Thursday, November 29, 2018

Sea Smoke

A sacred space,
A healing hand,
Both now hidden from my view.

A phosphorescence
That I thought might be your spirit, off amidships.
(We withdrew.)

Monday, November 26, 2018

Butler on Science, and Scale, and the Diffusion of Moral Responsibility

Fortunately there are still small communities where the Wicked Man is not yet woven so scientifically into the fabric of society that he cannot be extracted without stopping the trains and fusing the electric light.   It is not a coincidence that two small countries, Denmark and Bulgaria, stemmed the flow to Auschwitz better than any of their more powerful neighbours on the continent.  Apart from size the two countries have nothing in common.  The Bulgars are primitive, the Danes a highly sophisticated people.  They are no doubt individually as wicked as the rest of us, but wickedness still has a name and an address and a face.  When the rumor, a false one, went around Sofia that the government intended to deport its Jews, the citizens demonstrated outside the Palace and blocked the roads to the railway station.  In Denmark on the night of 1 October 1943, when the Jews heard they were to be rounded up, each family knew which Danish family was prepared to hide them.  Very few were caught.  At the Gare d'Austerlitz the Children of Drancy [4051 Jewish children who were deported from Paris to be gassed] were surrounded by the most civilized and humane people in Europe, but they were scarcely less isolated and abandoned than when they queued up naked for their "shower-bath" in the Polish forest.

At the Dentist's Last Week

I had the privilege, via the most modern technology, of examining a three-dimensional image of my own skull.  

I was pleased that the skull appeared to be completely normal, cosmetically speaking that is, in contrast to the rest of me.

But alas, nonetheless, poor Yosif.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Putting My Money to Work, Passively

Have you wondered what became of the erased men?
Of Matt Lauer, Leslie Moonves, Tom Ashbrook, Garrison Keillor and the others?

They have been erased, but the rules have allowed them to keep their money -   money beyond measure in most instances.

Each has purchased a modest villa (two million dollars and up) at a gated community called The Patagonian Plantation, owned by an indigenous limited culpability entity of which there is a US owner of which I am a quiet member in turn.

The climate is temperate and hospitable at the Plantation.

There is a guided group therapeutic once a week, at which no cross-criticism is brooked.  There is honor, after all, among these thieves of women's virtue.

There are also horses and tennis courts.  The food and the wines are fine without exception, and the prospectus notes that they are of local origin.

There are ski trips during the northern hemispheric summer, and trips to the Straights and to Tierra del Fuego in high southern summer.

There is fly-fishing all year round, in the small but spectacular stream that runs off the foothills of the Andes and directly past the front gate, eventually finding its way to the Parana to the north and to the sea.

From time to time, an Embraer drops into the single-runway strip, depositing scientists and philosophers from the universities of Buenos Aires, Brasilia and Sao Paulo.  So the erased men are lectured on everything of interest to the keenly educated, from particle physics to cosmology to medical ethics.  Once a year they are even lectured on an earlier and more widely known influx of conquistadores.  They are left wiser men after the lectures, not least by virtue of having learned from each other.

And best of all, there are the Paraguayan girls in flowered skirts who bring them sparkling water before they retire, and turn down their beds.  These arrive and depart not in Embraers but in Cessna Caravans.  They come and they go with regularity.  Some use their earnings to purchase small soy farms for their brothers in the Chaco.

The men who have been erased
Do not miss North America
At all.