Monday, May 31, 2004

david byrne

Hold the paper up to the light
(some rays pass right through)
Expose yourself out there for a minute
(some rays pass right through)

Take a little rest when the rays pass through
Take a little time off when the rays pass through
Go ahead and mix it up, go ahead and tie it up
In a long distance telephone call

Hold on to that paper
Hold on because it's been taken care of
Hold on to that paper
See if you can fit it on the paper

Had a love affair but it was only paper
(some rays they pass right through)
Had a lot of fun, could have been a lot better
(some rays they pass right through)

Take a little consideration, take every combination
Take a few weeks off, make it tighter, tighter
But it was never, it was never written down
Still might be a chance that it might work out (if you)

Hold on to that paper

David Byrne / Talking Heads - Fear of Music

I've been listening to the young Glasgow band Franz Ferdinand, currently flavour of the month in music circles. David Byrne says he likes them, and I can see why he'd say that. Their CD is uncannily similar to the Talking Heads debut album. But I'm warming to them. Imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery, and at least they've pitched their tent in the right field. I've also been listening to The Magnificents from Edinburgh, who have just finished touring as support for another Edinburgh art college offshoot, the Beta Band. My friend Charlie's son Casey is in the Magnificents and judging by the reviews they're getting their star is on the ascendant. I wish them success, although I am slightly saddened by the absence of any Jim Reeves influences in their material.
copyright alan edwards

I don't usually like bright orange as a colour, but this poppy in the garden changed my mind.

Sunday, May 30, 2004


Le Reve by Picasso

The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul, a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
James Allen

Dreams are real while they are happening. Can we say any more about life?
Havelock Ellis

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau

The only way to reach your dreams is to stay awake!

Dre-e-e-e-e-am, dream dream dream, dre-e-e-e-e-am, dream dream dream.
The Everly Brothers

Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Transformation
I watched Pamphilë first undress completely and then open a small cabinet containing several little boxes, one of which she opened. It contained an ointment which she worked about with her fingers and then smeared all over her body from the soles of her feet to the crown of her head. After this she muttered a long charm to her lamp, and shook herself; and, as I watched, her limbs became gradually fledged with feathers, her arms changed into sturdy wings, her nose grew crooked and horny, her nails turned into talons, and soon there was no longer any doubt about it: Pamphilë had become an owl. She gave a querulous hoot and made a few little hopping flights until she was sure enough of her wings to glide off, away over the roof-tops.

Then I quickly pulled off my clothes, greedily stuck my fingers into the box and took out a large lump of ointment which I rubbed all over my body. I stood flapping my arms, first the left and then the right, as I had seen Pamphilë do, but no little feathers appeared on them and they showed no sign of turning into wings. All that happened was that the hair on them grew coarser and coarser and the skin toughened into hide. Next, my fingers bunched together into a hard lump so that my hands became hooves, the same change came over my feet and I felt a long tail sprouting from the base of my spine. Then my face swelled, my mouth widened, my nostrils dilated, my lips hung flabbily down, and my ears shot up long and hairy. The only consoling part of this miserable transformation was the enormous increase in the size of a certain organ; because I was by this time finding it increasingly difficult to meet all Fotis's demands upon it. At last, hopelessly surveying myself all over, I was obliged to face the mortifying fact that I had been transformed not into a bird, but into an ass.'

Apuleius, from 'The Golden Ass', translated by Robert Graves

Thursday, May 27, 2004

My good friend Terry sent me this extract from The Adventures of Barry McKenzie. The scene is Paris, where Barry is talking with Colin, a fellow Australian who has "gone native" in France.

BARRY (indicating Notre Dame and the Palais du Louvre): Don't let this clapped-out culture grab you sport. Back in Australia we got culture up to our arseholes.

COLIN (sadly): It's no good, Baz, wild chevals wouldn't drag me back to Oz now. It's a long histoire, but I was once shook on a sheila in Melbourne. We was gonna be married. "Col' she said, "I'd bend over backwards for yer." Then I found out she was bending over backwards for a lot of other blokes as well, including one of me best mates, so I came to old Gay Paree to forget. Mon Dieu! I tell you, Baz, I'd have crawled half a mile over broken glass to hear that sheila piss in an empty jam tin.

BARRY (moved): Gee, mate, did youse ever tell her you felt that way about her?
Some people say that we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
These are the ones who have no hope.
They think the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.
Czeslaw Milosz

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The White Goddess
All saints revile her, and all sober men
Ruled by the God Apollo's golden mean -
In scorn of which we sailed to find her
In distant regions likeliest to hold her
Whom we desired above all things to know,
Sister of the mirage and echo.

