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Thread: Literature Ramble

  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    I suspect that is an effect of Twitter, which is symptomatic of worse things--ubiquitous corporate propaganda, political and commercial sloganeering, and iconic thinking/manipulation in general. Big Brother isn't watching anymore, but he'll text you.
    He used to text better lines, however...

    There has never been a convenient time for democracy. And there have been far less convenient times than now. But I suspect democracy may be able to remove this threat the way an immune system can sometimes destroy the first tiny cancer cell. #metoo is aggressively metastatic. It finds a new male witch to burn with every call for due process. Like Dr Strangelove's Doomsday Machine, it is designed to detonate if any attempt ever made to disarm it. I have already gone too far. I am defending sexual predators. That is utter humbug, of course, on several levels: calling for due process is not a defense, an accusation alone does not make one guilty, and the idea that even those who are guilty of some kind of misconduct are all "sexual predators" is unproved and frankly ridiculous. Even so, my comments above could very well have cost me a career if I had made them on Twitter or YouTube, and if I were not happily retired in any case.
    Yeah, but well... I think the road is a good one (not the one leading to hell), the problem is how the travel is made. The other road was not that good. The thing is that the scales were so unbalanced that the energy used to tip one side up can be misplaced like you said. It is good to question everything, that is old as greek horses. We need to twerk here and there and fix the abuses, but as you said it is a dangerous time. It is not like there is not a reaction from conservative powers (as in bad conservative powers) and they prefer to find the abuses of #metoo, because they can, like you said, create polemic, make noise, and put in the same bag cats and snakes.

    And that's the point: most men are not in my position, and a very good many of them are not nearly as innocent as I am. During the hedonistic 1970s, touching a last without an invitation was a relatively common way of coming on to her on to her. No, trust me, it was. She had the option of slapping your face (which would have been comically old fashioned) or otherwise saying no, in which case the rule was to back off. I'm not saying this was right, just that it was very common--with the implication that one hell of a lot of older professional men are now seriously sweating out #metoo. Confession is suicidal and opposition only draws attention. So heads are kept low nodded judgment if necessary.
    Yes, there is a lot of power with justice being applied backwards, because of course, it ceases to be justice. Of course, there are sittuations that all his backtracking is leading to discover something that still happens to those days, not exactly linked to one individual, but a social pratice, but it is hard to prove inocence 40 years after something happened, more harder considering those accusations will never go to investigation. You end never having the chance to clean themselves. This is of course a bigger problem than feminism, but more like, since the system does not work, abuse from both sides are possible. And even when we think "oh, damn, that is too much", we will recall there is still much more victims that never went (or will go) public and denouce the criminals, that arguing against it may seem like writting wrong with the right lines kind of thing.

    And there are also plenty of men who are sexually aggressive *ssholes or narcissists who assume their physical advances will be welcomed. Daring egotism is often valued in the working world, so younger men (or particularly stupid older ones) sometimes get drunk on themselves and imagine they are really impressing the lady. But there is also a multitude of innocent men, young and old, who now have to live in fear they will be falsely accused. They're sweating, too.

    "Great!" I hear the #metoosies saying, "They'd better sweat!" And politically speaking, that is surely an effective way of jazzing up the progressive base (that is, those who are going to vote for progressive candidates anyway). But the problem with using a tyranny like #metoo is (even against some who deserve it) is that democracy is not as puny as it looks. All those silent, sweating men get to vote. And because democracy insists on an anonymous ballet, it will be their only chance to defend themselves without drawing extreme social censure--those innocent and guilty men; those men from the right, left, and center of the electorate; those men at bay.
    Voting wise, I think the extreme views will damage any good movement. It is easier for, lets say, neo-nazis to explore the "loops" of morality and win this fight, but even if a extreme feminist win the fight, she will cause havoc that will damage the feminist movement itself. The only thing I think is that still time: #metoo and all of them are far from having the top power or even the power they think they have. They can lose all because the easy way to counter extremism is with another. (Pretty much what lead in a way to the cup here). No thinking at all, bs propaganda and fake news.

    Funny enough, this week a director of a marvel/disney movie was fired. Back in 2011 he twitted some non-sense pretty much offensive. He was work in one of their sequels and was fired on spot. Not because Disney is nice, no, of course they considered how bad it would be for busines. But the funny thing, who discovered this stuff? Trump followers and they made it public because he was anti-Trump. Had we really safe about the matter - it is about humanity after all - there would never exist this "possiblity". This guy would either be trusted to have left behind whatever he did or never trusted at all (and how the "good side" exclude any possibility of redemption? The capital or life sentences werent supposed to be "right wing" ideas? Of course, Disney is neither. Things are way to complicated and we should question and drink cicuta.


    I may be wrong. I am only describing the situation in the United States in any case, and I am aware that #metoo is an international phenomenon. But it seems to me this movement that has so excited the progressive left may come to haunt it in the (all important) Congressional midterms. These almost always go against the party in power. If the Democrats can recover the House and Senate, they will be able to obstruct almost all of Trump's political agenda, block his (also all important) Supreme Court nominees, and even potentially impeach and remove him from office (which is what the Russia collusion nonsense has been about from day one). In theory, the Democrats should be way ahead in the polls, but they are already down from a on earth-comfortable trajectory, and for the moment the moment it is unclear which party will control the House and Senate. Under these circumstances, it would be a bitter irony for the left if #at me too turns out to be what sinks them in November. But there are many other factors in play. It will be an interesting election, though I imagine an especially cutthroat one.
    Specific micro-politics, it seems to me they didnt help to sell out the puppet hillary, but that could be a dead horse and not their flaw. The sittuation is different everywhere, but there is the question that leads me too (feminism) or all life matters. You see this in Cannes, you see this in the world cup, you see this in Brazil (but things here are bellow waist, as the previous president, Dilma, was a woman and she was often attacked on those terms, it was a bit vile, to the point one of the guys (who is actually running with good chances the presidential race this year) went to praise the miltar that tortured her back in the 60's, a guy so perverted that is the only guy from the militar period judged and condenmed... The ignorance of twitter reading and flat earth wins.



    Well, I think Brazil ought to have its own award. But if there were also a Portuguese language award based in Lisbon, and Portuguese intellectuals started to say it should only be for the likes of Angola and Mozambique because including Brazil would threaten diversity, it would be as ridiculous as what the Booker authors say they want. For them, I don't think it's a matter combatting American pop culture as much as keeping the (admittedly obnoxious) American publishing industry in its place. But that's just a matter of finding judges with integrity. I can see the British dilemma. Perhaps Ishiguro's free.
    But combating American pop culture is putting down American publishing industry in the end of the day. Meh, the whole thing is ridiculous, of course. It is not like the prize is helping minor publishing houses, indie writers or similar at all. I can understand a strong reaction against Amazon (which England lacks actually) since it damages the system a lot more, but a prize... meh...

    Don't believe their lies.
    I don't, but the thing... The best trick of devil is not making people believe he does not exists, it is telling the truth. If he went quoting Jesus in a different context, he will cause evil. That is what Hollywood is doing. Yeah, wonderful, more black actors in movies, women directing, it is good! Give me new perspectives... except, they are doing what exactly? Diversity by making them do what was done in 80s?

    You know, How good Melville is. I think Benito Cereno (albeit under impact of the civil war surroundings) is all about the fact those things cannot be solved, conflict will continue, no matter the side, because our perpection of each other still biased as hell. No magical wand of solution like winning a war. The problems continue and one day we would need to deal with it.



    See, this is going to cost 'em votes, too. The boring, elderly, non-activist, and essentially non-partisan voters, the ones who decide elections, get angry and scared (yes, scared--they're old people and they get scared) when demonstrators cover their faces. It reminds them of terrorism and the KKK and Jesse James. I think the handmaiden ladies only cover the sides of their faces (with long blinkers, yes?), but it has a similar effect. Old people who are angry and scared always vote against you. So you maidens in November.
    Yes, of course those groups (annonymous and cia.) are... what is the term... puppets? Mass to be manipulate? Naive idiots that have no idea of real politcs? They caused quite a damage here protesting against the World cup. In the end, they weakned a governament with "left" tendencies, allowed the more conservative side raise on the fear of their radicalism and rebuild the anti-comunist agenda and end with democracy here. Nice cause, but Newton is a *****.


    When I use the term I mean political dogma of any stripe. That is, something that is accepted simply because (supposedly) it is so, or correct, or what right-thinking people believe; or in its inverse form, when a belief or position is anathema to right-thinking people and therefore breaks off any meaningful discussion or even respect (whether or not these things are openly admitted). You can see how closely this aligns in form with religious dogmas and how dangerous its political version must be todemocracy, which requires constant dialectic and tolerance of dissent.

    What I do not mean by political correctness is left wing politics as opposed to right wing politics (although I do find political correctness presently overrepresented on the left). But conservatives have PC, too, and "virtue signal" to one another all the time. An example of conservative PC (in my country, anyway) is the unquestionable position that veterans should receive entitlements (including, in some cases, hiring preference) over non-veterans. Please note I am not arguing either way on the issue, I am only citing it as an example of conservative American political correctness. And there are many others, although it pisses the right off to hear about them.

    Examples from the left are so common and blatant that they hardly need mentioning, but for the record I oppose abortion and so-called affirmative action; both positions get me cast into the outer darkness all the time by people who seem genuinely perplexed that they could ever have mistaken me for a decent person. These are not simple issues, and they deserve thoughtful discussion. They don't get that when merely owning an opinion breaks off respect replaces dialogue with prefabricated polemics.
    I can see the discussion were it goes. But I think the problem is that "Progressive" causes are not monopolty of "left". They pretty much come from that XVIII century where being liberal was being progressive and in the 90's, Neo-liberalism (another breed, another animal) adopted but didn't praticed. The discuss became muddled. So, you can be very conservative and be pro-abortion (the actual Pope is and despite the claims he still more conservative than a Handmaid revolutionary), in the end PC is avoid the discussion. It is a label war for internet. In pratice, what is the problem with Mark Twain? The problem is the teacher being able to work with him among young modern boys. The development of readers. Kill it and you hail twitter.

    Okay, I haven't actually read It (the novel), but I have, alas, absorbed something of the plot from general cultural context. That sounds like the Schopenhauer-King collaboration to me. It (the monster) is like the Wille zum Leben. It (the pronoun) is primordial, malign, and secretly underlying all things. Maybe some of the town kids could have been brainy nerds who managed to battle the monster, while the other kids would have lived lives of futile striving before being eaten alive. That's pretty much the story already, isn't it?
    Well, I think it is, but those terror stories are pretty much about survival and overcoming fear with an act of great will from the hero/virgin heroine, so you didnt read it but indeed you did. I read it when I was younger and well, Schopenhauer was good with words. He was even elegant for a german (before he curses me for confuding him with a french). One of his attacks on charlatans was how they would muddle their texto to appear profund, so he less german about this. Foucault would be damned. But wanting or not, Schopenhauer worked for few. Hegel was the populist (and of course Marx had every notion of what to say for the masses). Schopenhauer cna tell you what is a good philosophical text, because he goes after ideas, tell you to think. While King is an industrial writer, he demands you to try like crazy. He has imagination to his side and a lot of pop american culture in his mind. The exactly kind of product Schopenhauer would question the very need of existense. It is in the end a homage to 50 and 60 horror movies with more than thouseand pages, a muddled plot fueled by drugs with an ambitious attempt to present two timilines at the sametime. The movie is captalizing with the 80's nostalgia, new Goonies of sort. No, it would be a monster like an Epic Haiku.



    I think you are talking about an essay Schopenhauer wrote about mid century (late for him) called On Authorship and Style. As I recall, he draws a distinction between books written primarily for money (which he says to throw out) and those written for the sake of their subject. I suppose that could be taken as elitist, since he is clearly talking about the novel (though I think there were some he liked). I disagree with him about popular literature, of course, especially the kind Dickens was writing at the time. No doubt Schopenhauer's life would have been more fulfilled if he had been able to see humanity as more than a bundle of animalistic drives. He could have used some time with the Ghost of Christmas Present. But against the charge of elitism, I will point out that he does not (as far as I remember) advise his readers to throw out books written for money because reading them is the sort of thing that inferior people do, but explicitly because the authors who write them are wasting the readers' time in order to enrich themselves. That is not strictly speaking an elitist position.
    Yes, I beleive so. A minor work for Schopenhauer, but well, I know when he talks about humans, he is not elitist. He is like pretty fair, but it is not like his hatred for novels (and mommy novels) are just something free. Dickens and cia. happened because the reading habits changed a lot. Attacking one of the forms developed by that new social group is bit like attacking them, either he wanted to nto to be specific. That culture is not good, often leads to those people with that culture is not good. Nothing wrong, Schopenhauer was a great mind, great reader, but about this he went defensive.

    Don't mistake me, though. I'm not an apologist for Schopenhauer, although I am fond of reading him. In addition to his inability understand the humanity expressed in some novels, Schopenhauer has no sense of history as important to the human experience (again, contra Hegel). For Schopenhauer, people don't change enough for history to matter. He likes to compare philosophical ideas from various ages and civilizations, but the bloody pageant of history only shows that we are no different than animals--and in fact just a little worse. I part company with Schopenhauer on both of these issues, and of course on his atheism. I am also agnostic about the idea that he got around the Kantian prohibition, although I am open to the idea, and I find him a font of wisdom regardless.
    Yeah, history was a bit a terriotory of the charlatans he hated. And how they saw history as a result of society movement, certainly irked him a little because society is not something he cared much. I think he is sound and all, nice introduction of budhism, but the animal things I do not think he was being original. Two of his greatest influences Kant and Voltaire were pointing that way - Voltaire became vegetarian or close to it and Kant already suggested you could tell about someone moral in the way he treated animals. In his Grump Smurf way, he was just using the same ideas.
    #foratemer

  2. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, there is a lot of power with justice being applied backwards, because of course, it ceases to be justice. Of course, there are sittuations that all his backtracking is leading to discover something that still happens to those days, not exactly linked to one individual, but a social pratice, but it is hard to prove inocence 40 years after something happened, more harder considering those accusations will never go to investigation. You end never having the chance to clean themselves.
    Where criminal activity is concerned, the idea that one has to "prove innocence" is part of the problem. There are also statutes of limitation (at least here) for older crimes unless they involve a minor. True, it is hard to get a conviction after so many years (Bill Cosby's first trial ended in a hung jury), but the idea that a conviction is always desirable is itself an unjust view since a defendant may well be innocent. Statutes of limitation and the presumption of innocence in criminal cases are hard-won democratic protections. I share #metoo's wish to bring criminals to justice. As I said above, I only object to the movement to the extent that it excludes such protections. Otherwise, they are simply pursuing objectives politically and legally as is their good right (at least here). I'm glad Bill Cosby got due process and I'm glad he got convicted. I'm glad Harvey Weinstein is getting due process. Men who abuse women are dangerous creeps. But as you say, the bag holds cats as well snakes. It was ever thus, which is why these protections have always been worth dying for.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    This is of course a bigger problem than feminism, but more like, since the system does not work, abuse from both sides are possible. And even when we think "oh, damn, that is too much", we will recall there is still much more victims that never went (or will go) public and denouce the criminals, that arguing against it may seem like writting wrong with the right lines kind of thing.
    You are right that many who go to law will not receive justice. And yes, that is a larger problem than concerns this issue alone. But those turning to tactics of denouncement and destruction without due process only compound injustice by butchering cats together with snakes. They risk becoming the willing henchmen (not to say dupes) of politicians who see their anti-democratic rage as a means to power for themselves and their faction/party. The Greeks had a well known name for this phenomenon.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Voting wise, I think the extreme views will damage any good movement. It is easier for, lets say, neo-nazis to explore the "loops" of morality and win this fight, but even if a extreme feminist win the fight, she will cause havoc that will damage the feminist movement itself. The only thing I think is that still time: #metoo and all of them are far from having the top power or even the power they think they have. They can lose all because the easy way to counter extremism is with another. (Pretty much what lead in a way to the cup here). No thinking at all, bs propaganda and fake news.
    Well, it's never too late for moderation, I suppose, but the fraught rhetoric, comical propaganda, and cutthroat dirty fighting of the moment have probably doomed this election (I mean the Congressional midterms in November) to further polarization. But elections are complicated things, as Hillary Clinton learned to her sorrow. I'm sure there will be another anti-Trump October surprise, but Trump isn't actually running, and if it's just another womanizing scandal it's not going to change many votes. But historically, the party in power gets screwed in the Midtrems, so Trump & Co. aren't out of the woods by any means. On the other hand, the Republican strategy in this election has been to paint their opponents as unhinged, and (in my opinion) the left has been more than playing into their hands on that score.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Funny enough, this week a director of a marvel/disney movie was fired. Back in 2011 he twitted some non-sense pretty much offensive. He was work in one of their sequels and was fired on spot. Not because Disney is nice, no, of course they considered how bad it would be for busines. But the funny thing, who discovered this stuff? Trump followers and they made it public because he was anti-Trump. Had we really safe about the matter - it is about humanity after all - there would never exist this "possiblity". This guy would either be trusted to have left behind whatever he did or never trusted at all (and how the "good side" exclude any possibility of redemption? The capital or life sentences werent supposed to be "right wing" ideas? Of course, Disney is neither. Things are way to complicated and we should question and drink cicuta.
    I didn't follow this case closely, but I know some of the details. My position is that Disney's response was cowardly, but I'm sure they would just shrug and say business is business. The director (if that's what he was) had once posted a series of "sick jokes" about abusing children, right? Nothing criminal was alleged, he just made a bunch of very offensive jokes. So Disney says, hey, parents trust us with their children, and if they stopped doing that it would hurt our bottom line. So you're fired. Somebody probably said to him (off the record): Nothing personal, man, call me if you need a reference.

