Sunday, July 21, 2019

I Told the Doctor I Wouldn't Be Seeing Him Again

  • That's a yodel from 2016, trying to say what Steppling says in link below
  • In thrall to regression: The appeal of things being “too late” or “we are doomed” is that it grants one the space to relax. You don’t have your kids tuition for next year? No problem, we are all going to be dying of thirst and eating corpses. Now that may be superficial, but it is also in a simple sense true. The long arc of erosion in western bourgeois entitlements is not hard to track. After 2008 I think the state gave up trying to convince people, any people, about an American Dream. Picket fence houses cost millions of dollars and tens of thousands sit empty across the U.S. Permission to give up is, obviously, attractive psychologically for many on the left. And I continue to see this in communists I know, socialists of all stripes, or and so called progressive liberals. But the white American liberal is entrenched in a belief in the status quo. He still wants to save it, because his real estate office is just now showing a profit, or his new line of men’s underwear is breaking even and he hopes the summer line of speedos can get him out into the black. Or the new personal trainer service has finally got some B list clients. He has submitted to the narrative but aligns with the capitalist solutions.
  • Emphasis above mine re: I am telling you three times we are being reprogrammed
  • Planetary Insanity
  • Inequality isn't natural?
  • The Exploitation Time Bomb
  • The Ham of Fate: Here we must bear in mind that Johnson really did learn a great deal from his boyhood hero Churchill. What he emulated was not any kind of steadfastness or ability to lead but a self-conscious political theatricality. “He was,” writes Johnson in The Churchill Factor, “eccentric, over the top, camp, with his own special trademark clothes.” Johnson’s use of “camp” is an astute insight—he understands very well the strain of louchely histrionic Toryism that runs from Benjamin Disraeli through Churchill to the intellectual father of Brexit, Enoch Powell. Johnson, too, has “his own special trademark clothes,” albeit that he is the anti-dandy whose slovenly dishevelment is carefully cultivated as a sartorial brand.
  • A note on the art of distraction
  • The moon is made of money
  • Maggie's weekly links 
  • Cosmic Crisp
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links
  • Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas


James Tate

          I told the doctor I wouldn’t be seeing him again. “No, I guess
you won’t,” he said. I walked out the door feeling really good. Of
course I knew I was going to die, but still the day looked bright to
me. I walked down to the water. Ducks were circling around and about.
A sailboat sailed by. I walked along the shore. The sun beat down
on me. I felt as though I might live forever. I sat down on a bench
and watched the joggers pass. A pretty blonde walked by and I said,
“Hello.” She looked at me and said hello. A man with a greyhound
on a leash walked by. I got up and started to walk. A woodpecker
was pounding on a tree. An airplane flew over, leaving a thick trail of
smoke. I left the lake and walked on up the road. I crossed at the
streetlights and crossed the bridge. A car swerved to miss me. I
thought, that could have been it, the end right there, but I walked on,
bravely dodging the cars. When I got to the residential district, I
felt relieved. There were large elms and maples overhanging the street,
and people pushing baby carriages. Dogs ran loose everywhere. A man
stopped me and asked if I knew where 347 Walnut Street was. I said
I didn’t. He said, “Oh well, it didn’t matter anyway.” I said, “Why?”
He said it was a funeral notice. I walked on, bumping into a fat lady
with a load of groceries. I said I was sorry. She kept going, dropping
a load of grapefruit. Then, further on, there was a giant explosion across
the street. Police and firemen were there right away. It appears it
was a gas main beneath the shop. No one was there, luckily, but the
firetrucks had their hands full. I left before it was out. The shop
was pretty much destroyed. When I got home I was tired. I made
myself a cup of tea and sat down on the couch. I thought about calling
my mother, but she was in heaven. I called her anyway. “Mom, how are
you doing?” I said. “I’m bored. Don’t come here. There’s nothing to
do,” she said. “Aren’t there angels?” I said. “Yes, but they’re boring,”
she said. “But I was going to come see you,” I said. “Go to hell, it’s
more exciting,” she said. I had fallen asleep with my teacup in my
hand. When I awoke I realized I had thought it was a phone. My
mother would never be so sarcastic about heaven.