O my, we do attract, don't we, the great unwashed? Look what the cat dragged in by way of comment to a post of mine on identity. But we are egalitarians here, and all are welcome. If you will excuse me, I must freshen up and open a few windows. Sorry to see a dumpster like that in situ. But it takes all kinds to make a world. That's why we have charity you know. Rather the government did it with a ten foot pole. More anon. Must scoot.
Speaking for the Chief I would to emphasize that intimidation of liberals is not condoned by this administration. We have asked the Council of Wisemen who presided over the Abu Ghraib affair to investigate. Early indications are that acts of coercion are few in number, conducted by one or two bad apples. We will do all we can to bring the facts to light.
The quarrel of philosophy and poetry in Plato, who a poet himself, exiles the poet from the Republic. The literal ultimately becoming geometry and math, and formal logic. Candor being opposed to sophistry and dissimulation and debater's tricks. Yet how candor exludes, how much stage setting it requires, how much fellowhip and common language and experience it presupposes. How many wars candor must win before it reigns, how much blood must be shed. The holy spirit speaks in tongues.
From de Man descend two tribes: One cannot stop talking, the other is unable to write at all. "Where God was there shall aporia be."
If poetry and philosophy fail, and religion is myth, what remains is empty eloquence and power beyond good and evil. And we see daily where that leads, as had de Man. After years of silence, faithful to the eternal life of language, I go back to Swift, the one writer who plumbed the abyss as deeply as de Man, but who returned each Sunday to the Pulpit to preach a plain and candid sermon.
Linguistics, hermenuetics, ontology, semiotics, epistemology - let it all go. And ask again the founding question of philosophy. How should I live? What is a good life? How might I live among others in a just community? These questions are always answered, in a speaker's mein, if nowhere else, we answer with our bodies. The aporia is within us, and our bodies answer us in lies or live in truth, bearing witness: A truth to which de Man's own life gives testimony, riven, eloquent, admonitory. May we be as faithful.
1. Where did you prep?
2. What college did you attend?
3. Where do you go to church?
4. What did your Daddy do?
5. Who are your people?
6. What do you do?
I find I am most comfortable with #1, the old St Pauls connection is still so strong, as it is I'm sure with Kerry. The Yale thing followed as a matter of course. All Minims go to Yale. Daddy didn't "do" anything, God forbid. Church, really, is for show, any High Church will do, but thinking people you know don't take it too seriously. My people? Where have you been! We are the East Coast Minims. What do I do? O! how I hate that question. I have never done anything at all, not for something as vulgar as filthy lucre. What I do is collect 18th Century Sermons and assist The Happy Tutor in his calling, as pro bono Dungeon Master to the Stars.
Now, who are you, Yule, if I may ask? Beyond the Harvard connection, and all that? Vernaculo? Harry? The rest of you louts?
"We [black people]got our names from the slave masters, we got our religion from the slave masters and we got our blood from the slave masters.
"None of the black people in the United States are pure African. My own great great grandparents were slaves in Alabama. My grandmother’s maiden name was Robertson.
"I have been to Africa many times in search of my cultural identity, but it was in the Highlands that I found the cultural roots of black America.
We Blowtorches are Ulster Scots ourselves. Great great Grandaddy was the Overseer on Colonel Jebediah Bush's Plantation, before the Yankees came and burned it to the ground. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. Now that was an ownership society.