The DVD is poorly constructed. It simply stops at the end of a scene and expects the viewer to take it out of the player, flip it, and start on side 2. Still it is worth watching. It’s one of the few movies with staying power to come out of the 70′s. Maybe Connery was not such a bad actor, after all.
Today was and tomorrow is my final gig at Shanley High this year. The students and teachers are all wild to get out for the summer, but I am depressed that I won’t see my kids for three months. It’s my first tour of duty in the Spanish Department, where I am teaching the great Mezey/Barnes samizdat translations of the poems of Jorge Luis Borges, lucky kids! Why can’t we have school twelve months a year like the South Koreans? Tomorrow at the awards ceremony I award the first two scholarships to my best seniors, the Sullivan Memorial and the Murphy.
Lots of publications and acceptances. Reviewed proof of Feeney’s Lent for Hudson Review, submitted more than two years ago. The lead times are sooo long! But I received the Alabama Literary Review, with Changing of the Guard, a six page prosimetrum about Feeney’s final year and Chucky’s first with me, which includes some very substantial poems. Acceptances from Quadrant, First Things, Chronicles, Sewanee Theological Review. Round up the usual suspects.
Very often the question of 1941 is posed in a more abstract way, as a matter of European civilization. In some arguments, German (and Soviet) killing policies are the culmination of modernity, which supposedly began when Enlightenment ideas of reason in politics were practiced during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The pursuit of modernity in this sense does not explain the catastrophe of 1941, at least not in any straightforward way. Both regimes rejected the optimism of the Enlightenment: that social progress would follow a masterly march of science through the natural world. Hitler and Stalin both accepted a late-nineteenth-century Darwinistic modification: progress was possible, but only as a result of a violent struggle between races or classes.
The last sentence is the most important: Hitler and Stalin both accepted a late-nineteenth-century Darwinistic modification: progress was possible, but only as a result of a violent struggle between races or classes.
This is what I find troubling about those who accept the natural history of Man as the only history of Man. In many cases they equate Darwinian evolution with human advancement, and belief in Darwinian evolution with political progress.
There is no reason to suppose that social progress, however defined, is a survival characteristic, or that it can only come about as the result of peaceful cooperation between human beings.
I would like to clarify what I wrote above. I usually post when I’m on-shift, meaning I’m exhausted. I wrote the above before the coffee had kicked in
What I am saying is that, if there is nothing in the story of man that transcends nature, that is, evolution, than there is no more reason to believe that mankind shall progress in an environment of ever greater inclusiveness and cooperation than there is to believe that mankind will progress due to violent struggles between nations, races, and social classes. There is no scientific reason to believe that the “19th century modification of Darwinism” is incorrect.
In 1952 a recording was made of Dylan Thomas reading Fern Hill (he read other poems as well). This is supposed to be well-known, but I didn’t know about it. Dylan has a marvelous voice for poetry. The engineer at the recording session (Peter Bartok) said at the time that it was a french horn of a voice.
First Things has asked that Late Planting be removed so they can publish it.
The Mushroom Hunt
We bear male puppies, both of them roughly seven,
to the lush Grasslands for a mushroom hunt.
When last together, it was pheasant heaven,
corn harvested, the fields stripped for the brunt
of brute winter lowering in the skies.
Patrick was bundled in his boyish camo,
Chucky, his black fur coat, and no surprise,
two men shouldering guns, pocketing ammo.
Chucky face washes Patrick in the back
seat of the truck, much laughter and giggles,
and now we’re lurching down a rutted track,
the young father so antsy that he wriggles.
Afternoons off? My world has ample room
for puppies and hunting the furtive ‘shroom.
Contrary to much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the left’s takeover of academia, big government, the media and the ‘narrative’, of manufacturing millions of government dependents, it isn’t forvever, eventually they will fail and fall, James Delingpole says so.