    So that's one issue--whether a private employer should have that kind of power over someone's off-work speech. I say no, but the laws (over here) at present are with the employer. The First Amendment only protects you from government infringement of free speech. I would support legislation or welcome a Supreme Court ruling expanding the freedom. I'm a free speech guy.

    But the issue you seem to be getting at is different. The information was weaponized for political reasons--directed more at Disney/Marvel than the pawn it brought down. It was a hit, like the political hits made on the right, left, and on members of the media using accusations (and sometimes documentation) of sexual misconduct. Or having used a racial slur at some point in your life. Or having filled a now archived blog with anti-gay comments you later grew out of. Or having signed a communist petition in college. No, wait a minute, that was McCarthyism. But this road, trust me, it doesn't lead to a good place.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I can see the discussion were it goes. But I think the problem is that "Progressive" causes are not monopolty of "left". They pretty much come from that XVIII century where being liberal was being progressive and in the 90's, Neo-liberalism (another breed, another animal) adopted but didn't praticed. The discuss became muddled. So, you can be very conservative and be pro-abortion (the actual Pope is and despite the claims he still more conservative than a Handmaid revolutionary), in the end PC is avoid the discussion. It is a label war for internet. In pratice, what is the problem with Mark Twain? The problem is the teacher being able to work with him among young modern boys. The development of readers. Kill it and you hail twitter.
    Well, I'd ask you to give me a better term for PC, but that would be such a PC thing to do. In my opinion, Mark Twain's racial slurs or Charles Dickens' negative stereotyping of Jews present an opportunity to teach young readers about prejudices and racialism without apologetics ("Hey, everyone talked like that in those days."). This demonizes the prejudice rather than setting new prejudices up against it. But removing the authors from curricula in favor of Lilith Has Two Mommies and Neither is White is mere rump Marxism. We can do better.

    As far as political nomenclature goes (libral, progressive, moderate, etc.) it is difficult to keep up with it while the meaning changes beneath you. It's truly exciting to live in such times, but sometimes it reminds me of the final years of the Soviet Union when hardline neo-Stalinists were confusingly referred to as conservatives. Such terms are best avoided though sometimes they are inevitable. I'll try to steer clear of them:

    In my opinion, the Democratic Party could crush Trump's Populist Republicans by returning to their working class roots. That means learning from its 2016 defeat and moving toward the center it abandoned for Silicon Valley and East Coast money. It would give them the industrial Midwest back, and the Trumpists couldn't beat them without that. But they are doing just the opposite. They are pulling further left, alienating moderates and crossover voters (with handmaidens and far worse), and putting everything they have into the dream of a massive wave of new immigrants to vote for them--the last thing the industrial Midwest wants. And it doesn't look planned. The extremists seem to be driving the agenda, which is fun until it comes time to vote. That's about as clear as I can be.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, I beleive so. A minor work for Schopenhauer, but well, I know when he talks about humans, he is not elitist. He is like pretty fair, but it is not like his hatred for novels (and mommy novels) are just something free. Dickens and cia. happened because the reading habits changed a lot. Attacking one of the forms developed by that new social group is bit like attacking them, either he wanted to nto to be specific. That culture is not good, often leads to those people with that culture is not good. Nothing wrong, Schopenhauer was a great mind, great reader, but about this he went defensive.
    I've given the idea of Schopenhauer's elitism some thought, and I will concede this: he had a peculiar notion that working class people--it's hard to say, but...that they didn't actually exist as much as other people did. Not that they were less important (all were equally unimportant), but the kinds of lives most led--forced into unrelenting labor and worry and scarcely given a conscious moment to themselves--gave them virtually no opportunity for the development of a self. Thus they were almost entirely consumed by the Wille zum Leben. Those with greater opportunity for introspection were more fully developed individuals, but only a fraction ever really achieved selfhood. The hierarchical structure of this notion makes it somewhat elitist, although Schopenhauer is attempting to use reason in light of his theory of will rather than spouting mere class prejudice. It isn't that he dislikes workers, in fact he probably feels bad for them. But he only really likes his poodle. So maybe there is some class prejudice after all.

    Needless to say, I reject the idea that some people exist less than others. In fact, it is telling to Schopenhauer's own psychology that he does not conceive of family love or camaraderie in shared labor or introspection in prayer as meaningful in the development of self. Nevertheless, his idea had a long afterlife among the Moderns. Becoming a self is central to Nietzsche's philosophy (and Kierkegaard's) and later became a Western cultural commonplace through the influence of Jungian psychology. Was that elitism, too? I'll have to give it some thought.

    As far as novels go, I think it's easy to forget Schopenhauer's generation. People tend to think of him as him as a modern because he was such a big influence on Nietzsche, but Schopenhauer was born in 1788 and wrote The World as Will and Representation in 1818. Music (which he loved) was his generation's Dickens. So maybe he's just being a cantankerous old man. As you said, Schopenhauer would have made a good Dickens character. But I don't think rejecting the novel is very central to his ideas about will.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-26-2018 at 05:40 PM.
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  3. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Where criminal activity is concerned, the idea that one has to "prove innocence" is part of the problem. There are also statutes of limitation (at least here) for older crimes unless they involve a minor. True, it is hard to get a conviction after so many years (Bill Cosby's first trial ended in a hung jury), but the idea that a conviction is always desirable is itself an unjust view since a defendant may well be innocent. Statutes of limitation and the presumption of innocence in criminal cases are hard-won democratic protections. I share #metoo's wish to bring criminals to justice. As I said above, I only object to the movement to the extent that it excludes such protections. Otherwise, they are simply pursuing objectives politically and legally as is their good right (at least here). I'm glad Bill Cosby got due process and I'm glad he got convicted. I'm glad Harvey Weinstein is getting due process. Men who abuse women are dangerous creeps. But as you say, the bag holds cats as well snakes. It was ever thus, which is why these protections have always been worth dying for.
    Yeah, and sometimes we just had to admit democracy is a nice thing that only works in the paper. Hmm, ,i heard that somewhere, not sure if it was about democracy.



    Well, it's never to late for moderation, I suppose, but the fraught rhetoric, comical propaganda, and cutthroat dirty fighting of the moment have probably doomed this election (I mean the Congressional midterms in November) to further polarization. But elections are complicated things, as Hillary Clinton learned to her sorrow. I'm sure there will be another anti-Trump October surprise, but Trump isn't actually running, and if it's just another womanizing scandal it's not going to change many votes. But historically, the party in power gets screwed in the Midtrems, so Trump & Co. aren't out of the woods by any means. On the other hand, the Republican strategy in this election has been to paint their opponents as unhinged, and (in my opinion) the left has been more than playing into their hands on that score.
    Yeah, the funny thing I that I hardly see the democracts as anywhere near the left here, but of course, those terms are in the end meaningless. Local politics is what define the sittuation and democratic party is just plain bad at elections, honestly. Republicans always played this game better, it seems to be, that they always know the right moody to capitalize attention (and votes) from moderation. Democratics need "something" to win and they often get lost trying to find this something.

    I didn't follow this case closely, but I know some of the details. My position is that Disney's response was cowardly, but I'm sure they would just shrug and say business is business.
    Well, they said it was because the moral standards of the company, blahblah. Underline, it was busines. It is. Because of busines it is easy to sham the director (as if this is a new pratice in hollywood) than wait him clean up his name. I mean, it is of course follow Kevin Spacey case (as he did something way worst and by all accounts, still did) and remember, the rumors about his sexual abuses were old as hell, but never bothered anyone. I guess, soon, rumors will cause damage, so most people erase old posts.

    Ok, I can shrug off the irony of people dying by their mouth because of twitter, I can understand that sometimes people didn't really get better, so they better do something to fix their image, I can get this is old and it is not hollywood the only company that fires people who may have said something that would ruin the company's image, but this topic did deserve a more mature discussion than those silly wars that look like the guy from boston celtics posted 10 years ago green is the yuckest color and thus had his contract ended. The topic at hand is more important.

    The director (if that's what he was) had once posted a series of "sick jokes" about abusing children, right? Nothing criminal was alleged, he just made a bunch of very offensive jokes. So Disney says, hey, parents trust us with their children, and if they stopped doing that it would hurt our bottom line. So you're fired. Somebody probably said to him (off the record): Nothing personal, man, call me if you need a reference.

    So that's one issue--whether a private employer should have that kind of power over someone's off-work speech. I say no, but the laws (over here) at present are with the employer. The First Amendment only protects you from government infringement of free speech. I would support legislation or welcome a Supreme Court ruling expanding the freedom. I'm a free speech guy.
    I am not sure how the specific of american laws apply here (I suppose they are all following the letter of the law), but I hope Disney obeyed a contract to fire this guy (like should be with anyone they want to fire) and that there will be no "blacklisting".

    But the issue you seem to be getting at is different. The information was weaponized for political reasons--directed more at Disney/Marvel than the pawn it brought down. It was a hit, like the political hits made on the right, left, and on members of the media using accusations (and sometimes documentation) of sexual misconduct. Or having used a racial slur at some point in your life. Or having filled a now archived blog with anti-gay comments you later grew out of. Or having signed a communist petition in college. No, wait a minute, that was McCarthyism. But this road, trust me, it doesn't lead to a good place.
    Honestly, for many motives I do not give this case a big concern because i think it is a bad directtor for some generic franchise for Disney. But in other hand, I think the discussion of the limits of such actions found a good case example to make us think were the limit is. It is completely different from the letter signed by several european women attacking #metoo for the exageration. The idea is right, but those women based the idea in their own sittuation of power (european educated woman) rather than focusing in drawing the limits to what men (or the accused) did and what should be a problem. Yeah, Hollywood is a problem because they probally let this thing go slide anyways, they probally have the same producers and actors and directors abusing from 70's to today without saying much, but what about other enviroments?


    Well, I'd ask you to give me a better term for PC, but that would be such a PC thing to do. In my opinion, Mark Twain's racial slurs or Charles Dickens' negative stereotyping of Jews present an opportunity to teach young readers about prejudices and racialism without apologetics ("Hey, everyone talked like that in those days."). This demonizes the prejudice rather than setting new prejudices up against it. But removing the authors from curricula in favor of Lilith Has Two Mommies and Neither is White is mere rump Marxism. We can do better.
    BS would be a better term for PC and that wouldn't be PC at all

    Yeah, I think that also. It is unrealistic to expect a african-american girl to feel confortable with the world "n**r", it is not to make her understand the evolution of language and politics that allowed african-americans to have enough power and representation to at least make the world questionable. The solution (at least once) changing for slave make things more confortable? Maybe, but n**r is a slur exactly because it was used against slaves. You are just calling them what an entire civil war was made to end. Would be a good lesson of how we cannot erase the past but we are creative enough to deal with the future (but the problem is always reading. Who said the teachers are able to do such job?).

    As far as political nomenclature goes (libral, progressive, moderate, etc.) it is difficult to keep up with it while the meaning changes beneath you. It's truly exciting to live in such times, but sometimes it reminds me of the final years of the Soviet Union when hardline neo-Stalinists were confusingly referred to as conservatives. Such terms are best avoided though sometimes they are inevitable. I'll try to steer clear of them:

    In my opinion, the Democratic Party could crush Trump's Populist Republicans by returning to their working class roots. That means learning from its 2016 defeat and moving toward the center it abandoned for Silicon Valley and East Coast money. It would give them the industrial Midwest back, and the Trumpists couldn't beat them without that. But they are doing just the opposite. They are pulling further left, alienating moderates and crossover voters (with handmaidens and far worse), and putting everything they have into the dream of a massive wave of new immigrants to vote for them--the last thing the industrial Midwest wants. And it doesn't look planned. The extremists seem to be driving the agenda, which is fun until it comes time to vote. That's about as clear as I can be.
    You know, there is no real solution. In the end, you will win if you have money to supply your campaing. Here, the left governament alienated the extreme left and tried to work with the moderate politicians and this implied that when they worke up, they had no popular support or moderate support and bye bye.



    I've given the idea of Schopenhauer's elitism some thought, and I will concede this: he had a peculiar notion that working class people--it's hard to say, but...that they didn't actually exist as much as other people did. Not that they were less important (all were equally unimportant), but the kinds of lives most led--forced into unrelenting labor and worry and scarcely given a conscious moment to themselves--gave them virtually no opportunity for the development of a self. Thus they were almost entirely consumed by the Wille zum Leben. Those with greater opportunity for introspection were more fully developed individuals, but only a fraction ever really achieved selfhood. The hierarchical structure of this notion makes it somewhat elitist, although Schopenhauer is attempting to use reason in light of his theory of will rather than spouting mere class prejudice. It isn't that he dislikes workers, in fact he probably feels bad for them. But he only really likes his poodle. So maybe there is some class prejudice after all.

    Needless to say, I reject the idea that some people exist less than others. In fact, it is telling to Schopenhauer's own psychology that he does not conceive of family love or camaraderie in shared labor or introspection in prayer as meaningful in the development of self. Nevertheless, his idea had a long afterlife among the Moderns. Becoming a self is central to Nietzsche's philosophy (and Kierkegaard's) and later became a Western cultural commonplace through the influence of Jungian psychology. Was that elitism, too? I'll have to give it some thought.

    As far as novels go, I think it's easy to forget Schopenhauer's generation. People tend to think of him as him as a modern because he was such a big influence on Nietzsche, but Schopenhauer was born in 1788 and wrote The World as Will and Representation in 1818. Music (which he loved) was his generation's Dickens. So maybe he's just being a cantankerous old man. As you said, Schopenhauer would have made a good Dickens character. But I don't think rejecting the novel is very central to his ideas about will.
    Well, Schopenhauer was of course a man of his time. A product of enlightiment, as elitist as Voltaire was in the sense how their perceived the classes or popular culture. The "Ideal" man in their minds was too much appart from that and it would never a bunch of "charlatans" and perhaps a better understanding of historical process (perhaps Voltaire had some, but the skinny dude was too much up for a prank that ignored it except to use against those he attacked) to understand/have some empathy for the working class, it would be something that would come afterwards with the Dickens, Marx or Victor Hugos of life. I think there is something normal, those guys you mention are elitists but in a deep sense, humanists. They are thinking and in today world, they would probally have converns adjusted to this world concerns. We cannot ignore what happened, even if we are Schopenhauer and his search for abstract concepts.

    And yeah, I think literature was very peripheric to his central ideas. More a tool to him. I think having this culture (the music, the reading) was more a trait for the kind of man he imagined (or the kind of attitude) than a concern. Novels are more his crank self, this kind of novel, since, i thinkl, he liked Dom Quixote.
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yeah, and sometimes we just had to admit democracy is a nice thing that only works in the paper. Hmm, ,i heard that somewhere, not sure if it was about democracy.
    Well, democracy wasn't handed down from the gods like Achilles armor. It was made by people and given what people are, the fortunate few who have it can be thankful it protects as much as it does. Tyrannies create the illusion of justice because, in persecuting the innocent with the guilty, at least the tables seem to be turned. The aggrieved can howl: "I don't care who else got hurt! Was what happened to me fair?" But sooner or later (and often sooner) it's their and your and my turn in the guillotine. Revolutions are cruel Saturns. They chew their children's bones.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yeah, the funny thing I that I hardly see the democracts as anywhere near the left here, but of course, those terms are in the end meaningless.
    Yes, I've heard the same thing from British labo[u]r partisans. I suspect this is an illusion created by differences in political and social structure, history, culture, etc. There is indeed a far left here, but until now it has extended beyond the Democrats to parties too small to compete in presidential politics, of which the most influential is currently the Green Party. There is also the former independent socialist Bernie Sanders, who is currently a political force to be reckoned with. Sanders ran for president as a Democrat, but that was only an assertion that he actually stood a chance of winning. I laughed at the time, but boy was I wrong.

    Never mind that Sanders doesn't seem like a real socialist. He had to play to all sides Democratic Party during the election. He did so well because Millennial voters were turned off by Clinton (yesterday's news) and easily led farther left. This exposed the trajectory Democratic activists are now trying to push (although Sanders is probably too old to be anything but an ideological figurehead and white-haired Saint at this point).

