Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Listen, It's Not Like I Don't Get It About Suffering Being Relative

  • Reiteration: Obama continued to dazzle the literati even as he stepped up deportations of illegal immigrants and drone attacks, ruthlessly pursued whistle-blowers, and inaugurated the extrajudicial executions of American citizens. He exhorted African Americans to assume personal responsibility for their plight while absolving bankers of all responsibility for ruining the lives of millions of people. Yet, as with Trump and his loyal and captive audience today, support for Obama remained steadfast among African Americans and white liberals. Obama’s supporters remain as defensive about their president as Trump’s fans are about theirs, even though Obama, kite-surfing with Richard Branson in the wake of Trump’s victory, and reassuring Wall Street with handsomely remunerated speeches, has affirmed his dedication to the one percent. But we should not be surprised and dismayed that Obama’s audacity of hope dwindled into some humdrum self-cherishing, or that Macron is now derided as “president of the rich.” The actual record of personality cults reveals the mendacity of hope. - Mishra
  • Life in the Between-Screaming-Reiterationsocenes.
  • Reiteration: We cannot claim that, since nothing makes sense any more, for us works of art no longer contain narrative or time, nor can we claim that others might ever be able to find a way toward making sense of things, however we declare that for us it has proved useless to disregard our disillusionment and set out toward some nobler goal, toward some higher power, our attempts keep failing ignominiously. In vain would we talk about nature, nature does not want this; it is no use to talk about the divine, the divine does not want this, and anyway, no matter how much we want to, we are unable to talk about anything other than ourselves, because we are only capable of talking about history, about the human condition, about that never-changing quality whose essence carries such titillating relevance only for us; otherwise, from the viewpoint of that “divine otherwise,” this essence of ours is, actually, perhaps of no consequence whatever, forever and aye. - Krasznahorkai.


Carl Phillips

They’d only done what all along they’d come
intending to do. So they lay untouched by regret,
after. The combined light and shadow of passing
cars stutter-shifted across the walls the way,
in summer,
                     the night moths used to, softly
sandbagging the river of dream against dream’s
return…Listen, it’s not like I don’t get it about
suffering being relative—I get it. Not so much
the traces of ice on the surface of four days’
worth of rainwater in a stone urn, for example,
but how, past the ice,
                                       through the water beneath it,
you can see the leaves—sycamore—where they fell
unnoticed. Now they look suspended, like heroes
inside the myth heroes seem bent on making
from the myth of themselves; or like sunlight, in fog.


  1. 1)krasznahorkai also wrote in that piece

    in fact smoke and cheap spirits were all that remained of the erstwhile metaphysical traveler’s yearning for angelic realms—the noxious smoke left by longing, and the nauseating spirits left over from the maddening potion of fanatical obsession.

    the buddha advises us to follow the middle way and avoid intoxication

    2)i read in the daily mail today - oh boy - that bonny prince harry's bride-to-be finds fashion inspiration in the wardrobe of mrs jfk jr

    3)also in the daily mail today - an article about silicon valley execs going to esalen institute in big sur - my comment that the omega institute in rhinebeck ny is somewhat similar - although i haven't been there in a long time - currently has 3 plus votes and no negative votes

    4)on an episode of animal cops houston, the rescued lame horse recovered and was gainfully employed giving rides to children, the rescued lame bull was too far gone and had to be euthanized, and some of the rescued starving bulldogs made it and some didn't

    - in the courtroom scenes they fuzz out the faces of the owners - at the end of the proceedings some are led away in handcuffs, others just must pay a fine

  2. Love Arthur's kicker.

    And thank you so much for posting my utility regulation piece.

  3. approximately 1970 i lived in a group house with a bunch of college/postcollege young people - we called it 'the commune' but we knew this was a hyperbolic description of it - one guy there copied the following poem out by hand which impressed me and i remembered the refrain by which i was able to find it now -

    i misremembered the author as d.h. lawrence but actually it was written by thomas hardy -

    my friend then, like me, struggled with depressive tendencies - as i still do despite nearly three decades of swallowing fluoxetine daily - at least i don't wake up weeping, with tears in my ears, as i did just before i began my ssri regimen

    Lines to a Movement in Mozart's E-flat Symphony

    Show me again the time
    When in the Junetide's prime
    We flew by meads and mountains northerly! -
    Yea, to such freshness, fairness, fulness, fineness, freeness,
    Love lures life on.

    Show me again the day
    When from the sandy bay
    We looked together upon the pestered sea! -
    Yea, to such surging, swaying, sighing, swelling, shrinking,
    Love lures life on.

    Show me again the hour
    When by the pinnacled tower
    We eyed each other and feared futurity! -
    Yea, to such bodings, broodings, beatings, blanchings, blessings,
    Love lures life on.

    Show me again just this:
    The moment of that kiss
    Away from the prancing folk, by the strawberry-tree! -
    Yea, to such rashness, ratheness, rareness, ripeness, richness,
    Love lures life on.

    scott horton identifies the mozart symphony in the poem's title as number 39