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August 09, 2013


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But as successive graduating P.C.H.S. classes entered an ever worsening local economy, the social fabric of the 1950s and 1960s was gradually shredded.

The social fabric shredded? It just fucking shredded? Did the NY Times bother to analyze why said shredding occurred????

We can ask why the Times, in its silo of healthy lunch ignorance, feels compelled to sound the same, mournful, maudlin tune year after year.

The middle class is fragile. Its fragility is inversely proportional to just governance:


Just governance requires collective public enterprise, e.g., education. But those who can least afford to increase their cost base are the ones raging to miniaturize governance.

USian schools are working from the same hoary TV soap used by the Times:


Things don't just shred.

Phil Cubeta

Tom, you might ponder this: Robert Putnam is a well known professor at Harvard, whose book, Bowling Alone, first sounded this note of disintegration in ourshared civic life, more than a decade ago. He seems more rueful than indignant. He will pay his respects to the corpse of the body politic, genuflect, and maybe march with the cortgege to the burial ground. A new style of writing - without it we are going nowhere.


And with it we're marching to the charnel house?

Phil Cubeta

Yes, into the death house, and yet who would know from our prose? How do we and the traditions that persist in us adapt to these times? De Man did not write the plain prose of the English gentleman in Paris, as an editor, under foreign eyes. Now we too live under surveillance and will learn the double language and the double consciousness of the oppressed intellectual. Bakhtin is another such model, so too Gay, Horace, and so many others. Fable, parable, celebration of folly by a fool. We could be of service.

Jessica Margolin

I studied science so I have no idea what your literary references point to (though I completely understand the context, living in Silicon Valley and being an ostensible "social entrepreneur" ... which is to say I'm back at shirtsleeves, personally). However, from what I can follow of the conversation, I agree with Tom's point -- if I'm understanding it -- that there's an attitude of "I have no idea what could possibly have happened to the social fabric, but obviously those poor people did it to themselves, because MY social fabric remains intact."

_Bowling Alone_ was important and well done, but it was more effective I think at characterizing the new (decayed) status than explaining how it occured, and most crucially what to do about it.

Phil Cubeta

Much of the indirection and tomfoolerly here is to prevent an unseemly direct assault on the hand that feeds me. Who am I as a dumpster dweller to suggest to my friends who serve Dynastic Wealth that perhaps the Dynasts should serve something other than themselves, or even that they have as Dynasts a moral obligation to the polity from which they are rapidly breaking away. These are not welcome words. Better we advisors to wealth consider ourselves Secular Priests without Moral Portfolio, we can bring holy water, and a sportive confessional, and play at Masquerade in Wealth Bondage, the State of Freedom.

Phil Cubeta

By the way, thank you Jessica, for suggesting you can't read into the depths of this blog. "Full many a hole seems wondrous deep only because it is wondrous dark," Swift said.


Speaking of sportive confessionals, when's the next Compassionate Tour of the World's Elfin Poor? I wanna try to make this one.

Phil Cubeta


Cakewalk at the Big House.

Dynastic Wealth Masquerade Ball.

You be the Rich SOB, I will be your Secular Priest.

Flourishing Families.

Great Families.

Just return the costume when the ball is over so we can have it cleaned and ready for next year, when the crops come in.

We are in High Cotton.


Don't forget the society painter

Phil Cubeta

Or Goya, if one dares

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