Compassion

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Marquis de Sade:

Compassion

Now Marat you are talking like an aristocrat

Compassion is the property of the privileged classes

When the pitier lowers himself

to give to a beggar

he throbs with contempt

To protect his riches he pretends to be moved

and his gift to the beggar amounts to no more than a kick

No Marat

no small emotions please

Your feelings were never petty

For you just as for me

only the most extreme actions matter

*Marat/Sade.  Peter Weiss

*The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton uner the Direction of the Marquis de Sade

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Hits are Hot

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It’s nice to see that Closing Remarks is generating some hits as of late.  Traffic is always welcome.  The numbers are far from earth shattering, but pleasing all the same.  I’m not in it for big numbers, but it’s always nice to know that what I’m saying and posting is being viewed.

Now if I could get some comments — 😀

Thanks to all who stop by regularly and to those who just pop in and out!

Sailing to Byzantium

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Sailing To Byzantium

 

 

 

 

 

I
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.

II
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

III
O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

IV
Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

William Butler Yeats

Bright Cold. Short Takes — XII

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I couldn’t feel the gate at all, but I could smell the bright cold.

The Sound and the Fury.  William Faulkner.

I’ve tried reading Faulkner twice now: As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury.  I found him all but completely unreadable.  How such garbage could have made it into literature as as “Classic,” to me can be explained only one way.

Anyone who struggles through it and “claims” to understand his HORRIBLE narration must think they are superior to anyone else who knows an abysmally told story when they read one, and quits it like plague.  And this new found and false superiority combined with the heroic sensation that comes through slogging ALL THE WAY THROUGH such crap, gives them the right to proclaim themselves true literary critics and elevate this tripe to the realm of “Classic.”

I leave you with this:

Reasons

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Ever want to slap the crap out of someone who says this to you?

I know this has got to be extremely hard to endure, but we should remember that there’s a reason for everything that happens in the world.

I’ll go you one better.  I not only want to slap the living piss out of people who say it to ME, but I also want to severely shake those who I hear say it to ANYONE, or even as just a general observation on life.  Just knowing that people say it and actually THINK they are being wise and considerate when they do, CHAPS MY HIDE to the exploding point.

Oh Yeah!?  O.K. then, what’s the reason, huh?  Huh?  HUH?  Oh come ON, oh wise and ancient philosopher, give me what you got! How about it, Aristotle, speak up!  Don’t give me Ecclesiastes, please?  Yeah, yeah. “For everything there is a season and blah blah blah.”  It’s NOT the same thing, ok?  I get that all things come in a certain ordered time and place, and as a result of cause and effect.  It’s hard as hell to “cast away stone,” unless you “gather them” up first.  And just how the crap can anyone fully understand war and peace without experiencing them both at one time or another.  And this is NOT saying there is a reason.  GROW A BRAIN!  Huh?  Come on, Plato.  Hit me with your best shot.

Is it a mystery of God that will not be revealed until we are made perfect in Him?

OH PUHLLEEZE!

Alright, look.  I’m going to break down and admit something here.

I believe very well that there may very well be a reason for everything.  Didn’t say I didn’t, did I?  Well?  Go back and look if you MUST.  You AIN’T going to find me disputing it.  Nope.

O.K.  So, let’s say that there IS a reason for everything.  What earthly good can it do to tell someone that who is currently going through a very bad patch because something horrible has happened?  tell me someone who hears this “sage” advice who HASN’T had something horrible happen to them recently.

WHAT!?  You just recently hit the MegaMillions for 135 MILLION dollars!?  Well, you know . . . there’s a reason for everything . . .  WHAT!?  The woman you love more than life itself, just agreed to MARRY you!?  Oh dear, well, you know . . . there’s a reason for everything . . .

Well, to be fair, sometimes it is said after what is supposedly a good event.  It happened to me lately.  I was SUPPOSED to die, but didn’t!  I had a Do Not Resuscitate Order while I was in the hospital and I choked on aspirated vomit and they resuscitated me!

My pastor said, when informed that there was  DNR order for me, you guessed it, “Well, you know, there’s a reason for everything.”

YES!  And the reason was I DIDN’T LEAVE THE FUCKING ORDER LAYING OUT WHERE IT COULD BE SEEN BEFORE THEY SHOVED A BIG GIANT TUBE DOWN MY THROAT!

