Friday, February 21, 2014

Mere anarchy is loosed?

Today is WORLD DO NOTHING DAY - worthy of red letters to be sure.
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I learned about the word 'mere' from Pierre Trudeau's 'mere tribalism' speech. A comparable kind of endearing arrogance can be found in one of Brian Mulrooney's stump speeches: "We are adjusting our perceptions." Also considered calling this "Gravity, entropy, is kickin' in," but mere won.

It is a yin/yang kind of anarchy I am thinkin' of: one axis engineered by H. grædum & 'The Davos Class' and executed by Black Bloc, Anonymous, Occupy; another in personal moral turpitude - turpytude? - and economic incontinence (since everything human could be said to ultimately boil down to individuals and their various personal decision matrices); and the whole physical/chemical/gravitational cosmos ... many axes, even up to Higgs Boson [Higgs' Boson?] - visions of a new Jacob's ladder.

But closer to home and quite recently there's Obama's SOTU speech:
Sack, somewhat edited.
Cory Remsburg.Brian Gable: Early returns are in.
No disrespect is intended here to Cory Remsburg. That he has been so cynically used does not discredit him though it is disturbing. Looking closely at the symbolism and hysterical responding applause it becomes even more disturbing.

"But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact." [Applause.] "And when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did." [Applause.]

Christine Shelly not saying the word 'genocide'.Christine Shelly not saying the word 'genocide'.So says Barack Obama in a 30 second slot in the (forgettable) just-before-the-middle assigned to the issue, even less than a mere 1% of his 2014 State of the Union speech.

Oh, really Barack? Will we be able to say that? Really?

You sound like Bill Clinton talking about the Rwanda genocide.

How long has it taken for so called externalities to become even marginally, peripherally, considered by economists? I remember first hearing of it from E.F. Schumacher in the early 70's. 40+ years and the penny has still not properly dropped.

I will deal with William Nordhaus on this subject later on when I have finished his most recent book 'The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World'.

Kerri-Ann Jones.

How long will it take for the (resulting) environmental apocalypse to register with the U.S. State Department? They don’t even raise the possibility that the Keystone pipeline should be stopped in order to keep a lid on the total amount of unconventional fossil fuels burned around the world.

Doh? Erm? Wha?

On the other hand, 'big green' Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC thinks our Barack did one heck of a wonn'erful job: Obama Reaffirms Commitment to Climate Action in State of the Union.
Those more cynical than Obama by orders of magnitude can read the writing on the wall - or can see the Looney-Tunes Road Runner plot unfolding. The real state of affairs is more like this:
Tom Toles: US Climate Policy.

Times are tough when the cartoonists don't even get it. Must be the cold winter huh?
Glenn McCoy.Brian Gable.

And rock stars not really 'where it's at' either:
Neil Young at National Farmers Union Press Conference, 2013.Tom Toles: Farm Bill for Fat Cats.

Bud the Spud he ain't.

Out on the highway in his ethanol car, proselytizing agri-business and building diamond mines. OK ... it's a life.

Maybe the last good rock star politician was wazzername's ex ... Sonny something ... Sonny Bono was it? (Sonny & Cher, you remember.) Times were simpler back then eh? Who knew we'd be facing extinction?

Nana Agyapong by David Zentz.

Thando Hopa, Albus by Justin Dingwall.                                                                                       
William Butler Yeats - The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Thando Hopa, Albus by Justin Dingwall.O Segundo Advento

Girando e girando em voltas mais amplas
O falcão não pode ouvir o falcoeiro;
As coisas se desfazem; não se mantém o centro;
Pura anarquia espalha-se mundo adentro,
A maré obscurecida de sangue se espalha, e em todo lugar
A cerimônia da inocência é afogada;
Aos melhores falta toda convicção, e os piores
Estão cheios de intensidade apaixonada.

Certamente alguma revelação está próxima;
Certamente o Segundo Advento está próximo.
O Segundo Advento! Mal proferidas estas palavras
Quando uma vasta imagem vinda do Spiritus Mundi
Ofusca minha visão: nalgum lugar, nas areias do deserto
Uma forma com corpo de leão e cabeça de homem,
Um olhar fixo e impiedoso como o sol
Está movendo as lentas coxas, enquanto sobre ela
Oscilam sombras de pássaros do deserto indignados.
A escuridão cai novamente; mas agora sei
Que vinte séculos dum sono profundo
Irromperam-se em pesadelo por um berço oscilante.
E a besta fera, sua hora enfim chegada,
Se arrasta até Belém para nascer?
With possible analogues at the white end of Pynchon's rainbow: Blicero, Weissmann ... Oh! I know it's sophomoric fer gawd'sake! Still, it was one of the first poems I thought I understood. So.

Buttner's Rock, Ocean Falls.
I lived for a while right across the street from this rock. Thanks to Brent & Peter for the photo. The text is a quote from a poem 'Life's Mirror' by Madeline S Bridges/Mary Ainge De Vere (1844-1920). Treacle & nonsense - the Golden Rule doesn't work like that, it's not that kind of prescription.

We must love one another or die.

W.H. Auden, 'September 1, 1939'.

There is an empirical measure of love - time spent. My friend Georges used to call it 'human coin'. Combine this with Pierre Reverdy's aphorism: "There is no love, there are only proofs of love;" and a 'general theory' begins to emerge from the murk.   :-)

As well, if you are inclined not to throw the baby out with the bath, there are (oblique but tantalizing) clues in Christian scripture not requiring any kind of faith or belief to appreciate; just a few examples:

Matthew 18: Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

First Corinthians 13: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.

A-and obscure messages about The Good Samaritan from Ivan Illich ... and so on ...
Comics for the 10's:
First I understood that each one has an opinion.
Then I invented the Internet.

The reference to gravity at the top: ... I noticed my electric watch losing time over the last six months or so, and then a few days ago it stopped. For $6.90 a kind man (with pen knife expertise) in a little jewellery shop put a new battery in.

The hard drive on this laptop is exhibiting analagous slowdown and making noises. I know it's only a matter of time - but there is no money left for a new laptop. A-and anyway, this computer/Internet thing that I have been at, man and boy, for almost fifty years is wearing thin. It is a salutary zen exercise to know it may stop at any moment with no warning.Bring it on! :-)

One of the very last things Vince said to me was to remember me telling him, many years ago, that computers catch on because they give you their entire attention (however meagre) whenever and for as long as you want it. As direct intercourse of any kind between humans becomes more and more problematic ... well, you catch my drift eh?

Mere anarchy? Is that a bad thing?

Time for this moth to crawl out of its chrysalis perhaps. Who knows what that may entail? Let's go out with a listen to the Incredible String Band and Cousin Caterpillar. Murray and I were backstage at Place des Arts that night.
Be well gentle reader.
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