Wednesday, June 30, 2004

next lomo ...

copyright alan edwards

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"Often, however, suffering and happiness broke over me in one wave. One such moment was when I went into my bedroom at night and to my indescribable astonishment, dismay, horror and enchantment found the lovely Maria lying in my bed.

Of all the surprises that Hermine had prepared for me this was the most violent. For I had not a moment's doubt that it was she who had sent me this bird of paradise. I had not, as usually, been with Hermine that evening. I had been to a recital of old church music in the Cathedral, a beautiful, though melancholy, excursion into my past life, to the fields of my youth, the territory of my ideal self. Beneath the lofty gothic of the church whose netted vaulting swayed with a ghostly life in the play of the sparse lights, I heard pieces by Buxtehude, Pachelbel, Bach and Haydn. I had gone the old beloved way once more. The notes of the old music with its external dignity and sanctity had called to life all the exalted enchantment and enthusiasm of youth. I had sat in the lofty choir, sad and abstracted, a guest for an hour of this noble and blessed world which once had been my home. During a Haydn duet the tears had come suddenly to my eyes. I had not waited for the end of the concert."

Hermann Hesse from 'Steppenwolf'
recent events
A schoolteacher has been suspended in Zimbabwe for allegedly giving pupils the choice of being caned or suckling her breasts. Shepherds in the Scottish Highlands may be given free Viagra in a bid to halt a drastic drop in their numbers. A judge in America is facing the sack after using a penis pump while trying cases in court.
another lomo

copyright alan edwards

I took this picture early one morning when I was going fishing. It was July and we were staying in a Norwegian-style log cabin in the middle of a Highland glen. It had been really cold and wet for days, and when I got up at 5am the thermometer outside showed it was freezing. So I set off wearing lots of warm clothes and waterproofs, plus carrying all the ridiculous paraphrenalia a fisherman needs. By 10am the mist had cleared, the sun was beating down with a vengeance, and I was sweltering in the heat. I found myself stranded in a rocky river basin with no shade, performing an impromptu striptease, watched by an osprey perched on the top of a dead pine tree. It obviously couldn't be bothered fishing either in these conditions. I'd followed the river for miles and was facing a very long hot trek home wearing practically nothing but a pair of waders, but carrying enough baggage for a month in Spitzbergen.

Monday, June 28, 2004

time for a lomo

copyright alan edwards

Sunday, June 27, 2004

the only gay in the village

This probably only makes sense if you've seen the hilarious British comedy show 'Little Britain'. But what the hell ...

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Four poems by Tu Mu [803-52], late T'ang Dynasty

Easing My Heart
By rivers and lakes at odds with life I journeyed, wine my freight:
Slim waists of Ch'u broke my heart, light bodies danced into my palm.
Ten years late I wake at last out of my Yang-chou dream
With nothing but the name of a drifter in the blue houses.

To Judge Han Ch'o at Yang-chou
Over misted blue hills and distant water
In Chiang-nan at autumn's end the grass has not yet wilted.
By night on the Four-and-Twenty Bridges, under the full moon,
Where are you teaching a jade girl to blow tunes on your flute?

Farewell Poem
Passion too deep seems like none.
While we drink, nothing shows but the smile that will not come.
The wax candles feel, suffer at partings:
Their tears drip for us until the sky brightens.

Autumn Evening
Silvery autumn candlelight chills the painted screen,
A little fan of light silk flaps the streaming fireflies.
Cool as water, the night sheen of the steps into the sky.
She lies and watches the Weaver Girl meet the Herdboy Star.

Friday, June 25, 2004

today's man of spam

Andrew Luna writes to me
'Hi', says he, informally
Please accept this massive loan
Enough to buy a second home
Somewhere nice beside the sea
Where life is sweet, wine is free
Or just imagine if you can
The pleasures of the Reeperbahn
Or maybe red-light Amsterdam
Come on Alan take your pick ...

