Saturday, 1 June 2013


                                                 ... feral.                         Happy Birthday Babe!                 Up, Down.               Marilyn, 1926. 

Doonesbury: These people are my peers?Doonesbury: These people are my peers?Doonesbury: These people are my peers?
Contents:   Cartoons, Ok-lahoma! (you know that tune), The Meat of the Matter, How can it be?  K'bye.

George Monbiot has published a book called 'Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding' which I will not likely read but seeing it advertised on The Guardian website reminded me of what I know about the feral condition. 'Rewilding' is redolent of teen spirit correctitude; moreso when coupled with 'enchantment'.

I keep this photograph of an onça pintada taken by Araquém Alcântara as my desktop background to remind me of what feral means, and of what it does not mean. Alvaro noticed it.

[Christy Clark the cute Liberal B.C. premier seems to have kiboshed the Northern Gateway. (?) Who can believe a word these people say? Here's Joe Oliver's lame response.] 

I wonder sometimes if the Globe's editors slide some of Brian Gable's insights off to the side for use another day (which never comes); but in May there are five that stand out. Maybe they have spent long enough polishing Stephen Harper's turds, and have decided not to pull so many of their punches. (Mind you, the last one has no signature. Could it be a guilty conscience?)

Greg Perry's stands out even more.

When Lula commented after the tsunami hit Aceh in 2004 that it was a 'what goes around comes around' kind'a thing he showed his lack of understanding - he later corrected himself as I remember. A-and scientists are properly careful not to make direct causal connections between specific weather events and 'the environmental apocalypse' in its climate warming/changing aspect.

Nevertheless and notwithstanding all'a that ...
tOad: Carte/Map.Tornado near Wichita Kansas, May 2013.Tornado near South Haven Kansas, May 2013.Tornado near Moore Oklahoma, May 2013.Tornado near Moore Oklahoma, May 2013.
Moore Oklahoma, May 2013.Moore Oklahoma, May 2013.Moore Oklahoma, May 2013.
Consider f'rinstance the numbers of shelters constructed in a zone which has been badly hit many times - in recent memory: May 3 1999 & May 8 2003 & now, May 19 2013. 
tOad.The French cartoonist tOad is coming up in my estimation to a position beside André Dahmer. There are two sites I follow: a collection of what look like daily cartoons in a blog at Le Monde; and an ~weekly collection of magazine illustrations.

With the latter he sometimes includes cryptic rhyming couplets (which my French is insufficient to make sense of). The one above with the eloquent red line carries:tOad.
            Du dessin qui décrit à celui qui décrète
            Il y a un pas pris sur des lignes de crête.
With the help (?) of Google Translate the best I can make of it is:
            From the drawing that describes to the one who decrees
            A step is taken on rising lines.
Which is not very good I know ...

He put out an eloquent series on the UNFCCC fiasco ... just a sec ... here. Many of the daily ones are topical and go completely over my head, but some of the images stick firmly and I return again and again to look at them. This one: Violences, with a caption (sort of translated by the author this time) blows me away:
tOad: Violences.            Personne ne répond, n’a rien contre ni pour,
            Sur le champ du social les plus durs coups sont sourds.
            Society fears outbreaks of violence
            It nestles and steers with unflinching silence.
I make it:
            No one answers, there is nothing for or against,
            On the social field the hardest hits are deaf.

Black Betty had a baby. BAM-BE-LAM. (!) 

André Dahmer, Malvados: Utopia.André Dahmer, Malvados: Utopia.André Dahmer, Malvados: Utopia.
        [Utopia is for old folks. Young people like money.
         You don't think about changing the world?
         If they pay me well ...]

The meat of the matter:   Eutopia: (another one'a them eu- words) from Greek εὐ (a form of ἐύς) 'good' + τόπος 'place' = 'a good place'. Utopia: οὐ 'not' + τόπος 'place' = 'not a place'. Neither the same nor opposites.

Northrop Frye mentions utopias as category five (or something) of comedy/satire in 'Anatomy of Criticism' (1957), Third Essay: Archetypal Criticism: Theory of Myths. He treats the subject more fully in 'Varieties of Literary Utopias' (1965).

