zondag, december 27, 2009

Juárez’s main product now is the corpse. Last year, drug-related violence there claimed more than 1,600 lives, and the toll for the first nine months of this year soared beyond 1,800, and mounts daily. That makes Juárez, population 1.5 million, the most violent city in the world. Two lines of graffiti summed up a place where not only law and order but civilization itself has broken down: Mi ciudad pide clemencia en su dementia (“My city asks for mercy in its madness”), and Mi ciudad es un negro lamento un aullido infinito (“My city is a black lament, an eternal howl”). from The Fall of Mexico.

zaterdag, december 19, 2009

Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson:

dinsdag, december 15, 2009

La terre est bleue

La terre est bleue comme une orange
Jamais une erreur les mots ne mentent pas
Ils ne vous donnent plus à chanter
Au tour des baisers de s'entendre
Les fous et les amours
Elle sa bouche d'alliance
Tous les secrets tous les sourires
Et quels vêtements d'indulgence
À la croire toute nue.
Les guêpes fleurissent vert
L'aube se passe autour du cou
Un collier de fenêtres
Des ailes couvrent les feuilles
Tu as toutes les joies solaires
Tout le soleil sur la terre
Sur les chemins de ta beauté.

Paul Eluard

zondag, november 15, 2009

woensdag, september 30, 2009

This past week's films:

4 months 3 weeks



*****

Entre Les Murs



*****

Le Silence De Lorna



*****

Three Monkeys



*****

District 9


zondag, september 13, 2009



Deux œuvres de Georges Fourest
(1867-1945)


Le Cid

Va, je ne te hais point
Pierre Corneille

Le palais de Gormaz, comte et gobernador
est en deuil; pour jamais dort couché sous la pierre
l'hidalgo dont le sang a rougi la rapière
de Rodrigue appelé le Cid Campeador

Le soir tombe. Invoquant les deux saints Paul et Pierre
Chimène, en voile noirs, s'accoude au mirador
et ses yeux dont les pleurs ont brûlé la paupière
regardent, sans rien voir, mourir le soleil d'or ...

Mais un éclair, soudain, fulgure en sa prunelle :
sur la plaza Rodrigue est debout devant elle !
Impassible et hautain, drapé dans sa capa,

le héros meurtrier à pas lents se promène :
"Dieu !" soupire à part soi la plaintive Chimène,
"qu'il est joli garçon l'assassin de Papa !"



Un homme

Justum et tenacem propositi virum
Horace
Gémir, pleurer, prier est également lâche.
Alfred de Vigny

Quand le docteur lui dit : "Monsieur, c'est la vérole
indiscutablement !", quand il fut convaincu
sans pouvoir en douter qu'il était bien cocu
l'Homme n'articula pas la moindre parole.

Quand il réalisa que sa chemise ultime
et son pantalon bleu par un trou laissaient voir
sa fesse gauche et quand il sut que vingt centimes
(oh ! pas même cinq sous !) faisaient tout son avoir

il ne s'arracha point les cheveux, étant chauve,
il ne murmura point : "Que le bon Dieu me sauve !"
ne se poignarda pas comme eût fait un Romain,

sans pleurer, sans gémir, sans donner aucun signe
d'un veule désespoir, calme, simple, très-digne
il prononça le nom de l'excrément humain.

*****

Rimailleur masculin
Celui qui fait de mauvais vers.
Ce n’est qu’un rimailleur.
C’est un plat rimailleur. Il est familier.

*****

LES FEUILLES QUI TOMBENT

*****

carnet
nom masculin
(ancien provençal quern, du latin quaterni, groupe de quatre feuilles)
Petit registre de poche pour notes, comptes, etc. : Carnet d'adresses.
Assemblage de billets, de tickets, de timbres, etc., pouvant être détachés au moment de l'emploi.
Mines
Rigole creusée dans la sole d'une galerie pour l'écoulement de l'eau.
Presse
Rubrique payante d'un journal consacrée à l'état civil des personnes intéressées.

woensdag, augustus 26, 2009

Le Grain et le Mullet

Just got around to seeing this:

zondag, juli 26, 2009

donderdag, juli 23, 2009



à Alfred Tattet

Adversus Absynthium (A l'encontre de l'absinthe)

Absynthe, monstre né jadis pour notre perte
De l’Afrique à Paris traînant ta robe verte
Comment donc as-tu pu sous le soleil oser
Souiller ses lèvres d’or de ton âcre baiser
Vile prostituée en tes temples assise
Tu te vends à l’esprit ainsi qu'à la sottise
Et ne fais nul souci aux adieux, laurier
Qui couvre le Poëte ainsi que le guerrier
Hélas ! n’avait-il pas assez de l’amertume
A laquelle en vivant tout grand cœur s’accoutume
Aussi que l’eau du ciel ......
Qu’il ne reste plus rien de ton amer poison
O monstre sois maudit, je te jette à la face
Les imprécations de Tibulle et d’Horace
Et contre toi j’évoque en mon sein irrité
La langue que parlait la belle antiquité.

