Posts Tagged With: art

Tireseas

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Demeter’s Hill

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Teiresias

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Bird poop augury 11/30/17

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Bird poop augury 11/29/17

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Bird poop augury–11/27/17

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The Brazen Stairs

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Bird poop augury–11/25/17

20160919_113957In their attempts to descry portents in the flight of birds, ancient augurs oriented themselves toward the north. Flights from the right hand (East) were viewed as affirmation of the query, from the left, negation. Significantly, during the Roman Empire, this orientation was reversed. The cardinal point upon which political, ethical, and moral standards were based was suddenly reversed by Imperial decree.
Perhaps a similar reversal can help explain the spiritual affliction of Trump; as well as his seeming inability to properly honor fallen soldiers.

It might seem odd that we might learn from aviary divination something about double-speak and toxic spew of the Trump era, but ancient lore often discloses timeless truths which defy the logic on which we base our most cherished assumptions about reality today.

In Sophocles play, Antigone, Creon pits his tyrannical rule over that of non-political institutions, family ties, and the will of the gods. By refusing to bury the corpse of Polynices–who dared challenge his rule–he even tries to subordinate the gods of the underworld to his authority.
Though he claims to promote the common good–that of the city over family ties–Creon flouts divine decree, the dictates of custom and common decency. As a result, the city is plunged into a dark malaise so vividly evoked by Tiresias:

The public altars and sacred hearths are fouled,
one and all, by birds and dogs with carrion
torn from the corpse, the doomstruck son of Oedipus!
And so the gods are deaf to our prayers, they spurn
The offerings in our hands, the flame of holy flesh.
No birds cry out an omen clear and true…

The real weight of meaning is driven home to Creon by what the omens do not say, and he finally acknowledges his greatest sin–denial of sacred burial rites for a son of his predecessor, Oedipus–only after bringing ruin to his home, family, and reign.

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Bird poop augury 11/23/17–Auspicious.

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The Russian Iago

I used to listen to Thom Hartman in my studio.  I loved listening to his astute, well-articulated arguments as I struggled with canvas and paint.  I especially enjoyed the lunch with Bernie hour.  But I was later dismayed to learn that Thom’s program was funded by the Russian Government—or shall we say—oligarchs?
Through the election until now, I’ve been struck by the propaganda, mendacity and maddening projection, whereby paid trolls exploit gullible viewers and draw them toward extreme positions on both the left and right.
Opposite this approach is the “friend argument,” as when 45–under Bannon’s council–tries to combat his sexist, homophobic image by nominating Gorsuch who, because he has a gay friend, seems sympathetic to LGTBQ community.
Breitbart uses Milo Yiannopoulos similarly.  But rather than appease moderate, gay Republicans with a dog bone, Yiannapoulos’s appeals to young radicals who can be persuaded by his gaudily ambiguous persona to embrace Steve Bannon’s racist agenda.
I am trolled mercilessly on RT threads when I bring up Thom’s questionable relationship with Putin’s main propaganda arm.  The only articulate response I get are the familiar, tedious attacks against the DNC and strenuous denials of Putin/45 collusion.  This concerns me greatly since I still agree with most of Thom’s arguments. But since Putin would not do anything counter to his authoritarian agenda, there must be some payoff for his toleration of Thom’s views.  Putin is a master manipulator who plays plays our differences, as well as our accord, against one another.  He is the Russian Iago.
The trade-off is that while Putin provides a platform for Thom’s well-reasoned rhetoric, Thom delivers an audience of educated hipsters and die-hard Berners to RT; where they see programs like Redacted tonight, that try to mould said, hipster opinions along 3rd party and alt-right lines.  And Putin comes off as open-minded to boot.  This is one way that well-meaning progressives are being played by Putin.
This is not meant to cast aspersions on Thom Hartman, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, or the good intentions of their supporters. But I think it’s a lapse of judgement on Thom’s part.  The trade-off isn’t worth it.
RT trolls call me paranoid and irrelevant but why should Thom Hartman be above criticism?
 Why would Putin invite a progressive, third party candidate like Jill Stein to attend the RT gala dinner alongside Michael Flynn?  Trolls say it is because their authoritarian leader is open to contrary points of view.  What a laugh.
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Marina Kanavaki

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George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).

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Early Modern at the Beinecke

Early modern British and European collections of Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library