2017-08-26

sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
Reluctantly I abandon the idea of a political catch-up post, because last week while I was at NecronomiCon and this week in between doctor's appointments a lot of things happened and a great many of them sucked on toast. In brief: I can't be proud because I wasn't part of it, but I am glad beyond words of Boston's response to last Saturday's "Free Speech Rally," both the eloquent evidence that counter-protesters outnumbered organizers at least eight hundred to one and the demonstrable fact that the turnout, without requiring violence on the part of the counter-protest, made Nazis afraid again. I am heartened by the statement of the March for Racial Justice on the Elaine Massacre, Black-Jewish solidarity, and Yom Kippur; see also these related thoughts. 45 signed his trans military ban into law and I hope there are lawyers on it already, but I would also accept lightning or a space rock. Even as a pure matter of expediency rather than ethics, he wants a surge in Afghanistan but he doesn't want soldiers? As for ethics, I have begun to feel that I would be more comforted about current politics if I believed in hell. The RNC has denounced white supremacy, but they made themselves the party of neo-Nazis, the party of neo-Confederates, the party of white fear and hatred when they endorsed 45: I want to see them back up those quite minimally reasonable words with some action that isn't wringing of hands. Here are some very disparate things off the internet.

1. [personal profile] selkie linked me an eclipse.

2. The Onion achieves American folklore. "These days, a lot fewer people are being drawn into an abandoned rail yard by the beguiling whisper of their lost loves only to find themselves emerging into a flickering phantasm of Grand Central Station in the 1940s."

3. I took an online quiz which purported to tell me my Homeric epithet. I was not expecting it, but I am not going to kick this result out of bed for eating crackers:

You are [Sovay], great teller of tales. The Greek hero Odysseus had many epithets ascribed to him (others included "much-enduring," "cunning," and "man of twists and turns"), and this was one of them, so you're in good company.

4. Have an interview about spies and fiction with John le Carré and Ben McIntyre.

5. I just discovered that there exists a televised staging of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul (1950), filmed in 1960 with Patricia Neway who originated the starring role of Magda Sorel. I always think her second-act aria is called "Papers! Papers!" but in fact it's "To this we've come." Like much of the opera with its thickening nightmare of bureaucracy and totalitarianism, it has been feeling relevant lately.

To this we've come:
that men withhold the world from men.
No ship nor shore for him who drowns at sea.
No home nor grave for him who dies on land.
To this we've come:
that man be born a stranger upon God's earth,
that he be chosen without a chance for choice,
that he be hunted without the hope of refuge.
To this we've come:
and you, you, too, shall weep.
If to them, not to God, we now must pray,
tell me, Secretary, tell me,
who are these men?
If to them, not to God, we must pray,
tell me, Secretary, tell me!
Who are these dark archangels?
Will they be conquered? Will they be doomed?
Is there one—anyone behind those doors
to whom the heart can still be explained?
Is there one—anyone who still may care?
Tell me, Secretary, tell me!
Have you ever seen the Consul?
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