Friday, September 27, 2013

OFF with her head!

The Mad Hatter: What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it. I used to hat The White Queen, you know. Her head was so small.

The Red Queen: It's tiny. It's a pimple of a head.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

...and the spleen replies

Figured that my heart would be my guide
but when I asked my heart, my spleen replied
said, "Don't bother with your heart, he never can decide
stick with me, I'm better qualified."

...and then Tyreus asked himself, "What do I know?"

Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
“Jug Jug” to dirty ears.
-T.S. Eliot, "The Wasteland"

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Hermeneutic Challenge

In the morning, in the morning
In the happy field of hay
Oh they looked at one another
By the light of day

In the blue and silver morning
On the haycock as they lay,
Oh they looked at one another
And they looked away.
-A.E. Housman

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ideologically speaking...

The most elementary definition of ideology is probably the well known phrase from Marx's 'Capital':
They do not know it, but they are doing it.
The fundamental level of ideology, however, is not of an illusion masking the real state of things, but that of an (unconscious) fantasy structuring our social reality itself.
- Slavoj Zizek, "Zizek"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Targetting LIFE!

There was it also where I picked up from the path the word "Superman," and that man is something that must be surpassed.

-That man is a bridge and not a goal- rejoicing over his noontides and evenings, as advances to new rosy dawns:
-The Zarathustra word of the great noontide, and whatever else I have hung up over men like purple evening-afterglows.
Verily, also new stars did I make them see, along with new nights; and over cloud and day and night, did I spread out laughter like a gay-coloured canopy.

I taught them all my poetisation and aspiration: to compose and collect into unity what is fragment in man, and riddle and fearful chance;-As composer, riddle-reader, and redeemer of chance, did I teach them to create the future, and all that hath been- to redeem by creating.

The past of man to redeem, and every "It was" to transform, until the Will saith: "But so did I will it! So shall I will it-"

-This did I call redemption; this alone taught I them to call redemption.- Now do I await my redemption- that I may go unto them for the last time.

For once more will I go unto men: amongst them will my sun set; in dying will I give them my choicest gift!

From the sun did I learn this, when it goeth down, the exuberant one: gold doth it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible riches,-So that the poorest fisherman roweth even with golden oars! For this did I once see, and did not tire of weeping in beholding it.- Like the sun will also Zarathustra go down: now sitteth he here and waiteth, old broken tables around him, and also new tables half-written.
- Nietzsche, "Zarathustra"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Experience Life's Variations!?

As nations, ignorant of God, contrive
A wooden one, so we, no longer taught
By monitors that Mother Church supplies,
Now make our own. Posterity will ask
(If e'er posterity sees verse of mine),
Some fifty or a hundred lustrums hence,
What was a monitor in George's days?
My very gentle reader, yet unborn,
Of whom I needs must augur better things,
Since Heaven would sure grow weary of a world
Productive only of a race like us,
A monitor is wood--plank shaven thin.
We wear it at our backs. There, closely braced
And neatly fitted, it compresses hard
The prominent and most unsightly bones,
And binds the shoulders flat. We prove its use
Sovereign and most effectual to secure
A form, not now gymnastic as of yore,
From rickets and distortion, else, our lot.
But thus admonished we can walk erect,
One proof at least of manhood; while the friend
Sticks close, a Mentor worthy of his charge.
Our habits costlier than Lucullus wore,
And, by caprice as multiplied as his,
Just please us while the fashion is at full,
But change with every moon. The sycophant,
That waits to dress us, arbitrates their date,
Surveys his fair reversion with keen eye;
Finds one ill made, another obsolete,
This fits not nicely, that is ill conceived;
And, making prize of all that he condemns,
With our expenditure defrays his own.
Variety's the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavour. We have run
Through every change that fancy, at the loom
Exhausted, has had genius to supply,
And, studious of mutation still, discard
A real elegance, a little used,
For monstrous novelty and strange disguise.
We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry,
And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires,
And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Where peace and hospitality might reign.
What man that lives, and that knows how to live,
Would fail to exhibit at the public shows
A form as splendid as the proudest there,
Though appetite raise outcries at the cost?
A man o' the town dines late, but soon enough,
With reasonable forecast and despatch,
To ensure a side-box station at half-price.
You think, perhaps, so delicate his dress,
His daily fare as delicate. Alas!
He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems
With an old tavern quill, is hungry yet.
The rout is folly's circle which she draws
With magic wand. So potent is the spell,
That none decoyed into that fatal ring,
Unless by Heaven's peculiar grace, escape.
There we grow early gray, but never wise;
There form connections, and acquire no friend;
Solicit pleasure hopeless of success;
Waste youth in occupations only fit
For second childhood, and devote old age
To sports which only childhood could excuse.
There they are happiest who dissemble best
Their weariness; and they the most polite,
Who squander time and treasure with a smile,
Though at their own destruction. She that asks
Her dear five hundred friends, contemns them all,
And hates their coming. They (what can they less?)
Make just reprisals, and, with cringe and shrug
And bow obsequious, hide their hate of her.
All catch the frenzy, downward from her Grace,
Whose flambeaux flash against the morning skies,
And gild our chamber ceilings as they pass,
To her who, frugal only that her thrift
May feed excesses she can ill afford,
Is hackneyed home unlackeyed; who, in haste
Alighting, turns the key in her own door,
And, at the watchman's lantern borrowing light,
Finds a cold bed her only comfort left.
Wives beggar husbands, husbands starve their wives,
On Fortune's velvet altar offering up
Their last poor pittance--Fortune, most severe
Of goddesses yet known, and costlier far
Than all that held their routs in Juno's heaven.--
So fare we in this prison-house the world.
And 'tis a fearful spectacle to see
So many maniacs dancing in their chains.
They gaze upon the links that hold them fast
With eyes of anguish, execrate their lot,
Then shake them in despair, and dance again.
- William Cowper, "The Timepiece" (excerpt)

Thursday, September 5, 2013