For the length of the film, Chaplin, high poet of human misery, turns his back to his dollars. An avatar of art has made him poor in them, great in them. The actor here, as in no other film of his, is completely absorbed by the character.
A metaphor exists in your place.
Thinking of Róża & Rosa
on the tiny plane flying over Ferguson,
the Midwest generalizing bumpy clouds,
iPad, iNausea, iVomit, a white woman throwing up in seat
9A into the paper bag. A metaphor exists in motion.
For a while some were sitting in the Cafe Via drinking salted plum soda and Days of Future Past
was showing across the street as kids played with gunpowder snaps by the pagoda wishing well and
Lil Wayne rapped I got through that sentence like a
subject and a predicate.
The slow down of growth on a capitalist basis is compelling the rich to take an ever-larger share of this slower growing pie. This takes the form of a political redistribution of wealth upwards through cutting taxes and cuts to social services. This gutted, dysfunctional public system is then attacked as unaffordable and in need of further cuts - a vicious downward spiral. In the grip of this politico-ideological spiral, the failure of the capitalist system appears in the form of a failure of the very public system that supports it and bails it out periodically, at huge expense.
Hell, too, is dialectic.
Sure it’s the underworld
so not exactly history
but it’s eternity’s owners
who claim eternity still.
In thinking of the innovative lyric, it seems useful to look at archaic lyric, since it too was experimental in its day - maybe even wildly so. To dispense, just a hundred or so years after Homer, with tribal stories, to assert one’s presence in the poem, to express what a person walking through the world saw, heard, felt - all this was part of the speculative, pioneering process of turning words toward the traffic between human interiors and their exteriors. We tend to think about the Greek lyric poets’ radical discovery of subjectivity. Some have noted the possible connection - because they happened very near to each other in time and place - of that abstraction of the one from the many to the abstraction of objects for money. If we take these two inventions to be homologous there are implications. Was incipient self made in the same mill as money? Does the connection leap forward to the environmental mess we’re in today? Even without those implications, we might wonder, How useful is subjectivity to us these days?
And with these words I turned
Back to prison amusements.
I’d thought meeting others
Would feel like rewinding
Or clearing a space but it was
Mistaking the blocks ahead
For festival and accepting that
The sun was work passing
Up the days, elusive gestures
Only patience could explain,
An old mania, really,
For affectionate dispossession.