exactly to the contours of a political ideology has lost its independence. Churches become clubs of the politically like-minded. Political dialogue suffers, since opponents are viewed as heretics.
  • Atheism and anarchism.
  • Lateral time.
  • The human face of type.
  • Author venn diagram. Look where Gaddis is. Look where Joyce is. I read The Dead (and loved it) within the past year to help Planet with a paper, I hadn't thought of rereading Joyce before then in fifteen years before then, I haven't thought about rereading Joyce since. (I did a Joyce class with a great guy, shitty teacher - yes, sssh, you two say the same thing, he doesn't read this and I've told him anyway - who killed my love of Dubliners, and...)
  • Nuclear Power (yes please).


Arthur Rimbaud

Translated by John Ashbery

In childhood, certain skies focused my seeing: all characters modulated my features. Phenomena were set in motion. -- Now, the eternal inflection of moments and the infinity of mathematics chase me across this world where I undergo every civil success, respected by strange childhood and abnormally large affections. -- I dream of a War of righteousness or force, whose logic will be quite unexpected.
     It's as simple as a musical phrase.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In This Miserly Country Where We'll Never Be Anything but Orphans Engaged to Each Other

How's blogging, K asked, after everyone's weary obamapostasies and cracker-damning, Thursday Night Pints held last night at L's request. I've been posting Ashbery's new translations of Rimbaud's poems and snippets of Gaddis out of The Recognitions, so I'm happy, but the big news in Blegsylania is the best barker in our Stringtown suddenly returned from self-exile: he quit, he didn't announce a hiatus - and Stringtown's like, Holyfuck! Resurrection!

He's far better than the rest of us at the necessary daily doh day after every fucking day. I'm glad he's blogging again. He's been a good guy with me, he's smart and funny, but also, it's fascinating watching the renewed pissing contests in comments to be the second smartest guy at that blog, it reminds me we may not need a king but we sure as fuck want one if we can't be one, whatever ratio of nature v nurture. (I used a Star Trek allusion in comments to a Star Trek allusion in the post which alluded to a commenter to that post! That's better than citing Michel Foucault, yes?)

Gaddis? L said, that tedious bastard? Why'd you bring up Gaddis, said D. I didn't know, I said. Buy me a pint, nodding at L, I won't tell you why I love Gaddis, buy me a pint, nodding at D, I won't tell you how much I hate The Fucking Doors,* Hello I Love You on the bar's muzak, D twitching, on purpose, in rhythm. Win.

Lose. No Daily Gaddis today as I never got the chance to read yesterday. Esme's still just shot up and is handwriting out Duino Elegies from memory.


Arthur Rimbaud

Translated by John Ashbery

O that February morning. The untimely South came to enliven our ridiculous pauper's memories, our your poverty.
     Henrika had on a brown and white checked cotton skirt, which must have been worn during the last century, a bonnet with ribbons, and a silk scarf. It was much sadder than mourning. We went for a walk in the suburbs. The sky was overcast, and that South wind stirred up all the vile odors of ruined gardens and parched meadows.
     This didn't seem to tire my woman as much as it did me. In the puddle left in a rather steep path by last month's flood she showed me some tiny fish.
     The city, with its smoke and sounds of looms, followed us very far along the roads. O the other world, dwelling blessed by sky and shade! The south reminded me of the miserable events of my childhood, my despair in summer, the horrible amount of strength and knowledge that destiny always kept far from me. No! we will not spend the summer in this miserly country where we'll never be anything but orphans engaged to each other. I don't want this rugged arm to keep dragging a beloved image behind us.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Ran to the Fields, a Donkey, Trumpeting and Brandishing My Grievance, Until the Sabine Women of the Suburbs Came to Throw Themselves at My Neck

That sign is posted on almost every front lawn of a stretch of the main road through the neighborhood I live in. It is one of the few streets in the neighborhood that doesn't have sidewalks, and the county has decided to build sidewalks on the road. The residents potentially affected aren't pleased, so they had these bullshit signs printed and distributed. They've been up about a week, I've been itching to call bullshit, and yesterday, when the first message below appeared on the neighborhood listserv I subscribe to, I did. Each of the listserv entries is a different person responding, and I dropped a letter of the neighborhood and road names and one MOCO employee to save myself potential google grief:

Listserv: The meeting with county officials to discuss the construction of a sidewalk along Arkwood Drive has been postponed until September.  The original meeting date was August 9th.  Elric Ohnston of MC DOT will inform the community of the new meeting date in the coming weeks.

Me: Could I ask a question about the signs? The implication is that the funding for the sidewalks is being diverted from education (as in the money is being taken from money previously allocated for education) to build the sidewalks. Is this literally true? I'm sympathetic to homeowners not wanting their front yards dug up, especially those who would lose years of gardening, and I'm sympathetic to their rights up to a point, but if the signs are bullshit re: what they imply, that's um, bullshit.

