Thursday, February 26, 2015

"I can devour Thee"

I hope I will not seem comically lofty and idiotically dull when I say, I have been reading Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution during my lunch hours at work, and have found, on every third page it seems, paragraphs and phrases exactly descriptive of America in the year 2015. Carlyle's writing is comically lofty in itself, but so far, his point seems to be that in history and in life, the truth will out, because truth is the same as freedom, which is normal for man; and lies, which enslave men, cry out to be refuted; "they wait and cry earnestly for extinction."

Great is Bankruptcy: the great bottomless gulf into which all Falsehoods, public and private, do sink, disappearing; whither, from the first origin of them, they were all doomed. For Nature is true and not a lie. No lie you can speak or act but it will come, after longer or shorter circulation, like a Bill drawn on Nature's Reality, and be presented there for payment, -- with the answer, No effects. Pity only that it often had so long a circulation; that the original forger were so seldom he who bore the final smart of it! Lies, and the burden of evil they bring, are passed on; shifted from back to back, and from rank to rank; and so land ultimately on the dumb lowest rank, who with spade and mattock, with sore heart and empty wallet, daily come in contact with reality, and can pass the cheat no further.

Meanwhile, lacking an opposition party, -- but having an opposition press! -- which cannot, yet, arrogate to itself kingmaker status -- this will be future historians' prime puzzle, and I think they will conclude it was just propinquity; the bloggers and the talk radio hosts blogged and talked truth alone, but the Luegenpresse, the liar press, stuck physically close to persons in power, asking soft questions and attending dinner parties later -- meanwhile, there is little to do but make a dish of noodles, cheese, and brocccoli, pour a glass of wine, and prepare to enjoy, thanks to the marvels of modern technology, one of the best of the great Joan Hickson's Miss Marple episodes, A Murder is Announced. This is the one that taught us to exclaim, in the accents of the equally great Paola Dionisotti playing 'Hinch,' "That's a non-starter, Murgatroyd!" I think you should shout this line anytime you like for any good reason. 

The wine is Vina Mayor, a verdejo (grape), from Rueda (the region, in Spain). Lovely floral aroma, with a chardonnay-like rich body but a refreshing crispness, too.

One more from Carlyle. And we're only on page 47.
For life is no cunningly devised deception or self-deception: it is a great truth that thou are alive, that thou hast desires, necessities, neither can these subsist and satisfy themselves on delusions, but on fact. To fact, depend on it, we shall come back: to such fact, blessed or cursed, as we have wisdom for. The lowest, least blessed fact one knows of, on which necessitous mortals have ever based themselves, seems to be the primitive one of Cannibalism: That I can devour thee. What if such Primitive Fact were precisely the one we had (with our improved methods) to revert to, and begin anew from? 


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