[ by Charles Cameron — Universities hither and yon, illustrating Matthew 25:29 and it clearly still is news ]
Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and acclaimed astronomer Professor Andrea Ghez were among the recipients of honorary degrees at Encaenia..
News below from my alma mater, the University of Oxford
It’s worth noting that the gift to the humanities (top panel, above), though smaller than that to the sciences (lower panel), is to the University of Oxford itself, whereas the gift to the sciences, though larger, is to the city of Oxford.
But Oxford — city with university, town and gown — benefits in both cases.
Contrast that with the University of Alaska:
My hope here would be for the university to prioritize the full continuation of its unique services – the indigenous language and arctic climate change programs — all else is covered elsewhere..
A Biblical explanation:
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
[ by Charles Cameron — Oxford the memory, Edward Said the music critic, WB Yeats and his Tom O’Roughley, Townes Van Zandt in the song of David Broza.. Barr and Aaliyah — four-page letters, kisses .. plus FaallBack, & Wiz Khalifa on my watch [!!] ]
Minefield, yes —
— but also two sides on one stage, so two virtues in the music of ideas:
polyphony — many voices, and
counterpoint, the juxtaposition, clash and resolution of contrary points of view
For war and peace as symphonic, see Edward Said:
When you think about it, when you think about Jew and Palestinian not separately, but as part of a symphony, there is something magnificently imposing about it. A very rich, also very tragic, also in many ways desperate history of extremes – opposites in the Hegelian sense – that is yet to receive its due. So what you are faced with is a kind of sublime grandeur of a series of tragedies, of losses, of sacrifices, of pain that would take the brain of a Bach to figure out. It would require the imagination of someone like Edmund Burke to fathom.
Lou Armour is a special needs teacher, an introspective man with a walking stick. If you passed him on the street you probably wouldn’t notice anything about him beyond his limp. But 35 years ago he yomped across the Falkland Islands and ran through a minefield under artillery fire on Mount Harriet. His section killed several Argentinians in a bloody battle and Armour found himself attending to a fatally wounded Argentinian soldier who spoke to him in English about visiting Oxford. He watched as the young man died.
That’s I’d say, is a very good start for this post.
As I said to Ali Minai, my view is that of WB Yeats in his poem Tom O’Roughley:
‘Though logic choppers rule the town,
And every man and maid and boy
Has marked a distant object down,
An aimless joy is a pure joy,’
Or so did Tom O’Roughley say
That saw the surges running by,
‘And wisdom is a butterfly
And not a gloomy bird of prey.
‘If little planned is little sinned
But little need the grave distres.
What’s dying but a second wind?
How but in zigzag wantonness
Could trumpeter Michael be so brave?’
Or something of that sort he said,
‘And if my dearest friend were dead
I’d dance a measure on his grave.’
Back to the Mueller probe according to President Trump
:Many, many people were badly hurt by this scam, but more importantly, our country was hurt. Our country was hurt. And they are on artificial respirators right now. They are getting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
— and back to “little pencil-neck Adam Schiff” aka “Adam Schitt”:
He’s got the smallest, thinnest neck I’ve ever seen. He is not a long-ball hitter, but I saw him today, ‘Well we don’t really know, there still could have been some Russia collusion.’
Sick, sick.. these are sick people and there has to be accountability because it is all lies and they know it’s lies ..
That’s an unexpected and welcome follow-up ..
And so to Trump:
Wildcard*****, a nice, slightly paradoxical example..
I’m watching Hanna (Amazon), starring the skilled and lovely Esme Creed-Miles:
Life, she is full of variety, no?
elshi & Ruhle:
Again, trump, trump, trump..
Rep Jamie Raskin, his way with words:
Attorney General Barr writes letters like Agatha Christie novels, there are more and more mysteries built into each one ..
[Impeachment] it’s the people’s defense against a president who’s acting like a king ..
The Beat, Ari Melber:
First, a stream of chyrons..
I’m dropping this four-page letter and enclosing it with a kiss..
Aside: the things we learn!!
I think he’s part of the team..
Let me use a basketball analogy if you don’t mind.. You know how, at the end of a game when one team thinks it’s ahead and they spread the floor and start tossing the ball around to keep from getting fouled to stop the clock, that’s my interpretation [of Barr’s actions] here..
.. dozens of years of Yale Law School education, and we end at the freak-show tent ..
