Thursday, November 13, 2003

My never-ending quest for quality literature has inevitably brought me to blogorrhoea's archives. Would it not be interesting, I'd thought, to see what we were saying as the inevitable slaughter in Iraq drew close.

Well, as it happens, those against were saying pretty well what we're saying now.

The worst thing about being a dismalist is that one's predictions are so often right ...

Anyway, I did find this little flight of fancy on how Peter Weir's *Master and Commander*, then but freshly embarked upon, might (and should) turn out. Ideally, American Blogorrhoeaics who have seen the film (and at least one Australian currently domiciled in The Belly Of The Beast), will offer detailed commentary as to the width of that inevitable gap between the fancifully ideal and the brutally real ...

Monday, October 14, 2002  

PATRICK O'BRIAN - good physic indeed for blogorrheaic dismarrhoea

I am uncommon gratified to find the ever discerning Tim Dunlop blogging a hymn to He Who Must Be Read Forever By Everybody. HWMBRFBE (as I like to call him) was surely Jane Austen, Joseph Conrad, and Charles Dickens come back to earth in more compact form. His mighty Aubreiad traverses the Napoleonic age to the strains of Locatelli, the bubble and hiss of unfathomed waters rushing by the taff-rail, and the insistent thunder of perfidious Albion's eighteen-pounders. Delighting at every sensuous shudder and sway of His Majesty's (purloined) Frigate Surprise, voluptuates the vessel's slave and master, Jack Aubrey (who is surely Horatio Nelson, Lord Wellington, Matthew Flinders, Marco Polo and Peter Pan come to earth in expansive form). Negotiating his return, with customary clumsiness, from a precarious perch at the futtock shrouds, whence had closely been studied a passing nondescript booby, stumbles Ship's Surgeon, natural philosopher, particular friend to the captain - and spy - Stephen Maturin, whose preoccupation with a binomial nomenclature that might do the bird justice will send him head-first down the companion-way. Maturin - clearly Joseph Banks, Watkin Tench, George Byron, GK Chesterton, Tom Paine, Ian Fleming and Thomas Bell brought to earth in uncommon scrawny form - will doubtless recover in time to afford his particular friend's artless spontaneity the countervailing measure of reflection and finesse it requires successfully to execute the Admiralty's will.

As for the film, I should not hesitate but send it back was it not to feature the Plum Duff and the Drowned Baby.

I should be uncommon sore tried, too, should they serve up a creation devoid of:
(a) Stephen clumsily making his way through some beast-infested jungle;
(b) Stephen banging his head or falling overboard;
(c) Stephen putting a waister's brain to rights [I must see a trepanner before I die];
(d) Jack discoursing on women or promotion;
(e) Jack going at it, toe to toe, with a froward froggie;
(f) a duet from the Great Cabin;
(g) a crewman caught in the 18-pounder's recoil;
(h) Diana deploying the decolletage with malice aforethought; and
(i) the Reading of the Articles of War.

These seem relatively inexpensive must-haves to me.

Beyond that, I shall be most happy with many a wide shot of Surprise
sailing large and the odd rippling broadside. I should like to have
Spartacus as the theme (not merely because I'm a Godless Owenite, nor just
because it listens uncommon well, but rather because The Onedin Line proved
that Nothing Else Will Do).
Monday, November 10, 2003

... that a blogger in his cups should not his Power Mac broach.

Aye, Mistress Jane. And if he desist, he is a blogger not ...


... to Rampaging Roy Slaven and his latest tour de force, Marking Time. The maestro got the dialogue just right, and whoever did the casting nailed it with a jackhammer. Every one a bloody gem. And the Forsythe kiddie a fair dinkum revelation. Yours Dismally will not soon forget them.

He probably won't forget messrs Howard, Ruddock, Hill and Reith, either.

But he'll be trying real hard.


... is Galal Amin, who wrote in the 3 September issue of Al-Ahram:

"To what extent were these developments a sign of the triumph of capitalism -- in the Marxist sense -- over socialism? Has free market ended the state monopoly over the means of production and terminated the state monopoly over the decisions of production and investment, or has private monopoly replaced state monopoly? Have consumers won back from the state the right to determine the type and quantity of products, or have they forfeited their rights to private business? Has state-run central planning disappeared, or only been replaced by conglomerate vision? Has the role of the state diminished, or does the state still intervene in the economy to promote the interests of big business, such as arms manufacturers, even to the point of waging wars?

It is misleading to speak of the triumph of one system over another. The capitalism that invaded the Eastern bloc bears only a passing resemblance to the capitalism advocated by classical economists. Likewise, the socialist system that fell apart had little to recommend it to the socialism embraced by Marx and Engels."


... I guess unprecedented national debt, current account deficits and consumer debt must not be fundamentals. They'd better not be too fundamental in the US right now, either, else what's going on there would be the grand-mother of all sucker rallies ...


If I were a Shi-ite, a Kurd, a democrat or from a tribe traditionally opposed to Saddam's, I'm guessing I'd've wanted Saddam out. That's most of Iraq, I guess. But it's nowhere near that simple, of course. In totalitarian political cultures, many come to define the province of their lives differently from, say, bloggers. They want education and health for their kiddies and electricity and water for their homes, and conceive of politics and such as of another realm. Such people are passive allies if they're getting what they need, and resentful foes if they don't.

Then there are those who strongly opposed Saddam, but did so on grounds no less antithetical to US occupation and US-sponsored puppet governments. I still can't see how a democratically constituted Iraqi government could be at all to Washington's tastes.

Come to that, I still can't see how or why Iraq wouldn't split bloodily at the seams the minute the splitters think it time to go for their cut.

