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Showing posts from April 3, 2005
While infantile papolatry still holds sway at the major ‘liberal’ dailies, the coup in Mexico went off like a wet firecracker. Via the King we went to Al Giordano’s Narco News. explains : On Monday the owners of Televisa and TV Azteca, Emilio Azcárraga Jean and Ricardo Salinas Pliego, respectively, were called to Los Pinos (the Mexican presidential palace). One doesn't need to guess the motive for the discussion. Next it was the radio broadcasters' turn, and one of them commented: "The President told us: Andrés Manuel must be disappeared!" Neither station has aired nary a minute of the proceedings now underway in the National Congress (since 10:15 this morning), where the "desafuero" will be debated for many hours and voted on today. President Vicente Fox, one of the intellectual and material authors of this coup d'etat against Mexican democracy, in an attempt to change the subject, then fled to Rome for the memorial services for the pope.” Sounds like
In this, the fifth year of mourning the pope – or is it just LI? We’ve found the usual papers (the NYT, the WashPost) particularly boring lately, like some subdeb Elizabethan pageant play. The news from the war, which is washed through the mind detergent of American propaganda to make it as sweet as Momma’s sheets, pokes out the occasional factoid – the blown up American soldier in Anbar province, the general who claims that the insurgency is on its last legs just before two concentrated attacks on Abu Ghraib prison, the number of prisoners now being held captive by the Americans mounting to over 12,000, the dissipation of legitimacy as the American designed pre-constitution in Iraq did its job and effectively crippled the government before it began – yes, these things poke out as the usual imperial cruelties. But the blood has rushed to the head one too many times. There is a beautiful line by Thomas Paine, which we culled from the biography. Paine was deeply interested in the letter

bellow is dead

The passing of a mere pontiff is, after the hustle and bustle is done, as nothing compared to the passing of Saul Bellow – Bellow was a real genius. Was he, as Roth said, one of the two great American novelists of the 20th century (the other being Faulkner?). We’d say no. We don’t think American literature maps out like this, with novelists making their marks over their whole career. That is a credible way of approaching, say, Dickens, or James, or even Woolf – but it breaks down in the U.S. in the twentieth century. In one way, that is the crack up that Fitzgerald complained of – the quiet but devastating segregation of art and career. Every garbageman in America has a career, which is why the American novelist often operates out of sheer envy – it is envy that sharpens the eyesight. There is nothing in Bellow that is as good, we think, as Invisible Man, or Gravity’s Rainbow, or Blood Meridian. But – and this is where the Faulkner comparison comes in -- Bellow really created an oeuvr

piss factory

LI was buying groceries the other night, when we overheard a conversation between the guy ahead of us and one of the cashiers, a man who had some illness that made his movements angularly spastic and gave that uncertainty of pitch to his voice to make one suspect that his brain is somehow diminished; although, in reality, it isn’t, and he eventually does with his body what we can do with ours, although following a different nervous routine to do it. The two were talking about a common acquaintance, and it soon became obvious that the cashier and the customer had met when the cashier and the customer’s wife worked up in Round Rock, at the Dell factory. The cashier said he had been “delled” – fired for something. We are interested in mentions of Dell, because more than once we’ve thought about applying for a line job there ourselves. Ten bucks an hour, and all the bad vibe labor atmosphere you could swallow – as many people who have worked at Dell have assured us. In general, we have a

Here lies the Coalheaver

Having fallen out of love with the daughters of Urthona, LI has been curious, lately, about this place. America: did it ever harbor the fine, high promise of lifting the man forged manacles of an artificial and perverting social necessity from the human soul – did we ever have territories to light out to, or was it all gamed from the get go? We decided that it was time to read Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine is a puzzle. We’ve been reading the American Crisis. Talk about your embedded reporter – Paine joined the Continental Troops in New Jersey and watched Howe’s troops march from New York City to Philadelphia, capturing the latter in 1777. As he puts it, beautifully, in the American Crisis, I: 'Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth [fifteenth] century the whole English army, after rav