Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Glitters

Despite the fact that by all accounts, Baz Luhrmann is likely well into pre-production on The Great Gatsby — which will likely be shot in Australia, and in 3-D, and feature Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan in starring roles — the elusive director refused to admit anything at a dinner for Geoffrey Rush in Brooklyn on Thursday night. “I’m not doing Gatsby right now for this reason,” he told Vulture when asked why he was shooting Gatsby in Australia when his “team” was mostly located in New York. “Because despite what might be out there, I have made no comment about anything. So until I say it, it’s not said, you know.” Not really.

Luhrmann explained further, with the clarity of a murky swamp.


What it means is, much like what goes on in any event, when you’re in the middle of the work, there’s all sorts of things you’re doing, and, you know, when I’m really clear — I, right now, my only focus is absorbing — I’ve been studying [F. Scott] Fitzgerald now for three years, and my only act now is to absorb the DNA of his world, his life, the world of the novel. That’s why I have published on our website all the books we’re reading. And I think before we all engage anyone, the first thing to do is to do your homework, read the books, and then let’s talk.


Got it. So he’s not making The Great Gatsby. “No, I’m making The Great Gatsby.” Oh. Eff it all. Good luck with this one, Baz! Wake me when the trailer debuts. (Christopher Rosen, “Baz Luhrmann is still full of crap,” Movieline, 11 March 2011)

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I can't believe someone whose aesthetic is designed to exalt decadence and empty artifice is going to direct a horrid misreading of the most powerful Indictment of decadence and empty artifice ever created.

I always wanted to see a faithful Gatsby film.

Alas, it will never be. (Jack Knive)

Instinctive reaction is to insist that there is some of Gatsby's desire to "suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder" in Luhrmann, and that it is compelling. He can, I agree, seem so thin, even vapid, but he strangely does draw you back to him.

True, the desperate drive and denial that pushes towards the American "orgastic" future could be captured, at least as an essential visual energy.

I just fear that the wealthy and their "retreat into carelessness," essentially that the "love story" is one-sided, that Daisy would rather live within the confines of the illusion of control offered by material possession than risk relating through an unmediated reality...

I just hope he makes it the tragic portrait of the thwarted masculine that it truly is. I don't want to see a post-feminist revision of Fitzgerald.

And so far, Mr. Luhrmann's portraits of the Masculine and the Feminine seem like the exaggerated plasticine figures on a wedding cake-- what an effeminate spazz locked out of that particular existential struggle would think of it if he were simply reproducing its surface features.

You know- the very idea of Nicole Kidman as Woman, and Hugh Jackman as Man. Someone is very confused. Or either obsessed with making a subversion of gender to the degree that this could overshadow the essence of Fitzgerald's unflinching text. (Jack Knive)

It is odd his deciding to do Gatsby at the onset of what looks like (by which I mean, for sure is) a new long depression, since Gatsby was written comfortably within one of the millenium's foremost go-go times. That itself to me seems very odd, has me suspect its moving energy, and has me fretting the film -- though I'm for sure going to see it now!

About your comment on material possessions: I'm turning to the book, again suspecting Fitzgerald would have a tough time at the time showing up luxury, never-ending glittering things, persuading us that the text is best understood as tragedy or critique rather than celebration, when frequent and always-varying partying, lavishness, details, exotica, out-of-placeness, perpetual newness and perhaps even, I'm wondering, also empty-headed insouciance had an appeal to pretty much every someone at the time (weren't flappers somewhat in opposition to depth; advertisements for the power and worth in ostensible triviality?). And looking at it again this morning, I think he did. If there isn't beauty IN all those empty material possessions, all the beautiful things, their gloss certainly appeals. Their glitter actually scintillates -- are part of the acuity and precision and refinery and fun that marks, I think, most every sentence of the text -- everything vapid is so very much evidently worth delineating. Tom is supposed to be shown up as a barbarian, as base and brutal, but reading it now, whatever Fitzgerald's intent, I think EVEN GATSBY IS -- incredibly, FOR his being largely unaffected by all the delicate surface beauty he has surrounded himself with. Have a glass of champaigne and party, you fool!

