Random neuron firing, lame philosophy, literary pontificating, movies, sex, clothes & other femme stuff

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Looks like an author

Nathalie has a wonderful post about authors' embarrassingly awful "intellectual look" pix on book jackets. She also links to a hilarious piece about the difference between these two images of Jonathan Franzen:

I've always thought this ancient one of John Barth (via Dave Edelman's John Barth Info Center) was totally fabulous. It's from the back of Giles Goat Boy (1966), a novel containing surely the earliest representation of the Internet. Doesn't he look like someone who would be masturbating next to you in a porn theatre? (Are there any porn theatres any more? Not in Boston, since the demise of the fabulous old Pilgrim.)

I hope that's the kind of look I can achieve on my first jacket photo.
Our Lott in life!

Something to ruminate: Chris returns!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


If Wittgenstein were around today, he'd be a great blogger, I think. Everything from the Philosophical Investigations on is basically just blogging with numbered paragraphs. In fact, didn't he write all those paragraphs out on separate cards that Anscombe or whoever put together posthumously? I forget. Come to think of it, the later Nietzsche is pretty much just blogging too. The main difference between philosophical blogging and blogging blogging is the disorienting Memento structure of blogging blogging. Wouldn't it be cool to read the paragraphs of the Investigations in descending numerical order? It doesn't work so well with the Tractatus; its ending (i.e. its potential beginning) is pretty final:
[6.54] Meine Sätze erläutern dadurch, daß die der, welcher mich versteht, am Ende als unsinnig erkennt, wenn er durch sie - auf ihnen - über sie hinaufgestiegen ist. (Er muß sozusagen die Leiter wegwerfen, nachdem er auf ihr hinaufgestiegen ist.) Er muß die Sätze überwinden, dann sieht er die Welt richtig.

[7] Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, davon muß man schweigen.

[6.54] My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)

[7] What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.

Or, "Now that we've finished off Western metaphysics, who's up for a little night-cruising (eine kleine Nacht-cruising) in the Prater? Bububu, baby!" (or "yabbadabbadoo," as some translations have it).

I adore that image of clambering up over a bunch of philosophical propositions, and after you reach "the top" (?) kicking them away behind you like a ladder.

It's this passage, among others, that leads Tim McDonough, among others, to argue that the Tractatus, among others, is just an elaborate joke.

Of course, Eliot, who claimed not to distinguish beginnings from endings ** would probably have loved reading the Tractatus backwards. (Backwards, by the way, tractatus is sutatcart.)



If I am to communicate, I cannot use any private language or idiolect only I know. Or if I do use a made-up, truly original, unique statement to signify something, it can either sink into the oblivion of meaninglessness, or get incorporated in the realm of the meaningful. Wittgenstein's example of an unacceptable string of sounds, bububu, [for] the meaning, “If it doesn’t rain I shall go for a walk,” ceased to be meaningless a long time ago. One could imagine that bububu is a private joke shared by many a Wittgenstein scholar, who use it at conferences as a perfectly meaningful utterance stating an intention to take a stroll.
(Mikko Keskinen, "Hearing Voices in Dreams: Freud's Tossing and Turning with Speech and Writing")

It's gratifying to see in this other article that someone finally took the trouble to demonstrate how much the lovely lovely Vlad Nabokov was a Wittgensteinian and in on the private joke.

(Return to *)

As evident from this characteristically pellucid passage:

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.

I have to admit, though I hope Aaron Haspel doesn't catch wind of it, I think this passage is ultimately beautiful (and even prototypically so).

Nabokov, of course, thought Eliot a complete idiot and made fun of this very poem in Pale Fire.

