Friday, December 9, 2016

Again the Picking of Small Stones Out of the Rice

My hot take on the Nats' Adam Eaton trade? Every time I hear his name ▼ will play in my head:

What I saw of Giolito he didn't look like the best pitching prospect in Rockville. Lopez' mechanics are mine on a disc golf course - when he gets it right, it's holyfuck, he gets it wrong too often. Both may be great -  I hope so, I watch baseball for pitching. I have no idea who Dunning is. I don't know Eaton beyond what's being said now. Rizzo hasn't been a dope yet. Let me tell you about the 1993 Dogzilla Wafers.

  • Reviewing 2016Ninety-nine years after the Soviet Revolution the stage is set for precipitation into global civil war. While the financial class exacerbates its agenda fueling unemployment and social devastation, the dynamics that led to Nazism are deploying worldwide. Nationalists are repeating what Hitler said to the impoverished workers of Germany: rather than as defeated workers, think of yourself as white warriors so you’ll win. They did not win, but they destroyed Europe. They will not win this time neither, but they are poised to destroy the world.
  • When you cry you cry alone.
  • On trollsThis capacity – this desire – to play both troll and witch-hunter is part of the affective basis for Trumpism.
  • Dystopian Hillaryism.
  • Capitalism: its death and afterlife.
  • The blind side of Liberalism.
  • My precarity meter goes beep.
  • You in Algorithmstan.
  • On Anne Carson's Float: Carson’s admitted to using a random integer generator in her work and embracing accidental formatting changes, explaining “it saves you a lot of worry.” She practices intentional unintentionality.
  • Don't we all. If you want one (and I like you) let me know.
  • Rest in peace Greg Lake. I never got Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, but I do get King Crimson.


Anne Carson


Her father his terrific purple eyebrows.

A historical mistrust felt by people in the West for anything that comes from the East
or by people in the North for what comes from the South and so on.

Again the picking
of small stones
out of the rice.

This streaming of existence within me (she said).

Elijah's prophecy that Jezebel's blood would end up being licked by dogs which it did.

The gold smoke of her Buick at dawn against a frozen sun.


  1. my favorite king crimson song, although lake is not part of it - "heartbeat"

    and speaking of "heartbeat so close", i was webbrowsing about the family life of bears after reading the delmore schwartz poem you reprinted earlier this week, and came across the following - the human condition is hard sometimes, but the ursine condition is not always a teddy bears' picnic either

  2. Re: Adam Eaton, the Court Of The Crimson random anything generator, and even Duce!: Earlier this morning, I was shooting the breeze with Harry Tuttle and amping at length about some Place O Witless Labor issue which had blown up into clown-like proportions. Harry regarded me with some amusement, then said, "You know you're gonna die at some point, right?"

    The ratio of Shit To Shinola in my stack of immediate concerns inverted wildly, and I was able to settle gently to earth.

    adapted from Christina Rossetti

    In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
    Water stood like iron, earth was hard as stone;
    Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow on snow,
    In the bleak midwinter, many years ago.

    Angels and archangels may have thronged the air;
    Shepherds, beasts, and Wise Men may have gathered there.
    And His mother Mary, in her tender bliss,
    Bless’d the New Redeemer with a kiss.

    What then can I give Him, empty as I am?
    If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
    If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
    What then can I give Him? I must give my heart.

    Francis of Assisi developed the Nativity scene as a devotional aid to help worshippers picture the scene this carol portrays. Rossetti’s poem mentions all the traditional elements, with one exception – she has the Mother and Child, not the Holy Family – Joseph is not present in the text. Perhaps she intends to give maximum space for the audience, when imaginally projecting themselves into the scene, to take on a caregiving role. The one-sentence summary of the song is “I give you, Jesus, who are both Redeemer of the World AND a helpless infant, my heart.” This tender feeling for the Christ Child ideally, over time, grows into a general spirit of benevolence – in which unselfish love for one’s neighbor becomes not just a phrase, but a way of life. As John Lennon put it in “Instant Karma”: “Better recognize your brother – everyone you meet.”

    The stable in Bethlehem in Palestine – through the power of the imagination – is enduring the very cold winter of England. Mary is sweet and loving, Jesus is a newborn baby, but not a fussy one, the shepherds are awestruck and rustic and respectful, the Wise Men have travelled far because of a prophetic vision.

    And the singer also travels far – through both space and time. The singer moves from narrator to participant in the last verse, and from an imagined physical reality – a shepherd giving the gift of an innocent animal, destined to become a nourishing and delicious dinner – through an intermediate abstraction – the Wise Man (or Woman) who knows what their part is, and has the will and the ability to do it – on to a recognition of the call of the Divine, and the personal response of the human heart.

    Christina Rossetti wrote in the Victorian period, when England was at the height of its power and the sun never set on the British Empire. The composer, Gustav Holst (like Rossetti, born in England, but bearing a foreign-sounding name due to immigrant ancestors), wrote the tune in 1906, the Edwardian era. tells us that “The Edwardian period was known for elegance and luxury among the rich and powerful in Britain but also for moral looseness and for a general failure to prepare for some of the challenges of the twentieth century — particularly World War I, which broke out four years after the death of King Edward.” Did Holst somehow anticipate the savagery of the World of War to come, and write his melancholy setting for Rossetti’s poem as a kind of counterpoint – an individual’s response as a reaction against organized mass murder? It would take a very sensitive spirit to detect such currents, of course.

    And the mass murder of the 20th century still hasn’t stopped. But neither has the opportunity to answer The Call. Christmas, and Lent, and Easter, and any ordinary day, continually offer that chance. As Jesus is reported to have taught, when he was grown up, in Saying 113 in the Gospel of Thomas (trans. Blatz):

    His disciples said to him: On what day will the kingdom come? It will not come while people watch for it; they will not say: Look, here it is, or: Look, there it is; but the kingdom of the father is spread out over the earth, and men do not see it.