Fontainebleau, août 1847
Antoni Deschamps

****(et aussi)****

Five o’clock Absinthe1
By Raoul Ponchon
Quand le couchant étend son voile d'hyacinthe
Sur Rastaquapolis2.
C'est l'heure assurément de prendre son absinthe,
Qu'en penses-tu, mon fils?
C'est en été surtout, quand la soif vous terrasse
– Tels cent Dreyfous3 bavards –
Qu'il convient de chercher une fraîche terrasse4
Le long des boulevards.
Où l'on sait rencontrer l'absinthe la meilleure.
Celle du fils Pernod;
Fi des autres ! De même un dièze est un leurre
Quand il est de Gounod.
Je dis le long des boulevards, et non à Rome,
Ni chez les Bonivards5;
Carpour être absinthier on n'en est pas moins homme.
Et sur nos boulevards
On voit passer les plus suaves créatures
Aux plus gentes façons :
Tout en buvant, cela réveille vos natures,
C'est exquis... mais passons.
Vous avez votre absinthe, il s'agit de la faire;
Ça n'est pas, croyez-moi,
Comme pense un vain peuple, une petite affaire,
Banale et sans émoi.
Il ne faut pas avoir ailleurs l'âme occupée,
Pour le moment du moins.
L'absinthe veut d'abord de la belle eau frappée,
Les dieux m'en soient témoins !
D'eau tiède, il n'en faut pas : Jupiter la condamne.
Toi-même, qu'en dis-tu ?
Autant vaudrait, ma foi, boire du pissat d'âne
Ou du bouillon pointu6
Et n'allez pas comme un qui serait du Hanovre7,
Surtout me l'effrayer,
Avec votre carafe, elle croirait, la povre8 !
Que l'on la veut noyer.
Déridez-la toujours d'une première goutte...
Là... là... tout doucement.
Vous la verrez alors palpiter, vibrer toute,
Sourire ingénûment;
When sundown spreads its hyacinth veil
Over Rastaquapolis
It’s surely time for an absinthe
Don’t you think, my son?
It’s especially in summer, when thirst wears you down
- Like a hundred Dreyfus gossips -
That it’s fitting to seek a fresh terrace
Along the boulevards
Where one finds the best absinthe
That of the sons of Pernod
Forget the rest! They’re like a sharp by Gounod:
mere illusion.
I say along the boulevards, and not in Rome,
Nor at the home of the Bonivards;
To be an absinthier is not to be any less a man.
And on our boulevards
One sees pass the sweetest creatures
With the gentlest manners:
You’re drinking, they rouse your nature,
They are exquisite... but let it pass.
You have your absinthe, it’s all about preparation
This is not, believe me,
As the cynics think, a small matter
Banal and without emotion
The heart should not be elsewhere
For the moment at least.
Absinthe wants first, beautiful ice water
The gods are my witness!
Tepid water, none of that: Jupiter condemns it.
Yourself, what say you?
Might as well, my faith, drink donkey piss
Or enema broth
And don’t come on like a German,
And scare her,
With your carafe; she would think, poor dear!
That you want to drown her.
Always rouse her from the first drop …
Like so ... and so ... very gently
Then behold her quiver, all vibrant
With an innocent smile;

zaterdag, juli 18, 2009

Street Sweeper Social Club:




Mercedes Sosa



Hasta Siempre

SPAIN: NOBODY HAS TO KNOW

Nobody has to know
Girl we've fallen so in love
It was just a year ago
And you've kept it to yourself

Nobody has to know
Nobody has to know

Nobody has to know
Girl our love has grown so strong
Close the shades unplug the phone
How can our love be so wrong

Nobody has to know
Nobody has to know

Nobody has to know
Girl we've fallen so in love
It was just a year ago
And you've kept it to yourself

Nobody has to know
Nobody has to know

vrijdag, juli 17, 2009

Time Will Break The World - The Silver Jews

The sun and the shutters and the sun shattered hair
The butler hesitates at the top of the stairs
A kitten from Great Britain sleeps behind the drapes
An old silver bowl filled with apples and grapes

It's so very cold in the mansion after sunset
The snow is blowing through the baseboard outlets
And I have no idea what drives you, mister
Tanning beds explode with rich women inside

All my poor, hungry children
All my poor, hungry children
All my poor, hungry children
Time will break the world
Time will break the world
Time will break the world

The snow falls down so beautiful and stupid
For the black silhoutte of Abraham Lincoln trees
The sky's low and grey like a Japanese table
And my horse's legs look like four brown shotguns

The icicles are dripping like the whole house is weeping
On an evil little car with gull-wing doors
And I have no idea what drives you, mister
But I've killed you in my mind so many times before

All my poor, hungry children
All my poor, hungry children
All my poor, hungry children
Time will break the world
Time will break the world
Time will break the world

vrijdag, juli 10, 2009

caloric restriction as the new longevity scheme

*****

re: Brasserie Wepler, place Clichy:

Du côté des écrivains, le spectacle mouvementé des passants, l'animation sensuelle qui règnent sur la place, fascinent. Dès 1928, Henry Miller en fait son repère préféré. « Je m'y suis assis à la terrasse et à l'intérieur, par tous les temps et à toutes les heures du jour et de la nuit. C'était pour moi un livre ouvert. Tous les visages des garçons, des gérants, des caissières, des putains, de la clientèle et même des dames de lavabos sont gravés dans ma mémoire comme les images d'un livre que j'aurais feuilletés tous les jours.» Jours tranquilles à Clichy.


******

And, recounting on Montmartre:

jusqu'on 17eme siecle, son utilisation pour construire les maisons a ete intensive, au point que le dicton en vogue etait Il y a plus de Montmartre dans Paris que de Paris dans Montmartre...

And sadly, no pictures to upload yet, but if it helps, my current location:


Agrandir le plan

maandag, mei 11, 2009

FILM

Curious to see what they'd have to say about Happy Go Lucky after watching this, Mike Leigh's new film.

