Friday, August 29, 2014

WaPo warps the wrap

Is it possible that our mentors at The Washington Post now deem it safe, in Olivier's famous use of the term to Dustin Hoffman, to cast the unmistakably stern language of diplomacy in the President's news conference on Russia's intervention in the Ukraine, as simply too wussy for their outright bias for war? That this newspaper announces its demands, not on behalf of the aggrieved state, but in the Trumanesque invocation of every state, everywhere, is less not-able than its reluctance to state its unexamined motive: American hegemony. The editors occupy a defunct thrillset of degenerate recklessness; and they insinuate, humanity is to blame. 

   Who survived the passage of 
   conception, only to be de-
   livered to a planet torment-
   ed by that delusion?

Alex Shou
Nostalgia 10
Oil on canvas, 2011

The Editorial Board
The West Must ...
28 August 2014
The Washington Post©

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Origins of Wednesday vii: Opposite my desk, in the morning

  One tear not yet large enough to spill,
  upwelling at the corner of an eye, may
  delve with a root of salt inside the tongue,
  and shimmer of it thrown among the stars go
  lightyears. Deeper art thou far beyond all
  shimmer in thy fathom, Father, O thou
  mindless, in the furthering of thy judgment.

       I learned the concept of
       moment with this device,
       which struck my father's
       putts in all the years I
       knew him: to be still,
       really still, and defer
       to the neutral disposi-
       tion of the stroke. To
       this day I am struck by
       the shimmering fairness
       and persistent intimacy       
       of that gorgeous game.
       I do not wonder how
       ingenious, countless 
       tests it draws one to
       engage, inspire the
       trust to be accepted.
       I wonder how one might
       meet all of them that 
       way, and I know the 
       presence of my father.

Brooks Haxton
  Antiphonies to Psalms
  Poems: One Tear
op. cit.

Telephone view, Laurent


Monday, August 25, 2014

Fratsuds at The New York Times

You sometimes can't tell, what
gets into TNYT - comes over, I
guess one would say - while an
editorial board known for sedu-
cing the Left vies with warmon-
gers at WaPo to set the agenda.
Never mind, naturally, the low-
er orders at Fox. But there we
are, splitting syntactic foib-
les to save our self-respect,
as our clerks debauch themsel-
ves in fomenting another war.

It's only just going to be slightly more hideous, when the nausea of this next adventure is scooped up by fastidious histor-ians, to recall that it was a scary homicide of an honest journalist which actually turned the tide of this Pavlovian aban-donment of reason. And just when we were wondering why it should be, how any generation born since the mid-20th Century should gain exemption from their trek upon the slop-soaked slope of the Truman Doctrine. With TNYT behind her, how can anyone now demur from Senator Paul's prediction, that our second Clinton since Sister Souljah is poised to post them anywhere her resolve might be in question? Whose welts demand renewal next?

I believe it must be the policy
of the United States to support
free peoples who are resisting
attempted subjugation by armed
minorities or outside pressures.

Oh, come on, Harry. You don't believe anything of the kind. You're dressing up an absorption of the spoils of the Second World War (in this case, supplanting Britain in the Hellespont) in a demagogic toga of moralising gibberish, pre-figuring John Kennedy's tragic bear any burden mantra in his inaugural address. But this is no longer 1947. It's not even 1961. It isn't that we're tired of war. It's that we've been educated by the best. Every child is taught to argue the soundness of the extremest case on the slenderest legitimate predicate, where flamboyance is vulgar, foul, fatal; his mission doesn't creep, it drains in stagnant putrefaction. Done that.

The problem is, US foreign
policy is not fact-driven.
You have this notion, that
all you need to do is get
the facts before the policy
makers, and things'd change.
But gradually, you realize, 
that [they] don't care.

So confided a CIA veteran of service in the Near East to Kai Bird, in his biography of Robert Ames, The Good Spy. This is hardly the indictable disclosure that it might have been, if credibility were the flimsiest calling card of the nation's pretexts. Senator Vandenberg warned Harry Truman, he'd have to scare our people deeply to condone his plans. We've come to accept that we have "interests" no one can substantiate, to pursue objectives which are not available (office holding aside), and that we are "tested" repeatedly on the depth of our righteousness. I can not forget what we use as the gauge for that measurement, because for this he does not volunteer. For this he is seduced. 

The Editorial Board
24 August 2014
The New York Times©

D.D. Guttenplan
A review appearing in
The Times [UK] Literary Supplement
20 August 2014
The Good Spy
  The Life and Death of
  Robert Ames
Kai Bird
Crown, 2014©

Fredrik Logevall
Citing Harry S. Truman
March 1947
Embers of War
  The Fall of an Empire and the 
  Making of America's Vietnam
Random House, 2012©

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rehearsing a Virginia marriage

  With scarcely a moment to spare,
  ists (it's hard to think of them
  as ultimate or highest under cir-
  cumstances related, supra) grant-
  ed a reprieve yesterday in the
  matter of Virginia's mad parade
  down the nave of matrimony. Not
  on the sage grounds, mind you,
  that nobody of any consequence
  has ever married in the North-
  ern Hemisphere in August, what
  with everyone being away; and,
  mercifully, not on any knowable
  premise at all, but with the ta-
  citurnity that becomes a Court
  so given to Corporate adoration.

Nothing of the kind. No pensive delectations of the limited liability we enjoy as shareholders in bondings immune from mor-alising intrusion; no wistfulness for sweet depletions we could claim; no stirring celebrations, either, of our sovereign right to select our government. 


  Nor could now be thought the
  time, therefore, for rehear-
  sals of a rite deferred. No
  one knows quite what to wear
  to a Court's last chance to
  act the fount of justice in
  deference to its duty. But
  there isn't any doubt what
  it should wear.