A Poem About Leftism (Reprise)

“I ceased not in my efforts to level mankind” — leftism, from a 1983 poem by Zbigniew Herbert. Read along with the musical interpretation below. I posted this a long time ago but this one is worth a revisit from a larger audience and with my improved translation. Theseus was AltRight.

***

   Moje ruchome imperium między Atenami i Megarą
My movable empire between Athens and Megara
   władałem puszczą wąwozem przepaścią sam
I ruled over wilderness canyon abyss alone
   bez rady starców głupich insygniów z prostą maczugą w dłoni
with no advice from stupid old men or insignias but with a primitive club
   odziany tylko w cień wilka i grozę budzący dźwięk słowa Damastes
clad only in the shadow of the wolf and the horrific sound of the word Damastes

   brak mi było poddanych to znaczy miałem ich na krótko
I lacked subjects that is to say I had each one for a short time
   nie dożywali świtu jest jednak oszczerstwem nazwanie mnie zbójcą
they did not live to dawn however it’s slander to call me a murderer
   jak głoszą fałszerze historii
as cry the falsifiers of history

   w istocie byłem uczonym reformatorem społecznym
in essence I was learned social reformer
   moją prawdziwą pasją była antropometria
my true passion was anthropometry

   wymyśliłem łoże na miarę doskonałego człowieka
I devised a crucible for the perfect man
   przyrównywałem złapanych podróżnych do owego łoża
I fit the captured travelers to that bed
   trudno było uniknąć – przyznaję – rozciągania członków obcinania kończyn
it was difficult to avoid – I admit – stretching members cutting limbs

   pacjenci umierali ale im więcej ginęło
patients kept dying but the more perished
   tym bardziej byłem pewny że badania moje są słuszne
the more I was sure that my studies are just
   cel był wzniosły postęp wymaga ofiar
the goal was sublime progress requires sacrifices

   pragnąłem znieść różnicę między tym co wysokie a niskie
I longed to abolish the difference between what is high and what is low
   ludzkości obrzydliwie różnorodnej pragnąłem dać jeden kształt
to humanity disgustingly diverse I longed to give one shape
   nie ustawałem w wysiłkach aby zrównać ludzi
I ceased not in my efforts to level mankind

   pozbawił mnie życia Tezeusz morderca niewinnego Minotaura
Theseus took my life that slayer of the innocent Minotaur
   ten który zgłębiał labirynt z babskim kłębkiem włóczki
he who plumbed the labyrinth with a girl’s bundle of yarn
   pełen forteli oszust bez zasad i wizji przyszłości
so full of trickery without principles or vision of the future
   mam niepłonną nadzieję że inni podejmą mój trud
I have an inextinguishable hope that others will take up my toil
   i dzieło tak śmiało zaczęte doprowadzą do końca
and the masterpiece I started so boldly they’ll lead to its end

***

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22 thoughts on “A Poem About Leftism (Reprise)

  1. Pingback: A Poem About Leftism (Reprise) | Reaction Times

  2. Pasiphae! who with the bull’s blood blessed the cursed Dorian womb
    And a better breed littered in lettered blueblood pisshole Crete,
    Oh the racist Aryan hero hast thy spawn sprung to his tomb,
    And, spiteful cheat, chased hybrid vigor to an unpredicted doom:

    May the tyrant gods delight me to smile upon the schemes of Jew
    And the racist Greek constructions at last learn to beshrew
    The hateful exclusionary premise that man is better’n beast,
    So hip-hop jive will bark at five when dead is shitty Keats

  3. –“bigjohn33”, who hopes that “when the nogs take over” they roast me in an open cage full of feral cats, accused me of being a try-hard copy’n’paster who “spends weeks” preassembling internet insults because I’m “gay” for “him” lolz

    This after she especially flounced her petticoats with a long, tiring menopausal set of advice-questions about husbands who publicly berate their wives– it reminded me hilariously of that bostom_somethingorother commenter at dalrock, with the infamous aircraft carrier/marriage analogy.

    Anyway, I see she’s trying to double down on sounding tough-minded and “serious” and– lo and behold!– young “vanamee” has suddenly rejoined the fray too! With remarks that curiously sound like they’re coming from the same person.

    What tedious fools! Though the above improve continuation is totally unscanned and rather dreadful, I see I shall have to don the poet’s hat and chase these interloping yenta hens off, once more . . . .

  4. –and speaking of literature, I don’t know which is worse:

    1) Steve Sailer calling Portnoy’s Complaint and Goodbye, Columbus brilliant;

    or 2) Vox Day ranking Edgar Allan Poe above Dostoevsky. For cryin’ out loud!

  5. Poe had more raw talent, Dostoyevsky worked much harder. How he could continuously knock off shorter stuff too, steadily piercing gems like Eternal Husband remains an inspiration to any artist. Gide’s book about him is very solid.

  6. D___ had to pay off his gambling debts.

    He fell into the classic gambler’s “logic trap”. He came up with a system whereby he couldn’t lose. (he lost)

    It was a well known logical fallacy (or something) that, on the roulette wheel, you could simply bet double your last loss and thereby inexorably win.

    That was the thought of his character in The Gambler. His system.

    Hmmmm. What’s wrong with that idea. Any spergs want to take up the question?