If Luhrmann does make it "a tragic portrait of the thwarted masculine that it truly is," if he makes it ring as true to Fitzgerald as this week's Jane Eyre is ostensibly to Bronte, it would have to be, amazingly, for it showing Gatsby's fatal flaw being his inability to appreciate the empty life, out of preference for the deep and meaningful. Daisy has no soul, but is a full of hints, and is a considerable flirt -- which in this text makes her kind of awesome, actually, though to very few, I think, even but a year or two outside the heyday of capitalist fun and within a depression's deflating, cowing check.

Well, that is the tragedy of the masculine-- seeking the essence beneath the shifting masks of facade that the feminine offers. When there is nothing beneath the shifting masks. And, when Gatsby (or, I should say the actual human being, James Gatz) attempts a facade of his own (the Gatsby identity) to win her, he is in fact tragically mirroring the facade of the feminine in his very attempt to attract a master of facades. Takes a fake to catch a fake. But then what?

The text is about the tragedy of American inauthenticity and narcissism. To see it any other way is to not understand being run over by the american dream car and found floating dead in a pool shot by a bullet meant for the bastard who got away.

You can't get away with being a fake.

When Tom dabbles in the working class and brutalizes and murders, he retreats to his real identity as an unaccountable member of the upper caste. Gatsby ends up dead and blamed. And shot by another member of the lower class, to boot. We kill each other while the Tom's and Daisy's of the world saunter on.

The last line describes the endless search for the essential ungraspable ineffable thing that can never be had. You know, the nature of desire. You want it until you have it, then you don't want it anymore. That's the engine of american culture (or maybe all culture, but ours with extra horsepower.)

I understand that a thinker trying to reconcile his own narcissism and celebration of protean, shifting identities has to try to find the fun in the nihilism-- but this is the very reason why I say it is unfair to "correct" Fitzgerald in this way-- his was a moral tale.

Don't make it into po-mo "aesthetic celebratory" non-sense.

To confuse the exhaustive decadence as being ambivalently approached by the text is only as accurate as saying the garden of eden story is about how tempting that fruit looks. Tempting is tempting.

Tom is brutal because he can be. Because he is rich, and he can retreat into the comfortable emptiness of lavish things and his detached wealthy "c'est la vie" sigh.

The 20's decadence preceded the Great Depression for a reason, just as the vast "do as you will" culture of "lifestyle commodity" preceded our current situation (and we are indeed still pre-depression: I assure you, you will know when we're there for the blackouts and the gunshots out in the hungry night.)

A properly understood Gatsby film translation is highly necessary art at this time. Nick is saved by what he sees, and an audience might be similarly affected (inasmuch as a piece of media can redeem it's own alienating affect.)

"There are no second acts in American lives" is not meant to be a condoning of how great the first act was. (Jack Knive)

If Gatsby is as you say it is, entirely a moral tale that shows up the emptiness of 20's youth culture, their lives of glitter, New York!, and endless flirting, rather than itself a contributor to and an evocation of it, it's hard to see why the book, which came out smack middle of the go-go 20s (and was commenced in 1922, I believe), would have been so popular, or how Fitzgerald could ever have been seen as someone who was working to cement the 20s as primarily a youth-focused/lead period, as helping instill a new (and to their elders, vapid) morality.

