Getting married today

It is ironic that an American now serves as the gravedigger of anti-monarchism.

There aren’t enough republicans to fill Wembley Stadium.

As the monarchy looks to the future, the brexitious Labour and Tory parties look to their inglorious pasts.

The cosmopolitan young royals are an easy sell when contrasted with the likes of nativist elected politicians like May and Corbyn.

Cromwell’s reign of terror made divine right look attractive.

The problem with Oxford is that it is not (and will never be) Cambridge.

Jordan Peterson is the Gwyneth Paltrow of the alt right.

Much of the blues tradition, on which rock and roll is based, is decidedly misogynistic and would run afoul of the #MeToo movement.

There are few facts in sports journalism, but there is a lot of conjecture and imaginative speculation.

Incitement to disgust

Want rules over need in economies based on consumption, not thrift. Asceticism is anachronistic.

Envy of the rich and hatred of the poor are co-dependent on each other. Neither emotion should be affirmed.

Simple language is for simple minds.

Americans tend to exaggerate; everything is the biggest, the most beautiful, the greatest. If you disagree with them, they call you little and sad.

Rights are taken, not given. They don’t fall down from heaven.

The Assad dictatorship has a track record of brutality. Ignore that at your own peril.

Conspiracy thinking is rife today. Those who doubt even their own existence are complicit with Assad and Putin.

Conspiracy thinking is insincerity par excellence. Taken to its logical end, conspiracy thinkers must consider that their own thoughts might be part of a conspiracy. And then the doors of the mental ward close behind them.

Alas, we are beset by fools and mountebanks.

Moral panic

 

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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.

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Dickensian

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.