This bird, laughing smiling, whole philosophy was about making people, making the world around her better. It was all very esoteric and boring, annoying even, the mindless giggling and chatter, I almost grew to hate this character until the freak driving instructor's massive outburst allowed her to reveal a human side which was more than one dimensional. Had other dimensions of the bird's character come out sooner, might not have had to have felt as though the first 45 minutes of the movie was an endurance contest.

anyway, here's what "they" say:

Poppy Cross is happy-go-lucky. At 30, she lives in Camden: cheeky, playful, frank while funny, and talkative to strangers. She's a conscientious and exuberant primary-school teacher, flatmates with Zoe, her long-time friend; she's close to one sister, and not so close to another. In this slice of life story, we watch her take driving lessons from Scott, a dour and tightly-wound instructor, take classes in flamenco dance from a fiery Spaniard, encounter a tramp in the night, and sort out a student's aggressive behavior with a social worker's help. Along the way, we wonder if her open attitude puts her at risk of misunderstanding or worse. What is the root of happiness?


Well, what is at the root of being one-dimensional?

In any event, here's the trailer, decide for yourself in 1 minute 47 seconds.

zondag, mei 10, 2009

VILNIUS POKER




from Ričardas Gavelis

What they say:

Ričardas Gavelis wrote to intimidate and attack, and his novel Vilnius Poker, seldom subtle in its language, demands attention. It is a masterwork of bitterness and sarcasm, one that descends into the self-destructive impulses of those who, though they physically survived the privations inherent to Soviet Russia, were nonetheless emotionally traumatized. Part national rant, part passage into madness, Vilnius Poker is more than a product of the Cold War. It is a condemnation of everything Gavelis thought was wrong with Lithuania, and this first English translation, published twenty years after Poker was originally written, feels fresh.

Vilnius Poker is disorienting, as right from the start Gavelis offers Vytautas Vargalys, an extravagant, energetic narrator whose thoughts shift between the lucid and the figurative. The speaker for the first two-thirds of the book, Vargalys is a survivor of a Russian prison camp where he was physically beaten and emotionally destroyed. His once-brilliant future was ruined by the camps, and he now obsesses and rants about the failures of Lithuania; in fact, so thorough was his transformation that his survival of the camps seems almost futile. As with much of Vilnius Poker, Gavelis never says precisely how Vargalys survived; instead, the inhumanity of the camp haunts Vargalys as he suffers from post traumatic stress—induced flashbacks.


What HE says:

(page 31)
..."I began on The Way against my will. I had already settled down and forgotten all the quests for meaning. Even chest pains no longer upset me - it was just the first ones that were frightening. I no longer tormented myself if I didn't feel the slightest desire when I saw an ideally sexy woman. I was forty-three years old..."


(Page 43):
"Only those who have lost their spirit fear the monsters of the interior. Only those who have lost their balance pretend their insides are pure and refined. You can only become truly great by joining your heaven with your hell. All of the good in people is the same but the kingdom of evil is different in everyone."


(Page 54):
"That he could even have those kinds of feeling surprised me, but I quickly figured it out. He was afraid to be left forgotten and alone, to fail to attract others' attention for even a second. Every person who still has a thing or two left inside is able to be alone with himself. There was nothing inside this lumbering figure that could be relied on. He no longer had himself, so a secret fear constantly gnawed at him..."


(Page 77):
"It is the Vilnius Basilisk's gaze, piercing me every morning, a morning that begins with the overcrowded trollybus, the crush of figures, the jounrey from non-existence into none-existence: from the drabness of dreamless sleep to the unthinking work machine. It's only by Their will that the tired figures with puffy eyes cram into iron boxes with fly-covered windows and slowly creak towards their daily bondage. The day begins with smells: the stink of rancid sweat and cheap soap, the stench of last night's drinking, and a whiff of nightmares...."


And after that, just try and imagine what it was like all those years, winter, summer, good weather, shite weather, always under the gaze of communism, all lives for generations lived under that shadow. No matter what you're doing now, that was their reality then. Imagine that. Miserable yet still trying to live life, still trying to fart out a few joys...

maandag, mei 04, 2009

FOR THAT COLD AND RAINY FUTURE DAY:

vrijdag, mei 01, 2009

The Three Acts I saw in Győr Last Weekend

Artem Chepkonakov



Omar Sosa Afreecanos Trio



Astillero

donderdag, april 23, 2009

Fat People Will Pay More

The chieftains at Ryan Air could show the government a thing or two about raising revenues.

Look at this, democracy in action, letting people VOTE how to charge fat people more money to fly:

The Ryanair proposals are:

* Charge per kg over 130kg/20 stone (male) and 100kg/15 stone (females);

* Charge per inch for every waist inch over 45 inch (male) and 40 inch (female);

* Charge for every point in excess of 40 points on the Body Mass Index (+30 points is obese);

* Charge for a second seat if passengers’ waist touches both armrests simultaneously.

Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said: “With passengers voting overwhelmingly for a ‘fat tax’ we are now asking them to suggest which format the charge should take.


So why didn't Alistair Darling unveil in his Idiot's Guide To Losing Money Budget a new tax on fat people too? I mean look around you in England, people. There's positively billions that could be had making fat people pay more for existing.

Why stop at the rich and the pub crawlers and the fat people for that matter?

How about a poor tax?

It's a great idea. The way it works is that children borne to a mother with no job and on benefits or a family already unable to sustain itself, are sold, by the government, to the highest child labour bidder. Just think about it - with the birth rate among people on benefits being what it is Poor Kids And Cheap Labour could become England's new and fastest growing export industry.


"There is nothing worst than the person sitting next to you on the plane taking half your seat as well. It is only fair that these people pay for a double seat
."
stan white, leeds, u/k, comments in the article about the Ryan Air fat tax.

