Saturday, November 29, 2003

Asking if computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim

'Carbon lies at the centre of life, its ubiquitous and indispensable ingredient. Carbon atoms link together in chains, and bind with other atoms, to make the whole array of organic chemicals that constitute life itself, from DNA to toenails. Only one other atom is as versatile as carbon, and that is silicon, which comprises the essential ingredient of many rock-forming minerals. It, too, can hold hands with its neighbours through large molecules. Silicon chip technology exploits its properties, and it is not a coincidence that silicon intelligence is portrayed as the only possible rival to that of our own carbon-based brain.'
Richard Fortey

'Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labour.'
Werner von Braun

Friday, November 28, 2003

Sharwoods say they will continue using the name Bundh on a new range of curry sauces even though it translates as 'arse'. A spokesman said: 'We hope that once people taste the delicious meals they can produce, they will agree that it is miles apart from the [similar] Punjabi word ...'

A German politician wants to replace the ticking noise traffic lights make for blind people with bird sounds. But a fellow politician pointed out it could be dangerous: 'If a real bird sings nearby, a blind person could walk straight into a car'.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Green Mountain
You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.

Li Po
Love Sonnet XI
I crave your mouth, your voice, you hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda’s Lion
‘The man who doesn’t play has lost forever the
child who lived in him, and he will certainly miss him.’

In a blue Santiago home sits a stuffed lion
teller of tales no-one would believe
answerer of difficult questions

The poet wrestled with him on the sofa
he accompanied him on official engagements
sitting in the front seat of his car

The man-child swallowed the world
coloured feathers, broken fans
shattered glass, charred lines in the mud
bottles, monstrosities, shells
insects embalmed in glass
Olive Senior’s umbilical chord
the string from a kite, pipes, teeth
eggs, even a black steam engine
resembling Walt Whitman

He wrote in green ‘the colour of life’
built this house in blue for a third wife
with leafy courtyards and winding paths
named it La Chascona after her unruly hair
and like the lion-roaring sun here and there
he placed a bough of bright fruit to sit
against the darkness of her dress

In the dappled shade of the garden
two paths ascend side by side
one straight, one crooked, leading to
the high ground near the library

The stranger must choose a way

In Che Guevara’s duffel bag a dog-eared
book of verse which he read aloud each night
twenty love poems – only twenty?
and a song of despair – only one?

Happy life overlooking the drinkable sea
telescope by the bed
with only the lion’s roar of Lorca
assassinated on the streets of Madrid
still echoing in his head.

Alan E
'A friend is someone you can be with in silence.'
Camillo Sbarbaro
'Arguments out of a pretty mouth are unanswerable.'
Joseph Addison

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

here we go here we go
Poet laureate Andrew Motion is seeking a Premiership football 'Chant Laureate'. He will chair a panel to sift through chants submitted by candidates for the first £10,000 bursary covering next season. "Chants and songs of fans are an art form and the lifeblood of the terraces, typifying the spirit, the passion and the wit of the yadda yadda yadda ..."
Sheep are able to recognise other sheep from pictures. Researchers showed pictures of sheep’s faces to sheep, and gave them rewards if they went towards the correct pictures. The sheep’s brains showed activity similar to that found in humans on recognising familiar faces, and they were still able to recognise other sheep from pictures two years later.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Get Drunk
.... And if, at some time, on the steps of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the bleak solitude of your room,
you are waking and the drunkenness has already abated,
ask the wind, the wave, the stars, the clock,
all that which flees,
all that which groans,
all that which rolls,
all that which sings,
all that which speaks,
ask them, what time it is;
and the wind, the wave, the stars, the birds, and the clock,
they will all reply:

'It is time to get drunk!' ...

A Calculation ...
Nothing exists without a purpose.
Therefore my existence has a purpose.
What purpose? I do not know.
Therefore, it is not I who have appointed that purpose. It is someone wiser than I.

Charles Baudelaire
Conceive me as a dream of stone:
my breast, where mortals come to grief,
is made to prompt all poets' love,
mute and noble as matter itself.

With snow for flesh, with ice for heart,
I sit on high, an unguessed sphinx
begrudging acts that alter forms;
I never laugh, I never weep.

In studious awe the poets brood
before my monumental pose
aped from the proudest pedestal,
and to bind these docile lovers fast
I freeze the world in a perfect mirror:

The timeless light of my wide eyes.

Fevered lovers and austere thinkers
Love equally, in their ripe season
Cats powerful and gentle, pride of the house
Like them they feel the cold, like them are sedentary

Friends of science and sensuality
They seek the silence and the horror of the shadows
Erebus had taken them for its funeral coursers
Could they to servitude incline their pride.