    This is a no-win situation for the current party leadership. If they do not not take these newly self-discovered democratic socialists seriously, the kiddies may very well go over to the Greens, something that would cripple the Democrats, who rely heavily on young voters. But if the party goes left with them, it probably cripples itself in any national presidential election. To make things worse (for left politics in general), even if the kiddies did switch parties en mass, the Greens still probably would not stand a chance in a presidential candidate. And as you can imagine, a split vote would be an erotic dream to conservatives. But two years (that is, until the next presidential election) is a long time in politics. Things could change. They surely will. It's just a question of how.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Local politics is what define the sittuation and democratic party is just plain bad at elections, honestly. Republicans always played this game better, it seems to be, that they always know the right moody to capitalize attention (and votes) from moderation. Democratics need "something" to win and they often get lost trying to find this something.
    Well, things are never as permanent as they seem in politics. As a matter of fact, before the 2016 election, the Democrats had won four of the previous six presidential elections, and there was bravado from the Dems that the next Republican president hadn't been born yet. But you are right that the democrats are currently having trouble finding an issue to run on. Women good, men bad only gets you so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I am not sure how the specific of american laws apply here (I suppose they are all following the letter of the law), but I hope Disney obeyed a contract to fire this guy (like should be with anyone they want to fire) and that there will be no "blacklisting".
    It's a great point about contract law. At least he would have known score from the start--not that any could doubt what happens to those who damage the Evil Mouse's fake ears. But at least he would have known the rules--and that they were retroactive. But it's a little late to be hoping against blacklists. Daring to express the "wrong" opinion is enough to get you on one. We are living through a new McCarthyism. But stand firm. We shall overcome

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    It is completely different from the letter signed by several european women attacking #metoo for the exageration. The idea is right, but those women based the idea in their own sittuation of power (european educated woman) rather than focusing in drawing the limits to what men (or the accused) did and what should be a problem.
    I don't know the letter so I can't really comment. I do feel very strongly, though, that neither ethnicity nor sex nor level of education would invalidate an opinion on the matter in any way. Hierarchies of victimhood are just another form of tyranny. I think it would be a good idea to agree to disagree on this point now.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    BS would be a better term for PC and that wouldn't be PC at all
    Hmmm, let's try this out. #metoo is PC. #metoo is BS. You know, you may have a point.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Would be a good lesson of how we cannot erase the past but we are creative enough to deal with the future (but the problem is always reading. Who said the teachers are able to do such job?).
    I agree and well said. As far as teacher's go, pedagogy is a complicated issue, but (as Lincoln said of his generals) we must use the tools we have. I suspect it will involve a cultural change which it will also reinforce. This, I think, is coming.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    You know, there is no real solution. In the end, you will win if you have money to supply your campaing.
    Normally I would join you in that cynicism, but there is some evidence that in the current political environment (as always, I am talking about here) money may be a bit over-rated. Jeb Bush blew over 150 million dollars--more than any other Republican candidate and more than any candidate at all except one--in a humiliating bellyflop of a campaign that didn't even get him past South Carolina. His family is still whimpering about it (and his donors breathing murder). And the one candidate who outspent JEB! was the election's other historic loser, Hillary Clinton. So yes, money makes the world go 'round, but some voters--enough to really matter--don't seem particularly impressed by it these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I think there is something normal, those guys you mention are elitists but in a deep sense, humanists. They are thinking and in today world, they would probally have converns adjusted to this world concerns. We cannot ignore what happened, even if we are Schopenhauer and his search for abstract concepts.
    Well, that is certainly true of Jung, who saw absorption into political fanaticism (Fascist, Bolshevik) as a pathology of the undeveloped self. Hume would have insisted on more empiricism, I'm sure, and sometimes it does seem like the psychoanalysts got awfully far ahead of the evidence. Their successors' solution, of course, was Popper and Pragmatism (aka statistical analysis)--making do with something usable but only schematic, something anti-human in a certain way (in that numbers are incapable of wisdom). I don't think this is what Nietzsche had in mind. Kierkegaard would have wept. Voltaire would have laughed. Schopenhauer would have walked the dog.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    And yeah, I think literature was very peripheric to his central ideas. More a tool to him. I think having this culture (the music, the reading) was more a trait for the kind of man he imagined (or the kind of attitude) than a concern. Novels are more his crank self, this kind of novel, since, i thinkl, he liked Dom Quixote.
    Yes, The Sorrows of Young Werther, too. Goethe was an early mentor (or maybe more like a boss). There were others, but I forget the titles.

    It strikes me that the essay we've been talking about was written around 1850, which is about the time Schopenhauer started to be respected as a philosopher (he was for most of his life neglected). It would be interesting to see if his mother's bestsellers were already entering oblivion at that point. Perhaps the whole thing (I mean his distinction between those who write for money and those who write for subject) was just a late-life tantrum at her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Well, democracy wasn't handed down from the gods like Achilles armor. It was made by people and given what people are, the fortunate few who have it can be thankful it protects as much as it does. Tyrannies create the illusion of justice because, in persecuting the innocent with the guilty, at least the tables seem to be turned. The aggrieved can howl: "I don't care who else got hurt! Was what happened to me fair?" But sooner or later (and often sooner) it's their and your and my turn in the guillotine. Revolutions are cruel Saturns. They chew their children's bones.
    Yes, I know this. In my opinion, however, we are far from a revolution. There is no real turmoil caused in society, I mean, those movements like occupy ended with a whipper. At the spirit of the things, the respect for minorities seems like those trinkets in christmass trees. I dont think we are going to be in a more fair society in 10 years, not because the excess of #Metoo, but because I think most of real changes are minimal. Nobody is really turning the table on the game, they are pretty much accepting "this is the game, we can play too". The witch hunt in the end helps this, because, in the end, withc hunters never worked well, they often made the witches more powerful. Alas...

    Yes, I've heard the same thing from British labo[u]r partisans. I suspect this is an illusion created by differences in political and social structure, history, culture, etc. There is indeed a far left here, but until now it has extended beyond the Democrats to parties too small to compete in presidential politics, of which the most influential is currently the Green Party. There is also the former independent socialist Bernie Sanders, who is currently a political force to be reckoned with. Sanders ran for president as a Democrat, but that was only an assertion that he actually stood a chance of winning. I laughed at the time, but boy was I wrong.
    Yeah, of course, USA system favours this because one of the purposes is avoiding extremes to be in charge of the country. Democrats and republicans have to play the game and not destroy the board while rolling the dices. Left/Wing was never supposed to be universal terms and everytime we see a politician appealing to any universal definition, be left/right, commie/capitalist, he is probally just trying to BS us.

    People have to think and this leads me to one of funniests momments here this year. An Economist that is part of a TV show that talks about politics, economy (it is brazilian, but the name is Mahatann conection). The guy is a consultor for Blomberg, one of the other guys was a radical neo-liberal, etc. So you guess, it would be a right wing show. They are talking about Cuba (about americans going to study medicine in Havana) and the guy go, with the idea to diss Cuba, as they always do with any society with heavy governament's meddling and he says "In Cuba there is only 3 things that work: health, education and security, so it is natural they go there to study medicine" . I do not even want to think if it is a good explanation, if it is simplistic (would be a matter of cuban speciality? the advantage over the price of usa universities? those americans could be from latin-american ascendency? waterver) , but how someone is dissing a country with that? Wow, a governament that makes those 3 things work? Please, show us the formula! (Yeah, no formula, it is a process, sacrificies here and there, I know, nothing that simple).

    Never mind that Sanders doesn't seem like a real socialist. He had to play to all sides Democratic Party during the election. He did so well because Millennial voters were turned off by Clinton (yesterday's news) and easily led farther left. This exposed the trajectory Democratic activists are now trying to push (although Sanders is probably too old to be anything but an ideological figurehead and white-haired Saint at this point).

    This is a no-win situation for the current party leadership. If they do not not take these newly self-discovered democratic socialists seriously, the kiddies may very well go over to the Greens, something that would cripple the Democrats, who rely heavily on young voters. But if the party goes left with them, it probably cripples itself in any national presidential election. To make things worse (for left politics in general), even if the kiddies did switch parties en mass, the Greens still probably would not stand a chance in a presidential candidate. And as you can imagine, a split vote would be an erotic dream to conservatives. But two years (that is, until the next presidential election) is a long time in politics. Things could change. They surely will. It's just a question of how.
    I think it is a bit obvious they will lose the next run. No huge economical crises scenary that often turn the tip, no sittuation that will give enough control of the "Middlefield" for democrats (enough lame on Trump seems irrelevant and only moves on those who are already against him). Funny how Trump is the oposite as the icon we talked. Nothing about himself that is able to deceive anyone. He is pretty much what he sells to be, never had the pristine image Obama had. Perhaps the solution for Democrats is just find the most umpleasant individual and place him there. Schopenhauer style.



    It's a great point about contract law. At least he would have known score from the start--not that any could doubt what happens to those who damage the Evil Mouse's fake ears. But at least he would have known the rules--and that they were retroactive. But it's a little late to be hoping against blacklists. Daring to express the "wrong" opinion is enough to get you on one. We are living through a new McCarthyism. But stand firm. We shall overcome
    I warn you I am not trolling, but in Israel they will have a hidden camera show. Just instead of couples cheating each other and being placed live in studio facing each other to "clean the dirty laundry" before cameras, they will record sittuation of harassament in work places and place the "victims" and "villains" in studio. Nevermind that most of those sittuations will be staged and the harassament will be probally uttered in iambic verses, but see, the sittuation is already beyond comic. Nothing good will come from this, not just this show, but from the whole sittuation. Nothing like Soma. It is not a blacklist we will fear, but a script.


    I don't know the letter so I can't really comment. I do feel very strongly, though, that neither ethnicity nor sex nor level of education would invalidate an opinion on the matter in any way. Hierarchies of victimhood are just another form of tyranny. I think it would be a good idea to agree to disagree on this point now.
    No disagrement, I may have explained poorly. Of course, no problem with them being women or educated women, or watever. The problem is what they say. If I recall in the letter they ramble like us, I think the example was an inocent occasional hand on the knee. But then, they just call out how they reacted. They could ignore it, call out the responsable, etc and find it was innocent, etc, so the other women should be able to do it so. Ok, Nicole Kidman certainly can do all those. I even doubt anyone dares to touch her even if she is inside one of those ridiculous crowded trains in India. Maybe in the past she had to swallow one pill or two, but not now, because now she is a person with a certain power and we know, those abuse sittuations are about power (there may be not be a victimism hierarchy, but power has one) so, this does not happen and is a problem with powerful people. So, instead of talking about the issues of the accusations going overboard, they talked how powerful they are, ignored all women who cannot slap the hand in their knee because it is their only work after months looking for it, and what you had... a dick contest for the dickless.

    Hmmm, let's try this out. #metoo is PC. #metoo is BS. You know, you may have a point.

    I think the most important thing about this (beside a study on how the terminolgy is appropriate to validate a political agenda, but about this there is a more funny example here in Brasil. It is called Ideologia de Genero - Gender Ideology. Basically, in the last years there is a lot of worry about sexual education in public schools. The pregnancy and sexual diseases among teenagers of the lower class is a big health concern, and of course, most of them are in public schools. Together with the combat against gender discrimination - basically not using any text that suggest homosexualy is a disease or anomality. You can imagine this ruffles a lot of feathers among most religious groups and conservative sides. So they are trying to make laws against it and attack this Ideologia de Genero. The problem is that Ideologia de Genero is a term made up by Catholic Church in a bishop council a decade or so ago, so the parties that are supposed to defend this, cannot, because it is not part of their agenda at all. So, the conservative side "wins" the debate in the public opinion just with the manipulation of the expression. The PC is similar. Debates end with: this pc thing is ruinning art/movies/literature, it is mimimi and no real analyse of what happened) , anyways, the most important thing is how slippery those expressions can be to analyse the political spectrum. Another day a guy was writting a distopia and asked some people opinion. In his distopa description, it was a liberal society rulled by anarchism. Overall it was garbage, but the reaction of people was "liberal and anarchy are never together, had you studied. And I was thinking anarchy was not liberal? Heck, even Marx worked with more liberal economic ideas than not. All, because the labels. As bad as icons.

    I agree and well said. As far as teacher's go, pedagogy is a complicated issue, but (as Lincoln said of his generals) we must use the tools we have. I suspect it will involve a cultural change which it will also reinforce. This, I think, is coming.
    I hope there is. While education is treated as a busines, they will form bad readers. The teachers will need only to deal with perhaps the hedonism of the student and I read Hunger Games because I like it and I have the movie... Not sure the sittution in USA (which is probally very complex) but those researches showing the literary and reading interest decrease in USA and Europe does not sound well and are a bad omen for us over here. Sometimes, being a crack man like Schopenhauer is needed....



    Well, that is certainly true of Jung, who saw absorption into political fanaticism (Fascist, Bolshevik) as a pathology of the undeveloped self. Hume would have insisted on more empiricism, I'm sure, and sometimes it does seem like the psychoanalysts got awfully far ahead of the evidence. Their successors' solution, of course, was Popper and Pragmatism (aka statistical analysis)--making do with something usable but only schematic, something anti-human in a certain way (in that numbers are incapable of wisdom). I don't think this is what Nietzsche had in mind. Kierkegaard would have wept. Voltaire would have laughed. Schopenhauer would have walked the dog.
    Schopenhauer, saddly, would be the only victim of Wittgenstein's poke. Those guys are too good with words. They would control social media so easily. And they wouldnt have prpblem with twitter, after all Le Rochefocauld was born for this. The obvious difference, even those more abstract, are trying to attempt something. Today is too easy, the rebels are conformists or the true rebels seems so ridiculous (like the russian women from Pussy Riot. Ok, they have balls to do what they do over there. I cannot blame their excess - we have to use the weapons we have, so this means, the culture we have, the words we have, the medium we have - but how pointless are their action?). Meanwhile, those guys even when wrong, were able to demolish their adversaries with words (sometimes get demolish with iron, fire, stones, etc afterwards, but the damage done by words is more durable). Oh, well.


    Yes, The Sorrows of Young Werther, too. Goethe was an early mentor (or maybe more like a boss). There were others, but I forget the titles.

    It strikes me that the essay we've been talking about was written around 1850, which is about the time Schopenhauer started to be respected as a philosopher (he was for most of his life neglected). It would be interesting to see if his mother's bestsellers were already entering oblivion at that point. Perhaps the whole thing (I mean his distinction between those who write for money and those who write for subject) was just a late-life tantrum at her.
    Well, I agree it was a tantrum at her, but I think, time over time, the topic and distinction between "literary art" and "comercial art" pops. Novels, like his mother, were a minor art at the time because it was addressed to the public, for sale, etc. Dr Johnson already made the distinction (maybe Schopenhauer read him, certainly the kind of text he would like). It would take sometime until authors like Dickens had the literary acceptance... a time and few Tolstois, Flauberts and Dostoieviskis to make prose take the crow from poetry head. It seems to me pretty fit with Schopenhauer overall ideas a little contempt for the form (and this helped by his mother ghost) and we will find it reflected in the genre disction (Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction which often only means this book is just not good enough) or in Henry James and Virginia Woolf that would already acknowledge some novels ,but consider some novels as just comercial (Virginia with Stevenson for example).

    We have this today, after all. Dont we had Harold Bloom attacking Harry Potter or Stephen king (heh) attacking Stephanie Meyer
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, I know this. In my opinion, however, we are far from a revolution. There is no real turmoil caused in society, I mean, those movements like occupy ended with a whipper.
    When the woebegone remnants of Occupy Wall Street were finally evicted, somebody left a sign reading: YOU CAN'T EVICT AN IDEA. To which I added (in my imagination): And as soon as we have one, you're screwed! I have more respect for the ladies in Pussy Riot (who are actually taking risks), although their methods can seem a bit--Dadaistic? Anyway, Occupy is more of a lifestyle--and a narcissistic one at that. It's all about the protester, and it's mostly about the protester being embarrassed not to have more power in his or her own life. It gives the illusion that one's actions are more significant than they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Nobody is really turning the table on the game, they are pretty much accepting "this is the game, we can play too".
    Yes, exactly. At least the Occupy pot heads fantasize about changing something. This weird wave of quasi-mainstream post-Marxism (intersectionality, 3rd-wave feminism, etc.--essentially the politics of victimhood) is really just about getting a piece of the action in the dominance and exploitation game. Why change a game if you think you can win?