Only fair? Why let them fly at all? Why not ground them for life? Should fat people be allowed to fly? It defies gravity. Not to mention the added risk to a plane flying with fat people on board.

I don't think there should be a new surcharge on fat people for flying Ryan Air.

Ryan Air should just be bold and make it a company policy: Hey Fat People, Fuck Off. We Don't Want Your Business.

*****

Here's the funny bit about the alleged bold fuck you to rich people entailed in Darling's new budget:

Firstly, he's going to raise the planned new top rate of tax on incomes over £150,000 from 45% to 50%.

Then, people with incomes over £150,000 will also see their pension tax relief restricted from 2011, while personal allowances will be scrapped for those on incomes over £100,000 from next April.

Bravo.

Or not.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned the hike would produce far less revenue than the Treasury hoped unless more stringent measures were brought in to crack down on tax avoidance.

Michael Wistow, head of tax at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, said: "History shows that increasing tax rates rarely achieves the objective of increasing the tax take, individuals will now look to find other ways of earning money or reducing tax liabilities."

Greed. You gotta love it.

zondag, april 19, 2009

Dominic Lawson has more than a few realistic pokes at new Labour in Beware green jobs, the new sub-prime:

That remarkable prime ministerial pledge predated the recession; its motive was to demonstrate that Britain was “leading the world in the battle against climate change”. We aren’t, as a matter of fact; but under new Labour we have certainly led the world at claiming to do so. Mandelson expressed this almost satirically last week when he declared that “Britain has taken a world lead in setting ambitious targets for carbon reduction”.

As ever, new Labour confuses announcements and newspaper headlines with real action. Whenever it becomes obvious even to ministers that Britain will not meet its current carbon reduction target, they replace it with a yet tougher target, only with an extended deadline.


Listen to Uranus Bruyant:

...an overvitaminated version of a funk brass band, directly connected to James BROWN, Maceo PARKER, Georges CLINTON, an others such as DIRTY DOZEN Brass Band. The eight musicians spread an amazing groovy feeling throughout their original tracks, mixing jazz and funk, with powerful brass instruments and crazy beats.

A banjo, a tuba, a bass drum and a snare : the rhythm section turns you into dancing, you can't help it !

Two saxophones, a trumpet, a trombone : a line of blowers with various backgounds, who can put an audience on fire with their wild soli !

maandag, april 13, 2009






Hugging the curves of the River Avon, nestled among the West Country hills, allow Bath's Georgian and Gothic architecture, cobblestone streets lined with exquisite cathedrals, tasteful manor homes, and quaint shops that speak to another time, empower you and reveal life's slower pace.

Atop a grand hill discover the Royal Crescent, an architectural treasure with sweeping vistas of the townscape below. Thirty elegant townhouses of honey-colored stone in the Georgian tradition designed by John Wood in 1767, is today one of the most popular and opulent hotels in Bath, the Royal Crescent Hotel.

The springs and sacred Roman Baths date back 7,000 years when the Celtics worshipped the goddess Sulis. When the Roman legions occupied the city, the citizenry gathered around the 'watering hole,' to drink the natural elixir, socialize and soak in the calming mineral waters of the Great Roman Baths. On your walk through history, the steamy waters reflect statuary, pillars and ancient artifacts but leave your bathing suit at home. Bring with you a desire for tranquillity and inner peace. For a glorious ritual of fire and water that will renew your soul, join an escorted torchlit tour of the baths on any August evening. In the Pump Rooms be sure to grab a glass of spring mineral water; the town's people swear to its rejuvenating properties. On second thought, you might want to stash a case in your luggage for the trip home.

Bath Abbey, begun in 1499 and completed in 1606, built in the Perpendicular (late-Gothic) style, can be seen from the terrace of the Roman Baths. Carved in stone, angels ascending ladders decorate the front of the Abby. In the interior, read the inscriptions on the tombs of the romantic poets, bards, and kings etched in stone walls and floor.

zondag, april 05, 2009



Now THAT is what you might call a good show.

Especially if you took the bass player from Butcher, the front man/guitar from Howlin Lord and the drummer from The Hateful, mixed it all up.

*****

Europe's Last Man

Is it true that Western Europeans, after half a century of peace and prosperity, suffer from the kind of moral malaise that Nietzsche warned about, and that Fukuyama and Kagan diagnosed? One way to answer this question is to listen, not to American pundits, but to Europeans themselves—in particular, to their novelists. In the nineteenth century, a reader of Dostoevsky and Flaubert could have gained insights into the state of Europe that a reader of newspapers would have missed. In the twenty-first, it is at least possible that the most significant European novelists can give us similar insights. Precisely because novels are not, and should not be, political documents, they offer a less guarded, more intuitive report on the inner life of a society. And when novelists from different European countries, writing in different languages and very different styles, all seem to corroborate one another’s intuitions, it is at least fair to wonder whether a real cultural shift is under way.

The three novels I wish to consider are not, of course, anything like a representative sample of the fiction being written in Europe over the last two decades. But W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn, Michel Houellebecq’s The Elementary Particles, and Ian McEwan’s Saturday are as distinguished and emblematic a selection as might be made. All of these writers were born in the 1940s and 1950s, and emerged as major novelists in the 1990s. In other words, they are members of the post–World War II generation, and did or are doing their most important work in the post–Cold War period. They belong to, and write about, a cosmopolitan, peaceful, unified Western Europe: McEwan (b. 1948) is English; Sebald (1944–2001), a German, spent most of his adult life in England; and Houellebecq (b. 1958), who is French, has lived in Ireland and Spain.