It's certainly true Eliot does sound pretty anti-Wittgensteinian here, which could explain his penchant for reading the Tractatus backwards.
(Return to **)
Just checking in

Sorry for the Mojave in posting. I've been working in my spare time on the new incarnation of mikarrhea. I know I should emigrate at least to Typepad, if not all the way to the land of Movable Type and honey. But a couple of months ago I cast my lot with Apple's iBlog, which then seemed the very picture of ease, power, and flexibility. And so it is, within a circumscribed range of motion. Sort of like Jackie Chan . . . with his neck bolted to the floor, that is. Or, more accurately . . . maybe like Jackie Joyner-Kersee with her neck bolted to the floor. OK, fine, say, Jackie Mason, then. I mean Jackie, uh, Gleason. Jackie O? Jackie Susann?

(I'm getting into envisioning this whole warehouseful of Jackie celebs neck-bolted to cement.)

The great thing about iBlog is it's designed to interface seamlessly with your .mac account and your iDisk and your iPhotos and indeed your entire iLife (until you, as I nearly did yesterday, commit iSuicide). Basically, you have a whole web server out in virtual space that walks, talks, and quacks like another hard drive on your desktop.

Have I, by the way, ever introduced my hard drive? I call her Mulholland Drive .

Anyway, after discovering some rigidities in iBlog (I don't mean to seem too sour about it: it's actually megaparsecs ahead of Blogger), I started teaching myself HTML and CSS to see if I couldn't dance past them. Now I just about can. But now I'm getting so damned HTML-oquent that I'm gonna settle for nothing less than absolute and total dominion over every possible aspect of my web presentation. I'm gonna get conversant with Tinderbox, the ultimate in blogging software, created by one of the pale wights who originally designed Blogger but got understandably bored with it. Essentially, Tinderbox allows you to post anything you want in any way you want and to create endless multiple means of organizing and accessing it.

We'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna get at least the iBlog version up . . . .

Thursday, January 22, 2004

The gals discuss the Cinderella effect and the problem of a timorous corpus

Leigh is taking two seminars this semester: Dickens and Frost, Bishop, & Stevens. Last night she said she had to read The Pickwick Papers for Monday and a bunch of Frost for today. A colloquy ensued: was it advisable to read the Frost poems during the earlier part of the evening on the grounds that if caught reading Frost at midnight she would then be reading Coleridge? And how important was it to avoid horror movies and other frights at the end of the semester when writing her final paper for the other seminar, so as to minimize the chance of having the Dickens scared out of her?

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

This is just uncanny. How'd they know about the outfit even?

Which Ultimate Beautiful Woman are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

You are the Fighter Femme

If you take the quiz, be sure to check out all the result pics. They're totally hot.

Frankly, I kinda expected to get either


This one just would never be me, sad to say:

I swear, I'm just lucky with multiple-choice

And this quiz was endless.

I haven't actually seen the entire movie in a couple of years. My son Max, however, has seen it about fifty times. He watched it seven times just last Sunday. I can't wait to see his score.

Nightmare Before Christmas
You know so much about the nightmare before
christmas. You must research and study it as
much as I do. I have loved this movie since I
was a kid and studied it very hard.

XxThe Best and Most Challenging Quiz of The Nightmare Before ChristmasxX
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm embarrassed to admit this one. I did guess on a couple.

Picture of the One Ring
WOW!! Good job! You know as much about Middle Earth
as I do!! Finally, someone who knows Middle
Earth! Most people think they know everything
there is to know about Middle earth just by
watching the movies! HAH!! well keep up the
good work! ( I wouldn't be surprised if you are
learning elvish!! )

*~* The TOUGHEST Lord Of The Rings Quiz *~* [with pictures!]
brought to you by Quizilla

And as a dead Romantic poet . . . .

George Gordon, Lord Byron
You are George Gordon, Lord Byron! The
prototypical bad boy, you'll sleep with
anything that can give consent and maybe even a
few things that can't or won't. Your ethics
could use some work (nine year old girls?), but
outside of the sex question, you're a grand
partier and the bipolar, shady hero of your own
story. The wittiest of the Romantics, you're
mad, bad and dangerous to know. Scandalous!

