We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, March 28. 2007
One more photo of our friend fishing the Upper Malleo River in Patagonia this past January.
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Wow. Imagine the sounds--every little channel a different note--
Every little babble a different little ripple, every little burble a different little dapple.
I think we should start a fishing guide service, kinda like you suggested a few days back. The fact that we may not know what we're doing is no obstacle. Depending on how lost we get, we can take them fishing anywhere from Nome to Tierra del Fuego. It's a surprise, see.
Just remember - the more you charge sportsmen, the better time they have. The money forces them to believe they're having fun.
To begin: "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing."
And to end:
"Under the rocks are the words. I am haunted by the waters." Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It)
"Big Two-Hearted River" Part 1
(the first five paragraphs, to see a river come alive in your mind)
I'm reading the journals of Lewis and Clark. They are on the Missouri, at the Yellowstone. Their appreciation of the sublime, just before the dawn of Romanticism, is something to read. Makes me want to drive to Montana.
Lewis & Clark, a one-time deal for this old universe--the sensibilities, and the tools to communicate and save those sensibilities, and the vasty place that made it all worthwhile.
Ohh--leave it to Papa to do it best!
Buddy the mention of men with sensibility, and communication skills brings me to thinking about the men who wrote such beautiful verse from the trenches of the first world war. What shall we label them? How should we think of them?
WIll this do?
Yikes, AP, last time THAT came up, there was some pretty bloody skirmishing hereabouts. I still think that the writers and critics who make a big deal out of those Brit WWI poets' private lives were themselves engaged in the deconstruction of the western canon. The work is what counts, and the work is illustrated by their lives as soldiers. That other stuff is inconsequential--speculation and calumny. imho.
Oh Dear! I seemed to have missed that battle! However, you are right about the effort to deconstruct the western canon. Having practiced there, the same people are now desconstructing the Episcopal church. However, your work is nicely done: "the work is illustrated by their lives as soldiers". Any rference you can provide to the "skirmish" will be read, or at least skimmed ;-)
AP, I was party to the convo just referenced, but didnít see what I wrote way back then (ancient history) as engaging in deconstructing western canon or impugning the good character of those soldier/poets. But looks as if Iím being deconstructed just when I offered not to comment, anymore.
How is mention of an artistís or politicianís personal life as an aside or as how it relates to literary image or public policy an exercise in deconstructing western canon? Is it only talk about a personís homosexuality that undermines the foundational work of our civilization, or will discussion about great figuresí heterosexual philandering, pederasty, gambling, tax cheating, wife and child beating, misogyny, gluttony, or just general meanness take away from their work and its contribution for good or ill to our history, tradition and idea? Does this restriction against mentioning personal life details also apply to writers and pols with whom we donít agree, Ďcause the center-right sphere absolutely goes to town on both historical and current enemies of the right?
Is our appreciation of certain predecessorsí lives and work so tenuous that we must airbrush away their differences, preferences, foibles and sins, IOW their real lives, when we write and study their biographies? Who oversees the censorship or rewrite? Sounds a bit Stalinish to me, or gauzy, like the blurry cam focus Doris Day insisted upon in her later movies. Isnít there an argument to be made for age-appropriate biographical discussion of artists and leaders, so as not to lay too much on grade schoolers who might become disenchanted for the wrong reasons versus informing university students as to the realness of a person they study? To me, itís almost inspiring to hear of great people who were not necessarily perfect or conventional in their personal or even professional lives- gives the rest of us more hope and less excuse. Of course, the saints and angels are more inspirational.
Anyway, I, for one, donít like to read or look at art with blinders on and very much enjoy knowing about creatorsí lives, experiences, outlooks, loves and times to try to see into the genesis process. And then I like to pull back from the particulars and circumstance and read/ view for a pieceís transcendent offerings. Or, sometimes the process gets reversed, but thereís good learning and knowing from both approaches.
Academic studies that force re-interpretation of the greats, their work and policy, through todayís PC -isms are engaged in distortion in the opposite direction. They err and distort by not grounding study and understanding of history and lit in the context and milieu of an individualís (or movementís) time and place and by distracting from, more than extracting, any sense of universality. Revisionist/ deconstuctivist critique is often a travesty, as it dishonors an artistís truth by having it serve a current social-political agenda- Buddyís perfectly on target there, per his usual. For this reason I usually recommend to my kid analysis from critics who predate modern PC.
But, back to why this discussion here and now, and why such hostility all the time? Everybody is not the enemy. I am on your side, but too often I see people on this side who, instead of enjoying fair academic debate, chip at, pull down, push away, insult, snub, demean and attack those who mean well and who ARE ON THEIR SIDE. Itís as if certain people would rather be angry and uber-right in ever shrinking circles of the exactly perfectly right-minded pals and allies in little club-blogs, than to spread their constructive opinion and influence. At heart itís ungracious, self-destructive and a betrayal of oneís cause. ďYikesĒ is right.