Does he take me for a lunatic?
Night Thoughts
Stars, you are unfortunate, I pity you,
Beautiful as you are, shining in your glory,
Who guide seafaring men through stress and peril
And have no recompense from gods or mortals,
Love you do not, nor do you know what love is.
Hours that are aeons urgently conducting
Your figures in a dance through the vast heaven,
What journey have you ended in this moment,
Since lingering in the arms of my beloved
I lost all memory of you and midnight.
If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she is blind, she is not invisible.
Francis Bacon

Thursday, June 24, 2004

did someone order a caipirinha?

i had sip myself. hope that's ok ...
How do the angels get to sleep when the devil leaves the porch light on?
Tom Waits

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Love Minus Zero/No Limit
My love she speaks like silence
Without ideals or violence
She doesn't have to say she's faithful
Yet she's true like ice, like fire
People carry roses, make promises by the hour
My love she laughs like the flowers
Valentines can't buy her

In the dime stores and bus stations
People talk of situations
Read books, repeat quotations
Draw conclusions on the wall
Some speak of the future
My love, she speaks softly
She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all

The cloak and dagger dangles
Madams light the candles
In ceremonies of the horsemen
Even the pawn must hold a grudge
Statues made of matchsticks
Crumble into one another
My love winks she does not bother
She knows too much to argue or to judge

The bridge at midnight trembles
The country doctor rambles
Bankers' nieces seek perfection
Expecting all the gifts that wise men bring
The wind howls like a hammer
The night wind blows cold n' rainy
My love she's like some raven
At my window with a broken wing

Bob Dylan from 'Bringing It All Back Home' [1965]

I love Dylan's music from this era, it was a real purple patch. 'Bringing It All Back Home', the double 'Blonde on Blonde' album, plus 'Highway 61 Revisited' were all released within 2 years. He must have been writing songs in his sleep.

I've just discovered that Dylan is in Scotland today, receiving an Honorary Degree in Music from St Andrews University, not far up the coast from here. Maybe that's why I posted one of his songs.
true story
A man spoke frantically into the phone:
"My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!"
"Is this her first child?", asked the doctor.
"NO!", the man shrieked, "this is her husband!"

optical illusion

I have no idea how this works, but if you look at the image for about 5 minutes you can see a waterfall in the background.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.

Monday, June 21, 2004

With every step a greater mystery surrounded me... The kingdoms that have no walls, and are built up of shadows, began to oppress me as the night hardened. Had I had companions, still we would only have spoken in a whisper, and in that dungeon of trees even my own self would not raise its voice within me.

It was full night when I had reached a vague clearing in the woods, right up on the height of that flat hill. This clearing was called "The Fountain of Magdalen." I was so far relieved by the broader sky of the open field that I could wait and rest a little, and there, at last, separate from men, I thought of a thousand things. The air was full of midsummer, and its mixture of exaltation and fear cut me off from ordinary living. I now understood why our religion has made sacred this season of the year; why we have, a little later, the night of St. John, the fires in the villages, and the old perception of fairies dancing in the rings of the summer grass. ... something fantastic possesses those of us who are foolish enough to watch upon such nights.

from Hilaire Belloc's 'The Path to Rome'

Drunk as Drunk
Drunk as drunk on turpentine
From your open kisses,
Your wet body wedged
Between my wet body and the strake
Of our boat that is made out of flowers,
Feasted, we guide it - our fingers
Like tallows adorned with yellow metal -
Over the sky's hot rim,
The day's last breath in our sails.

Pinned by the sun between solstice
And equinox, drowzy and tangled together
We drifted for months and woke
With the bitter taste of land on our lips,
Eyelids all sticky, and we longed for lime
And the sound of a rope
Lowering a bucket down its well. Then,
We came by night to the Fortunate Isles,
And lay like fish
Under the net of our kisses.

Pablo Neruda

Sunday, June 20, 2004

'The Chinese mind, as I see it at work in the 'I Ching', seems to be exclusively preoccupied with the chance aspect of events. What we call coincidence seems to be the chief concern of this peculiar mind, and what we worship as causality passes almost unnoticed ... While the Western mind carefully sifts, weighs, selects, classifies, isolates, the Chinese picture of the moment encompasses everything down to the minutest nonsensical detail, because all of the ingredients make up the observed moment.'
Carl Jung

