I think we can think of the entire financial system and its offpring: the derivatives market, forex, commodities exchanges, invisible transactions, etc. as one giant haunted house or horrors. Like something out of Kafka’s The Castle; its mysterious, it holds our fate in its hands and is responsible to no one. Or Josef K in The Trial, and his unavailing and futile battle against the law, a judiciary which accuses and condemns K is prescient, foreshadowing the empty and ephemeral bureaucratic violence that came to represent WWII death camps and their soft core versions of the same poisonous ideology that persist today. Kafka’s insights are still pertinent. In our surveillance society, our software controlled lives, it is still charged with an emotional chill. Predators. Like Matt Taibbi’s description of Goldman Sachs as a blood sucking vampire with a bottomless thirst.Send them to Kafka’s Penal Colony?
THE HAUNTED PALACE ( Edgar Allan Poe )
And travellers now, within that valley
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms, that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throngout forever
And laugh – but smile no more.
From The Haunted Palace.
…”Does it make you feel young to watch the dying?…Is that the lewdness that keeps you young? Is that why you dress like a crow? Oh I know there’s nothing I can say that will hurt you. I know there’s nothing filthy or corrupt or depraved or brutish or base that the others haven’t tried, but this time you’re wrong. I’m not ready. My life isn’t ending. My life’s beginning. There are wonderful years ahead of me. There are, there are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful years ahead of me, and when they’re over, when it’s time, then I’ll call you. Then, as an old friend, I’ll call you and give you whatever dirty pleasure you take in watching the dying, but until then, you and your ugly and misshapen forms will leave me alone.” ( John Cheever, Torch Song )
…”What kind of an obscenity are you that you can smell sickness and death the way you do?”
Yes, they wanted blood. Death. It was Halloween and sacrifice was demanded. The bankers were laid out in cages, waiting for their destiny. It was to be a hard boiled night. Halloween alright. All the opaque accounting; the trick or treat financial products with built in explosive obsolesence. The “derivatives” package, like candy laced with poison, guaranteed to cause trauma for years to come.
A man inspects a dead body and reports, “just when a maggot crawled out of his gaping mouth , doing a spastic little lindy hop on the tip of his tongue.” Yeah. hard boiled. but he deserved it. In any event, the guys wife was probably driven to insanity by this boring turkey. Doom is kinda fun. No innocence. No exit. All these dead people wandering around. Least they aren’t hysterical. Guess they played their schtick too tight to come out intact. Like the ancient mariner, someone had to spill the high finance types the bad tidings. There would be no Pecora commission circus. There’s a woman screaming ” I didn’t marry a man I married a habit, and when hope came late to him, it was quite a dangerous thing.” Hope is for the young, the kids, hope in a full grown man. Well, that kind of hope burns as it dies, it boils the blood white, and leaves behind something real mean when its done….All in all some of the saddest goddam stories I’ve ever heard.
Teitelman: democracy has never been as soul-enhancing as its Emersonian press and Whitmanesque promise. Pure and direct democracy remains utopian. As all the reports of the meetings of the General Assembly suggest, you have to be a saint to sit through the endless People’s Mike episodes, which, as Greenberg points out, serves to flatten and simplify everything that’s said. In their deep romance of democracy — really anarchistic democracy — OWS ignores or appears simply unaware of the historical dark side of “the process.” It’s not just that it’s difficult to reach consensus, or that anything that requires complex daily tasks or technical decisions (like what to do with all the money, as The Wall Street Journal points out) can’t really be dealt with by the General Assembly. It’s that democracy always contains the potential for tyranny, for majority domination of a minority, and for corruption, manipulation and conformism. The French Revolution ended in terror, a “cleansing” of the revolution, then coughed up Napoleon; the American Revolution hatched a republic defined by fierce partisan in-fighting and two-plus centuries of intermittent self-interest, greed, and corruption. Look at our experiments with democracy in the Middle East. Democracy can, as often as not, produce theocracy. Democracy easily flips to its antithesis. Read More:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-teitelman/occupy-wall-street-on-the_b_1064194.html
Like angels who have bestial eyes
I’ll come again to your alcove
And glide in silence to your side
In shadows of the night, my love;
And I will give to my dark mate
Cold kisses, frigid as the moon,
And I’ll caress you like a snake
That slides and writhes around a tomb.
from “The Ghost” ( Baudelaire)
Remember, my love, the object we saw
That beautiful morning in June;
By a bend in the path a carcass reclined…
Her legs were spread out like a lecherous whore,
Sweating out poisonous fumes
Who opened in slick invitational style
Her stinking and festering womb…
And the sky cast an eye on this marvelous meat
As over the flowers in bloom.
The stench was so wretched that there on the grass
You nearly nearly collapsed in a swoon…
From back in the rocks, a pitiful bitch
Eyed us with angry distaste,
Awaiting the moment to snatch from the bones
The morsel she’d dropped in her haste.
–And you, in your turn, will be rotten as this:
Horrible, filthy, undone…
Yes, such will you be, o regent of grace,
After the rites have been read…
Ah then, o my beauty, explain to the worms
Who cherish your body so fine,
That I am the keeper for corpses of love
Of the form and the essence divine!
from “A Carcass” ( Baudelaire )
Charles Baudelaire, The Vampire:
Thou who abruptly as a knife
Didst come into my heart; thou who,
A demon horde into my life,
Didst enter, wildly dancing, through
The doorways of my sense unlatched
To make my spirit thy domain —
Harlot to whom I am attached
As convicts to the ball and chain,
As gamblers to the wheel’s bright spell,
As drunkards to their raging thirst,
As corpses to their worms — accurst
Be thou! Oh, be thou damned to hell!
I have entreated the swift sword
To strike, that I at once be freed;
The poisoned phial I have implored
To plot with me a ruthless deed.
Alas! the phial and the blade
Do cry aloud and laugh at me:
“Thou art not worthy of our aid;
Thou art not worthy to be free.
“Though one of us should be the tool
To save thee from thy wretched fate,
Thy kisses would resuscitate
The body of thy vampire, fool!”