Saturday, February 04, 2012
While hiding in plain sight might make some sense in the context of international terrorism, gender politics or matrimonial disharmony, it is less successful in your typical game of “hide and seek”.
Make bicycles not war. Geilston Bay Skate Park. February 2012.
Philip Larking nails it here. This is a lovely poem from a bitter and twisted man.
MCMXIV, Philip Larkin
Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park,
The crowns of hats, the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August Bank Holiday lark;
And the shut shops, the bleached
Established names on the sunblinds,
The farthings and sovereigns,
And dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens,
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist, and the pubs
Wide open all day--
And the countryside not caring:
The place names all hazed over
With flowering grasses, and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat's restless silence;
The differently-dressed servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses,
The dust behind limousines;
Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word--the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Fun? Princes Street, Sandy Bay. January 2012
Two books, but I’ll deal with them quickly.
First up is the Dave Musgrove edited 100 Places That Made Britain is a breeze through British history, from pre-Roman invasion to the present day. Each site has been chosen by a prominent British historian and cover every length of the land and section of history. This is accessible history and would be a great asset if you’re planning a holiday. Recommended!
Second up is the at once hilarious and depressing early John Steinbeck novel Tortilla Flat The tale of a group of paisanos in Monteray, California in the post-WWI period, it vividly recreates a time and place seemingly long gone. The novel details the lives of transient alcoholics – and is loosely based on the King Arthur legend – is not held in high esteem by many who see it as a slur on Mexican Americans.
I am less sure of this. Yes, the days are whittled away drinking, fighting, cheating, chasing women, running from women, thieving, scheming and sleeping, but there’s more than simple colour in the life of these bums, and the novel is both poignant and very funny. There is a complexity to the central characters than I suspect many of its critics see.
I really enjoyed it. More than I probably expected too. You might too. Highly recommended.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.
Henry contemplates the concepts of Pflicht und Neigung (duty and inclination) and their relationship to each other.
He was briefly thrown from the task when he stumbled upon a dead crab.
Dead crab. Or maybe it's sleeping. Little Howrah Beach. January 2012.
Theme Thursday again and our minds are firmly fixed on the concept of STORM. Well, I should really say that my little mind is actually geared towards STURM (und Drang).
Typically, people have translated STURM und Drang as "STORM and Stress" and use it to describe the proto-Romantic movement in German literature and music that occurred in the late-eighteenth century. Ever the dissenter, I prefer the less frequent translation of "STORM and Urge". The implications of the difference is not a minor one.
STURM und Drang was characterised by the liberation of individual subjectivity and the embrace of spectacular extremes of emotion – i.e. ladies fainting, men challenging each other to duels/ love affairs/ adventures. This free expression emerged largely in reaction to the perceived constraints of rationalism imposed by the Enlightenment and its associated aesthetic movements.
An example, previously to STURM und Drang I might have been strolling on the beach and said something to the effect of
Schau mal, ein toter Krebs .... [Oh look, a dead crab...]
STURM und Drang comes along and I'm walking down the same beach and see the same dead crab and suddenly I'm collapsing to my knees, weeping, slapping my friend for looking at me oddly, threatening suicide and then going home and forcing myself onto my twelve-year old cousin.
It was surely an exciting time to be around.
Sure, the German romantics were an odd mob, but there is something in the idea that the Enlightenment ideals of rationalism, empiricism, and universalism had failed to adequately capture the human experience. Humans are much more than ‘rational beings’ as evident by their emotional extremes and the inherent impurity of personal motivations.
Of course, there is a broader socio-political point to be made about the need for greater human freedom and more respect for the natural world, but that’s not nearly as exciting as all the love affairs and dueling…..
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
With the prospect of global nuclear war never far away, Ezra and I have been exploring possible scenarios whereby useful everyday items can be rapidly converted into a safe, robust fallout shelter...
The morning sun over Storm Bay. Calverts Beach, South Arm Peninsula. January 2012.
Watery Wednesday today and we celebrate with a Watery Wednesday today and we celebrate with a shot of the lovely (slow rising) morning sun over the water as it starts to burn off the cloud. This one was taken down at Calverts Beach, and you can see Storm Bay out to the south of South Arm Peninsula.
I understand that it got its name when Abel Tasman was forced by a storm to take his ships out to sea before they could anchor back in 1642. No storms on this morning though!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Luxury hotel. St George's Terrace, Battery Point. January 2012.
Tuesday Q and A and I continue to steal questions from Sunday Stealing. This week I am stealing The 99'er Meme: Part 1
1) Put your iTunes on shuffle. Give me the first 6 songs that pop up.
Wilco’s Outta Mind (Outta Sight), Allo Darlin's My Heart is a Drummer, Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls, The Be Good Tanyas’ The Littlest Birds, Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid In Full, and The Hives’ Hate To Say I Told You So.
2) If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?
Someone with some answers!
3) Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 23, give me line 17.
‘“Cornelia Ruiz cut up the black Mexican,” he said.’
4) What do you think about most?
My wife’s thighs.
5) What does your latest text message from someone else say?
“Excellent. See you soon.”
6) Do you sleep with or without clothes on?
I sleep as naked as the day I was born.
7) What's your strangest talent?
Bad impressions of white South Africans.
8) Women.... (finish the sentence); Men.... (finish the sentence)
“Women… can’t live with ‘em, can’t kill ‘em!”
“Men… Even worse than women!”
9) Ever had a poem or song written about you?
Not to my knowledge.
10) When is the last time you played the air guitar?
I’m unsure. I last played air drums to KISS’s I was made for loving you.
11) Do you have any strange phobias?
I don’t have any phobias.
12) Ever stuck a foreign object up your nose?
Not that I recall. I probably have though.
13) What's your religion?
I have no religion. Never had…
14) If you are outside, what are you most likely doing?
15) Do you prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?
Behind. Firmly behind.
16) Simple but extremely complex. Favourite band?
17) What was the last lie you told?
I said that I liked the colour of someone’s outfit.
18) Do you believe in karma?
19) What does your URL mean?
It is the title of my blog.
20) What is your greatest weakness; your greatest strength?
Stubbornness x two.
21) Who is your celebrity crush?
I generally avoid these things.
22) Have you ever gone skinny dipping?
Once or twice.
23) How do you vent your anger?
Ranting and raving.
24) Do you have a collection of anything?
Only animosity and resentment.
25) Do you prefer talking on the phone or video chatting online?
I really prefer neither. I like e-mail.
Monday, January 30, 2012
My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate.
Hen, Ez and Jen take in the view south west of Lindisfarne. Derwent Avenue walkway, Lindisfarne. January 2012.
The Internet is a wonderful place filled with the rich and varied treasures of the world holds (as well as a LOT of crap.) The following are some things that I've had a look at in the last week. I call this: a Compendium of Click-throughs for Monday Morning...
Sunday, January 29, 2012
The evidence... Calverts Beach. January 2011.
Sunday Top Five?
How about My Top Five Numbers?