Meaningful connections between the subjective and objective world are not uncommon. Suppose you were listening to a song while reading a letter from a distant friend, and the letter - completely unexpectedly - mentioned the very song you were listening to. Or suppose you had just written something about a particular species of bird and someone, who knew nothing of this, told you that they had just had a dream in which you appeared as the very same bird. I had a strange experience of synchronicity myself once. I was sitting on a helicopter, awaiting take-off. I was reading the passage in Dostoevsky's 'The Idiot' describing an epileptic fit (Dostoevsky, like the hero of 'The Idiot', Prince Myshkin, suffered from epilepsy) when there was a sudden commotion a few seats in front of me. One of my fellow passengers was in the throes of an epileptic fit induced by the strobe effect of the helicopter's rotary blades. Such experiences can be disconcerting, even disturbing, but they teach us something important about the nature of perception, and the limitations of rational thought. Diehard rationalists - for whom coincidence is totally devoid of 'meaning' - have no time for this sort of nonsense, but then a logician is just a metaphysician who has forgotten to take his socks off before climbing into the bath.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Entrance of the Rivers
Beloved of the rivers, beset
by azure water and transparent drops,
like a tree of veins your spectre
of dark goddess biting apples:
and then awakening naked
to be tattoed by the rivers,
and in the wet heights your head
filled the world with new dew.
Water rose to your waist,
You are made of wellsprings
and lakes shone on your forehead.
From your sources of density you drew
water like vital tears
and hauled the river-beds to the sand
across the planetary night,
crossing rough, dilated stone,
breaking down on the way
all the salt of geology,
cutting through forests of compact walls
dislodging the muscles of quartz.

Pablo Neruda

Friday, June 18, 2004

Inspired by Giant Nylon Hair Net I also find myself embroiled with those 'Women of Spam'

Leanna Triplett slips pills
Into envelopes and mails them out
Levitra, zocor, propecia, lipitor
Every one carrying a special clout.
Later, by the light of the evening sun
She feeds the ducks spiked buns.

Cornelia Dill went in for the kill
She'd had enough, her life was tough
His love was fickle, so she cut him up
Fed his tongue to the pup
Preserved his penis in pickle.
If discovered, she was certain
It'd be taken for a gherkin.

there's just time for a 'Man of Spam' too

Kermit Pollard worked with trees
Clinging on with hands and knees
Sawing branches, lopping boughs
Sometimes stunning passing cows
Eventually he built a nest
Laid an egg and became depressed
Poor soul.

plus a bit of spambiguity

Ora Landers, boy or girl?
Nurse or doctor, what the hell
I'm going to write to her or him
I need those pills to keep me slim
I need those pills to sleep at night
To keep me hard and not uptight
I need those pills that Ora sells
I don't care if he's a girl
The pills are there, that's all that counts
I'm going to order vast amounts.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Mouse Wisdom
Well, I mean, YES idealism, YES the dignity of pure research, YES the pursuit of truth in all its forms, but there comes a point I'm afraid where you begin to suspect that if there's any REAL truth, it's that the entire multi-dimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another 10 million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking the money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise.

One of the white mice in 'The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy'

Service with a smile :)
I recently tried to order a cd from America and after something went wrong with my order at I went to CD Baby - 'a little CD store with the best new independent music'. Not only was it cheaper but my order confirmation arrived by email as follows:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing. Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

copyright Robin Gillanders

My friend Robin has just published a book about portrait photography. I missed the launch party last week so I haven't actually seen or read it yet, but I know it will be good. Robin is a lecturer in photography, and I've met many of his students over the years. Without exception they have enormous respect and affection for him. I can understand that, because his enthusiasm for his subject is infectious, and he's a very fine photographer himself. The cover pic is of the Edinburgh blues singer Tam White.

Bloomsday - 100 years on
I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

The final words from Molly Bloom's soliloquy at the end of James Joyce's Ulysses. 8 sentences spread over 40 pages, and one of the great pieces of modern erotic fiction.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.
William Faulkner
copyright alan edwards

