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Heartless? What’s heart? Since when did that have anything to do with anything?

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — and to think I thought that little red heart was just an emoticon! ]
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The Washington Post, supposedly a paper which takes political matters seriously, featured this caption in its email to me today:

Is this heart thing something to be taken seriously? Just on occasion, as with the impact of cancelling DACA on people who were, at least recently, children? Or in matters of economics, too? And the deployment, threat and use of nuclear weapons? In diplomacy?

I mean, the number of situations in which this somewhat vague “heart” entity might be invoked and prioritized is hard to estimate. What was it Pascal said?

The heart has reasons reason knows not of..

That in itself is a somewhat confusing statement. Is it a paradox?

Ah well, I’ll retire to poetry: poets, after all, think themselves the “unacknowledged legislators of the world” — and as one of them legislated not so very long ago:

My heart rouses
          thinking to bring you news
                    of something
that concerns you
          and concerns many men. Look at
                    what passes for the new.
You will not find it there but in
          despised poems.
                    It is difficult
to get the news from poems
          yet men die miserably every day
                    for lack
of what is found there.

What is found there? This heart thing, perhaps? Heart’s the second word in that poetry bit — it could be worth a try.

What the tweet proclaims..

Monday, August 28th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — c’mon, WaPo ]
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What the tweet proclaims at time of posting [upper panel].. and what you get when you go there [below]:

**

Sources:

  • WaPo, tweet
  • WaPo, article
  • Unified is not duelling: please make up your mind, WaPo.

    Trump in Arizona, Rosalind in Arden

    Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — think of the universe as a handkerchief — folding it into one by its opposite corners ]
    .

    Consider these two phrasings — the first, from a WaPo report of Donald Trump‘s speech in Arizona, in which Jenna Johnson or her editor thought he “ranted and rambled” —

    — the second from fair Rosalind, in Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 3 scene 5.

    **

    I donm’t think in the long haul that Trump is very Shakespeare the playwright, though as a character he may be Shakespearean. But I’m very taken with the genius of Shakespeare’s Rosalind, “insult, exult, and all at once..” and Trump’s “never left, right? All of us..”

    Audrey Stanley, who directed a superlative Greek-tragedy-influenced As You Like It at Ashland while I was an adjunct anthro professor there, instructed her actors to make of each word its own universe, before running them together with the natural rhythms of speech, focusing in on “insult, exult” — both of which are two syllable words of which the second syllable is “sult” — yet having diametrically opposed meanings, and thus “universes”.

    The actor who can move his or her breath and rib-cage from the fullness of “insult” to the fullness of “exult” — spitting defiance to joyous exaltation, at opposite extremes of the verbal spectrum — has performed a “coniunction oppositorum” as Jung would say, a folding of the universe as I would put it, from two (opposites) into one — “and all at once”.

    It’s a brilliant and potentially transformative utterance, given to the brilliant and potentially transformative character, Rosalind.

    Is Trump “brilliant and potentially transformative” — eh?

    **

    Under Audrey’s inspiration, I have long admired that brief line of Rosalind’s, and have only found one line — in Dylan Thomas — to match it:

    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray

    — that’s from his scandalously fine villanelle, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night:

    **

    Oy. Only one comparable usage. Until Trump.

    Well, I’ll leave you there. I don’t think Trump, as I’ve said, is Shakespeare, quite — but in Arizona he stumbled into a speech pattern that attracts my notice.

    Shakespeare Trumped, perhaps? I don’t know, but it comes close..

    Until next time..

    Trump Comey — utterly devastating, no match

    Sunday, June 11th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — trump triumphing, trump trumped — which is it, obvs? ]
    .

    Both op-eds, both from Washington Post, yesterday, June 10 2017:

    My point being that we tend to write as though what seems obvious to us is obvious period, when it obviously isn’t always. A pity.

    **

    Sources:

  • Why Comey’s testimony was utterly devastating to Trump
  • Boy Scout James Comey is no match for Donald Trump
  • Oh I mean, everyone does it — I no doubt do it too. But according to Dorothy Lee, Linguistic Reflection of Winto Thought, among the Wintu there is an “attitude of humility and respect toward reality, toward nature and society”:

    I cannot find an adequate English term to apply to a habit of thought that is so alien to our culture. We are aggressive toward reality. We say, This is bread; we do not say, as the Wintu, I call this bread or I feel or taste or see it to be bread. The Wintu never say starkly this is; if he speaks of reality that is not within his own restricting experience, he does not affirm it, he only implies it. If he speaks of his experience he does not express it as categorically true.

    WaPo just can’t bear their faces?

    Sunday, October 9th, 2016

    [ by Charles Cameron — the words “substitute teachers” come to mind ]
    .

    There’s nothing like quoting the recent past to illustrate the near future, eh?

    presidential-vice-presidents-wapo-savedhttps://twitter.com/postpolitics/status/785172785417125889

    I guess these guys seem more presidential?

    **

    Edited to add: Okay, revised version, 20 minutes later:

    https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/status/785177688839520257


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