Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Ahhh ... technology

One of the joys of reading The Times on an iPad is that you can click on hyperlinks in a way that simply doesn't work with the paper version.  No matter how hard you tap.  I found myself reading an interesting profile of Robert Redford and his upcoming movie about a solo sailer trying to survive an at-sea disaster in the middle of the Pacific.

Fairly quickly, the aging process comes up.  Followed by my boy Yeats.  "Sailing to Byzantium", more specifically.  Which leads with the now-famous line "This is no country for old men."  In toto, it goes (if memory serves):

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.


The first stanza is a bit of rough going, but once you're uphill of that it all starts to make sense.

Yeats?
Yes.  W. B.
I thought he played for the Chargers.
That's Antonio Gates.
Oh.

Surprising to me and so worth noting, I suppose, is that the writer of the piece is one Maureen Dowd.  If this fact, primo facia, doesn't make you run for the metaphorical hills -- and I wouldn't blame you if it did -- it's worth taking a peek.  Click here.

You don't like Maureen Dowd?
I like her just fine, although you could argue that the country would be better served if she, like at least two Supreme Court judges I could name, voluntarily chose to resign from her tenured spot.
The thinking being that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely?
Something like that, but not exactly.   But it strikes me a little bit like all those inner-circle Republicans who were genuinely surprised when Barack clubbed Romney into submission on Election Day.
Because all they listened to was Rush Limbaugh and Fox News?
Something like that, but not exactly.


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