Friday, April 30, 2004

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
Samuel Johnson

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Have a peek at rb's latest literary effort.
Or maybe you'd rather check out her fridge cam.
Oh the beauty of these ads up there! Last week I was advertising rare biscuit tins (as Rosebud reminded me), now it's 'Dog Training'. Of course Google doesn't know that the 3-legged dog that Clov has made for the blind Hamm is incapable of being trained, or even standing up. All he can do is lie on the floor with an imploring look on his sweet little face.

Rasputin's Penis
Sounds like the name of a grunge rock band doesn't it? Well, not so. The organ in question is destined to become the star attraction in Russia's first museum of erotica in St Petersburg. Museum founder Igor Knyazkin is particularly proud of the mad monk's 12 inch pickled penis. 'We can stop envying America where Napoleon's penis is now kept. Napoleon's penis is but a small pod - it cannot stand comparison to our organ.'

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Beauty is always the result of an accident. Of a violent lapse between acquired habits and those yet to be acquired. It baffles and disgusts. It may even horrify. Once the new habit has been acquired, the accident ceases to be an accident. It becomes classical and loses its shock value.
Jean Cocteau

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The most solid pleasure in this life is the empty pleasure of illusion.
Giacomo Leopardi

Monday, April 26, 2004

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she has laid an asteroid.
Mark Twain [written after listening to the risible rock-combo 'The Darkness']

Sunday, April 25, 2004

my comments have disappeared, dematerialised, vanished in a puff of smoke, they are no more, they have ceased to be, they have gone to meet their maker, they have run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile, they are ex-comments!

Or maybe they're just pinin' for the fjords.
Greetings, probably you have already forgot me. We spend a nice time together last summer in Miami. Im Nataly, a blonde to whom you have confessed in love in the seacoast. It is a pity, that you have never called, but at last I managed to scan the photos you have been asking for (where Im naked). I hope they will help you to recover the memories and to call me.

HAMM: Is my dog ready?
CLOV: He lacks a leg.
HAMM: Is he silky?
CLOV: He's kind of a Pomeranian.
HAMM: Go and get him.
CLOV: He lacks a leg.
HAMM: Go and get him!
(Exit Clov.) We're getting on.
(Enter Clov holding by one of its three legs a black toy dog.)
CLOV: Your dogs are here.
(He hands the dog to Hamm who feels it, fondles it.)
HAMM: He's white, isn't he?
CLOV: Nearly.
HAMM: What do you mean, nearly? Is he white or isn't he?
CLOV: He isn't.
HAMM: You've forgotten the sex.
CLOV (vexed): But he isn't finished. The sex goes on at the end.
HAMM: You haven't put on his ribbon.
CLOV (angrily): But he isn't finished, I tell you! First you finish your dog and then you put on his ribbon!
HAMM: Can he stand?
CLOV: I don't know.
HAMM: Try. (He hands the dog to Clov who places it on the ground.) Well?
CLOV: Wait!
(He squats down and tries to get the dog to stand on its three legs, fails, lets it go. The dog falls on its side.)
HAMM (impatiently): Well?
CLOV: He's standing.
HAMM (groping for the dog): Where? Where is he?
(Clov holds up the dog in a standing position.)
CLOV: There.
(He takes Hamm's hand and guides it towards the dog's head.)
HAMM (his hand on the dog's head): Is he gazing at me?
CLOV: Yes.
HAMM (proudly): As if he were asking me to take him for a walk?
CLOV: If you like.
HAMM (as before): Or as if he were begging me for a bone.
(He withdraws his hand.) Leave him like that, standing there imploring me.

Samuel Becket, from 'Endgame'

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles, and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?

Friday, April 23, 2004

Thomas Merton

I studied it and it taught me nothing.
I learned it and soon forgot everything else:
Having forgotten, I was burdened with knowledge--
The insupportable knowledge of nothing.
Thomas Merton

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

reckless writer got me wondering what sort of rock chick I am

I feel more like Patti Smith, to be honest.

In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry Thoreau - from 'Walden'
"A real haiku's gotta be as simple as porridge and yet make you see the real thing, like the greatest haiku of them all probably is the one that goes 'The sparrow hops along the veranda, with wet feet.' By Shiki. You see the wet footprints like a vision in your mind and yet in those few words you also see all the rain that's been falling that day and almost smell the wet pine needles."
Jack Kerouac - from 'The Dharma Bums'

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

a firmer tone
Doctors in the US are offering 'voice-lifts' - cosmetic surgery for people who want to sound younger. The vocal chords grow weaker with age, but for £10,000 doctors will insert implants through an incision in the neck or inject fat, collagen or a bone-making substance called hydroxyl appetite through the mouth. After a couple of weeks the patient can speak with less effort in a firmer tone.

