Monday, July 25, 2022

Blyth. It's good from the beginning but I wanted to start here

At about 18:30 you get to here: "Very hard to defend a low-lying beach. Eventually people will come for you."

"I've always been allied to the followers of the materialist long view,..." Tooze has a tag, and so does Milanovic. Now Blyth. And Streeck

History isn't kind to optimists. Economists are optimists; economic historians look over a history of failure. But intellectual historians continue a history of narcissism.  
"I say this now to remind myself how words can squirt sideways, mute and mad; you think they are tools, or toys, or tame, and all at once they burn all your clothes off and you’re standing there singed and ridiculous in the glare of the lightning."
Anne Carson
No poet is read after they're gone as the author of projects. Or they're read that way by a minority with a preference for philosophy and intellectual history over poetry.

"For twelve centuries social rank in China has been determined more by qualification for office than by wealth."  Max Weber
Mass hysteria, wave after breaking wave
Blueblooded Cantonese upon these shores

Left the gene pool Lux-opaque and smoking
With dimestore mutants. One turned up today.

Plum in bloom, pagoda, blue birds, plume of willow—
Almost the replica of a prewar pattern—

The same boat bearing the gnat-sized lovers away,
The old bridge now bent double where her father signals

Feebly, as from flypaper, minding less and less.
Two smaller retainers with lanterns light him home.

Is that a scroll he carries? He must by now be immensely
Wise, and have given up earthly attachments, and all that.

Soon, of these May mornings, rising in mist, he will ask
Only to blend—like ink in flesh, blue anchor

Needled upon drunkenness while its destroyer
Full steam departs, the stigma throbbing, intricate—

Onlv to blend into a crazing texture.
You are far away. The leaves tell what they tell.

But this lone, chipped vessel, if it fills,
Fills for you with something warm and clear.
Around its inner horizon the old odd designs
Crowd as before, and seem to concentrate on vou.

They represent, I fancy, a version of heaven
In its day more trouble to mend than to replace:

Steep roofs aslant, minutely tiled;
Tilted honeycombs, thunderhead blue.
James Merrill, Willowware Cup

There will always be a stratum of managers. The question is how people become a part of that group, and what kind of people they are. Technocrats are bureaucrats after Saint-Simon and Bentham, TaylorismFordism, Weber's value-free science and "big children in university chairs", who think words are tools, or toys, or tame.

I've been repeating myself for longer than I've had this page. I think for a few years it was just filing away the record of other people's stupidity. I don't want to be a file clerk of shit. That was my mistake.

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