Sunday, September 30, 2018

Draw the Sting Out as Probingly as You Please

  • Lifesize at other place. I have Doctor Sevrin ears.
  • This is war: He's their guy. He's been groomed for decades for this. His support in Washington goes right to the top. He has Bush making calls for him. Bush owes him, for his work on the Starr investigation, the legal team during the Florida recount, and his role as White House counsel. He is one of the boys. He is supremely well protected. He will have operators out there swearing friends to omerta, digging dirt on possible enemies, threatening former colleagues. So much class power is riding on this.
  • Drove to Great Falls to hike down to raging river, raging river rising all the way to towpath, so trail to good stuff closed, dammit, and on Woodland Trail, about a quarter-mile before one 

  • of my Stations
  • either Earthgirl or I pissed off two yellow-jackets, they got me six times, twice good, which is just reward for taking the selfie blog atop the night before and adding it this post just before we left for the hike and was desperate for a reason to use it, Serendipity be Blessed.
  • To get to where we park at corner of Falls and MacArthur we take Beltway to River to Bradley which then turns into Oaklyn, the main road of Avenel, and though there were no political signs on Oaklyn (presumably Avenel owners' contracts) there was a mess of Floreen signs where Bradley meets Persimmon Tree and on way back on Falls before turning right onto Oaklyn.
  • I haven't developed bee-sting allergies since the last time I got stung, and, other than the sting direct on the ankle, ouch, swelling gone.
  • I call bullshit, btw, on the Flake Faint Feint, on every fucking person involved, especially the fuck typing this sentence.
  • The NYT obit for Marty Balin - he was offered lead vocal for Journey before that other guy, I did not know this.
  • News as I type this that Trump has told the FBI they can investigate all of nothing and nothing of pertinence.
  • One blessed side-effect of


John Ashbery

Here in life, they would understand.   
How could it be otherwise? We had groped too,   
unwise, till the margin began to give way,   
at which point all was sullen, or lost, or both.   
Now it was time, and there was nothing for it.   
We had a good meal, I and my friend,   
slurping from the milk pail, grabbing at newer vegetables.   
Yet life was a desert. Come home, in good faith.   
You can still decide to. But it wanted warmth.   
Otherwise ruse and subtlety would become impossible   
in the few years or hours left to us. “Yes, but . . .”   
The iconic beggars shuffled off   too. I told you,   
once a breach emerges it will become a chasm   
before anyone’s had a chance to waver. A dispute   
on the far side of town erupts into a war   
in no time at all, and ends as abruptly. The tendency to heal   
sweeps all before it, into the arroyo, the mine shaft,   
into whatever pocket you were contemplating. And the truly lost   
make up for it. It’s always us that has to pay.   
I have a suggestion to make: draw the sting out   
as probingly as you please. Plaster the windows over   
with wood pulp against the noon gloom proposing its enigmas,   
its elixirs. Banish truth-telling.
That’s the whole point, as I understand it.   
Each new investigation rebuilds the urgency,   
like a sand rampart. And further reflection undermines it,   
causing its eventual collapse. We could see all that   
from a distance, as on a curving abacus, in urgency mode   
from day one, but by then dispatches hardly mattered.   
It was camaraderie, or something like it, that did,   
poring over us like we were papyri, hoping to find one   
correct attitude sketched on the gaslit air, night’s friendly takeover.


  1. politics/literature/philosophy

    1)i don't watch foxnews very much (missus charley complains), and seldom agree with prof. dershowitz, but this morning i saw him say something that i thought was completely correct - that the allegations of 1980 gaithersburg high grad julie swetnick about supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh should be thoroughly investigated by the fbi

    1a)Swetnick’s aunt Helene Moglen is a prominent Jewish feminist and literary scholar at University of California at Santa Cruz. Reached by phone on Wednesday, Moglen said “we’re too busy right now” and hung up.

    Read more:

    2)at the wikipedia entry for ms. swetnick's aunt helene moglen, one finds these passages -

    [at UC-Santa Cruz she] from 1984 to 1989, served as chair of the women's studies program; and founded and directed the Feminist Research Focused Research Activity (1984–1989) and the Institute for Advanced Feminist Research (2003–2006). She established and chaired the university's first sexual harassment committee based on the Women Against Rape model.

    3)on google books i read the first few pages of moglen's Charlotte Bronte: The Self Conceived - it made me think i might enjoy reading bronte's novel, which is one of the many landmarks of literature that i have yet to explore

    4)speaking of prominent jewish scholars, here is an account of my personal encounter with one, followed by a passage from the writings of another:


    The scene: Buffalo, New York,
    late 1970s or early 1980s,
    the campus of Buffalo State College.

    The Philosophy Department sponsored a talk by Robert Nozick
    open to the general public
    and scheduled in the early evening.
    Three or four dozen people showed up, as I recall,
    including myself, a graduate student in a different discipline
    from a neighboring institution of higher learning.
    Nozick was wearing a blue wool blazer, a white turtleneck sweater, and blue jeans.

    During the question period, I asked,
    “You’ve mentioned two ways of examining the morality of an action –
    whether it corresponds to a received code of conduct,
    and what its effect will be on those who are the object of the action.
    But what about its effect on the person who DOES the action?”

    Nozick thought for a minute before replying
    (an actual minute – I don’t mean 10 seconds that felt like a minute),
    said, “I need to consider that more”,
    and went on to another question.

    How did I feel? Triumphant, in having shut up the famous author? Amused? Heartbroken?

    As I recall, I was saddened.

    In my current view, the problem that Nozick had in answering my question
    comes from the fact that, in his tradition,
    all the heavy lifting is done by the intellect,
    and life’s persistent questions are treated as academic exercises.

    The last two paragraphs of Erich Fromm’s The Heart of Man are relevant here:

    Man’s heart can harden;
    it can become inhuman, yet never nonhuman.
    It always remains man’s heart.
    We are all determined by the fact that we have been born human,
    and hence by the never-ending task of having to make choices.
    We must choose the means together with the aims.
    We must not rely on anyone’s saving us,
    but be very aware of the fact that wrong choices make us incapable of saving ourselves.

    Indeed, we must become aware in order to choose the good —
    but no awareness will help us if we have lost the capacity to be moved
    by the distress of another human being,
    by the friendly gaze of another person,
    by the song of a bird, by the greenness of grass.

    If man becomes indifferent to life there is no longer any hope that he can choose the good.
    Then, indeed, his heart will have so hardened that his “life” will be ended.
    If this should happen to the entire human race or to its most powerful members,
    then the life of mankind may be extinguished at the very moment of its greatest promise.

  2. I don't say thank you enough, Charlie, I do read these.