And Iím sorry (but not responsible!) for your Episcopal Church. I grew up Presbyterian but joined a high Episcopal Church as a teen, which turned me off of religion for a long while. It was only a place to be seen by the right people, in the right clothes and, boy, were those pews filled with unrepentant, gossipy, social-climbing hypocrites. Pulpit, too. PC didnít ruin that particular church, just the human condition. Bleh. Am not looking forward to that life, againÖ
Technically, this was not a violation of the no comment pledge, since the above is more like a monograph on why itís silly to pin civilizationís problems on little olí me, especially when Iím not supposed to be here to defend myself! Also wish to say that I always enjoy your and Buddyís comments, so will continue to read the site. We should all remember that good people can disagree on the little things without the claws coming out. I tell that to my cats all the time, but do they listen? Noooo---
so, if you must, "skim" away and blood-lust for some "battle" past, if that does it for you. Sigh.
Anon, you are really, really good. That was a perfect essay, not a wasted word. I have to say, I was not recalling who was who in that past long-thread discussion, so I wasn't aiming anything at anybody. Just remembering the well-fought postings.
And you're right, a student of the lost-generation poets would need all the bio details. However, a student of their poetry alone, wouldn't.
Like the Abe Lincoln 'expose' --even if true, who needed it, as "The Gettysburg Address" and winning the Civil War should be plenty enough. The idea of high school history teachers making points of the gay Lincoln (as some do), is deconstructive--or destructive--of our history, in my humble Philistine opinion.
Thanks, Buddy, and Iíll pretend to believe you :) You really are a mighty force for right, even if your biggest fans have to kick you in the shin once a year. I will go with you on Lincoln, but when it comes to poetry and art appreciation and analysis, sex is embedded in a lot of imagery- intentionally and subconsciously, hetero and homo, etc. This I know, but am too lazy to come up with a good explanation- you could, if you thought about it. That said, though, image and device are not the sum of a pieceís work, and you sound as if you prefer the thematic and lyrical over mode of conveyance, which is all valid and good, and no Philistine you. I like it all, but thatís me. Late Roman? Urban Texan?
Damn good discussion. Thanks, y'all.
It convinced me not to post the piece the Barrister had written about John Wayne's secret gay life.
Explanation, off the top o me head, I'd say that you as a female would naturally note the generative, or I guess you could say, the Id-born, nature of art imagery. That's what makes women endlessly fascinating and utterly frustrating--y'all really are different critters. And thank goodness!
Er, that was directed at Anonymous, BD. And, re John Wayne, no, you've got to be kidding.
Yes, I have seen much of this, and of course as I have said before, "deconstructionism" has served no positive good, except to help people understand they can do it (deconstruct) if they want to.
As for poetry; what, if any, conversation has been going on around the poetry writing soldiers of WWI?
AP, the convo here was just idle poetical analysis. A few WWI poet/soldiers were very probably "differently oriented", and still loyal, true soldiers and incredibly talented artists. We all focus on what they gave us- their service to country and moving words. But I made the mistake of acknowledging their personal realities and impact on poetical image :(
Am not at all convinced that John Wayne's sexuality, either way, colored his acting, so it doesn't seem germane in the least--
And, BL, :)
I have not been made aware if,or who among the poetry writing guys from WW1 were homosexual. Usually, the fem/nazis can't wait to get that out there--hmmm.
However, I do know that the some of the guys in the trenches were first generation to come from schools that had been made available to a "middle class" and whose curriculum was modeled after that of those schools that had been reserved for the elite--which may explain why those guys could write poetry.
Of course, we could become obsessed with discovering the verbal traditions among school boys of a certain generation and forget the poetry all together, but like you I refuse to do that!!
I mean this in the best of ways-- Do you know any real-life homosexuals, or do you believe fem-nazis victimize certain heteros by calling them so? Do you believe gays exist in the human experience, or is homosexuality a manufactured PC calumny and that, certainly, no sensitive artists were ever gay?
I personally don't get gayness- am not attracted to same gender in any way. I don't even like how gay politics have taken over personal style, tradition and our national debate. Abhor the idea of lifestyle "choice" and any equivalence between hetero child-producing units and gay unions. BUT, I do know gay people and realize they're not a figment of my imagination :) and that most of them are irredeemably homo, from either birth or early childhood experience.
We gotta deal and not deny, imo. I donít like denying their personhood, experience and contributions, myself.
I'm not a fem-nazi, btw, if that's what you meant by getting it "out there". If you were to research the few of the poet/ soldiers in question, you'd quickly realize that their education and verbal precosity were not one and the same with their quietly professed sexuality, tho' one clearly impacted the other. They were who they were, and who are we to deny that, as if who they were in their personal lives was such an abomination as to besmirch their art, when it fact their loves and affections most likely contributed to it in particular and profound ways?