Isn't dovetail a lovely word? Such nice connotations, even that of a dove's tail. The first printed use of dovetail was in 1573, a year that also brought us one of my favorites, huzzah, as well as lappet, prink, mathematics, and seedcake among others.
I managed to get up a bit earlier today and a better person would be dressed in dirty gardening clothes and out there toiling and tilling before the heat lands on us again. But no, I sit here on the bed in the full blast of a decent fan, working on my arcana. Arcana would make an interesting name for a child or a pet.
Soundtrack this morning is the Beatles again, which is a bit unusual as I rarely chose to listen to them. A Day in the Life. It must be the opening line, "I read the news today, oh boy." I tried to look at the news, which was pretty much like throwing an anchor in the sea of my soul and plummeting myself down to the bottom. Drowning sounds good.
I am not so much depressed as oppressed.
(I realize I have said this before.) I can't really read the news anymore. I duly open to The New York Times and The Washington Post, but then am overwhelmed by the smorgasbord of rabbit holes of despair to jump into. In my minds's eye, I fall asleep with the bloody heads of dead lions stuffed into the overhead compartments of jets while Orange Wankmaggot look alikes drink airline martinis, blood dripping on their heads. I can see strip mining with El Capitan above, a neon Trump Hotel crumbling in front of it.
I am sure you have your own pictures.
And what I sincerely do not understand is how caring, compassionate, justice and fairness advocates could fail to react in a similarly overwhelmed and despairing way. I know people who can't pay attention for fear of suicidal ideation, which is legit, but how can all of this be denied or ignored. And really, I would that someone could calmly and without jingoistic bile, explain to me how you can NOT care? In the souls and deepest spiritual thoughts of those who can ignore what is going on, what do they believe in? How do they FEEl about seeing children traumatized, for life, by being summarily and violently separated from their parents, even if the parents have some legal issues?
Saying "wankmaggot" to myself is a bit cheering, though.
The current political reality has sent me back to examining Watergate. I am not sure how useful this is or if it allays my oppression, but it is fascinating and does provide insight as to how we got where we are. Not that I think Trump will be impeached, but the process is interesting, Not to mention the hubris, depravity, and utter lawlessness of Nixon and his crew. John Dean was clearly an ambitious putz.
Fifty years ago, America was in agony. Its unity at home, and its standing abroad, were deteriorating. Today, the country again faces a profound political crisis, and the summer of 1968 is instructive. One party controls the White House and both chambers of Congress, as was the case then, when Lyndon Johnson was President. But this crisis differs in a fundamental way: fifty years ago, the President’s party had the will to respond. On April 4th, Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot dead in Memphis, and riots erupted in a hundred cities. The next day, Johnson wrote to House Speaker John W. McCormack, a Massachusetts Democrat, imploring Congress to pass the Fair Housing Act, saying, “When the Nation so urgently needs the healing balm of unity, a brutal wound on our conscience forces upon us all this question: What more can I do to achieve brotherhood and equality among all Americans?” The act passed, over a Southern filibuster, on April 10th, the day after King’s funeral.
But Democrats did not shy from using their checks and balances against Johnson. The Tet Offensive, launched in January of that year, undermined the Administration’s claim that it was winning the war in Vietnam. Senator J. William Fulbright, of Arkansas, had previously concluded that escalation was folly, and had privately tried to change Johnson’s mind. When that failed, he invoked the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to advise and consent, and, in 1966, convened a series of unprecedented public hearings on the handling of the war. By the following year, most Americans disapproved of it, and Senator Eugene McCarthy, of Minnesota, entered the race against a sitting President of his own party, arguing that duty called on him to challenge policies of “questionable legality and questionable constitutionality.”
— Evan Osnos, The G.O.P. Stands By as Trump Upends American Security, The New Yorker, July 30, 2018 (Here's a link to the whole damn article.)
That was then. This is now.
I wonder what drugs David Remnick gives the his stellar staff writers to have them so consistently and rapidly publish articles that are so fucking trenchant and precise. Or is this the kind of intelligence we should just have generally?
So, I didn't get out to the garden this morning, but I wrote and that is something constructive. I've got arugula growing wild(ly). Some of it just ended up in the weed pile. I pulled a bunch yesterday and got it into the refrigerator so that I can give it (in kiss-ass fashion) to my yoga teachers tonight.
THE TEST WE SET OURSELF
An honest work generates its own power; a dishonest work
tries to rob power from the cataracts of the given.
— Annie Dillard
If we could be less human,
if we could stand out of the range
of the cataracts of the given,
and not find our pockets swollen
with change we haven't—but must have—
stolen, who wouldn't?
It isn't a gift; we are beholden
to the sources we crib—
or someone's rib hidden in our breast;
the answer sewn inside us
that invalidates the test we set ourself
against the boneless angel at our right
and at our left the elf.
— Kay Ryan, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, New York, Grove Press, 2010