I like flowers. My grandfather on my mother's side was a market gardener, so that may explain why. He grew the largest vine under glass in the world (planted by his father in 1891). He met his wife in London en route to serving in WW1. She was a French girl who had moved to London at the age of 16 to work as a tutor to children of the exiled Russian aristocracy. When they met she was working as a translator. He came back safely from the war and took her up to Scotland to live at the Vineries. Her name, Mathilde, was too difficult for the locals to pronounce so they called her Nancy. She spoke with a strange mixture of a Scottish and French accent, and whenever she became agitated she would lapse back into her mother tongue. She was the kindest person you could meet, and I've seldom come across anyone who laughed more easily than her. She would burst into a fit of the giggles at the drop of a hat. Every year my grandfather would grow two or three pots of French beans outside the kitchen window for her, to remind her of her home. She always welcomed the 'Onion Johnnies' - Frenchmen who came over to Britain and toured the countryside on bicycles selling strings of French onions - into the house for a cup of tea so she could chat away to them in French. As a young boy I remember sitting wide-eyed in an adjoining room eavesdropping on one of these - then totally incomprehensible - conversations. My grandfather was a quiet man whose passions were chess, curling, and cultivating new varieties of trailing geraniums.

Anyway, these sweet peas were given to me by a friend who lives nearby. I admired them in her garden and she brought me a few seed pods at the end of the summer. They are an old variety, popular in Edwardian times, small-petalled and deeply scented, but apparently too 'unfashionable' for modern tastes. I love their velvety texture and the stunning colour combination of each flower. I keep some seeds each year now and plant them against the wall that runs behind the small herb garden by the back door. Now isn't that interesting?

Monday, June 14, 2004

hmmnnn ... I feel quite good today, not my usual grumpy self. Hope i'm not coming down with something.

It's a beautiful day, hot and sunny but with a strong breeze. I've just come in from the garden. It's a shared garden and as I was hanging out some towels on the washing line a sprightly silver-haired man came out of my neighbour's flat and walked towards me clutching an old Nikon SLR camera. We exchanged polite greetings as he passed. I watched as he lowered himself onto the grass until he was lying flat out, and began photographing the sea of white daisies that have sprung up since the grass was last cut a couple of weeks ago. This is not normal behaviour in our garden, so I'm interested. I think I know exactly what he's doing, how he's working with the depth of field to soften the sea of white, green and yellow in the background while bringing a small group of flowers into sharp focus in the foreground. After a while he gets up again and we get talking. He's called Van, a retired environmentalist from Cape Town on his way with his wife to the classical music festival in Orkney, where Peter Maxwell-Davies will be celebrating his 70th birthday. He tells me he has 35,000 slides at home. His wife comes out and joins us, and she has the same attractiveness that you can only find in people who remain perpetually young at heart, who keep the flame alive. He points the Nikon at me and takes a shot. 'Just for the records', he says laughing.

Hey! It's Elaine's birthday today. Here, have a gigantic hug all the way from Scotland!

Oh, and if you want a laugh follow the link on the right to Giant Nylon Hair Net's three 'women of spam' yesterday.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

today i thought i would translate this little poem by André Ramier

tu me parles en italiques
inclinant tes pensées profondément dans moi
tu viens à moi d'un angle
m'empalant sur le point de désir
tu te penches vers moi comme un arbre dans le vent
chaque feuille inscrit avec le même mot
je n'ai jamais rencontré ta type
mais je peut te lire comme un livre

you speak to me in italics
slanting your thoughts deep into me
you come at me from an angle
impaling me on the point of desire
you lean towards me like a tree in the wind
each leaf inscribed with the same word
I have never met your type before
yet I can read you like a book

André Ramier

Saturday, June 12, 2004

This slice of spampoesie arrived this morning

Subject: Bitch Wants A Bone
Her daughters white sony is on fire
Any given white sofa falls
Mine beautiful magazine makes sound
And perhaps her golden t-shirt arrives

Our children small boots snores
Silver well-crafted round-shaped gun smells
A given white mobile phone calculates
The silver bra walks as soon as his noisy

Computer smiles the time that
A round-shaped door prepare for fight
Any given small laptop adheres
Mine well-crafted boots arrives

Whose slopy little bluish picture prepare for fight
And perhaps any odd shaped cat show its value
Her daughters tall omprella lies
Our soft well-crafted paper calculates

A given odd shaped green carpet is angry
The beautiful round soda got an idea
And his brothers soft sport shoes show its value
At the place that our shining recycle bin arrives

Friday, June 11, 2004

The best things in life are free
The Sleepyheads hail from Manila. I like 'Rescued' best, but 'Not Good Enough' is nice and quirky.
Nick Cave

Brompton Oratory
Up those stone steps I climb
Hail this joyful day's return
Into its great shadowed vault I go
Hail the Pentecostal morn