*****

so this drunk man with one arm and three legs walks into a bar and says come to Slovakia. Really.

*****

And in just a few words, Hanif Kureishi, in Something to Tell You has managed to summarise England:

"The typical figures on the streets were a young man in a green bomber jacket, jeans and polished boots, followed by an under-dressed teenager with her hair scraped back -the 'Croydon face-lift' - pushing a pram. Other girls in micro-minis, drift sullenly about, boys on bicycles circling them, drinking sweet vodka mashes from the bottle and tossing them into gardens. And among these binge-mingers, debtors and doggers hurried Muslim women with their heads covered, pulling their children."


Yes, it's only one thumbnail of England, but summarises so clearly the miserable hopelessness, the pointless push forward to the next day.


Wouldn't it be funny if people from America or Europe came to England in packs of one to two dozen for the sole intention of getting wasted, puking on England's streets, smashing England's shop windows, and shouting down the English public?

dinsdag, maart 31, 2009

MORE ST MALO


L'Azur

De l'éternel azur la sereine ironie
Accable, belle indolemment comme les fleurs,
Le poëte impuissant qui maudit son génie
À travers un désert stérile de Douleurs.

Fuyant, les yeux fermés, je le sens qui regarde
Avec l'intensité d'un remords atterrant,
Mon âme vide. Où fuir? Et quelle nuit hagarde
Jeter, lambeaux, jeter sur ce mépris navrant?

Brouillards, montez! Versez vos cendres monotones
Avec de longs haillons de brume dans les cieux
Qui noiera le marais livide des automnes
Et bâtissez un grand plafond silencieux!

Et toi, sors des étangs léthéens et ramasse
En t'en venant la vase et les pâles roseaux,
Cher Ennui, pour boucher d'une main jamais lasse
Les grands trous bleus que font méchamment les oiseaux.

Encor! que sans répit les tristes cheminées
Fument, et que de suie une errante prison
Éteigne dans l'horreur de ses noires traînées
Le soleil se mourant jaunâtre à l'horizon!

- Le Ciel est mort. - Vers toi, j'accours! donne, ô matière,
L'oubli de l'Idéal cruel et du Péché
À ce martyr qui vient partager la litière
Où le bétail heureux des hommes est couché,

Car j'y veux, puisque enfin ma cervelle, vidée
Comme le pot de fard gisant au pied d'un mur,
N'a plus l'art d'attifer la sanglotante idée,
Lugubrement bâiller vers un trépas obscur...

En vain! l'Azur triomphe, et je l'entends qui chante
Dans les cloches. Mon âme, il se fait voix pour plus
Nous faire peur avec sa victoire méchante,
Et du métal vivant sort en bleus angelus!

Il roule par la brume, ancien et traverse
Ta native agonie ainsi qu'un glaive sûr;
Où fuir dans la révolte inutile et perverse?
Je suis hanté. L'Azur! l'Azur! l'Azur! l'Azur!

Stéphane Mallarmé



St Malo I





Le guignon

Au-dessus du bétail ahuri des humains
Bondissaient en clarté les sauvages crinières
Des mendiants d'azur le pied dans nos chemins.

Un noir vent sur leur marche éployé pour bannières
La flagellait de froid tel jusque dans la chair,
Qu'il y creusait aussi d'irritables ornières.

Toujours avec l'espoir de rencontrer la mer,
Ils voyageaient sans pain, sans bâtons et sans urnes,
Mordant au citron d'or de l'idéal amer.

La plupart râla dans les défilés nocturnes,
S'enivrant du bonheur de voir couler son sang,
O Mort le seul baiser aux bouches taciturnes!

Leur défaite, c'est par un ange très puissant
Debout à l'horizon dans le nu de son glaive:
Une pourpre se caille au sein reconnaissant.

Ils tettent la douleur comme ils tétaient le rêve
Et quand ils vont rythmant de pleurs voluptueux
Le peuple s'agenouille et leur mère se lève.

Ceux-là sont consolés, sûrs et majestueux;
Mais traînent à leurs pas cent frères qu'on bafoue,
Dérisoires martyrs de hasards tortueux.

Le sel pareil des pleurs ronge leur douce joue,
Ils mangent de la cendre avec le même amour,
Mais vulgaire ou bouffon le destin qui les roue.

Ils pouvaient exciter aussi comme un tambour
La servile pitié des races à voix terne,
Égaux de Prométhée à qui manque un vautour!

Non, vils et fréquentant les déserts sans citerne,
Ils courent sous le fouet d'un monarque rageur,
Le Guignon, dont le rire inouï les prosterne.

Amants, il saute en croupe à trois, le partageur!
Puis le torrent franchi, vous plonge en une mare
Et laisse un bloc boueux du blanc couple nageur.

Grâce à lui, si l'un souffle à son buccin bizarre,
Des enfants nous tordront en un rire obstiné
Qui, le poing à leur cul, singeront sa fanfare.

Grâce à lui, si l'une orne à point un sein fané
Par une rose qui nubile le rallume,
De la bave luira sur son bouquet damné.

Et ce squelette nain, coiffé d'un feutre à plume
Et botté, dont l'aisselle a pour poils vrais des vers,
Est pour eux l'infini de la vaste amertume.

Vexés ne vont-ils pas provoquer le pervers,
Leur rapière grinçant suit le rayon de lune
Qui neige en sa carcasse et qui passe au travers.

