Moral panic



The removal of the Waterhouse painting in Manchester is only another black eye for the city.

I recall a time when religious fundamentalists sought to ban photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe because they were “pornographic.”

Only a philistine would demand that art be moral.

Curators need the “creator” to sell to a public which is addicted to celebrity. They’ve sold the artist, not the art, for a long time. Hence, they remain behind the times intellectually for financial reasons.

The public, and the journalists who write for it, were never were educated in semiotics, structuralism, modernist aesthetics, etc., to begin with.

I remember when a man of the cloth called for the “extermination” of the Sex Pistols.

Arendt never apologised for being Heidegger’s lover.

Althusser murdered his wife, but no one demanded the New Left Review close its shop.

Épater la bourgeoisie.



Dickens gentrified Grub Street.

He wrote to the popular taste — which at the time was in thrall of sentimentality — and thus diminished his literary art.

Dickens did create iconic characters: Tiny Tim, Scrooge, Oliver Twist, the Artful Dodger, Uriah Heep, Wilkins Micawber, etc.

The idea of the writer (the novelist) as an artist, initiated by Flaubert and formalised by Henry James, only gained traction in the second half of the nineteenth century. By the time Joyce and Woolf arrived on the scene, the now self-conscious, serious work of literary art had become inaccessible to the popular taste against which the British modernists waged an aesthetic war.

No Moore

A win over grave evil is a win, but it should be sobering that the Democrat only narrowly defeated the Republican pedophile. Such is the sad state of American politics.

I blame the British Transportation Act of 1717.

“… to save us all from Satan’s power” is the most festive line in any carol.

Presidential paresis

Paul Ryan was Boehnered by Tea Party Republicans.

The so-called Freedom Caucus is anti-government, which presents a paradox when it is in a position to govern.

Since 2010, Republicans have proven to be ungovernable.

The US is a nation of swindlers and rubes. Hence, the Trump Presidency.

Trump campaign promises scorecard:

  • Muslim ban (stalled in courts)
  • Southern border wall (no brick has been laid)
  • New plan to defeat IS (non-existent)
  • Repeal Obamacare (flatlined)

Heart full of scroll

Some people say Arendt’s concept of totalitarianism doesn’t apply to Trump. Maybe not. But Trump is comparable to other modern dictators (i.e., Erdogan, Putin, Duterte, etc.). Mussolini is an obvious model for Trump.

As Jimmy Breslin once described Rudy Giuliani: “A small man in search of a balcony.”

When the economic and cultural conditions underpinning masculine domination decay, one winds up with Trump.

Reading and writing occur in a place of silence, of solitude. What refuses to be silent is the mass media, which profits from giving a platform to extremist politics.

Calvin’s doctrine of predestination demonstrated more theological courage than Luther, whose sola fide is merely a continuation of the Church’s “magical means of salvation” by other means (as per Weber).

Luther is a hero only if one skips over the antisemitism.