The reading is from Luke 24
Where Christ returns to his loved ones
I look at the stone apostles
Think that it's alright for some

And I wish that I was made of stone
So that I would not have to see
A beauty impossible to define
A beauty impossible to believe

A beauty impossible to endure
The blood imparted in little sips
The smell of you still on my hands
As I bring the cup up to my lips

No God up in the sky
No devil beneath the sea
Could do the job that you did, baby
Of bringing me to my knees

Outside I sit on the stone steps
With nothing much to do
Forlorn and exhausted, baby
By the absence of you

Nick Cave

This is one of my favourite Nick Cave songs, a beautiful mix of the sacred and profane. I think he wrote it when he was in love with Polly Jean Harvey, and it's probably her smell on his hands as he lifts the cup to his lips. That line is so unexpected after what has come before, but it makes the song. The melody is lovely, the arrangement - with a church organ rising and falling in the background - is simple and understated, and the beetle-browed Master of Melancholy sings it with just the right degree of moody angst.

I suppose this is the other side of Nick Cave. If you've never heard it, imagine it played and sung at break-neck speed in a high octane rockabilly style without a beat, note or syllable missed. The Bad Seeds must be the best backing band in the world.

He had waited so long: his latter years had been no more than a stand-to. Oppressed with countless little daily cares, he had waited: of course he had run after girls all that time, he had travelled, and naturally he had had to earn his living. But through all that, his sole care had been to hold himself in readiness. For an act. A free, considered act; that should pledge his whole life, and stand at the beginning of a new existence. He had never been able to engage himself completely in any love-affair, or any pleasure, he had never been really unhappy: he always felt as though he were somewhere else, that he was not yet wholly born. He waited. And during all that time, gently, stealthily, the years had come, they had grasped him from behind ...
Jean-Paul Sartre, from 'The Age of Reason'

People tend to think of Sartre first and foremost as a philosopher. I don't. I think of him as a great novelist, the equal of Flaubert and others who came before him. One thing's for sure, I'd rather read 'Nausea' or 'The Age of Reason' than 'Being and Nothingness' any day.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
Vincent Van Gogh
Dorothy Parker

The ladies men admire, I've heard,
Would shudder at a wicked word.
Their candle gives a single light;
They'd rather stay at home at night.
They do not keep awake till three,
Nor read erotic poetry.
They never sanction the impure,
Nor recognize an overture.
They shrink from powders and from paints.
So far, I have had no complaints.

Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

No honestly, I believe
I always felt my wife didnt enjoy sex because of my penis size. Until i tried a few Penis Pill a freind suggested. In three weeks, she felt how big I grew. Now, she's happy and I'm hung like a stallion. Penis Pills! What took you the so long? If still believe size does not matter, click here to be removed

Oh nothing, just revising
German sociologist Werner Habermehl says regular sex can help university students pass exams. However, to get top marks you have to come last. Ok I made the last bit up.

Pardon my French
Residents of the Austrian village of Fucking have voted against changing the name, despite having their road signs stolen regularly. Spokesman Siegfried Hoeppl said: 'Everyone knows what it means in English, but for us Fucking is Fucking - and it's going to stay Fucking.' That could be a line straight out of Withnail And I, except Withnail would almost certainly have added an extra 'fucking' as in: 'and it's going to fucking stay Fucking.' Now that I think of it, 'Withnail and I' probably had a huge influence on the way the word 'fuck' has gradually (in the UK, at least) lost its ability to shock or offend. Personally I don't like this development but I can see how Richard E Grant's use of the expletive in the film drew its sting and lent it a sort surreal refinement that the hideous cult of 'the lad' would latch onto with such enthusiasm in the 90's. But that's enough about Fucking, or as they say in Austria, 'das ist genug über das Bumsen'. Incidentally, similar votes on place names have been conducted in the Austrian towns of Petting, Windpassing and Vomitville.
Navaho by Edward Curtis

Edward Curtis was one of the great early American photographers, but unfortunately this website is one of the most confusing and disorientating ever flung together. There are quite a few gems hidden away, however.