Désolés sans l'orgueil qui sacre l'infortune,
Et tristes de venger leurs os de coups de bec,
Ils convoitent la haine, au lieu de la rancune.

Ils sont l'amusement des racleurs de rebec,
Des marmots, des putains et de la vieille engeance
Des loqueteux dansant quand le broc est à sec.

Les poëtes bons pour l'aumône ou la vengeance,
Ne connaissent le mal de ces dieux effacés,
Les disent ennuyeux et sans intelligence.

« Ils peuvent fuir ayant de chaque exploit assez,
» Comme un vierge cheval écume de tempête
» Plutôt que de partir en galops cuirassés.

» Nous soûlerons d'encens le vainqueur de la fête:
» Mais eux, pourquoi n'endosser pas, ces baladins,
» D'écarlate haillon hurlant que l'on s'arrête! »

Quand en face tous leur ont craché les dédains,
Nuls et la barbe à mots bas priant le tonnerre,
Ces héros excédés de malaises badins

Vont ridiculement se pendre au réverbère.

Stéphane Mallarmé

zondag, maart 22, 2009

SUNDAY ROUNDABOUT

Teetotaller's Anonymous...

They, too, will have to confess their helplessness, their shame at the night they got home at 10.30 and didn't piss in the sock drawer. Their sadly unexciting, considerate treatment of their partner. The fact that they have no anecdotes about being off their face, wasted, wrecked, and out of it. The lack of red wine stains on their lips, and the absence of liquid excuses for their behaviour.


*****

Gay Jokes and Illegal ComedY

Rod Liddle, the Funny Man of the Op-Ed Pages, gets snarky about legislation to make homophobic jokes illegal in So a gay, blind suicide bomber walks into a bar...

For years I found racist jokes extremely boring – but they became funny when it was apparent that the act of telling them could (a) lose you your job and (b) bring the Old Bill down on you with a charge of inciting racial hatred. Now, as a consequence, I find almost all racist jokes hilarious, especially ones about Muslims and particularly if they are cartoons which feature Allah or Muhammad or fat ladies in burqas saying to one another: “Does my bomb look big in this?”

However, I don’t find them quite as funny as I find jokes about physical or mental disabilities – they are the real howlers these days. And that’s because the disability lobby has become so preternaturally sensitive, so disposed towards pouncing on anything which might be construed as disablist. Consequently, these days, all you have to do is say “and guess what . . . he only had one arm!” and I fall about laughing.


*****The Vigilante Bus?*****

AIG protesters took a bus tour of the homes of AIG executives yesterday but without significant incident.

"It's very hard to see people who've made such a contribution to our community singled out," a resident who is married to an obviously well-paid executive said. "Why don't they single out people who took out mortgages they couldn't afford?"

Contribution to the community? She must be on about the Community of Selfish Fucks.

******

Death Jazz

vrijdag, maart 20, 2009

The Seedier Side of Life

Hobo Stripper:

I live in a van. Yeah, down by the river. And I dance nekkid for money. Weird, I know, but it's my path, and it's full of beauty and bliss. I hope my writings will inspire you to look inward to your own bliss. If you want to live in a van or be a stripper, then wow, I've got some tips for you.


*****


woensdag, maart 18, 2009

Shoe Cannons and "Complete Phonies"



I don't which bit is funnier on the absurdity scale:

Dubya Bush, offering to help President Obama by saying that "the president deserves my silence, and if he wants my help he can pick up the phone and call me."

Or the fact that at the building Bush was in

Up to 400 demonstrators chanted and threw shoes outside the venue – though police disabled a makeshift cannon rigged to fire shoes into the street.


Footwear has been collected and a cannon has been constructed to toss shoes at an effigy of the much-maligned leader in homage to the Iraqi reporter who chucked his loafers at Mr. Bush last December and was sentenced last week to three years in prison.


A shoe cannon?
Advise from Bush?

You do the maths.

note how engaged and energised Brown's cabinet members appear...hey Jacqui Smith, how about another Qualude?

And then, over on the other side of the pond, Tory leader David Cameron showed his mastery of the economic crisis and political theory generally by stating:

"I'm glad you are back to reading out quotations. We now know how long a pledge from you lasts. Yesterday you said in the Guardian, 'I personally have always said that modern politics, with its focus on who said what, when and how, is far too divisive to meet the problems of the country'. What a complete phoney!"


Glad to see the deep intellectual debate as the country goes down the pisser.

dinsdag, maart 17, 2009



First Scotland raised the minimum on cheap drinks to combat the thirst of their own countrymen, then England started sniffing around the notion. After all, somewhere in there can be found more revenue for an insatiable Gordon Brown whose Labour Party's limits for stealth taxes and cash penalties knows no bounds.

However, as it is pointed out in Concussing yourself with cheap cider does not veto your right to fairness. Not sure when "fairness" has ever entered into the equation but the author makes a few good, if not tongue-in-cheek points:

I think we have to consign to the dustbin of dur the fact that it takes publicly funded research to establish that young people and alcoholics prefer drinks that don't cost very much, and move on.


What? And take away the rights of publically funded researchers to collect salaries pointing out the criminally obvious?!

Oh right, the country is bankrupt, the world economy is in the pisser and hmmm, it must be time to release a study on the drinking habits of The Young and The Poor and poke around the idea of making it more expensive for them to drink.