God didn’t have anything to do with it.  I filled out the form, and signed it, and dopey from pain killers, stuffed it down inside a bag instead of laying it out on my hospital tray.

Do you understand?  I did NOT want to be resuscitated and took steps to prevent it, and they did anyway, because I screwed up!  In such an event as what happened I WANTED to be allowed to croak.  My perfectly reasonable and legal desires were subverted because I was stoned out of my mind.

And it was interpreted as A GOOD thing for which there was a mysterious “reason.”  BULL SHIT!  I didn’t WANT a big tube in my lungs.  I figured if God wanted to take me at ANY time and was serious enough about it to try to CHOKE ME TO DEATH or WHATEVER, then “Hey, Big Man, go ahead.  I stopped having any fun a long time ago anyway.”

“Oh Hamilton.  Praise the Lord!  You know there’s a reason for everything!

Yeah, Yeah Yeah.  I get it.  I screwed up.  No fair rubbing my nose in it especially while I’m already feeling like I’ve been run over by a train here in I.C.U..  Can we move on now, preacher?

O.K. Enough of that.  I think I made that point . . ..

Where the hell was I?  Let’s try to keep this Choo Choo from derailing.

So there’s a reason.  I don’t care if it’s the Divine Hand of the Maker of the Universe or just simple Newtonian Cause and Effect.  999 times out of 1000, the reason can be figured out if you give it the old Newtonian College Try.  Apply a little logic to the soup.  I bet you can come up with a more than reasonable hunch.  But, why would you necessarily WANT to or even freakin’ care??

Something bad happened, ‘kay?  Let it go.  Move on.  If you feel that in order to prevent its recurrence you should examine the cause, then go for it.  But, please please please don’t YOU come up to me and rub my nose in my own misery by pointing out something that’s painfully obvious or even indecipherable due to its Cosmic Origins!

DANG!  I could go on and on . . .  But I think it’s time to shut this rant down.  Don’t you?  Shut it down?  Why now, just when I’m really starting to roll?  Well, you know, there’s a reason for everything.

ham

p.s. sometimes the reason for things is nothing more complicated than simple stupidity or gross incompetence . . .

The Aim was Song

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The Aim was Song

Before man came to blow it right

The wind once blew itself untaught,

And did its loudest day and night

In any rough place where it caught.

Man came to tell it what was wrong:

It hadn’t found the place to blow;

It blew too hard — the aim was song.

And listen — how it ought to go!

He took a little in his mouth,

And held it long enough for north

To be converted into south,

And then by measure blew it forth.

By measure.  It was word and note,

The wind the wind had meant to be —

A little through the lips and throat.

The aim was song — the wind could see.

Robert Frost

We not only have dominion over the birds and fish and beasts of the field and grasses and trees but also the wind, and perhaps one day, if we ever learn the method and gather the will, even the weather itself.

In the meantime let us continue to teach the wind its aim.  Let us continue to harness for energy.

Shattered Prisms

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Audrey Hepburn. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

She took off her dark glasses and squinted at me.  It was as though her eyes were shattered prisms, the dots of blue and gray like broken bits of sparkle

Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Truman Capote

Not great, but altogether none too shabby either.

I had originally intended to use Holly Golightly — Capote’s protagonist in B.a.T. — as a metaphor for Alise in my story of the same name.

But it had been such a long long time since I read Tiffany’s that I had completely forgotten the key aspects of the character.  Holly and Alise couldn’t be more different.  I think what I was doing was fixing the visual image of Hepburn from the movie with the character of Alise, and forgetting about the Libertine morals of Capote’s character.

If you read Alise with the image of Hepburn above (and in other places) in mind then you have a good idea of what Alise looks like in my Mind’s Eye.

In any case, it was good to read the story again, even if it did diminish from repetition in contrast to what truly great literature is supposed to do.

Poop Bread. Short Takes — X

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Yeast leaves behind waste byproducts (particularly ethanol and some autolysis products) that contribute to the distinctive flavor of yeast breads.

(from wikipedia Leavening Agent)

Isn’t that WONDERFUL?  That yummy flavor of yeast bread comes from the excrement of live unicellular organisms.

POOP BREAD!

Makes me want to run right down to Olive Garden!  YUM!

hg