For you, all the novel's scintillation, all its finely, lovingly, wondrously delineated accountings of all the particulars in an endlessly glittering and beckoning world, was exhausting -- deplorable, and readily summized as decadent, probably from the start. For you, very likely, it never was an Eden or a ripened apple tree which tempts. For me, it was; it WAS a party I hoped to see more of, but alas the quickly fainting Gatsby and ranging Tom episodes ensured little more of it as the text wound down. The moralizing comes unrelentingly at the end, and I guess if you're already in mind to agree with it the previously encountered could be managed into a tempting-but-ultimately-evil retrospective accounting of it, but for me the finish was ponderous, and its moralizing, unconvincing (if you're originally from the Mid-West you can never really lose your past, be a fashionista, au current, abreast of the latest, a participating New Yorker??? Excuse me Nick, but despite your whip-lashings it's pretty clear that your extraordinary ability to see, savor and fashion [in your prose] glamor, catch and INITIATE its evident actual spirit, powerfully contests this thesis, and you're not so dumb not to at some level know it. All your lesson is is that you might still find it all the more comfortable if you sometimes keep to the sides -- but still, very much, within.), and was in mind to partake of another big bite of life of the Big Apple myself. (I was evicted, but was never persuasively made to see the rightness behind the eviction: am I safely away from the tempting sin-laden tree, or just behind "Soviet" walls, bidden to the very worst of masters -- tired, I suppose, somewhat pleasingly familiar but awfully well-tred moral truths, and dumb sobriety?) I suspect the 20s generation that loved the book and weren't anywhere near-ready to shift into, geez, "mommy and daddy did know best" old-timer think, sure, took the ending as a possible anticipation of what might follow -- we're ultimately damned for our fun; it's all an (albeit impressive and powerful) staving off, and we know it -- but recognized the book overall as one OF its era, an authority and a catalyst for further MORE of just their kind of fun, where if this here is proving a disappointment, another surely awaits in the 'morrow, and you know with the added focus it's sure to be more even more splendid than ever! And this is in fact the true glory evil, degrading, past-dismissing Capitalism befell upon them, for another four to five more years. Lucky buggers!

I'm hoping Luhrmann helps remind us all that this great era actually happened, and was worthy, even if this means being blasted by incredulous critics as an attempt at a Sex and the City 3, after number 2 was just loudly everywhere damned as a must-never-be-seen-again, worst kind of inexcusable out-of-stepness and excess. If it's just loud and sure morality tale and damnation, then it's just Dick Diver, and what ten years of the Depression did to Fitzgerald, as he lived out his second act.

You're point about desire, to the hopeless task of catching and keeping what will only surely slip out of your hands the very moment you grasp it: Nick says something along these lines in the text, but Fitzgerald writes him as someone who delights in his smart and capable grasping of phenomenological experience -- in his remarkable capturing of all that he sets out to capture. He makes the effort constantly -- it's pretty much, for me, what the book is mostly about; what he mostly does. And he succeeds, and he knows he succeeds -- and in a way that would draw admiration from others and that he himself will relish -- every time. What HE desires doesn't so much slip away from him as he does from experiences he has already succeeded in catching, "nailing," and savoring. And rightly so. He has his breakfast, enjoys it, and when ready, begins his looking-forward to lunch. This isn't so much Capitalism as it is someone who is not of the depressed. Take Nick (from the first part of Gatsby, before he converts over to Gatsby) and place him away from New York and out for a long spell without possessions in the wilderness, and you've got yourself Annie Dillard from Tinker Creek, in this case, enjoying the daily rush of experience Nature provides. She, we remember, doesn't retreat sadly back away from the thrilling onrush of the Now and into retrospect and past-obsession, until she has the willies startled out of her: until something "massive" and awful stops her forward progress. The rest wasn't her getting wise, just her recovering. I think he puts the stop in to some extent just to steady himself -- he is not ultimately, her equal. But put a true Westerner into the spoils of New York, and you'd never get from him a Great Gatsby: Nick, whatever your reticence and discomfort and breaks-on, New York was already well within you, my friend.

Fitzgerald self-destructed because of his discomfort with the empty artifice you describe. And his inability to ultimately find that life palatable.

Literary works don't become popular simply because they celebrate the culture they describe. Quite the opposite. Usually they articulate an unspoken longing in the culture at large for something beyond the anodyne offered as a salve to the wound of the human existential burden of the era.

We readers have always found hope to live in the bridge across alienation offered by evidence of another troubled soul out there engaged in the same struggle.

Water water everywhere and none to drink. And you're admiring the fountain.

Only a hopelessly lost narcissist longing to make their false identity a reality would believe that the bottom line of every text is a celebration of the self.

All true literature is critical.

