rlbourges

From here, I proceed on to whatever comes next

In Current reading, Local projects, proto drafts, Sanford Meisner on July 18, 2015 at 6:15 am

Short-cuts. As in labeling. Tsipras and his government are “collaborationists”, according to a local firebrand of Greek origin. This other uses the qualifier “fascist” for anyone who disagrees with her. Someone else insists you must ac-cen-tuate the pos-it-ive and all will be fine.

Or conspiracy theory as a one-size-fits-all explanation to our woes.If, at least, the conspirationists could agree on One overall conspiracy headed by one and only one entity, we might get somewhere à la Odysseus  tackling the one-eyed monster. But no. Sad to say, the only conspiracy apparent to me is the human brain’s tendency to prefer distraction to head-on collisions with unpleasant facts. From time to time, after a direct confrontation with heavy unpleasantness, someone reports on the experience without flinching. This sobers everybody for a moment. Then, some wring their hands, some wail, some go tsk-tsk, and some offer up new and pleasant ways to flavor summer cocktails. Bottom line: humans aren’t as smart as they’d love to be, and often too dumb to think out basic consequences to rash decisions. I don’t blame them. I happen to be a human myself.

***

Translators’ notes provide interesting insights into thought processes. An innocuous-looking formulation in Canto II of the Iliad, for instance where Homer grapples with a representation of vast numbers, and uses a technique some teachers now apply with young children i.e. breaking down the vastness into units of ten. Then comparing one set of units to another, and thus determining which is the largest (in verses 120 to 126).

***

Most of the books in my personal collection: now in labeled boxes. Most of the cupboards empty. Windows open for the final wisps of air cooled by a brief shower.

***

So, do I consider the financial deal imposed on Greece a good thing? No, I consider it a gruesome parody. For starters. But I also have to wonder how label-wielding public orators would fare when stared down by those who don’t need any other conspiracy than the knowledge they’d lose their privileges if they backed down from their untenable positions.

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