Listserv: The signs look like election signs and, in my opinion, completely misrepresent the issue at hand. The new sidewalk would actually look better! I certainly HOPE those signs were paid for by the residents of the homes sporting them, and not by ARA monies!

Listserv: The Arkwood Residents Association had absolutely nothing to do with the signs that appear along Arkwood Drive.

Me: Good to know. Again, it's a simple question: is money that had been designated for schools being diverted from schools to build these sidewalks? Is there any contractual evidence that if the sidewalks are not built the money that would have been spent on them will be spent on schools? If not, the signs are dishonest.

Listserv: I believe the people that are opposed to the sidewalks felt compelled to get their message out. Looks like the majority of the people on that street dont support sidewalks (for the variety of reasons stated on this listserve previously).  So the real shame is that they have had to spend their own money and very precious time fighting the county for something they dont want.

Me: I don't mind - I fully understand why - they don't want sidewalks. Some of the gardens and plants that would need be destroyed have taken decades to grow. If it was my yard (I live on Aul and have a sidewalk) I wouldn't want the sidewalk. What I (potentially) find bothersome is that the signs suggest that money that would otherwise go to schools is being diverted for the sidewalks. I don't believe such a cause-and-effect exists, and would like to know if it is true. If it is, then I agree, it is a waste of money as well as building sidewalks where they may not be wanted. If it is not true, then it's a shameful attempt at shabby emotional blackmailing.

Listserv: The funds to be used are in the county's Dept of Transportation, within the General Operating fund - they are not at all connected at all to the School Board budget; these two budgets are about as separate from one another as you can get and still both be within county govt.

Listserv: My understanding of how this works is that the sidewalk construction comes out of money already allocated to transportation improvements. I suppose one can argue that overall more should be allocated to education and less to transportation. But that allocation is made each year by the council. What happens then is that DoT prioritizes various transportation projects and decides what can be funded in a given year.

Me: Thank you all for your responses, your understanding of the situation is the same as mine. My intent was clarification for my own sake. They are certainly welcome to protest the sidewalks; as I said, I wouldn't want them in my yard if I'd landscaped and planted for years assuming there wouldn't be any. They are also welcome to put up any signage in their yards they please, even signage that's deceptive and makes them seem petty and small.

Listserv: (I used to work in MC's Ofc of Management and Budget, so I offer these comments on that basis...) Peter is correct as to the separate budgets and the separate allocation actions by the County Council. The School Board budget is completely separate - about as separate from the County's General Operating Fund as you can get and still be in county government. Sidewalk funds come out of county General Operating Fund, transportation budget. It is I suppose possible that this particular is coming out of the Schools budget, but they have never this, to my knowledge, and it would be highly irregular. Additionally of note, all communications on this project from the county are coming from Transportation, and no one in the School Board admin is being copied in.

Listserv: I was under the impression that sidewalks are not for just the people on that street. Sidewalks serve anyone, regardless of residence address, walking on Arkwood. Also, I thought the reason for fighting the sidewalks was because of the "not in my front yard" ploy. But now it seems the focus is on schools. Where were the signs supporting schools before this? Give me a break.

Listserv: Are your taxes higher if you have sidewalks?

Listserv: taxes are much higher, and they take money away from schools and the elderly to fund them. It's OK to have and express and opinion on issues, but when people spread blatant lies and falsehoods, such as using school funds to pay for sidewalks, that is an embarrassment to our nation and children.

I got three personal emails thanking me for raising the subject. No one has posted defending the signs, the thread has dried up, but the first political activity I've done in two years and I'm a hero to the nation and its children, and all it took was an impulsive and petty and self-indulgent need to call bullshit on someone in a forum in which I risked nothing. I couldn't give a flying fuck about the sidewalks or the signs.

Should you think I'm the cynic in the family, I said to Earthgirl the Gardener, I don't blame them for not wanting to have their gardens dug up and their trees cut down, and she says to me, don't be a dope, they don't want to shovel them after a snowstorm after the plows go through.

Daily Gaddis:

How were they all so certain? calling her "Esme": they knew she was Esme when she did not know, who she was or who Esme, if both were the same. every moment, when they were there, or when she was alone, both she. But she could not deny that they were right, for who would be making that denial? and if who could not be no one, it must be Esme.


