And by a prudent flight and cunning save A life which valour could not, from the grave. A better buckler I can soon regain, But who can get another life again? Archilochus

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Eggs!

The Easter egg tradition may also have merged into the celebration of the end of the privations of Lent in the West. Historically, it was traditional to use up all of the household's eggs before Lent began. Eggs were originally forbidden during Lent as well as on other traditional fast days in Western Christianity (this tradition still continues among the Eastern Christian Churches). Likewise, in Eastern Christianity, both meat and dairy are prohibited during the Lenten fast, and eggs are seen as "dairy" (a foodstuff that could be taken from an animal without shedding its blood. This established the tradition of Pancake Day being celebrated on Shrove Tuesday. This day, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins, is also known as Mardi Gras, a French phrase which translates as "Fat Tuesday" to mark the last consumption of eggs and dairy before Lent begins.

In the Orthodox Church, Great Lent begins on Clean Monday, rather than Wednesday, so the household's dairy products would be used up in the preceding week, called Cheesefare Week. During Lent, since chickens would not stop producing eggs during this time, a larger than usual store might be available at the end of the fast if the eggs had not been allowed to hatch. The surplus, if any, had to be eaten quickly to prevent spoiling. Then, with the coming of Easter, Pascha the eating of eggs resumes.

One would have been forced to hard boil the eggs that the chickens produced so as not to waste food, and for this reason the Spanish dish hornazo (traditionally eaten on and around Easter) contains hard-boiled eggs as a primary ingredient. In Hungary, eggs are used sliced in potato casseroles around the Easter period
- Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Holi, Nicrap!

from Wikipedia
The word Holi originated from "Holika", sister of Hiranyakashipu. The festival of Holi is celebrated because of a story in the old Hindu religion. In Vaishnavism, Hiranyakashipu is the great king of demons, and he had been granted a boon by Brahma, which made it almost impossible for him to be killed. The boon was due to his long penance, after which he had demanded that he not be killed "during day or night; inside the home or outside, not on earth or in the sky; neither by a man nor an animal; neither by astra nor by shastra". Consequently, he grew arrogant and attacked the Heavens and the Earth. He demanded that people stop worshipping gods and start praising respectfully to him.

According to this belief, Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, was a devotee of Vishnu. In spite of several threats from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada continued offering prayers to Vishnu. He was poisoned by Hiranyakashipu, but the poison turned to nectar in his mouth. He was ordered to be trampled by elephants yet remained unharmed. He was put in a room with hungry, poisonous snakes and survived. All of Hiranyakashipu's attempts to kill his son failed. Finally, he ordered young Prahlada to sit on a pyre in the lap of Holika, Hiranyakashipu's demoness sister, who also could not die because she had a boon preventing her from being burned by fire. Prahlada readily accepted his father's orders, and prayed to Lord Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire started, everyone watched in amazement as Holika burnt to death, while Prahlada survived unharmed. The salvation of Prahlada and burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.

In Mathura, where Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated for 16 days (until Rangpanchmi) in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. The festivities officially usher in spring, the celebrated season of love.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Accepting Different Subjectivities

On Alain Badiou

from Wikipedia:
For Badiou the problem which the Greek tradition of philosophy has faced and never satisfactorily dealt with is that while beings themselves are plural, and thought in terms of multiplicity, being itself is thought to be singular; that is, it is thought in terms of the one. He proposes as the solution to this impasse the following declaration: that the one is not. This is why Badiou accords set theory (the axioms of which he refers to as the Ideas of the multiple) such stature, and refers to mathematics as the very place of ontology: Only set theory allows one to conceive a 'pure doctrine of the multiple'. Set theory does not operate in terms of definite individual elements in groupings but only functions insofar as what belongs to a set is of the same relation as that set (that is, another set too). What separates sets out therefore is not an existential positive proposition, but other multiples whose properties validate its presentation; which is to say their structural relation. The structure of being thus secures the regime of the count-as-one.

Then may we not sum up the argument in a word and say truly: If one is not, then nothing is?