And I still can't see how any of this has advanced the cause of western-style democracy in the Middle East one iota. Anyone serious on that account would have recognised the priority of the Palestine Question long ago. But then, it's hard to find a plethora of peaceniks among the ranks of the neocons in Washington, the Likudniks in Tel Aviv and the likes of Tanzim, Islamic Jihad and Hamas (in the formation of which, incidentally, Tel Aviv had a firm hand) in Ramalah.

I guess institutions - constructs of mind and convention all - can benefit profoundly from war and rumours of war in exactly the way most people - corporeal sentient beings all - can't.

I persist in thinking the invasion of Iraq a murderously ludicrous adventure on both the exporting-democracy criterion and the control-the-non-renewable-resources-the-rest-of-the-world's-gonna-need-for-the-foreseeable-future criterion. The costs - human, political, economic and strategic - still look to me as unsustainable as they are unavoidable.

Madness from the off ...

political economic and cultural observations in the register of dismal dilettantism

06/30/2002 - 07/07/2002 / 07/14/2002 - 07/21/2002 / 07/21/2002 - 07/28/2002 / 08/04/2002 - 08/11/2002 / 08/11/2002 - 08/18/2002 / 08/18/2002 - 08/25/2002 / 08/25/2002 - 09/01/2002 / 09/01/2002 - 09/08/2002 / 09/08/2002 - 09/15/2002 / 09/15/2002 - 09/22/2002 / 09/22/2002 - 09/29/2002 / 10/13/2002 - 10/20/2002 / 10/20/2002 - 10/27/2002 / 10/27/2002 - 11/03/2002 / 11/03/2002 - 11/10/2002 / 11/24/2002 - 12/01/2002 / 12/01/2002 - 12/08/2002 / 12/08/2002 - 12/15/2002 / 12/15/2002 - 12/22/2002 / 12/22/2002 - 12/29/2002 / 12/29/2002 - 01/05/2003 / 01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003 / 01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 / 02/02/2003 - 02/09/2003 / 02/09/2003 - 02/16/2003 / 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 / 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 / 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 / 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 / 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 / 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 / 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 / 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 / 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 / 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 / 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 / 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 / 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 / 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 / 06/01/2003 - 06/08/2003 / 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 / 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 / 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 / 06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003 / 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 / 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 / 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 / 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 / 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 / 08/10/2003 - 08/17/2003 / 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 / 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 / 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 / 09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003 / 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 / 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 / 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 / 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 / 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 / 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 / 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 / 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 / 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 / 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 / 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 / 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 / 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 / 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 / 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 / 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 / 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 / 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 / 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 / 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 / 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 / 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 / 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 / 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 / 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 / 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 / 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 / 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 / 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 / 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 / 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 / 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 / 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 / 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 / 01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005 / 03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005 /

The Road to Surfdom
Sauer-Thompson's Public Opinion
John Quiggin
William Burroughs' Baboon
Tugboat Potemkin
Southerly Buster
Back Pages
Cast Iron Balcony
No Sanity Clause
Jeremy Williams
Mr Zilla goes to Washington
Troppo Armadillo
Virulent Memes
Vigilant TV
Whom Gods Destroy
Tim Lambert
Lan Down Under
Cross Words
Paul Watson
A Media Dragon
Mt Disappointment
Spin Starts Here
What's New Pussycat
Even Dictators Have Friends
Riot ACT

The UnAustralian
Antipodean Journal
No Right Turn

After Grog Blog
Supermercado Project
Michael Jennings
AE Brain
The Daily Slander

Crooked Timber
Fist Full Of Euros
Ken MacLeod
Socialism in an Age of Waiting
K Marx The Spot
Reasons to be Impossible
Sitting On A Fence
The Common Man
Wis[s]e Words

Max Sawicky
Nathan Newman
Whiskey Bar
Noam Chomsky's Turning The Tide
Brad DeLong
Juan Cole's Informed Comment
Josh Marshall's Talking Points
Conceptual Guerilla
Interesting Times
Coherence Theory of Truth
The Modulator
Critical Montages
Scott McLemee
Doug Kellner's Blogleft
Daily Dystopian
Ethel The Blog
Body & Soul
Daily Kos
Alas, A Blog
Sisyphus Shrugged
Skippy The Bush Kangaroo
Idols Of The Market Place
Talking Dog
Exposing The Right
The Poor Man
Busy Busy Busy
Estimated Prophet
Big Picnic
Steve Perry
Pen Elayne
I Protest
Sassafrass Log
Public Domain Progress
War In Context
Flagrancy To Reason
High Desert Skeptic
Magpie Blog
Sadly No
Arms And The Man
Back To Iraq
JR Mooneyham
a buddha's memes

Salam Pax

The Agonist
Common Dreams
Arts & Letters Daily
The Memory Hole
Counterspin Central
The Smoking Gun
Tim Porter's First Draft
Cooped Up
Take Back The [US} Media
Media Whores Online
PR Watch
News Hounds
Lawrence Lessig
Kim Weatherall
Danny Yee's Pathologically Polymathic

The Loom
The Green Man
Sauer-Thompson's Philosophy
Experimental Philosophy
Orange Philosophy
Half the Sins of Mankind
Quiggin's Modern Thought Dictionary

General Glut's Globblog
Goodbye Maggie
Angry Bear
Bonobo Land
Ross Gittins' Archive
Institutional Economics
Knowledge Problem

Margo Kingston
Australian Policy Online
Heap Of Junk for Code
Joanna Sheldon's Tadorne
Pinocchio Theory
Tripe Soup
Joe Duemer's Reading and Writing
Wood's Lot
Tom Tomorrow
Purse Lip Square Jaw
Michael Berube
Yorkshire Soul
Blogging About Blogging

Jay's Lefty Internet Resource s
Progressive Gold
Lefty Review
Liberal Oasis
Link Crusader
Powered by Blogger