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yeah, of course, USA system favours this because one of the purposes is avoiding extremes to be in charge of the country. Democrats and republicans have to play the game and not destroy the board while rolling the dices. Left/Wing was never supposed to be universal terms and everytime we see a politician appealing to any universal definition, be left/right, commie/capitalist, he is probally just trying to BS us.
    Yes, probably. We are also at a really interesting time historically when the major American parties show signs (though resisted from within) of swapping their constituencies. The Democrats used to be the workingman's party and the Republicans used to be the corporate/millionaire's party. Now the Trumpists at least have a claim on blue collar America (though not yet on unions--those still bankroll the Democrats). And Clintonian/Silicon Valley Democrats are the new corporatists (though billionaires now). But the old guard patrician Republicans are still around and definitely look at the Trumpers as a vulgar "occupation government." But believe it or not the parties do represent distinct visions, which is why so much is riding on Supreme Court nominees. Trump's choices (drawn from a list given him by the Federalist Society, a Constitutionalist think tank) will affect the rest of my life and probably the generation that follows. And it would be a very different future if Hillary Clinton had been appointing the justices.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I think it is a bit obvious they will lose the next run. No huge economical crises scenary that often turn the tip, no sittuation that will give enough control of the "Middlefield" for democrats (enough lame on Trump seems irrelevant and only moves on those who are already against him).
    If you mean the Congressional Midterms in November, no, it could go either way (or more precisely it could go any one of four ways, each with hugely important implications for the immediate future). Parties try to turn their bases out during Congressional elections and play to the broader electorate in presidential races. That means a degree of nutty activism could actually help the Democrats in this case. My point was just that #metoo may be having an unexpectedly contrary effect. I think a lot of men secretly hate it, just like a lot of men secretly voted for Trump. Also some activist tactics--like heckling a lady out of a restaurant because she works for Trump and others just for being conservatives--really don't go over very well. But Congressional elections are decided on state and local issues. This election is still up for grabs. It's exciting if you like politics and history.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Funny how Trump is the oposite as the icon we talked. Nothing about himself that is able to deceive anyone. He is pretty much what he sells to be, never had the pristine image Obama had. Perhaps the solution for Democrats is just find the most umpleasant individual and place him there. Schopenhauer style.
    They already tried that with Clinton. Okay, I'm mostly kidding--but that voice! But yes, I fear Donald Trump is not a man of much subtlety--or philosophy. His administration may yet prove to be a disaster, but I think he's done fairly well so far. I got what I wanted with Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, and unless things go off the rails, I'll get it again when Brett Kavanaugh's nomination is confirmed by the (pre-election) narrowly Republican Senate. If the Republicans hold the Senate in November, I'll probably get it a third time, after the increasingly zombie-like Ruth Ginsburg goes to God's Judgment. And maybe a fourth time if Clarence Thomas wants to retire (as is rumored). If the Republicans lose the Senate, I hope Trump continues to nominate Constitutionalists (that is, not compromise candidates just to get them through). The Democrats will shoot them down, of course, but the conservatives would at least have a five to four majority on the court. Or Trump could nominate no one and just wait for the weather to clear--in his hypothetical second term or maybe Mike Pence's first. The court is what I really care about. Presidents come and go.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I warn you I am not trolling, but in Israel they will have a hidden camera show. Just instead of couples cheating each other and being placed live in studio facing each other to "clean the dirty laundry" before cameras, they will record sittuation of harassament in work places and place the "victims" and "villains" in studio. Nevermind that most of those sittuations will be staged and the harassament will be probally uttered in iambic verses, but see, the sittuation is already beyond comic. Nothing good will come from this, not just this show, but from the whole sittuation. Nothing like Soma. It is not a blacklist we will fear, but a script.
    One of the network's here tried a show like that a few years ago (probably many, since I haven't watched TV for a while). It wasn't scripted, but it became highly political in a short time--so it looked like that was always the intent. They would do things like go to a coffee shop in a red neck-ish factory town and send in Muslim actors who would have trouble making themselves understood and piss off the people waiting in line behind them. Then the actors would leave and, if the producers were lucky, the people in line (and maybe even the guy at the register) would say nasty, bigoted things about them. Whereupon, the host would emerge and confront them--later showing the actors the recording and asking them how it made them feel. Maybe a vendor would get fired. The dumb bigots would be publicly humiliated in any case. It was propaganda inasmuch as there was no ratio of places and times the trap had failed. The message that Americans are racist was broadcast worldwide, but the stateside message was--we're coming for you. Still the show didn't last long. TV producers alienate idiots at their own peril.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    No disagrement, I may have explained poorly. Of course, no problem with them being women or educated women, or watever. The problem is what they say. If I recall in the letter they ramble like us, I think the example was an inocent occasional hand on the knee. But then, they just call out how they reacted. They could ignore it, call out the responsable, etc and find it was innocent, etc, so the other women should be able to do it so.
    Well, that's a good point. Not all women are in a position to object to the things they feel uncomfortable about at work. In my opinion, it goes beyond that to an issue of employers/managers/corporations having way too much power over individuals. But law (including the civil courts where the burden of proof is a little easier) is the only just recourse. If #metoo facilitates that (and to the extent that they do), I have no problem with them. Otherwise, the net will be cast too wide and the innocent will be drawn into it. Lives will be wrecked without due process--in some cases as mere political hit jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I think the most important thing about this (beside a study on how the terminolgy is appropriate to validate a political agenda, but about this there is a more funny example here in Brasil. It is called Ideologia de Genero - Gender Ideology. Basically, in the last years there is a lot of worry about sexual education in public schools. The pregnancy and sexual diseases among teenagers of the lower class is a big health concern, and of course, most of them are in public schools. Together with the combat against gender discrimination - basically not using any text that suggest homosexualy is a disease or anomality. You can imagine this ruffles a lot of feathers among most religious groups and conservative sides. So they are trying to make laws against it and attack this Ideologia de Genero. The problem is that Ideologia de Genero is a term made up by Catholic Church in a bishop council a decade or so ago, so the parties that are supposed to defend this, cannot, because it is not part of their agenda at all. So, the conservative side "wins" the debate in the public opinion just with the manipulation of the expression. The PC is similar. Debates end with: this pc thing is ruinning art/movies/literature, it is mimimi and no real analyse of what happened) , anyways, the most important thing is how slippery those expressions can be to analyse the political spectrum. Another day a guy was writting a distopia and asked some people opinion. In his distopa description, it was a liberal society rulled by anarchism. Overall it was garbage, but the reaction of people was "liberal and anarchy are never together, had you studied. And I was thinking anarchy was not liberal? Heck, even Marx worked with more liberal economic ideas than not. All, because the labels. As bad as icons.
    Yes, labels can be a problem, but many are inevitable. There are core beliefs, too, and abolishing labels (even in principle) is likely make the spectrum of political ideology seem more homogenous than it really is. Diversity of thought (and people thinking for themselves) is what we want. The solution, of course, is to approach each label critically (I mean with critical thinking), but many can't or don't or won't do that. Politicians intentionally mislabel themselves and their constituencies and enemies to try to draw dupes in, and political factions (like religious orthodoxies) don't always appreciate people thinking for themselves. In the immortal words of W.S Gilbert:

    I always voted at my party's call
    And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.

    Another problem with political labels is this (there's a name for this kind of fallacy, but I'm not sure what it is):

    Someone says: well, I must be a liberal because liberals are kind and compassionate and good, and thats me exactly--oh, me me me me me! Or else, I must be a conservative because conservatives are strong and patriotic and good, that's me me me, etc. So let's explore this interesting aspect of me! Now let me see, I must support (or oppose) abortion, feminism, gay rights, corporate rights, workers rights, affirmative action, war, appeasement, and tax cuts. Because that's what we liberals (or conservatives) are like, right? And I must really believe those things because--me me me me me me!

    So what starts as an ignorant narcissism ends up an (equally ignorant and narcissistic) voluntary indoctrination. W.S. Gilbert again:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ooqDc2Yg3lI

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I hope there is. While education is treated as a business they will form bad readers. The teachers will need only to deal with perhaps the hedonism of the student and I read Hunger Games because I like it and I have the movie... Not sure the sittution in USA (which is probally very complex) but those researches showing the literary and reading interest decrease in USA and Europe does not sound well and are a bad omen for us over here. Sometimes, being a crack man like Schopenhauer is needed....
    Well, the Millennials (while I am being careful about the label) have grown up in a coddled culture. I'm not sure that young adult fiction has been a bad influence, but things like No Fear Shakespeare (with the language dumbed down at the cost of the poetry) certainly are. When you teach students that literature is something to be feared, it won't be long before the fear turns to hatred. And if you add the self-righteous and self-exculpating political dogma (see how I avoided saying PC ) that, hey, those guys are just a bunch of sexist, racist white men, how do you expect them to react? Laziness and self-righteousness both? I love school!

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    It would take sometime until authors like Dickens had the literary acceptance... a time and few Tolstois, Flauberts and Dostoieviskis to make prose take the crow from poetry head. It seems to me pretty fit with Schopenhauer overall ideas a little contempt for the form (and this helped by his mother ghost) and we will find it reflected in the genre disction (Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction which often only means this book is just not good enough) or in Henry James and Virginia Woolf that would already acknowledge some novels ,but consider some novels as just comercial (Virginia with Stevenson for example).
    It occurred to me also that David Copperfield was written about the same time as the Schopenhauer essay, and that, arguably, it was the first of Dickens truly great novels. Maybe Schopenhauer just didn't see where the art form was going (or maybe he did and just preferred complaining to his dog over reading). It would be interesting to know if he had an opinion of Fielding (if he ever expressed one, I've forgotten it). I also wonder what he would have thought of Woolf. I get the feeling that he would have complained she was trying to make herself sound intelligent by talking over people's heads. Whatever his faults, he had no patience with that. Go Schopenhauer!
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-30-2018 at 05:54 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    When the woebegone remnants of Occupy Wall Street were finally evicted, somebody left a sign reading: YOU CAN'T EVICT AN IDEA. To which I added (in my imagination): And as soon as we have one, you're screwed! I have more respect for the ladies in Pussy Riot (who are actually taking risks), although their methods can seem a bit--Dadaistic? Anyway, Occupy is more of a lifestyle--and a narcissistic one at that. It's all about the protester, and it's mostly about the protester being embarrassed not to have more power in his or her own life. It gives the illusion that one's actions are more significant than they are.
    Yeah, that is why I see no revolution happening at all. Occupy movement (with the most likely several layers of proposals, ideas, etc, that naturally happen in anything that is promoted in several places at the same time) is more like leverage for the Democrats/Republicans debate. Political canon folder. It is a bit different (albeit the outcome was disapointing) than arabin spring, that was born out of desperation and like you said, people without power actually took risks.


    Yes, exactly. At least the Occupy pot heads fantasize about changing something. This weird wave of quasi-mainstream post-Marxism (intersectionality, 3rd-wave feminism, etc.--essentially the politics of victimhood) is really just about getting a piece of the action in the dominance and exploitation game. Why change a game if you think you can win?
    There you have, this third wave marxism (well, i dunno, I suppose the first wave was marx himself, the second was the new-marxism born of french and german criticism of marxism) is exactly what you fear about Icons. Marx today is no longer a complicated thinker trying to come up with a historical/economical analyse and theory in conformity with XIX century scientific approach, he is some mix of revolutionary genius/babbling idiot/dom quixote created by years of propaganda pro- and against him and even those marxists believe in things he would never consider. They have ideas, not ideals (ideas are easy to kill actually, those occupy idiots. You just need to have a cooler idea. Ideals in other hand, they are something else that no contraditory ideal can really destroy) to sustain their claims (legitimate or not). Which come to the the entire matter of reading, or Philosophy's poor status in those days (which implies, studying something deeply without trying to find a easy answer is shunned down).


    If you mean the Congressional Midterms in November, no, it could go either way (or more precisely it could go any one of four ways, each with hugely important implications for the immediate future). Parties try to turn their bases out during Congressional elections and play to the broader electorate in presidential races. That means a degree of nutty activism could actually help the Democrats in this case. My point was just that #metoo may be having an unexpectedly contrary effect. I think a lot of men secretly hate it, just like a lot of men secretly voted for Trump. Also some activist tactics--like heckling a lady out of a restaurant because she works for Trump and others just for being conservatives--really don't go over very well. But Congressional elections are decided on state and local issues. This election is still up for grabs. It's exciting if you like politics and history.
    I was think more like the re-election scenary. I think it is a done deal. But them, I think my knowledge is not deep. (albeit, I also thought Hilary defeat was a done deal, despite the media here, mostly pro-democrats, insisting otherwise. She was just a bad name using an awful strategy).



    They already tried that with Clinton. Okay, I'm mostly kidding--but that voice! But yes, I fear Donald Trump is not a man of much subtlety--or philosophy. His administration may yet prove to be a disaster, but I think he's done fairly well so far. I got what I wanted with Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, and unless things go off the rails, I'll get it again when Brett Kavanaugh's nomination is confirmed by the (pre-election) narrowly Republican Senate. If the Republicans hold the Senate in November, I'll probably get it a third time, after the increasingly zombie-like Ruth Ginsburg goes to God's Judgment. And maybe a fourth time if Clarence Thomas wants to retire (as is rumored). If the Republicans lose the Senate, I hope Trump continues to nominate Constitutionalists (that is, not compromise candidates just to get them through). The Democrats will shoot them down, of course, but the conservatives would at least have a five to four majority on the court. Or Trump could nominate no one and just wait for the weather to clear--in his hypothetical second term or maybe Mike Pence's first. The court is what I really care about. Presidents come and go.
    Clinton... He was so weird. It is like, you americans spend the 80's producing romantic movies where John Cusak ends with the girl and punches the obviously richer, stronger and apparently good looking Clinton. It is almost like "at the end of this term, John Cusak will punch this guy, end with the girl and we laugh" thing.

    Anyways, my big problem with Trump is not his politics (I may disagree here and there more often than not, but I am on the team "a president has a huge potential to screw up his country and a small to help, but reggarding another country, he only has potential to screw up), but image he promotes for the public (the one he created) and some people identify. It is hard to vallue someone who is so happy and sucessful to be a babbling moron and therefore, babblings morons feel great and loud about him.



    Well, that's a good point. Not all women are in a position to object to the things they feel uncomfortable about at work. In my opinion, it goes beyond that to an issue of employers/managers/corporations having way too much power over individuals. But law (including the civil courts where the burden of proof is a little easier) is the only just recourse. If #metoo facilitates that (and to the extent that they do), I have no problem with them. Otherwise, the net will be cast too wide and the innocent will be drawn into it. Lives will be wrecked without due process--in some cases as mere political hit jobs.
    Yes, there is no worst excuse than the famous "she/he must grow a thicker skin". It is usually said by someone who holds an axe.


    Yes, labels can be a problem, but many are inevitable. There are core beliefs, too, and abolishing labels (even in principle) is likely make the spectrum of political ideology seem more homogenous than it really is. Diversity of thought (and people thinking for themselves) is what we want. The solution, of course, is to approach each label critically (I mean with critical thinking), but many can't or don't or won't do that. Politicians intentionally mislabel themselves and their constituencies and enemies to try to draw dupes in, and political factions (like religious orthodoxies) don't always appreciate people thinking for themselves. In the immortal words of W.S Gilbert:

    I always voted at my party's call
    And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.
    Yeah, ultimatelly there is a dangerous label, that all politics are the same and all are equally corrupt. This is often a way to tell you "stay home, it is not worth to care, discuss, think about politics". I imagine that this can be very trick in a country like USA where voting is not mandatory and people must feel compelled to do vote, talk about politics and think about it.

    Another problem with political labels is this (there's a name for this kind of fallacy, but I'm not sure what it is):

    Someone says: well, I must be a liberal because liberals are kind and compassionate and good, and thats me exactly--oh, me me me me me! Or else, I must be a conservative because conservatives are strong and patriotic and good, that's me me me, etc. So let's explore this interesting aspect of me! Now let me see, I must support (or oppose) abortion, feminism, gay rights, corporate rights, workers rights, affirmative action, war, appeasement, and tax cuts. Because that's what we liberals (or conservatives) are like, right? And I must really believe those things because--me me me me me me!

    So what starts as an ignorant narcissism ends up an (equally ignorant and narcissistic) voluntary indoctrination. W.S. Gilbert again:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ooqDc2Yg3lI
    Not here, Liberals are evil and sell-outs. One of the dangers of the label is that liberalism is no longer a synounimous with XVIII century liberalism, but with Tatcher, Clinton and the neo-liberal agenda. The kind of political agenda that does not bring good results for countries like Brazil. Of course, they picked the liberal label because it come with those agendas: democracy, feminism, freedom... and those things look good, no? It is one of motives Democrats will never be seen often as "left"here for example, they share some agendas, but being liberal, they have more to share in the parties that are right here. And funny enough, the "Left" parties do want some of republican approach to strength national economy.

    Well, at least you can tell what Republicans and Democrats more or less want or will fight for, here, the biggest party basically program is "I want to sustain however is in power, so his agenda will become mine as long I can keep the positions in the second roll of power and in governament companies".


    Well, the Millennials (while I am being careful about the label) have grown up in a coddled culture. I'm not sure that young adult fiction has been a bad influence, but things like No Fear Shakespeare (with the language dumbed down at the cost of the poetry) certainly are. When you teach students that literature is something to be feared, it won't be long before the fear turns to hatred. And if you add the self-righteous and self-exculpating political dogma (see how I avoided saying PC ) that, hey, those guys are just a bunch of sexist, racist white men, how do you expect them to react? Laziness and self-righteousness both? I love school!
    Yes, I do not knew about No Fear Shakespeare (I can imagine this coming from a positive side), but ultimately it goes to the fact that Shakespeare has the best arguments about himself that you can expect. The guy is everywhere, someone must be doing something wrong if people are getting afraid of him. Of course, all new generations have this thing about the "canonical" writers, let's rebel about him. Italians probally are bored about Dante.

    Of course that is an old problem about abriged versions or Bowlderizing the text, but at sametime there were Charles and Mary Lamb versions that weren't bad at all. And this come to why people read Paulo Coelho and tell me "it is easy, 2 hours and i do not think anymore about it, so why not reading" and the concept of "as long it is reading it is good". There is a limited there, when you play with shakespeare language to make a new language or just to dumb down? I do think there is a limit and the kind of reader we form depends in what he is reading. Schopenhauer side of me speaks loud at this time.

    In a mass of this incoherent rambling I find funny Tolkien. He is a best-seller, somehow a father of many of this silly fantasy novels and he was everything but someone who dumbed down language. Not saying he was a great writer that explored language like Joyce or Faulkner, because he didn't even knew how to do it. Lord of the Rings structure and final product is a bad best-seller product. Too long, not enough likeable characters being explored, no villains standing out, over descriptive, slow (no wonder the movies changed so much), yet it is a huge best seller. People read it. People face the never ending hobbit travel. So, those teenagers are pretty much able to stood a harder challenge. I know, Tolkien visual appeal probally made him stood out, but it is possible to explore the readers.

