Posted by The Happy Tutor
As long as liberals stay at home and take care of the warrior class, as does my consort, Dick Minim, they are fine. You just don't want them with you in a bar room fight. They always pull out a striped shirt and claim to be the referee while the other eight guys, on the other side, take it in turns. Then the liberal writes the obit, a balanced account of the fight, and a celebration of the new champion. Liberals never lose because they are always in the midpoint between the contenders, shuffling right or left<, to mantain their balance. They feel this makes them the real winner.
They look at the world as if through the eyes on an untroubled God. No matter how much they read and quote Derrida, they are still up there with the gods, in their prose. They have yet to see that after the dissolution of universals, there are no rights and no justice other than what we create and preserve in struggle. We are all on the killing floor now. The liberal has no privileged position above the fray, neither in theory nor in practice. Further, the shirt of the referee has been stripped from his back and is worn now as the fruit of victory by the bullies who had the audacity to take by force. The liberal is now a contestant, and a meek one whose fists rise trembling, to protect a face beaten bloody, in fight so one-sided that only a sadist can watch with pleasure. Better to concede defeat and prevent or delay a brutal end, slipping back into the halls of power, defeated, diminished by moderate, forced by circumstance to concede whatever rights are next to go.
Dick! Relax. I will protect you. No, I mean it. Come out of there. The first place they look for Terrorists is under the bed. If they ask, just give them my name.
Posted by The Happy Tutor
If journalists find unpleasant or disturbing truth, must editors, in all good taste, prevent it from surfacing, lest the well-fooled electorate, turn belligerant? Interesting, per Yahoo, that journalists themselves to get out a valid account of the invasion of Iraq say that they had to go on online, since their stories in the newsroom were made more "tasteful" for fear of the "impact" more accurate writing, and the photos, would have.
Think about taste. Manners, decorum. Think about how the prose of even well-meaning liberal editors at papers like the New York Times, prevents the truth about atrocity, torture, injustice and big lies in high places from slipping through from reporters to the public. Break the habits of writing or editing like a liberal, with breeding, good manners, and taste (all forms of self-censorship) and you have a chance of preserving democracy. Otherwise the best, with their balanced understated prose, that rises above contention, go down under the hands of bullies and zealots, as did the well-meaning liberals of the Weimar rebulic. Sacks of garbage whose pictures will not make the news. Whose grave will be unmarked. Do not go gentle into that good night. Of course, that was immoderate. So, fuzz it up and go back to sleep. Keep the prose smooth and maybe who knows, when the fist beats on the door, it will be your outspoken neighbor who gets hauled off. In which case, peek through the curtains and thank your God that you made the right decision in keep your viewpoint on atrocity well-balanced, for and against. (A contrary view here, from a conservative, working the tropes of moderation, balance, reason, and respect for the intelligence of the American People who will not let the extreme right in the Bush administration prevail - weird logic! )
Are liberals, as the neocons suggest, afraid to defend democracy? Maybe so, maybe we are, inadvertently the enememy of all right minded Americans, at war with Evil, but if so, let us at least defend ourselves against the defenders for whom we are the Volk Terrorists committing Volk Treason by our very moderation in the face of Evil so absolute as to justify.... Well, anything.
Posted at 09:40 AM | Permalink
Professors at elite colleges brainwash their students into thinking critically. My Students Bill of Rights will protect the Faith of our Home Schooled Christian Evangelists from the Cult of Critical Thinking, that puts human reason before Divine Revelation. - What do you think David, does that fucking sing or what? What does shit like that go for?
Posted by The Happy Tutor
The Singing Revolution of Estonia, via Lenore Ealy's TPE Listserv. What can we in Hog Heaven, learn about Democracy from those who had to fight for it with songs? If we sing loud enough will it drown out the word Freedom, repeated from the hustings, like a Brand Name for Wealth Bondage?
In 1988, while still under the rule of the U.S.S.R., hundreds of thousands of Estonians regularly gathered in public to sing forbidden patriotic songs and to cheer public demands for independence. These singing protests united all Estonians and propelled forward the desire for freedom.
Many strategic political moves helped to push the revolution forward as well. In 1989, two million Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians held hands in an unbroken chain across those three countries to protest Soviet policies.
