Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Eye (I) of the beholder.

aka:   Aye aye of the beholder.
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To hell in a baby carriage:
Sergei Eisenstein: Battleship Potempkin, 1925, Odessa steps.Daniel Pudles: To hell in a baby carriage.
A baby carriage being particularly apt in light of the population dimension.

Is she ... beautiful?
Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.Alek Wek.
... Not exactly.
["See the pretty girl in the mirror there. What mirror? Where?" (West Side Story)]

Ozias Leduc: self-portrait.Will Self.
Will Self published some notes towards his speech for this year's Richard Hillary memorial lecture in The Guardian. Very interesting ... and rekindled my interest in reading 'Umbrella' (which I tried once before and gave up on as careful readers will already know). Interesting enough to merit archiving a copy - the operative objective correlatives being: children who keep us informed (until they don't); and, 'montage' (see Eisenstein above).

Later on I will see if anyone posts a video of his speech.

[Update: No videos were posted and by the look of the Richard Hillary memorial lecture website none will be. I have tried again, several times, to read the thing and have finally given up - again again again. What continues to strike me is the superficiality of this prose (for all of its, also superficial, complexity). I could cite examples but I can't be bothered. In the end I wonder if he is (just) another poser pretending to be serious - a very smart and clever poser mind you, even, at times, entertaining ... but a poser making a living and no more. Done.]

Urban consciousness loses the plot:
Moudakis: Toronto aspirations.Tom Toles: regulating e-cigarettes.

Smoking, correctitude, & cinema:

That every television story has someone in it smoking is no mystery. Is it? We know TV is driven by consumer statistics.

Maybe I should back up a bit. ... Who really cares about smoking? Even with the (essentially nonsense) risk of second-hand smoke factored in. (The real second-hand issue is something else entirely.) At least smoking is a relatively local sin with relatively local effects. I smoke. If that discredits what I think - boo hoo.

Anyway it's not the smoking I am trying to get at here - it's the structure which promotes it. That television is corrupted by commerce is so commonplace and trite as not to matter, not at all.

But since we have here presented Will Self, who calls himself a serious writer (and well may be one though his writing is not for me), then what about sometimes serious cinema? Eisenstein, Godard, Cameron, Bollain. There is gratuitous & pervasive & ubiquitous smoking in almost all films. And this means that everyone associated in their making knows it.

So ... all this smoke to present a tiny, simple question which I could rephrase entirely as" How does brother Bob feel selling Cadillacs? How does he make sense of it? Does he make sense of it? Hasn't slowed me down listening to 'im. Doesn't matter. Forget it.

The point (brought on looking at Tom Toles' cartoon above) is that it's the wrong question.
James Cameron, 'True Lies': The bad guys smoke.James Cameron, 'True Lies': The good guys smoke.James Cameron, 'True Lies': The gizmos have cigarette brands.
Anyone who remembers LSMFT and who watches such dreck as 'True Lies' deserves whatever he gets.

[And for the record I neither think "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," nor "I don't know nothin'bout art buddi know whuddi like," except referentially.]
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

22nd reprise.

aka    About as well as they treat each other.
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FIRST Bar None Award goes to Murray Minchin and ALL of the good citizens of Kitimat:
Murray Minchin, Kitimat.Murray Minchin, Kitimat.Murray Minchin, Kitimat.

SECOND Bar None Award goes to Greenpeace:
Greenpeace: Arctic Oil Intercepted in Rotterdam, May 1 2014.
There are some ugly rumours about Greenpeace/police negotiations during the Huntsville portion of the 2010 G20 meetings, very ugly, and from credible people too, BUT Greenpeace is about the only group which even approximately confronts the real eco-terrorists on the scene.

So this fat & useless old fuck is standing up here and applauding. Good on 'em!

tOad: Nouveau rapport du GIEC.
Nouveau rapport du GIEC.

New report from IPCC.

On the editorial cartoon front tOad is eloquent as usual, and Erik Allie - so they get first prizes.

Erik Allie: Chicken Little revisited.

Honourable mentions:
Steve Sack: Earth Day 2014.
George Danby: Earth Day 2014.Brian Gable: Humpback Whale extinction.

Unrelated but too good to pass up:
Brian Gable: Blue whale beached in Newfoundland.Anon: Fair Elections Act.

One day before the Greenpeace action and half a world away in Lynchburg Virginia:
Lynchburg to Yorkton Virginia map.Lynchburg Virginia derailment.
Lynchburg Virginia derailment.Lynchburg Virginia derailment.
The railroad is CSX Transportation. As usual, their website stresses that they are "the safest, most progressive North American railroad" and yes, they have lines in Quebec and Ontario.

None of the news stories are telling me whose oil they were carrying or exactly where it was going beyond Yorktown.

Antonin Artaud:
Antonin Artaud.Antonin Artaud.Antonin Artaud.
'Van Gogh le suicidé de la société' [Van Gogh, The Man Suicided by Society], Paris, 1947. He died a year later (aged 51).

