Tuesday, May 28, 2013

1 comment and 2 predictions by Gore Vidal

"The great problem of living in a country where information and education are so tightly controlled is that very little news about our actual situation ever gets through to the consumers. Instead we are assured that we are so hated by those envious of our wealth and goodness that they commit terrorist acts against us simply out of spite. The damage our presidential and corporate imperialists have done to others in every quarter of the world is a nonsubject, as we saw in August, when my realistic overview accidentally appeared on an imperial network and a panel of four was rushed into place to glue mouse ears back on the eagle's head." ―The Nation, September 30, 1996

"Gradually, it is now becoming evident to even the most distracted funster that there is no longer any need for NATO, because there is no enemy. One might say there never really was one when NATO was started, but, over the years, we did succeed in creating a pretty dangerous Soviet, a fun-house mirror version of ourselves. Although the United States may yet, in support of Israel, declare war on 1 billion Muslims, the Europeans will stay out. They recall 1529, when the Turks besieged Vienna not as obliging guest workers but as world conquerors. Never again." ―Vanity Fair, November, 1997

"What will the next four years bring? With luck, total gridlock. The two houses of Congress are evenly split. Presidential adventurism will be at a minimum. With bad luck (and adventures), Chancellor Cheney will rule. A former Secretary of Defense, he has said that too little money now goes to the Pentagon even though last year it received 51 percent of the discretionary budget. Expect a small war or two in order to keep military appropriations flowing. There will also be tax relief for the very rich. But bad scenario or good scenario, we shall see very little of the charmingly simian George W. Bush. The military―Cheney, Powell, et al.―will be calling the tune, and the whole nation will be on the constant alert, for, James Baker has already warned us, Terrorism is everywhere on the march. We cannot be too vigilant. Welcome to Asunción. Yes! We have no bananas." ―The Nation, January 8/15, 2001

Sunday, May 26, 2013

He Who Must Die (Jules Dassin, 1957)
Crucifixion With The Virgin And St. John (Hendrick Terbrugghen, 1625)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re:

"It's amazing to me that no one much talks about ... the fact that whatever our founders and framers thought of as a literate, informed citizenry can no longer exist, at least not without a whole new modern degree of subcontracting and dependence packed into what we mean by 'informed.' Hence, by the way, the seduction of partisan dogma. You can drown in dogmatism now, too―radio, Internet, cable, commercial and scholarly print―but this kind of drowning is much like sweet release. Whether hard right or new left or whatever, the seduction and mentality are the same. You don't have to feel confused or inundated or ignorant. You don't even have to think, for you already Know, and whatever you choose to learn confirms what you know. This dogmatic lockstep is not the kind of inevitable dependence I'm talking about―or rather it's only the most extreme and frightened form of that dependence.

"Part of our emergency is that it's so tempting to do this sort of thing now, to retreat to narrow arrogance, pre-formed positions, rigid filters, the 'moral clarity' of the immature. The alternative is dealing with massive, high-entropy amounts of info and ambiguity and conflict and flux; it's continually discovering new areas of personal ignorance and delusion.

"It may possibly be that acuity and taste in choosing which Deciders one submits to is now the real measure of informed adulthood." ―DFW