Arthur Rimbaud

Translated by John Ashbery

Since reality was too prickly for my lavish personality, --- I found myself nonetheless in my lady's house, got up as a great blue-gray bird soaring toward the ceiling moldings and dragging my wing through the shadows of the soirée.
     At the foot of the baldaquin supporting her beloved jewels and her physical masterpieces, I was a large bear with purple gums and fur turned hoary with grief, my eyes on the crystal and silver of the credenzas.
     Everything turned to shadow and a passionate aquarium.
     In the morning, -- a bellicose dawn in June, -- I ran to the fields, a donkey, trumpeting and brandishing my grievance, until the Sabine women of the suburbs came to throw themselves at my neck.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

But the Vampire Who Makes Us Behave Ordains That We Amuse Ourselves with What She Doles Out to Us, or That We Be Otherwise More Entertaining

Serendipitously, yesterday's comments turned to Gaddis sparked by Richard's discovery Lord Google had restored his voice, and when JR was brought into the conversation I added it to my reading list which at this moment is this:

  1. (finish) The Recognitions
  2. George Mills
  3. The Tunnel
  4. JR

I've read all these novels at least once (The Recognitions, The Tunnel), JR twice (it's the beer-through-you-nose funniest novel ever, you'll never read anything else like it), and I wrote a masters thesis on Elkin, I've read George Mills. It occurred to me, I haven't read any novel since finishing The Kindly Ones that I hadn't read at least once before. Four Harington's. On the plane trip to England Ishiguro's Remains of the Day, on the plane back Wright's Amalgamation Polka

I read The Recognitions twenty-two years ago. I was thirty. It was 1989, the Berlin Wall had just fallen, I was a vastly different fool then than I am now. I'm a vastly different fool now than I was three years ago. I find myself remembering reacting the first time to a line, a discussion, a set piece in the novels I've reread, surprised and pleased how different my catch now from catch then, then comparing.

It's freaking fascinating. All I want to read are the novels I read that helped me apprehend the world at earlier stages of my life. The gap between me at twenty and me at forty-nine is smaller than the gap between me at forty-nine and me at fifty-two. I trust the novels; I'm fucked-up. I'm thankful this is still how I apprehend and orient. Here's the daily Gaddis (no promises I'll do this with JR, btw):

The moment of evening loss is suggested in restricted portions of the sky which only suggest infinity, and that such an intimacy is possible when something rises from inside, to be skewered on the peaks or continue to rise untrammeled: a desperate moment for those with nowhere to go, the ones who lose their balance when they look up, passing on all sides here, invited nowhere, enjoying neither drink nor those they drink with but suddenly desolated, glancing up, stepping down from the curb alone, to seek anywhere (having forgot to make a date for "cocktails," asylum of glass, brittle words, olives from across the sea, and chromium) a place to escape this transition from day to night: a grotesque time of loneliness, for what has been sought is almost visible, and requires, perhaps, no more than a priest to bring it forth.

American Extremists - Hearing deficit

  • An obamapologist makes his case: Since the day Obama was elected (indeed, even before he was elected!) I’ve detected what I believe to be a completely unrealistic, emotion-driven faith among his hard-core supporters that he was different from other politicians -- that he could somehow overcome the political constraints and institutional barriers that have limited the power of all his presidential predecessors. I saw it in the debate regarding Guantanamo, military commissions, the public option, Afghanistan, extending the Bush tax hikes and now this. This sentiment was perhaps never more manifest than in the fervent belief among some that he was playing a "deep" game during these negotiations, maneuvering to a position where he could cut the Gordian knot of budget impasse with a master stroke (14th amendment anyone?). And in this latest occurrence, when he failed to fulfill these outlandish expectations, his erstwhile supporters proceeded to blame it on a character defect -- a lack of fortitude, an absence of courage, or perhaps simple political naivety.
  • An obamapologist makes his case: Let me get this straight. The President kept revenues on the table, did not touch the sunset provisions in the Bush tax cuts, ensured that military cuts keep the GOP honest, protected Medicare by adding in only provider cuts in the trigger, made the reduction apparently enough to stave off a debt downgrade, got the debt ceiling raised, wounded Boehner by demonstrating to the world that he is controlled by the Tea Party caucus, took out the requirement that a BBA be passed and sent to the states and got the extension through 2012? What exactly is wrong with this deal? 
  • An obamapologist makes his case: I have no doubt that Barack Obama wants to do right by the country, and that he genuinely believes giving in to every Republican demand (and then some) is his only play. But to me, the debt deal proves once and for all that Obama lacks the courage to lead effectively. The evidence resides not just in his policies, but in his words. To put it bluntly: every time Obama opens his mouth, what comes out is a bloodless, abstract drone. The central failure of his presidency has been one of rhetoric. In the interest of appearing reasonable, he comes across as feckless and pliant, a weak man who can't (or won't) speak in the urgent moral terms his historical moment demands
  • Blaming the blogosphere, or: YFWP ombudman is an assclown.
  • A view of America from Holland.
  • Martin O'Motherfucker.
  • Poor taxes up in Maryland!
  • Frances claimed the mass-market The Recognitions, so it's gone.
  • Cooling card.
  • Dancing with friends.
  • Ashbery's translation of Rimbaud.
  • Hey, look what I found on the new book truck yesterday!