    And this come to a regional thing. Here in Brazil, it is not unusual a thing named "book-cupom", a ticket the governaments sometimes give to kids from public schools to go to book fairs (the governament take them there too) and trade for books. The idea is a way to boost sales in those fairs (so more publishing houses will be part of it), to allow more poor kids to buy and have books, and thus promote reading among them. It is a nice thing, trivial, but it is a little help. Of course kids, being kids, do not go there and pick Shakespeare. They go for the teenage best-seller or similar. That would be ok, acceptable, it is their option. The problem is when they go for cheap books (the vallue of the cupom is not high, some places is very low) or toy books or colloring books. Those cheap books sometimes printed in china, with some random public domain tale, bad written, illustraded or with a mickey mouse face or barbie or watever. Of course, nobody wants to waste resources flogging a dead horse. Those books will not last (the material used is poor) and this will not promote reading at all. Happily we are being able to find some schools and teachers that actually manage to make the kids vallue the little book they will get.

    It occurred to me also that David Copperfield was written about the same time as the Schopenhauer essay, and that, arguably, it was the first of Dickens truly great novels. Maybe Schopenhauer just didn't see where the art form was going (or maybe he did and just preferred complaining to his dog over reading). It would be interesting to know if he had an opinion of Fielding (if he ever expressed one, I've forgotten it). I also wonder what he would have thought of Woolf. I get the feeling that he would have complained she was trying to make herself sound intelligent by talking over people's heads. Whatever his faults, he had no patience with that. Go Schopenhauer!
    Yeah, but still, Dickens would have some status beyond popular and loved writer only after the novels went so complex in their experimentation that they discovered that Dickens simplicity was a great form of art. I think Schopenhauer is the kind of dude that would scorn anyone suggesting him to read Dickens. Fielding looks like the kind of material he would like, he knew well english literature from the period (he was a fan of Sterne too), but if he didn't mention, having write about humour and comic texts, he probally didnt liked much nor dislike enough to compare it to Hegel's toes.
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    It is a bit different (albeit the outcome was disapointing) than arabin spring, that was born out of desperation and like you said, people without power actually took risks.
    The Arab Spring began in an act of self-immolation as the only protest that was likely to get the world's attention. And yes, that was an act of desperation and almost inconceivable self-sacrifice. But after that, there was something strangely and naively optimistic about the movement. I don't mean the Arab people were naive to dream of better governments. The naïveté (which was more widespread) had to do with using social media as a means of effecting widespread change. I remember hearing American tech enthusiasts at the time predicting it would bring the end of authoritarianism the world 'round. Repressive regimes, they said, would be unable to control populations who could communicate in real time and broadcast their plight to the big compassionate world. But the real result (revolution and counterrevolution in Egypt notwithstanding) was the unspeakably grizzly Syrian Civil War which has killed half a million so far and failed to dislodge the dictator (never mind creating Isis and bringing United States and Russian forces into shooting range--and briefly into combat). So if the Arab Spring was born in desperation, it seems to have died in desperation--after a brief honeymoon as the world's iconic victims. So much for social media. So much for icons. So much for optimism.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I was think more like the re-election scenary. I think it is a done deal. But them, I think my knowledge is not deep. (albeit, I also thought Hilary defeat was a done deal, despite the media here, mostly pro-democrats, insisting otherwise. She was just a bad name using an awful strategy).
    Yes, as I said, I see the Democrats headed in exactly the wrong direction for the presidential election. Trump is likely to be reelected. But anything could happen in two years--so who really knows? Good for you, though, in calling the 2016 election. I doubted Trump would make it, but I always try to keep my mind open (by which I mean I try to be skeptical of the media). I stayed up all election night, emailing my wife in Taiwan with real time updates). By morning I felt like we'd witnessed something historic. I was glad Trump had won and greatly amused at his bewildered and formerly smug legion of critics. To date, I have not regretted voting for him. But as the Vikings used to say, Praise not the day till evening falls. Things can always go bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Clinton... He was so weird.
    No, I meant her. I was kidding, but she did have a voice that made you want to blow your brains out before she got the the end of the sentence. Not running a candidate with an irritating voice is a fairly elementary political rule in the media age. The Democrats tried to run the excruciatingly whiney Walter Mondale against Reagan in 1984. It was the worst defeat in American presidential history. I can hear him sniveling to this day.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    It is hard to vallue someone who is so happy and sucessful to be a babbling moron and therefore, babblings morons feel great and loud about him.
    I'm oddly immune to the babbling moron factor. Part of it, I think, has to do with my television watching habits. These days I watch election returns but essentially nothing else. Before that, and for many years, I watched only news programs and occasionally imported BBC costume dramatizations of classic novels. During the same time, I guess, the world watched a cable show called Celebrity Apprentice. But I never saw the show and was only vaguely aware of its existence. I mostly remember Trump from the 1980s, when he was self-promoting leveraged buy-out guy. So I haven't gone through the YOU'RE KIDDING? THAT GUY FROM CELEBRITY APPRENTICE? shock that others have. I'm also old enough to remember the same contrived outrage leveled at Ronald Reagan for those god awful B-movies he was in--and how that proved utterly irrelevant to his ability to govern. So the image that Trump made for himself (as you put it quite well) means virtually nothing to me.

    I also suspect--in fact I know damn well--that many Americans actually disdain Trump because they are fearful of being associated by judgmental peers with his less educated, less affluent, and working class core of supporters (those Hillary famously described as "deplorable" and "irredeemable"). I have faults, but I am not susceptible to that sort of elitism--due largely to my Midwestern family roots and the boyhood summers I spent among "deplorables" I came to love. At the same time, I was born and raised (and still live) in a state renowned for its intellectual snobbery. Believe me, I know the game.

    But most of all, I refuse to treat a candidate or political figure as an icon or a brand reflective of me me me me me. I am not a Biblical literalist, but I have every respect for the Evangelical voters (an important political bloc over here) who knew what they wanted in a Supreme Court and decided to throw in with the Constantine. If Trump replaces Ginsburg with a judge from the Federalist list (as he has done already with Gorsuch and is currently doing with Kavanaugh), a vision of the country I love (with free speech protected, for example, and the possibility of less abortion) will survive long after the unlikely emperor is gone. Babes in their mothers wombs tonight will be middle aged before it could even change (and at that point it probably wouldn't--not that I'll be here to enjoy it). So yes, I'm quite happy about my vote. It was much bigger than Trump.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, there is no worst excuse than the famous "she/he must grow a thicker skin". It is usually said by someone who holds an axe.
    I agree. It's an Internet nihilist's expression. It means there are no consequences for what I do to you anonymously. These poor kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yeah, ultimatelly there is a dangerous label, that all politics are the same and all are equally corrupt. This is often a way to tell you "stay home, it is not worth to care, discuss, think about politics". I imagine that this can be very trick in a country like USA where voting is not mandatory and people must feel compelled to do vote, talk about politics and think about it.
    That cynicism ("it is not worth it to care") is pervasive among the poor and disaffected in America. In fact, only a fraction of the potential electorate actually votes (which is why polls of likely voters are more accurate than generic polls). So winning a national election is really a matter of "turning out the vote"--that is, reaching people, making sure they are registered, and making sure they actually vote. One of Trump's strengths was that he connected with huge numbers of typical non-voters (the deplorables) who turned out for him in droves. And that despite the fact that he didn't really know how the ground game worked. They came to him. Obama's trick was turning on the sometimes unreliable youth vote. The Millennial kiddies decided (not without some narcissism) that, unlike their racist parents, they were going to "make history" by electing an African American president. It was more complicated, of course. Bush had been a disaster--maybe the worst president in our history--so to some extent there was a general flush going on. But Obama's energy came from a new generation who were actually dumb enough to believe that a candidate's skin color reflected something heroic about themselves. That was why Hillary Clinton kept trying to woo the Bernie kids with her stupid (in retrospect) "glass ceiling" rhetoric: Hey, if you liked Barack's melanin, you're going to love my vagina! But they hated her; because the whole point of Obama was that he existed to the glory of their generation and not their parents' (with whom this old bat was associated). Politics is like advertising. It's baited with self-love.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Not here, Liberals are evil and sell-outs. One of the dangers of the label is that liberalism is no longer a synounimous with XVIII century liberalism, but with Tatcher, Clinton and the neo-liberal agenda. The kind of political agenda that does not bring good results for countries like Brazil. Of course, they picked the liberal label because it come with those agendas: democracy, feminism, freedom... and those things look good, no? It is one of motives Democrats will never be seen often as "left"here for example, they share some agendas, but being liberal, they have more to share in the parties that are right here. And funny enough, the "Left" parties do want some of republican approach to strength national economy.
    Political labels are enough of a problem in one's own country. They are worse when applied internationally. The idea that Thatcher could be thought of as a liberal (in a modern sense) would be crazy over here. Even British conservatives have insisted on filling her mouth with garlic and driving a stake through her heart. My schtick is that in a free society, individuals can come to their own political conclusions in accord with their values--without without labels, icons, or brand loyalty. Rousseau didn't think so. Neither did Stalin or Mao. So maybe I have a higher opinion of common men and women than they did. I consider them able to think for themselves in any case--even if they seldom do.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, I do not knew about No Fear Shakespeare (I can imagine this coming from a positive side), but ultimately it goes to the fact that Shakespeare has the best arguments about himself that you can expect. The guy is everywhere, someone must be doing something wrong if people are getting afraid of him. Of course, all new generations have this thing about the "canonical" writers, let's rebel about him. Italians probally are bored about Dante.
    Well, No Fear Shakespeare has nothing to do with Shakespeare's ideas. They are new editions of the plays with the language dumbed down because otherwise students wouldn't be able to understand the English--not without trying and thinking and delighting and picking it up eventually. Admittedly the original texts have already gone through some modernization, but that involved close attention to the form and sound--you know, to poetry. Something different is going on here. This is a way to excuse teachers from teaching and students from learning. And unfortunately it is part of a much larger trend in American education. Real teachers cost more than babysitters.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Of course that is an old problem about abriged versions or Bowlderizing the text, but at sametime there were Charles and Mary Lamb versions that weren't bad at all.
    Yes, but that's different. Bowlder with Shakespeare, like Edith Hamilton with mythology, was not attempting to dumb material down or even trying to censor it per se (although both ended up doing so). They were trying to get as much text as possible to young women in the face of a society that didn't think they should be exposed to sex and violence in literature. I don't know much about Lamb.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Schopenhauer side of me speaks loud at this time.
    COME OVER TO THE DARK SIDE, LUKE!

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    And this come to a regional thing. Here in Brazil, it is not unusual a thing named "book-cupom", a ticket the governaments sometimes give to kids from public schools to go to book fairs (the governament take them there too) and trade for books. The idea is a way to boost sales in those fairs (so more publishing houses will be part of it), to allow more poor kids to buy and have books, and thus promote reading among them. It is a nice thing, trivial, but it is a little help. Of course kids, being kids, do not go there and pick Shakespeare. They go for the teenage best-seller or similar. That would be ok, acceptable, it is their option. The problem is when they go for cheap books (the vallue of the cupom is not high, some places is very low) or toy books or colloring books. Those cheap books sometimes printed in china, with some random public domain tale, bad written, illustraded or with a mickey mouse face or barbie or watever. Of course, nobody wants to waste resources flogging a dead horse. Those books will not last (the material used is poor) and this will not promote reading at all. Happily we are being able to find some schools and teachers that actually manage to make the kids vallue the little book they will get.
    Well, first of all, I think the book coupon is magnificent. It was at such a book fair that I found Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, which led me to Sherlock Holmes, which led me Bram Stoker, which led me to Charles Dickens, which led me to... It only takes a spark to light the fire of a lifetime. I understand the problem with sparks that are unlikely to catch, but that is what makes the guidance of a teacher or a parent or a big brother or sister so important. Didn't you tell me you took that role with your sisters? That's magnificent, too.

    Hey, speaking of Shakespeare, I wanted to get your opinion about the disappearance of the fool in King Lear. I wrote a little about this in a review of Peter Brook's film version of King Lear. As you know, the fool unexpectedly becomes an important character--then just vanishes. Much later, Lear says something like They have hanged my fool, but he is almost certainly talking about Cordelia, whose body he is weeping over (fool could also be used as an endearment). Do you think the unexplained departure of the fool was done for a reason? What do you think Shakespeare was up to?
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 08-02-2018 at 11:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    The Arab Spring began in an act of self-immolation as the only protest that was likely to get the world's attention. And yes, that was an act of desperation and almost inconceivable self-sacrifice. But after that, there was something strangely and naively optimistic about the movement. I don't mean the Arab people were naive to dream of better governments. The naïveté (which was more widespread) had to do with using social media as a means of effecting widespread change. I remember hearing American tech enthusiasts at the time predicting it would bring the end of authoritarianism the world 'round. Repressive regimes, they said, would be unable to control populations who could communicate in real time and broadcast their plight to the big compassionate world. But the real result (revolution and counterrevolution in Egypt notwithstanding) was the unspeakably grizzly Syrian Civil War which has killed half a million so far and failed to dislodge the dictator (never mind creating Isis and bringing United States and Russian forces into shooting range--and briefly into combat). So if the Arab Spring was born in desperation, it seems to have died in desperation--after a brief honeymoon as the world's iconic victims. So much for social media. So much for icons. So much for optimism.
    It is a bit hilarious that XXI century and we look the orient and we still see them by our cultural bias and this caused this misjudgement of the sittuation there. The population there do not have even half of the access to internet like western do and while, porn and pirate movies will domain any place in the world, it is funny to think they would treat and use social media like the western do. Of course, spiced up by the idolatry for the social media...


    No, I meant her. I was kidding, but she did have a voice that made you want to blow your brains out before she got the the end of the sentence. Not running a candidate with an irritating voice is a fairly elementary political rule in the media age. The Democrats tried to run the excruciatingly whiney Walter Mondale against Reagan in 1984. It was the worst defeat in American presidential history. I can hear him sniveling to this day.
    Both Clintons are weird, we can agree with that.

    I'm oddly immune to the babbling moron factor. Part of it, I think, has to do with my television watching habits. These days I watch election returns but essentially nothing else. Before that, and for many years, I watched only news programs and occasionally imported BBC costume dramatizations of classic novels. During the same time, I guess, the world watched a cable show called Celebrity Apprentice. But I never saw the show and was only vaguely aware of its existence. I mostly remember Trump from the 1980s, when he was self-promoting leveraged buy-out guy. So I haven't gone through the YOU'RE KIDDING? THAT GUY FROM CELEBRITY APPRENTICE? shock that others have. I'm also old enough to remember the same contrived outrage leveled at Ronald Reagan for those god awful B-movies he was in--and how that proved utterly irrelevant to his ability to govern. So the image that Trump made for himself (as you put it quite well) means virtually nothing to me.

    I also suspect--in fact I know damn well--that many Americans actually disdain Trump because they are fearful of being associated by judgmental peers with his less educated, less affluent, and working class core of supporters (those Hillary famously described as "deplorable" and "irredeemable"). I have faults, but I am not susceptible to that sort of elitism--due largely to my Midwestern family roots and the boyhood summer's I spent among "deplorables" I came to love. At the same time, I was born and raised (and still live) in a state renowned for its intellectual snobbery. Believe me, I know the game.
    Yes, that is where his images come to play, it is build for him to comunicate with this "supporters" as you describe. It is not like he is a nice, high-cultured philosopher-king, but he plays too close with the very oposite. I think this trend (not his fault, exactly, albeit he was in TV for long, but heck, this is 80's result, MTV, Jackass, etc molding the style of communication we have) can be more damaging than economy or anything else in the long run.

    That cynicism ("it is not worth it to care") is pervasive among the poor and disaffected in America. In fact, only a fraction of the potential electorate actually votes (which is why polls of likely voters are more accurate than generic polls). So winning a national election is really a matter of "turning out the vote"--that is, reaching people, making sure they are registered, and making sure they actually vote. One of Trump's strengths was that he connected with huge numbers of typical non-voters (the deplorables) who turned out for him in droves. And that despite the fact that he didn't really know how the ground game worked. They came to him. Obama's trick was turning on the sometimes unreliable youth vote. The Millennial kiddies decided (not without some narcissism) that, unlike their racist parents, they were going to "make history" by electing an African American president. It was more complicated, of course. Bush had been a disaster--maybe the worst president in our history--so to some extent there was a general flush going on. But Obama's energy came from a new generation who were actually dumb enough to believe that a candidate's skin color reflected something heroic about themselves. That was why Hillary Clinton kept trying to woo the Bernie kids with her stupid (in retrospect) "glass ceiling" rhetoric: Hey, if you liked Barack's melanin, you're going to love my vagina! But they hated her; because the whole point of Obama was that he existed to the glory of their generation and not their parents' (with whom this old bat was associated). Politics is like advertising. It's baited with self-love.
    Yes, Hilary attempts to follow a trend (is there such thing) with Merkel in Germany or Dilma in Brazil without the backup those two had (political and ideological) was one of the worst use of money ever. She basically threw on Trump lap the card "shut, up woman, misognism sitll more powerful" and of course, still it is. Being a woman is nice, lovely, dandy, but the whole point of the feminism is how they lack power. How "being a woman" only would have power to win? Like you said Obama not only has more charisma (and his wife is not Bill Clinton, so less dirty) but he was stepping over the shoulders of a midget. That is all about (the terms are loved) the control of narrative. I also suppose (i may be wrong) the african-american cause is more well build politically. We may seem to accept better that racism is bad and we still have problem to find the narrative about mysogny/feminism, so it quite hard to win an election surfing on those waves.



