MEDITATIONS ON “LUCK” IN WHITE & BLACK
Check out this Orgy of Oblivious Privilege filmed in Capetown (linked below) vs the Voice-in-the-Wilderness comment in the video’s comment thread:
“Namibia1 month ago
I fully support you and your videos but there can and will never be a greater embarrassment for the black race than the country of south Africa, which is nothing more than crony capitalism and central banking on steroids and can never happen in reverse. There would be race riots in Europe/America if the white people were poor and a bunch of black people lived in mansions and own resources that they stole. White loves multiculturalism when they are on top but in reverse they would declare war. %6 of the population owns %90 of the land, Mass media brainwashing and distraction, economic slavery, Distraction and lying schools that will never explain the true central bank based economic system of neocolonism that being used in south africa. Bought and paid for blacks that are happy too serve the rich whites, and the privately owned central bank are the reason the people are clueless and there is no civil war.”
The hardest pill to swallow? Nelson Mandela facilitated this grotesque parody of national justice! Lesson: Revolutionaries don’t get to hug and boogie with Hollywood stars!
SAY IT LOUD
“Always suspicious of (and mildly derisive toward) people who are proud of aspects of identity over which they can claim zero responsibility (eg race/ family/ gender/ nation of birth) … or to the objective value of which they have contributed on a literally undetectable level (eg favorite sports team/ nation of residence/ political party). I’m attracted to Artists/Writers who put in the years of work and are proud of their resultant ability, yes, but anyone who claimed to be proud of being Black or a Woman or American… shudder: I always nodded curtly and steered clear. And imagine hanging out with someone claiming to be proud of being White or a Man! But the World is full of these people, which makes it so hard to be proud of being an Earthling…”
—PASTOR PRIME in ’89
WELL, WHEN I WAS A KID ETC
“Displaying an intuitively Millennial grasp of the fact that Privacy is an outmoded concept (or illusion), Daughter sometimes enjoys rollicking phone conversations with her BFF while taking a Poo.”
“As a parent I act in a benign parody of the State, withholding information, manipulating a wide range of outcomes and gathering intelligence with questionable and secretive methods. But for the State’s fear of, and condescension to, its Subject, substitute my Love. For the State’s coercion and control substitute my wheedling , my anxiety, my cautiously open-minded willingness to allow a mess. Where the State demands allegiance I work for laughs; where the State extracts its tribute in coin I earn intermittent smidgens of admiration and easy giggles of Affection and Hugs of stupendous need. The State is doing it all wrong; it is a very bad parody of me.”
—-STeven AUGUSTINE, from FAILED STATES SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS (ASIF BOOKS, 2009)
A LITTLE SYMPATHY FOR THE GATEKEEPERS
“The dirty little secret of the American psyche is that the facts of the foreign policy evils that both Chomsky and Stone have valiantly exposed for decades won’t change anything if even the majority of Americans know about them and *believe* them. Because the American is brainwashed with incredible thoroughness to believe, deep down, that those evils are being perpetrated to protect Her and Him… they feel guilty about it, I’m sure, but what the American thinks is: Do what you must to protect us! It’s a dirty world and boyscouts perish! Do what you must and please do keep it a secret from me… that’s what I pay taxes for!
“Now, however, if even half of the American electorate came to understand that their own Government was capable of killing them to achieve their own ends… that would be very, very different. The house of cards would collapse.
“Yes, as an intellectual, I admire Chomsky’s circumspection and I understand his caution. And perhaps he really was a very brave threat to TPTB way back when, when the electorate had a more highly developed conscience. But in this new era, Chomsky and Stone are actually helping to keep the machine in place. They are expected to say precisely what they say and I’m afraid it really does change nothing… and not only because they preach to the choir. The subliminal message they preach to the choir is this: your Government understands the Real World better than I do and is doing its job with devastating skill.
“Why was Gary Webb removed? Why wasn’t Stone?
In a nutshell: JFK and 9/11 and Sandy Hook, et al, are in a special class because they’re domestic events [ed.’s note: such killing counts more, by this formula: ten times more for American lives and ten times that for being the work of American officials and their assets]… whereas the depredations of Iraq (et al) are visited upon mere Ferners. There shouldn’t, morally, be a distinction but there very much is: bringing mainstream attention to the Truth of the former category of Evils will get you killed. I think Chomsky and Stone are quite aware of this and I can’t say that I blame them.”
—-COOPER HOFFA (comment thread)
Here’s one of the clues, in LOLITA, that Clare Quilty is the biological father of Lolita “Dolly” Haze, found on page 239 (Putnam); Humbert catches Quilty staring at Lo from poolside… without, of course, knowing it’s Quilty:
“And as I looked at his oval nut-brown face, it dawned upon me that what I recognized him by was the reflection of my daughter’s countenance-the same beatitude and grimace but made hideous by his maleness.”