I was thinking when I posted this link to Edward Curtis that his photographs reminded me in a roundabout way of Richard Avedon's 'In the American West', a book I've long admired. Now, coincidentally, I discover that Joerg Colberg at Conscientious (one of the very best photography sites) mentions it today. Laura Wilson, who worked with Avedon on the book, has just published her account of the experience. You can read and see more here. Avedon later said, '... I feel that these people are so powerful. When you look, really look, they say such varied things with their faces and their bodies. It's almost as if there was no photographer. I'm out of it. I feel the work now belongs to the people themselves. It's between them and you.' I think Edward Curtis achieved something similar. I also wonder if Joel-Peter Witkin has been influenced by images like the one above.

Monday, June 07, 2004

I'm really enjoying the poem a day at Giant Nylon Hair Net, so here's one of my own dug up from the vaults. Don't ask what it's about, I can't even remember writing it.

Krell Music
I once heard a recording made
By Krell musicians
Half a million years ago

I read the libretto:
'I fear your splendid spaceship
has foundered on rocks'
And stuff like that

I even visited the caves of their inspiration
Where fifty Krell Ariels
Worked their magic mining the future
With mouse-white hands
And eyes red as setting suns

What did they leave behind?

Not much
An accordion afloat in a sea of carnations
A wheezing pump-organ jutting from the sand
Miranda’s faded yellow wedding dress
The coming imprint of a human hand
And a simple message:

The eagle doesn't catch flies.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Walt Whitman

I seem to be reading a lot of Walt Whitman these days ...

O You Whom I Often and Silently Come
O YOU whom I often and silently come where you are, that I may be with you;
As I walk by your side, or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,
Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me.

Saturday, June 05, 2004


Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.
Shakespeare - The Tempest, Act III

An enchanted life has many moments when the heart is overwhelmed with beauty and the imagination is electrified by some haunting quality in the world or by a spirit or voice speaking from deep within a thing, a place, or a person. Enchantment may be a state of rapture and ecstasy in which the soul comes to the foreground, and the literal concerns of survival and daily preoccupation at least momentarily fade into the background.
Thomas Moore

Friday, June 04, 2004

read me and shut up
I was reading a comment on another blog recently to the effect that Comments (particularly frivolous ones) are a pointless addition to a blog. Why? Because, the writer said, 'blogs are for blogging'. Apart from the obvious absurdity of making a negative comment about Comments via a comment this struck me as a particularly elitist and stuffy point of view. I simply don't see what the problem is. Blogs, comments, who cares? This is the Internet not the United Nations Security Council we're talking about. The notion that blogging is some sort of specialised activity, a 'higher calling' of some kind, even an important part of the fabric of society, is simply ludicrous. There are zillions of the bloody things floating around out there, and every one of them has its merits. If it makes the writer happy or fulfilled in some way, that's good; if a single person reads it and gains something from it that's good too; if a million people read it and it changes the world for the better that's equally good. But the world of blogging is not some kind of exclusive club, it doesn't exist on a higher plane, it doesn't need to be protected from infectious diseases such as frivolity, criticism or cyncism which can be transmitted via the Commenting system. If a blog is strong enough it will take everything that's thrown at it with equanimity, and just move onto the next post. Bloggers are not divine entities, although there are, unfortunately, quite a few out there who harbour that delusion. There is not - as far as I'm concerned - some natural pecking order in the blog world. All blogs are created equal. Full stop. Personally I think Comments are a good thing. They are part of the glue that holds the blogworld together and forges new connections within it. It's the mind-set of people who either want to ban them or tally them up as an indicator of a blog's position in some imaginary hierarchy that worries me. Here endeth the rant. Please donate your comments in the plate below. This blog urgently needs funds for a new roof and to complete the Angelina Jolie stained glass window.
Into the Mystic
We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
'Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that foghorn blows I will be coming home
And when that foghorn blows I want to hear it
I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float into the mystic
And when that foghorn blows you know I will be coming home
And when that foghorn whistle blows I got to hear it
I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will float into the mystic
Come on girl ...

Van Morrison

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Did you know that, in China, 435 chickens were scared to death by the siren from a passing squad car, or that a couple in their 80's are divorcing because the husband has decided to have a sex change? Thought not.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

You can do anything you set your mind to

Eminem 'Lose Yourself'
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchainment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.

TS Eliot - from Four Quartets: Burnt Norton

Tuesday, June 01, 2004