Let thus much be said; and further let us affirm what seems to be the truth, that, whether one is or is not, one and the others in relation to themselves and one another, all of them, in every way, are and are not, and appear to be and appear not to be.

Most true.
-Plato, "Parmenides"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

If Life Were a Work of Art...

...what consequences would YOU be prepared to risk in an increasing more obtuse leaning towards, "Authenticity"? ... and should society be required to shield you from suffering said freely chosen resulting consequences?

“The falseness of a judgement is to us not necessarily an objection to a judgement…The question is to what extent it is life-advancing, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps even species-breeding”
- Nietzsche (BGE I.4)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Planting Time

SOCRATES: ...Would a husbandman, who is a man of sense, take the seeds, which he values and which he wishes to bear fruit, and in sober seriousness plant them during the heat of summer, in some garden of Adonis, that he may rejoice when he sees them in eight days appearing in beauty? at least he would do so, if at all, only for the sake of amusement and pastime. But when he is in earnest he sows in fitting soil, and practises husbandry, and is satisfied if in eight months the seeds which he has sown arrive at perfection?

PHAEDRUS: Yes, Socrates, that will be his way when he is in earnest; he will do the other, as you say, only in play.
-Plato, "Phaedrus"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Now where Did I Put My Shawl?

Norman Bates: It's not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?

Marion Crane: Yes. Sometimes just one time can be enough.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel

Strictly speaking, perversion is an inverted effect of the phantasy. It is the subject who determines himself as an object, in his encounter with the division of subjectivity. [...] It is in so far as the subject makes himself the object of another will that the sado-masochistic drive not only closes up, but constitutes itself. [...] the sadist himself occupies the place of the object, but without knowing it, to the benefit of another, for whose jouissance he exercises his action as sadistic pervert.
- Jacques Lacan, "The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis"

What if the rule of law can only be asserted through wicked (sinful) meanings and acts? What if, in order to rule, the law has to rely on the subterranean interplay of cheatings and deceptions?
- Slavoj Zizek, "How to Read Lacan"

The question we should confront here is what, then, does the pervert miss, in his endeavor to absolutely separate the Truth from Lies? The answer is, of course: the truth of the lie itself, the truth that is delivered in and through the very act of lying. Paradoxically, the pervert's falsity resides in his very unconditional attachment to truth, in his refusal to hear the truth resonating in a lie.
- Slavoj Zizek, "How to Read Lacan"

Monday, March 18, 2013

No More Winter?

Vois le vent,
il n'y aura plus d'hiver
si nos fronts
je crois c'est tombier.

Dans les villes,
de ventes s'organisent
des montagnes de pulls.

Dans les villes,
des vagues vont se presser
et investissent, et investissent
dans la laine devalu

Alors voilil n'y aura plus d'hiver
et pourquoi, c'est plus rentable on pense.

Dans les villes, les gens s'endorment un peu
sous un soleil de plumes.

Dans les villes,
des vagues vont se presser
et investissent toujours,
dans la laine devalu

(Self-attempted mis-translation)

See the wind,
there will be no more winter
if our faces
believe it inhabits the tomb.

In cities,
of sales being organized
from mountains of pullovers.

In cities, spaces
are going so hurry up
to invest, and invest
in wool of worth

Then inhabitants will have no more winter
and why, it is more lucrative they think.

In cities, people fall asleep a bit
under a sun of feathers.

