Homer? Samson.

Culture, Justice, Media, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, War and Politics

“People who live according to the pure code of honor are not governed by the profit motive; they are governed by the thymotic urge, the quest for recognition.”

David Brooks

A writer for the Times discovers that young men
in countries we fucked up have aspirations
different from those of the occupying nations;
He thinks them retrograde, but judges them
through a philosophical conceit that’s ten
centuries older than Islam’s creation,
a Western pagan’s fascist masturbation—
Plato’s politics were monstrous when
Plato was alive! Isn’t it
ironic that a public intellect
whose Gray-Agora sinecure assures
him of a massive audience has writ-
ten that the flaw in Muslims is “thymotic”?
What is the perfect form of an inveterate bore?

12 thoughts on “Homer? Samson.

  1. Brooks idea of inclusiveness is the assumption that everybody is just like him. We’re not, they’re not, and he’s not. As for Plato, he was the Truman Capote of Greek Philosophical Circles, making up bullshit about Socrates for fun and prophet. Karl Popper comes to mind as driving the first modern spike through that puppies heart…

  2. Guess I’ll go with the by-now inevitable,

    He was a Nazi, Dude?

    Also when I look up “thymotic” in the OED , I get “Of, pertaining to, or derived from thymol [The phenol of cymene, C10H13.OH, obtained from oil of thyme]” as the sole sense. What do Plato, David Brooks and you know that I don’t?

  3. It’s one of the curiosities of English etymology that “sweetBREAD” – such as the thymus, the “throat sweetbread” – is a piece of meat, whereas “sweetMEAT” refers to a piece of candy or a fruit covered with sugar.

  4. Off topic, not really, piece – as always thoughtful, … caring for, and about, many – …. by “davidly” (fitting that he resides in, or quite near, Berlin; having been born in, a ‘citizen’ of, the U$, at least as I’ve come to surmise?):

    02/22/15 (also 22/02/15) Sunday, 22 February 2015
    The Unforgiving Nature of Trample Down Economics

    thank you, david, a huge embrace and human kiss, to you.

    1. in full:

      Sunday, 22 February 2015
      The Unforgiving Nature of Trample Down Economics

      For what does it profit a man to make his way along promptly plowed pavement safely to his office building only to slip and crack his head open on the sidewalk below?


      The competitive engine of economic growth drives a cultural obsession more than growth itself. Why not shut things down a bit as long as we are buried, why not hibernate?

      The answer, naturally, is that we, whoever that is, would fall too far behind in a game comprised of an unwillingness to forgive debt/rent/mortgage/utility bill, borne out of an inability to get someone else to do the same.

      The arbiters of the rules of the game are so large and in charge as to be in a permanent state of paying themselves back for the money they borrowed. Self-lent lucre means never having to get back on your feet, just using them to stomp upon all but your initiates.

      Accordingly analogous is the urban desperation evident in the removal of calamitous snowfall, which fuels loads of apocryphal stories like the one that Jane Byrne’s mayoral bid in Chicago came down to her predecessor’s untimely failure to clear the streets.

      I guess what I am saying is that, if debt should be passed, it should be upward first; and all energy should be spent pushing the snow off of the walks and into the streets. What good does it do to clear them, lickety-split, if in the process you’re just burying the cars on the side of the road until April Fools’? Move more slowly from December to March — or whenever the march back to the end of the year reveals itself… more naturally.


      I love the Sun, though in the summer I can’t make a move without considering to what extent I’ll be in a direct path of its unforgiving rays. I don’t worship it, though I recognize it as the true capital of this solar system, hence, life on this planet. It is the star to which the greatest central monuments aspire yet pale in comparison.

      The Sun is nature, not science or religion. It is so powerful as to be observed religiously, yet not awe-inspiring enough to leave modern science geared to its every move, winding in its wake. For science is under the constant threat of a dogmatic faux-science that has dominated Earth’s population since not too long after genus homo went all erectus.

      I am not talking about woo-world paganism or fundamental creationist philosophy, even those that would banish empiricism from the temples to the Sun or sons of gods. No. The primary corruption and oppression of the discipline that might otherwise be arrayed for the improvement of the quality of life comes rather from those whose methods are for the advancement of the few over the many.

      Science predicts that long after humankind has succumbed to Earth’s harshest conditions, the Sun will still be there, providing energy for whatever remains.

    1. No, I used the word I wanted to. However, you may be interested in

      Acta Clin Belg. 2012 May-Jun;67(3):209-13.
      The appearance of the thymus and the integrated evolution of adaptive immune and neuroendocrine systems
      Geenen V

  5. I think Brooks has achieved the past pluperfect of inveterate boredom, and perhaps, if I may neologize a bit more, the apotheotic aspect as well.

    I am reminded of Seneca’s description of the “ascension” of the soul of the emperor Claudius as “pumpkinification.” Would we had a word as useful in English.

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