James Baldwin on a world without poets and why poets must oppose all systems. From Brain Pickings.

[This is] a time … when something awful is happening to a civilization, when it ceases to produce poets, and, what is even more crucial, when it ceases in any way whatever to believe in the report that only the poets can make. Conrad told us a long time ago…: “Woe to that man who does not put his trust in life.” Henry James said, “Live, live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.” And Shakespeare said — and this is what I take to be the truth about everybody’s life all of the time — “Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.” Art is here to prove, and to help one bear, the fact that all safety is an illusion. In this sense, all artists are divorced from and even necessarily opposed to any system whatever.

James Baldwin


The Zombie Doctrine- George Monbiot on the Neo-liberal plague.

The Zombie Doctrine  By George Monbiot

A somewhat rambling rant about the neo-liberal plague with some fairly confused prescriptions about a leftist revival.  I always concluded that the infection of neo-liberalism in leftist Britain was seeded by the Welsh windbag Neil Kinnock who bred New Labour in a secret laboratory set deep in a Welsh hillside.  I always saw the Kinnocks as a dark king and queen who bred ever-winter.   They are still at it having made a good living out of failure and lack of talent.  Living proof they are that there is hope for all we Joe and Joanna Averages.

Oh and George has written yet another book about how we got here.  On the basis of this post probably not a very good one.  But I do recommend his 'Feral' which I've just finished.  Now REWILDING is a project I could get behind.