In cities,
spaces are going so hurry up
and always invest,
in wool of worth

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Photon's Contingent Truth

And thus I say that effigies (f.i.g.'s) of things,
And tenuous shapes from off the things are sent,
From off the utmost outside of the things,
Which are like films or may be named a rind,
Because the image bears like look and form
With whatso body has shed it fluttering forth-
A fact thou mayst, however dull thy wits,
Well learn from this: mainly, because we see
Even 'mongst visible objects many be
That send forth bodies, loosely some diffused-
Like smoke from oaken logs and heat from fires-
And some more interwoven and condensed-
As when the locusts in the summertime
Put off their glossy tunics, or when calves
At birth drop membranes from their body's surface,
Or when, again, the slippery serpent doffs
Its vestments 'mongst the thorns- for oft we see
The breres augmented with their flying spoils:
Since such takes place, 'tis likewise certain too
That tenuous images from things are sent,
From off the utmost outside of the things.
For why those kinds should drop and part from things,
Rather than others tenuous and thin,
No power has man to open mouth to tell;
Especially, since on outsides of things
Are bodies many and minute which could,
In the same order which they had before,
And with the figure of their form preserved,
Be thrown abroad, and much more swiftly too,
Being less subject to impediments,
As few in number and placed along the front.
For truly many things we see discharge
Their stuff at large, not only from their cores
Deep-set within, as we have said above,
But from their surfaces at times no less-
Their very colours too. And commonly
The awnings, saffron, red and dusky blue,
Stretched overhead in mighty theatres,
Upon their poles and cross-beams fluttering,
Have such an action quite; for there they dye
And make to undulate with their every hue
The circled throng below, and all the stage,
And rich attire in the patrician seats.
And ever the more the theatre's dark walls
Around them shut, the more all things within
Laugh in the bright suffusion of strange glints,
The daylight being withdrawn. And therefore, since
The canvas hangings thus discharge their dye
From off their surface, things in general must
Likewise their tenuous effigies discharge,
Because in either case they are off-thrown
From off the surface. So there are indeed
Such certain prints and vestiges of forms
Which flit around, of subtlest texture made,
Invisible, when separate, each and one.
Again, all odour, smoke, and heat, and such
Streams out of things diffusedly, because,
Whilst coming from the deeps of body forth
And rising out, along their bending path
They're torn asunder, nor have gateways straight
Wherethrough to mass themselves and struggle abroad.
But contrariwise, when such a tenuous film
Of outside colour is thrown off, there's naught
Can rend it, since 'tis placed along the front
Ready to hand. Lastly those images
Which to our eyes in mirrors do appear,
In water, or in any shining surface,
Must be, since furnished with like look of things,
Fashioned from images of things sent out.
There are, then, tenuous effigies of forms,
Like unto them, which no one can divine
When taken singly, which do yet give back,
When by continued and recurrent discharge
Expelled, a picture from the mirrors' plane.
Nor otherwise, it seems, can they be kept
So well conserved that thus be given back
Figures so like each object.
Now then, learn
How tenuous is the nature of an image.
And in the first place, since primordials be
So far beneath our senses, and much less
E'en than those objects which begin to grow
Too small for eyes to note, learn now in few
How nice are the beginnings of all things-
That this, too, I may yet confirm in proof:
First, living creatures are sometimes so small
That even their third part can nowise be seen;
Judge, then, the size of any inward organ-
What of their sphered heart, their eyes, their limbs,
The skeleton?- How tiny thus they are!
And what besides of those first particles
Whence soul and mind must fashioned be?- Seest not
How nice and how minute? Besides, whatever
Exhales from out its body a sharp smell-
The nauseous absinth, or the panacea,
Strong southernwood, or bitter centaury-
If never so lightly with thy [fingers] twain
Perchance [thou touch] a one of them

Lucretius, "De Rerum Natura"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pull Away!

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.
- William Blake

Friday, March 15, 2013

Contemplating Otherness

The usual way of misreading Lacan's formulas of sexuation is to reduce the difference of the masculine and the feminine side to the two formulas that define the masculine position, as if masculine is the universal phallic function and feminine the exception, the excess, the surplus that eludes the grasp of the phallic function. Such a reading completely misses Lacan's point, which is that this very position of the Woman as exception-say, in the guise of the Lady in courtly love-is a masculine fantasy par excellence. As the exemplary case of the exception constitutive of the phallic function, one usually mentions the fantasmatic, obscene figure of the primordial father-jouisseur who was not encumbered by any prohibition and was as such able fully to enjoy all women. Does, however, the figure of the Lady in courtly love not fully fit these determinations of the primordial father? Is she not also a capricious Master who wants it all, i.e., who, herself not bound by any Law, charges her knight-servant with arbitrary and outrageous ordeals?