Arthur Rimbaud

Translated by John Ashbery

Is it possible that She will have me pardoned for my continually squelched ambitions, - that an affluent end is compensations enough for the ages of poverty,  - that a day's success can luss us to sleep, forgetting the shame of our fatal ineptitude.
     (O palms! diamond! - Love, strength! - higher than all joy and glory! - of every kind everywhere, - Demon, god,  - Young age of this being; me!)
     That accidents of scientific magic and movements of social brotherhood are to be cherished as the progressive restitution of our first freedom?....
     But the Vampire who makes us behave ordains that we amuse ourselves with what she doles out to us, or that we be otherwise more entertaining.
     To roll with one's wounds, through the wearying air and the sea; with physical torment, through the silence of murderous water and air; with tortures that laugh, in their heinously stormy silence.

Monday, August 1, 2011

This Is a Sailor Wearing the Watch that Tells the Time of the Honored Man that Lies in the House of Bedlam

Yesterday I said war (by which I mean Corporate's entire police-state apparatus, from boots on the ground in Afghanistan to wiring embassies for State to running a whorehouse outside Fort Benning in Phenix City Alabama) is what Corporate makes now. This is the sub-lede of this story as of 7:00 PM EST on Your Fucking Washington Post's webpage:

Sources in both parties said all sides were close to signing off on an emerging agreement except House Speaker John Boehner. The reason for the hangup was not immediately clear, but the framework has the potential to trigger big cuts in the defense budget.

and in the story:

But sources in both parties said all sides were close to signing off on the emerging agreement except House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). While the reason for the hangup was not immediately clear, the framework has the potential to trigger big cuts in the defense budget. Defense cuts are likely to be problematic for many of the veteran Republicans Boehner will need to push a compromise through the House. A Boehner spokesman did not immediately respond to questions.

I was like, well, hey! but then immediately thought: those who've served, are serving, will serve - and one benefit of high unemployment is the pool of recruits deepens - are gonna be double fucked compared to normal fuck, cause those executives at Raytheon don't want their taxes raised and aren't giving up their bonuses, and if their bonuses depend on outsourcing the making of a drone's navigational gyroscope from Bumfuck Alabama to $3 a day workers in Malaysia, win!

This is the deal that was always in place. This wasn't about breaking you and me, we outraged, OUTRAGED! I TELL YOU! motherfucking pwoggles: we've been house-broken since Bill Clinton. This was about breaking the motherfucking crackers, and breaking them in a way that Corporate can simultaneously use to keep them pissed off at pwoggles (who hate America so much they weaken its defense, who hate motherfucking crackers). Rinse, repeat.

Daily Gaddis:

 - It's not. It's not, damn it, I.... when I'm working, I.... Do you think I do these the way all other forging has been done? Pulling the fragments of ten paintings together and making one, or taking a. . . Durer and reversing the composition so that the man looks to the right instead of the left, putting a beard on him from another portrait, and a hat, a different hat from another, so that they look at it and recognize Durer there? No, it's... the recognitions go much deeper, further back, and I... this...

I found an old broken-spined mass-market copy Saturday on a shelf in the basement, anyone want it?


Elizabeth Bishop

This is the house of Bedlam.

This is the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the time 
of the tragic man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a wristwatch
telling the time
of the talkative man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a sailor 
wearing the watch
that tells the time
of the honored man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the roadstead all of board
reached by the sailor
wearing the watch
that tells the time
of the old, brave man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

These are the years and the walls of the ward,
the winds and clouds of the sea of board
sailed by the sailor
wearing the watch
that tells the time
of the cranky man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a Jew in a newspaper hat
that dances weeping down the ward
over the creaking sea of board
beyond the sailor
winding his watch
that tells the time
of the cruel man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a world of books gone flat.
This is a Jew in a newspaper hat
that dances weeping down the ward
over the creaking sea of board
of the batty sailor
that winds his watch
that tells the time
of the busy man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is a boy that pats the floor
to see if the world is there, is flat,
for the widowed Jew in the newspaper hat
that dances weeping down the ward
waltzing the length of a weaving board
by the silent sailor
that hears his watch
that ticks the time
of the tedious man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

These are the years and the walls and the door
that shut on a boy that pats the floor
to feel if the world is there and flat.
This is a Jew in a newspaper hat
that dances joyfully down the ward
into the parting seas of board
past the staring sailor
that shakes his watch
that tells the time
of the poet, the man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.

This is the soldier home from the war.
These are the years and the walls and the door
that shut on a boy that pats the floor
to see if the world is round or flat.
This is a Jew in a newspaper hat
that dances carefully down the ward,
walking the plank of a coffin board
with the crazy sailor
that shows his watch
that tells the time
of the wretched man
that lies in the house of Bedlam.