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Showing posts from October 9, 2022

The Elon Musk raree show

  The way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman, and the way of Elon Musk with Twitter are high and low mysteries - the last of them falls under the mystery of the confidence man in American history and lore. I have changed my mind about the Musk and twitter thing. I thought it would be a disaster, and I still think so, but it will also be a free comic spectacle as well. Musk's 44 billion dollar purchase can be justified, financially, in two ways - either Twitter stock goes up tremendously, or he finds, down the daisy chain, a greater fool, a crypto pseudo billionaire as high on coke as, uh, it is rumored, the purchaser is.   In this economy, that isn't going to happen. So what will happen? Here's where the comedy starts. Musk has decided he is a deep philosophical type, and so I could see him opening twitter to the army of Trump. But what I can't see is the advertisers who a

Reflections on Sherlock Holmes

  I like reading to Adam at night, before he goes to sleep. It is a ritual which satisfies Adam – he follows the story until he is sleepy, which puts together the two great ends of tale-telling, the enjoyment of following an event as it unfolds itself and is unfolded by the observer, and the enjoyment of being slowly induced into closing your eyes on the way to unconsciousness – and it satisfies me, as I get to try out all kinds of voices, from Huck Finn drawling Southern to Sherlock Holmes nasal British. Sherlock Holmes has delighted me since I was eleven or so – about a year older than Adam. I’ve read them over countless times. There’s a certain paradox here, since the stories are motivate by the need to solve a human problem, and end on the solution to the problem – which would seem to close them up and make the reader averse to a second reading, not to mention a fifth or seventh. This is the mystery of the mystery – why it transcends, in some small way, its neatly tied two fold str

christ's shoutout to BLM

  I am greatly enjoying Wolf Hall at the moment. And loving, as well, the takedown of Thomas More, at least as seen by Thomas Cromwell, who is seen by Hilary Mantel. Mantel was born a Catholic and had obviously fought against her Catholic heritage – so much so that certain writers in the pious journals have implied that she relies too much on Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, a ferociously anti-Catholic book. I view Mantel’s view of Cromwell’s view of More through Cold War eyes, for it was in the sixties that More became a pop martyr, a truth teller. And, indeed, nobody can deny that More was burnt. Nor deny that he himself burnt – books and Protestants. He had one suspected heretic held in stocks at his own house. All of which leads us to More’s great antagonist – not Henry VIII, who was merely a king. I’m talking about William Tyndale. The first translator of the Bible, whose translation was the go to crib for the 80 people assembled under King James to translate the Bible. This is not just a

The skin of the judge

  The   third branch of government, the judiciary, has long been the feudal instance in the democratic or quasi-democratic nation-states. It is a system framed by, on one end, cages for people, and on the other end, retainers of the worst and the dullest, otherwise known as Your Honor.   I am aware that this feudal instance might work as a bulwark not only against the power of the masses, but against the oppression of the minority. Sometimes, these things overlap. In the United States, for instance, the brief flare of juridical liberalism was one of the great cogs in the machine that battered down apartheid – although it then acted as a great cog to re-Jim Crow the country by caging millions of African-Americans. In same way, the Court is now caging women in their own bodies, merrily making up precedents for its misogyny oujt of quotes from witchhunters and defenders of wife-rape in the 17th century.   My favorite quote about judges and the judiciary from a   16th century comes