Saturday, December 01, 2018

To go back - if only

Time does fly, now does it not? And it also cheats, falsifies, transforms, betrays ever so easily. Even so I can still hear the laughter distinctly, all those voices echoing in the rose garden, I can still see those people so effortlessly dear then. And now having grown colder, shallower, less intense, I would go back in an instant, of course I would, hoping for better judgement, for warmer, wiser heart.

Friday, November 30, 2018

In one another's arms

It is almost or to a high degree a purely defensive reflex to reach for art, for poetry, for the long views when encountering the grand magic of youth: the freshness, the innocence, that invincible seeming, invincible feeling energy. Though not so, surely not in the final analysis, truly not, and, no, not really envy here or not much envy, but finally rather pity. For so much shall be wasted on these trivial structures of this appalling civilization, so much will be lost, so much will be defeated and subdued. And so it goes, so it will go on. Here in this world, in this cycle, ever on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Rhein gives its gold to the sea

In these later years, with this darkening horizon, I have been struck by the shortness of historical memory. It seems to work for about 50-60 years even in our supposedly rational civilization, supposedly ever learning from its mistakes. And now we think that the 1930's are so deliciously retro, so worth imitating. And liberalism, this bland, technocratic liberal-democratic modern order back in its sorry role as the guardian of blind, shortsighted, ever destructive capital. Any fighting social-liberalism steadfastly forgotten, any conviction forsaken, forgotten. And democratic socialism a shadow of its old self, even if that. So, the worst are back to their passionate intensity and the best have little idea of anything. Interesting to live in interesting times.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Null on meie kvoot

In this crisis of liberalism the question is really not of pragmatic negotions of maximum possible number of lifes, which would be fundamentally tolerable, but of an attack against the unnegotiable value of universal human worth. Yes, at this moment in time, and at any realistically imaginable moments in time, past, present and future, we can't have perfection but we can aim for it, we can aim for humanity, for kindness and justice. There is no excuse for failing that. Not in this this civilization.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Oh you got blue eyes, oh you got green eyes

It is a conscious effort to stay aware, not young, though youth does have a direct access to awareness, even if a very temporary one, cruelly temporary even - just go ahead and ask Yeats. But the business is not to get numb, not to get used to, not to go through the motions till one dies. To be as intelligent, as aware as one can humanly be, to be as awake as one can be, that surely is the business,.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

But I'm younger than that now

After last fall's unpleasant flashbacks it is quite an irony to find myself back at the university for the coming study year. Having steadied and emerged chastened and quite a bit wiser, it now feels rather a privilege to walk back to the rose garden - quick, quick, said the bird... Though then it was of course no Eden for me, hence the useless regrets, but now, so fully realizing all the long progress since, it feels rather liberating to, well, be liberated - to be largely one with oneself, as I so was not then.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Reflections on the latest disturbances

If one has absorbed christian-humanist values one is unavoidably at permanent war with history and humanity. But, with those values, one can't ever renounce the humankind either: a particularly trying circumstance, should anyone ask. So one observes and tries to stay rational and kind, and what one observes is unending hysteria, stupidity and cruelty.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Chained to a dying animal

Yeats is sneaky. One might think he's all horoscopes and fates of civilization and silliness - and then there emerges human profoundities rather effortlessly. No, one is not one's body, never was, even if at the best moments there was a close correlation. And once out of nature we might gain ourselves by being able to reach beyond ourselves, as empirically impossible as it is in this world that we thus cannot accept. No, I'm not sure if this makes sense, if he does, but one is certainly inclined towards that direction.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bad moon rising

It is interesting to be somewhat well read in history and then live to at least mature middle age: one appreciates recurring themes. A violent illiberal wave preceded my generation and confronted my parent's generation when they were children. But it was convincingly beaten back in the West and by the West. And so I lived in a halcyon era of peace and prosperity leading up to "end of history". I guess basically everyone sensed already back then that there would be no end, as much as it was needed, to grasping, greedy, blind history, to this mad dance. There just are no permanent safety nets. So, illiberal winds are again gathering strength, some gusps are already scarily strong and one does sense a bad moon rising. Maybe here we go again?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

One of freedom''s wars (revisited)

A laughing boy exploded into unidentifiable gobs of flesh - I believe Pat Barker has said about the WW1 more essential things than any historian ever has or ever will. Obviously she hadn't said everything or even every important thing but far more than mere historians can. Just as obviously - and most often for all I know - a work of fiction can say far less than a solid work of historiography. But the exceptions do blow the competition away.

A concern with the study of history has always remained with me and I still find it odd how little this subject has been seriously analyzed. I would presume that the best explorations would be works of fiction, not of philosophy.