He doesn't take on Doris Lessing anywhere that I can find. I am sort of surprised that he didn't demolish her somewhere along the line. Here is her preface, Some Remarks, to Shikasta (1979). Make of it what you will. That she claims Old Testament antecedents is a stunner - beyond some superficial echoes of certain stories I guess that part must'a went over my head. She is awarded a Nobel prize for literature in 2007. Imagine! Read her acceptance speech.

The term 'space cadet' comes to mind, possibly coined for Lessing herself. Also 'air head'. How far can you go on sentiment & superstition? Far. Consider Cloud Atlas f'rinstance.

[Also try this for some crit-lite. If I were going to frame a myth around endings it might be more like Byatt's Ragnarök. (I have noted some shortcomings of Byatt's take on Abishag elsewhere.)] 

John Wesley.John Wesley.John Wesley.How can it be?   This phrase by John Wesley (1703-1791) has appeared here before. It's a rhetorical device, a ploy; sure, and maybe that's all that it is.

There are (at least) three settings: two found on-line (these are Midi files and will play with Windows Media Player) - Sagina by Thomas Campbell 1777-1844, and Surrey by Henry Carey 1687-1743; and a third, Peniel by Josiah Booth 1852-1930, not found but mentioned in the 1930 edition of the United Church hymn book.

I've sung these tunes with all my heart; but it's the single phrase - How can it be? - that makes it believable, that connects it; not as a matter of truth but like a joke you can understand whether you find it funny or not. An objective correlative in human terms (and also of course, possibly, a rhetorical device).

Voltaire, Candide & Cunegonde in the garden.Another phrase - "necessary & sufficient" - which comes (as I remember it) from Voltaire poking fun at Leibniz in Candide. This is exactly what I have been thinking about the environmental justice movement: What are the necessary & sufficient actions to stop the madness? And it blows my mind that not a single person will speak to me about it. 
Here's Bill Moyers interviewing Tim DeChristopher: on Vimeo or Moyers' website. Tim is on his way to Harvard Divinity School in the fall, to become a Unitarian minister he says (somewhat uncertainly) ...
Bill Moyers & Tim DeChristopher.Bill Moyers & Tim DeChristopher.
It's funny because after watching Bidder 70 I poked around for a Unitarian church to attend some Sunday; test for effect, suck it and see - decided against it for no particular reason.

It's not my place to be second guessing Tim DeChristopher ... still ... can't help but wonder. Didn't the phrase noli illegitimi carborundum originate in some divinity school somewhere? Is another preacher necessary? Sufficient? 
In Higgs Boson Blues Nick Cave sings, "Who cares? Who cares what the future brings?" Good question(s). A heroin addict apparently, with a decent version of Black Betty too ...

And a tip of the hat to Alvaro in San Salvador who tells me that dirty gold mining (by Canadians) there is even worse than in Brasil because El Salvador is so much smaller - which I do not understand at first, but then, yes.

Nothing to do with Tim DeChristopher or the 'movement', certainly not Alvaro & El Salvador; but it suddenly pops into the forebrain entire:
Their brief history is characterized by incessant defeat. The very name of the tribe, A----, is the word for corpse in the language of all the neighboring tribes. There is no record that this unfortunate people ever won a single battle, while the songs and legends of its enemies are virtually nothing but a sustained howl of triumph. (Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers.)
Must be a fugal thing ... life is increasingly one non sequitur after another.

The wasps have started coming in again and getting trapped against the window. After a day or so they slow down enough to be caught with a draft glass and a piece of paper and I put them out. An annual ritual of some kind. Here's Bob with Duquesne Whistle: "You're like a time bomb in my heart." Feral too in his way. Maybe it's a condition of age.

The copyright maggots have taken down the clip of the ending of Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Don't they know clips like that work for them? If selling movies is what they want that is - must be something else they want then. See what I can do later on. Here: last two minutes.

Short answer: There's too many books already! Let's burn some! (kidding :-)
Esteja bem. 

Laerte Coutinho, Piratas Do Tietê: Technicamente estou livre / Technically I am free.Laerte Coutinho, Piratas Do Tietê: Technicamente estou livre / Technically I am free.Laerte Coutinho, Piratas Do Tietê: Technicamente estou livre / Technically I am free.
Belo Monte, Monday May 27 2013.Belo Monte, Monday May 27 2013.Belo Monte, Monday May 27 2013.
 ¿por qué estamos indignados? 
"This is not an ideological revolution. It is driven by an authentic desire to get what you need."

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