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Gingrich appraises Mueller

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — fwiw my first name, charles, translates to churl ]
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I am far from the only one to have noticed this juxtaposition:

I read the first of these as a simple statement of the concensus as to Mueller‘s character, what is generally known of the man after years of pubic service. I think of it, in other words, as a statement of received opinion, which Newt Gingrich is presenting for the record. I imagine I could find similar endorsements of Mueller from the Democratic side of the aisle.

The second tweet strikes me as of a diFfferent sort altogether. This one I believe I could find echoed in other statements from aides to Trump — it’s a talking point.

I know politicians lie. I imagine I could find instances of Joe Biden, or Hillary Clinton, making similarly opposed statekents. I take Bill Clinton‘s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” to be the Lie Direct in Jacques’ terms. But this —

I don’t believe Gingrich has changed opinions, I believe he has simply changed hats. I think, in short, that he still takes Mueller for a man with an impeccable reputation for honesty and integrity — but in his second tweet, he’s parroting a party line, not his actual opinion.

Dylan: But what’s the sense of changing horses in midstream?

Maybe Jacques would classify this as a Reply Churlish. Gingrich, you’re a Churl.

If your memory serves you well..

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — Muslim travel ban DoubleQuoted with Japanese internment camps, history rhyming, Ginsberg on Dylan’s national rhyme ]
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Anna O Law (The Immigration Battle in American Courts, Cambridge, 2014) made the connection:

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What kind of rhyme is that anyway, Mister History?

Is it one like:

Idiot wind, blowing everytime you move your jaw,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Mardi Gras.

— the first version the current Nobel Laureate in Literature tried out — or this, definitive one? —

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.

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The question interests me because there’s a back-level where the rhyme is in the concept, not the sound of the words as pronounced by poet or listener, reader — as with the rhyme womb / tomb, where before-birth and after-death meet both soncally and conceptually, making life freshly worthwhile as only the mechanics of poetry can.

Ginsberg explains:

Christopher Ricks, who has also penned books about T. S. Eliot and John Keats, argues that Dylan’s lyrics not only qualify as poetry, but that Dylan is among the finest poets of all time, on the same level as Milton, Keats, and Tennyson. He points to Dylan’s mastery of rhymes that are often startling and perfectly judged. For example, this pairing from “Idiot Wind,” released in 1975:

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol

The metaphorical relation between the head and the head of state, both of them two big domes, and the “idiot wind” blowing out of Washington, D.C., from the mouths of politicians, made this particular lyric the “great disillusioned national rhyme,” according to Allen Ginsberg.

Ginsberg’s formidable liking for this rhyme is part of what got him invited to Dylan’s Rolling thunder Review:

Ginsberg’s tribute to that rhyme is one of the reasons he is here with Bob and Joan and the rest of the merry motley. It was, says Allen, “one of the little sparks of intelligence that passed between Bob and me and that led him to invite me on the tour.”

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I caught the rolling thunder in Fort Collins:

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Ah yes.

And If your memory serves you well is, as I recall via Google, Dylan’s top of the hat to Rimbaud‘s A Season in Hell, which opens with the words:

Jadis, si je me souviens bien, ma vie était un festin où s’ouvraient tous les cœurs, où tous les vins coulaient.

This Wheel’s On Fire, lyrics by that Nobel fellow, Rick Danko and the Band:

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Memory, pattern, association, analogy, history, learning.

And Dylan on how literature works on you a similar wonder — in his recently released Nobel speech:

Music to my ears.

Meanwhile on planet Plantagenet

Monday, April 24th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — a DoubleQuote too far — or too good to miss? ]
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On the benfits of having been British, even if it was a while back..

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Looks like we Brits would get to reclaim Eleanor‘s Aquitaine.. and it’s hard for me to tell, but I fear we’d miss out on Carcassonne of the Cathars..

Keeping it pop in natsec and politics

Friday, April 21st, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron –0 a DoubleTweet from Foreign Affairs deputy managing editor Justin Vogt ]
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Halal Dunkin’ Donuts in Karachi..

and Ted Nugent gets a private tour of the White House from President Trump — with Kid Rock and Sarah Palin:

“He gave us a wonderful personal tour of every room and talked about the origins of every carpet and every painting — there was a Monet — and then we had dinner,” said Mr. Nugent, who has referred to former President Barack Obama as a “mongrel” and to Hillary Clinton with an array of unflattering epithets.

Running — the pragmatic and the ecstatic

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — .. a runner moves between prose and poetry, mere winning and the runner’s high ]
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The pragmatic:

The ecstatic:

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The pragmatic tells you what most running is like: the ecstatic tells you how you feel when you hit “runner’s high — here’s one athlete’s description of winning, where winning itself becomes the least interesting aspect of the race:

The starter gave us instructions, and the gun went off. I ran a few steps into a dimension I didn’t know existed.

Suddenly I seemed to be up in the rafters of the arena, looking down at my race far below. I could see the black framework of the high catwalks vaguely around me, the cables, the great spotlights, the blazing brilliance of the tiny track so far beneath me, and myself running in the midst of the others in my race that was on both with me and without me.

And in the total silence of this incredible vantage point, a voice said tome clearly, in a kindlysort of way, “Well, Grace, thisis what you always wanted.”

And then I was back down in my race again, winning it, setting a new U.S. record. Afterward, exuberant, curious, and a little wistful, I asked some friends who were there, “Didn’t anyone clap or cheer or anything?” I didn’t remember hearing the crowd at all.

“Sure they did! Everyone was yelling and screaming. Didn’t you hear them?”

No. I hadn’t heard anything. Except the voice. I don’t even remember anything about the race itself except for what I saw from up there.

That’s Grace Butcher, from Garth Battista, The Runner’s High: Illumination and Ecstasy in Motion. And the “high” doesn’t have to include an out-of-body experience, though I had that myself one day when I was very young. It’s just a matter of transcendance, of what the Buddhists would call “gone beyond” without further specifying..

Life as poetry.


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