When Oscar Wilde Colluded with the Russians

November 4, 2017

 

 

“In many ways, fears of Russian interference unfolded in Victorian Britain in a manner not unlike what we see today. As was the case in Wilde’s era, the specter of an external threat had a way of unmasking internal strife.”

That’s Jennifer Wilson in a brief essay with a focus on Wilde’s first play, Vera, at The Paris Review‘s blog.

Advertisements

From Russia with Love

July 30, 2017

Let’s revise the U. S. Constitution a smidge and elect Vladimir Putin President of the U. S.–that’s my take on the matter at the end of all the neo-McCarthyite, Russophobic, Clintonian partisan bullshit and brouhaha emanating from the injured Right wing of the Democratic Party. Sure Putin looks like Ernst Stavro Blofeld, but the fact is he’s a lot more sober and saner than either Hillary Clinton or La Donald. Very Obama-like, in fact–and that’s not exactly praise coming from me–and it would probably be the least of three evils to have him in the White House, if one has to confine one’s imagination to those options. Here’s Oliver Stone and Truthdig’s Robert Scheer rapping on Stone’s recently-released interviews with Putin–a tv series and also an audiobook which digs up information in even greater detail–courtesy of Truthdig and KPFK.

I’m not big on the work of Oliver Stone–though I did like Platoon a long time ago–but recently he’s been doing some decent documentary stuff. (The Untold History of the United States, Stone’s 2012 documentary series, is surprisingly and refreshingly free of conspiracy theorizing foolishness.)


You can hear the wind blowing over the rubble . . .

November 26, 2012

As the dust settles in Palestine.

The Gaza Strip

“. . . the killing of entire families and the destruction of government buildings and police stations, far from encouraging Palestinians to submit, will only fortify their resistance, something Israel might have learned by consulting the pages of recent Jewish history. The Palestinians understand that they are no longer facing Israel on their own: Israel, not Hamas, is the region’s pariah. The Arab world is changing, but Israel is not. Instead, it has retreated further behind Jabotinsky’s ‘iron wall’, deepening its hold on the Occupied Territories, thumbing its nose at a region that is at last acquiring a taste of its own power, exploding in spasms of high-tech violence that fail to conceal its lack of a political strategy to end the conflict.”

Why Israel Didn’t Win” by Adam Shatz, online only at the London Review of Books‘ website.


Inheriting the Wind Department:

November 18, 2012

I Am Jewish and I Want Israel to Stop Killing Palestinians

A Pillar Built on Sand” is John Mearsheimer’s careful and scrutinizing assessment of the current and ongoing–and characteristically cruel–devastation of the Palestinian Gaza Strip by Israel’s military, at the London Review of Books‘ website.


Half donkey, half elephant, and all turkey, Election Day once again looms like a gigantic, querulous vulture over this once great nation . . .

November 4, 2012

. . . casting its grotesquely contorted shadow like some cosmic, Lovecraftian evil upon the future, it’s fetid, Robber Baron breath wafting over the world, its horrific gobble-gobbling sending shivers of  raw adrenal hysteria across corporate airwaves and cables, the faint hope of the Occupy movement flickers on . . . .

Half Donkey Half Elephant All Turkey

Stiffed” at the London Review of Books‘ website is David Runciman’s take on The Occupy Handbook and the socio-political phenomenon which spawned it. Runciman isn’t particularly hopeful about the whole Occupy thing, and he’s especially disdainful–or at least acutely critical–of the raft of Occupy-inspired slogans based on percentage-points–although some may be effective rallying cries (“We are the 99%!”) and others obnoxious political gaffs (Romney’s “47%” foot-in-mouth affliction), Runciman doesn’t see much that is real in most of the numbers. It’s a pretty thoughtful article and an interesting read, even if I think that the Occupy movement has more resilience than Runciman’s assessment credits it.


I Got ‘Dem Information Superhighway, Electro-Epistolary Blues . . .

September 17, 2012

“Dear Wikipedia,

Philip Roth

I am Philip Roth.”

You’d think those opening words from the horse’s mouth would be enough to do the job, but it seems that Wikipedia’s staff don’t want to correct an inaccurate account of the origins of one of Roth’s fictional characters. “An Open Letter to Wikipedia” by Philip Roth.


Start the Austerity without Me, Please . . .

June 15, 2012

Weimar Play MoneyLefty wild man philosopher Slavoj Žižek has this to say regarding the looming elections in Greece. With the socialistic, decidedly Left-wing Syriza party looking like they might just pull off a win, a great gnashing of capitalist teeth can be heard echoing over the Alps and across the Hellespont from the pro-austerity mobsters and their servants in the Eurozone–that is, from the bulk of Europe’s current Establishment leadership and the bankers and businessmen who own them–with the extraordinary success of resistant and recalcitrant Iceland (and earlier of Argentina on the other side of the globe) resisting the imposition of cruel austerity measures and defaulting on their debt . . . notwithstanding. Nope. An anti-austerity, Left-wing victory in Greece foreshadows doom for Europe–not just the Eurozone–and cats and dogs–and Poles and Turks–will start sleeping together. Oh the calamity!

Picket Line 1937“The mere possibility of a Syriza victory is said to have sent ripples of fear through global markets. Ideological prosopopoeia has its day: markets talk as if they were persons, expressing their ‘worry’ at what will happen if the elections fail to produce a government with a mandate to persist with the EU-IMF programme of fiscal austerity and structural reform. The citizens of Greece have no time to worry about these prospects: they have enough to worry about in their everyday lives, which are becoming miserable to a degree unseen in Europe for decades.”

At The London Review of Books‘ website.