A depiction of utopia:
Video & Transcript
Source: Serjeantson R. (2016). Thomas More’s Magnificent Utopia. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/31n1qsMJGyM
Transcript: Thomas More’s Magnificent Utopia
The Book and the Man
the opposite of dystopia
& Golden eras; humans are self-obsessed sent-i-mental beings.
^ Ansel Adams (1902–1984) was an American photographer most famous for his pictures taken in National Parks, taken in areas designated to be wilderness.
He once said, “we all know the tragedy of the dustbowls, the cruel unforgivable erosions of the soil … and the shrinking of the noble forests. And we know that such catastrophes shrivel the spirit of the people… The wilderness is pushed back, man is everywhere. Solitude, so vital to the individual man, is almost nowhere.”
One wonders if his iconic pictures acted as the magnet for today’s mass tourism and the overcrowding of sites of natural and historic beauty:
Nature: We’re Lovin’ It To Death The Guardian, 2018.
* * *
Pure White vs. Jet Black
In the dead of a feverish night
He’s opposite me, sat bolt upright
My legs and lips drift slowly apart
The power of lust makes this a must
I close in and flick off the desk light
Side by side, we prepare for the fight
He’s white like a virgin’s bridal gown
Rays of blinding light do still shine down
The Son will consume Venus adown
Solar storms flair; I refuse to comedown
The sun breeds life… am I all alone?
Circumstance & sun have left me brown
Angel dust white, he’s just like cocaine
I go down to make him rise again
On my knees between his, it’s sublime
My tongue will endlessly entertain
Let me lick below, I’ll lay supine
This is the drug that relieves my brain
The moon gives us solace and nightglow
In it, poets pine and wine does flow
Must this munificence be hallow?
This lunarscape, despite our harrow?
Paradise lost, we’re nowt but shadow?
Lit by it, I bite on my pillow
Like heroin, you touch me down there
Shoot me up into the stratosphere
Hands to clasp what did the silk brassiere
Flip me over and lick everywhere
Deal harshly with my soft derrière
Be animalistic with no care
Eve oscillates as the knights draw in
Milk & Honey will put out this drought
Pull my hair as you push it all in
This is heaven; I have not one doubt
Hold me tightly and push it deep in
I want more, I want to pass right out.
A hand left poignantly unshaken; a republican party, quite unstirred.
Writing concisely is not my style yet, as column inches for anything other than celebrity gossip, consumer reviews and self-help are now such a precious commodity, I must be succinct. Even if I were allowed to go wild with the word count, it would probably demonstrate only the validity of the Law of Diminishing Returns. Nowadays smartphone shortened attention spans need to be taken into account. In order to gain wide readership on matters of current affairs, being parsimonious with prose is a necessity. Gone are the days when waxing lyrical in verbose flowery language on issues of international political economy was considered a mark of distinction.
Partisanship must also be accounted for more before. Both liberals and conservatives now read mostly within their own communal and gated echo chambers. Each is served with bespoke newsfeeds that are informed (and manipulated) by ‘big data’ analytics and, essentially only serve to reinforce extant prejudices.
Adding further weight to the Editor’s demand that this article be no more than 900 words, is the fact that its contemporary flag—the courageous testimony of Dr Christine Ford—is yesterday’s news; it is all but academic now.
Nevertheless, the selection of Judge Brett “the gyrating groper” Kavanaugh to the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States, once more, the mother of all misnomers: the ‘Pro-Life’ constituent. It also makes clear the extent to which a female’s right to decide upon her own reproductive decisions is now under threat. This event, this very partisan confirmation, places the march of progress toward gender equality (‘and’ autonomy from man) that’s been taking place since at least 1913—when Emily Davison was trampled and killed by a racing horse—is now, once more, in serious jeopardy.
