A Last Word

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h/t thisisnthappiness.com

As little as that last post, though written as a “last comment” or at least my last comment for a very long and contentious set of discussion threads, can be known to be a last comment at all, whether if at all it will stand as a last word, or as little as an old favorite poem under the same title has ever turned out to be what it says it is, is this post what it purports to be, unless it happens after all to be. (It’s never happened, but it has happened, though it could never have happened.) Somewhere, I am confident, someone, Dostoevsky at least implicitly, maybe Monty Python, has parodied the self-legendary man preparing delivery of his last words, then discovering to his very highly qualified disappointment that they were not his last words at all, not even close: He’s actually on the road to recovery or possibly as fit as ever (not necessarily very). Even in such an instance of utter self-embarrassment before God or no one or one’s own nothingness, both impending or always already or thus finally established, one’s not so final words still would be in the genre if not perhaps in fact. We know as well that the tradition of last words is often a false tradition: Someone it seems always comes along to raise doubts as to whether the last words of the recalled personage really were uttered, or, if uttered at all, really were last, the really last words being presumably always only lost.1 The last not lost words will thenceforth be treated not as the last words of the living being, but the last words of the living being’s falsified and falsifying public character, a quotation to be re-quoted always as though in an extra set of quotes, and which in this way will record the death a second final time, with second final finality, of the more fully realized de-realization of the life as in theory lived by the one who has in theory died, but now, as ever, is restored to a properly un-real immortality among us, or anyway for as long as we care to care and happen to be – all in all and nothing, nothing in all, re-stating the ultimate original question of what we ever justifiably at all could ever have thought so ever could think had ever lived so would ever have lived at all. Therefore, we are compelled to say, or so we say, or so someone says, or something seems to seem to say someone or something says, last words though only ever never last words are still last words precisely as last words ever only are words that last a little as last until they do not at all as they never did.

A Last Word

Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land,
Broods like an owl: we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band.
Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.

 –Ernest Dowson, 1896, 1899

All of which is to say, at last, finally, this, again: For multiple convergent practical, financial, personal-constitutional, and probably other reasons, I need to take a break from blogging as “blogging” – i.e., as responding to current discussion “out there” – and also from blog-commenting. I may continue to publish pieces here as time permits and dispirit weakens, will remain likely I suspect to engage in side-discussion and to respond to comments, but I gottalotta nothing to do right about now, too much to do to write about right about right about now.

Notes:

  1. Later thought: Seems to me that one of the best examples of the difficulties of the tradition would be the differing treatments of Jesus Christ crucified in the Gospels, then the complication of The Last Supper, then the further complication of the Day of Judgment, and further complications again of the reign on Earth or in Heaven… The last word of Christianity on last words is that in the most important sense there are none. []

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Noted & Quoted

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The rise of the military, if coupled with the undermining of civilian aspects of national power, demonstrates a spiritual exhaustion and a descent into Caesarism. Named after Julius Caesar — who replaced the Roman Republic with a dictatorship — Caesarism is roughly characterized by a charismatic strongman, popular with the masses, whose rule culminates in an exaggerated role for the military. America is moving in this direction. It isn’t that some civilian agencies don’t deserve paring down or even elimination, nor is it that the military and other security forces don’t deserve a boost to their financial resources. Rather, it is in the very logic, ideology, and lack of proportionality of Trump’s budget that American decline, decadence, and Caesarism are so apparent.

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Foreigners often get Mrs Merkel all wrong. She is not the queen of Europe, nor has she any desire to be it. She is a domestic leader and politician whose mounting international stature is always a function of her ability to serve the interests and predilections of German voters. It is predominantly because Germans, for deep historical and cultural reasons, feel so “European” that that she talks and acts in a “European” way. Perhaps all the more for this, Mrs Merkel’s comments today illustrate how much Trumpandbrexit has hurt America and Britain in the past months. They have made it not just possible but also electorally beneficial for a friendly leader of a crucial partner to bash them in public. And more than that: to do it with sincerity.

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(1)

My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.

DONNIE TRUMPO HAS INVOKED A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS AND HE’S WIPING HIS ASS WITH OUR MOST SACRED DOCUMENT THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME I HAVE EXPLICITLY TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAD BETTER STEP UP

If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.

SORRY YOU’RE GOING TO BE FIRED AS WELL BY THIS CANCER ON THE AMERICAN STATE IT’S GOING TO BE WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER BUT THE COUNTRY’S FREEDOM IS ACTUALLY AT STAKE HERE DESTROY HIM LIKE A GREAT AVENGING EAGLE

Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life. Thank you for that gift.

IF I EVER MEANT ANYTHING TO YOU MY G-MEN AND G-WOMEN YOU WILL BURN THIS MOTHER DOWN

Jim Comey

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State of the Discussion

CK MacLeod
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+ From early on, Trump gave his adversaries abundant excuses to declare him illegitimate, or illegitimate as far as their principles were concerned. To skip ahead [. . .]
Theodicy of Trump – a Tweet-Drizzle (OAG #11)
Wade McKenzie
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+ Only the retrospective knowledge that Trump, against every establishment anticipation, won the election lends the idea that Hillary Clinton ought to have refused to participate [. . .]
Theodicy of Trump – a Tweet-Drizzle (OAG #11)
CK MacLeod
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+ I'd go much further than perhaps you might expect in supporting your criticism of the Democrats here, or crucial aspects of it. There's no reason [. . .]
Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post

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