"Look how pretty we all are.. and how!" is not enough of an impetus to engage with the painful construction of a work of literature.

Read about Fitzgerald as a human being. His life is evidence of a soul that can't give up seeking a transcendent truth drowning in decadence.

And yes, you can side with the decadence and see Fitzgerald as flawed for seeking "more." I think that's perfectly fair. But then, I side with Francis.

It's called the lost generation for a reason. But clearly, you are lost, so you interpret the exploration of being lost as an exhortation and celebration of that meaningless series of fragmented trajectories.

His construction of the novel was in and of itself an event to win the poisonous psychotic Zelda. And, as Hemingway pointed out to him over and over again-- he was a writer who couldn't let go of the pain of never being able to truly touch some ineffable, essential perfection.

"We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it—don't cheat with it. Be as faithful to it as a scientist." 
— Ernest Hemingway, 1934 letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald

Does this seem like something an intimate would write to a glitz and glamour celebrating dilettante?

I admire your instance on the attempt to find a phenomenological value system. I admire it the same way I admire the beating heart behind "Jay Gatsby's" artificiality and "James Gatz's" attempt to make his narcissistic facade a reality.

The beauty of failure is exquisite.

The text clearly indicates that this course is tragic. But I see that frightens you.

Just as I am frightened by the gals from Sex and the City. This is where I'd put a smiley face emoticon.

To be fair, I need to lighten up. So did Ernest and F. Scott.

But you could get a little heavier, stranger.

Let's hope Baz thinks about it at least this hard.

Truly, this dialogue gives me hope that the struggle to tackle the dynamic between the glitz and the emptiness could be accomplished in a nuanced, ambivalent way-- even by someone unaware of his own denied inner depth. (Jack Knive)

I'll remember your advice. And well met, Jack Knive!

Link: Baz Luhrmann is still full of crap (Movieline)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sub-humans

It’s bad enough that Michael Dowse’s retro-comedy Take Me Home Tonight isn’t nearly as much fun as the ’80s actually were. Even worse, it’s less fun than most ’80s comedies were — and that’s bad. Topher Grace plays Matt, a recent MIT grad circa 1988, whose life is stuck on “pause”: He’s working a dead-end job at Suncoast Video, and he still has the hots for Tori (Teresa Palmer), the golden goddess who wouldn’t look twice at him in high school and who barely looks once now. She comes into the store one day; he not-so-subtly puts the moves on her, telling her he works for Goldman Sachs (in the old days, this was supposed to drive girls wild). They agree to meet later at a huge Labor Day bash, where Matt will be able to perpetuate his silly lie and, with luck, win the girl.

[. . .]

I get that Dowse (Fubar, It’s All Gone Pete Tong) isn’t just mimicking ’80s comedies; he’s actually trying to make one, trusting, I suppose, that the audience is in on his ultra-ironic joke. The movie is badly lit and cheap-looking, presumably intentionally. But if modern audiences are really looking for sub-John Hughes, Adventures in Babysitting-caliber filmmaking, there’s nothing to stop them from going straight to the source: You can pick up a treasure trove of this stuff for a few bucks from the revolving rack at your local convenience store. (Stephanie Zacharek, Coke Adds Life — Just Not to Take Me Home Tonight, “Movieline,” 3 March 2011)

Re: But if modern audiences are really looking for sub-John Hughes, Adventures in Babysitting-caliber filmmaking, there’s nothing to stop them from going straight to the source …"

