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Showing posts from September 23, 2012

Romney and Locke

Romney’s video – which is now as famous as Paris Hilton’s sex video, and like P.H.’s, shows what the rich do when they are naked – actually plays on the strings of national memory, going all the way back to our beloved John Locke. Locke, as we all know, was very important to the founders. In his own life, actually, he was very concerned with America, for he was, as Robin Blackburn points out in his history of New World slavery, a member of the Board of Trade, which dealt with matters from the colony. Incidentally, one of those matters was   slave conspiracy. Locke had an excellent opportunity, whilst attending such meetings, to put into policy terms his notion that slavery was a natural consequence of the state of war between “a lawful Conquerer and a Captive.” As Blackburn notes, during Locke’s time on the Board, it vetted many documents coming from the colonies, including the Act for Suppressing of Outlying Slaves, in which we read this: “WHEREAS many times negroes, mulattoes,

hide and seek from a metaphysical point of view

The essence of childhood is playing. For me, the essence of that essence was not War, not Red Rover Red Rover, not baseball, kickball, badmitten, solitaire, smear the queer, acorn fight, not Battleship, Monopoly, Chinese Checkers, Life, Operation, not dress-up, swinging on the door, birds, spying – no, the sum and mirror of childhood and, I think now, life was hide and seek. I look back over the vast and forbidding snowfall of years, I look back over the forbidding terrain of physical growth, short term memory loss, and the painful and constant realization of the drain of a million trivialities that has utterly wasted 99 percent of my spiritual energy, I look back   on myself pintsized (a vision that substitutes a photo of myself for a tactile and living image – I cannot imagine being three feet high, it is beyond the limits of my imagination), and hide and seek looms up   as the emblem of the labyrinth into which I had fallen from another labyrinth, that which extends on the n

the myth of the modern reader

This happens. I decide that I need to understand Heraclitus’ famous fragment, ethos anthropos daimon. It is on my to do list. So I go to some journal articles. I look up Bruno Snell. I look up some books. I am trying to get a handle on daimon. I look up T.M. Robertson’s translation and explanation that daimon can me fate and can mean divinity. I look up Richard Geldard’s book on Heraclitus. And it is in Geldard’s book that I come across one of those assumptions that litter academic books – an assumption about how “we moderns” view things – that makes me doubt the sociological bones of Geldard: “The problem with “Character is fate as the translation is that in both denotation and connotation no sense of the word daimon as spirit orsome power either within or without is even implied, unless one wishes to burden the word “fate” with excessive determinism. Moern readers, however, feeling free of ruling ruling forces (except the power of DNA, perhaps) understand such translation

Michael Gordon, warmonger, up to his old tricks

Michael Gordon, the gross warmonger reporter at the NYT, has a headline story today in which big tears are shed over the fact that the U.S. didn't even get a nice little military base in Iraq - oh, the grief! I always like to think of Gordon in terms of his various triumphs in reporting about Iraq. Who can forget his eagerness to relay fake information about Iraq's nuclear weapons before the war? This is typical Gordon, lying through his teeth, helping to bring on hundreds of thousands of deaths: “WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2002 -- More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today. In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uraniu