It was a virtue not to stay,
To go our headstrong and heroic way
Seeking her out at the volcano's head,
Among pack ice, or where the track had faded
Beyond the cavern of the seven sleepers:
Whose broad high brow was white as any leper's,
Whose eyes were blue, with rowan-berry lips,
With hair curled honey-coloured to white hips.

The sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir
Will celebrate with green the Mother,
And every song-bird shout awhile for her;
But we are gifted, even in November
Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense
Of her nakedly worn magnificence
We forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.

Robert Graves

I had scarcely closed my eyes before the apparition of a woman began to rise from the middle of the sea with so lovely a face that the gods themselves would have fallen down in adoration of it. First the head, then the whole shining body gradually emerged and stood before me poised on the surface of the waves. Yes, I will try to describe this transcendent vision, for though human speech is poor and limited, the Goddess herself will perhaps inspire me with poetic imagery sufficient to convey some slight inkling of what I saw. Her long thick hair fell in tapering ringlets on her lovely neck, and was crowned with an intricate chaplet in which was woven every kind of flower. Just above her brow shone a round disc, like a mirror, or like the bright face of the moon, which told me who she was. Vipers rising from the left-hand and right-hand partings of her hair supported this disc, with ears of corn bristling beside them. Her many-colored robe was of finest linen; part was glistening white, part crocus-yellow, part glowing red and along the entire hem a woven bordure of flowers and fruit clung swaying in the breeze. But what caught and held my eye more than anything else was the deep black luster of her mantle. She wore it slung across her body from the right hip to the left shoulder, where it was caught in a knot resembling the boss of a shield; but part of it hung in innumerable folds, the tasseled fringe quivering. It was embroidered with glittering stars on the hem and everywhere else, and in the middle beamed a full and fiery moon.

Apuleius, from 'The Golden Ass', translated by Robert Graves
It's Official
I'm mysterious and sexy

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

take that!
A Chinese businessman has killed 8 million flies in a vendetta that began 10 years ago when one landed on a meal as he dined with a client, costing him £13,000 worth of business. An Indian man claims he can't survive without eating a kilo of grass a day. That's roughly what Syd Barrett used to smoke in a day. A Chinese alternative medicine guru is being sued after a man almost died from eating 130 raw frogs to cure a pain in his neck. 'PollyVision: Strictly for Parrots', a dvd launched to mark World Parrot Day (sic), is designed to 'fill some of the boring moments in the lives of captive birds'. A Yorkshire woman overdosed on Pontefract cake while trying to relieve her constipation. A candidate in the European elections says German women are 'too lazy' to get pregnant. No, I don't understand that either. The Queen has a collection of Abba records and apparently occasionally likes to 'move to the music'. Presumably to 'Dancing Queen'.

The image from 'Wings of Desire' below reminds me of an episode of Columbo (the connection being Peter Falk). Colombo arrives at a soup-kitchen in a run-down part of town while investigating a case, and looking as dishevelled as ever. The woman in charge looks him up and down and says 'Oh you poor man, come in and we'll fix you up with something to eat'. Eventually Columbo manages to explain to her that he is, in fact, a police officer. 'I see', she whispers knowingly, 'you're working undercover!'
Life goes on. No mountain peak impales the sun.
If you come to a break in your path, leap across.
Han Shan
there are angels over the streets of ... well, everywhere really

Harpo, Harpo, this is the angels
Where did you get that sound so fine?
Harpo, Harpo, we gotta hear it
Oooh, one more time
Harpo, Harpo, we're in the galaxies
Where did you get that sound so fine?
Harpo, Harpo, we gotta hear it
Oooh, one more time, oooh one more time
Jonathan Richman

Monday, May 24, 2004

nude by Edward Weston

I Sing the Body Electric
This is the female form;
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot;
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction!
I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor ...

Walt Whitman

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Sunday Morning
Sunday morning, brings the dawn in
It's just a restless feeling by my side
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It's just the wasted years so close behind
Watch out the world's behind you
There's always someone around you who will call
It's nothing at all

Sunday morning, and I'm falling
I've got a feeling I don't want to know
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It's all the streets you crossed not so long ago
Watch out the world's behind you
There's always someone around you who will call
It's nothing at all

Reed, Cale

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Joel-Peter Witkin
Joel-Peter Witkin
not for the faint-hearted ...
Maxim Gorky lights up


Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.
Maxim Gorky

If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator.
W Beran Wolfe

Be happy. It's one way of being wise.