  7. As i see it, the flaw in that system is that it is based on two assumptions.

    1) there’s no point at which the gambler is bankrupt. Sort of plausible in theory but in practice pretty much never.

    2) upon winning, the gambler will stop. Again: plausible in theory but never in practice.

  8. Yes, I know about the doubling system. I guess I’m a sperglord.

    The trouble is – table limits.

    The system is to double your bet after every loss. The problem is that you only earn one unit back when you win. Soon, you are betting more and more to earn that one unit.

    Most tables have a limit of $500 a hand. 1 2 4 8 15 32 64 128 256 512. So by bet 10, you have hit the limit.

    How often will you lose 10x in a row? Not very often. But sit at the table long enough, it WILL happen. It will work for awhile.

  9. Somesuch: that is fantastic poetry, and I don’t even like poetry. Source?

    Elk & Ryu: indeed the table limits are the problem. I too well remember the summer of ’94, when I became virtually rich playing roulette on my computer, but lost it all at the actual casino.

    Everyone: card counting works when playing Blackjack, and it’s not as hard as it sounds. Look into it.

  10. Pressure changes everything.

    It is easy to be loose when you aren’t playing for real. Murkan cops and soldiers really don’t risk much, when they partake in action.

    I have looked into card counting, and I have done it.

    What about you JJ? You know Kenny Uston and Lawrence Revere?

    To be brief, the problem with advantage play is having a sufficient bankroll, withstanding variance, and heat.

  11. Heat is my bugbear. I have a memorable Viking physique. I’m not good at blending in with the crowd.

    Thinking of transitioning to online BJ. They deal super slowly, and there’s no pit boss to watch your demeanor. YMMV.

  12. “Final Soliloquy Of The Interior Paramour”

    –Wallace Stevens

    Light the first light of evening, as in a room
    In which we rest and, for small reason, think
    The world imagined is the ultimate good.

    This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
    It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
    Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

    Within a single thing, a single shawl
    Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
    A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

    Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
    We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
    A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous,

    Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
    We say God and the imagination are one…
    How high that highest candle lights the dark.

    Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
    We make a dwelling in the evening air,
    In which being there together is enough.

  13. Online BJ doesn’t seem very good.

    First off, you can’t count. They shuffle up after every hand (supposedly) which means the count can’t get very high, even if they use single deck.

    Second, is the threat of casino cheating in those online programs. Wouldn’t take much to totally eliminate any positive expectation.

    Third, no wonging. You can’t enter a shoe when its positive. You are literally starting from zero every shuffle.

    The only areas that seem to benefit the advantage player today are poker, live BJ and sometimes video poker. Sometimes there are “bonuses” which can make a game profitable. Pre 2005 a PUA named Tynan paid college kids to play BS on online BJ to get bonuses, which made it worthwhile.

    You should be proud, JJ. I am always on the lookout for good WN gamblers. They have a very special ability. You are the 4th I have found.

    I will write more on this at my site.

    The proper background for action is professional gambling. Action is about risk, calculation and discipline. If you have a positive edge, you want to “play” as long as possible. White males excel at card counting and poker.

  14. Lucius Somesuch, that was extraordinary — my congratulations. I disliked the last line, but that might be the way it should be.

  15. I’m very happy to see peterike commenting again.

    I’ve heard of Wallace Stevens, but have never really explored his canon. If you have more recommendations I’ll be happy to read them.

    Edgar Allen Poe had a moment on Literate Right social media recently, as it was his 209th birthday on 1/19.

    My father introduced me to Murders in the Rue Morgue when I was in high school. One of the best short stories I have ever read.

    I wonder how much Poe is read these days. He is certainly a household name, but I rarely see references to his work aside from the most obvious ones, such as The Raven and Tell-Tale Heart. He was a pure genius and deserves to be further explored and discussed.

  16. “Anecdote of the Jar” is Wallace Steven’s best known poem. It’ll leave you thinking.

    I have the first four verses of Poe’s “The Raven” memorized and can recite it dramatically. Thougt I’d share. At some point will get back to working on memorizing the entire poem.

    — Lucius Somesuch, that was extraordinary — my congratulations (Glengarry)

    Seconded!

  17. Ryu, I’d like to read your stuff. Url?

    Also, I discovered a good online BJ site (name escapes me, but I can find it if you need it) where the dealers are live (occasionally cute, at least for Latinas) and you can still wong vicariously because they let you place bets on others’ hands mid-shoe. So long as your chosen player follows basic strategy, you’re good. The rub is the distinct lack of penetration, as in cut card only three decks deep.

  18. Grammatick nitpick though:

    Oh the racist Aryan hero hast thy spawn sprung to his tomb,

    “hast” -> “hath”. Thou hast, he hath.

  19. Jaded Jurist,

    I blog at eradica.wordpress.com.

    Now that site sounds interesting. I’d like to visit that site – there may be $$$ to be made.

    As you know, we usually use a single level count with predetermined bets and plays to make things simpler at the casino. This makes a counter’s play predicatable and draws heat.

    “The ultimate” is a computer that can simulate the “correct play” (that maximized expected value) on each and every hand. Combine this with a history of the discards. Far beyond what a human could do, but easy for a machine.

    I’d bet the computer would come up with all sorts of crazy cover plays, not splitting aces and eights, hitting hard 18 vs 10, A or other stuff.. Ken Uston talked about two measures, maximizing playing efficiency and maximizing betting efficiency.

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