December 2012

The New Year: Drunk with Time

December 31, 2012

. I was reminded by a reader’s visit of what I posted here three years ago today: Charles Baudelaire’s “Be Drunk” (below). A good-humored dissenting comment reminded of Baudelaire that the man died at age 46 a syphilitic laudanum addict having spent fortunes of inherited money on prostitutes and wine. Ah, well, we are such foibles [...]


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The Barbaric Subjugation of Women

December 29, 2012

. I once wrote, “The original, unredeemed social and political crime of human history is the displacement and genocidal destruction of aboriginal populations.” Yet there is something prior. We might call it first a human crime, though it transforms almost immediately into a social, then political crime. Unlike the crime against indigenous peoples it has [...]


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Israel, Its Foes, and the Plain Truth

December 27, 2012

. You could find smoking guns like this all over the scene, and some people would still be smelling roses. (Maybe the one in the desert.) Adam Levick at CiF Watch brings us today, posted below, news of an astonishing, revelatory nature. Whether attributable to the reactionary autocratic nature of their political systems, the  repression of [...]


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Zero Dark Art vs Journalism

December 26, 2012

. There is a quite extraordinary article on Huffington Post today by G. Roger Denson. It addresses the controversy over director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal‘s film Zero Dark Thirty and the matter of torture. It is somewhat extraordinary for its length, by HufPo standards, but truly for for the quality of its perceptions and the [...]


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Season’s Jeer and Cheer

December 24, 2012

. No doubt many will be ritually watching It’s a Wonderful Life this holiday season. I recall with satisfaction when my brother, Jeff, and I discovered the film on late night television after a print was finally turned up in distributor mothballs, many years before the film became, for some, the tiresome phenomenon it has [...]


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Eating Poetry (XLIII) – “oh antic God”

December 23, 2012

. This past Thursday was the ninth anniversary of my mother’s death. With my brother’s wife, I was at her graveside, beside my father. Anne and I laughed before we cried: a lot of familial channeling went on – voices and manners of speech, verbal expressions. This year, more than the pain of taking away, [...]


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The NRA and the Irrational Right

December 21, 2012

. There is room elsewhere for indignation at the NRA’s response today to the Newtown mass murder of children and educators by a mentally ill young man whose gun-owning mother apparently did not keep her firearm’s beyond a disturbed son’s reach. The outrage should be universal. But the irrationality is that of the American right, [...]


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You Think That’s Funny? That’s Not Funny

December 17, 2012

. We’re having an entertaining and enlightening discussion, me and the Snoop, over in the comments section (which is, after all, what it’s for) and the subject of Bill Maher keeps coming up. Actually, Snoop keeps bringing it up, but why split hairs? Maher enjoys not the highest estimation in the Snoop’s regard. I think [...]


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Eating Poetry (XLII) – Sunder

December 15, 2012

. I just turned in my “Poetic License” column for the upcoming spring issue of West. It’s topic is poetic voice. An extraordinary poetic voice is that of Atsuro Riley, featured here once before, just a short while ago. One is instantly aware of the the uniqueness of his voice. It diminishes that uniqueness not at all [...]


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When Is an Open-Air Prison a Terrorist Camp?

December 13, 2012

. (This post originally appeared in the Algemeiner on December 11, 2012.) It is a term we hear a lot in the twenty-first century anti-Israel propaganda storm, flung wildly against the truth – that Gaza is an “open-air” prison. We hear it not only from Arab and Muslim anti-Semites and the committed anti-Israel ideologues, but [...]


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New Fiction

December 10, 2012

. My short story “La Revolución” is at the Ampersand Review. I spent a week. Gary worked as a critic for a music magazine, so even when he had to work, I tagged along. The music was everywhere. Gary and Pilar, his second wife, lived in Miramar, a wide open, breezy Havana suburb. They ran [...]


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Conquest Leaves a Sour Taste

December 8, 2012

. Who’d a thunk it? Five hundred and twenty years of military assault, ethnic cleansing, physical and cultural genocide, theft, lies, deception, dishonor, broken treaties – oh, you can’t even count the number of broken treaties – broken trusts and misappropriation of funds, and nothing seems to work quite right. Things are – how do [...]


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The MSNBC Bent vs the FOX News Bias

December 1, 2012

. You hear it a lot. MSNBC is the liberal Fox News. No. It’s not. This is just one more variation of false equivalency, the inability to make acute judgments amid the buffeting winds of so many competing claims, the warp of reason by the gravitational pull of all those massive subjectivities. MSNBC has a bent. [...]


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