    Political labels are enough of a problem in one's own country. They are worse when applied internationally. The idea that Thatcher could be thought of as a liberal (in a modern sense) would be crazy over here. Even British conservatives have insisted on filling her mouth with garlic and driving a stake through her heart. My schtick is that in a free society, individuals can come to their own political conclusions in accord with their values--without without labels, icons, or brand loyalty. Rousseau didn't think so. Neither did Stalin or Mao. So maybe I have a higher opinion of common men and women than they did. I consider them able to think for themselves in any case--even if they seldom do.
    Yeah, but Rousseau liked Sparta More than Athen. Cann't always trust to dude like at least, Stalin and Mao are reliable characters that you will not invite to a dinner at your house. But yeah, that is the label. He is a democrat. Freedom! Equality! All labels that he proud attached to himself like those militars full of stars on the chest without ever leaving their own country.

    Well, No Fear Shakespeare has nothing to do with anything Shakespeare's ideas They are new editions of the plays with the language dumbed down because otherwise students wouldn't be able to understand the English--not without trying and thinking and delighting and picking it up eventually. Admittedly the original texts have already gone through some modernization, but that involved close attention to the form and sound--you know, to poetry. Something different is going on here. This is a way to excuse teacher's from teaching and students from learning. And unfortunately it is part of a much larger trend in American education. Real teachers cost more than babysitters.
    Yes, the dumbed down thing baffles me. If I can get Shakespeare original language, why wouldn't someone used to english cann't? Of course, there is no problem with modern versions that do not affect the text itself, but because a word is no longer used? A bit of effort may give you the proper meaning without even touching a dictionary...



    Yes, but that's different. Bowlder with Shakespeare, like Edith Hamilton with mythology, was not attempting to dumb material down or even trying to censor it per se (although they ended up doing so). Both were trying to get as much text as possible to young women in the face of a society that didn't think they should be exposed to sex and violence in literature. I don't know much about Lamb.
    I think Bowlder moralism was a bit bad, because, well he was not mixing with the words itself, but it is way a dumbing down. The thing about the reader being unable to access the text according its own relative context. That not all have to be literal. He exagerated a bit, albeit I understand what you mean by his concern was somehow less worrying than dumbing down. In the end, all writers aim to their publich according their bias. The Lambs texts are fine, of course, more simple but it is almost a transition to another medium (more aiming to children literature) with the advantage of being cappable poets, so the text retained some quality and it was not just a dumb version of romeo and juliet. I do not think they replace shakespeare (a problem i have with most abriged or bowldered versions, they are used to replace the actual work), but the best samples are able to add a new experience.


    Well, first of all, I think the book coupon is magnificent. It was at such a book fair that I found Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, which led me to Sherlock Holmes, which led me Bram Stoker, which led me to Charles Dickens, which led me to... It only takes a spark to light the fire of a lifetime. I understand the problem with sparks that are unlikely to catch, but that is what makes the guidance of a teacher or a parent or a big brother or sister so important. Didn't you tell me you took that role with your sisters? That's magnificent, too.
    Yes, since I am working with a company that deals with all those kind of promotions, there is a big worry to put in the teachers head (in this case, the parents are too far to be reached) and the companies in the fairs this kind of guidance and not let the fairs to be some greedy market that anything goes. Of course, that is complicanted, since there is always the economical problem and the publishing market public here is reduced so most companies see the fair as their chance to make up some money. But heck, Fairs can have a commercial side, because the world has shops and we need those bookshops, but we need those kids to think it is normal to buy books. Some may learn to hunt like crocodiles.

    Hey, speaking of Shakespeare, I wanted to get your opinion about the disappearance of the fool in King Lear. I wrote a little about this in a review of Peter Brook's film version of King Lear. As you know, the fool unexpectedly becomes an important character--then just vanishes. Much later, Lear says something like They have hanged my fool, but he is almost certainly talking about Cordelia, whose body he is weeping over (fool could also be used as an endearment). Do you think the unexplained departure of the fool was done for a reason? What do you think Shakespeare was up to?
    I didnt saw the movie, but I wish to be witty and said "The good shakespeare sometimes nods", but I think I will go with the easiest explanation: it was something pratical and since Shakespeare was thinking about a play and not about a published book, those ideas about the actor for Cordelia and The fool being the same allowed him to play with the paralels between them (with humour even, as in the case of the line about the fool being hanged) and the fool enters in scene when he is needed (Cordelia is out) and vanishes when he is no longer useful (Lear is the fool). Nothing at all happened with him, the fool is probally sitting in a limbo waiting the day Tom Stoppard would write a play about what happened after he vanishes. (He will have to wait a bit longer I guess).
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, that is where his images come to play, it is build for him to comunicate with this "supporters" as you describe. It is not like he is a nice, high-cultured philosopher-king, but he plays too close with the very oposite.
    Yes, he's our Nikita Khrushchev.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I think this trend (not his fault, exactly, albeit he was in TV for long, but heck, this is 80's result, MTV, Jackass, etc molding the style of communication we have) can be more damaging than economy or anything else in the long run.
    In the long run he'll be gone. And his presidency will have been well worth it if we get a solid majority on the Court, which is probable. If the Democrats take the House back in November (which is quite possible), they will be in a position to make themselves obnoxious indeed to the Republicans. But they will not be able to block Trump's Supreme Court nominations without regaining the Senate--and that is probably less likely. The court is what matters in the long run. And in the short run, hey, the economy IS better, so we may as well enjoy that while it lasts.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, the dumbed down thing baffles me. If I can get Shakespeare original language, why wouldn't someone used to english cann't?
    Well, English is not the native language of every American student (or even teacher). So that could raise the question of whether it's fair to have non-native speakers competing against native speakers unless the English is seriously dumbed down. But that's just an excuse. The real reason is that the humanities increasingly are becoming the purview of a few privately educated elites. The families of unemployed machinists whose jobs are now in India don't get that level of education anymore. You don't need to know what Shakespeare was saying in order to do what Mr Besos tells you to do. Or Mr Burger King. Or Mr Pizza Hut.

    The irony, of course, is that this decline contributed in part to the creation of the mass of ill educated "deplorables" that elected Trump (though obviously there were many other factors in their Genesis). What the would-be oligarchs didn't count on was that Trump's ragged masses (and the Bernie kids on the left) were going to co-opt the carefully stage-managed political parties, cancel the scheduled (and uni-party) JEB! vs. Hillary showdown, and cease to trust the propaganda system. Of course, they built their own propaganda system--as you say, fake news vs. fake news. That is regrettable. Apparently critical thinking is something a good education teaches you. The Dr Frankensteins of the world have nothing to complain about.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I think Bowlder moralism was a bit bad, because, well he was not mixing with the words itself, but it is way a dumbing down. The thing about the reader being unable to access the text according its own relative context. That not all have to be literal. He exagerated a bit, albeit I understand what you mean by his concern was somehow less worrying than dumbing down.
    I'm not defending him as a scholar--just an icon. Bowdlerizing became a term for fussy, Puritanical censorship, so people got the idea that Bowlder must have been a prude trying to keep Shakespeare from women and children. In fact, the opposite was true. His dream was to bring Shakespeare to female students (and others who weren't supposed to read him), and he had to run a gauntlet of prudes to get it to them. Edith Hamilton, a Bryn Mawr Classics professor working with young women in the earlier 20th century, did the same thing with her more or less PG-rated Mythology. This is still used (though mostly in High Schools now) because we prefer telling young people that Saturn "grievously wounded" Uranus rather than that he cut his father's penis off from inside his mother's womb because Dad wouldn't pull out. Is that censorship? Well, yes it is. But we're comfortable when Edith Hamilton does it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    But heck, Fairs can have a commercial side, because the world has shops and we need those bookshops, but we need those kids to think it is normal to buy books. Some may learn to hunt like crocodiles.
    "Young Readers' Fiction" may be the best we can hope for at the moment. Teachers plant seeds. Some turn out to be acorns. But the teacher is gone by the time the oak grows mighty, so it becomes a matter of faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    I didnt saw the movie, but I wish to be witty and said "The good shakespeare sometimes nods", but I think I will go with the easiest explanation: it was something pratical and since Shakespeare was thinking about a play and not about a published book, those ideas about the actor for Cordelia and The fool being the same allowed him to play with the paralels between them (with humour even, as in the case of the line about the fool being hanged) and the fool enters in scene when he is needed (Cordelia is out) and vanishes when he is no longer useful (Lear is the fool).
    It's an interesting idea. Not the simplest explanation, I think. It's a rather psychological one. The closeness between Cordelia and the fool are apparent from the start. Even before the fool's enterence, a knight tells Lear: "Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool hath much pined away." Cordelia and the fool seem to me to be aspects Lear's unconscious mind. Cordelia is something like his right mind or better judgment. The fool is the latter but not the former. He is the mad voice that tells him what he knows but cannot accept. So the suggestion that the fool is simply not needed after Lear's complete descent into madness (that in effect, when Lear becomes the fool) makes some sense.

    But in that case why didn't Shakespeare kill the fool off in the hovel during the storm? The company is clearly in extremis. It would not have been a stretch if the fool had died of hypothermia (however Shakespeare would have understood it). And that makes me wonder if maybe he did. Perhaps there is a simple stage direction (fool dies) or even a death scene that has been lost. It may even be that the initial description of the fool as "much pined away" was meant to foreshadow his death or establish him as likely to die in the storm.

    Then again, maybe Shakespeare just never guessed how intriguing a character the fool would be to us. Yeah, yeah, he drifted away just like Lear's knights did. What's the big deal? He was just a jester. The idea that the fool would abandon Lear may or may not be supported by his rapport with Kent in the stocks, in which he may be him against further loyalty to the king. Or is he insisting that he, the fool, will stay with him to the end? It's hard to tell:

    Fool: We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring i' th' winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes but blind men, and there's not a nose among twenty but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes upward, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again. I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
    That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
    And follows but for form,
    Will pack when it begins to rain
    And leave thee in the storm.
    But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
    And let the wise man fly.
    The knave turns fool that runs away;
    The fool no knave, perdy.

    Kent: Where learned you this, fool?

    Fool: Not i'the stocks, fool.

    Another possibility is that Shakespeare understood all too well what an interesting character the fool had become and dropped him because he was trying to write a play about something else. You don't want a supporting player upstaging the lead. Something similar is frequently said of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, although at least he was killed in the streets for all to see. So the fool remains a mystery.

    On another topic, I see the Booker Long List has been announced. Few of the titles from "diverse" places (as the prejudice would have it). Most are from the UK, USA, Ireland, and maybe Canada. The American books seem at first glance to be ones that put the country in a bad light, so maybe that was the compromise with the Yank hater. I'm being a little glib. One of the American books actually looked interesting. I'll write more, I'm sure, once I've looked at the list more closely.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 08-04-2018 at 11:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Well, English is not the native language of every American student (or even teacher). So that could raise the question of whether it's fair to have non-native speakers competing against native speakers unless the English is seriously dumbed down. But that's just an excuse. The real reason is that the humanities increasingly are becoming the purview of a few privately educated elites. The families of unemployed machinists whose jobs are now in India don't get that level of education anymore. You don't need to know what Shakespeare was saying in order to do what Mr Besos tells you to do. Or Mr Burger King. Or Mr Pizza Hut.
    Well, it is not fair, but it is not fair to have us study physics either, right?

    The irony, of course, is that this decline contributed in part to the creation of the mass of ill educated "deplorables" that elected Trump (though obviously there were many other factors in their Genesis). What the would-be oligarchs didn't count on was that Trump's ragged masses (and the Bernie kids on the left) were going to co-opt the carefully stage-managed political parties, cancel the scheduled (and uni-party) JEB! vs. Hillary showdown, and cease to trust the propaganda system. Of course, they built their own propaganda system--as you say, fake news vs. fake news. That is regrettable. Apparently critical thinking is something a good education teaches you. The Dr Frankensteins of the world have nothing to complain about.
    Yes, obviously is a let down. A side effect of Trump selected strategy. 20, 30 years ago could be a very bad thing to have a politician going into public discussion with NBA stars (they are supposed to only dunk, not think after all, except rare cases like Muhammad Ali, sport stars are not considered by what they think), today it is almost a win-win sittuion going very dirty in public. (of course, Trump is not the only one guilty for that, but being himself a showbusines figure before he was a politician, he is the more sucessful. Hilary is also guilty of bragging about winning a debate in the internet). A side effect which may illustrate what I mean by this problem, which consequences may last beyond Trump (and despite him): we have 2 trumps in our politics (keep in mind there is a cup here, so things are prone to look like a dystopia created by Monty Phyton). One is a dude that became the mayor for São Paulo (biggest city here, more important in terms of economy, and also, something to be noted, the state was the great defeated in the last presidential runs, because the "not-soso liberal" party names came from there and well, economic wise, one of effects of the left party run was a bigger distribution of resources to other states). He is rich, like Trump, so he paid for his campaing, he claimed he was no politician like Trump was supposed to not be (albeit, his image is more bill clinton like, not the agressive trump style). But he was trying to use the presidential run in USA as advantage. Ok, the dude is awful (not even close to actuall do his job like Trump actually do, either you agree with his decisions or not).
    And now, there is the running for the presidential election. In my opinion is a farse used to legitimate the cup with a "democratic poll", because they are using everything to keep the chances of the left party to win again (for the 5th time in a roll) low. Yet, those idiots opened the door a bit too much and a complete moron that only got popularity enough because of the radicalization used to overthrow the previous governament is the "right"main name in the researches so far. (I think he will lose in the end, he has no allies to give him propaganda time and money). When I say he is a complete moron... try to imagine Bush brains with the Trump agressivity would make him look smarter and moderate. The guy (he is a congressman) is the kind that would go in public to tell another congress man that he would rape her, that the africans came willingly here to be slaved, torture is necessary, (there was a tv debate with his son and another candidates 2 years ago, one of the candidates was exactly a feminist left-wing leader. His son got sick during the show and passed out. The feminist leader, being a doctor ran to him to give him fist aid. The idiot got up from the audience and pulled her away because he wouldn't let a communist touch his son, who of course, was ignored by him) etc. He does not this in a private party, he does it so everyone see and his followers call him a myth. Of course he uses the social media to boast his popularity doing pretty much what Trump does, he justifies himself and is compared to trump (very unfair to Trump, this guy has a militar past and trump is so idiot and radical). It is the same kind of sittuation that Trump takes advantage (not claiming it is trump creation, too much credit for him) and the less "icons" using this the merrier. But not that this will happen... Stupidy became desirable.



    "Young Readers' Fiction" may be the best we can hope for at the moment. Teachers plant seeds. Some turn out to be acorns. But the teacher is gone by the time the oak grows mighty, so it becomes a matter of faith.
    Well some say Baudelaire, Poe and cia. were writers for Teenagers


    It's an interesting idea. Not the simplest explanation, I think. It's a rather psychological one. The closeness between Cordelia and the fool are apparent from the start. Even before the fool's enterence, a knight tells Lear: "Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool hath much pined away." Cordelia and the fool seem to me to be aspects Lear's unconscious mind. Cordelia is something like his right mind or better judgment. The fool is the latter but not the former. He is the mad voice that tells him what he knows but cannot accept. So the suggestion that the fool is simply not needed after Lear's complete descent into madness (that in effect, when Lear becomes the fool) makes some sense.

    But in that case why didn't Shakespeare kill the fool off in the hovel during the storm? The company is clearly in extremis. It would not have been a stretch if the fool had died of hypothermia (however Shakespeare would have understood it). And that makes me wonder if maybe he did. Perhaps there is a simple stage direction (fool dies) or even a death scene that has been lost. It may even be that the initial description of the fool as "much pined away" was meant to foreshadow his death or establish him as likely to die in the storm.

    Then again, maybe Shakespeare just never guessed how intriguing a character the fool would be to us. Yeah, yeah, he drifted away just like Lear's knights did. What's the big deal? He was just a jester. The idea that the fool would abandon Lear may or may not be supported by his rapport with Kent in the stocks, in which he may be him against further loyalty to the king. Or is he insisting that he, the fool, will stay with him to the end? It's hard to tell:

    Fool: We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring i' th' winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes but blind men, and there's not a nose among twenty but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes upward, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again. I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
    That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
    And follows but for form,
    Will pack when it begins to rain
    And leave thee in the storm.
    But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
    And let the wise man fly.
    The knave turns fool that runs away;
    The fool no knave, perdy.

    Kent: Where learned you this, fool?

    Fool: Not i'the stocks, fool.

    Another possibility is that Shakespeare understood all too well what an interesting character the fool had become and dropped him because he was trying to write a play about something else. You don't want a supporting player upstaging the lead. Something similar is frequently said of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, although at least he was killed in the streets for all to see. So the fool remains a mystery.
    I think Mercutio is a good example (Juliet's maid also). Just like the Fool has paralels with Cordelia, at least to keep Lear Dynamics when Cordelia is out, Mercutio is Romeo. Almost everything Romeo does that is not related to Juliet, is done by Mercutio. There is basically a being Romeo-Mercutio that exists until the Being Romeo-Juliet is ready. At the momment they marry and everything for them is one thing, Mercutio can leave the play. Shakespeare also needed a simple plot device and Mercutio's death provided it. The fool's death would be irrelevant since Cordelia is doing this for the play. They are not different from the Witches that are characters for the dynicamic of the play (a ladder for the more relevant characters or trigger of events) and would never receive the "round" label E.M.Foster gave.