That's it, that's what they're looking for: an ecosystem of worn and repeatedly-done-before you can safely imagine participating in without a whiff of maybe-anxiety/uncertainty-causing counter or contention (genius or original voice, mostly certainly counting here), to get some kind of "I exist!" thrill to take home and cuddle. The concerned move reviewer who cares enough about what we've all got to deal with now, might soon realize "their" task is perhaps mostly to take whatever moment of demure stir to be found issuing from current movies, and while praising it -- genuinely (imagine you're dealing with terrorized, hide-prone children, and so thereby find the way) -- still relate it carefully to something a tiny bit more daring done before or elsewhere. It's how the good genius Stanley Greenspan got former autists, completely set to turtle before, to never really see, everything but a very narrow spectrum of stimuli -- a narrow spectrum, mind you, that could be expanded to eventually make at some point for an actual, deep conversation -- back to normal-level or better emotional functioning, to no longer be autistic. Otherwise, the fate may be to be tuned out entirely, except by those with already a nose for quality, or maybe not so concerned with helping. It sadly isn’t true that just exposing people to greatness will instill amongst many of the previously ignorant a desperate search for more of it. Something has to tease you first through instant recognition, and you have to be inclined to want it, for growth to happen. A whole generation can actually want otherwise, though, to actually seek to reduce themselves – and without it really being Big Brother’s doing; and not even a tower of Great Artists is going to be much able to get through to them: they’re just going to have to more or less sit this one out, and wait for a better audience.

Link: Coke Adds Life — Just Not to Take Me Home Tonight (Movieline)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tomorrow's ivy-league goals

According to a new report, the roundly chilly response to James Franco’s Oscar hosting gig has hardly lessened his profile at Yale. In fact, the post-grad polymath — who is in the early stages of obtaining a Ph.D. in English from the Ivy League institution — was back on the East Coast mere hours after the Oscarcast ended, journalists in tow and mythology expanding by the hour.


“At 9 the next morning,” notes today’s NYT, “[Franco] was in a Starbucks in New Haven, hunched over a book and barely recognizable in a gray sweatshirt, but still wearing his tuxedo pants.” I mean, of course he was still in tuxedo pants. Just add it to the legend promulgated by Franco’s peers and faculty alike: (S.T. Vanairsdale, “Report From Yale: James Franco Still Likes Doing Things,” Movieline, 4 March 2011)

"journalists in tow and mythology expanding by the hour" is really good.

He, like Portman, speaks to our love of frenzied activity, of not sitting still, and routine daily acclaim; who will speak up for the benefits of leisure and contemplation, of great lasting deeds but perhaps-never-even-in-your-lifetime loud acclaim? (I hated seeing Crystal on stage -- an insult to Franco and Hathaway -- but it likely made me recall now that, unlike Franco, who wants you to know how much better he is than you [but not in any way you could ever pin him down on, of course] for being so unblanchedly able to reset to today's agenda even after yesterday's titanic undertaking, he was ready to admit spending good portions of time revisiting most of his jokes and their reactions the nights after his hosting the Oscars -- at genuine risk, we all noted, of making him seem needy and insecure -- affectable, injurable -- even though what he was surely just admitting to was as much just the kind of absolutely necessary processing of experiences we all need to do to actually grow from them).

Franzen tried, for years locking himself away from feedback while he tried to write true -- but despite all his isolation he never convinced with his finished products that he'd ever let himself out of the zeitgeist: a hutzpah that cows him and lowers him before his TRUE master and fellow isolationist, DeLillo. Gandalf's back again in a couple years -- maybe he'll do it. If not, perhaps just recall of the Shire, and therefore some also of the Inklings and their lifetime works.

Doesn't surprise me that Franco is not about to lose his charm amongst youth: THEY NEED to believe he can automatically reset after anything -- daring everyone reflecting on and obsessing over what he had already finished to risk in quick retrospect seeming laggard, strangely over-eager, and exposed -- so to believe their own resets are just as complete, provisioning, and other-balking. They identify with him too much to allow that he may have may have been substantively affected by this, which he likely was, and hence the prompt show of today's sufficient Starbucks study to ensure timely completion of tomorrow's ivy-league goals.


Link: Report From Yale: James Franco Still Likes Doing Things (Movieline)

Oscar winners and cultural impact

But a gut feeling tells those of us who were only mildly impressed by The King’s Speech that something feels wrong. That’s not to say the multiple Oscar-winning biopic of stuttering King George VI isn’t good. It is. But would it feel any more right if it was The Social Network that had won Best Pic and wound up outranking some of the above titles? Maybe, if only because TSN felt more impactful in the overall scheme of things, culturally speaking; the same could be argued of Black Swan, with its stylish bravado and unforgettable central performance.