What next? 'Voice-drops' for children who want to sound more authoritative?
Breathing, all creatures are
Brighter then than brightest star
You are by far
You come right inside of me
Close as you can be
You kiss my blood
And my blood kiss me.
Mike Heron

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Chogyam Trungpa

One thing at a time
Two things cannot happen at once; it is impossible. It is easy to imagine that two things are happening at once, because our journey back and forth between the two may be very speedy. But even then we are doing only one thing at a time. The idea of mindfulness of mind is to slow down the fickleness of jumping back and forth. We have to realize that we are not extraordinary mental acrobats. We are not all that well trained. And even an extraordinarily well-trained mind could not manage that many things at once - not even two. But because things are very simple and direct, we can focus on, be aware and mindful of, one thing at a time. That one-pointedness, that bare attention, seems to be the basic point.
Chogyam Trungpa

Friday, April 16, 2004

rude biscuits
A biscuit tin's apparently charming illustration of an Edwardian garden party holds hidden secrets. The tins were manufactured by Huntley & Palmers in 1980 before anyone noticed that the artist - in a final act of vandalism after getting the sack - had concealed two naked lovers and a pair of copulating dogs in the undergrowth, and the word 'shit' on the label of a jam jar. The additions to the lid went unnoticed for years, until a shopworker spotted them. Production was halted immediately, but thousands of the tins had been sold. One of the few remaining tins will be auctioned next week after being found in the collection of a West Country aristocrat.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

zing went the strings ...
Canadian police have charged a motorist who was caught playing a violin while driving on Highway 400 into Toronto. The 54-year-old man said he was warming up for a concert.

Which reminds me of the story about Rachmaninov, who when asked by a passer-by how to get to Carnegie Hall replied 'Practise'.

Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, has banned gold teeth in his latest decree. He has already banned opera and ballet because they are 'unnecessary', along with beards, long hair for men, and listening to car radios. The eccentric dictator, who has a giant revolving gold statue of himself in the capital, Ashgabat, has even instituted a holiday in honour of melons. 'This godsend has a glorious history,' Turkmenistan national television announced. 'Our great leader has brought the name of the tasty *melons to the level of a national holiday.'

* for more information about melons see Debbie Harry

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Morrissey is Debbie Harry

This world is full
so full of crashing bores
And I must be one
because no one ever turns to me to say,
"Take me in your arms
Take me in your arms
and love me"

The Random Smiths Lyrics Generator

Friday, April 09, 2004

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Date Engine

So, I share my birthday with Thom Yorke of Radiohead.
If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there.
Lewis Carroll, from 'Alice in Wonderland'

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I was just thinking … that here we sit, all of us, eating and drinking to preserve our precious existence, and really there is nothing, nothing, absolutely no reason for existing.
Jean Paul Sartre

Monday, April 05, 2004

fact or fiction?
A survey of over 2,000 British adults shows just how ignorant many people are when it comes to History. 9% believe Winston Churchill was a fictional character, 5% think Conan the Barbarian actually existed, 11% believe Hitler never existed, 33% think Mussolini didn't either, 6% think The War of the Worlds - H G Wells' account of a Martian invasion - actually happened, over 60% think the Cold War was not real, 42% believe William Wallace was an cinematic invention, 53% think Lord Nelson led British troops at Waterloo and 25% think the admiral's fatal triumph at the Battle of Trafalgar did not take place, 3% think the Battle of Helms Deep in the Lord of the Rings actually happened, 2% reckon the Battle of Endor in The Return of the Jedi was for real, more than a quarter of people do not know in which century the Great War took place, 57% believe the Battle of the Bulge - the Nazi counter-offensive in the Ardennes - never happened, 38% think Genghis Khan was a figment of someone's imagination, 40% think Benjamin Disraeli was too, 48% think the Battle of Little Big Horn - scene of Custer's last stand - was a myth, 44% don't believe the Hundred Years' War ever happened, 1% even believe that the Planet of the Apes and Battlestar Galactica - the latter featuring the defeat of humanity by Cyborgs - were based on fact.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
William Blake

Friday, April 02, 2004

Howlin' Wolf

I was listening to that epic blues song 'Smokestack Lightning' today, and it reminded me of seeing the great Chester Burnett performing in a small venue when I was a student. The backing band came onto the stage and launched into the repetitive riff from that song, just letting it go round and round. There was no sign of the main man until an enormous brown leather boot suddenly appeared from the wings, swinging around and kicking in time with the music until Howlin' Wolf bounded onto the stage, and, with a big wide-eyed grin at the audience, grabbed the microphone and started singing. What a man, what a voice!

Sam Phillips of Sun Records first met Howlin' Wolf in 1951, and was bowled over. "When I heard him, I said, 'This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies'. He was about six foot six, with the biggest feet I've ever seen on a human being. Big Foot Chester is one name they used to call him. He would sit there with those feet planted wide apart, playing nothing but the French harp, and I tell you, the greatest show you could see today would be Chester Burnett doing one of those sessions in my studio. God, what would it be worth to see the fervor in that man's face when he sang. His eyes would light up and you'd see the veins on his neck, and buddy, there was nothing on his mind but that song. He sang with his damn soul."

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Spontaneity is the fruit of long meditation.
Pablo Neruda