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
brought to you by Quizilla

As a postmodernist, I was Judith Butler. But as a dead poet . . .

I really wanted to be Anne Sexton or Dorothy Parker. Rimbaud's OK, though. Those Quizilla people can be pretty funny. Thanks to lovely Boynton for the link.

You are Arthur Rimbaud - a vital, canon-changing poet with a flare for tantrums.  You tend to write in a fever, and have a liking for the disordered mind.

You are Arthur Rimbaud -- a vital, canon-changing
poet with a flare for tantrums. You tend to
write in a fever, and have a liking for the
disordered mind. Don't expect people to
understand you, for you are ahead of your time.

Which Dead Poet Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

T.S. Eliot lowed forth

Or Toilets of the World. Today's instance why the web is fucking brilliant.

Via the very interesting (solipsis) //:phaneronoemikon

It's a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world . . .

We went to a great conference & fete for the creatively gendered last weekend. Ended up in another one of those what was the name of that person Saturday night with the huge biceps whose dress was up over her waist and penis was in my mouth until her girlfriend freaked out and they had a big whispering argument behind our bathroom door and we just left them there and went back down to the party? situations. It's tricky to keep everyone on the same page. They're the ones who were pushing to go up to our room. What was the girlfriend expecting? Maybe we were supposed to focus on her first. . . . I hope we managed to get pix 'cause I can't remember their faces for the life of me. For some reason, one of my nipples is raw & sore & driving me insane (itches horribly but stings like a bitch when I try to touch it). You'd think I'd remember nursing someone.

For a change of pace, spent Sunday night with the kids watching John Hughes classics Breakfast Club & Sixteen Candles.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Bush administration respects fundamental human rights

Our government does not use torture. Instead, it sends suspected enemies to Syria to be tortured.

Our government respects the right of the people peaceably to assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances. As long as petitioners remain immobilized within the boundaries of their designated "Free Speech Zone," where the president will neither see nor hear them.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says, "Does this taste funny to you?"

A buddhist monk walks up to a hot dog vendor and says, "Make me one with everything."

A jumper cable walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender hesitates, then says "Well, all right. But don't start anything."

A sandwich walks into a bar. The bartender says "Sorry we don't serve food in here."

A Dyslexic man walks into a bra.

Phyllis Diller
Snot fair

I have a flagitious head cold. A rhinocerous rhinovirus, snorting and charging around the network of caverns behind my face. I'm going back to sleep.

head cold

Monday, January 12, 2004

Why is there apparently such a limited number of sex fantasies?

Fem Dom

Friedrich, of 2Blowhards, poses the question and offers some interesting speculation.

Personally, I think the number of sex fantasies isn't really all that limited. What's limited are adults' sexual imaginations, a predictable consequence of the elaborate Chinese-foot-binding of the sexual imaginary our culture enthusiastically perpetrates on its children. Strong Imagineers (to use the Disney word) like Sade and Sacher-Masoch stand at the head of what for lack of a better word I'd call (via Wittgenstein) "forms of life," just as do Jesus, Mohammad, Marx, Freud, and Joe Weider (indeed, I'd 've put Sade [whose sexual imaginary seems quite bountiful even by today's standards], at least, into Emerson's Representative Men or Carlyle's Heroes and Hero-Worship; but that's me). There, no doubt, will be many others to come. Eh-hem.

Maybe instead of forms of life I could neologize: how about memeologies (pronounced me-me-ology to enhance not just the word's kinship to ideology but also the latent narcissism contingently embedded both in the source word meme and in the disciple's devotion to the master].

My point is that we are only gradually developing a Western ars erotica and that its development is a prerequisite to a greater elaboration of fantasy life. But I think there is progress. Just look at the usenet alt newsgroups for stuff like puffy nipples. Ten years ago, puffy-nipple-admirers didn't even know that's what they were. Now they probably have their own advocacy organization.

