In a world of shit

The wise and compassionate Helena Cobban writes, “I am desperately trying not to feel angry with those of our ‘fellow citizens’ who voted W in this time.”

Good for you, sister. I’m just concentrating on not doing bodily injury to myself.

What I am trying to remember here is that my fellow Americans aren’t any dumber than anyone else – we’re just way, way more ignorant. As far as general stupidity and susceptibility to mass hypnosis go, let’s not forget that the Germans pre-Hitler were supposedly among the best-educated folks on the planet.

So my take-home thought for this morning is that We Suck. All of us. Robinson Jeffers was right: humanity is needless. We’d shit on the morning star if we could reach it.

But hey, this is Via Negativa’s 600th post. Huzzah. Plus: I’ve started a new blog – basically just a links blog, designed to force me to follow politics a little more closely – called dead raccoon in the road. Don’t know if I’ll have the heart to keep it up or not.

For here, for now, in celebration of this blogging milestone, how about some…


translated by Ulli Beier (Yoruba Poetry, Cambridge University Press, 1970)

We call the dead – they answer.
We call the living – they do not answer.

A round calabash in the spear grass.
[moon and stars]

A thin staff reaches from heaven to earth.

The bereaved one has stopped weeping.
The compassionate friend is still crying.
[rain and the dripping leaves after rain]

A pile of shit on a leaf, and covered with a leaf.
[humanity between heaven and earth]

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