Dreaming, they take on noble postures
Great sphinxes stretched out in the depths of emptiness
Seeming to fall asleep into an endless dream.

Their fertile loins are full of magic sparks
And nuggets of gold like fine sand
Vaguely bestir their mystic pupils.

Charles Baudelaire

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Tibet [broadband users only!]
Fare Forward
There is an unseen abyss which separates each of us from the truth about our existence. Only the poet and madman know this terrible place where the demons of fear and chaos hold sway, but only the poet can escape it again. Hence his motto: 'fare forward!'. When we throw ourselves into the uncharted realms of imagination we see that this world is no more than a fading spark in an infinite, unfathomable universe of fire and darkness; that our own individuality amounts to nothing, and that in the face of these great and powerful forces we are utterly insignificant, a mere feather borne on the winds of Fate. However, the very act of grasping this profound and chastening truth may just be enough to open the door to another, altogether different, realm, and, paradoxically, at the very moment we discover our insignificance we may finally come to understand our significance. Beyond the abyss there is a safe haven. Fare forward!
Alain de Pruno

'Là, tout n'est qu'ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté.'
Charles Baudelaire

'Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.'
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
To live and die before a mirror
'The dandy can only play a part by setting himself up in opposition. He can only be sure of his own existence by finding it in the expression of other's faces. Other people are his mirror - a mirror that quickly becomes obscured because human capacity for attention is severely limited. It must therefore be ceaselessly stimulated and provoked. The dandy is always compelled to astonish. Singularity is his vocation, excess his path to perfection. Perpetually incomplete, forever on the margin of things, he forces others to create him, while denying their values. He plays at life because he is unable to live it.'
Albert Camus
Twa Scotsmen in a Flother
Today saw the first fa’ o’ snaw
And every flaw wis different.

Crumpin’ through the flother
I met anither, who passing says,
Aye, it’s no a snitter ...
Nor penitent or lopper, says I,
Nor snew, says he breezily,
Mair like a wapping blizzard.

Today saw the first fa’ o’ snaw
And every flaw wis different.
Archibald Buchanan

The rose of all the world is not for me
I want for my part
Only the little white rose of Scotland
That smells sharp and sweet - and breaks the heart.
Hugh MacDiarmid

'So that was Chris and her reading and schooling, two Chrisses there were that fought for her heart and tormented her. You hated the land and the coarse speak of the folk and learning was brave and fine one day; and the next you'd waken with the peewits crying across the hills, deep and deep, crying in the heart of you and the smell of the earth in your face, almost you'd cry for that, the beauty of it and the sweetness of the Scottish land and skies.'
Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song
More Fog
My grandmother was an avid collector of fog which she kept, carefully labelled, in small coloured glass bottles underneath her bed. Some of them, such as ‘Jack the Ripper’ and ‘Dr Jekyll’, were extremely rare, and one - ‘Fog de Montmartre’ - would surely have provided a suitable method of clothing une grande horizontale. Apart from its obvious use in preserving the dignity of mountains or ladies of the night, fog can also be effectively deployed in the preservation of certain books, which should be enveloped in it as soon as they are purchased. Books which respond well to this treatment include Wittgenstein’s ‘Tractatus’, Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’, Sarte’s ‘Being and Nothingness’, anything by Foucault or Derrida, and sundry literary effusions of Sir Roy Strong.

Friday, November 21, 2003

The Pampered Pet Mart
For the pet that dreams of a life in show business, this fanciful Pet Tent evokes the fun of the circus Big Top. Made from sturdy red & white striped canvas and topped with a festive pompom, it is delightfully playful. Send in the clowns!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Nothing Exists
Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.

Desiring to show his attainment, he said: "The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realisation, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received."

Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth angry.

"If nothing exists," said Dokuon, "where did this anger come from?"


'The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.'
Marshall McLuhan

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
A wide half-circle of foam and glinting lights and shining shoulders of green water, the great weir closed the backwater from bank to bank, troubled all the quiet surface with twirling eddies and floating foam-streaks, and deadened all other sounds with its solemn and soothing rumble. In midmost of the stream, embraced in the weir's shimmering arm-spread, a small island lay anchored, fringed close with willow and silver birch and alder. Reserved, shy, but full of significance, it hid whatever it might hold behind a veil, keeping it till the hour should come, and, with the hour, those who were called and chosen.

