Archive for March 3rd, 2013

Marianne von Werefkin, School (1907 — it reminds me Bemelman’s Madeline books)

Dear friends and readers,

So the republicans again get their way. Do not think that the Republicans are unhappy about the sequester. To think that is to go down the road which suggests that Bush was unhappy about the results of his Iraq war. In both cases an elite group who puts and keeps these mostly men in power and to whom the belong are getting richer. Wars are carried on to enable the US to control the oil and gov’ts of other countries. Bush’s cronies in particular grew very rich over Iraq — arms dealing, Haliburton. Now the aim is generally to re-structure the whole of our society so that the many are without protections of any sort, always in danger of or desperately poor, insecure, in need of jobs. Thus you eliminate the class struggle in the first place. Take us back to the mid-19th century. The sequestration is a good step for the Republicans because it will savagely eliminate jobs and contract the Federal gov’t. Make more people desperate and thus tractable and submissive.

They wanted really to destroy social security, a country-wide insurance plan which millions of people pay into with their earnings and then are minimally secure from starvation and homelessness unless their families take them in. Corporate profits way up.

They do fear losing their positions because of the vote. Thus 83 (or was it 87) Republicans broke rank and voted for an act attemping to protect women against violence. But only 87. Remember they have gerrymandered the states sufficiently so that although there is a Democratic majority in many states, the Republicans win. They continue to do all they can to suppress the vote and are working to get the supreme court to abrogate the voting rights act. They’ve got plenty of money to keep at it.

For my women readers: I see there is a new push for ERA. Beware of placing your fate in the hands of the supreme court justices today or at any time.

One of the ways ERA could be interpreted would be to deprive women of the right they now have to have part of their husband’s social security. I’ve seen feminists inveigh against this as “not fair.” Feminists say women should not be allowed to collect social security from their husband’s (it’s a percentage of what is probably small).

Social security is not meant to be fair; it’s meant to prevent homelessness and starvation. To each what they need, from each what they can give. Off list on WMST-l I’ve been sneered at for having part of my husband’s pension if he should predecease me and told by (of course) a tenured professor we “need to encourage” women to go out to work.

An important article: why gender equality stalled.

Right. Like the admiral was encouraged in Voltaire’s Candide: he was murdered to terrify the others into obedience. Given the current conditions, women need to protect the little specific laws they have on the books to protect them not throw the whole things in jeopardy.

The Talking Family

With the early morning tea
Start the day’s debates.
Soon the Talking Family
Gathers, gravitates
To the largest room and bed,
That all may share in what is said. All the Cats forgather too,
With a calm delight,
Tab and ginger, long-haired blue,
Seem to think it right
That they should share to some extent
In this early parliament. Perhaps they only want a drink
(Which of course they get)
But myself I like to think
That the Cats are met
Because this animal rejoices
In the sound of human voices. What they are we do not know,
Nor what they may become.
Perhaps the thoughts that ebb and flow
In a human home
May blow to brightness the small spark
They carry through the vasty dark.’ – “Perque pruinosas tulit irtequieta tenebras”. – Ovid.

Duncan Grant — a cat who liked to stay in pictures galleries

“Rainy Summer” she tries to “remember, though we cannot write it, the delicate dream,” a dream in which

The secret bird is there…. betrayed
By the leaf that moved when she slipped from her twig by the door,
As the mouse unseen is perceived by her gliding shade,
As the silent owl is known by the wind of her flight.

Ruth Pitter (b. 1897-1992)

It is characteristic that Pitter’s wisdom, that Minerva’s owl takes flight in the silent dusk, secret, unseen. All through her best work is this same sense of a sudden, fleeting, even unsought perception …

Marianne von Werefkin, Sunday Spring Afternoon (1910)



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