Monday, January 2, 2017

That Dog, for Example, Whose Refusal to Leave My Side I Mistook, as a Child, for Loyalty - When All Along It Was Just Blind

That's Luigi, one of two new RESCUE! kittens by our new going-ok maybe-someday-friends M & J, who had us + Planet & Air over for dinner this past Friday. Kittens of a feral, they've been in the house less than a week, still skittish. M's daughter G was there along with her partner B, M & J & G & B never knew cats like having their paws deep massaged, eyebrows guitared. What are you doing? M asked, Luigi purring, he barely will let me touch him. I like them - M & B came with me and Earthgirl on a hike yesterday - but you've had cats for how many years?

The other kitten's name is Wolfley (people can vouch), sorry I don't have a photo, he was the shier of the two. When I heard his name Bonnie Prince Billy played in my head.


Karl Phillips

Somewhere, people must still do things like fetch
water from wells in buckets, then pour it out
for those animals that, long domesticated, would
likely perish before figuring out how to get
for themselves. That dog, for example, whose
refusal to leave my side I mistook, as a child,
for loyalty — when all along it was just blind ... What
is it about vulnerability that can make the hand
draw back, sometimes, and can sometimes seem
the catalyst for rendering the hand into sheer force,
destructive? Don’t you see how you’ve burnt almost
all of it, all the tenderness, away, someone screams
to someone else, in public — and looking elsewhere,
we walk quickly past, as if even to have heard
that much might have put us at risk of whatever fate
questions like that
                                     spring from. Estrangement — 
like sacrifice — begins as a word at first, soon it’s
the stuff of drama, cue the follow-up tears that
attend drama, then it’s pretty much the difference
between waking up to a storm and waking up
inside one. Who can say how she got there — 
in the ocean, I mean — but I once watched a horse
make her way back to land mid-hurricane: having
ridden, surfer-like, the very waves that at any moment
could have overwhelmed her in their crash to shore, she
shook herself, looked back once on the water’s restlessness — 
history’s always restless — and the horse stepped free.


  1. as 2017 begins, i think of the aphorism that while history does not repeat itself, it rhymes - see, for example, this quote set forth by "jesse" (not his real name) at his "CAFÉ AMÉRICAINE" (not a real coffee shop)

    “In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.

    The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness...

    The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”

    Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

    1. and speaking of quoting things, now this -

      The Real Face of Washington (and America)
      Thank You, Donald Trump
      By Tom Engelhardt

      January 3, 2017

      Let’s face it: Donald Trump was no freak of nature.  He only arrived on the scene and took the Electoral College (if not the popular vote) because our American world had been prepared for him in so many ways.  As I see it, at least five major shifts in American life and politics helped lay the groundwork for the rise of Trumpism:

      * The Coming of a 1% Economy and the 1% Politics That Goes With It

      * The Coming of Permanent War and an Ever More Militarized State and Society

      * The Rise of the National Security State

      * The Coming of the One-Party State

      * The Coming of the New Media Moment: Among the things that prepared the way for Trump, who could leave out the crumbling of the classic newspaper/TV world of news?