Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Holy Ghost Was Browsing in His or Her Library One Day in the Future, Unaccountably Bored, Oddly Querulous, Vaguely Wanting Something that Would Be Quietly Unfamiliar

  • Please listen to this while staring at that gif.
  • One cannot have lived within ten miles of DC for fifty years and work in DC for twenty-six years and not note the death of Marion Barry. (Yes, I misspelled it, a text just told me. I did spell it correctly the first time in the bottom bullet.) Hence today's post. I am curious to follow the obits and eulogies, the arguments over his legacy.
  • For instance.
  • On the Creative Question: We hear so much about the supposed ‘economy of abundance’ in the age of its digital reproducibility. Yet such abundance remains a phantom as long as it is a surplus for the final few. We need to talk about the redistribution of abundance. Piketty has to be updated for the internet age. We urgently need to get a better understanding of how ‘extreme inequality’ translates into digital culture. The question here is not one of ‘selling out’. The new cultures of decentralized networks have turned into an Bataillian orgy of generosity: a ‘sharing-by-default-economy’ where the gift has lost its power of social reciprocity. Today, the economy is no longer based on abundance or redistribution of (common) wealth. Instead, there is a ‘winner takes all’ logic exacerbated by the speed of implementation and scaling.
  • Obama's Ferguson rhetoric.
  • More terror from the top.
  • Lion.
  • Maggie's weekly links.
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links.
  • Millions of Us.
  • The Margin of Difference.
  • It was Britten's birthday yesterday (that I thought was today) which I wasn't sure I was going to post - and a brief re-listen to his pieces from this birthday post from last year stands for why I probably wasn't. As for Krzysztof Penderecki's birthday - he is 81 today - I was going to wait until tomorrow but Marion Barry's death, which needs noting, meant a post anyway, as did Blessed Serendipity: I finished Agota Kristof's trilogy - The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie - in a twenty-four hour overnight sit, the first time I've ate a book like that in what seems like decades. I don't do reviews, I don't do long forms, I'm still thinking about the book, maybe more, later, maybe not.


Mark Halliday

The Holy Ghost was browsing in his or her library
one day in the future, unaccountably bored,
oddly querulous, vaguely wanting something that would be
quietly unfamiliar. "It doesn't have to be great,"
said the Holy Ghost with the faintest note of exasperation
in his or her voice, "just so long as it has
its own special character."
Gliding along the billion shelves,
incredibly graceful despite his or her mood.
Then the deft and lovely hand of the Holy Ghost lit
on a slim volume of poetry—
it was your book.
It was your book.
The first poem caused the Holy Ghost to frown;
ah, but not with disdain, rather with curiosity!
The second poem brought a brightening of divine eyes.
And the page was turned as if by a pensive breeze.
Maybe it happened after your death, but so what? It
"I'm taking this back to my perfect desk,"
said the HG. "This is really something."


  1. Knowing nothing of the mayor's record at that time, my reaction to his infamous reaction was, "He's right." His choice of words left less to be desired, in my opinion, though I'd probably appreciate him less if he'd wagged his finger to the camera and proclaimed, "That woman set me up!"

  2. the mayor spent time in prison - but did he ever do anything as low down as the well-known entertainer apparently did again and again?