Monday, January 5, 2015

What Political Implications Could Have been Drawn from The Pit and the Pendulum?
Politicians (pen and ink Goya)

First I must say that for those bigoted, unimaginative, narrow-minded, literalistic souls who want to think only in terms of specific "facts" about politics I must say, 
"This blog is not the place for you."

I think it should have been obvious, however, that in posting this famously evocative tale of gruesome horror at its most extreme in this context the following parallels could easily be drawn:

The "Narrator-Victim" represents the American Public,

The "Dungeon" and the "Pit" represent Washington, DC,

The "Pendulum" the Obama Administration,

The "RATS" the Republican Establishment.

The question that should interest most the reading public, would be 'Who or What is the "Liberating Force" that rides in at the end and rescues the "Victim?"'

The Voting Public (pen and ink Goya)


  1. Glad that you put this front and center, FT.

    'Who or What is the "Liberating Force" that rides in at the end and rescues the "Victim?"'

    Faith, with the repudiation of the 21st Century popular culture.

    We are in dire need of a moral compass!

    1. Though not the one I had in mind, that is a good answer, AOW.

  2. In Goya’s greatest scenes we seem to see
    the people of the world
    exactly at the moment when
    they first attained the title of
    ‘suffering humanity’
    They writhe upon the page
    in a veritable rage
    of adversity
    Heaped up
    groaning with babies and bayonets
    under cement skies
    in an abstract landscape of blasted trees
    bent statues bats wings and beaks
    slippery gibbets
    cadavers and carnivorous cocks
    and all the final hollering monsters
    of the
    ‘imagination of disaster’
    they are so bloody real
    it is as if they really still existed

    And they do

    Only the landscape is changed

    They still are ranged along the roads
    plagued by legionnaires
    false windmills and demented roosters
    They are the same people
    only further from home
    on freeways fifty lanes wide
    on a concrete continent
    spaced with bland billboards
    illustrating imbecile illusions of happiness

    The scene shows fewer tumbrils
    but more strung-out citizens
    in painted cars
    and they have strange license plates
    and engines
    that devour America

    - Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    1. Ferlinghetti is a leftist, activist, antagonist, categorical hater of America and the West. It's no wonder his writing is bilious, since his parents -- especially his mother were of unfortunate origin.

      Ferlinghetti is more Ducky's sort of poet than mine.

      W.H. Auden makes the same point, but with more wit, less rancor, and much better humor.

      As it is, plenty;

      As it’s admitted

      The children happy

      And the car, the car

      That goes so far

      And the wife devoted:

      To this as it is,

      To the work and the banks

      Let his thinning hair

      And his hauteur

      Give thanks, give thanks.

      All that was thought

      As like as not, is not

      When nothing was enough

      But love, but love

      And the rough future

      Of an intransigent nature

      And the betraying smile,

      Betraying, but a smile:

      That that is not, is not;

      Forget, forget.

      Let him not cease to praise

      Then his spacious days;

      Yes, and the success

      Let him bless, let him bless:

      Let him see in this

      The profits larger

      And the sins venal,

      Lest he see as it is

      The loss as major

      And final, final.

      ~ Music by Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)

      Text by W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

      On This Island, opus 11 - As It Is Plenty
      Music by Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)

      Text by W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

    2. Auden was a commie prick of the same ilk.

    3. Please don't antagonize me. ;-) Art, when it is true, transcends politics. When art becomes didactic, or polemical, it ceases to be art.

      At any rate, we are all entitled to our preferences. Yes Ferlinghetti was a poet and not merely a polemicist, but I don't like his bitter, contemptuous tone.

      The song cycle On This Island -- a collaboration between the poet W.H. Auden and the celebrated composer Benjamin Britten -- is a great masterwork of the twentieth century. It evokes a kaleidoscope of moods, tines, images, and points of view from the proudly chauvinistic, through the idyllic, the deeply affective and empathetic ending with the comically derisive.

      I've had the great pleasure of performing the accompaniments with several singers, and still find the work an inexhaustible treasure.

  3. Replies
    1. But he could produce, FT.

      memory of marie a - bertolt brecht

      One day in blue-moon September,
      Silent under a plum tree,
      I held her, my silent pale love
      in my arms like a fair and lovely dream.
      Above us in the summer skies,
      Was a cloud that caught my eye.
      It was so white and high up,
      and when I looked up, it was no longer there.

      And since that moment, many a September
      Came sailing in, then floated down the stream.
      No doubt the plum trees were cut down for timber
      And if you ask what happened to my dream
      I shall reply: I cannot now remember
      Though what you have in mind I surely know.
      And yet her face: I really don't recall it.
      I just recall I kissed long ago.

      Even the kiss would have been long forgotten
      If that white cloud had not been in the sky.
      I know the cloud, and shall know it forever,
      It was pure white and, oh, so very high.
      Perhaps the plum trees still are there and blooming.
      Perhaps that woman has six children too.
      But that white cloud bloomed only for a moment:
      When I looked up, it vanished in the blue.

    2. Even in translation that is beautiful, Ducky. Was it the girl who affected him so, or was it his youthful image of the girl symbolized by that perfect white cloud?

      I suspect most of us may be more in love with the fond illusions we cherished in youth than with the realities we were forced to confront at any stage of existence.

