Saturday, September 05, 2009

Le Marteau Sans Maitre

One of my art teachers from decades ago described this tool as a "many-headed hammer."

There are never two sides to an argument. Or rather, there are never only two sides. That is why I crinkle and bristle every time I hear the phrase "both sides of the argument."

We all know that, yet the useage of the phrase persists and it is consistantly abused. Two opposing ideas are all too often inappropriately given equal credence.

For example, someone like Glenn Beck may assert that "the moon is full of laser-eyed Moslem beavers who pose an imminent threat to the safety of all good American families." An opposing voice says "no, it's a barren mini-planet and quite harmless, actually." And so the discussion may proceed, as if each idea were equally respectable.

It does not matter that we consider two sides to every story, because we all know there are as many sides as there are heads on the carver's hammer. What really matters is that the hammer has a master...

Not a clown wielding it.

Bourreaux de solitude

Le pas s'est éloigné le marcheur s'est tu
Sur le cadran de l'Imitation
Le Balancier lance sa charge de granit réflexe.


Executioners of solitude

The step has gone away the walker fell silent
On the face of Imitation
The Pendulum throws its load of granite reflex.

Rene Char, 1934.

This text was used by Pierre Boulez in his 1955 song-cycle Le Marteau Sans Maitre.

1 comment:

wunelle said...

Glenn Beck is beneath contempt. Another in a long line of people who should be systematically disregarded.