[ by Charles Cameron — on the supposed world-shape — real, imagin’d, or foggy with scattered insights ]
Two to my mind great poets of the language on the world-shape.
The first, John Donne, brilliantly stands astride the ancient metaphysical and modern scientific understandings of world-shape with his stunning, succinct corners of the round earth — he’s familiar to the point of ownership with both traditions, at a time when the ancient was ceding way to the modern..
The second, Bob Dylan, shuffles anonymously among us at a no less fraught time of anguish as to realities, sings unsure of what’s what or which — a coin toss, a twist of fate..
In August, Glosser published an essay in Politico magazine chiding his nephew by sharing the family’s own immigration story as Jews who fled the shtetls of Eastern Europe. “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew,” Glosser wrote, “an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”
Is House of Cards a poem, then?
Doug Stamper is the dog.
In the opening moments of Netflix’s House of Cards premiere episode from 2013, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) hunched over a dog that’d been injured by a car. “There are two kinds of pain,” he said into the camera. “The sort of pain that makes you strong, or useless pain, the sort of pain that’s only suffering. I have no patience for useless things. Moments like this require someone who will act, who will do the unpleasant thing, the necessary thing.”
He then broke the dog’s neck. “There,” he said. “No more pain.”
In the final moments of the final episode of House of Cards—which occurs in a truncated season made after Spacey left the show due to allegations of sexual misconduct—the president, Claire Hale Underwood (Robin Wright), cradles her dead husband’s henchman, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), in her lap. She has just stabbed him in the belly with a letter opener after he nearly slit her throat with it. Underwood puts her hand over his mouth and nose and tells him that everything’s going to be okay. His eyes close. “There, no more pain,” she says. Her eyes flick toward the camera. The credits roll.
Some sort of rhyming is going on here, clearly, but does the poem mean anything?
That “rhyme” is a DoubleQuote, really — a thought-rhyme if you like, and on a technical film-making sense a clever twist to end on. Not so much a synchronicity or coincidence, more a twist of authorial fate.
Twists of fate, eh? And tangled up in blue? Here are two recent Dylan pieces to note:
[ by Charles Cameron — with the nost remarkable, beautiful, unexpected, unexpectable music at the very end, a total surprise ]
Kendrick Lamar just won the Pulitzer for music. A small while back, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
I haven’t seen anyone comparing Kendrick Lamar‘s Pulitzer fuss with Bob Dylan‘s Nobel shenanigans — yet.
The black on white of the Dylan lyrics (upper panel, above) and the white on black of the Lamar lyrics (lower panel, above) aren’t racially intended, nor do they represent good and evil as so commonly elsewhere — and in any case, in black on white is it the black or the white that carries the meaning, and vice versa — but in the case of white on black, which do you notice most? And above, below, what do they mean?
Good’n’evil, rock’n’roll. Rock on, world.
These two will give you the surprise, surprise narratives:
Human voice sound poetry of Henri Chopin — I visited him briefly circa 1965 — via Glenn Gould‘s polyphonic voice radio plays, meeting Machaut, via Morten Lauridsen‘a O Magnum Mysterium, plus what funk meant first, before it was limited to funk — a twisty ringing of changes in sound: cough, swoop, taal, stutter and bend weaving in and out of dissonance, of purity..
Utterly fresh and brilliantly performed: watch and listen..
And tell me below if you knew this wonder already.
Only a few dozen tigers roam this 30,000-acre reserve in central India, according to the Hindustan Times. Yet they dominate the coveted water holes, where barking deer and hyena packs must come to drink. Even humans have to respect the laws of nature in this park. [ .. ]
And Matkasur ran from the bear; this time not turning back. She chased him all the way to the water hole. He splashed straight into it, as if it were sanctuary. Maybe it was, because the bear stopped at the water’s edge.
Projecting sanctuary back to the animal realm — semi-joking, srsly? And water, holy water, as the sanctuary? Or would the boundary (limen, in Victor Turner‘s terms) between earth and water might be enough? Obvs, the tiger doesn’t think, “Ah, Victor Turner time!” — but what might be the sensibilities of tiger and bear cognition? Seriously?
Paleo-religion? Time to rethink sanctuary cities?
It Can’t Happen Here, i:
It Can’t Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis, and a 1936 play adapted from the novel by Lewis and John C. Moffitt.
Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, a politician who defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and is elected President of the United States, after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and “traditional” values.
And so on..
It Can’t Happen Here, ii:
Inspired by the book, director–producer Kenneth Johnson wrote an adaptation titled Storm Warnings in 1982. The script was presented to NBC for production as a television miniseries, but NBC executives rejected the initial version, claiming it was too cerebral for the average American viewer. To make the script more marketable, the American fascists were re-cast as man-eating extraterrestrials, taking the story into the realm of science fiction. The revised story became the miniseries V, which premiered May 3, 1983
The mass murder of 17 students and staff at a high school in Parkland, Florida, has reignited the national debate about the availability of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that began nearly 30 years ago. Since the Parkland massacre, I’ve been asked repeatedly why politicians steadfastly oppose banning firearms that serve no other purpose than to efficiently kill innocent human beings.
I know the answer because, as an Ohio state senator and attorney general, I was in the pocket of the National Rifle Association. [ .. ]
I made a devil’s bargain with myself: To stay in office, I adopted pro-gun positions that made me uncomfortable.
The bargain paid off.
Amazing to see how (a) how he quite casually invokes theology by way of explanation, and/or (b) how the Faustian bargain “myth” works out in real life:
I soon learned however, that in making a deal with the devil to advance my political career, I had abandoned my principles and sold my soul.
D’oh! That’s what the Bargain is! You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed, you’re gonna have to serve somebody:
Serve somebody, ii:
Yom may be the heavyweight champion of the world..
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.