The writer also appears to rightly have it in for Sir Liam Donaldson:

Perhaps he is one of those who simply despise people he considers weak. What do you call them again? Oh yeah, Tories. His proposals are that alcohol be priced at a minimum of 50p a unit, and he defended all this with the rather emotive statement that the "quality of life of families and in cities and towns up and down the country is being eroded by the effects of excessive drinking. Cheap alcohol is killing us as never before." (I cannot stand it, by the way, when one's status and respectability are elevated by this airy reference to "families". Are we all in a family, or do you have to physically live with the buggers? Do we all deserve our quality of life to be considered, or just those with children and/or parents?)


Well of course, rallying around the empty slogan of children and families is the new vanguard of moral cowardice, innit?

It's a tactic the psychopathic morality of the Republican Party in America has used with great success for years.

Meanwhile, is it the fault of cheap alcohol that the UK is to lose 1 million more jobs?

Diversion. Don't look here, look over there. Those cheap drunks and corrupted youth.

*****



See any drunks among these faces?

This extraordinary painting depicting 103 figures from world history in striking detail has become the latest internet hit.

Message boards have erupted with contests to identify all those featured, who range from instantly recognisable figures like Gandhi to some more obscure figures such as Liu Xiang, the Chinese hurdler who limped out of the Beijing Olympics in the summer.

maandag, maart 16, 2009






Random Bits

"I often perceive my native language as alien. Not until I found
myself abroad did I notice that my fellow countrymen communicate in a
kind of half-language, half-swallowing their words and uttering
semi-sounds. I experience my native language as an attempt by a
linguistic invalid to vonvey even the simplest though through
gestures, grimaces and intonations. Conversations among my
compatriots seem long, exhausting and devoid of content. Instead of
talking, they seem to be stroking each other with words, spreading a
soothing, sonorous saliva over one another...."


and then a little later, speaking about a colleague from Zagreb: "He
had a Zagreb way of talking that gone my nerves - the la-di-da stress
on the last syllable, the constant use of reflexives, verbal forms
referring to the self, that made him sound intimately related to
everything other on earth..."


both from: The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugrešić

*****

pensée: a thought expressed in literary form. A pensée can be short and in a specific form, such as an aphorism or epigram, or it can be as long as a paragraph or a page. The term originated with French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, whose Pensées (1670) was a collection of some 800 to 1,000 notes and manuscript fragments expressing his religious beliefs. The form was particularly popular in French literature, as in Denis Diderot’s Pensées philosophiques (1746).

*****

Bay of Fundy:

The Bay of Fundy is known for its high tidal range and the bay is contested as having the highest vertical tidal range in the world with Ungava Bay in northern Quebec and The Severn Estuary in the UK


The river becomes the Severn Estuary after the Second Severn Crossing between Severn Beach, South Gloucestershire and Sudbrook, Monmouthshire. The river then discharges into the Bristol Channel which in turn discharges into the Celtic Sea and the wider Atlantic Ocean. The Severn's drainage basin area is 11,420 square kilometres (4,409 sq mi), excluding the River Wye and Bristol Avon which flow into the Bristol Channel.

zaterdag, maart 14, 2009

Nosso estranho amor

(Marina Lima)

Não quero sugar todo o seu leite
Nem quero você enfeite do meu ser
Apenas te peço que respeite
O meu louco querer

Não importa com quem você se deite
Que você se deleite seja com quem for
Apenas te peço que aceite
O meu estranho amor
Ah! Mãinha
Deixa o ciúme chegar
Deixa o ciúme passar
E sigamos juntos
Ah! Neguinha
Deixa eu gostar de você
Pra lá do meu coração
Não me diga nunca não
Teu corpo combina com meu jeito
Nós dois fomos feitos muito pra nós dois
Não valham dramáticos defeitos
Mas o que está depois
Não vamos fuçar nossos defeitos
Cravar sobre o peito as unhas do rancor
Lutemos, mas só pelo direito
Ao nosso estranho amor
Ah! Mãinha
Deixa o ciúme chegar
Deixa o ciúme passar
E sigamos juntos
Ah! Neguinha
Deixa eu gostar de você
Pra lá do meu coração
Não me diga nunca não
Ah! Mãinha
Deixa o ciúme chegar
Deixa o ciúme passar
E sigamos juntos
Ah! Neguinha
Deixa eu gostar de você
Pra lá do meu coração
Não me diga nunca não.
By all means, the new "must read" piece of lit comes from The Conqueror by Jan Kjaerstad which pulls you in from the first words and drags you immediately into another world. I read the first few pages excerpted on Amazon and when the excerpt ended, ordered the book. I can't wait to read the rest of it.



A proper analysis can be found at Three Percent. Tysend tak.

*****gotan project*****



*****Queen of Funk: Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings****
(merci, chez lubacov



*****

Hey how about another fat dollop of worthless government intrusive blundering cleverly masked in concerns for terrorism? Haven't had enough yet? Still hungry? Good, because it is now alleged that all travel plans and personal details will be traced by the Government.

In most cases the information will be expected to be provided 24 hours ahead of travel and will then be stored on a Government database for around ten years. The changes are being brought in as the Government tries to tighten border controls and increase protection against the threat of "international terrorism".


International terrorism indeed.

Like all those terrorists putting the wrong rubbish in their bins covered under the 2000 Terrorism Act?

Or all those Icelandic terrorists out there?

Could it be they are merely trying to track Satan?

The marks were similar to those in the original Devil's Footprints which have been shrouded in mystery for over 150 years when it was believed Devon was visited by the devil himself.

Legend has it that on February 8, 1855, a trail of hoof-like marks following straight lines appeared in the snow for more than 100 miles across South Devon.

vrijdag, maart 13, 2009

NeoCapitalism?