Then there’s a quote from Obama’s Selma Bridge speech:
We are the people Langston Hughes wrote of who “build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how.” We are the people Emerson wrote of, “who for truth and honor’s sake stand fast and suffer long;” who are “never tired, so long as we can see far enough.”
That’s what America is. Not stock photos or airbrushed history, or feeble attempts to define some of us as more American than others.
Fallback, which I generally don’t like too much, but here —
— hunting and shooting a sleeping lion —
If you’re hunting to eat, that’s one thing ..
You want to impress me — go fight that lion with your bare hands, knuckles, teeth — and then come back and talk to me..
[ by Charles Cameron — more noise by far than reality, but still enough reality to be troubling — your opinions sought! ]
Here’s the promised special chyron issue on the concept of a Second Civil War
I’m featuring this quote from Nicolle Wallace first, because it suggests that Trump has already engendered a war — whereas the other materials I offer here will suggest that the war arises in response to Democratic actions against Trump — a difference in emphasis worth noting:
It’s a war. He permitted, he green-lit a war in this country around rce. And if you think about the most dangerous things he’s done, that might be it..
You might even get away with saying that we are on the cusp of a second Civil War. Some of you might say that we are already into it, that it is already begun, however you characterize it though, we are under attack from within.
That’s a whole lot of very-very-right and Trump-circle-right messaging about a Civil War, and that quote, I vote, and I buy guns, is chilling, with the example of Lt Hasson and his arsenal driving the point home. Another point about Hasson is that he stated his intention to have five such stashes of weaponry…
Fair enough, there are extremists putting together weapons stashes, some of them using them in infrequent but deadly terror operations. Fair enough, by no means everyone on the right, and by no means everyone who supports Second Amendment gun rights, is liable to join in any attempt at a civil war. But fair enough too, on the whole those on the right may well be better armed than those on the left
Fair enough again, many of those on the left have their grievances sharpened, much as many on the right do.. and grievances may in the end turn out to be the most significant of weapons, since they provide the motivation for mayhem, whether verbal or martial. And it should be admitted that threats and physical violence are intimately connected, and rhetoric can indeed incite to harm.
That’s my poor, off-the-cuff attempt to get some of the nuances of the situation stated, and no doubt some “on one side” would put their emphasis in some places and de-emphasize or deny others, and vice versa.. but my overall point would be something along these lines:
there’s enough rage simmering in the American body politic — and possibly in many other nations — for sporadic outbursts of violence and attempted civil war to occur — but at least in the States we are far from the full-blown CW2 that Rush Limbaugh seems to relish — and although I’ve heard the opinion expressed that Berkeley should be nuked, on the whole we don’t have the same sort of battle lines as were available (I think, being a Brit and no historian) in the North / South divide of CW!.
Zen tweeted today:
I’m not certain that this is true or not. What I do know is that historically when radical movements fail or end- be it 19th C Narodniki or 20th C antiwar & 68’er protests – an inner core turns to extreme violence and terrorism (People’s Will, Baader-Meinhoff, Weathermen…) https://t.co/hH5vbGO9Sb
That fits with my impression. And Zen is a (or an) historian.
As an Oxford man, though, I was impressed with the fact that the street named North Parade runs south of the street named South Parade in that city, and the explanation that during the English civil war, the Roundheads gathered at South Parade while the Royalists faced them at North Parade — a pleasant fantasy, according to Wiki and its footnotes.
[ by Charles Cameron — opposite extremists at opposite extremes — for JM, if he ever gets time to read / view / hear it — with a personal note to cleanse the palate at the end ]
An essay, expressed in musics.
Indeed, a Janis Joplin-driven explanation of the bookRajneeshi and Incel passions, offered to JM Berger as he’s publishing what will no doubt be a powerfully argued and fascinating account of a wide range of extremisms, Extremism (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series):
extremism arises from a perception of “us versus them,” intensified by the conviction that the success of “us” is inseparable from hostile acts against “them.”
Buy this book, okay?
Sexuality, pure & full-throated.
First, her voice torn raw:
“Move Over” is the only song on the 1971 album “Pearl” that Janis wrote on her own. If the lyric doesn’t strike you as particularly suggestive, just listen to the way she sings it and you’ll see what we mean.
Now multiply by this, drawn from Janis‘ letters:
She fell in love at a heartbeat; her sexual appetites are perhaps best described as ravenous (she had female as well as male lovers), her judgment frequently awry.