This isn’t really news, I hear you say. I concede, women have indeed been controlled and told what to do since the day that the mythical Eve took a—no doubt ‘dainty’—bite of the apple. I agree with you, I’ve recently read Eric Berkowitz’s, Sex and Punishment. From the savage impalement of Mesopotamian women several millennia ago to the Yazidi sex slaves of modern day Babylonia, the female form has long been lusted by men and lambasted by men.
There are mitigating circumstances, I hear you say. I concede here too. These are uncertain times, infotech and biotech are disrupting everything. It is evident that the discontents resulting from the maturing of globalisation have rekindled Huntington-style ‘us’ versus ‘them’ populism. But what is only know becoming apparent is just how gendered the undertones of this regression are. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, dreams aloud of raping Miss Universe. The macho misogynist Brazilian President, Jair “Trump of the Tropics” Bolsonaro, makes clear he’d only rape attractive women. And of course, (the once progressive) ‘Free World’ has Donald “Pussy Grabber” Trump. President Trump is categorically and publicly sexist. Recently, for instance, he described Stephanie Clifford as being “horse faced.”
Just because we can point out causal factors, does not mean we should demurely accept their consequences. We should not allow ourselves to become one of the ‘them’s for such men of power to rile against. This then brings us to one area, one appellation worth agitating against: a constituent of American voters know as ‘Pro-Lifers.’
On the face of it they sound rather caring and progressive. However, they are far from harmless. Indeed, they are both anti-life and very much against gender equality. It is this group who sought a Supreme Judge of Kavanaugh’s ilk. Pro-lifers are pro guns. Correct me if I am wrong, but guns are designed to extinguish life. Whilst delusionally obsessed with unborn foetuses (grounded, you see, on biblical myth) they are vociferously pro capital punishment and are totally okay with tucking into meat feast pizzas and Surf ‘n’ Turf slaughter house offerings.
Moreover, Pro-lifers are church going folk, ipso facto, they believe the battle of Armageddon to be sacrosanct. To be clear, they pray for a Third World War, it is prophesised so it must be true. There is little that is endearing about pro-lifers. Their morality (e.g., not coveting each other’s wives) is based only on their fear of the lord’s damnation to an eternally burning hell. They are not morally decent because it is morally decent to be morally decent. They are, according to their own narrative and logic, morally decent because god commands it.
As a result of their ‘morality’, when Dr Ford—who, unlike Judge Kavanaugh, took a polygraph test and passed—raised her hand and spoke the truth, many pro-lifers petitioned their Republican representatives to turn a blind (uncaring) eye and allow her words to fall upon deaf (unprogressive) ears. Kavanaugh’s being anti-abortion and pro gun trumped his sexual abuse of nonconsenting women. Trump, I imagine, isn’t that concerned about the issue of abortion; neither really are Fox & Friends (the latter are essentially friends of the mega-rich who care only about Trump’s tax cuts). Yet, by facilitating the overturning of the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade (i.e., the decriminalisation of abortion) Trump will, by way of the Court’s newest appointee, deliver unto himself the pro-life vote in 2020 and thus, for ‘us’, another four years of megalomania.
entrapped in honey, money or, plain old power?
Earlier that day, a female millennial was conversing with a generation X lady of class. It was done over the telephone and she said, ‘she’s just left and he’s looking at her behind with quite some lust.’
‘There was no touching?’ Enquired the other.
‘Was she wearing the agreed upon red dress?’
‘Yes, all’s documented, her body language was clear, she was willing to go further.’
‘She’d have done it there and then on the desk if he’d wanted it.’
‘Over the desk you say, how convenient, but how cliched too.’
‘Look, I’ll send you the file now, you can go over every syllable and decide for yourself just how salacious she was.’
‘Maybe he suspects—’
‘No, how? If he’d suspected anything, he’d have feigned disdain, he was horny. Watch the video frame if you want.’
‘He’s loyal. Perhaps red’s not his colour. Maybe, he prefers older ladies.’
* * *
On another phone, the millennial said to a generation X man of class, ‘good job, you played that well.’