    Like this, asking about the Fool's fate makes as much sense as asking who he was, from where he came (or Mercutio, had him many cats at home?). To Shakespeare it was irrelevant. I often imagine him as a very pratical writer (or Keats claims, the poets are the less poetic being), in a way, like for example Spielberg (not about the talent or language domain): both will work based on the public reaction to a scene and not exactly the plot demands. Flaubert may find (perhaps it is the key of Tolstoy ramblings) this unsatisfactory, but Shakespeare had tricks on his sleeve to make us take those things by face vallue. The fool is here for Lear, not for himself, he has no life when he leaves the stage so this pistol does not need to be shot. It is a stock character (granted, Shakespeare sometimes managed to make Stock characters grow beyond their use like Puck or Shylock), but he never had such intention.
    One would like to think Shakespeare could think that killing a fool when lear became a fool could imply that he wanted to kill the person with the crown? Or that he thought it was bad luck killing fools? Or that the fool function in a play (the challenge of stabilished norms) deserved to be preserved and killing him was a way to spare this function? When the king is mad, save the fool?

    But I go for the pratical idea and the pararels with Cordelia.

    On another topic, I see the Booker Long List has been announced. Few of the titles from "diverse" places (as the prejudice would have it). Most are from the UK, USA, Ireland, and maybe Canada. The American books seem at first glance to be ones that put the country in a bad light, so maybe that was the compromise with the Yank hater. I'm being a little glib. One of the American books actually looked interesting. I'll write more, I'm sure, once I've looked at the list more closely.
    It would be funnier if they had listed Stephen King there. The rage
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, obviously is a let down. A side effect of Trump selected strategy. 20, 30 years ago could be a very bad thing to have a politician going into public discussion with NBA stars (they are supposed to only dunk, not think after all, except rare cases like Muhammad Ali, sport stars are not considered by what they think), today it is almost a win-win sittuion going very dirty in public. (of course, Trump is not the only one guilty for that, but being himself a showbusines figure before he was a politician, he is the more sucessful. Hilary is also guilty of bragging about winning a debate in the internet). A side effect which may illustrate what I mean by this problem, which consequences may last beyond Trump (and despite him): we have 2 trumps in our politics (keep in mind there is a cup here, so things are prone to look like a dystopia created by Monty Phyton). One is a dude that became the mayor for São Paulo (biggest city here, more important in terms of economy, and also, something to be noted, the state was the great defeated in the last presidential runs, because the "not-soso liberal" party names came from there and well, economic wise, one of effects of the left party run was a bigger distribution of resources to other states). He is rich, like Trump, so he paid for his campaing, he claimed he was no politician like Trump was supposed to not be (albeit, his image is more bill clinton like, not the agressive trump style). But he was trying to use the presidential run in USA as advantage. Ok, the dude is awful (not even close to actuall do his job like Trump actually do, either you agree with his decisions or not).
    Yes, I've heard of him--Joao Doria, right? And that is saying something. I had to look up the (apparently famous) NBA player you referred to, Lebron James, whom I wouldn't have known was a basketball player until you told me. I definitely don't waste my time and money on professional sports (I'm very atypical of Americans in that respect, though). But somehow or other Doria's propaganda had reached mine innocent years. All I've heard is that he's the Brazilian Donald Trump. And most Americans have probably never even heard that.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Like this, asking about the Fool's fate makes as much sense as asking who he was, from where he came (or Mercutio, had him many cats at home?). To Shakespeare it was irrelevant. I often imagine him as a very pratical writer (or Keats claims, the poets are the less poetic being), in a way, like for example Spielberg (not about the talent or language domain): both will work based on the public reaction to a scene and not exactly the plot demands. Flaubert may find (perhaps it is the key of Tolstoy ramblings) this unsatisfactory, but Shakespeare had tricks on his sleeve to make us take those things by face vallue. The fool is here for Lear, not for himself, he has no life when he leaves the stage so this pistol does not need to be shot. It is a stock character (granted, Shakespeare sometimes managed to make Stock characters grow beyond their use like Puck or Shylock), but he never had such intention.
    One would like to think Shakespeare could think that killing a fool when lear became a fool could imply that he wanted to kill the person with the crown? Or that he thought it was bad luck killing fools? Or that the fool function in a play (the challenge of stabilished norms) deserved to be preserved and killing him was a way to spare this function? When the king is mad, save the fool?

    But I go for the pratical idea and the pararels with Cordelia.

    I reread the play over the weekend and also found a Harvard lecture about it online (it was a video of a course lecture for the students to study).The professor suggested the quarto had been extensively edited (that is, in the course of theatrical production) before being set into type. I had been taught (long ago) that the folio version was theatrical but the quarto was more or less authorial. But this professor said (or implied) that both had been actively reworked according to what the theatrical company felt was working or not working. This is interesting for our discussion because it mitigates to some extent the idea of a unitary artistic expression. I believe Bloom is at odds to show that Shakespeare himself was involved in any theatrical revision, but that is really irrelevant. Even if Bloom's right, Shakespeare wouldn't have been working alone, and more to the point, he and his company would have been trying out different things and potentially changing the play significantly in the process. Whole scenes and characters might have been added or deleted, dialogue taken from one character's mouth and put into another's, sweet things made bitter things sweet.

    It seems to me this plays havoc with some of your/our simple solutions about Shakespeare's intent with the fool. It makes it harder to assume that an original psychological vision survived--I mean that the fool simply became superfluous when Lear went mad. That still seems like the best solution to me. I was struck in my rereading that in the scene on the beach at Dover, the mad Lear bedevils the blind Gloucester with crazy talk just as the fool had previously been doing to Lear. But I see evidence of other things having been tried and abandoned in the fool's story. This fits well with the idea of an ongoing revision and may account for the red herrings regarding the fool's fate. It stands in counterpoint, I think, to your argument of artistic simplicity--that the fool only existed insofar as Shakespeare needed him. That's true enough, but it is also possible that Shakespeare and company took their time deciding what they needed him to be and do.

    Did the fool abandon Lear in one iteration of the play? I think there is some evidence that he did. It struck me on my rereading that the fool remains behind just slightly when Lear storms out of Goneril's castle. She has to throw him out separately, and he specifically says he is leaving because he fears her (I mean, rather than out of loyalty to Lear):

    Goneril: ...You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.

    Fool: Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry and take the fool with thee.
    A fox, when one has caught her,
    And such a daughter,
    Should sure to the slaughter,
    If my cap would buy a halter:
    So the fool follows after.

    He loves to tease Kent about the folly of his remaining loyal to Lear, and does so from his first appearance:

    Fool: Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.
    ****
    Kent: Why, fool?
    
Fool: Why, for taking one’s part that’s out of favour. Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou’lt catch cold shortly: there, take my coxcomb: why, this fellow hath banish’d two on’s daughters, and did the third a blessing against his will; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb...

    I have already mentioned the strange dialogue between the fool and Kent in the stocks, in which the fool is even more insistent that the time has come for Kent to drop Lear (not idle talk considering what happens to Gloucester just afterwards). But he then insists that he, the fool, will remain with Lear--which he may or may not actually do. Perhaps this was the result of a conflation of various iterations of the play: one in which the fool abandoned Lear; one in which he followed him to Dover (and was perhaps hanged with Cordelia); and one (the version we have) in which the fool was written out of the play's conclusion because he proved to be rather superfluous there and also in the way in an ending that already has too much going on.

    There may also be evidence for the fool being written out of the in the his final extant scene. His last words ("And I'll go to bed at noon.") is sometimes cited as a part of the mystery. Going to bed at noon could call up images of an early death, but I think it's just more of his crazy talk--here expressing reversal, which is the play's major theme. What people don't notice is that this is not technically the end of the fool. Shortly afterwards, Kent is carrying the unconscious Lear offstage (apparently to load him onto a cart bound for Dover) and calls or the fool's assistance. "Thou must not stay behind", he says. Is this an example (as perhaps also was the case when Lear left Goneril's castle) of the fool attempting to escape the king's fate by lingering behind? Probably not--there are indications in the play as we have it that the sisters' henchmen are about to descend on them where they are, and that is likely all Kent means--come with us or you'll be killed as a partisan of the king's. But it is evidence that the fool actually accompanied Lear to Dover--so perhaps he was hanged after all. In any case, it seems seems more likely--especially given the play's history of revision-- that the fool's story in Dover was written out of the play rather than never having been written at all.

    I find the possibility of Cordelia and the fool being played by the same boy actor the least convincing of all--or not. Perhaps it became desirable for this to happen in the course of production, and that is the reason the fool's story in Dover was written out. But there is also evidence (I think) that the part of the fool was written for and first played by the adult comic actor Robert Armin. If so, the fool departing so that Cordelia could return would not have been part of Shakespeare's original vision.

    And Puck, was he a stock character? I don't know. He has that fairy blessing scene at the end which makes him seem more important to the play as a whole. Maybe the fool (if he was still alive) should have delivered an epilogue in King Lear. Maybe at some point he did.

    COMING SOON: MAN BOOKER 2018--HAVE THE BRITISH LOST THEIR MARBLES?
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    Yes, it was João Dória.

    I reread the play over the weekend and also found a Harvard lecture about it online (it was a video of a course lecture for the students to study).The professor suggested the quarto had been extensively edited (that is, in the course of theatrical production) before being set into type. I had been taught (long ago) that the folio version was theatrical but the quarto was more or less authorial. But this professor said (or implied) that both had been actively reworked according to what the theatrical company felt was working or not working. This is interesting for our discussion because it mitigates to some extent the idea of a unitary artistic expression. I believe Bloom is at odds to show that Shakespeare himself was involved in any theatrical revision, but that is really irrelevant. Even if Bloom's right, Shakespeare wouldn't have been working alone, and more to the point, he and his company would have been trying out different things and potentially changing the play significantly in the process. Whole scenes and characters might have been added or deleted, dialogue taken from one character's mouth and put into another's, sweet things made bitter things sweet.
    Ah, but my edition of Shakespeare works (Globe Complete works) already states that there were such modifications according to the public or other conditions of the play (Hamlet has to be 30 minutes). It is what makes me see Shakespeare so close in spirit dealing with the public with Spielberg. This edition states that and once or while in the play leave notes saying that scene was different or removed. I also saw last year some study showing Marlowe was more than an influence, but actively co-wrote some plays. Of course, Shakespeare never bothered to fix the plays to be edited, so those latter works are more like the alexandria library work with homer or an editor those days than creation, but yeah, Shakespeare was more a renassceince artist after all.


    It seems to me this plays havoc with some of your/our simple solutions about Shakespeare's intent with the fool. It makes it harder to assume that an original psychological vision survived--I mean that the fool simply became superfluous when Lear went mad. That still seems like the best solution to me. I was struck in my rereading that in the scene on the beach at Dover, the mad Lear bedevils the blind Gloucester with crazy talk just as the fool had previously been doing to Lear. But I see evidence of other things having been tried and abandoned in the fool's story. This fits well with the idea of an ongoing revision and may account for the red herrings regarding the fool's fate. It stands in counterpoint, I think, to your argument of artistic simplicity--that the fool only existed insofar as Shakespeare needed him. That's true enough, but it is also possible that Shakespeare and company took their time deciding what they needed him to be and do.
    Ah, but what make me pic a simple solution is exactly because it is a solution that would allow shakespeare (and the company) to quickly adjust the play if needed. You think about removing the fool, lets also think about adding (let's say, had him another actor besides Cordelia, if this theory holds water) and the audience was more popular and humorous. I can easily imagine him adapting the play according circustances - The muse be providence - and inspire him to build up relations that could easily hold up better with the audience (or was necessary) and preserve those things, but quickly send artistic integrity to hell if the public, in his opinion demanded it. Likewise, I can see the company having to drop an actor, so the fool would be out, unless cordelia actor had the play and that inspiring the relation we have today. In the end, I imagine him having to come up with solutions for what is now and we can only guess the motivations, but always thinking he certainly had no CGI to help him, but that he was a man able to shrug off about incosistency (I mean, we see how he uses Shylock). I honestly think it was probally already traditional to absence of the fool (and not important) during Shakespeare time and I do not see the folios or actors that were consulted afterwards to build up the plays as we know just removing him out.

    I do not see the plays as a finishe deal in one attempt, it was post-Shakespeare this cannonical definition.

    About Puck, that is what I mean, he was a trickest, stock like character that Shakespeare decided to make him grow up in the play unlike what he did with this fool, mercutio or a few others.
    #foratemer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Yes, it was João Dória.
    Before we go on we should congratulate each other on having an online political discussion from differing perspectives which did not end in acrimony. That seems so contrary to the times. Cheers!



    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Ah, but my edition of Shakespeare works (Globe Complete works) already states that there were such modifications according to the public or other conditions of the play (Hamlet has to be 30 minutes). It is what makes me see Shakespeare so close in spirit dealing with the public with Spielberg. This edition states that and once or while in the play leave notes saying that scene was different or removed.
    Yes, I knew about changes like that and I understand the process to have been an ongoing and dynamic one. What surprised me, as I said, is that Lear's quarto may not have been especially authorial--something contrary to what I had been taught at Mesolithic U. And since no handwritten copies of a play exists, we can't know what Shakespeare's initial design was. By that, I mean we can't say, Well yes, there are differences between the quarto and folio versions, but we can see still what Shakespeare was trying to do when he first wrote it. Maybe he intended the psychological transition from the fool to Lear or maybe it came with revision. The same goes for the separation of Cordelia and the fool. So when when we find internal archaeology such as contradictions and details that don't jibe with the rest of the play, it's fair game to hypothesize what these revisions may have been. I contend this does matter because it gives us a window on the process of the play's making (as, for example, observing changes in a sculptor or architect's scale models do). These traces of revision also preserve potential trajectories for modern interpretations of the play--maintaining a dynamic continuity that literally goes back to Shakespeare and his company. Text criticism may even give the theoretician a run for his money.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Ah, but what make me pic a simple solution is exactly because it is a solution that would allow shakespeare (and the company) to quickly adjust the play if needed.
    It takes less time to cut a character than to write a new soliloquy or stage a new scene. In fact, I believe the fool was summarily cut from all post-Shakespearean productions until the mid-19th century (his joking was considered to be in poor taste). Cutting out the fool (or just cutting out the fool in Dover) wouldn't have been a big deal until the 20th century, when we decided we liked him.


    Now then, Man Booker long list, 2018. The snobs are snobbing, the PCs are peeing seas and the whole fussy and pretentious little book world is convinced it has something to puff itself up about. Frankly I'm disappointed (in the list--I gave up on the book world ages ago). But I'm only disappointed because there aren't many titles I'm interested in buying. For me, it's just a lousy shopping list.

    But there are some items that may be your crocodile's eventual cup of tea. Or you may just appreciate that they were let into the club. There is Nick Drnaso's Sabrina, the Man Booker's first graphic novel--something that has the snobs spitting venom. Some see the decision as a cynical attempt market the Booker Prize to a generation that can't get through a book. Others whine that Man Booker does not accept short stories and claim that graphic novels are not much different (or something). These seem like excuses to me. But I have mixed feelings about the book itself. The illustrations (which, let's face it, are important in a graphic novel) aren't particularly distinctive. On the other hand, the Booker's description of Drnaso's comic book is intriguing:

    "Sabrina is the story of what happens when an intimate, ‘everyday’ tragedy collides with the appetites of the 24-hour news cycle; when somebody’s lived trauma becomes another person’s gossip; when it becomes fodder for social media, fake news, conspiracy theorists, maniacs, the bored."

    Just the same, I think I'll go crocodile on this one.

    What bugs me a little about seeing Sabrina on the list is that one of the judges, Leanne Shapton, is herself a graphic novelist. So was the nomination a kind of corruption? Well, sort of. I don't think anyone's denying it was Shapton's idea, and the nomination does raise her professional prospects. Do I care? Not that much. As I said, it is just a shopping list to me--not even that. But if I had a novel under consideration I might have cared.

    A similar situation applies to Belinda Bauer's Snap, a mystery/thriller--in effect, genre. Snobs are sputtering about this one, too. Moderates are making excuses for hating it--this time that its inclusion on the list is not fair to Bauer because the requirements of genre necessarily place it at a disadvantage in competing with literary fiction. And the stench of favoritism is even stronger since one of the judges is a mystery writer and a longtime literary booster of Bauer. I also hear it's a bad book--laden with cliches (dumb blonde, heavily drinking detective, etc.) and riddled with plot holes. This is not a bearish book to me and frankly not even crocodilian. Next!

    Neither my bear nor my crocodile will be bothering with Sophie Mackintosh's men bad/women good fantasy (aka feminist dystopia), The Water Cure. I've heard the novel's prose is mesmerizing though its themes are superficial and ultimately dogmatic. I have also heard it described (by a woman) as a feminist revenge fantasy and an exercise in man-hating. But well-crafted and politically correct will get you far in Booker's own social dystopia, so I am expecting to see The Water Cure on the short list and perhaps even in the winner's circle (and you will recall how much importance I ascribe to that). But note please that I am not reviewing the novel--I have never read it, and what's more, I imagine some will enjoy it. I am avoiding The Water Cure because I anticipate finding its sexism irritating. There's just not a lot more to it than that.