I can count on one hand the number of times, including today, I've used the word imaginary as a noun. At least without being obviously insincere. It just seemed right in this context.
Helen Thomas speaks out

Again, via Bad Attitudes, a wonderful link. Helen Thomas, la grande dame of White House reporters, asks us to remember some words said by politicians in 2003. Her list is worth reprinting in full. It's handy to have all the evidence gathered in one place.

  • On March 17, three days before the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said in an address to the nation: "There is no question we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical."

    On May 1, he delivered a war-ending speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California with a banner across the ship reading: "Mission accomplished."

    But the death toll approached 470 GIs on Friday and is unlikely to stop climbing anytime soon. The number of combat wounded is 2,679.

  • In an interview on Dec. 16, television anchorwoman Diane Sawyer pressed Bush on the fact that no unconventional weapons had been found in Iraq some nine months after the search had begun.

    Bush kept interjecting: "Yet."

    Sawyer persisted, asking about the administration's flat statements that Saddam had such weapons versus the mere possibility that he could acquire them.

    An exasperated Bush replied: "So, what's the difference?"

    Do we really have to explain?

  • On Oct. 17, Bush gave an interview to Fox News, saying he does not read newspapers.

    "The best way to get the news is from objective sources," Bush said. "And the most objective sources I have are the people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world."

    Objective? Hardly. Protective? Absolutely.

  • On Dec. 15, after attending more than 30 fund-raisers in recent months to rally the GOP troops, Bush told a news conference: "There is plenty of time ahead for politics. Now is not the time."

    Who is he kidding?

  • Last June, during one of his many church speeches, Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin said George W. Bush became president "because God put him there." He also said Islamic extremists hate us "because we are a Christian nation."

    Boykin went on to claim that a Muslim warlord in Somalia had been defeated because "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real god and his was an idol."

    His zealotry smacks of the extremism he hates.

  • On Jan. 22, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ruffled diplomatic feathers when he referred to France and Germany as the "old Europe" and the former communist nations now in NATO as the "new Europe."

    This is the same "old Europe" that stood by us in the Cold War and is now heading up security operations and civil enforcement operations in Afghanistan.

  • On March 7, Secretary of State Colin Powell said: "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

    Isn't it time for Powell to recant?

  • On Jan. 9, then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said, "We know for a fact there are weapons (of mass destruction) there."

    Any regrets, Ari?

  • On Dec. 17, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said the Bush administration gave a classified intelligence briefing to members of Congress in October 2002 saying Iraq not only had the weapons "but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities." The briefing was held before the vote authorizing the use of force to attack Iraq.

    So why the congressional silence -- throughout 2003 -- after being misled into voting for war?

  • On May 28, in a Vanity Fair interview, deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a key architect of the Iraqi war, told of the administration plotting to sell the war to the American public.

    "For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue -- weapons of mass destruction because it was one reason everyone could agree on."

    Honest but appalling.

  • After a trip to Iraq in late July to check on how the U.S. occupation was going, Wolfowitz warned: "Foreigners should stay out of Iraq."

    A little too late, isn't it?

  • For credibility, I'll take former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix. He reminded us on Dec. 23 that there are only two justifications for pre-emptive war: the presence of a threat of armed action credibly documented, and an urgency that does not tolerate delay.

    The U.S. action against Iraq met neither test.

Helen Thomas
Bush knew

Isn't it weird how often presidential politics look like ignorant armies clashing by night on slippery and rugged terrain carved by the force of the epistemological problem of other minds? What did he know? When did he know it? How could he not have known? etc. The relation between the president and the nation so often devolves into the nation's obsessively arguing over what is, or was, or isn't ever, in his head. (Having been ensorcelled by Wittgenstein and Stanley Cavell at an impressionable age, I count the problem of other minds as one of my--in Frankenfurter's phrase--favorite obsessions. For a time I considered it the fount of all narrative. Now considering anything the fount of narrative (Hero w/1000 Faces) seems to me a cute waste of time.)

