Slouching Towards Bethlehem

A modern classic. You know that saying "I  don't know art, but I know what I like"? Well, I like this. A lot. And it's clearly art! Its all in there - click for big and take a gander at the wonder. It's our cartoon world - the very "real world" of Washington and Hollywood - the two capitals of modern fiction.

Anyone know the artist? I don't.

Another classic. I may have posted each of these before - sue me. They're great. This painting reminds me of the cliche but awesomely kick ass poem (one of the few in existence, believe me!) by William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming":

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: somewhere in sands of the desert
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
Reel 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 Bethlehem to be born?
Awesome, right? Like a horror movie. And I think it's sadly appropriate for our times. As with everything, there are forces that wax and wane, there are times when the forces of Progress are on the march, and times when the forces of Regression are, and most of the time there is an interplay between these forces. Right now, in America at least, there is great progress on the raw demographic level - we will be that Melting Pot we were all taught America is supposed to be. But clearly - watch Fox News for a few moments, or listen to Rush - the forces of Regression are fired up and have pitchforks and torches in hand.

The question is: Can we withstand them, outlast them, and defuse them? Only time will tell - I won't care (never do ["lack all conviction"]!), since from the mountaintop it's all pretty much the same. But I'm rooting for Progress nonetheless.

Also, too: Slouching Towards Bethlehem is the name of a great - perhaps the greatest - episode of Angel. If you've ever thought about watching the show but weren't sure it was for you, check this Season 4 episode out. If you don't like it, don't bother watching anything else.


l.e.s.ter said...

Slouching Towards Bethlehem is also the title of a Joan Didion collection of essays. I think I've seen every line of that poem quoted, but that's the first time I've ever read it in one place.

Redshirt said...

I've always read "Slouching towards Bethlehem" to mean: LCD.

It works, I think.

Anonymous said...



O Jesus, son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven?

Redshirt said...

Allah was created by Man, as was Jesus, as was Elohim.

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