Slowly, but with no doubt or hesitation whatever, and in something of a solemn expectancy, the two animals passed through the broken tumultuous water and moored their boat at the flowery margin of the island. In silence they landed, and pushed through the blossom and scented herbage and undergrowth that led up to the level ground, till they stood on a little lawn of a marvellous green, set round with Nature's own orchard-trees - crab-apple, wild cherry, and sloe.

'This is the place of my song-dream, the place the music played to me,' whispered the Rat, as if in a trance. 'Here, in this holy place, here if anywhere, surely we shall find Him!'

Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror--indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy--but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august Presence was very, very near. With difficulty he turned to look for his friend. and saw him at his side cowed, stricken, and trembling violently. And still there was utter silence in the populous bird-haunted branches around them; and still the light grew and grew.

Perhaps he would never have dared to raise his eyes, but that, though the piping was now hushed, the call and the summons seemed still dominant and imperious. He might not refuse, were Death himself waiting to strike him instantly, once he had looked with mortal eye on things rightly kept hidden. Trembling he obeyed, and raised his humble head; and then, in that utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with fulness of incredible colour, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humourously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the rippling muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the pan-pipes only just fallen away from the parted lips; saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs disposed in majestic ease on the sward; saw, last of all, nestling between his very hooves, sleeping soundly in entire peace and contentment, the little, round, podgy, childish form of the baby otter. All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.
Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows
'A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.'
Thomas Mann
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
The thing is this. That of all the several ways of beginning a book which are now in practice throughout the known world, I am confident my own way of doing it is the best ... for I begin with writing the first sentence and trusting to Almighty God for the second.

A verse by Mike Heron
The greatest friend I have in life
Was hidden long from me
Above the mountains cold and wide
Beneath the sacred tree
That sacred tree whose bark I touched
Whose leaves did tell to me
The ancient tales that made me sure
My friend would come to me

Woman Nude Before Garden
The madman broke his chains and headed
straight from Utrecht to Amsterdam
distance 45 miles
where he carved a large circle in the Picasso
value 4.6 million
with a small knife

Unencumbered by irony
Saskia Bruines, City Councillor for Culture said
everyone is very shocked, it is horrible what has happened.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


'The Glass Bead Game is thus a mode of playing with the total contents and values of our culture; it plays with them as, say, in the great age of the arts a painter might have played with the colors on his palette ...'
Hermann Hesse, 'Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game'
only the lonely

'A healthy male adult bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.'
John Updike
you couldn't make it up
'One point on which those critics who see hypertext as the literal instantiation of poststructuralist theory would seem to be correct: the problematization of such conceptual metaphors as inside/outside has required an extraordinary straining at the boundaries of page-bound print, leading writers such as Derrida to employ such intentionally monstrous figures as "the double chiasmatic invagination of the text," where the contained secondary supplement turns out to be larger than, and include, its supposed primary source.'
'Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.'
Richard Feynman

Monday, November 17, 2003

happy people

'I threw the bottlerack and the urinal into their faces and now they admire them for their aesthetic beauty.'
Marcel Duchamp

Christina Aguilera has accused Britney Spears of not being a 'proper' artist.
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Harry Blackitt: ... Protestantism doesn't stop at the simple condom! Oh, no! I can wear French Ticklers if I want ... Black Mambos. Crocodile Ribs. Sheaths that are designed not only to protect, but also to enhance the stimulation of sexual congress.
Mrs. Blackitt: Have you got one?
Harry Blackitt: ... well, no, but I can go down the road any time I want and walk into Harry's and hold my head up high and say in a loud, steady voice, 'Harry, I want you to sell me a condom. In fact, today, I think I'll have a French Tickler, for I am a Protestant.'

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The Genius and the Charlatan - Ingmar Bergman on Orson Welles
Bergman: For me he's just a hoax. It's empty. It's not interesting. It's
dead. Citizen Kane, which I have a copy of - is all the critics' darling,
always at the top of every poll taken, but I think it's a total bore.
Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that
movie's got is absolutely unbelievable.

Aghed: How about The Magnificent Ambersons?

Bergman: Nah. Also terribly boring. And I've never liked Welles as an
actor, because he's not really an actor. In Hollywood you have two
categories, you talk about actors and personalities. Welles was an
enormous personality, but when he plays Othello, everything goes down the
drain, you see, that's when he's croaks. In my eyes he's an infinitely
overrated filmmaker.

The Genius and the Genius - Ingmar Bergman on Andrei Tarkovsky
'When film is not a document, it is dream. That is why Tarkovsky is the greatest of them all. He moves with such naturalness in the room of dreams. He doesn't explain. What should he explain anyhow? He is a spectator, capable of staging his visions in the most unwieldy but, in a way, the most willing of media. All my life I have hammered on the doors of the rooms in which he moves so naturally. Only a few times have I managed to creep inside.'

