The Volcano Behind Oakland

“Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.”
(Genesis 3:19)

“I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.”
(Ezekiel 28:18)

“Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.”
(text by Augustus M. Toplady, 1740-1778, music by Thomas Hastings, 1784-1872)

The Volcano Behind Oakland
12 August 2013

Have Fun and Be Kind.


My comments on Frank Rich’s (NYT columnist) article about accepting lack of privacy (as technologically and socially inevitable) and viewing Edward Snowden as unimportant (deluded rather than heroic), are included in an article by Swan’s editor Gilles d’Aymery (which includes a web link to Frank Rich’s article).

Blips #137 (by Gilles d’Aymery)
12 August 2013

Also in the August 12 issue of Swans is a letter (by Darrell Johnson) to the editor on the Snowden Affair, privacy, and government overreach beyond the 4th Amendment, which cites my views (favorably).

Darrell Johnson’s letter to the Swans editor on the Snowden Affair
12 August 2013

The earlier article of mine, which is cited in Blips #137 and was probably in Darrell Johnson’s mind, is:

Tony Judt, Edward Snowden and “The Excluded”
1 July 2013

Some of my comments regarding the Snowden Affair were among those I posted on my blog (and are cited in Blips #137).

The Damned Human Race (Still)
1 August 2013


Last night I read Tony Judt’s essay on Hannah Arendt (1), and it all became clear to me:

They were all “chance survivors of a deluge,” as she put it in a 1947 dedication to [Karl] Jaspers, and wherever they ended up, in New York, Paris, or Rome, they were constrained, like Camus’s Sisyphus, to push the boulder of memory and understanding up the thankless hill of public forgetting for the rest of their lives.

Today I read Judt’s book review of Camus’s last novel Le premier homme, first published in 1994.

It occurs to me that this sums up Judt’s work as well: Chance survivor of a deluge, constrained to push the boulder of memory and understanding up the thankless hill of public forgetting for the rest of his life.

That is what I detest in Rich’s article, his recommendation we just go along with it and “forget about it.” He is the self-satisfied voice of the thankless hill of public forgetting, the hypnosis serving enslavement. That is why Manning is being judicially buried and Snowden is being hunted for the same end, because they have made widely memorable that which authority wanted buried from public awareness and, now that it is exposed, submerged into public forgetting as quickly as possible.

1. Tony Judt, “Hannah Arendt and Evil,” 1995, first published in the New York Review of Books, also in the 2008 book of Judt essays, Reappraisals, Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century, (Penguin).


1 thought on “The Volcano Behind Oakland

Comments are closed.