Quote of the day.
Long considered one of the best menswear designers and shops in the country shopping at Sid Mashburn is something best done slowly and deliberately. I spent a few hours earlier this week drinking beer, buying clothes and listening to Sid tell stories and crack jokes. Even if you can’t shop in store, you can get your souther fix online here.
“[F]acts are a very inferior form of fiction.”
— Virginia Woolf, “How Should One Read a Book?”, The Second Common Reader (edited by Andrew McNeillie)
“We should not have to apologize for reveling in beauty. Beauty is an eternal human value.”
— Camille Paglia, “The M.I.T. Lecture: Crisis in the American Universities,” Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays (via schizophreniatic)
…As it turns out, there isn’t even anyone to be angry with; that there is no object to be found, and maybe never will be; that it’s all a sleight-of-hand, a stacked deck, a cheat, that it’s all just slops—nobody knows what and nobody knows who, but in spite of all the uncertainties and stacked decks, it still hurts, and the more uncertain you are, the more it hurts!
11/11/11, Dostoyevsky’s 190th birthday.
Since on 11/11/11 I happen to be re-reading The Idiot, I’ll add:
‘Take a soldier, put him right in front of a cannon during a battle, and shoot at him, and he’ll keep hoping, but read that same soldier a sentence for certain, and he’ll lose his mind or start weeping. Who ever said human nature could bear it without going mad? Why such an ugly, vain, unnecessary violation? Maybe there’s a man who has had the sentence read to him, has been allowed to suffer, and has then been told, “Go, you’re forgiven.” That man might be able to tell us something. Christ spoke of this suffering and horror. No, you can’t treat a man like that!’
(tr. R. Pevear and L Volokhonsky)
Let The Market work its magic and the budget will be in balance, unemployment will sink, personal income will rise, the housing crisis will abate, health care will be cheaper and more plentiful, and all the people will have houses and all the students will be able to afford college. I am not paraphrasing here. I am merely condensing two hours of magical thinking into a single sentence. The solution to every problem — every damn one of them — was to rely on The Market for a solution. It was like watching one of those Star Trek episodes where entire societies grow up serving a computer that the people took for a god. To listen to two hours of this was to fall into a kind of cargo cult, insulated in the mountains of some remote country far from here, where everybody sits around all day and looks at a radio, expecting it to speak, and nobody knows how to turn the damn thing on.
And that is how corporate personhood became enshrined in American law.
Because a clerk put it in a caption, which was then treated like a precedent, because the money power was everywhere in the government in those days. Jack Beatty writes, in no little amazement:
Why did the chief justice issue his dictum? Why did he leave it up to Davis to include it in the headnotes? After Waite told him that the Court ‘avoided’ the issue of corporate personhood, why did Davis include it? Why, indeed, did he begin his head-note with it? The opinion made plain that the Court did not decide the corporate personality issue and the subsidiary equal protection issue.
And it just sat there in the law like undigested beef for more than a century. Hugo Black took a whack at it in 1938, and so did William O. Douglas in 1949. But there it stayed, a baroque and ludicrous concept, until the current Supreme Court activated it and turned it loose on our politics.
“I’ve gone to credit consultants (one of them actually said ‘Well, you could move to Mexico but, they’d probably find you.’) I can’t afford a lawyer or an accountant (I have a job, I’m WAY too far over the poverty line to get state help )… and honestly, what pro-bono lawyer wants to take on a giant student loan company? Come on.” (via Obama’s Student Loan Plan Guide)