Saturday, November 15, 2003

never had so desperate a group of human beings banded together

'The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers.
The original meal has never been found.'
Calvin Trillin
[Hungrily contemplating a live chicken]
Withnail: How do we make it die?

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
Charles Laughton: You could be a guy that collects 10,000 dollars, just to leave this stinking town.
Rigby Reardon: I could, could I?
Charles Laughton: And you know who I could be?
Rigby Reardon: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?

Friday, November 14, 2003

Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution
Natacha Von Braun: You're looking at me very strangely.
Lemmy Caution: Yes.
Natacha Von Braun: You're waiting for me to say something to you.
Lemmy Caution: Yes.
Natacha Von Braun: I don't know what to say. They're words I don't know. I wasn't taught them. Help me.
Lemmy Caution: Impossible. Help yourself; then you will be saved. If you don't, you're as lost as the dead of Alphaville.
Natacha Von Braun: I... love... you. I love you
Tribal chief Ratu Filimoni Wawabalavu begs forgiveness for eating missionary
In an elaborate ceremony villagers presented woven mats, a dozen highly-prized whale's teeth and a slaughtered cow to 10 Australian relatives of the Rev Thomas Baker, who was murdered, cooked and consumed in July 1867 while trying to spread Christianity in Fiji.
Neurologist Dr Helen Fisher of Rutgers University, New Jersey, used "functional magnetic resonance imaging" to identify the brain circuitry of romantic love. She found that "the flush of new romance sparks different feelings in men than it does in women - and in males it automatically triggers sexual thoughts."
top secrets
A special German intelligence unit planned to blow up Buckingham Palace using exploding cans of processed peas, a top secret MI5 paper revealed today. Two Germans led by a conspicuous British Indian guide waded ashore on the Irish coast in July 1940 carrying three or four metal boxes of explosives, including a number of tins labelled 'Prepared French Peas' containing small slabs of nitro-cellulose.

The Americans commissioned a psychiatric and psychologist report of Hitler which concluded that he was a great fan of pornography. A plan was drawn up to drop piles of pornography on Hitler's residence in the hope he would have a seizure from sexual excitement.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

who writes this rubbish?
'I have recently been made aware of work done by Gregory Ulmer at the University of Florida on hypertext in which he (and some of his students) are using the idea of the fetish as a conceptual metaphor for dealing with the effects of hypertext. The idea of the link as an object invested with a cathected libidinal energy perhaps describes one way in which to consider what I have called "the potential energy of the potential link"; another way might be to consider the way in which the link reproduces, in the grammar of the text, the effects of substitution, displacement, and condensation usually associated by literary critics with metaphor (as has been noted by Stuart Moulthrop, among others). The hypertextual link may prove to be another form of copula, another "is"- and the potentialities that can be linked upon that statement would require another book, to be linked to the one that, through the alogical logic of hypertext, does not necessarily end here.'

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference

'Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.'
Albert Camus
There are three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid." Proverbs xxx, 18-19
Tell a man there are 400 billion stars in the sky and he’ll believe you.
Tell him a bench has wet paint and he has to touch it.
404 - Page not found
Nothing to see here. Move along now. The page you wanted either doesn't exist or can't be loaded for some reason. We didn't invent the Internet, we just work here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

today's thought from a b3tan
Everyone knows that clouds start off life in a Cloud School. There are thousands of cloud schools all over the country. People will try to tell you that these are "fields" and that the clouds are "sheep". But they are wrong. The baby clouds stay on the ground until they pass their flying test, then on graduation day they all rise up to fulfil their destinies as clouds. Graduation Day may be referred to by the ignorant as "fog" or "mist". This isn't what my parents told me, it is FACT. (dutchbird)

Monday, November 10, 2003

The Colour of Pomegranates

'Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly; devils fall because of their gravity.'
G K Chesterton

'... if we postulate an infinite period of time, with infinite circumstances and changes, the impossible thing is not to compose the Odyssey, at least once.'
Jorge Luis Borges, 'The Immortal'
Fancy Soup I - IX

'God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.'
Paul Valéry

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Ohm Sweet Ohm
The MTV music awards were held quite near us last night. I went out into the back garden where I could hear the distant sound of Kraftwerk performing, with spotlights and lasers criss-crossing a big moon in the eastern sky.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