The FT unleashes another in a series of considered essays on the future of capitalism:

What, then, is capitalism’s future? Our current, damaged system is not, despite Marx’s hopes, to be replaced by a totally egalitarian, communist society (such arrangements might be there in life after death). Our future political economy will probably not be one in which Smith or his present-day disciples could find much comfort: there will be a higher-than-welcome degree of government interference in “the market”, somewhat larger taxes and heavy public disapprobation of the profit principle in general. Schumpeter and Keynes, one suspects, will feel rather more at home with our new post-excess neocapitalist political economy. It will be a system where the animal spirits of the market will be closely watched (and tamed) by a variety of national and international zookeepers – a taming of which the great bulk of the spectators will heartily approve – but there will be no ritual murder of the free-enterprise principle, even if we have to plunge further into depression for the next years. Homus Economicus will take a horrible beating. But capitalism, in modified form, will not disappear. Like democracy, it has serious flaws – but, just as one find faults with democracy, the critics of capitalism will discover that all other systems are worse. Political economy tells us so.

woensdag, maart 11, 2009

It would be nice to have a few more details as to the restrictions and dictats that are alleged causing banks in America to return their bailout money handouts.



It would appear that other than unfounded allegations of "social engineering" the cuts in executive pay packages and other potential government "demands" don't sit well with bankers who are accustomed to being the ones ramming it to people rather than the other way around.

One of the biggest concerns of the banks is that the program lets Congress and the administration pile on new conditions at any time.

The demands to modify mortgages or forestall evictions are especially onerous, some bank executives and experts say, because they could prompt some institutions to take steps that could lead to greater losses.


Hmmm, piling on new conditions at any time? Putting those receiving funds to take steps that could lead to greater losses? Sounds a little like the way banks treated customers for years and years and years.

Well and truly one must be comforted by the mantra that if bankers don't like it or are against it, it must be good.

Since when are they to be believed and further, given they've already ground the economy into dust with their insatiable greed, what credibility to bankers really have anyway? They're going to lose money? Well, they did a brilliant job of that on their own so the claim rings a little hollow at this point.

Of course, if you're interested in detailed analysis of what the IMF believes is the appropriate fiscal policy for the financial crisis, and you have time to sift through 38 pages of bureaucratic economo-speak, it's there for the reading.

On the other hand, to the delight of reductionists everywhere, the policies and ideas are neatly summarised by the FT as:

temporary spending and tax cuts aimed at high-spending groups will be more effective and less risky than broad tax cuts.


In other words, "sustaining demand", the ironic way that this all works is give MORE money to those who already HAVE more. Think we've heard that one before, haven't we?



*****

Come to think of it, no point in worrying about economies collapsing or not having any money. We should be saving up for scuba equipment because we're all going to be underwater in a matter of months anyway

Sounds like a good reductionist terror lead for GMTV or BBC Breakfast, both of whom are desperate (perhaps GMTV moreso because their funding isn't predicated on the extortion of UK tax payers).

Sea levels are predicted to rise twice as fast as was forecast by the United Nations only two years ago, threatening hundreds of millions of people with catastrophe, scientists said yesterday in a dramatic new warning about climate change. Rapidly melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are likely to push up sea levels by a metre or more by 2100, swamping coastal cities and obliterating the living space of 600 million people who live in deltas, low-lying areas and small island states.

Low-lying countries with increasing populations, such as Bangladesh, Burma and Egypt, could see large parts of their surface areas vanish. Experts in Bangladesh estimate that a one-metre rise in sea levels would swamp 17 per cent of the country's land mass. Pacific islands such as Tuvalu, where 12,000 people live just a few feet above sea level, and the Maldives, would face complete obliteration.


Oh, I dunno. The hysteria just doesn't seem "real" enough unless it's got a failed and gutless American politician making a film about it.

If you're feeling hopeless, you could always watch Sizzle, a mocumentary about global warming.

*****

PSST, have I got a conspiracy for YOU!

What if it were the same gunman (or gunmen) here and here?

Samson contractor Greg McCullough said he was pumping petrol at the station when the gunman opened fire, killing a woman coming out of the service station and wounding McCullough in the shoulder and arm with bullet fragments that struck his truck and the pump.

``I first thought it was somebody playing,'' he said


Somebody playing? They sure play hard in Alabama.



And maybe even in Northern Ireland

Northern Irish politics is, as a rule, boring. Think about the material you have to work with. Between Martin McGuinness’ lachrymose banalities and Peter Robinson’s rigid bigotry (there is a great deal of both in Stormont), there is little room to be inspiring. The only occasional frisson is when one of the demented crackpots of the hard right says something unspeakably ignorant and stupid. Sammy Wilson, the environment minister, denies that there is such a thing as man-made global warming, and that ensures that his smug, dopy-eyed, reddened face gets on the news for a week. (Sammy is also, you may care to know, an Ulster Jobs for Ulster Workers guy). Likewise, when Iris Robinson MP, spouse to First Minister Peter, describes homosexuality as being “viler” than child abuse, there follows a brief uproar before the the usual run of anti-gay violence is resumed with vengeance. (Not that Nothern Ireland has a problem with exaggerated machismo - anyone who says it does will receive a boot in the ballicks.) Though I have not visited NI for years, and don’t feel much connection to it, it is hard not to be embarrassed by the kinds of people who get elected in that neck of the woods. They are so obviously unfit for the job. They should be spreading mulch and spouting misanthropy out in the suburbs and farming communities.

dinsdag, maart 10, 2009






BRISTOL MORN WALKS III





BRISTOL MORN WALKS, II

Back by popular demand, a further in the series of early morning/dawn walks around the city of Bristol, UK.