Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cheap shot: Michael Oakeshott

"Theoretically, darling, I could never be unfaithful to you, of course, but you see I got stuck in one of those mental fogs of practical experience, and you know how that always ends up..." Via.

According to Jesse Norman (not the great soprano, spelled "Jessye", but the male and I assume Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire) writing in the New Statesman, Michael Oakeshott, guide to political modesty and sweet, cozy tradition, beau idéal of our conservative "public intellectuals" like Andrew Sullivan and David Brooks,
was married three times and had an extensive but often unsuccessful and rackety love life. A man of enormous charm, brilliant conversation and few pretensions, he admired and respected many women, yet had periods in which he behaved with great cruelty to those who loved and depended on him....
Oakeshott rejected philosophy as a guide to human conduct and tried at times to compartmentalise the two sides of his own character, the Apollonian and the Dionysian, but he never disavowed them. His ideal was always that of the self-chosen life, the life lived in the full expression of one’s individuality. About that there could be no compromise, whatever the consequences – for him or others.
He "rejected philosophy as a guide to human conduct"! The Tory majesty of that offhandedness! And the "self-chosen life" regardless of the consequences to others, including obviously their ability to choose their own lives! Because I do the choosing, born to it, and you just trouble the waters with your ineffectual, low-class struggling. Isn't it kind of what conservatism is all about, profoundly, seen at the domestic level?

I've trying to place this uncredited YouTube of Mahler's Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (Rückert Lieder no. 5) without success, but I think it must be from a radio broadcast with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony, Tanglewood 1978, mentioned by this person. Bet Oakeshott would have hated it. 

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