Then again, digging into the list we’re reminded of Oscar’s prior history of selecting dubious Best Picture winners; The King’s Speech also outranks Shakespeare in Love, Forrest Gump, Dances with Wolves, and Crash. And that feels just right. (Jen Yamato, “Is King’s Speech Really Better Than Unforgiven, The Sting, and These Other Best Picture Oscar Winners?,” Movieline, 4 March 2011)

I have a feeling that King's Speech is going to last; the friendship it pro-offers is too interesting and inspiring -- moving -- I think, for the movie to just have the title now owing to its commitment to and its helping entrench a just-before-long-war preferred attitude shift toward selfless service and sacrifice. I think the film will now do more harm than good, but a different generation could recover it for better purposes, and will likely want to: it evidently has a lot to teach a nation concerned with the careful knitting of a frayed social fabric about empathy and love. For me, it's above Unforgiven, certainly.

Forrest Gump has lasted as long as Pulp Fiction (and they both hold that year's title in my mind). You know this -- why did you include it with the rest of list of readily left-behinds?

Link: Is King’s Speech Really Better Than Unforgiven, The Sting, and These Other Best Picture Oscar Winners? (Movieline)

Friday, March 4, 2011

When Greats finally pass up the ball, it may not be about fatherly benefaction and selfless generosity: take heed if you accept it

ABC News: All Chinese children learn English starting in kindergarten. By the time they are ten they are bilingual! American schools can't teach reading and

writing one language very well.


Lloyd (Lloyd DeMause, “Learning,” Realpsychohistory, 15 Nov. 2011)

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"ABC News: All Chinese children learn English starting in kindergarten. By 
the time they are 
ten they are bilingual! American schools can't teach reading and writing 
one language very well. 
Lloyd"


Lloyd. Your current posts would not make it past your own 1999 - 2005 
filter for *others'* posts. (Rachel Stoltenberg)

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Rachel: Did you see the ABC News report on Chinese children now all 
learning English from the 
beginning of their schooling? It was very detailed, had lots of 
schools reporting, gave 
statistical evidence that was convincing. Your doubt below is unvalidated. Can you
give evidence the ABC News report was wrong? 



Lloyd (Lloyd DeMause)

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Lloyd!

"Rachel: Did you see the ABC News report on Chinese children now all 
learning English from the 
beginning of their schooling? It was very detailed, had lots of schools 
reporting, gave 
statistical evidence that was convincing. Your doubt below is unvalidated. 
 Can you 
give evidence the ABC News report was wrong?"


Apology. My remark appears to be in response to your last post re. China. 
It' not. It's about several of your recent posts, at least. (Rachel Stoltenberg)

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Lloyd, for me the concern would be that you tend to make America seem "bad," fully worthy of the downfall it seems intent on willing on for itself. The rest of the United Nations – Europe, whose social improvements you frequently delineate for us, mostly, but also now not-so-long-ago, absolute-progress-stopping, foot-binding China (are you for memory, or not?; or is it that you would just have us put aside or showcase as suits the momentum of your current inclinations?) – are by contrast mostly made to seem sane and civil. You kinda get the sense that you're mostly concerned these days, through the like of flattery and appropriately directed scorn, to count yourself amongst the few deserving Americans around still able to appreciate the maturity of the international community, and who maybe won't be suffering from what their peers' folly has earned for themselves. The feeling is that you're shirking most of the rest of us off, to count yourself amongst the bland but safe. Lloyd the revolutionist is at the end neutering himself to seem as prosaic as denatured, internationalist Obama.

Patrick

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Patrick wrote the following: "The > feeling is that you're shirking

most of the rest of us off..."


My commentary: Please remember, that this is not a tea party group but

a psychohistorical discussion group. So

your formulation "most of the rest of us" is hardly true. If you

believe the contrary, please do so. During the times of neoliberalism

I never used my limited ressources to discuss with neoliberals. I did

not estimate it as something productive. I do not judge it appropriate

to behave in another way with Tea Partiers. That's all I have to say

to that.

