A favorite phrase of Il Douchebag, which he often applies without any reasonable signification, is “like a dog.” While watching the fascist horror arising in Portland, Oregon, and wondering about where the kidnapped protestors might be taken for further interrogation and bodily harm, I was reminded of Franz Kafka’s The Trial. The link occurs in the final lines of Kafka’s great novel:
Where was the judge he’d never seen? Where was the high
court he’d never reached? He raised his hands and spread
out all his fingers.
But the hands of one man were right at K.’s throat,
while the other thrust the knife into his heart and
turned it there twice. With failing sight K. saw how
the men drew near his face, leaning cheek-to-cheek
to observe the verdict. “Like a dog!” he said; it seemed
as though the shame was to outlive him.
Continue reading “The Letter Z”
… the times were not what they once were: the desire for pure knowledge had vanished, and all that fathers now wanted for was their sons to get ahead in life, which meant that, if they were to receive any schooling at all, it should be something useful like bookkeeping rather than the fables, literature, and philosophy that Hayyim Nacht was cramming their heads with.
—A Simple Story by S. Y. Agnon
Having experienced college level counseling in the last twenty years, it’s obvious to me that this sentiment expressed by S. Y. Agnon is true and flourishing today. I suspect it is a major tenet of neoliberalism that reduces literature, philosophy, and critical thinking to unnecessary entertainments and rewards the greed and selfishness of the marketplace with wealth and power.
Continue reading “The Axe For the Frozen Sea”