August 17th, 2004

rudisuhli_demon of love


When writing tonight, I found myself veering off into the thickets of politics- not my usual stomping grounds. I'd much rather read political commentary by people more organized than myself. My style tends to be a bit too discursive for such purposes, and my thought lacks that degree of organization which is essential to cogent discussion of complex issues of power and its distribution (which is essentially what politics is.) True, the vast majority of what passes for political commentary is no more than rhetorical posturing, and with a bit of patience I could probably come up with something superior to the nonsense (masquerading as wisdom) that is published daily in our most popular newspapers and magazines, or spouted form radios and television sets in such abundance that, were it actual manure rather than the metaphorical variety, it would surely fertilize all the fields of the entire planet for years to come.

But the fact is that I don't have such patience. Every word I wring out when I approach that subject is like a pint of blood. In its honest form, political writing requires both terseness and directness, which are utterly foreign to my temperament. In its dishonest form, also known as propaganda, it requires cleverness, which I find pleasure only in observing, not in displaying, unless it is turned to merely playful use, or to the occasional bit of enjoyably vicious mockery. Indeed, the thing I find most infuriating about politics is that, like the human species itself, it is at least twice as clever as it is smart. This is why, after producing a few paragraphs which I then realized were a mere rant, of a quality which the likes of William Safire could easily equal, I abandoned the project. I was irritated into starting it by things I read in the paper. I was irritated into abandoning it by remembering who I'm not. I have more than a few strong opinions about the best way to arrange things, and considerable knowledge of the way the world works, and I'd like to put them in writing, but most of the time I can't do it without becoming as annoyed with myself as I am with those popular pundits with whom the world is afflicted.

So, I am destined not to be very congenial for the next few months, the atmosphere of daily life being doomed to pollution of the worst kind by the vile and slanderous season that is now upon us. I will probably take refuge in my usual bits of pastoral word jewelry, excursions into nostalgia, and the occasional attempt at humor. If the political fit again takes me, I will most likely not post it. But, damn, if Kerry spouts crackpot economic nonsense about the inherent evils of budget deficits, or Bush trots out crackpot economic nonsense about the "ownership society," I'm going to have a hard time keeping quiet.
caillebotte_man at his window

Good News, Bad News

The evening clouds have the color of orange sherbet. That makes them the very best part of today. I had a big fight with the Internet. It avoided me for hours. I haven't been able to get my e-mail. Sluggo took the Internet's side, crashing repeatedly. Finally, I got Juno (my backup ISP) to work, so here I am, for a moment at least. Aside from the clouds, the other good part of the day is that thuggish neighbor's car came home piggyback on a truck, its front end all smashed, so I am enjoying a moment of schadenfreude. The way he drives, it was inevitable. I just hope he didn't smash it by running into a deer.

But the very worst news of the day is that mrmustard has announced his plans to leave us. Here it is, only the middle of August, and September is already ruined.

I'm going to go make some iced tea, and dwell on happy thoughts. I'll be back later, if the Internet decides to stop fighting with me and gives me my mail.