Nov 202010

The magnetism of the occult is not confined to history. Failing Christian faith has created an unsatisfied desire for the spiritual, and an accompanying reluctance to believe that commonplace frustrations and anxieties of day-to-day life are all we are ever going to get. Desire for spiritual enlightenment is ineradicable and honorable. But it is often less strong than the longing for spectacular adventure in regions of flame, a miraculous control over the physical world, the ability to see beyond the here and now while carrying shining swords and winning the respect we have always deserved. Abundant sex would be a welcome bonus.

Dinah Birch, “Gripped by beasts.” Times Literary Supplement. 2004.08.06

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Nov 202010

The Greek term for “recognition” used in literary criticicm to describe the moment of tragic recognition when a protagonist realizes an important fact or insight about a situation, themselves, or human nature. The term was used by Aristotle in the Poetics where he argued that the ideal moment for anagnorisis in a tragedy is the moment of peripeteia, the reversal of fortune. “Critics often claim that the moment of tragic recognition is found within a single line of text, in which the tragic hero admits to his lack of insight or asserts the new truth he recognizes. This passage is often called the line of tragic recognition.

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Nov 202010

Barry Eichengreen and Kevin O’Rourke provide an interesting economic historical comparison in this blog article, "A Tale of Two Depressions". Yes, things still look serious. Now time will tell whether the stimulus was sufficient or just postponed a day of reckoning. I don’t think that the core issues (bad assets on the books, too big to fail institutions, have been resolved and that optimism is unwarranted.

"To summarise: the world is currently undergoing an economic shock every bit as big as the Great Depression shock of 1929-30. Looking just at the US leads one to overlook how alarming the current situation is even in comparison with 1929-30."

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Nov 202010

So long as things go well, competition affects an operating fraternity of the capitalist class… But as soon as it is no longer a question of sharing profits, but of sharing losses, everyone tries to reduce his own share to a minimum and to shove it off upon another. The class, as such, must inevitably lose. How much the individual capitalist must bear of the loss, i.e., to what extent he must share it at all, is decided by strength and cunning, and competition then becomes a fight among hostile brothers. The antagonism between each individual capitalist’s interests and those of the capitalist class as a whole then comes to the surface…


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Nov 202010

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

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