    La dee da dee da. They all look pretty bad to tell you the truth. The only one I'm sending the bear after (once he wakes up in the fall or winter) is Michael Ondaatje's Warlight--although to be honest I've got mixed feelings about that one, too. I've never read the The English Patient, but I found the movie torturously affected. Normally I wouldn't hold a cinematic vision against an author, but I've been assured by those who have read the book that it is even worse. I'm willing to give Ondaatje a chance because: 1) people who liked The English Patient have been complaining that Warlight just doesn't have the same intellectual aplomb (a good thing as far as I'm concerned); and 2) the premise sounds interesting. A brother and sister in wartime London are handed over by their parents to some rather dubious, perhaps criminal characters. Twelve years later, the brother tries to establish who their guardians were and what their parents had been up to. It has possibilities.

    There were only two other well known authors in this wannabe rebel (but actually pedestrian) long list. Richard Powers' 501-page The Overstory is billed as "an ecological epic." It's composed of layers of mostly unrelated individual character stories that have been compared to the rings of a tree. Oh, and they're trying to save the rain forest. Go trees!

    The other is Rachel Kushner, whose The Mars Room at least sounded interesting at first. It's something like a rip-off of Orange is the New Black (I hear--I've never actually seen the show) just as The Water Cure is a rip-off, or at least a cash-in, on the new popularity of The Handmaid's Tale. The protagonist is a stripper who killed a stalker plus and ended up with two life sentences in a crowded women's prison. Partly horrifying, partly funny (apparently you get to like her buddies), the book is ultimately about how bad it is that we put these poor victims in prison. Not my thing exactly. I've never read The Flamethrowers, and I find Kushner a fairly irritating figure in the New York art scene. But it sounded like it might be off-beat enough for me to enjoy--especially since the list's other novels looked so bad. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I was warned off this book by two friends (separately), both of whose opinions I respect. Still it may be worth a try. So perhaps a reluctant crocodile?

    Powers and Kushner (and Nick Drnaso, the comic book guy) were the only Americans on the long list. I wrongly assumed that Robin Robertson was also a countryman because his contribution, The Long Take, purports to know enough about America to characterize it as "deeply paranoid, doubting its own certainties, riven by social and racial division, spiralling corruption and the collapse of the inner cities". But no, he's a Scotch poet (from London, yet). The Long Take is a verse novel described as "a film noir on the page...The Dream had gone sour but – as those dark, classic movies made clear – the country needed outsiders to study and dramatise its new anxieties." I see.

    I'll try not to go on about this at great lengths. I throw most British Yank hatred novels into the same garbage pail I use for feminist dystopia fantasies. Here in particular, there seems a lofty disingenuousness in Robertson's approach (at least as described by Booker). Film noir was in itself a fantasy. Those were just movies, Rob. Glad you enjoyed 'em, but they were only make-believe (or shall the US tell Mexico how to get things right based on screenings of Zorro?). And I don't see how the poetic imagination in this case would contribute anything more than a fig leaf for further fantasy. So no, not for me. But it does sound like the sort of thing Man Booker likes. As with The Water Cure, I predict The Last Take's continued success.

    Of the rest, I have heard that Donal Ryan's From a Low and Quiet Sea is well written. It is about the interconnectedness of three men in Ireland--one a Syrian refugee, one terminally ill (that's not a spoiler), and one having social problems. The premise doesn't much interest me, and the book itself is less than 200-pages long--not much more than a novella. But I have heard great things about the writing, and that it is moving, so I suppose I could spare it a crocodile.

    Blasé crocodiles to Guy Gunaratne’s In Our Mad and Furious City, a story about mob violence (anti-Muslim?) in London; and Sally Rooney's Normal People, a love story set against class lines in Ireland. I've heard reasonably good things about both, though neither sounds especially innovative. A hungrier crocodile to Daisy Johnson's Everything Under, which like Michael Ondaatje's Warlight is a remembrance of lost time. In this case, a daughter reconstructs her strange and isolated upbringing in which she and her mother shared a made-up language. There may be some dystopian elements--I'm not sure. I'm taking a wait and see attitude for the moment. But it could be a great book.

    Finally, there is Esi Edugyan's Washington Black, a historic novel involving the adventures of a slave who is sprung from a Barbados sugar plantation in the company of an abolitionist with somewhat ambiguous motives. A wait-and-see crocodile to this one, too. There is a great epic of Atlantic slavery (and a Man Booker winner, I think) called Sacred Hunger. I would probably read that first and wait to hear how this novel stacks up. Washington Black could be a outstanding, or--knowing Man Booker these days--it could be a load of racist political dogma. But I'm keeping an open mind.

    And speaking of racist political dogma, what ever happened to the supposed Man Booker diversity that Americans were bound to poison? Of the thirteen authors mentioned above (seven females and six males) a whopping six were from the UK; three were from the US, two from Canada (one African Canadian and one born in Sri Lanka); and two from Ireland. The Bombay Times describes the situation as one of "alarming whiteness"--itself a mind bogglingly racist statement. On the other hand, maybe we should just throw the British out of the Man Booker competition. They're clearly the ones poisoning the well. Wait a minute--I feel a dystopian novel coming on!
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    Red face

    Before we go on we should congratulate each other on having an online political discussion from differing perspectives which did not end in acrimony. That seems so contrary to the times. Cheers!
    We were not twetting and nobody would like our posts, so it is quite easy

    Yes, I knew about changes like that and I understand the process to have been an ongoing and dynamic one. What surprised me, as I said, is that Lear's quarto may not have been especially authorial--something contrary to what I had been taught at Mesolithic U. And since no handwritten copies of a play exists, we can't know what Shakespeare's initial design was. By that, I mean we can't say, Well yes, there are differences between the quarto and folio versions, but we can see still what Shakespeare was trying to do when he first wrote it. Maybe he intended the psychological transition from the fool to Lear or maybe it came with revision. The same goes for the separation of Cordelia and the fool. So when when we find internal archaeology such as contradictions and details that don't jibe with the rest of the play, it's fair game to hypothesize what these revisions may have been. I contend this does matter because it gives us a window on the process of the play's making (as, for example, observing changes in a sculptor or architect's scale models do). These traces of revision also preserve potential trajectories for modern interpretations of the play--maintaining a dynamic continuity that literally goes back to Shakespeare and his company. Text criticism may even give the theoretician a run for his money.
    Ah, I see. Well, besides the dynamic nature of the plays compositin (I can say an artifitial model of the oral text composition), i also do not mind much if Shakespeare or another guy named Shakespeare was the ultimate author. I think one of the problems of bardolatry (or Bloom fanatical cult) is just not accepting that the interferences in the text in a company and then the edition made by others without the supervision of the author would be huge. There is of course a central figure, but he was certainly the one in full control and probally had to adjust himself and his ideas a lot of times.

    It takes less time to cut a character than to write a new soliloquy or stage a new scene. In fact, I believe the fool was summarily cut from all post-Shakespearean productions until the mid-19th century (his joking was considered to be in poor taste). Cutting out the fool (or just cutting out the fool in Dover) wouldn't have been a big deal until the 20th century, when we decided we liked him.
    Well, sure, but not much if it is a minor part from a stock character. I imagine certain lines from other plays would be improvised there and here, even if he had just to go to gain time for some motive or to appease a furious crowd, this kind of stuff. But what I do not see is the final version, the one that survived the editing process of time, memory and folios to be very contraditory to the central shakespeare idea. If they removed the fool it was because it was easy or already done with Shakespeare around and if the fool was used again, it was probally unusual. So, I can see the creative adjustment following some utilitariam demand.

    And as you say, the fool is not that important. The public at the time wouldn't be bothered with him that much.

    But there are some items that may be your crocodile's eventual cup of tea. Or you may just appreciate that they were let into the club. There is Nick Drnaso's Sabrina, the Man Booker's first graphic novel--something that has the snobs spitting venom. Some see the decision as a cynical attempt market the Booker Prize to a generation that can't get through a book. Others whine that Man Booker does not accept short stories and claim that graphic novels are not much different (or something). These seem like excuses to me. But I have mixed feelings about the book itself. The illustrations (which, let's face it, are important in a graphic novel) aren't particularly distinctive. On the other hand, the Booker's description of Drnaso's comic book is intriguing:

    "Sabrina is the story of what happens when an intimate, ‘everyday’ tragedy collides with the appetites of the 24-hour news cycle; when somebody’s lived trauma becomes another person’s gossip; when it becomes fodder for social media, fake news, conspiracy theorists, maniacs, the bored."

    Just the same, I think I'll go crocodile on this one.
    Ah, I imagine this is a reflex of all pressure indeed, but it cannot be bad. There is sometime graphic novels (and comic books, so the snobs do not snob this) have excelent quality and this will bring us a important reflection of actual reading interest of the new public and the growing aspect of visual impact (why only Tolkien or movies?). Also, the "nerd" culture, being excluded for so long, had this kind of debate decades ago. They may have some experience to share. So, if someone in the list works with this genre, it is better: after all, every other dude also worked with a genre that ended nominated, right?

    This remember me last year, when Carhiers du Cinema, perhaps the most important movie magazine from france, listed the series Twin Peaks: the return as the best movie of 2017, people just went fuzzy. While there is some appeal due David Lynch name, the thing is that accepting tv (and webseries) format can treat the artistic language with quality is just necessary. Step foward.

    A similar situation applies to Belinda Bauer's Snap, a mystery/thriller--in effect, genre. Snobs are sputtering about this one, too. Moderates are making excuses for hating it--this time that its inclusion on the list is not fair to Bauer because the requirements of genre necessarily place it at a disadvantage in competing with literary fiction. And the stench of favoritism is even stronger since one of the judges is a mystery writer and a longtime literary booster of Bauer. I also hear it's a bad book--laden with cliches (dumb blonde, heavily drinking detective, etc.) and riddled with plot holes. This is not a bearish book to me and frankly not even crocodilian. Next!
    Of course, I cannot talk about this specific genre, but this argument is so meh. Like when we talked about The Sleeping Giant, what we saw was not the limitation of the genre (as if fantasy is limited), but Ishugiro owns limitations to deal with the tropes of that genre. The good authors just have no problem with them, the prizes shound't have. The best snob should be a snob about it and accept works for their quality and "but he explores the language beyond the genre" excuse.

    Neither my bear nor my crocodile will be bothering with Sophie Mackintosh's men bad/women good fantasy (aka feminist dystopia), The Water Cure. I've heard the novel's prose is mesmerizing though its themes are superficial and ultimately dogmatic. I have also heard it described (by a woman) as a feminist revenge fantasy and an exercise in man-hating. But well-crafted and politically correct will get you far in Booker's own social dystopia, so I am expecting to see The Water Cure on the short list and perhaps even in the winner's circle (and you will recall how much importance I ascribe to that). But note please that I am not reviewing the novel--I have never read it, and what's more, I imagine some will enjoy it. I am avoiding The Water Cure because I anticipate finding its sexism irritating. There's just not a lot more to it than that.

    La dee da dee da. They all look pretty bad to tell you the truth. The only one I'm sending the bear after (once he wakes up in the fall or winter) is Michael Ondaatje's Warlight--although to be honest I've got mixed feelings about that one, too. I've never read the The English Patient, but I found the movie torturously affected. Normally I wouldn't hold a cinematic vision against an author, but I've been assured by those who have read the book that it is even worse. I'm willing to give Ondaatje a chance because: 1) people who liked The English Patient have been complaining that Warlight just doesn't have the same intellectual aplomb (a good thing as far as I'm concerned); and 2) the premise sounds interesting. A brother and sister in wartime London are handed over by their parents to some rather dubious, perhaps criminal characters. Twelve years later, the brother tries to establish who their guardians were and what their parents had been up to. It has possibilities.

    There were only two other well known authors in this wannabe rebel (but actually pedestrian) long list. Richard Powers' 501-page The Overstory is billed as "an ecological epic." It's composed of layers of mostly unrelated individual character stories that have been compared to the rings of a tree. Oh, and they're trying to save the rain forest. Go trees!
    Ah, i remember the movie. A David Lean movie without a hero (or a kipling character to make all the sight seeing worth while). Indeed slow, barren, correct movie. The only thing i recall is Juliete Binoche. And no, the rainning forest will be destroyed (is being) and there is no need of 500 pages to tell that story. It is "farmers want land to breed cow and pharms company want the copyright of everything there." Story is over.


    The other is Rachel Kushner, whose The Mars Room at least sounded interesting at first. It's something like a rip-off of Orange is the New Black (I hear--I've never actually seen the show) just as The Water Cure is a rip-off, or at least a cash-in, on the new popularity of The Handmaid's Tale. The protagonist is a stripper who killed a stalker plus and ended up with two life sentences in a crowded women's prison. Partly horrifying, partly funny (apparently you get to like her buddies), the book is ultimately about how bad it is that we put these poor victims in prison. Not my thing exactly. I've never read The Flamethrowers, and I find Kushner a fairly irritating figure in the New York art scene. But it sounded like it might be off-beat enough for me to enjoy--especially since the list's other novels looked so bad. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I was warned off this book by two friends (separately), both of whose opinions I respect. Still it may be worth a try. So perhaps a reluctant crocodile?

    Powers and Kushner (and Nick Drnaso, the comic book guy) were the only Americans on the long list. I wrongly assumed that Robin Robertson was also a countryman because his contribution, The Long Take, purports to know enough about America to characterize it as "deeply paranoid, doubting its own certainties, riven by social and racial division, spiralling corruption and the collapse of the inner cities". But no, he's a Scotch poet (from London, yet). The Long Take is a verse novel described as "a film noir on the page...The Dream had gone sour but – as those dark, classic movies made clear – the country needed outsiders to study and dramatise its new anxieties." I see.

    I'll try not to go on about this at great lengths. I throw most British Yank hatred novels into the same garbage pail I use for feminist dystopia fantasies. Here in particular, there seems a lofty disingenuousness in Robertson's approach (at least as described by Booker). Film noir was in itself a fantasy. Those were just movies, Rob. Glad you enjoyed 'em, but they were only make-believe (or shall the US tell Mexico how to get things right based on screenings of Zorro?). And I don't see how the poetic imagination in this case would contribute anything more than a fig leaf for further fantasy. So no, not for me. But it does sound like the sort of thing Man Booker likes. As with The Water Cure, I predict The Last Take's continued success.
    I didnt know both writers (I do not like any prision movies, no matter the cromossome behind the bars), I do not see myself fancying books. I am satisfied with the russians existential crises in prisions. As noir, I can see a noir revival as interesting, albeit i do not remember good "noir" books, Chandler perhaps, but his books were really noir? But perhaps this noir trait is more about the tropes in recent noir movies. Something that happens in New Orleans or old hollywood like those james ellroy stuff (which i only know the La Confidential movie and you said, it is a movie! works there).


    Of the rest, I have heard that Donal Ryan's From a Low and Quiet Sea is well written. It is about the interconnectedness of three men in Ireland--one a Syrian refugee, one terminally ill (that's not a spoiler), and one having social problems. The premise doesn't much interest me, and the book itself is less than 200-pages long--not much more than a novella. But I have heard great things about the writing, and that it is moving, so I suppose I could spare it a crocodile.

    Blasé crocodiles to Guy Gunaratne’s In Our Mad and Furious City, a story about mob violence (anti-Muslim?) in London; and Sally Rooney's Normal People, a love story set against class lines in Ireland. I've heard reasonably good things about both, though neither sounds especially innovative. A hungrier crocodile to Daisy Johnson's Everything Under, which like Michael Ondaatje's Warlight is a remembrance of lost time. In this case, a daughter reconstructs her strange and isolated upbringing in which she and her mother shared a made-up language. There may be some dystopian elements--I'm not sure. I'm taking a wait and see attitude for the moment. But it could be a great book.

    Finally, there is Esi Edugyan's Washington Black, a historic novel involving the adventures of a slave who is sprung from a Barbados sugar plantation in the company of an abolitionist with somewhat ambiguous motives. A wait-and-see crocodile to this one, too. There is a great epic of Atlantic slavery (and a Man Booker winner, I think) called Sacred Hunger. I would probably read that first and wait to hear how this novel stacks up. Washington Black could be a outstanding, or--knowing Man Booker these days--it could be a load of racist political dogma. But I'm keeping an open mind.

    And speaking of racist political dogma, what ever happened to the supposed Man Booker diversity that Americans were bound to poison? Of the thirteen authors mentioned above (seven females and six males) a whopping six were from the UK; three were from the US, two from Canada (one African Canadian and one born in Sri Lanka); and two from Ireland. The Bombay Times describes the situation as one of "alarming whiteness"--itself a mind bogglingly racist statement. On the other hand, maybe we should just throw the British out of the Man Booker competition. They're clearly the ones poisoning the well. Wait a minute--I feel a dystopian novel coming on!
    well, the last four books as you describe, seems to be driven by diversity tropes (and the previous). It always make sense "in name of diversity, let us only talk, and we talk about others and we are good at it. applause". Of course, the effects of such protests may be long lasting and your shopping list in the future may be filled with dystopian novels about a black woman in a world where she owns the last lipstick. wait for it.
    #foratemer

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