Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nagusami / 31

The bakufu, whose first priority was to uphold the social order and public security, designated the “bad places” as spaces of controlled release (nagusami), where citizens’ excess energy could be channeled and where it was understood that there would be no criticism of the existing order. -- Haruo Shirane, Early Modern Japanese Literature 1600 – 1900

The trouble, of course, is in the phrase “no criticism of the existing order.” As if we might wile away our time in nagusami while the president completes the destruction of the globe.

Instead what we aim for is sustenance in small packages. To sustain life with tiny barely noticeable gestures.

Turn the page with your one beautiful leisurely hand, while the other is handcuffed to the gate of the weapons manufacturer. Here’s a little something to read--while you wait for your case to come to trial.

Continue the heroics. We are pleased to serve sandwiches.

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