Zettel

When I was in college, we had a symposium on Wittgenstein. It was then that I learned about ‘Zettel’. I’ve never read it, but my recollection is that it was poetic philosophical fragments that never made it into his other writings. It is with that in mind that I write down various thoughts.

About inside jokes:
Our family has a lot of inside jokes that get repeated often at the dinner table.
Life is an inside joke… Inside jokes for solipsists… Tofu Oysters… Keep the worms hot… Like a rhinestone deer head… or a riff from Aqualung played on the air guitar followed by everyone shouting AFLAC!

About West Wing
I really liked tonight’s West Wing. I forget exactly what Santos said when he announced McGarry’s death. It was something about elections being about more than just the people. I thought it was very good, along with a line from Vinnick saying something similar about it being history that decides. It reflects a thought I often talk about, of when the man makes the times versus when the times make the man.

Then, there were the reflections on mortality, change, etc. “Omnes una manet nox” - “The same night awaits us all”. Very nicely done, talking about the same night that awaits each candidate, as well as that good night which Dylan Thomas urges us not to go gentle into. Josh, quoting Leo, quoting Horace, with perhaps a little tip to Checkov and Uncle Vanya at the same time.

Bartlet reflects on planned obsolesce of both Presidents and mid-sized sedans.

It is all tied together so nicely with “It’s not about left or right, but about doing right”. It almost sounded like Santos was quoting Deval Patrick.

Meanwhile, it is Palm Sunday. Another set of reflections on life, death and doing what you think is right, even though the thought of it is terrifying.

Four Freedoms

On January 6th, 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his famous, ‘Four Freedoms’ speech.

“In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms... freedom of speech and expression... freedom of every person to worship God in his own way... freedom from want... [and] freedom from fear.”

Norman Rockwell produced a series of paintings representing these four freedoms, and this weekend, one of them has become well known on the Internet.

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The politics of cancer

When I first met Kim, I didn’t know that it would only be six weeks until her mother died from cancer. Kim and her family did everything they could to fight the cancer and give her mother a few extra quality years. It was a time of big changes for me and from that, battles with cancer have taken a special place in my life.

I read about Brinn, a student of Gina Coggio’s. Gina is a teacher in New Haven who writes wonderful accounts of her experiences reaching out to students. Brinn’s mother died of cancer in the fall.

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The Tradition of Political Blogs

When I dropped out of college, I moved to New York to write socially relevant poetry as I supported myself working with computers. Computers took up more and more of my time as the poetry diminished. Now, over twenty-five years later, my writing comes back to gain new focus for me.

In college, I was told that there are three books you must read if you wish to be a serious writer. Ezra Pound’s The ABC of Reading. T.S. Elliot’s The Sacred Wood and Denise Levertov’s Light Up the Cave. They still sit on the floor next to me and I turn to them from time to time.

The other day, I thumbed through The Sacred Wood and found this passage: “In English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence. We cannot refer to ‘the tradition’ or to ‘a tradition’; at most, we employ the adjective in saying that the poetry of So-and-so is ‘traditional’ or even ‘too traditional.’ Seldom, perhaps, does the word appear except in a phrase of censure.”

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Current blogging

March was a difficult month for me. I only got six blog posts up. I continue to be swamped this month, but I’m trying hard to do better with getting blog posts up here.

What has been taking up some of my time is posting on other blogs, so I thought I would highlight comments I’ve made to three different diaries over on MyDD.

Last week, I participated in a bloggers conference call with Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel of the DSCC and DCCC. There was a discussion about it here which wasn’t very impressed. I added my comments here where I talked about my disappointment.

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