Friday, May 21, 2004

I was reminded of this today ...

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Shakespeare - The Tempest Act 4, Scene 1

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Giving In
Getting on the spiritual path is like getting into a vehicle without brakes. It involves giving up, giving away, unmasking layer after layer of ego's sheath. It would be better not to begin such a trip, but if we must begin such a journey, we should prepare for it and we should not expect bliss as soon as we start out. Bliss, pleasure, and joy should emanate from some kind of work, some kind of sacrifice, of giving in.
Chogyam Trungpa
Hey! That SMITE button actually works. Look up there, my ads have gone!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Joey Ramone - photographer unknown

Today is the late great Joey Ramone's birthday

We're a happy family
Me mom and daddy
Sitting here in Queens
Eating refried beans
We're in all the magazines
Gulpin' down thorazines
We ain't got no friends
Our troubles never end
No Christmas cards to send
Daddy likes men ...

Mysterious Worshippers
'Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the foot that crushed it'
How come all kinds of strange quotes are being appended to my spam these days?

And speaking of forgiveness, I see that the world's first online church had to be shut down after non-believers logged in as Satan and created virtual mayhem. According to The Times, "Church of Fools opened last week promising worshippers the ability to "kneel to pray, cross themselves and perform an arm-raising “hallelujah!”, while a "Smite" button enabled moderators to "consign blasphemers to virtual hell". Sadly fhe blasphemers have taken over the virtual pulpit.'

a SMITE button, eh?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want one!

Actually, I was quite taken with this paragraph on their website: "If you arrive after the maximum number of people have joined the congregation, you will be invited to log in invisibly, as a mysterious worshipper. You’ll still be able to move around, perform actions and follow the service, but your character will be ghosted out and you won't be able to speak. Other members of the congregation won’t be able to see you."

sounds positively divine to me.
copyright alan edwards

Went for a walk to the local park yesterday. On the way I noticed this bizarre little scene at the side of the road and had to rush home for a camera before someone drove over it or parked their car on top of it. I don't know what is happening - looks like the couple were washed up together in the gutter after the last heavy rain - but looking at it today I'm amazed by the way the leaves on the left echo the feet, which I didn't actually see when I took the photograph. I think it demonstrates why you shouldn't try to set photographs up, or re-arrange the raw materials. You don't have to.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Those who write against vanity want the glory of having written well, and their readers the glory of reading well, and I who write this have the same desire, as perhaps those who read this have also.
Blaise Pascal
Cybill Shepherd in 'The Last Picture Show'
I was testing out the DVD drive on my new computer by watching Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show, and was reminded of what a great film it is. It's beautifully paced, the acting is superb, the cinematography is breathtaking, and the script is both authentic and genuinely moving. On top of it all, like a cherry on a cake, sits the young Cybill Shepherd (above).

Sam: Me and this young lady was pretty wild, I guess. In pretty deep. We used to come out here on horseback and go swimmin' without no bathing suits. One day, she wanted to swim the horses across this tank. Kind of a crazy thing to do, but we done it anyway. She bet me a silver dollar she could beat me across. She did. This old horse I was ridin' didn't want to take the water. But she was always lookin' for somethin' to do like that. Somethin' wild. I'll bet she's still got that silver dollar.
Wot, no kids?!
A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after 8 years of marriage have found out why they are still childless. Fertility tests showed they should have had no trouble conceiving, but when doctors asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank, and said: "What do you mean?". A spokesman for the clinic said: "We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple, brought up in a religious environment, who were simply unaware of the physical requirements necessary to procreate."

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The eternally entertaining reckless writer sent me here! Having wasted too many hours here I naturally loved it! It also reminded me of this B3tan project, to which I once contributed some images as Magoo. Which in turn reminds me that there is no escaping B3ta. I haven't been there much recently but I just received a 'Bandwidth Exceeded' notification for a website I run. Why? Because the site contains a picture of a super-cute Highland calf that mysteriously featured in yesterday's B3ta Newsletter (which goes out to tens of thousands of email addresses) under the heading 'Things that make you go awww'. What were the chances of that happening I wonder?