      Long ago a cynical teaching colleague of mine said, "Happiness is the remembrance of past pain."

      I've always hoped he was wrong, but I see what he meant more and more as I age.

  4. What implications?

    Why, I've already stated it on the record, my dear boy!

    1. Reiteration may produce elucidation. Always worth a try I should think.

  5. I have a copy of Los Caprichos, by Goya. Although aimed at 1799 Spain, his observations are timeless.

    Nothing will ride to our rescue. The people get what they want: Government goodies, immigrants to do the dirty work, a legalized dope. That's the way Soros, Zuckerberg and the rest of the global elites want it.

    1. You may also want to take a look at his "Playing at Giants".

      No class or economic statement there, right?

      The recent Museum of Fine Arts Goya exhibition was a revelation.
      Difficult to pin him down to a particular point of view.

    2. It saddens me to see how deeply you are now committed to Defeatism, Kurt. I'm sure leftists want most desperately to see Goya as a fellow Marxist, just as they try to do with Charles Dickens, Jesus Christ and any other figure who acknowledges Grief, Loss, Deprivation, Unfairness and Selfishness as part of the Human Condition.

      The kind of pessimism that leads to dejection, ultimately leads to enervation and impotence is a trap -- an Entrance to the Dungeon with the Bottomless Pit of Horror beyond human imagining. Something to avoid at all costs.

    3. Freethinke, I don't try to see him as a fellow anything.

      I try to see him.

    4. The Leftist Prism forever intervenes between you and the truth, Ducky. I doubt if you can help it.

    5. I will say in addition lest you accuse me of seeing everything from a "fringe right" point of view, that I never read a novel, enjoyed a play or a poem, looked at a picture, or listened to a piece of music with any political agenda in mind, until a bearded Marxist professor in graduate school informed the class that the operas and symphonies of Mozart, et al. were "the products of "Privilege." The way he enunciated the word "privilege" made it sound as though his nostrils had suddenly become contaminated with the stench of putrefaction, and his gorge was about to rise. I thought him a most awful ass, and still do.

      I am still stunned by that incident, however. It was reminiscent of the way the Red Chinese once banned Beethoven & CO as products of a "decadent, obsolete, Bourgeois Capitalist culture destined for extermination."

      When it comes to Art, Music, Architecture, etc. I don't give a hoot in hell about the political, moral, religious convictions of the creative geniuses. Alcoholics, wife beaters, pederasts, anti-Semites, liars, serial adulterers, homosexuals with unpleasant dispositions, etc. All that matters is what they PRODUCED. They, themselves, interest me very little, because I see them as mere CONDUITS for tiny glimpses of Divinity that give life meaning, and lend it enchantment.

      Art is to EDIFY not to INSTRUCT.

    6. Edify means instruct but leave that aside.

      Why insist on restricting art to one function?

  6. Replies
    1. A brilliant evocation of grotesque, haunting, nightmarish visions. Highly reminiscent of Gustave Doré and Daumier (of "The Third-Class Carriage" fame)

  7. I don't hold much hope for the "great awakening" happening anytime soon. People have been locked in the dark by their manipulative masters, unable to discern the problem even if it has been staring them in the face for a century, at least.

    Some great mind once said that to find out who your masters really are, first find out who you are prohibited from criticizing. People will readily criticize "the left", "the communists", "socialists and/or "progressives" without ever connecting the dots recognizing the real force behind those identified segments.

    People readily recognize Karl Marx as the ideological force behind much of the evil scourge perpetrated upon the planet during the last century and the enormous death toll piled up in reaching the supposed nirvana of pure communism. But recognizing the larger driving force behind the evil of communism is carefully avoided and NEVER named.

    Moses Hess, the revered mentor of Karl Marx, whose body was exhumed from its original burial place, to be given a place of honor and reverence in the state of Israel makes a clear connection—equating socialism with Zionism. How else to understand the mysterious imposition of Russia being shackled by the plague of Bolshevism in 1917. This revolution being aided and abetted by serious financial, backing from American and European communist sympathizers and avid Zionists.

    Both Lenin and Trotsky had to be transported back to Russia to foment the momentous event of the October Revolution since they both had been expelled from Mother Russia earlier by Tsar Nicholas Romanov.

    1. I know exactly what you mean, Waylon, but we must always keep in mind that if there were no legitimate grievances to exploit, the cunning little foxes who brought Bolshevism into the world would never have been able to get a so much as a toehold on the ladder that leads to Power and Control.

      Naive and Simplistic as it may sound to cynical modern ears Jesus told us "Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

      That takes wisdom, courage and the kind of unselfishness possessed by few. The lesson, I think, we need to learn is that we must keep trying to achieve ideals, even though we know we will never fully succeed. It is the continual EFFORT to strive for perfection that determines our character -- and the state of our soul. God defines and judges "success" by entirely different standards than we.

  8. Replies
    1. Resentment towards and contempt for Authority is universal. It has existed since time immemorial no doubt. That said, I did not like the way that woman read Hawthorne. Her recital was infused with a modern, foreign-sounding cynicism of her own that does not properly belong to Hawthorne.

  9. The federal government is among the least of the concerns for most Americans. State and local government are far more onerous.




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