We made mad love
And abandoned love
Jan De Cock, Temps Mort XII. Long Island, May 2007, 'Lands' End' on Browns River Road, Sayville, 2007
While it's gratifying to watch Hillary Clinton melt back into her senate seat -- in the process foiling the ascent of Emperor Bill the 1st -- one can't help but feel that that the contest for president is taking place in a different "world-line" (shall we say) than the melt-down of the US financial sector, and with it, the US economy.
"Whoever wins on November 5 will wake up to preside over a different America than the schematic one he was debating about during the primaries and the election. The long campaign will beat a path straight into the long emergency. The new president will inherit a wrecked banking system, an economy in freefall, a wobbling world oil market, and an American public extremely ticked off by its startling, sudden impoverishment. (This is apart from whatever melodramas spool out on the geopolitical scene.)
"The president-elect will quickly realize that the number one problem is not that Americans can't afford health care -- it's that they can't afford anything, because their income is evaporating in terms of both lost jobs and a dollar that is racing toward worthlessness. They'll be hard put to pay for food and gasoline, nevermind Grandma's emphysema treatments. They will be walking away from home ownership -- or yanked kicking and screaming by default-and-repo -- and any government scheme devised to abridge their mortgage contracts will only undermine basic contract law that has made mortgage lending a credible thing in the first place. And that too, of course, would redound straight to a real estate sector already in price free-fall, with no one willing or able to think about buying a house."
"Whoever wakes up as the next president on November 5 will have to preside over the comprehensive reorganization of American life. The big question is whether he can persuade the public to let go of its sunk costs, and all the sheer stuff that represents, and move ahead in a unified way that doesn't end up tearing the nation apart. The danger is that the public will want to mount a kind of last stand effort to defend a way of life that has no future under any circumstances, and they will ask the president to lead that last stand.
"To avoid that deadly outcome, the new president will have to be equipped with a realistic vision of what this society can actually do to survive the discontinuities that circumstances present. This will require him to confront the prevailing delusion that the US can become 'energy independent' in the sense that we can run WalMart on something other than oil from foreign lands. The new president would have to carefully restate American expectations and goals -- for instance, not to keep all the cars running at all costs, but to get us living in places where driving is not mandatory. I'm concerned that the American people will hate the new president if he tells them the truth: that an old way of life is over and a new one has to begin now. We're about to find out how much 'change' the public can really stand."
* Oral sex-related cancer at 30-year high
"The incidence of oral cancer due to a virus transmitted during oral sex has increased steeply over the last 30 years, according to research in the US. And scientists relate this trend to changes in people's sexual behaviour.
"The number of tongue, mouth and throat cancers due to the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV), which can also cause cervical cancer in women, rose by about a third from 1973 to 2004, say researchers.
"The team led by Maura Gillison at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, US, studied trends in oral cancers recorded by US National Cancer Institute registries."
* David Berman (who forgot what he had been reading at his Corcoran Museum appearance last week), checks in on the Joos board:
How do I have the audacity to even show my fingertips here?
what a shanda.
i'm going to float a little pontoon bridge out here.
i took a carriage to the capital.
and a fellow there, who knew me not,
kindly asked for some ideas for reading.
More specifically he asked me what I had been reading,
My mind went 'thwock!.' And that whole area
of the brain busted, and I was unable to remember
a single title.
So here I go, listing some books
old and new but all new to me,
i would recommend to anyone
who has at least one other reason to read them:
Thomas Beers "The Mauve Decade"
Lewis Mumford "The Brown Decade"
Mallarme's Collected Poems on U of California press
Bertolt Brecht Collected Poems
"A Canticle for Leibowitz" Walter M. Miller jr.
William Matthews "selected poems"
"Working IX to V: Professions of the Ancient World" by Vicki Leon.
"the Un-Tv and the 10 MPH car" Bernard McGrane
"Off Center" by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson
"the Republican War on Science" Chris Mooney
"Emotional Vampires" Albert J. Bernstein
Tales of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
"Yiddishe Kop" and "Our Immoral Soul" by Nilton Bonder
"Jesus and Yahweh" Harold Bloom
" A Map Of Misreading" Harold Bloom
"American Scoundrel" Thomas Keneally
"Barbary Coast" Herbert Asbury
"Punk '77: San Francisco" James Stark
"The Gangs of Chicago" , Herbert Asbury
"The Clumsiest People in Europe" by Mrs. Mortimer
"Strange Defeat" Marc Bloch
"Strange Victory" Ernest R. May
"The Storyteller's Nashville" Tom T. Hall
"The Autumn of the Middle Ages" Johan Huizinga
Emily Dickinson "Selected Letters"
"Generals In Bronze " William B. Stype
"Stardust Lost" Stefan Kanfer
"The Gate " Francois Bizot
"The String Bean Murders" by Warren B. Causey
"I Never Told Anybody" Kenneth Koch
"Turned On" by James Parker
"Arkansas" by J ohn Brandon
"Cheese Primer" Steven Jenkins
"A Guide To Silent Westerns"
"Presidential Sheet Music"
"The Idiot's Guide to the Sun"
* "I'm no linguist, but I believe Warren Zevon may be the only man in the history of human communication to use the word brucellosis
in a song." -- Dave Letterman