He replied, ‘she is more suited to the fashion houses of Milan than a fictitious hedge fund actuary position.’
‘No, she’s fallen for it; she’s still on hold—’
‘I shall be brief, do not underestimate her—’
‘She said you are wiser than you let on too—’
‘Did she now?’
‘Yes, I mean you fuelled her infidelity concerns and, darling, you got me to fiddle with her Facebook advertising preferences putting my discreet investigative services as her top hit.’
‘Just a little asset management I suppose.’
‘The video file is on the cloud now—’
‘I’ve played my role well haven’t I?’
‘Yes my dear, you have now.’
* * *
The millennial said to the lady of class, ‘I’ve tempted that man of yours at the gym and on the streets. Lady Debonair, he is loyal.’
Well, so it appears—’
‘Appearances don’t always have to be deceptive.’
‘Red is red, black is black.’
‘What? Look, you know, he’s a handyman. I’m not saying he’s as pure as Snow White.’
‘A viewer of filth you mean? Aren’t we all?’
‘If someone says they never watch such stuff I’d trust a snake oil vendor more.’
‘Indeed, as would I.’
‘Yes I suppose so. Listen, no offence, but as I’ve explained and as you’ve observed, he’s capable of selling sand by the shipload to Gulf Arabs.’
‘Yep, I’ve noted his capabilities. No offence taken.’
* * *
In the evening of that same day in a palatial suburban family home owned by the man of class, the lady of class lay waiting in her old honeymoon gown. She valued plausible deniability for downstairs, she’d prepared the pasta and pesto in the same way as it had been made for them on the Amalfi coast ten years ago. Over the phone she said, ‘Claudio?’
‘All is a set il mio amante,’ he replied.
‘Hotel first, then quayside apartment?’
‘It will be as you want it to be mio dolce.’
At the same time, in a penthouse apartment which also happened to be owned by the man of class, the millennial lay dressed in nothing but a high-end pair of headphones. Her was anxious look was due to the GPS tracker showing that the iGen girl’s phone was both switched on and stationary. After once more hearing, ‘what’s up, Virginia here, leave a message after the tone,’ she said, ‘we need to debrief… what are you up to?’
At the same time, the driver of a taxicab said to his passenger, ‘where to Sir?
‘The Waldorf Astoria.’
‘I’ve a little bit of business to attend to there… as we say here, no rest for the wicked.’
‘How interesting, back in The Yemen, my father would say, idle hands are the devil’s best friend.’
* * *
Later that night, in the lift up to a Club Lounge and Executive Suites, an Italian sounding man said, ‘let a the good times role.’
‘And why not indeed,’ the lift’s other occupant replied.
‘Life has its ups and a downs.’
‘Indeed it does and, what an apt comment to make whilst in an elevator.’
CCTV footage indicates that regaining his concentration after a moment’s hesitation, the Italian sounding one continued, ‘well, you seem to have dealt yourself a vile little Venus—’
‘I beg your pardon—’
‘Yes, and I in turn, dealt my decade old vendetta.’
of benefit to one and (hopefully) all…
Audio one, Liberalism in Retreat by Robin Niblett
Audio two, China and the World by Evan A. Feigenbaum
In economics, philosophy and political science, the ‘common good’ tends to relate to what is shared and beneficial to (most) members of a given community (or economy or group of countries).
Feigenbaum, E. A. (2017). China and the World. Foreign Affairs, 96(1), 33–40
Niblett, R. (2017). Liberalism in Retreat. Foreign Affairs, 96(1), 17–24
Grant Wood (1891-1942), American Gothic, 1930
The 1930’s, think of the Great Depression; think of the lead up to WWII.
p.s. ‘Ubique’ is Latin for “everywhere,” and tends to imply omnipresence (the property of being present everywhere). Think of the adjective ‘ubiquitous.’ e.g., “Nowadays, smartphones are ubiqitous.”
Becasue, to attract attention, we inevitably state it melodramatically