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Showing posts from September 11, 2011

T.S. Eliot's mother problem

Visions and Revisions: On T.S. Eliot | The Nation: "Nowhere in The Hollow Men does Eliot make reference to the everyday world in which people drink tea, work at banks, write letters, torture their wives; but the presence of Vivien Eliot, the woman through whom Eliot constructed his life as a poet, hovers over every line. “I am sorry I tortured you and drove you mad,” wrote Vivien from a nursing home in 1925. “I had no notion until yesterday afternoon that I had done it. I have been simply raving mad.”"

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Attica better now but still a mixed bag

Attica 40 Years Later: Much Progress, But Much Still Left to Do » Blog of Rights: Official Blog of the American Civil Liberties Union: "Forty years ago the Attica prison was at nearly twice its capacity, housing 2,225 prisoners rather than the 1,200 it was designed for. Prisoners lived in squalid conditions and were denied even the most basic medical care.

Since that time, the NPP has won major victories in the areas of overcrowding, access to medical and mental health care, and First Amendment rights, among many others. However, many prisons are slow to comply with court orders, and new abuses occur every day"

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I was part of a delegation that went to Ottawa to meet with representatives of Red China

Abba's Way and Confucius (c.551-c. 479 BC) - Associated Content from Yahoo! - "When the U.S. was about to establish diplomatic relations with China, I was part of a delegation that went to Ottawa to meet with representatives of Red China. Most of the people I travelled with were children of missionaries who were very familiar with the China of the past."

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Now a "we're all monsters" meme

3quarksdaily: Monsters: "“We’re monsters, I fear. What monsters we’re”—it’s a line from a recent Frederick Seidel poem, “Downtown,” about the Fourth of July, and the sadness of fireworks over the Hudson (“the flavorful floating shroud”) and the casual brutality of eating shad roe (“What a joy to eat the unborn”). It reminds me of this whole, unlovely decade, which started downtown, and made us all monstrous, me as much as anybody. "

A universal and ethical perspective has trouble arising from the welter of self-recrimination in the above text. If the destruction of life in any form is sinful or unethical then all we can do is wallow in a sort of permanent cesspool of awareness. And contemn religion for closing our eyes to the slaughter whether of what we eat, what we conceive or of each other knowingly or not. The alternative is to accept that it is reality itself that makes such slaughter inevitable just as it is inevitable that conception involves a single male and a singl…

Signs and luck

Signs and luck are things we need at timesThey are the products of our acts and mindsIf this then that if not then thatWith one that this the other thatBut there's a bed in which this process liesWhere better values leave us slightly wise
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