Perhaps most astoundingly, 860,000 Estonians signed a petition disavowing the Soviet Union and proclaiming themselves citizens of Estonia. In a country of 1.4 million people, more than 50% of the population risked Soviet retribution.
Numerous defiant political actions such as this were staged on a regular basis during the four-year Singing Revolution, never knowing if this protest or that defiance would be the one to push Moscow too far.
In 1991, a sudden coup in Moscow destabilized the government. Estonia’s Supreme Soviet (the Estonian Soviet Parliament) met with the newly formed Congress of Estonia, a political group that denied the legality of Soviet rule, and together they voted to formally break from the U.S.S.R. This courageous action was taken while Soviet tanks were rolling throughout the countryside in an attempt to quell The Singing Revolution. Thousands of Estonians stood as human shields without arms protecting radio and TV stations from the Soviet tanks.
But the revolution prevailed, Estonia broke from the Soviet Union, initiating the swift disintegration of the U.S.S.R.
...The Singing Revolution reflects man’s inner drive for personal freedom, political independence, and self-determination.
Could we start with Flags on our lapels? Move from there to "The Land is my Land"?
Posted by The Happy Tutor
"There is your King! So, which of you Liberals is next?" bawls Pilate, as the crowd forms a que all the way to the horizon. In offering themselves as players, the moderate enter history and change it. Power, as anyone who holds even a little knows, is perilous. Individually and collectively, we the meek are writing ourselves into history. That is the Way of the Cross, against which even an Empire cannot stand.
Posted by The Happy Tutor
An Open Letter to Peter Karoff on Democracy at Risk
You, Peter, are sitting in a theater, scooped out of a mountainside in Greece, with the mountains visible and the sea, as evening falls, and as a new play unfolds, though the themes are familiar. You are educated and have seen many. You opine courteously about probabilities and improbabilities and the "unities." You note which actors seem over-matched by their respective parts. You provide context and perspective and you eschew the extreme remarks characteristic of uneducated taste - of those who go to plays for "the candy and nuts." You exemplify the "Via Media," of virtue found in shunning extremes. Overhearing you, I nod but with fear that you simply have not understood the reality of your role, or understood where you are sitting. Worse, I fear you do understand too well and have chosen the safest path, though it leads collectively to perdition. Or maybe you are just too polite to awaken your sleeping companions.
You are not watching a play. My friend, you are on stage, as a member of the Chorus. The play is a tragedy, with comic or satiric interludes. What makes it tragic is that time and power are slipping away from the moderate. The tragedy is about how, through the failure of the Chorus to speak up, democracy in Athens was lost. The play ends with a Peter Karoff, or one of so many other such moderate, wise figure's tragic recognition that it is too late for protest. They, the ones who come to their recognition too late, or express it too late, are not hauled off. Their's is a worse fate, to live for the rest of the lives, in what had been a democracy, with the urbane shrug that was the tipping point, forced to repeat that shrug under conditons that become increasingly bleak, and to pass on to their heirs that legacy of self-subjugation.
The play ends without a curtain for this is an amphitheater. The last sound is a confused mixture of martial music, keening women, and the babble of voices of ordinary citizens who have been entertained, and are now resuming their ordinary lives. Some say they heard a scream of agony just before or after the play ended. Others say not. That it was only the wind in the cypress trees. Others say, "Shhhhh. Remember we are still on stage...."
Now is too soon, most likely. Later is too late, perhaps. We are not called to the Via Media, but the Via Dolorosa, or the Way of the Cross, that of the Fool or Holy Fool. This is a play about scapegoats, as many a tragedy or satire is. It is about how the Chorus reacts when Athens needs them to suffer or demur. Who will step forward? Heir? Financier? Slave? Freedman? Store-keeper? Aristocrat? Soldier? Outcast? Plebe or Plutocrat? The play hinges on that question, and follows the dialogue of the Chorus as they each choose inaction for their own reason, as tyranny prevails without a struggle.
What says the Chorus? This is only Act I.
Probably, Peter, we should do nothing. Things, I have found, have a way of turning out for the best as long you keep it positive, conversing quietly like Gentlemen and Ladies. Your philanthropic friends, controlling collectively tens of billions, have everything to lose. They had best keep their heads down, except for the usual ameliorative grants, and stay out the way of David Horowitz, and his funders and friends in high places, or you and they may end up on the wrong heap, like a liberal sack of garbage.
