To the Point

There comes a time in every epoch when pragmatism simply evolves into extreme acquiescence and surrender to the forces of apathy and do-nothingness, a guarantor of the status quo in all of its easy, democratic criminality--its fortress of greed. You could line up all the pols in the U.S. in a straight row and examine them head to toe and not find a single man or woman capable of admitting, never mind ending, the corruption of their vocation--Buddy Dooley

Saturday, January 23, 2016

East Coast Storm

I love snow, always have, along with the desert.  I am torn between snow and dryer climes.

Oregon had a huge snowstorm in 1969.  I was a senior in high school, and I remember the snowbanks piled 10-feet high on the roadside, but what I remember most is the storm caused cancellation of school and my basketball practices and, I think, one game.

Bummer, when you lived for the competition of a high school basketball game like I did in 1969.  I also lived to go to high school just to get out of my miserably cold house.

Other than that, the snow was amazing, the beauty of it.

I recognize it's not very beauteous when you can't get to work and you really can't afford not to work, which are common adult concerns, now more than ever.  Since I've mainly lived within walking distance to every job I've ever had, snowy commutes and road hazards never concerned me much--with one exception.

When I was a community organizer in Maine in the early 70s, the snow tripped me out.  The locals were used to it, thus I had any number of hair-raising rides from Portland to Augusta with a South Portland state legislator who drove the interstate highway too fucking fast for my taste.

The guy jabbered his leftist politics like a recording to my leftist co-worker as I, the leftist in the back seat, prayed to Marx.

And I wasn't even religious.  The guy could really drive, correcting each seemingly uncontrollable glissade like a maestro leading the piccolos section in a symphonic orchestra.

Amazingly, I arrived to lobby in Augusta for leftist principles every day for weeks on end without the mortal injury or instant death I often believed was about to befall me.  My representative was an expert driver no doubt, but our political expertise never worked out quite as effectively.

So I've always loved the snow.

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

---Wallace Stevens


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