2018’s last post: wrap-up, updates, plans, and so on.

As is my yearly Christmas custom, I have gone down with something nasty, most likely a strand of the bubonic plague. So because I have been hibernating or coughing my lungs out, I have not been able to do as much stuff as I’d wanted, including posting here. But I feel better now so it’s time for the obligatory wrap-up post.

Continue reading “2018’s last post: wrap-up, updates, plans, and so on.”

November 13 post: A story to remember

Once there was a master pick-up artist for whom the tricks of his trade were to him as natural as breathing. He got around the world, worming himself into women’s mind and bedrooms with equal ease. But during his last escapade (to the exotic nation of Moldavia,) news of his arrival got around first (his social media posts stating “BITCHES be ready, I’M HERE” probably didn’t help either.)

The women had been forewarned, and some now were forearmed, and they shunned him in bars, shopping malls, coffee shops, and maternity wards. But The Master, for that was his professional name, had always known this could happen and had many contingency plans ready for such a situation and knew that, eventually, he would get around the problem.

With flair and finesse, he dressed himself up into a human peacock. Two long, dangling skull earrings, a crystal cane, a double-breasted coat that could have only been worn by Dracula himself, a silver stole, more rings you can count, a top hat, and a fanciful beard later, he was not only outrageously embellished but also unrecognizable. Ready for action, he got around the ladies with humor, guile, charisma, and judicious negging, and then, finally, he really got around with the ladies.


 

Yes, this is just a made-up story to help me remember the various meanings of the phrasal verb “to get around.”

Game of Scoliosis*, manly posture, suits, and other stuff.

*Kyphosis, actually, but that doesn’t sound that funny.

I saw this image yesterday, and I chuckled immediately. It was a reflexive laughter, and it took me awhile to understand what exactly had triggered my reaction.

GoT
That’s from the TV show Game of Thrones, in case you have been living under a rock these last years. Image Sauce: NYTimes

As I said, I laughed when I saw this, even before I had consciously processed what I had seen. A few minutes of heavy thunkin’ later, I realized what was wrong: they look ridiculous while trying to look cool, which is the worst kind of ridiculousness that exists.

Continue reading “Game of Scoliosis*, manly posture, suits, and other stuff.”

A fiction writer, a mysanthrope, and a behaviorist walk into a bar…

One of the most known quotes from the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft is

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. These facts few psychologists will dispute, and their admitted truth must establish for all time the genuineness and dignity of the weirdly horrible tale as a literary form.

from his Supernatural Horror in Literature (1927.) Many people recognize it, and it’s a thought attributed to him even though the next sentence states he thought it was (or wanted to present it as such) common knowledge: “These facts few psychologists will dispute.” He didn’t believe he was discovering anything new.

In any event, I believe I may have stumbled upon Lovecraft’s inspiration for his famous statement.

Continue reading “A fiction writer, a mysanthrope, and a behaviorist walk into a bar…”

“Anyone attaining the age of 999 years shall be deemed dead in law.”

From the life of Richard Pockrich (1690?-1745,) inventor of the Musical Glasses.

“Richard was left at the age of twenty-five an unencumbered fortune of 4,000l. a year (Pilkington, Memoirs), but all his resources he dissipated in the pursuit of visionary projects. He proposed to plant vineyards in reclaimed Irish bogs, to supply men-of-war with tin boats which would not sink, to secure immortality by the transfusion of blood, and to provide human beings with wings.”

Source: Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 45

Continue reading ““Anyone attaining the age of 999 years shall be deemed dead in law.””

Random Derrida #2

Today, in Random Derrida™, it’s Glas (1974)! It’s a book by Derrida described on Wikipedia as “It combines a reading of Hegel‘s philosophical works and of Jean Genet‘s autobiographical writing. ‘One of Derrida’s more inscrutable books,’[1] its form and content invite a reflection on the nature of literary genre and of writing.”

Well, if it invites a reflection, I’m sure it will be great. Wikipedia also says:

Following the structure of Jean Genet’s Ce qui est resté d’un Rembrandt déchiré en petits carrés bien réguliers, et foutu aux chiottes [“What Remains of a Rembrandt Torn Into Four Equal Pieces and Flushed Down the Toilet”], the book is written in two columns in different type sizes. The left column is about Hegel, the right column is about Genet. Each column weaves its way around quotations of all kinds, both from the works discussed and from dictionaries—Derrida’s “side notes”,[2] described as “marginalia, supplementary comments, lengthy quotations, and dictionary definitions.”[3] Sometimes words are cut in half by a quotation which may last several pages.

Uh, ok, let’s see what we may stumble upon. Mhh… page 143!

And the spit with which the gliding mast would be smeared becomes, very quickly -the pen is dipped into a very fluid glue- some vaseline. And even, without forcing, a tube of mentholated vaseline.Rises therefore in one sudden stroke [d’un coup], though very elaborated, the “tube of vaseline” that a policemen, in 1932, two pages further on, draws out of the pocket of the narrator

I’m speechless.

And what does Derrida says about Hegel on the other column?

 

What is a corpse? What is to make a gift of a corpse?Pure singularity: neither the empiric individual that death destroys, decomposes, analyzes, nor the rational universality of the citizen, of the living subject. What I give as a present to the woman, in exchange for the fneral rite, is my own absolutely proper body, the essence of my singularity.

 

 

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