Saturday, August 30, 2003

My Favourite Film: "Last Year at Marienbad would be the greatest movie of all time if it were not so elegant, elitist and ephemeral."

Delphine Seyrig in 'L'Année dernière à Marienbad'

In a sprawling baroque hotel, a stranger, X, tries to persuade a married woman, A, to leave her husband, M, and run away with him. He reminds her of her promise when they met a year ago, at Marienbad, but the woman seems not to remember that meeting.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Monday, August 18, 2003

these people first convinced me that the Internet could be a creative medium

if ( 1 + 1 == 1 ) { e8z = true; };

a thought from JL Borges
'I considered that even in the human languages there is no proposition that does not imply the entire universe: to say 'the tiger' is to say the tigers that begot it, the deer and turtles devoured by it, the grass on which the deer fed, the earth that was mother to the grass, the heaven that gave birth to the earth.'

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Weebl and Bob - early years

My Little Dog
Once, on the beautiful island of Corfu, I had a little dog. He loved me, and I’m not ashamed to say that I loved him too. He was a mongrel, small, wiry haired, a sort of dusty yellow in colour, and ninety per cent terrier I’d say. It was his eyes that I remember most fondly. The small, bright, intelligent, pleading, affectionate eyes, looking up at me with the head cocked quizzically to one side. I remember that expression in the eyes, an expression of absolute love and devotion. I have a picture of him in exactly this posture. Sitting there on the sand, looking beseechingly in my direction, wondering, no doubt, what exactly I was doing with the black thing that was my camera. I went for a little swim in the sea that early summer morning, and sure enough he followed me, dog-paddling furiously in my wake. Alas, I cannot find the photograph.

Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling
For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli. Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spikingwerld.
Mark Twain

Monday, August 11, 2003

My memories are like coins in the devil's purse: when you open it you find only dead leaves.
JP Sartre
"A good man is intelligent, and a bad man is also an idiot. Moral and intellectual characteristics go together."

Yes, in most cases. But what about evil men of high intelligence - of which there have been many? The more refined intelligence becomes the closer it approaches to idiocy, closing the circle. We acknowledge this in the notion of the 'absent-minded professor'.

A powerful intellect probing the nature of morality finds what? An excuse (or possibly a compulsion) to be evil? Dostoevsky was very concerned with this particular question.
"If you wish to savour your good qualities, commit the occasional sin."
Ugo Ojetti

Friday, August 08, 2003

Henry Raddick Reviews - currently 284 little gems including

Know Your Pug by Pet Library Ltd
Tremendous February 24, 2002
An excellent guide which is helping me get to know my pug Grendel, which is not an easy job. My children have taken to attaching surprisingly realistic stick-on ears to his rump and he turned around and bit me recently when I tried to put a piece of cheese rind into what I thought was his mouth.

Pocket Massage for Stress Relief by Clare Maxwell-Hudson
Excellent May 20, 2002
A tremendous book to help soothe and relax. I tried a little "pocket massage" on a train recently - it certainly relieved the stress, but do remember to choose your venue with care, especially if you are using essential oils.

Tom Cruise (Overcoming Adversity) by Phelan Powell
Pig-ignorance no bar to fame and fortune February 11, 2002
The public only see the glamour - but Phelan Powell shows the significant obstacles Tom Cruise has overcome in order to live his life of pampered opulence. In Cruise's case dyslexia was the obstacle - it nearly cost him the part of the barman in "Cocktail" (he thought it was a film about cockatiels and told his agent he "didn't do parrots") and he bought his own wildebeeste to research the part of Lt Maverick Mitchell in "Top Gnu".

The Pop-Up Book of Phobias by Gary Greenberg
Tremendous August 27, 2001
This pop-up book is sure to be a winner - the spiders and snakes seem to leap out of the page at you. Well-conceived and beautifully executed, it even had something for my homophobic Uncle Sandy.

Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays by Stephen W. Hawking
Excellent August 7, 2001
An excellent read, though I was alarmed at the prospect of the Earth being crushed by a super-massive black hole in around 3 billion years time. Then again, I'm a glass-half-empty sort of a person.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

The easiest person to deceive is one's self.
Edward Bulwer Lytton

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Under cherry trees
there are
no strangers.
Issa (1763 - 1827)

I perceive the positions of kings and rulers as that of dust motes; gold and gems as bricks and pebbles; the finest silken robes as tattered rags; myriad worlds of the universe as small seeds of fruit; the greatest lake in India as but a drop of oil on my foot; the teachings of the world as the illusions of magicians; the highest conception of emancipation as a golden brocade in a dream; the holy path of the illuminated ones as flowers in the eyes; meditation as a pillar of a mountain; nirvana as a nightmare of daytime; the judgement of right and wrong as the serpentine dance of a dragon; the rise and fall of beliefs as but the traces left by the four seasons.
attributed to the Buddha
I wrote this a long time ago ...

Joseph of Copertino
Presiding at his first Christmas Mass
he gave a small sob, a great cry,
rose into the air and began to fly.

The congregation was astonished.

Suspected of devil-worship
the dull-witted but extremely pious
monk flew for Pope Urban the Eighth,
Princess Marie of Savoy,
several Cardinals,
The Great Admiral of Castille
and Helen of Troy.

At an estimated height of four feet
he flew like a bird for all to see
and landed in an almond tree.

Even when the flying monk died
he hovered - or so it’s said -
a full palm's width above the bed.
I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not wean'd till then ?
But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be ;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.
John Donne
'La femme est un cadeau qui vous choisit.'
Georges Brassens
no snowflake ever falls in the wrong place

Tuesday, August 05, 2003