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Showing posts from December 2, 2001
Remora Limited Inc is far better at pointing at the defects of the press corps and their depressingly banal minds then in extracting the sty in our own eye. So our readers might have noticed that, in the early stages of the Afghanistan war, our attitude was that this would be a long slog, one in which we, like the Russians of yore, might see a lot of good young men disappear. Not to mention the disposable Afghanistani demographic - you know, kids, men, women, etc that tend to get combusted in a bombing war. The betail de guerre. Well, the war was won swiftly, decisively, and by the same application of TAC -- tactical air command -- that had previously collapsed the Serbian opposition in Kosovo. We don't do mea culpas around here, though, so forget it. We adapt. We take the machete, wipe it off, and wait for tomorrow. We talk tough, smoke cigs, and drink vodka out of dirty glasses. Apology is for the pussywhipped, we say to each other. Patrick Cockburn in Count
Remora A depressing interview (Saudi Arabia: Papering over the cracks By Syed Saleem Shahzad) with a pseudonymous Saudi in the Asian Times contains a trenchant description of the Saudi theocracy functioning like a poisoned mind in a vat -- that intro to philosophy trope which has taken the place of Descartes much more elegant malin genie. In Descartes nightmare, the darkness of subjectivity has the black magic of making anything it contacts unreal. In the same way, the Saudi royal house has created a politics out of a geriatric delusion, while its opposition simply clings to another form of the delusion, even more purified of real content. The victory over secularism, which was subvented by the US to get rid of Nasser way back in the fifties, has succeeded, and man, the landscape is blasted. God, of course, is at the head of the table, and treats are handed out via the Royal family. Limited Inc was unaware that the Q'ran, by the Basic Law of 1992, was adopted as the Constitu
Remora Fox Butterfield has long been the NYT's point man in their war against gun ownership. His article in today's paper has that over the top, blind feeling of an idea metastasized - a cognitive tumor, if you will. That is, if you have that lingering nostalgia for the bill of rights that effuses Limited Inc now and then. Here's the beginning graf: "The Justice Department has refused to let the F.B.I. check its records to determine whether any of the 1,200 people detained after the Sept. 11 attacks had bought guns, F.B.I. and Justice Department officials say." You can see Mr. Butterworth's indignation and astonishment that the illegal detention of a village full of innocent people was not thorough enough to cover their arms purchases. Such coddling! Such mindless respect for that last teensy human right! These are, after all, foreigners, or at least they have foreign names. In the long tradition of liberals being more ultra than the Pope, here
Remora Inflation is a terrible underminer of value. We mentioned, a post back, that visionary is one of those bizolect terms which has an uncertain meaning, although the tribe seems to go into a happy frenzy whenever it is thrown around. Enron's meltdown has happened so fast that it has caused collateral spin damage. Usually a magazine likes to put some distance between its pumping up of some creature as the Lord's elect and its downgrading same creature as an obvious loser. But compare these two articles from the usually cool Economist -- on November 15, the word about Dynergy's 'visionary" (of course) chief exec, Chuck Watson, was that he was swallowing Enron with all the aplomb of a veteran fakir downing a piddling length of sword; on December 5 , it turns out that Dynergy was being treated like Wall Street's beard, second choice for the prom and he betta appreciate it. Poor Chuck Watson, lauded a month ago for being some shrewd hick playin his cards clo
"Ich sitze am Tage mit dem Skalpell und die Nacht mit den B�chern." -- G. Buchner. Limited Inc's sentiments exactly, except that we mix our books with glasses of vodka, and our scalpel is, alas, all metaphor. Really, all day it is our dullard fingers tapping one gray day after another on the keyboard of this computer. Nicholas Powell's review in the Financial Times , today, of Robert Wilson's direction of Woyzek, which is currently playing in Paris (it has been kicking about Europe for some time, apparently) reminded us of Buchner, and incidentally, the inestimable Bob Wilson, maybe the last of a breed that began in the good old Black Mountain days and is reaching its end in Wilson and the decaying Rauschenberg. Here's the central grafs in the review "Woyzeck has proved perfect raw material, on the other hand, for American director Robert Wilson, whose version of this soldier's tale, with music and songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, is
Remora The vexed state of Israel. Limited Inc has not commented on Israel -- or if we have, we've forgotten it. The suicide bomber attacks yesterday have elicted a pro-Israeli response in the press that was as predictible as Pavlov's pups salivating to Pavlov's bell. Here's the WP's Howard Kurz: "By the president�s logic, we should be going after the fanatics tolerated by Yasser Arafat too. After all, what they have been doing in Israel -- prompting the dramatic retaliation this morning by Ariel Sharon�s government, which fired helicopter missiles near Arafat�s headquarters -- is little different from what Osama�s henchmen did in New York and Washington." Actually, by the President's logic we should be going after the fanatics who cross from Pakistan to India to blow up things, but the press is much too polite to point this out. The intractible, never ending story here is that Israel is not like the US. Here's an item that Kurz did n
Remora Enron, oh the burden of my song. As our readers have come to expect, Limited Inc possesses a Grudge-holder's hollow heart and it fills with bile and glee when our enemies (who generally, and puzzlingly, don't know who we are) tumble. What is impressive, however, about the fall of Enron is how few mea culpas are floating around in the biz press. The excellent thing about doing journalism in America is that you can rely on your readership for 100% amnesia. If you announce the second coming of Christ is incarnate in the CEO of Behemoth Inc, and Behemoth turns out to have encouraged its accounting department to sleep with the seven mortal sins, well, nobody is going to hold you to your original turbo-charged prose. It's all spin. So to put the current chaos in Houston in perspective, we provide this link to IndustryWeek.This 1998 profile of the company and its leader is shot through with that strange vocabulary of biz uplift. In particular, the idea that CEO&#
Dope Limited Inc quoted Milton a few days ago, and we were thinking, okay, our audience is probably begging, begging for a nicely polished post on the ever vexed question, is the Prince of Darkness the real hero of Paradise Lost, as Blake maintained? Even Blake, as far as I know, didn't think his was a proposition Milton consciously maintained. He shrank from it. Thus the lesser poetry of Paradise Regained. Consciousness is a coward; or to put it in more Blakean terms, one law for the Ox and the Lion is tyranny. But Blake's idea reminded us of one of Leon Bloy's ideas, upon which Borges has written a lovely essay . Bloy's theology grows out of Paul's phrase in 1 Corinthians 13, after the hymn to caritas: "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood." Borges teases out from Bloy's disparate writings (and if you have ever read Bloy, darli