When the reports came out that in early August of 2001 Bush had received reliable information that Bin Laden was planning a terrorist attack involving hijacking commercial airliners, I wasn't surprised. Nor was I especially outraged (above my customary level of blinding outrage at anything Bush, that is). Tragically, terrorists had hijacked planes before and made demands. But who knew they might use them as bombs to blow up buildings? This, of course, was the Bush administration line, as well.

Well, it turns out, the administration knew, for one. Please read this (via Bad Attitudes). Bush's vacation in Crawford that August, the longest by a sitting president, looks more and more like willful negligence.

What more evidence do you need that the just constitutional liberal democratic republic envisioned in American rhetoric from the Revolution on down is purely a pipe dream than that Bush is president and actually leading in polls for 2004? What evidence now could possibly militate against that conclusion?

Well, I have to say, his crushing defeat in this election could, maybe, for me. If he were to be absolutely humiliated at the polls, then I might be willing to go along with the pipe dream and work some more to reify it. I could then maybe make myself believe that in our system--more important, through our system--wisdom and fairness will out and triumph . . . eventually. More or less. Somewhat. Enough. Or just shy of enough, so that enough seems reachable one fine day.

If, however, Bush wins re-election, then I'll gather all my resources together, gird my loins, and, with determined jaw, join everyone who wants to really rethink America from the ground up.

And move to Amsterdam.

I loudly proclaimed up and down the streets that I would move to Amsterdam if Bush, Sr. became president. I'm still here in the States. I don't think I've even been to Amsterdam (or at least beyond the Schihpol airport boundary) since he took office (though the few times I visited there in the seventies and early eighties were rollicking, to say the least). But, I swear, this time I'm going to go.

Anyway, I'm gonna give it one last valiant effort here. Bush never earned the White House, is unworthy of it, has betrayed it, and absolutely must leave it. If you too are eager to see the fall of the House of Bush here, I recommend you start by setting your blood a-bilin' by taking in, if you haven't already, the delightful, gratifyingly vicious 30-second anti-Bush spots created by amateurs around the country for the Bush in 30 Seconds competition run by the MoveOn.org Voter Fund, a MoveOn.org spin-off established to garner funds to blitz swing states with brilliant anti-Bush advertising (which, unfortunately, means I won't be seeing much of it here in Massachusetts). Just click on the image below to go to the web site featuring the ten ads garnering the most votes from web-clickers. The winning spot will be chosen tonight at an awards banquet webcast from there live.

Bush Lies

Saturday, January 10, 2004


In yesterday's times, Michael Kimmelman reviewed the new Arbus show at NYU. He promises, "I'll make my way toward a fuller verdict on Arbus's whole career," when the huge Arbus retrospective, "Revelations"--in San Francisco now and touring to a venue near you sooner or later (unless you live near me, in which case you'll have to go down to NY)--reaches the Met at the end of February. But you get an idea of the direction he's going to take.
The heavy formality of the transaction between photographer and subject announces itself. The girl is clearly responding to the person making this portrait, whose presence we sense. By its nature the picture tells us who this photographer is. She makes sure that we know.


Arbus trafficked in a kind of hothouse intimacy, which can easily be confused (as she occasionally wished) with sympathy, a moral pose. But she was not a "concerned photographer." Her work, like all allegorical art, comes down to formal manipulation. The cliché of her as the Sylvia Plath of photographers, combined with the way her photographs direct your attention to her presence, can obscure the difference between what is in the pictures and what we might like to read into them.


Arbus was the classic hunter-photographer shooting her fragile prey; her targets were rarefied specimens, exceptional cases; her mission was a clinical typology of difference. An element of violence was implicit.


Whether you admire or disdain her blatant sensationalism — because that's what it is — the quality of your reaction is a measure of her obvious graphic novelty.

I don't think Kimmelman would like John Waters either. He'd probably miss the point with him as well.

