Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Dark is Rising

If we speak about one single book before the Fellowship of the Ring - and even after. That was it: history and myth and modernity, complex and beautiful and surprisingly sad, hardly for anyone 9 years old but it was for me and the rest has been history and literature, and I guess was even before that in some strange form. The carols rising to timeless heavens under the stars and the struggle still being way more ancient than Christianity, such coherance with my rural world of unlit winter skys. And then soon afterwards came Sword at Sunset among others (passingly so damn sweetly tolerant of male love) and my mind was in two places simultaneously, fighting for Light on the lanes and hills of Britain and desperately surviving in the late 70's and early 80's rural Finland. Liht heht mec gewyrcan - but not so awfully flawlessly.

Monday, December 31, 2018

The self-defence of liberalism

The title is a semi-ironic reference to Urho Kekkonen and to the not so ironic tale at all of the successful counter-attack of Finnish liberal democractic forces in the 1930's. Even though I'm likely not a famous clairvoyant at all but nevertheless I do think I did recognice a meaningful theme a decade ago in this modern feebleness of liberal sentiment. Just something technocratic we happened to have at hand to maximize consumption - and not so far the pretty much only historically effective barrier against the dark human thirst for unending unreason and bloodshed, no, just some accidental opium for the masses and, no, not freedom and reason so dearly bought.

So, what we now so much need is liberal passion, liberal ruthlessness. Yes, the freedom we have is meagre and impossibly full of imperfection, but really, is it really worse than Orban, Putin, Trump, Xi? Radical nationalism would have better tools, really, better thinking, more profound values, really, honestly? Liberalism is not about production, not about the market, not about consumerism, no, it's about freedom from unreason, it's about universal human rights, about universal human worth, about love and understanding, about tolerance, gentleness. Somehow, I think the battle has not been joined in earnest at all...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mythago wood

There are archetypes to our lives: places, people, situations that repeatedly come back in varyingly incoherent dreams and in half waking thoughts and in ever repeating patterns. And waking we are left with pretty much the only option of ignoring all that rich pattern and going on with our everyday lives regardless. So, two lifes, two realities, and most people don't seem to think this state of affairs as anything particularly odd at all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Odes to joy

I wonder if we can help it, if being serious, being Western: all that cruel domination, of Athens enslaving and slaughtering to George W. Bush electing to have a spurious entertainment war killing hundreds of thousands. But then again all the secret harmonies, of Bach, of Shakespeare, of Joyce. The majesty of humanity, liberty and art. The other side of this perpetually poised civilization. And so, even with all the slaughter, all the trampling on innocence, I would side with this attempt of ending all the injustice so ingrained in our human species.

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 oh so distinctly, all those voices echoing in the rose garden, I can still see those people so effortlessly clear, so effortlessly dear then. And now having grown colder, shallower, less intense, I would naturally 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 these darkening horizons, 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, rather accidentally liberal-democratic modern order back again in its sorry role as the guardian of the blind, shortsighted, ever destructive capital. And any fighting social-liberalism steadfastly forgotten, any convictions 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 these 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.