December 01, 2014

Controversialist Commentary Un-Imprimatur'd

The thing about Ferguson (now being used as a verb, as in "I went all Ferguson on him" as seen in my in-box) is how telegraphed it was. It was as predictable as Tuesday following Monday. And yet still, somehow, even with plenty of advance notice, the "long" arm of the law couldn't stop looters and rioters. It seems another sign of the decline of the elites given that they are just incompetent enough to not be prepared when the verdict came out.

The other interesting case is the individual business owners. They too had a zillion weeks advance notice but apparently didn't a) sell, b) hire private security, or c) buy additional insurance. Maybe some of them did one of the above but surely some didn't. To be caught flatfooted in Ferguson this second time is like being caught flatfooted by Christmas Day.

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Jacques Barzun: “Of all the books that no one can write those about nations and the national character are the most impossible.”

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St Cecillia is one of those early Christian martyrs we know little about, but according to a book of saint biographies her cult suddenly increased, for reasons unknown, in the 6th century. And my reflexive thought was that someone made up something about her and her fame increased. But faith reminds us that she's still alive - now as well as in the 6th century - and there's no reason she couldn't have "reached out" as they say in the business world. There's no reason saints can't become famous post-humously given that they can act post-humously, often in the form of miracles of healing or apparitions.

You think about some of the miracles attributed to ancient saints and there's sometimes legends attached. Legends that are factually inaccurate but the underlying truth secure. I think of this with regard to the Ferguson riots: an underlying truth that blacks are treated worse than whites by cops. And yet the wildly inaccurate symbol of this, i.e. the thuggish Michael Brown and his "suicide-by-cop" act. Fascinating how wide the gulf between symbol and reality.

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Headed to OSU campus, the mecca of impossible parking situations, but found one and left Buddy in charge of guarding the car and its contents. Located the Wexner Center and entered into the Picasso collection. The billionaire businessman Lex Wexner exhibited his personal art collection (and had reproductions made so that his house wouldn't look empty for the months-long exhibition). His taste in art certainly doesn't much coincide with mine and I stood befuddled, a bit, at why/how these works appeal so greatly to him and so many others. I'd say there were about four or five works that I really gazed at and felt appreciation for.

Wexner related, via a film at the exhibit, that one Manhattanite society lady walked into his house and her jaw dropped. "You have this in Columbus?" Gotta love the provincialism of the elites.

Quote in the gallery: "We were created to look at one another, weren't we?" - Edgar Degas

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