Bitter Angels

Books and Literature, Culture, Education, Poetry, Religion, Science, The Life of the Mind, Uncategorized, War and Politics

“Rationality is uncool,”
he laments; “it isn’t seen as dope, phat, chill,
sick or da bomb”; no attribute of will
is more unlikely to be deemed “to rule”;
it’s like an outcast in some middle school.
You cannot even argue that you cannot kill
in pure percentage terms sufficient mill-
ions of men to match the Earth’s once miniscule
murder rate; Cain’s Abel was one full quarter
of the world, for instance; wouldn’t you rather take
the odds in Auschwitz with those awful chances?
It’s fall. Across each campus days grow shorter;
undergrads still kiss and fuck and fake
enthusiasm for science’s romances.

Labor Rites

Books and Literature, Culture, Economy, Education, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, Science, Uncategorized, War and Politics

Every job will be automated until four remain:
lawyer, farmer, dentist, soda jerk;
whaleman, scrivener, and grocery clerk;
rabbi, car mechanic, David Blaine;
professional impersonator of Mark Twain.
The rest will be done by one Mechanical Turk
with an indefatigable appetite for work;
its million metal arms will never strain;
its million pinprick eyes will never droop;
of course, it’s operated by an actual man
from a windowless room in drowning Bangladesh;
he gets one thirty second break to poop
and eat his lunch before the beautiful tan
attack dogs are released to tear his flesh.

Chicxulub

Art, Books and Literature, Culture, Education, Justice, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, Religion, Science, The Life of the Mind, Things that Actually Happen, Uncategorized, War and Politics

When exactly I should retire, or will
retire has many complex parts to it:
a chronometric set of gears that fit
through genius acts of unimaginable skill
and ratios whose maddening math would fill
vast desert racks of servers cooled and lit
by carbon burned by who came after it.
What tyrant lizard left by being ill,
or turned from prey to watch a meteor
descending through the North-American sky?
The seas may boil; the air itself may burn;
the liquefying stone may crack and roar.
A life’s lived best not knowing it will die,
instinct alone, and never paused to learn.

Horse Feathers

Books and Literature, Culture, Education, Poetry, The Life of the Mind, Uncategorized

Don’t ever start an email to your professor
with “Hi [first name].” He will take offense.
Unlike the world at large, his cloistered sense
of feudal order ranks mankind from lesser
beings to lords. Herrdoktor? Priest-confessor.
His ego’s delicate as it’s immense;
informal greetings puncture his pretense
of superior boredom. Unwashed rabble’s the oppressor:
yawping Christian names and slapping backs;
noticing the due dates on assignments don’t
line up with this week’s readings; asking for
extra office hours and a little slack
because their Starbuck’s supervisor won’t
let them swap shifts, and they’re very poor.

This 👇. Whee, the Verse

Art, Books and Literature, Culture, Education, Poetry, The Life of the Mind

Does morality come from science or God?
Neither. It comes from your mom and distracted dad.
They got it from grandma, who got it from bad
TV, dumb books, and the old country’s odd
belief that wrapping anchovies in goldenrod
the night before a wedding prevented mad-
ness and made the proper river spirits glad.
The moral genealogy you laud
as the unique inheritance of Western Man
is a robin’s egg that fell onto a sidewalk
in a storm; you take the yolk as augury,
back-build what moral sentiments you can,
a gurgling infant’s first attempts to talk:
I see you, Peek-a-Boo, and you see me.

Byzantium

Books and Literature, Culture, Economy, Poetry, The Life of the Mind, Uncategorized, War and Politics

geriatric

Geriatric millennials born
between 1980 and 1985
are best positioned to lead teams that will thrive
in the hybrid workplace; they will never mourn
the lost kitchenette, or get mad at the porn
their OnlyFans teammates left on the shared drive
while fooling eye-movement monitors during a live
webinar; well-trained in irony and scorn,
they’ll do their boomer bosses’ bidding, but
half-heartedly; they’re busy making .gifs,
polluting the Slack with fake nostalgia for
the nineties, pretending they don’t mind the gut
they’ve got from crafty IPAs and spliffs,
barely forty at death’s beatific door

Sefer Yetzirah

Books and Literature, Conspiracy and the Occult, Culture, Education, Media, Poetry, Religion, Science, The Life of the Mind, Things that Actually Happen, War and Politics

Capture

An expert I spoke with highly recommends
that America needs to appoint a reality czar:
no more lying to your buds at the corner bar;
the rack for all of your weirdo Facebook friends.
Plenipotentiary in all his means and ends,
affixed to Christlike truth like the wise men’s star,
remit of heights and depths, the near and far
corners of creation, where time or being bends
beyond the expanding cone of present light,
the baryonic effluence of matter, and the dark
deep gravities of truths unseen, unfelt,
perfectly wise and gifted with prescient sight,
Osiris, God, ayin sof, and holy ark,
proclaim on high what he who smelt it dealt.

Principia Mathematica

Books and Literature, Economy, Justice, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, Science, Things that Actually Happen, War and Politics

We’ve got to get checks of fourteen hundred bucks
on top of the six hundred that we’ve already sent;
thirty times twenty that the proles have already spent;
seventy Jacksons for all the lazy fucks.
Sure we said two grand. [Rolls eyes, and ducks.]
Savvy citizens knew what it meant:
one down payment and then one month of rent.
Have we mentioned how much the Republican Party sucks?
Even your saintly Sanders now agrees,
and would you gainsay your wintry mittened-man
by means-testing current truths against the past
positions changed for new realities
gestated in your short attention span?
Enjoy the money. It will be your last.

The Worst Amendment

Books and Literature, Culture, Economy, Poetry, The Life of the Mind, War and Politics

This could not be more Orwellian.
Simon & Schuster is cancelling my book.
Where a business-flyer otherwise would look
for such civics, now shelves the Machiavellian
secrets of the boardroom, or Hudson’s selling him
mere Mentos. The woke mob won’t brook
my bold dissent. Why? Because I took
my voters’ insurrectionary whim
seriously? My job is to ventriloquize
exactly what the lumpen want to hear,
smuggling their sordid gripes into the fort-
ress of power with my Yale mouth and dead eyes,
alchemizing gripes into career.
This aggression will not stand. See you in court.

22 Schnooks

Art, Books and Literature, Education, Media, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, The Life of the Mind, War and Politics

What books should Biden read? We went and asked
some of our best of midlist middlebrow
semi-celebs, and some replied. But how
can one find time to read when one is tasked
with convincing a doomer culture to put on masks,
building past glory back, and better, now,
projecting the saintly calm of a teenage cow.
It’s enough to make one wish for a starving asp
to clasp against one’s own bared breast,
the servants, in their startled Greek, aghast,
while at the harbor, underpaid stevedores
who don’t know Ptolemy from Rameses
are loading wheat as they’ve done for the last
two thousand years; a bored scribe snores;
a librarian pilfers some scrolls and coins and flees.