Saturday, March 27, 2021

Literary Corner: His Subjects Are Water

David Hockney, "Stage Set, Abstract", fax machine print, November 1988, National Gallery of Australia.

Where's Durham?
By Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

Where's Durham?
Is he a living,
breathing human
being? Will there ever
be a Durham Report?
Short answer to this plaintive text, issued by the Retired Emperor from his Florida redoubt/resort is, not one that will do you any good, pal.

Having retired from his day job as Connecticut US attorney, special counsel John Durham seems to be clinging to this gig, hiding his budget (as Emptywheel notes) and exploring who knows what angle of how to show that it's a crime to suspect Donald Trump of a crime if you do it in an official capacity. Equally-retired imperial consigliere William Barr had promised the boss he'd jail some of the FBI guys who tried to catch him but virtually nothing has happened since Kevin Clinesmith, the lawyer who actually did commit a sort of crime in preparing the application for the third or fourth surveillance order on Carter Page, got away with 12 months' probation and 400 hours of community service, and it looks like nothing ever will. Trump is probably agitating for a cut of whatever Durham's getting paid.

But just pause to enjoy the lapidary concision of the piece—the pain and wistfulness expressed in its 15 words, almost Japanese.

Emperor Takakura, who ascended the throne in 1168 at the age of 7, a prisoner of the wiles of his father and future father-in-law, and and retired in favor of an infant son at 19, in 1180, dying some 10 months later. Via Wikpedia.
The Emperor is a ship.
His subjects are water. 
The water enables a ship
to float well, but sometimes
the vessel is capsized by it.
His subjects can sustain an 
Emperor well, but sometimes 
they overthrow him

—Emperor Takakura (attibuted)

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