A Day in the Country (Renoir 1936)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan 1951)
A Woman is a Woman (Godard 1961)
Alphaville (Godard 1965)
Andrei Rublov (Tarkovsky 1966)
Apocalypse Now (Coppola 1979)
Berlin Alexanderplatz (Fassbinder 1980)
Babette's Feast (Axel 1987)
Bad Lieutenant (Ferrara 1992)
Beauty and the Beast (Cocteau 1946)
Caspar Hauser (Herzog 1975)
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Brooks 1958)
Chinese Roulette (Fassbinder 1976)
Closely Observed Trains (Menzel 1966)
Dangerous Liaisons (Frears 1988)
Dead men Don't Wear Plaid (Reiner 1982)
Deliverance (Boorman 1972)
Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Bunuel 1972)
Don't Look Back (Pennebaker 1967)
Double Indemnity (Wilder 1944)
Down by Law (Jarmusch 1986)
Dr Strangelove (Kubrick 1963)
Duel (Spielberg 1971)
Eight and a Half (Fellini 1963)
Eraserhead (Lynch 1977)
Fargo (Coen brothers 1996)
Five Easy Pieces (Rafelson 1970)
Forbidden Planet (Wilcox 1956)
Get Carter (Hodges 1971)
Harold and Maude (1971)
Heimat 1 and 2 (Reisz 1984)
Hud (Ritt 1963)
Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion (Petri 1970)
Ivan the Terrible (Eisenstein 1943)
La Dolce Vita (Fellini 1960)
Last Year in Marienbad (Resnais 1961)
Les Enfants du Paradis (Carne 1945)
Man of Iron (Wajda 1981)
Manhattan (Allen 1979)
Masculine-Feminine (Godard 1966)
Midnight Cowboy (Schlesinger 1969)
Mirrors (Tarkovsky 1988)
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (Tati 1953)
My Ain Folk (Douglas 1973)
My Darling Clementine (Ford 1946)
My Life As A Dog (Hallstrom 1985)
Napoleon (Gance 1927)
Nosferatu (Herzog 1979)
Nosferatu (Murnau 1922)
Nuts in May (Leigh 1976)
One Deadly Summer (Becker 1983)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Forman 1975)
Pather Panchali (Ray 1954)
Satyricon (Fellini 1969)
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Soderbergh 1989)
Stroszek (Herzog 1977)
Sunset Boulevard (Wilder 1950)
Sweet Smell of Success (Mackendrick 1957)
Smiles of a Summer Night (Bergman 1955)
That Obscure Object of Desire (Bunuel 1977)
The American Friend (Wenders 1977)
The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Fassbinder 1972)
The Bride of Frankenstein (Whale 1935)
The Chess Players (Ray 1977)
The Colour of Pomegranates (Paradjanov 1969)
The Conversation (Coppola 1974)
The Damned (Visconti 1969)
The Diary of a Chambermaid (Bunuel 1964)
The Draughtsman's Contract (Greenaway 1982)
The Getting of Wisdom (Beresford 1977)
The Godfather Part 1 (Coppola 1972)
The Gospel According to St Mathew (Pasolini 1964)
The Last Picture Show (Bogdanovich 1971)
The Lovers (Malle 1958)
The Man Who Loved Women (Truffaut 1977)
The Odd Couple (Saks 1968)
The Philadelphia Story (Cukor 1940)
The Piano (Campion 1993)
The Player (Altman 1992)
The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (Neame 1969)
The Servant (Losey 1963)
The Seventh Seal (Bergman 1957)
The Silence (Bergman 1964)
The Third Man (Reed 1949)
Wälsungenblut (Thiele 1965)
War and Peace (Bondarchuk 1967)
Wings of Desire (Wenders 1987)
Withnail and I (Robinson 1987)
Zelig (Allen 1983)

Monday, November 03, 2003

Mary Morison

O Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wish’d, the trysted hour;
Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser’s treasure poor:
How blythely wad I bide the stour,
A weary slave frae sun to sun,
Could I the rich reward secure,
The lovely Mary Morison.

Yestreen, when to the trembling string
The dance gaed thro’ the lighted ha’,
To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard nor saw:
Tho’ this was fair, and that was braw,
And yon the toast of a’ the town,
I sigh’d, and said among them a’,
“Ye are na Mary Morison.”

Oh, Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die!
Or canst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee?
If love for love thou wilt na gie,
At least be pity to me shown;
A thought ungentle canna be
The thought o’ Mary Morison.

Robert Burns

When asked for his favourite line by Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid said:
“Ye are na Mary Morison”.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

When a problem comes along, you must whip it