Here's something Arbus said:
Everybody has this thing where they need to look one way, but they come out looking another way, and that's what people observe.
It's true. It's my nightmare. It sometimes makes me wanna kill myself. Maybe it made her.

Friday, January 09, 2004

I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a president of mine. Mr. President, you, sir, are no Jack Kennedy.

Bush announces a new space program (moon, mars, yaddayadda). Of course, NASA has no idea what to do about the current shuttle program, since putting things into orbit around earth is a useful skill not to lose.
There are three surviving shuttles, but the program has been operating for 20 years, and the design is even older. NASA has begun preliminary design work on a new system . . . but its purpose is not yet clear.

The issue is urgent because any replacement would probably be a decade away, by which time the shuttles, if they are still flying, would be about 30 years old, experts say.

Smart, leaving the higher math to the experts. That way, if the calculation proves wrong, it's their number, not yours.

No time. Reduced to barrel-shooting fish, deriding journalese.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

In other news, a despicable organization gets its comeuppance

Some very alert readers may have sensed my rage at and profound loathing for the Traditional Values Coalition and thus might have predicted a similar antipathy towards the American Family Association, whose sole reason for existence seems to be to give ordinary families a bad name by working in it to eradicate GLBT people or at worst prevent them from being treated by Americans as persons.

So it is with some pleasure I read that a survey on gay marriage posted on their vile web site, blatantly designed just to collect e-mail addresses of likely supporters, has evidently surprised them by showing respondents who favor gay marriages or civil unions outnumbering those who oppose them by nearly 2 to 1 (67.5% to 32.5%, with nearly 800,000 votes cast)! This poll, of course, doesn't really say anything meaningful about anything --except maybe that the GLBT friendly are on the whole more web-savvy (or webdominant or webitudinous or weblicious) than Donald Wildmon's wild minions-- or at any rate that there is at least one GLBT supporter who has considerably more weboir faire than the whole congeries of wild monists .

Which they would probably adduce as evidence of the web's malignant influence.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I should have read further. Now I have a quibble with what Arkansas says.

Frankly, it sounds like an idiot.

The back-to-back executions would have been Arkansas' fifth multiple-execution day in 10 years. Arkansas, which previously conducted two triple executions and two double executions, says the policy is designed to reduce stress on its prison staff.

I can think of a policy that would more simply, cheaply, and effectively alleviate not only the anxiety of the prison staff but also of the judicial system and much of the American public, not to mention the families of those convicted of capital crimes (not to mention the convicted themselves).

Two triples and two doubles!

Having conquered the arts pages (esp. film reviews), the box-scores continue with their devious plan of colonizing all the news.
I've heard of people going to extraordinary lengths to pursue courtroom appeals, but surely ....

Judge Blocks One of Two Ark. Executions
By DAVID HAMMER, Associated Press Writer

VARNER, Ark. - A judge blocked one of two executions scheduled in Arkansas Tuesday night, sparing a man convicted of murdering his 12-year-old niece so he could pursue appeals in federal court.


You see what you get from punctuational parsimony? Isn't there a permissive comma in the house at A.P.?
All right then, smartypants, so what would you call a comma that makes an adverbial clause non-restrictive? Relaxatory? Loosening? Emancipatory? Disengaging?
No . . . that is, not unless the word "ironic" was fully drained, eviscerated, dessicated, and powdered, while I was out. But it is a hilarious observation.

"Isn't it ironic how you wound up as the dean of Howard and he turned out to be Howard Dean?"
Ralph Dawson, labor lawyer, quoted by Mark Singer in this week's New Yorker, talking to Kurt Schmoke --longtime Mayor of Baltimore (1987-99) and vocal antiprohibionist drug-law-reform advocate, now the dean of the Howard University School of Law-- about their mutual buddy and Yale '71 classmate.

I promise some content will arrive soon. Actually I woke up this AM, synapses sizzling. Love those SSRIs! But no time to capture the fleeting thoughts . . . . Bye, fleeting thoughts! Have a nice life wherever you go . . . .

