Friday, January 25, 2008

An Instructive Exchange

Lorin Maazel
"a noted conductor"

Gypsy Scholar is pretty well-informed about things, but Jeffery Hodges is still rather ignorant and therefore tends to learn something new every day . . . as you shall see in today's borrowed dialogue.

Over at Waka Waka Waka, my online friend Malcolm Pollack noted my blog entry on Tawfik Hamid and was impressed by . . . well, you'll see what impressed him. In his own words:
There are those who would have us believe that the root causes of Islamic terrorism are poverty and political oppression, and that if we Americans weren't such swaggering imperialists, and could just get along a little more amicably with other cultures, we'd have less to worry about. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our friend Jeffery Hodges (is he really out of bed and writing blog posts at 4:09 a.m.?) offers further evidence here.
Since Malcolm had asked for confirmation of what had particularly impressed him in my blog post on Tawfik Hamid, I provided it:
Out of bed at 4:09 a.m.? Me? Is that what the blog entry showed?

Ha! Ha! Ha! Of course I'm not.

No, I'm out of bed at 3:00 a.m., doing my best to save Western civilization. I don't know why the time recorded was so late. Maybe I websurfed too long. I'll try to do better from now on...
Malcolm, nontheist though he may be, sought divine explanation:
Three o'clock? Why in God's name are you up at such an hour??? Do you have cows to milk?

I shall charitably assume you simply haven't got to bed yet; after all, that's only an hour two after I usually hit the sack.
Although I do milk the cows of solitude during these early morning hours, my clarification focused on a greater than bovine task:
In God's name, I am up at that godforsaken hour because -- as previously mentioned -- I am doing my best to save Western civilization.

Pay attention!

Saving the West is a tough job, but somebody's got to do it, especially in those godforsaken hours when even the abstract entities are somnolent and neglecting their duties, so I do indeed rise early.

No need to thank me. Virtue is its own reward.
Which led Malcolm into an oblique allusion to The Dark Knight (itself possibly an even more oblique allusion to bats in somebody's Far Eastern belfry):
I guess saving Western civilization can only be accomplished while the banks are open in Los Angeles, or something.

But to get up at three a.m. (!!!) you must have to go to bed at about eight in the evening or so, an hour at which, in most of the civilized world (or here in Gotham, at least), one is more apt to be discussing an appropriate selection with the sommelier, or flipping through Playbill, waiting for the curtain to rise.

We appreciate your sacrifice, of course.
To which, I racheted up the degree of my great sacrifice:
I usually get to bed between 10 and 10:30, so my sacrifice of sleep in indeed great.

But saving the West -- unlike saving money (which nobody does anymore anyway) -- requires no open banks, whether in Gotham, The City of Angels, or my very own Seoul.
And I also gave evidence of the sufferings that I so quixotically endure:
Uh . . . "is indeed great." I guess that I need some more shut-eye to have better open-eye.

But orthography is merely one of those sacrifices...
For which, Malcolm graciously if indirectly thanked me:
Well, Jeffery, we in the West are in your debt. Your efforts seem to be paying off, so far at least: the seats are full on Broadway, and Lorin Maazel is still swinging the lumber up at Avery Fisher Hall.
Which led to my couplet of ignorance:
Malcolm, I'm tempted to quip:

Who in the hell
Is Lorin Maazel?

Which would be a nice couplet and my shortest poem but also demonstrate my ignorance, so I Wikied him and now know the man.

I'm gratified to learn that my early morning efforts are paying off my own debt to Western civilization.
Leading, in turn, to Malcolm's own amusing nod to the muse (and note his noteworthy pun):
If I may be your instructor --
He's a noted conductor.
A dialogue that I wrapped up (maybe) with a comment on the unfinished project of the West:
Thanks, Malcolm. I've been so busy defending Western civilization that I've not had much time to learn about it.

Next time you pass Avery Fisher Hall, give my regards to Mr. Maazel for swinging the lumber and directing his work crew in the ongoing construction of the West...
Gypsy Scholar readers, meanwhile, should feel free to laugh at my bold ignorance in its trajectory toward the coincidence of opposites that characterizes Nicholas of Cusa's learned ignorance...

Labels: , , , , , , ,


At 1:56 PM, Blogger Malcolm Pollack said...

A delightful exchange as always, Jeffery. And I certainly hadn't intended my astonished aside regarding your bizarre diurnal rhythms to distract in any way from my readers' appreciation of your excellent (and chilling) post about Hamid.

Though from bed Jeff must climb
while his eyes are still bleary,
it gives him the time
to discuss Zawahiri.

We are all in your debt.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nice verse, Malcolm. It even seems to scan well if one reads the beat properly.

As for the real aim of my posts, well, those Islamists have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me.

Unfortunately, as once upon a time with the British Empire, the sun never sets on the Islamists . . . which means that we Kufr must also form our own worldwide empire of the mind.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Malcolm Pollack said...

Well, of course it scans well, Jeffery. I mean if I'm going to come in and start making myself at home at your website, the least I can do is pay some attention to detail.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Oh, one could always claim the mantle of those beat poets, who were too beat to keep to the beat -- though they were all rather upbeat about their intention to beat the metrical system, so they ought to all get beat up, but I'll be beat if I know who could do that to any dead-beat among them.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Malcolm Pollack said...

Well, when it comes to versifying, I tend to stick to the beaten path. Why? Beats me.

I'd carry on with this sparkling persiflage, but it's late here, and frankly I'm too beat. Anyway, I don't want to beat a dead horse.

So I'll just beat it.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Malcolm, you beat me to the punch.

Ain't English grand!

(Sweet dreams...)

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home