Killers

December 6, 2015

burningbook

Love, they do breathe through walls,
though I rise from your ear like a genie,
cork their mouths shut, make my body into a net
they catch against, their arms swiping through
to catch my snow-white woman of lacy scarves
and engine grease. Tonight while you were gone,
I saw myself as a sleepwalker
going out into the trees, their limbs
tying themselves off behind me,
the flaps on a straitjacket.

At every place our lives have touched,
pages have flown off and caught fire,
making the stars’ eyes water and blink.
Fred Astaire will never lose
his grace, and, love, though I cannot swing
from tree to tree, I do have wings.

John Rybicki

he burns holes

December 6, 2015

mylittlepackage

One day you fall for this boy. And he touches you with his fingers. And he burns holes in your skin with his mouth. And it hurts when you look at him. And it hurts when you don’t. And it feels like someone’s cut you open with a jagged piece of glass.”

Maureen Medved, The Tracey Fragments

noturningback

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another – slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumble puppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.”

Neil Postman
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Christmas gift idea for him

December 6, 2015

dirtyoldman

Christmas Gift idea for her

December 6, 2015

3dicks

Which is worse?

December 6, 2015

worst-job

We all enjoy a good treat

December 6, 2015

treats

Important Sunday Reading

December 6, 2015

Training