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.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What liberalism is not?

Well, it is not something selfevident like the air we breath and don't notice and take for granted. It is actually a very specific and very contentious ideology whose present positions are unimaginably dearly bought and which have at times been ever so desperately, even irrationally defended.

The post-WW2 broad social liberal consensus reinforced by the collapse of the Soviet bloc might have deluded us of these facts - and accordingly this lukewarm official ideology of the Western world has become less social and more materialistic, more hollow, increasingly benefiting capital instead of labour, no longer based on once very specific selfawareness and loyalty.

And now it then not so totally remarkably happens that this liberal understanding of the modern world is under a very broad and very intense attack both within and without with scarily few defenders indeed. These structures won't hold without support - where is this desperately needed collective effort to be seen or to be sensed (at least) at this ever darkening hour?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A note to self

I came rather innocently across a book of academic criticism by Geoffrey Hill and have now hard time remembering when was the last time a text has aggravated me so much. Apparently he is not even a catholic. I find a certain style of conservative-traditionalist (or whatever you would call it in his case) approach to literature truly abhorrent: passive-aggressive stuffing in between the lines, ever so, well, catty. From now on one is once burned and that should be well enough.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Ecalpemos

Currently enjoying Ruth Rendell's fiction. At its best it certainly transcends all genres and is simply great literature. As the best writing in pretty much any subgenre does. I have been criticizing the mainstream bias earlier in the blog and even though things probably have marginally improved the silly snobbishness is still there. It is very frustrating but hopefully the situation keeps improving. In the meanwhile having Rendell's unsentimentality and non-cynicism as great, august, entertaining company as the year draws to its end.