Friday, May 14, 2004

form is emptiness
emptiness is form
There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it.
Gustave Flaubert

Thursday, May 13, 2004

On a more serious note
I came across this sad story today. Idiots.
useless piece of information #759
Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest in Monte Carlo, and came third.
and in the news today ...
A Bosnian man has started selling the world's first 'self-ventilating, thermo-regulating underpants'. A male teacher at a Malaysian school has been caned by the headmistress after they argued over discipline. In Brazil a gang of five children robbed an ice cream parlour at gunpoint. Seven hot air balloons playing music aimed at giving sleepers sweet dreams have been floating above Birmingham.

Val Kilmer, who was filming recently with Angelina Jolie in Morocco, said: 'The camels were staring at her in a certain way. The palm trees too. Dead people would even want to date her.'

Hmmmnnnn ... I wouldn't be surprised if the palm trees didn't want to date her too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I read a headline today while waiting to pay for a litre of milk in my local corner shop. It said 'Sex-mad Horse Eats Farmer - see page 7'. I almost bought the paper.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Am I the only one who thinks this new-look curvy Blogger dashboard thingy is a backward step? It seems very slow and cumbersome compared to the old system.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Friday, May 07, 2004

Calvin Coolidge, the famously taciturn 30th President of America, was sitting at dinner when a fellow guest attempted to lure him into conversation. 'I have made a bet, Mr Coolidge,' she began, 'that I can get more than two words out of you.' 'You lose,' replied Coolidge.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Couples in Cartagena, Colombia, are queuing to touch the nipples of a statue in the hope they will be blessed with a long and happy relationship. The sculptor, Fernando Botero, is delighted by the custom, noting that 'the breasts have had to be repaired many times because they're being worn out by too much touching'.
Theresa Russell

firewalls, flies and panties
My working life has been insane since my computer blew up. Now I finally have a new computer but it took the best part of two days to get the anti-virus software and firewall to work on it. Was there ever a less helpful company in the universe than Symantec (apart from Micro$oft)? I'd like to ram Professor Norton's reassuringly scientific looking glasses down his throat after what I've been through. As it is I've come up with a temporary fix for the firewall, but now I have to install all my programs again and try to piece together at least some of the stuff I lost when the old computer packed in. Naturally I've got a backlog of work which I'm still struggling to get through on a temporary machine. Nevertheless, I stuck my nose out the door this morning for a few minutes and saw how fresh and green the garden was after the recent rain. There's a certain smell in the air today that makes me want to drop everything, put on the answer-phone and go fishing. Spring is such a great time to be beside a river idly casting a fly across the current. But it's impossible. I have a deadline for an article tomorrow and if it's not there on time there will be a 2 page gap in the magazine, another gap in my bank balance, and a third gap in my employment status. So what do I do about this state of affairs? I write this of course. Actually I wasn't going to say any of this stuff, because when I sat down I was going to write about Theresa Russell. I was watching a bit of 'Insignificance' - the film directed by her husband Nicholas Roeg in which she plays Marilyn Monroe - on television a couple of nights ago, and I started wondering what had happened to her. She's a fantastic actress, and incredibly sexy. So where did she disappear to? Answers on a pair of white lace panties. If I don't reply within two days I've either gone fishing or I'm pummelling Professor Norton into a pulp.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

So what's been happening?
A cemetery in Santiago is offering coffins with a 'panic button'. A cockatiel has learnt to sew after watching his owner working in a tailor's shop. German authorities have fined a woman for laughing too loudly. A boat carrying sixty people across a Texas lake capsized after the passengers ran to one side to look at nude bathers. Zen teacher Senso Grover Genro Gauntt is charging stressed-out executives £150 to experience life as a London beggar for a few days. A Qantas passenger on a flight from Melbourne to Wellington found a live whistling tree frog sitting on top of the cucumber in her salad.
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
GK Chesterton

Monday, May 03, 2004

from Airplane II

Simon: Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet your captain, Captain Oveur.
Oveur: Gentlemen, welcome aboard.
Simon: Captain, your navigator, Mr. Unger, and your first officer, Mr. Dunn.
Oveur: Unger.
Unger: Oveur.
Dunn: Oveur.
Oveur: Dunn. Gentlemen, let's get to work.
Simon: Unger, didn't you serve under Oveur in the Air Force?
Unger: Not directly. Technically, Dunn was under Oveur and I was under Dunn.
Dunn: Yep.
Simon: So, Dunn, you were under Oveur and over Unger.
Unger: Yep.
Oveur: That's right. Dunn was over Unger and I was over Dunn.