What would you call it? 'Hard-core'?
Petter Hegre: anorexic orgasm.Petter Hegre: anorexic orgasm.
But what is it exactly? A brutally anorexic young woman having her perfectly hairless pudenda massaged by an apparently aroused masseuse. She keeps her eyes closed (absorbed in the sensations no doubt) and then suddenly opens them, twice - I guess that's supposed to represent moments of orgasm.
Angeli: Chiclete Com Banana.

A footnote:
Left hand.Right hand."Bird lives!" 'Ζει!' Zi! [He] Lives! (referring to Grigoris Lambrakis). "W.A.S.T.E. We Await Silent Tristero's Empire." Morituri te salutamus!

Such grafitti can (easily) be viewed as hopeful, even faithful (as well as cute). Maybe they are collective transcendental conceits - can you say that? Comparable to the Bahá'í notion that 'peace is inevitable'. I happen to be neither hopeful nor faithful, however, my channels are still open - consciousness has been raised albeit negatively.

The hands are placed on the wall and, leaning forward ... unsteady, staggery (in the scuppers with the staggers and jags) one reads the writing on the wall of the pisser:
Gary Trudeau, Doonesbury: Harmonic Convergence, August 17 1987.
Dan Piraro: unicorns.

Harmonic Convergence: Mankind's second chance. It is writ large, somewhere:
"In the cusp of converging ages, one blinding, holy moment of transcendence ... shall transform the Zeitgeist with perfect synchronicity, into the pure, ineffable expression of indivisible ... oneness."

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Friday, May 16, 2014

From limen to lintel.

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[This is another story of failure really; having been unable even to find any context for Pierre Reverdy's aphorism. So then ... more unsafe thinking.]

Pablo Picasso: Saltimbanques/Acrobats, 1905.Pierre Reverdy.Amedeo Modigliani: Pierre Reverdy, 1915.Pierre Reverdy.Pierre Reverdy.

Benett: Porta/Door.The OED admits a confusion: 'limen' directly from Latin = ‘threshold’; and 'lintel' (indirectly) from Latin 'limit' = 'boundary'.

Every stimulus must reach a certain intensity before any appreciable sensation results. This point is known as the threshold or liminal intensity. And some of us are just impatient with every boundary, above and below. (See also 'Gravity's Rainbow'.)

Might as well throw in 'lumen' = 'light' or 'opening' as long as we're in the neighbourhood, and 'lamina' = 'layer' but which might be stretched to 'crack'.

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." (Leonard Cohen)

The thing about 'the secret' is that when you're young you don't need it and by the time you've got it it's no use to you.

Euphony: some sounds feel better than others. 'Præcox' appeals to me particularly. Some common applications:

dementia præcox (primarily schizophrenia);

ejaculatio præcox, running on to: hymen (a digression - or is it?), virgo intacta, proprieties, & correctitude - a crowded nexus;

senium præcox (aka Alzheimer's - 'i before e except after c', not). Senium is mostly just 'old', also feeble or frail but without pejorative - so consider how superior it is to describe the condition, Alz' just being someone's name. 'Early onset Alz'' then, is simply no match for 'senium præcox', doesn't even come close.

See also: apricot, princock, precocious &c.

Terry Gilliam: Brazil.

That exquisite moment at the end of Terry Giliam's 'Brazil' when the torturers exhaust Sam Lowry/Jonathan Pryce's imagination and the diorama runs out. Compared with, say, blogging.

Another euphonic one is 'perfidy', enmity, perfidious Albion ... la perfide Albion, das perfide Albion, la perfida Albione ... Long live Bobby Sands!

Purposefully rebarbative you see (this blog that is), cunningly designed to give you every opportunity to opt out gentle reader.

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner
Eating Christmas pie.
He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said, "What a good boy am I."

Georges Lemaitre.

And then ... 'amity' (having taken the long way round to it).

Two ideas:
1) Pierre Reverdy's aphorism, epigram, whatever: « Il n'y a pas d'amour, il n'y a que des preuves d'amour. » / 'There is no love, there are only proofs of love.'

2) Time viewed as 'human coin'. (Which came to me thanks to my erstwhile friend Georges Lemaitre.)
Now, here's the exercise: Put'em together (if you're able to) and whadd'ya get?

A metric for love! Not exclusive, not the only proof, but one that can be, at least approximately, measured.

Another approach, quite independent, in Ivan Illich's take on the story of the Good Samaritan and his focus on the single word in Luke's version of it: saw (in the phrase "and when he saw him", Luke 10:33).

Yet another in Wolfram von Eschenbach's 'Parzival': "What ails thee?"

Time, interest, attention, care; all measurable in a way and to a degree.

Alberto Giacometti: Pierre Reverdy, ~1960.Alberto Giacometti: Pierre Reverdy, ~1960.Pierre Reverdy.Pierre Reverdy.Pablo Picasso: Saltimbanques/Acrobats, 1905.

Piraro: Karl Rove & Plato.

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."

Beware ...

        the Ides of March;

        the Ancient Mariner if you happen
            to run into him;

        Betty Johnson's 'Little Blue Man'
            taken from either viewpoint;

... a-and ... oh yes ...

        lonesome hearted lovers with
            too personal a tale.
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