Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Excavations Under the Carpet Turn Up Nothing

The reactions of Corporate to Snowden's leaks are more valuable insights into power than the information in the leaks themselves, I tweeted last night having only just digested the news of the humiliation and subjugation of a democratically elected president of a sovereign country forced out of the air. Please don't tell me the plane wasn't forced out of the air. So. If everything Snowden reveals sensible people should have assumed all along - let's say that's true for the sake of argument - why would the United States threaten, endanger, and humiliate the president of a democratically elected president of a sovereign country? Please don't tell me this is about terrorism. Yesterday at the Hiatt Fuckface. Cause nothing says trust the US on a plea deal and that Snowden would be safer in US than in "unfree country" like humiliating, endangering, and no doubt shooting down if necessary an airplane carrying the President of a sovereign country.

  • Network.
  • My second thought was the United States was also humiliating it's client states, but that assumes France and Portugal and Spain did this against their will, and that's just silly.
  • Loyalty is no a virtue.
  • Argument from a friend yesterday: Greenwald and Snowden's motives aren't pure so the state secrets they reveal in their service of self-aggrandizement and martyrdom neuter any immoral currency of what the state secrets reveal. And everyone knew anyway, so self-aggrandizement and martyrdom infinity. Neener.
  • Snowden has, inadvertently or not, not that his motives matter one fucking fart, accelerated Corporate roll out of FUCK YOU PEASANTS timeline.
  • Fuckface Hiatt trots out Villager court jester to state Snowden's a pussy so neener.
  • On the meanings of dishonor and hack.
  • Chris Hayes says be sure the person you're hounding is on the plane before forcing it to land because if the person isn't it's soooooo embarrassing.
  • A good question.
  • Edward Snowden and barbarism.

  • Crisis in capitalism.
  • What the hot summer day hissed in his ear.
  • Coetzee, for those of you who do. I asked Anthony yesterday what would be a good novel to start - I read Michael and Barbarians decades ago - and he suggest Age of Iron.
  • A pianist's A-V.
  • Mary Ruefle interview.
  • There were fucking angels all over my fucking house.
  • Heavy summer rain.
  • Tonight at nine the Return of Berger!
  • Another excerpt from Against the Day.
  • Another Roxy fan.
  • I knew it was Szymborska's birthday yesterday but it didn't fit with yesterday's post, was going to note it today but events yesterday evening required a post then. Click on Szymborska tag for more poems. You're not going to, I know.
  • I was asked about Poles and poetry. This is the theory of a friend, a linguistic professor and a Pole: R theorizes that languages which are especially complex - Polish, Korean, for example - are complex on purpose, they evolved such complexity so that native speakers can, within two sentences, identify whether someone speaking the language fluently is in fact a native speaker, so often over the centuries have these ethno-linguistic groups been invaded and subjugated by, in Korea's case, Japan then China then Japan then China, in Poland's by Russians then Germans then Russians then Germans. The combination of complex language and centuries of invasion and subjugation make for great poetry. I buy it.


Wislawa Szymborska

Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

Die—you can’t do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here
but nothing is the same.
Nothing’s been moved
but there’s more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.

Footsteps on the staircase,
but they’re new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.

Something doesn’t start
at its usual time.
Something doesn’t happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Every closet’s been examined.
Every shelf has been explored.
Excavations under the carpet turned up nothing.
A commandment was even broken:
papers scattered everywhere.
What remains to be done.
Just sleep and wait.

Just wait till he turns up,
just let him show his face.
Will he ever get a lesson
on what not to do to a cat.
Sidle toward him
as if unwilling
and ever so slow
on visibly offended paws,
and no leaps or squeals at least to start.


  1. 0)i'm not going to sign up for twitter, any more than i did facebook - too much info flow already

    1)i did follow a link of yours on szymborska and reduced a bit of my absolute ignorance of her - i see she's an ex-commie, like doris lessing (whose novels are good, although of course a novel takes a lot more time to read than a poem)

    2) i quoted a political poem (by a dead white male - it was written to oppose war with mexico) in an email to a living female professor of color - MSNBC's (there's tom clark's 'network') melissa perry-harris, who was well called out re snowden by gary leupp

    the poem i quoted to her is one i have sung as a hymn in a unitarian-universalist context (the tune it is set to is quite stirring, also):

    Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

    Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
    Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
    Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
    Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

    By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
    Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
    New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
    They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

    Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
    Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
    Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

    James R. Lowell, 1845

  2. No matter how shitty the WaPo gets, it can still get even shittier.

    - Hiatt's Law