“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Future - A Man on the Outside

Leonard Cohen

A published poet and a novelist before he picked up a guitar, Cohen built his tower of song slowly. He honed his early songs on the Greek island of Hydra in the early 60s, where he met his first muse, Marianne Ihlen. In 1966, he visited New York en route to Nashville where he planned to make an album in the mould of the great traditional country singers. This fateful stopover brought him into the orbit of folkies such as Joan Baez and Judy Collins. The latter recorded Suzanne and Dress Rehearsal Rag as straight folk ballads a year before he invested them with the required mystery on his debut solo album, the stark Songs of Leonard Cohen.
In New York, he also met Nico, singer with the Velvet Underground, with whom he became besotted – Take This Longing is a naked expression of his unrequited love. Living in the Chelsea hotel, he bedded the doomed Janis Joplin and later hymned her in the famous – and equivocal – song of the same name. His songs of love and loss were slow and haunting, even more so than the solo acoustic songs of his Canadian contemporaries Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, while his deep, almost deadpan voice, as every contemporary reviewer noted, was an acquired taste in an era of often baroque musical excess.
And yet, listening now to those early albums, you hear someone who, for all his inexperience in the recording studio, his angst at what they might do to his songs, sounds remarkably self-contained. Back then, he stood outside the traditional singer-songwriter genre, and, to a degree, he has remained an outsider since, while always sounding somehow older and wiser than any of his contemporaries. “He was a man,” John Simon, who produced Songs of Leonard Cohen, said years later, “while the other rock acts I worked with were boys.”


  1. .... from the 1992 album of the same name. --

  2. - First We Take Manhattan - Leonard Cohen

    Music video by Leonard Cohen performing First We Take Manhattan. (C) 1988 Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.

  3. >>We don’t have to spend too much time on economic statistics to divine China’s future. All we have to do is note what the Chinese themselves are doing, which is leaving. As John Lee notes, the richest 1% of households (2.1 million out of a total of about 520 million households) own 40-50% of the country’s total real estate and financial assets. This is the result you would expect from a state-sanctioned kleptocracy. These wealthy people are voting with their feet. In a survey last year of almost 1,000 Chinese each worth over $16 million, nearly two-thirds had made arrangements to leave the country permanently or were planning to do so. This group are particularly well-informed on China’s prospects, with 90% of the 1,000 polled being officials or members of the Chinese Communist Party. These are people who have stolen what they can and now think that wealth preservation is more important than hanging around to steal some more. The rats are leaving the sinking ship.<<

    January 28, 2015
    As China Plans for War, the US Renames its Battle Plan
    By David Archibald

    The Pentagon has relabelled its battle plan for fighting China in the Western Pacific. The battle plan formerly known as AirSea Battle is from now on to be known as “Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons.” This is very good news because the use of the term Global Commons in the title goes to the heart of what is at stake for the United States and the rest of the free world.

    China is intent upon starting a war with Japan and seizing a large patch of ocean in Southeast Asia. What most people don’t realise about the Chinese nine-dash-claim of territoriality in the South China Sea is that it is not so much about gaining area and resources but excluding others.

    Read more:

  4. Thalia, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Aventura Obama at The White House

    You're welcome, Deuce :)

  5. Quirk visits his lover, Maria -