Mostly, lately, instead of blogging and reading blogs (or does "blogging" comprise both activities?), I've been teaching myself HTML and CSS so as to redesign Mikarrhea and maybe even make myself a web site. So far, I've only got the logo for Mikarrhea and the home page for the web site. But I'm working on it.

The URL of the new web site (naught but a pretty picture --to some maybe a pretty naughty picture-- and a link back to here) is, unsurprisingly, www.michaelacooper.com.

Here's a thumb of the salacious new logo for Mikarrhea (do you hear reverberation when it's written like that?). So I lose some readers, win some. Winsome readers, I hope.

The rest of the design is well on its way.

Meanwhile, Max, age seven, jealous of my project, wanted to do a logo too. This is what he came up with:

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Is it safe to buy pot from strangers?
They're not strangers. They're our new friends who have pot!
The future's on demand

Dropped kids at ex's last night after going to see latest Tim Burton flick Big Fish, which made us all cry. Well, not Max so much. But he did like it. And we three others were basically weeping. Adore adore adore Tim Burton & Danny Elfman. & Ewan (whom Max calls "Ian") McGregor. & Went to Starbucks after to pee (and order various decaf stuff for the privilege) and the barista looked so sympathetically into my eyes, which felt very red and were when I checked them in the bathroom. In some ways that I'm too drunk and tired to even think of enumerating right now it's the most literarytheoretical of Burton's films (that I've seen, that is). That's a good thing, in my book. I guess what I mean is it makes you think deeply and wonderfully about the relation between narration and identity. Narration as identity. Hi, Jerry Bruner!
L: (takes off socks, smells them) Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
M: (typing, reaches over, is handed one, smells it) Hey . . . .
L: Yeah this is some serious shit. (grabs socks, throws them into laundry pile)
M: You could make SO much money off the Internet from these!!!

So when I dropped the kids off ex & new partner were watching Angels in America. Friday night. How possible? Ex explains: you can watch HBO on demand. You're fucking kidding. On demand?

Hours and hours and hours and hours of Sex and the City later. Berger and Carrie have just broken up. Dragola. We missed the whole last season, and now we're practically up to date. It's the greatest show.

We are so totally going to have sex tonight.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Sue me, sue me, what can ya do me?

Holiday cheer I meant to post on the appropriate days but forgot.

by John Donne

'TIS the year's midnight, and it is the day's,
Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ;
The sun is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ;
The world's whole sap is sunk ;
The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the bed's-feet, life is shrunk,
Dead and interr'd ; yet all these seem to laugh,
Compared with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be
At the next world, that is, at the next spring ;
For I am every dead thing,
In whom Love wrought new alchemy.
For his art did express
A quintessence even from nothingness,
From dull privations, and lean emptiness ;
He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot
Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.

All others, from all things, draw all that's good,
Life, soul, form, spirit, whence they being have ;
I, by Love's limbec, am the grave
Of all, that's nothing. Oft a flood
Have we two wept, and so
Drown'd the whole world, us two ; oft did we grow,
To be two chaoses, when we did show
Care to aught else ; and often absences
Withdrew our souls, and made us carcasses.

But I am by her death—which word wrongs her—
Of the first nothing the elixir grown ;
Were I a man, that I were one
I needs must know ; I should prefer,
If I were any beast,
Some ends, some means ; yea plants, yea stones detest,
And love ; all, all some properties invest.
If I an ordinary nothing were,
As shadow, a light, and body must be here.

But I am none ; nor will my sun renew.
You lovers, for whose sake the lesser sun
At this time to the Goat is run
To fetch new lust, and give it you,
Enjoy your summer all,
Since she enjoys her long night's festival.
Let me prepare towards her, and let me call
This hour her vigil, and her eve, since this
Both the year's and the day's deep midnight is.

The Darkling Thrush
Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Serious hangover

Thanks to Richard Evans Lee for the image.

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