The Second Coming

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Art / Politics

Having endured the last of the three debates, I offer Yeats. to whom I apologize for the alteration of the last line. He was a prophet. Like Rilke. Like Woolf. Like Orwell. Like Dickinson. We just didn’t listen.


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards D.C. to be born?


      • He really is a slimy bugger, isn’t he… What does it say about us that real citizens in this country find him fit to be president. That’s discouraging… Living in Utah is always interesting during elections. It’s always a blood red state. But this year you can see where the red has bled into the blue and we’re damn near purple!

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        • McMullen might take Utah, or even hand it to Clinton…unlike the evangelicals and righteous religious conservatives elsewhere, those in Utah seem to actually have the integrity about morality and candidates…Falwell, Jr. and others have lost a lot of respect from the faithful after their obvious duplicity of continued support for Trump in the last few weeks.

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  1. As a Canadian, I see the United States no longer united, but in turmoil. Donald is definitely a rough beast that will change the shape of the world. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Second reference to the yeats poem among bloggers I follow (the other being on Sabiscuit’s great blog). I feel like something is telling me to read the original! That gif os terrifying!

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    • Trump is terrifying…as much as I have loathed him from the beginning of the primary season, watching him descend that escalator to announce his campaign, now i truly fear the hordes of hatred he is whipping up into a frenzy. He is so willing to burn it all down if he doesn’t get his way. It took awhile but America is finally facing its first real tyrant. We thought after Goldwater scare we were safe.

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      • I read michael moore’s article the other day and wonder how much truth there is in his claims of the true reason trump ran for prez. If true, then the increase in erratic behaviour of late makes sense- the guy doesn’t really want the job but his campaign (and support) has become bigger than him and taken him as much by surprise. He might be in self sabotage mode and just fall back on ‘rigged voting’ to save face and his little appendage, but sigh with relief to not have to actually run the country.

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            • Wow. That’s incredible. That is a great thing about the internet an immediacy of information…you’re only as ignorant as you choose to be (within your capacity to learn, access data etc…)

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        • my personal belief, he went into the race to increase the recognition of his name (his brand)…then he started to win, and the narcissist (and authoritarian) side of him took over, and not only that he truly saw himself as president, but that no one could do the job…he has the “best brain” after all….he never wanted to do the actual work of the president, too much boring details and so much reading of briefs,…but he wanted the white house as a prop…now he sees the writing on the wall, he is trying to keep his personal base of fervent supporters as a means to tap into for dollars after the election, maybe just trying to keep it close enough to feed the “rigged system” conspiracy, but not enough to actual win.

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          • Plausible, and not far off michael moore’s theory (which he claims is fact), in that both cersions are to do with his ego and narcissism. I’ll be honest and say I really don’t like hillary either, but I’d rather her any day than the donald. Do you think Bernie has influenced her position on an issues since supporting her campaign?

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            • ultimately one the Shadow knows what lurks in the heart of men; we are just left to speculate…i would imagine Trump is a very torn soul…the desirous impulse for power and fame, for self-gratification, yet not oblivious to how others see him…the boos and the snubbing at the Al Smith Dinner on Thursday night was probably a dagger to him…the boy from Queens seeking the adoration of the Manhattan elite and always to be denied…Hillary was never my first choice, but I think Sanders revealed the large number of the Democratic base who crave a more progressive government…I think Elizabeth Warren has probably more sway with Clinton than Sanders does…and I think she has a better policy wonk understanding of how to actually legislate the changes Sanders’ people desire…But Sanders and Clinton I think have forged a bond of convenience that might help gets things actually done…even though there is probably some bitterness on Sanders’ part since he really wasn’t given a fair shake in the primary season by the DNC.

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  3. Brilliantly created photo and the poem to go with it shows how great the great man is. We hold our breath..not long to go now. You post has stirred the emotions of many, mine included.

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  4. I share your disgust and underlying fear. I feel the hopelessness setting in that tells me we are doomed if either candidate wins. And the defeatest in me just wishes it would hurry up and end. We cannot “save” America now, nor can we save our dying planet. The inmates have taken over the asylum, and nothing can sway them from their delusions…

    But that may just be “after debate depression” settling in… 😉

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    • at times, to call this election an emotional roller coaster is an understatement….i was noticing this morning the dark glee i felt reading about how Trump was booed at the Al Smith Dinner last night, how the crowd afterward gathered around Clinton to meet her while Trump and Melania slinked off to the exit, ignored except by the even more whacked Rudy Giuliani. That i’ve been reduced to taking delight in another’s suffering as i wake up over a cup of coffee…and while the inmates have seemingly taken over, there are glimmers of hope, the biggest of them all personified in Michelle Obama.

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      • You are right, of course. She has always been inspirational, but to see her now, out from her husband’s shadow, speaking her heart… it does give one hope. I cannot but wish it was she running for the Presidency…

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  5. Yeats does seem prescient. The Trumpettes lap up DT’s lies and cheer him on for more. It is terrifying–and his suggestion that he might not accept the election results? I agree with HRC that it is horrifying.

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  6. One of my faves, how could it not be? Slouching toward DC, and sniffing along too, and heaven only knows what else! Keats could never have predicted Bethlehem for a worse attack. Or could he?
    Well done. Very well done.

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    • yeah…but in the end, a rather easy choice…Clinton is, in the end, a political player, who does not know the game is while she might keep her personal gain in the forefront, she doesn’t let it blind her to what policies and agendas she should be taken on (keeping in mind, she is, in my view, not a liberal progressive, but a moderate centrist). So i would be wary of a commission she appoint to oversee Wall Street, but i trust her to do right when it comes to the Supreme Court.

      Trump is a whole other kind of being…Just read the blog excerpt today by Richard Branson about Trump (and Clinton) and it just affirmed one of my fears about Trump getting the power of the oval office.

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  7. So, for a country that doesn’t have mandatory voting, why complain about not having a choice of candidates. Stand up and be heard. Get out there and have your say. Do something to make a difference for the greater good, and yourself. It is the constitutional right your forefathers fought for! Stop being lazy! As the saying goes, you gets wot you deserves. I have no sympathy. If that Johnson video is real, I concur.

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    • for better or for worse, there is a part of the American psyche that is always looking for ways to make things work with the less amount of mental effort….something seems out of kilter if the burden of being a citizen is felt….Trump has tapped into that “lazy” facet…Don’t worry and elect him, he’ll fix everything while everybody else goes skipping off to a land of wealth and prosperity…luckily it seems, it is not a big enough facet for him to get elected president, just a major party’s nomination for it.


  8. Great video clip and updating of the classic poem. I remember another memorable 1-word tweak of a classic. After the Berlin Wall fell, Leonard Bernstein led a splendid performance of Beethoven’s 9-th in Berlin. He changed the German word for joy to the German word for freedom in the last movement’s lyrics (“Freude” ==> “Freiheit”). Both have 2 syllables, and clear enunciation by the singers made the change a worthy celebration of the wall’s fall.

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