Sex, plenty of it — you’d think she’d move from jaggering via satisfaction to satiated.
And sex, the absence, the vacuum, the abyss,
Second, her heart torn, shredded:
This line is all I need:
Well, the fevers of the night, they burn an unloved woman:
and this brilliant comment I overheard:
she would make love to 25,000 on stage, then go home alone..
Janis is a Rajneeshi at heart and in behavior, an Incel in blues and loneliness..
Given that, that strength, that compulsive pull, that driven drive —
Zero Sex, the absence, involuntary
The Incels — those who are involuntarily celibate — can’t get none — perceiving themselves shunned by those who attract them __
Oh how, how man needs a woman I sympathize with the man that don’t have a woman
He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness
He’s lost in loneliness
That last stanza, with that line in it, could be an incel anthem.
I sympathize with the man that don’t have a woman..
Well, the fevers of the night, they burn an unloved woman..
The raw reality of it: a child’s wail — see how much you can bear to see —
That’s the involuntary celibate, Incel, pieced together out of Janis and James Brown, the extreme in inward-twisting, self-pitying, child’s wail version of the blues ..
This boy, this young man, a day or so after making this video, went out and killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., in an attempt as “the prefect gentleman” to get his revenge on the hottest blondes in UC Santa Barbara. And became, for some, a hero to be emulated.. And emulated he was.
The SPLC report counts Rodger among 13 alleged alt-right killers whose actions left 43 people dead and more than 60 injured since 2014.
Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who killed six students in the college town of Isla Vista in 2014, was the first “alt-right killer” to strike in recent years..
Sex raised hopefully to the power of the infinite:
And then I hear that howl against the backdrop of the recent documentary about the Rajneeshis, encouraged by their guru to explore their sexuality to the sacred, to satiation..:
Wide-open their hope, shut-down their finale.
And finally, JM, Something Other and more personal
A martini to cleanse the palate..
Now I want to watch, intend to binge-watch Brideshead Revisited, the Jeremy Irons version, for some very un-American, upper-class-snobbish, public-school-boy, Roman-Catholic-gay historical-throwback art-level Britishness:
Dropping you in at an odd, a very strange, indeed extreme in a dozen ways from Sunday, luncheon:
I who have been beaten — four, with a bamboo cane, at Wellington College, (a sort of military academy slash prep school) — for doing the Times crossword in place of my math moework. Ah yes, and when I came up to Christ Church, Oxford, dunked in Mercury, that college’s Tom Quad pool, after exacting the price of a glass of port from my tormentors, almost twenty years before the film from which this excerpt was taken, was filmed.
For I too am Anglo and Roman Catholic and Buddhist and Taoist and a snob — at least until I meet you or you, and humanity breaks in.
And a creature of sexuality, defeated by sickness and old age..
Typewriters revolutionized the way we write and guns changed the wars we fight, yet it can’t be denied that both are artifacts of tremendous cultural impact, despite the dramatic differences in function. This notion helps illuminate the peculiar Typewriter Guns of Québécois artist Eric Nado, a sculptural series of typewriters transformed to look like guns.
Thankfully non-functional, Nado’s guns seem like strange weaponry from the future, due to their brilliantly vibrant hues and the protruding typewriter parts that seem like alien steampunk appendages in this technological recontextualization. This may be partially an aesthetic choice, but it also relates to the artist’s desire to fully recycle the typewriters. In his project statement, Nado iterates that every piece of the typewriters were re-incorporated into the guns, an almost eerie vein of sustainability given how convincingly dangerous these sculptures look.
Reminds me of Ernst Jandl‘s sound poem schtzngrmm, based on taking the letters of the word “trench” — “Schützengraben” in German literally, letter by letter, so as to evoke (some of) the sound of trench warfare:
But I’ll let Jandl read it himself and comment on that final “t-tt” and its aural cognate, “tod” — death:
Back in the day, I was a “visual poet” as Jandl was a “sound poet” — the two experiments observed poetry as it approached art and music, respectively — and here’s one of mine, now enshrined in Marvin & Ruth Sackner‘s definitive The Art of Typewriting:
That’s no gun — it’s a rose, and I presented it to Elizabeth Taylor, no less, when she was supporting Basil Bunting for the Oxford Poetry Professorship, and we met in a pub by the river..
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.