Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heart of Darkness

I just may embody certain aspects of my personality in common with Kurtz.
And, more interesting, we share them with Almaz, my African wife.
They must be exceedingly rare and exceptional traits, poorly understood by
anyone around us, and its pointless to even attempt to explain them.
I am quite gratified that Conrad himself had some knowledge of what I am
talking about. So let me just share some choice quotes from this
little book (which I enjoyed immensely!)

I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast. There wasn't even a shed there, and she was shelling the bush. It appears the French had one of their wars going on thereabouts. Her ensign dropped limp like a rag; the muzzles of the long eight-inch guns stuck out all over the low hull; the greasy, slimy swell swung her up lazily and let her down, swaying her thin masts. In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent -- and nothing happened.

I've seen the devil of violence, and the devil of greed, and the devil of hot desire; but, by all the stars! these were strong, lusty, red-eyed devils, that swayed and drove men -- men, I tell you. But as I stood on this hillside, I foresaw that in the blinding sunshine of that land I would become acquainted with a flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil of a rapacious and pitiless folly.

I let him run on, this papier-mache Mephistopheles, and it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe.

Droll thing life is -- that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. the most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself -- that comes too late -- a crop of unextinguishable regrets.

Oh! The horror, the horror!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ancient African Proverb

When two elephants fight, grass wins.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Universal Panacea

Was your country just hit with one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history,
followed by a 30-foot tsunami that just kept coming and coming and coming,
and then after that your massive nuclear generating complex started to get a little warm?

There is a solution, just print some more money.

Was your country just hit by a wave of fraudulent banksters selling fraudulent mortgages to people who could not honestly afford them, collapsing the economy and adding 15 million individuals to the roles of the "I'm not unemployed, I want a good job right now!"?

There is a solution, just print some more money.

Did your military machine, already the largest and most expensive and inefficient that the world has ever seen and overextended in several long-term theatres, just attempt to grab yet another expanse of oil fields and find that lo and behold the former owner is choosing to destroy them rather than let you steal them?

There is a solution, just print some more money.

Is your new girlfriend just a little late on her period this month?

There is a solution, just print some more money.

Are the alcoholic members of your legislature, hooked on the glories of giving away free money to the people who put them where they are, suddenly seeing the light of sobriety but arguing and debating that if they cut back from 15 drinks a day to 14 drinks a day, how strong the last drink can be?

There is a solution, just print some more money.

Is your bank commodities desk under orders from above to maintain a short position on silver futures roughly the size of the entire yearly market, and the price of silver has just doubled in the last 9 months?

There is a solution, just print some more money.

Did you find three new grey hairs coming out of your scalp while showering this morning?

There is a solution, just print some more money.

And not only that, but you have the "heartbreak of psoriasis" on your knee?

There is a solution, just print some more money.

Thank God for Mammon!