Afterward: The World We Want
Peter's response to this letter, sent as an email earlier today, was to invite me to contribute to a book of essays that he is editing on The World We Want. Contributors include many of the funders in Horowitz's database. I think, as does Peter, the World We Want is an inclusive democracy, not an aristocracy, not a plutocracy, for example, even though there are some wonderful rich people leading lives of generosity and service. Nor is the World We Want just a market, Hog Heaven, an Ownership Society, or Consumer Paradise. Democracy is inclusive, and makes active demands on us as citizens to preserve our civil liberties as well as our net worth. It builds cohesive communities of interest from side to side and from the bottom up, as well as from the top down, to present in aggregate a system that can not be bullied from above, nor gamed into submission.
In that sprit, I am very interested in the ongoing comments from bloggers and will try to reflect the gist of our conversation in Peter's collection when I do my 1,000 word turn, representing, presumably, the little people, as opposed to persons of substance. If it is not obvious from the post above, let me say that Peter has lived many lives, starting with very little, and always dedicated to both giving and to democracy. He was instrumental in the making of Eyes on the Prize, and has worked face to face and hand to hand with the poor in Boston. I am truly grateful that he is willing to listen to these voices of his fellow citizens from around the Dumpster of Democracy, just inside/outside, or on the verge, of Wealth Bondage. There is room in the Dumpster, Peter, whenever you get to Dallas. The wine is fortified and always on ice.
Posted at 03:06 PM | Permalink
Caught Bob Black, a cute little pissant grade 9, right out of College, at his terminal writing this rubbish, "Let's pretend for a moment that work doesn't turn people into stultified submissives." You can't believe how fast he drops to his knees, when he heard my boots in the hall, begging for his $15 an hour job. You gotta love these over-educated Liberals. What a sense of entitlement. Daddy must have paid his way. He is quoting me Cicero on freemen and slaves, like I give a shit. I am going to keep him around as an example to the others, have him follow me wherever I go, fawning, on the end of his leash. "C'mon, Sweetie, time to be paper trained." When I beat the liberalism out of him and he is fully trained I might let him work at Rooster Foundation under my head Head Eunuch making grants in the public interest.
Posted by Dick Minim
People Please! To my fellow liberals, let me say that my friend, The Happy Tutor, as befits a Satryrist has a rough way about him, but that because he is, in The Battle of the Books, not a Modern, much less a Postmodern, but an Ancient, a Catholic, and a Royalist, though he calls himself a liberal, since there is no King as yet to whom he can pledge his fealty as Court Fool, the Noble Trade in which he was trained by his orginal Master, Erasmus. Ask Turbulent Velvet (T.V.)another Dumpster Dwelling post-academic, out with the garbage, in the comment in this thread. Tutor really is a reactionary, in a nice way. He thinks people including Christians, or even the President, should follow the Ten Commandments, should love God and Neighbor, not lie, cheat, steal, kill, or take in vain the name of the Lord. He is even against coveting, despite the Hidden Hand of the Market that is based on almost nothing but. He is not making one big point. He is trying to beat sense into those who expect more theory when what is at issue is their own vice, particularly moral cowardice, the sin for which he constantly berates me. And I must admit, I would rather chatter merrily and say nothing than go to Guantanamo. You can't be too careful, you know. Ah well, more anon! Must scoot, Mummy is coming in from The Cape. We are going shopping for first editions of Sterne's Sermons. Wish us luck!
Posted by The Happy Tutor
Lest there be any misunderstanding: I am a lifelong liberal and married to one, Dick Minim, to whom I have been faithful, despite his limitations, for 30 years, having met him in the New Haven Greyhound Bus Terminal, third urinal from the left, entering from the streetside door. From that day on, I have kept my vows to him, even though I work in a Wealth Bondage Bordello surrounded by nubile Ivy-Educated Scholars apprenticed to me and willing to serve in the meanest capacity as if this were a Think Tank, and even though I am myself by preference a bipartisan heterosexual. Liberals are charming. Get one while they last.
Posted at 06:49 PM | Permalink