Saturday, February 12, 2011

La Plus Sa Change...

"'Who,' she asked, 'allowed the actress harlots 
to approach this sick person?
 These sorrows not only have not encouraged any cures,
 but they actually nourish them further with sweet drugs.'"
Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy

Look, no offense, but what’s the point of trying to hide in the garden? When he gave his non-resignation-resignation speech the other night, it took US media about an hour to figure out why the CIA got it wrong (again) and why the people in the square were pissed.

My Favorite Unemployed Anthropoligist and Mideast Fortune Teller predicted it about an hour before it happened. Well, actually, she predicted that nothing new would be in the speech - that nothing would change.

She explained that Arab boys like martyrdom for the same reasons that Amerikan boyz like to play soldier. Explained that contrary to attempts to call this the Revolution of the Young Men this is about poor rising up and rich once again stomping them down. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

This does more than harsh my mellow. It makes me fear my own government who has persistently guessed wrong, bet on the wrong horse, propped up the wrong figurehead, and wasted our blood and treasure on bread and circuses. And plus they called this wrong every time, only to be caught again without a chair when the music stops, or so much as a plan, or even a wish for a mockery of a sham of a plan. Crazies here are fomenting revolution too. They incite the poor, disaffected, while stacking the deck for the rich capitalists to win again.

As for the abdication of Egypt’s latest despot, trying to dress up the military coup as a bloodless revolution by the idealistic youth is like putting pancake makeup on an aging harlot. She might look good across a candle-lit room, but once the sun comes up the hangover begins. To see this as anything other than class war is as myopic as seeing the smiling old whore as a beckoning young courtesan.

IMHO, all that "roadmap to democratic elections" stuff is journalistic fill, while reporters wait for the real outcome to emerge. I find it interesting that when one talking head tried to say that on Chris Matthews last night, he called her a pessimist and said he preferred to see the wonderful flowering of a new democratic order emerge. To a certain extent I agree - the people on the street should be given at least 24 hours to celebrate before its back to business as usual. I can't imagine even those in the square who had hoped for this day haven’t had a restless thought about what happens next.

The Dow Jones went up yesterday on news of HN's departure. So, that says to me that the capitalists were ready for the protests to end, and the military took the hint. I keep thinking of all the rich cronies who benefitted from HN's rule. These days when even Swiss banks appear to have a conscience about blood money (they froze HNs accounts) it must be tough for rich people to figure out where to stash their riches.

Meanwhile, here at home, Pat Boone is wearing a gold jacket on TV and hawking the benefits of buying gold to the rich generation that thought he was a heartthrob back when we were all young. When our turn comes for a bloodless revolution, I'm not sure how much bread he'll be able to buy with his gold. I picture him being received with disfavor by hungry beggars when he shows up at the 7-11 to buy some pastry and a cup of hazelnut coffee with a gold bar. Listening to the lyrics of Lennon’s Imagine this morning is like drinking yesterday’s old coffee from a cold plastic cup.

A wise man once said: I just want you to know we’re counting on you. Good luck.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dreams Kill

Dream tonight of peacock tails,
Diamond fields and spouter whales.
Ills are many, blessings few,
But dreams tonight will shelter you.

Let the vampire's creaking wing
Hide the stars while banshees sing;
Let the ghouls gorge all night long;
Dreams will keep you safe and strong.

Skeletons with poison teeth,
Risen from the world beneath,
Ogre, troll, and loup-garou,
Bloody wraith who looks like you,

Shadow on the window shade,
Harpies in a midnight raid,
Goblins seeking tender prey,
Dreams will chase them all away.

Dreams are like a magic cloak
Woven by the fairy folk,
Covering from top to toe,
Keeping you from winds and woe.

And should the Angel come this night
To fetch your soul away from light,
Cross yourself, and face the wall:
Dreams will help you not at all.

— Thomas Pynchon, Dreams

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Another cat posting

I cannot do an existential rant nearly as well as Weeping Sore, but this photo is worth a thousand words. My grand-kitty in Chicago peers out at his balcony, the place where catnip grows in happier times. Will he ever feel joy again?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Episodes of Delirium

"There are stories, like maps that agree... too consistent among too many languages and histories to be only wishful thinking.... It is always a hidden place, the way into it is not obvious, the geography is as much spiritual as physical. If you should happen upon it, your strongest certainty is not that you have discovered it but returned to it. In a single great episode of light, you remember everything."
— Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)

The black cat gets it. He remembers everything. His stare goes through me and I realize how much I’ve forgotten. I used to joke about how I was so competent in my profession that I’d forgotten more than most people knew about it. Now, I am astounded that I ever found humor in that tragic thought.

So what do I remember? I remember that I have been here before. The landscape changes and so do my own eyes. I know that guy in the painting in The Regal bar. I just can’t recall how I know him.

There was a clown drawn in sand at curb between two parking spaces. His story is the same as The Regal guy, and their story is the same as the cat’s and mine. And yours. We’re all here for a short while and then we’re gone so long, our existence seems ephemeral. But the story will go on, much more substantial than wishful thoughts, and it’s enough to remember that.