Florian (Florian Galler)

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Patrick: You cannot tell what my views are when you have never

subscribed to my Journal

and read my articles. You just endlessly attack me on

realpsychohistory for unstated crimes.

Lloyd (Lloyd DeMause)

- - - - -

Not so, Florian. With posts like this he is showing he is talking directly to (and counting himself amongst) civilized but a bit dull people, while bleeding into the background those who've encountered all he's done before who he knows would instantly recognize / sense his going simple (we may be sane and unpredictable, but he's quickly judged, probably not of most consequence). (And there is a sense that he's not even so much talking to any of us as he is to someone beyond who would approve of all he is saying, of the clear deference [to Her] he is with his words communicating.) He is making himself more boring – and certainly more "in-line" – than he actually is, as Pauline Kael used to remark about fellow critics, feeling inclined to turn traitor, I'm sensing, on people who represent the striving and accomplishing “Lloyd” he could never quite convince himself would ever find safety from retributive attack.

This long story of prosperity is terminating in a colossal way. We know who's coming, know it's payback time, and his inclination is to skip as fast as he can to the side to get out of the way. There is always a ball in play here, and sometimes it’s still drawing us to stretch out, participate, and still grow, but you do get a weird sense that the pleasure derived whenever it is made part of an 
interesting game, also derives from it outing into firm remembrance and therefore later sure punishment, who exactly it tempted to not only take but run with it.

- - - - -

And just a reminder, guys. When the next purity crusade is on us, an era in absolute obeisance to the sacrifice / punishment-desiring maternal alter, it will not come about in any form that would tip its hat to its true nature – it cannot, cannot, cannot make the liberal, well-behaving, civilized amongst us feel anyway GUILTY. That is, it will not be (for example) anti-Semitic (the exact last thing it will in fact be), anti-black, against homosexuals, anti-woman or aggressively for the alpha male, for banning ALL alcohol, not Green, anything really Bush / Cheney, previous prohibition-looking in origin. It will come across as eminently sensible, reasonable, evolved, moderate, adult. Therefore it will be FOR education reform, digitization and access, for making America once again ahead of nations (like China, that now shame us) it was once so far ahead of before (as the story goes) individualism and greed became the cancer that destroyed its host, for reform /re-invigoration of industry, manufacturing, transportation – the muscle fiber of the nation – for making it clean, green, ordered, interconnected and finally vigorous again. It will be done multiculturally, through colors of every hue, operating in a preferred environment of cooperation, sanity, and mature decorum. Expect the United Nations to cheer it on. And all of this will be done to the overall effect of mounting more and more numbers to the increasingly DESERVING suffering, to the inhibition of freedom, to strangling what is actually good about America, though all the time its loudest proponents will actually come from the (regressing members of) Left.

That is, if you want to make psychohistory another means to serve Mother, you will be offered many things by the Obama administration that will look so very supportable but that actually work against what is real in psychohistory. Obama can be made to seem the only option
 against the Tea Party nation, and therefore a bulwark that MUST BE 
supported to the psychological health, to the evolutionary progress, of the nation – even if it this means the quieting-down / suppression, the stigmatizing of other (dissonant) liberal voices, which ostensibly now serve to weaken what must only now be supported – but, thank god, there are little demons and goblins all the way through (the likes of) Lloyd's "Emotional Life of Nations" that will be mocking you along the way for your ultimate capitulation to the voice you've spent a lifetime trying to steady yourself to no longer heed. I hope that if I keep pointing these irritants out, we'll at some point have feel the need to either address what is
 evidently moving us to cooperate with the so readily offered "easy outs" in discussion, and not stay true to what is still everywhere and 
obvious in "the text," or find some way to ostensibly guilt-free "burn the book," and in our moment of instant never-the-less-unavoidable “what have I done!,” self-recogize and re-orient, and thereby finally once again start up our goal to keep some hope alive through a clear-eyed look at historical motivations.

Link: Learning (Realpsychohistory)

Link: Emotional Life of Nations