August 23rd, 2004


Long rant about various things

I learned something interesting at a party last night, at which I met for the first time in several years a former friend and political ally for whom I had become estranged for reasons that never seemed very sensible to me, but mattered a lot to them. Reasons that had to do with the interactions of third and fourth parties, not with anything significant between us.

We managed to work together, sort of, but through an incredibly laborious process of communicating through third parties. When I got sick, and decided to drop out of political activism altogether, that was pretty much it for any occasion for us to meet or patch any of the mess up. Oh, well, I thought, maybe a decent interval...

Anyway, meeting at the house of a mutual friend, there was awkwardness. The sort of thing where you sort of acknowledge each other's presence with a half smile and a little wave and go back to pretending they aren't exactly there. Only of course, and this is the interesting thing, there is no estrangement on the left so total Collapse )

On the other hand, no easy answers because actually, as the evening wore on, it was far clearer to me than it has ever been that we had real issues between us that we always managed to brush under the carpet when we were working together.Collapse )

Of course, one of the problems with moral campaigns is what happens when they are about things you don't entirely agree with. Collapse ).

And yet, in spite of idiocy, and George W. Bush, I retain some hope for humanity - mostly because of cookery and music.

I made a salad today - just a quarter of a red onion chopped really fine and a few torn leaves of lime basil and a spoon of olive oil and a double handful of various tomato varieties that were sold as a mixed pack. And I listened to some late Beethoven quartets - which, when I am in the mood, almost make me want to be in Heaven so I can watch him listening to them and actually be able to hear them. How great a gift to humanity is that? To write utterly sublime music that you cannot yourself hear at all and never ever will. After the premiere of the Ninth Symphony, he had to be tugged round to see that the audience were applauding him.
  • Current Music
    Beethoven Quartet Op.130

An important essay

I've just been referred to this by Avedon and Patrick. It is one of the best manifestos I've ever read of the need to fight conservatism whenever and wherever - it also reminds me of why Voltaire and Rousseau are both important.

Go and look at

You won't be sorry.

Incidentally, and moderately a propos, I am surprised that discussion of the fact the Republicans have put up Alan Keyes in Illinois have not referred to the fact that, apart from his desire to disenfranchise lesbians and gay men on the grounds that they are not able to control their impulses and are therefore not fully adult, he believes in at least discussing the reintroduction of debt slavery. That's right - he is an African-American who wants slavery legal again.

Words fail me.