Thanksgiving Is Ruined
December 14, 2014
"Is it because I'm nappy? Why yu suh trigger happy?"
Steel Pulse's brand new "Hands Up I Can't Breathe": here
Hit the very same day as these events.
SP's most topical tune in 30 + years?
November 23, 2014
generally funnier and more self-deprecating than expected
west on the other hand was 1st or only to mention (roughly in order) all of the following:
October 15, 2014
through confusion wisdom
Mary the maid, in Ionesco's The Bald Soprano:
Who has any interest in prolonging [faire durer] this confusion? I don't know. Let's not try to know. Let's leave things as they are.
[above rendering taken from this]
Later in the play:
Mr. Smith: Take a circle, caress it, and it will turn vicious.
one of the most observant or at least funniest works of art inspired by the attempt (and often failure) to learn a new language.
September 30, 2014
On Nerval's mad library
This is TiR's very favorite passage from Aurélia, written around 1853-4:
(above translation taken from this)
Mind you, Nerval is describing the decor of his room in a lunatic asylum. He claims his possessions in this chamber -- "an odd interior composed of palace and hovel" -- to include also a canopy bed, ornate 17th and 18th century furnishings with porcelain inlays, a crystal vase, a hookah pipe, wood paneling from his former home, oil paintings, a huge map of Cairo, and twenty years worth of various other personal momentos.
The reader at first may assume with some justification that the writer is madly hallucinating it all, as he has so much already throughout his book-journal.
Arthur Symons, in his The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899), laid into Nerval and his library:
(Symon's whole book as .txt file = here)
Symons says this like it's a bad thing?
August 31, 2014
moi, global village idiot
Like the village idiot [l'innocent du village], I see the vision, I hear the mode
And the instrument, but the words like a herd of stumbling buffaloes [un troupeau de buffles confus]
Bump against my teeth and my voice opens on the void.
The last chord hushed, and I must begin again at zero,
Learn once again this language so strange and ambiguous [si étrangère et double] . . .
from Léopold Sédar Senghor's "Elegy for Martin Luther King (for jazz orchestra)"
methinks TiR often feels this way, this summer / year, esp. whenever after reading the daily newspapers
July 31, 2014
June 12, 2014
from Brazuca to Banzhaf
Below is TiR's current favorite World Cup factoid, about 2014's official soccer ball, the Brazuca, which replaces the little loved Jabulani from last time around:
"To stem criticism this time, Adidas showed the ball to more than 600 of the world's top players, a third of whom were not Adidas-contracted players."
(from USA Today)
Adidas seems to be a believer in weighted voting -- if not in its shareholders meetings (TiR is too lazy to figure that one out), at least with regard to footballs.
We glean that the Banzhaf power index might be what one resorts to, to make sense of these things.
A quite good Sports Illustrated profile of the factory where the ball is manufactured, in Sialkot, Pakistan, is here.
Though, as stated therein, four-fifths of all of its raw materials come from China.
Basic monthly salary at the factory? 10,000 rupees, per here.
Current US dollar equiv.? $102.90, per here.
Current price of an official Brazuca on Amazon? $144
Yes, TiR knows that you saw the last link coming a mile away.
May 31, 2014
discussion with B. Eno in which he recalled that for a time in early 70s he experimented w/ painting random letters onto his eyelids as part of his everyday makeup.
TiR asked him if he began with the easiest letters to paint whilst looking in a mirror, i.e., those with vertical line symmetry
e.g., A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W, X, Y
he replied that, yes, that's exactly what he did
2 posts here w/in 4 mos. that relate dreams? involving musicians?
are these indeed the depths to which this blog has sunk?
April 30, 2014
Hopefully, it won't be, in the case of issue # 12, the latest, spring 2014 edition of Or, the "literary tabloid," edited by Paul Vangelisti, of the Graduate Writing program at Otis College of Art & Design.
Nevertheless, the ominous phrase above is emblazoned, unexplained, on the cover of #12.
TiR's glimpsing it caused us to put the new issue aside and leave it unread for days, then weeks, until a moment when we felt greater fortitude to open it and read the likely announcement of the death of yet another terrific print publication.
However: no such announcement! we are happy to (not) find, apparently, behind the cover and within the contents. Or on-line.
What a scare.
Would be a greater shame than ever to lose Or, given that, only last month, it published in # 11 a poem that TiR believes might be the most wonderful that we have ever read about a library:
It's downtown but it's in the mountains. It has no computers but there's a full bar (the bartenders double as librarians). The walls are solid books except for the plate glass facing the redwood groves. Late last night, or was it early this morning, they were serving Akhmatova gimlets while a chanteuse was scatting a remarkably long riff of Dewey decimals. . . . This place is a refuge at all hours, a shelter for those with no place else to go, and there's always entertainment, dead or alive. . . The barkeeps recommend books -- no bestsellers . . . These nights and days on the last barricades before paper is obsolete have the intense flavor of our final kiss, when we could savor Paradise disappearing. . . .
The above is approximately half of "My Dream Library" by Stephen Kessler.
[The latest issue, meanwhile, features Amiri Baraka's* fashion this, from the irony of the world (2003):
. . . Each night I fill my notebooks with formula
And instructions to myself and others on what to do of what to study of where to
Go who to talk to and when. I make lists of words, names, events, processes,
necessary stages of what we have come to realize is protracted. And what we do we
*now "lift[ed] into the outer waygonsphere"?
TiR often wonders whether the true ur- or sous-texte of this blog is the death, and survival, of print culture.
April 29, 2014
April's top dozen
Peter Trawny on Heidegger's Denktagebuch: "This is a point that we can't contextualize any more. No hermeneutics can save this."
Piketty on how le passé dévore l'avenir; S. Durlauf on abolition as "the most important anti-inequality movement in the history of the country"
Lola Beltrán's "Te Traigo Estas Flores"
Francis Francine's ritualistic transformation in "Lonesome Cowboys"
["Lonesome Cowboys" filming location today]
the great Fran Lebowitz: "I’m sick of looking at Andy’s work, and even sicker of his disciples."
Chuito el de Bayamón's "El Niño Campesino"