Hiroshige and Soseki

"If you work by reason, you grow rough-edged; if you choose to dip your oar in sentiment's stream, it will sweep you away. Demanding your own way only serves to constrain you. However you look at it, the human world is not an easy place to live . . . I suppose you could say that the artist is one who lives in a three-cornered world, in which the corner that the average person would call 'common sense' has been sheared off from the ordinary four-square world that the normal inhabit."

-Natsume Soseki, Kusamakura

Israel Vibration - No end

protect yourself

no more awards.




A poet I admire

The sky is a big responsibility. And I am the lone intern. This explains
my drinking. This explains my luminous portage, my baboon heart
that breaks nightly like the news. Who

am I kidding? I am Diego Rodriguez Velazquez. I am a dry
and eviscerated analysis of the Russian Revolution.
I am line seven. And my memory, like a melon,
contains many dark seeds. Already, this poem has achieved

the status of lore amongst you little people of New England. Nevertheless,
I, Dr. Samuel Johnson, experience moments of such profound alienation
that I have surrendered my pistols to the care of my sister, Elizabeth Forster-Nietszche.

Forgive me. For I have taken things too far. And now your carpet is ruined.
Forgive me. For I am not who you think I am. I am Charlie Chaplin

playing a waiter embarrassed by his occupation. And when the rich woman I love
enters this bistro, I must pretend that I'm only pretending to play a waiter for her amusement.


When a longing exceeds its object, a suburb is founded.
Goatsuckers spar in the linden. The redskins are hunted.
When the hunt exceeds its object, the past achieves
pubescence. History pauses
for emphasis. After these poems are published,

money will be no object.
Money will be a gray bird known for mocking other birds.
The stars will be adjusted for inflation
so that the dead can continue living
in the manner to which they've grown accustomed.

When a dream of convenience begins to dream itself,
the neighborhood's last bamboos reel in their roots.
The children make love 'execution style'
then hold each other like moments of silence.

-Ben Lerner, The Lichtenberg Figures


protector of nurses

Here is the Maremma, a kind of Italian sheep herding dog. They are very large and white. The name refers to a section of Tuscany where they are still widely used, sheep herding being an important thing there to this day. Nurse can attest that the Maremma is very companionable and protective. He is happiest in the open, where he can have a 360 degree view.

Apparently they are also good with penguins; look what they've done in Australia!


Pettin' In The Park - Golddiggers of 1933

from the wiki: According to the book Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood by Mark A. Vieira, this was one of the first American films made and distributed with alternate footage in order to circumvent state censorship problems. Busby Berkly used lavish production numbers as a showcase of the female anatomy that were both "lyrical and lewd". In this film, "Pettin' in the Park" and "We're in the Money" are prime examples. The state censorship boards had become so troublesome that a number of studios began filming slightly different versions of censorable scenes. In this way, when a film was edited, the "toned down" reels were labeled according to district. One version could be sent to New York, another to the South, and another to the UK, etc. According to Vieira, this film had two different endings — in one, the rocky romance between Warren William and Joan Blondell (whom he calls "cheap and vulgar") is resolved backstage after the "Forgotten Man" number; in an alternate ending, the film ends with the number.

thursday, february 24, 2011

Here we go! Barber shop poles! You know you don't know the history of those, wasting all your time online looking at pictures of ladies and videos of stupid babies and pretending to understand mideast political dynamics. As any Google search will instantly inform you, the pole dates from the good old days when barbers were allowed to fully express themselves via healthful bloodletting and minor surgery. Gross:

"The origin of the red and white barber pole is associated with the service of bloodletting and was historically a representation of bloody bandages wrapped around a pole. During medieval times, barbers performed surgery on customers, as well as tooth extractions. The original pole had a brass wash basin at the top (representing the vessel in which leecheswere kept) and bottom (representing the basin that received the blood). The pole itself represents the staff that the patient gripped during the procedure to encourage blood flow. Barbers, being medieval surgeons, would be present at the birth of a child, and were there to cut the umbilical cord—a red (artery) and blue (vein) on a pale colour umbilical cord was passed to the parents by the barber after the umbilical cord had been cut, and this blue/red/pale tube or pole became the Barber's pole"

There's historical debate(!) about all this (might've been a sign that a bawdy house lay near), but let's go with this explanation. Nowadays there's only one barber pole manufacturer left in North America.

Additionally, the tallest barber pole in the world is 72 feet tall and lives in Oregon, and here's a link to a disgusting sheep parasite called the barber pole worm that's worth a read.

Times certainly do change


a sentiment of invisible omniscience

Have you people read any Bentham? Jeremy Bentham? He's the English philosopher fellow who came up with the idea of the panopticon, namely a prison designed in such a way that the inmates can never know whether or not they are being watched. A metaphor for the internet, etc. etc. Even more interestingly, "as requested in his will, Bentham's body was dissected as part of a public anatomy lecture. Afterward, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the "Auto-icon", with the skeleton stuffed out with hay and dressed in Bentham's clothes. . .it was acquired by University College London in 1850. It is normally kept on public display at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of the college, but for the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the college, it was brought to the meeting of the College Council, where it was listed as "present but not voting". The Auto-icon has a wax head, as Bentham's head was badly damaged in the preservation process. The real head was displayed in the same case for many years but became the target of repeated student pranks, including being stolen on more than one occasion. It is now locked away securely."

fuck psychiatry & therapy


i often carry things to read so that i will not have to look at the people

What a piece of work is a man...and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman neither

"I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone."


feeling better (skaal)

Why go to the stupid old drugstore where you live when you could go to the liquor store in Iceland? Here is Opal, a very popular drink over there, with amazing restorative qualities. Someone who knows tells Nurse that Icelandic children are fed Opal flavored candies practically in utero, thus preparing them for immediate heroic Opal liquor consumption upon attaining the age of majority. Nurse called Scandinavia yesterday to place an order.

Withnail and I: other options


some sort of frothy drink containing egg whites

Let's talk Faberge. In nurses opinion Faberge eggs are the most beautifully useless, delightfully absurd treasures around. The Tsars knew how to live, boy oh boy. This Russian jeweler fellow Peter Carl Faberge (who never traveled with any luggage) started coming up with them in the 1880s after being named the official goldsmith to the imperial crown by Alexander the Third. Go look up Alexander the Third too, interesting chap.

So the eggs: they were a product of the Tsarist inclination towards objets de luxe which means useless fancy items. The Russians do love their eggs. Psanky, etc. Faberge made 50 large ones for the tsars that are simply spectacular, but the thousands of smaller ones were also superb. A feature of all the eggs is that they open on a hinge to reveal 'surprises' inside, such as an enamelled object or piece of jewelry, or both. some contain tiny portraits. Some are clocks. Most are jewel encrusted and exhibit superb enamelling techniques.

Nurse has a reproduction of the imperial rosebud egg. It is fun to play a game of bowls using the egg as the ball and miniature liquor bottles as bowling pins. One supposes a sort of billiards could be played with them as well, perhaps with ivory walking sticks as pool cues. Monocles: mandatory