This is from the passage famous for the “bullybag” turn of phrase.
Humbert, at some point, mock-bemoans (with a tinge of self-reproach) that what he offers Lo is only a “parody of incest”. Incest floats through the book: Jean and John Farlow are first cousins. Lolita mentions incestuous classmates. There’s also a Finnegans Wake reference on page 223 and Finnegans Wake references father-daughter incest.
“…suggested for a moment that my quarry was an old friend of the family, maybe an old flame of Charlotte’s…”
Nabokov was a cryptomane, as we know, and an obsessive polisher… no words or sentences or minute observations in Nabokovland are incidental. He wouldn’t have been able to resist building a final twist into the complex of twists and echoes that form Lolita to dawn on everyone in its full force after his death.
Other clues involve Quilty (and Lolita) admitting that Quilty “knew” Lolita’s mother before (in the film this is made more explicit; Mrs Haze dances a cha cha with Quilty and asks if he remembers her; then she whispers in his ear and he remarks, with satyromanic relish, “Really? Did I do that?”). I have to look through the book a bit more to find the rest…but there are bits about Harold Haze being Charlotte’s senior by twenty years (too old to satisfy her sexually) and a little blond brother of Lolita who died at two when she was four and did not much resemble her.
There’s also this bit in the book:
“Quilty, Clare. American dramatist. Born in Ocean City, N.J., 1911. Educated at Columbia University. Started on a commercial career but turned to playwriting. Author of The Little Nymph, The Girl who Loved Lightning (in collaboration with Vivian Darkbloom), Dark Age, The Strange Mushroom, Fatherly Love and others. His many plays for children are notable. The Little Nymph (1940) travelled 14,000 miles and played 280 performances on the road during the winter before ending in New York. Hobbies: fast cars, photography, pets”
That “Fatherly Love” reference wouldn’t refer to Humbert because the entry (in a supposed “Who’s Who”) predates Humbert’s coming.
My theory goes further: “Humbert” is Edmond Wilson (check the syllables) to Nabokov’s Quilty.
That Nabokov had the intellectually superior Quilty fuck his own twelve or thirteen-year-old daughter and even demand that she “soufrir“ his “beastly boys“ (her refusal to do so resulting in her being expelled from his 120-Days-of-Sodom-style mansion) points to Nabokov’s conception of the highest Art as amoral. The bumbling Humbert, always a step or two behind Quilty, was Quilty’s bourgeois Salieri: a mere academic; a mere pervert. The critic is always a step or two behind the Artist. Humbert was, in a sense, Quilty’s critic, sifting through textual clues (Quilty’s allusive motel register entries) in order to apprehend, dimly, Quilty’s path.
No coincidence the book is named Lolita. The book is Lolita; Lolita is the book. Nabokov is Quilty, Humbert Humbert is Edmund Wilson (and critics in general).
[Ed.’s note: Was Nabokov an actual pedo/ peda? One very strongly hopes not. But one cannot possibly come to a conclusion on the matter by merely reading the book.]
There’s even a wilder theory out there and it’s quite credible:
—-ANN OMYNOUS (filed from a leaky-roof’d chalet, on vacation, in Zembla)
TEMPORARY FAN OF HIS FAN
In the memorable fall of the year 2008 a miracle gifted me with a letter of thanks and praise from the hero of my earliest years of intelligent reading, unsung pioneer of Post Mod, Harlan Ellison:
– Saturday, August 23 2008 11:59:46
A NOD TO STEPHEN AUGUSTINE
Do you mind if I hereafter refer to you as “Saint” Augustine?
I cannot adequately express my 1) admiration for your auctorial manner … style and cogency and a handsome flow of just the right words to do the job … 2) your going-out-of-your-way to solace a semi-stranger, decency of a rare sort … and 3) the actual, ACTUAL, physical easing of my angst as I morbidly dwelt on that nasty bit’o’business for several days.
Most of the time, in this life, when we offer long distance succor, it is well-meant but in fact just the sighing of the sentiments. THIS time, kiddo, you actually scruffed me by the neck and yawnked me out of the pit. I don’t think I minded the swipes at me, because the guy can view me as he chooses … it was the references to my mom and dad, warped and wizened through his malignant personal agenda that made me want to thrash him within an inch of his life–as my mom used to say about terrible people–they ought to be thrashed within an inch of their lives.
But you, alone, no help from nobody, have done rode to the rescue, Saint Augustine. You can take THAT to the bank, as my one-time pal Bobby Blake useta say. Thanks-a-plenty!
[ed.’s note: And then he signed another message (to his fans) with this…]
As always, through the holy grace of Saint Steven Augustine, Yr. Placid Pal, Harlan