Thursday Poem: Ezra Pound, Alba

Alba (Dawn Song)

As cool as the pale wet leaves
of lily-of-the-valley
She lay beside me in the dawn

Ezra Pound

Brief Bio-He really wanted to get out of America.  To London first, as the father of modernist poetry, and eventually Italy where he made pro-Axis rants on Italian radio during World War II.   When American troops finally got him, they put him in a box for 25 days.    He was never quite the same after that, though not exactly stable to begin with.  Stable in his art, perhaps.

The New King (of Pop) County

Those of you not from Seattle may not have heard about this.  They’ve renamed and “rebranded” King County.  Click here for the new image. 

Originally, King County was named after William R. King, who was elected as Vice President, but did not serve due to ill-health (tuberculosis).  He also owned a plantation.

The original reasons for naming the new territory after William King were somewhat self-interested (as wikipedia reports, to curry favor), but it’s a little unsettling to alter the historical record in such a way.

All else aside, and continuing with this line of thought, I hereby propose a new King of King County:  The King of Pop:

michael_jackson.jpg

In a few decades we’ll realize the true depth of his contributions.  He has touched millions of people through his music and throughout his life. 

(Thanks to the Taoist Secret for the pic)

Addition:  R.I.P.   I really hope no one in King County takes my suggestion seriously now.  Andrew Sullivan has found a Mike Kinsley article from 1984, discussing Jackson’s talent and the fantasy bubble he inhabited that many, through their greed, supported.

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E.J. Dionne’s Piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education

It’s called the Liberal Moment

It’s worth a read, suggesting we may be on the cusp of a new progressive movement in America.

I wrote a post about the intellectually immature, somewhat anti-rational progressive Matt Stoller.  If this is progressivism…then I’m not so sure that progressivism is ready for the mainstream.

I think one story in the next election will be how disorganized and anti-intellectual some parts of the left have become, and just how much the Democratic nominee will have to appeal to the roots to win, while still finding a center.   

If this is the new progressivism, and progressivism has a golden opportunity, then I’m not that impressed.   

Though, as Dionne points out, it may be nothing new in American politics.  

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Thanks, Osama

Osama Bin Laden is back, apparently.  Here is a link to Althouse.

After Ahmadinejad’s letter, I don’t know what to say…it’s all so sudden.  As an American citizen, I’m flattered.

In his address, Bin Laden implores us to stop the invasion in Iraq.  Opportunistically, he’s again aiming all the angry, dispossesed, and idealogically driven zealots directly at us.  After our obvious failures in Iraq, it’s getting easier for him to do.  

There may be some important things we can learn from Bin Laden.  The most important might be how to reflect after the kind of grievous, morally appalling attack such as the one we experienced on 9/11.  Bin Laden is despicable, but well versed in such games, by him and against him.  That has been his life.

Can we justify violence and righteous hatred?  Do we find destructive, but soothing reasons for our actions?  Do we lash out blindly?

I think it’s time to have this discussion.  Each day is a day we may become more like him, and give him more strength. 

How do we engage the arab world, anyways?

Addition:  Why grant Bin Laden any status at all by use of such an analogy?  

Well…why keep using so many resources to pursue him? 

Which costs more? 

I know I’m on shaky ground with this argument, but it seems worth pointing out.

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