Dramatically titled

Some blog posts mysteriously ended up in the sidebar as “pages” (v. “posts”) after the transfer to WordPress (in 2005??).  This is one of them… 

The link you probably came from showed a rather dramatically-titled painting by Caspar David Friedrich: The Wreck of “The Hope” (1823-25). It’s now sometimes also simply called Arctic Shipwreck, but the reference to the ice-bound ship “The Hope” seems somehow more allegorically apt.

I hadn’t blogged anything for a while, mainly because I was tired from two previous entries. One, in which I wondered about similarities between certain terroristic practices such as Sippenhaft (practiced most famously by the Nazis) and what happens when the Israeli army demolishes the houses of “clan” (Sippe) members whose relatives are accused of terrorism, made me feel dirty, like I’d crossed some personal line, into perpetratordom. Another, which dealt with paintings of beheadings and then veered off into debates about different psychoanalytic approaches and whether or not castration anxiety exists, made me feel as though communication was totally fraying and unravelling, and that demarcating victims and perpetrators isn’t very productive in some ways.

Indulging my Anglophilia as a way of licking my split infinitives, I instead spent some time this past week listening to Morrissey’s new album: You Are the Quarry. As good as The Smiths back in the 80s, I thought. In particular the 5th track, “I’m not sorry”:

On returning,
I can’t believe this world is still turning,
The pressure’s on,
Because the pleasure hasn’t gone
And I’m, Not sorry for, For the things I’ve done
And I’m, Not looking for, Just anyone

On competing,
Oh, when will this tired heart stop beating?
It’s all a game, Existence is only a game
And I’m, Not sorry for, For the things I’ve done
And I’m, Not looking for, Just anyone

I’m, Slipping below the water line,
I’m, Slipping below the water line
Reach for my hand, And, And the race is won
Reject my hand, And, The damage is done

I’m, Slipping below the water line
I’m, Slipping below the water line

There’s more, but you can read it on the website. It’s the refrain I find so haunting: I’m slipping below the water line, reach for my hand and the race is won, reject my hand and the damage is done.

Well, I’m a die-hard Smiths fan, so anything Morrissey does is ok in my view. Oh, and he sang some good ones about castration anxiety back in the 80s, too (wink). Check your mother’s apron strings …that’s a hint.

Then, to blow some more time, I read Susie Bright’s Full Exposure. Most of all, though, I thought about George Soros’s brilliant commencement address for the Columbia School of International & Public Affairs, delivered on May 17, 2004 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, published by Alternet here. That speech, I thought, would make me want to blog something again: the dialectical movement from victim to perpetrator and back again to victim seemed to me to have some weird but relevant purchase on what was bothering me about my “quacking duck” (see my May 23 entry) and the whole Judith and Holofernes conundrum (see my May 24 entry), and what happens when someone is made a victim and perhaps becomes a perpetrator, etc. But, you know how it is: life is busy, so another few days went by.

And then, just yesterday, I got another threatening anonymous Nazi hate mail delivered to my house. The previous one, which came in June of last year and which I blogged about at the time, was written in German. It threatened me in vague but menacing terms, and called me a slut (Schlampe); this one threatens me in English and tells me that I should do something about my “ugly Jewish face.” Honestly, I can’t tell if these people suffer from a surfeit or a deficit of imagination. I have however pulled the picture from my blog, not because I agree with their assessment, but because it’s getting too dated anyway.

Of course I went to the police again; they got out the old file and tomorrow I get to have a nice chat with the officer in charge of the case. During last year’s incident the police established that the letter had been sent locally, and I admit that it’s slightly disconcerting to realise that these scummy individuals might actually live in Victoria. My address is freely available via the phone book, so even these limited morons can send cowardly anonymous letters right to my house. Great. A very feisty friend of mine came with me to the police station. We talked at length afterward. At first she argued that the internet facilitates this sort of weirdness; but just now, via email, she speculated that face-to-face communication can be just as unnerving or dangerous or wonky or derailed.

Blogging is wonderful, blogging is enervating. It’s too much sometimes; I have avoided reading blogs for a week or more.

And for now, a downturn in blogging for me, too. It is sad to realise that there are so many uncomprehending kooks out there who should be taking medication, and that there’s also a wreck of the hope of communication happening globally in my head.

Slipping below the water line.

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