In this precise sense, Woman is one of the names-of-the-father. The crucial details not to be missed here are the use of plural and the lack of capital letters: not Name-of-the-Father, but one of the names-of-the-father, one of the nominations of the excess called primordial father. In the case of Woman-the mythical She, the Queen from Rider Haggard's novel of the same name for example-as well as in the case of the primordial father, we are dealing with an agency of power which is pre-symbolic, unbridled by the Law of castration; in both cases, the role of this fantasmatic agency is to fill out the vicious cycle of the symbolic order, the void of its origins: what the notion of Woman (or of the primordial father) provides is the mythical starting point of unbridled fullness whose "primordial repression" constitutes the symbolic order.
- Zizek, "Woman is One of the Names-of-the-Father, or How Not to Misread Lacan's Formulas of Sexuation"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We'll Always Have Paris!

I offer you
Pearls of rain
Coming from the lands
Where it never rains

Major Strasser: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris?
Rick: It's not particularly my beloved Paris.
Heinz: Can you imagine us in London?
Rick: When you get there, ask me!
Captain Renault: Hmmh! Diplomatist!
Major Strasser: How about New York?
Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade.

Let me be for you
The shadow of your shadow
The shadow of your hand
The shadow of your dog

Do not leave me now
Do not leave me now
Do not leave me now
Do not leave me now
- Ne me quitte pas

Endeavor to Persevere!

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”
George Washington

The Law of Desire

The gap between this “law of desire” and Ego-Ideal (the network of social-symbolic norms and ideal that the subject internalizes in the course of his or her education) is crucial here. For Lacan, the seemingly benevolent agency of the Ego-Ideal which leads us to moral growth and maturity, forces us to betray the “law of desire” by way of adopting the “reasonable” demands of the existing socio-symbolic order. The superego, with its excessive feeling of guilt, is merely the necessary obverse of the Ego-Ideal: it exerts its unbearable pressure upon us on behalf of our betrayal of the “law of desire.” The guilt we experience under the superego pressure is not illusory but actual – “the only thing of which one can be guilty is of having given ground relative to one’s desire,” [3] and the superego pressure demonstrates that we effectively are guilty of betraying our desire.
- Zizek, "How to Read Lacan"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sailing the Acheron Plucking Roses from Her Banks

"The spring is come, we must pluck roses;
we must kiss the lips of maidens. Maidens' lips
are cardamons and cloves. Sweet maidens, offer
them as presents to young men."
al Gilani(?) "Songs of the Ghilanis"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lenten Remembrances of Advent

The deeper the sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
- Kahlil Gibran

Friday, March 8, 2013

Who Do You Love?

We say, love is blind, and the figure of Cupid is drawn with a bandage round his eyes. Blind: - yes, because he does not see what he does not like; but the sharpest-sighted hunter in the universe is Love, for finding what he seeks, and only that; and the mythologists tell us, that Vulcan was painted lame, and Cupid blind, to call attention to the fact, that one was all limbs, and the other, all eyes.
- Emerson, "Conduct of Life" (Beauty)

Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.'
Mature love says: 'I need you because I love you.'
-Erich Fromm

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I was born on the banks of the pulsing Arauca River
I am brother of the foam
of the herons and of roses
I am brother of the foam,
of the herons, of the roses
and the sun
and the sun.

The lively reveille of breezes has lulled me in palm groves
and that is why I have soul
like the exquisite soul
and that is why I have soul
like the exquisite soul
of crystal
of crystal.

I love, I cry, I sing, I dream,
with carnations of passion,
with carnations of passion,
I love, I cry, I laugh, I dream,
and I sing to Venezuela
with the soul of a troubadour.

I was born on the banks of the pulsing Arauca River
I am a brother of the foam,
of the herons, of the roses
and the sun.

The lively reveille of breezes has lulled me in palm groves
and that is why I have soul,
like the exquisite soul,
and that is why I have soul,
like the exquisite soul,
of crystal,
of crystal.

I love, I cry, I sing, I dream,
with carnations of passion,
with carnations of passion,
I love, I cry, I laugh, I dream,
and I sing to Venezuela
with the soul of a troubadour.

I was born on this bank of the pulsing Arauca River
I am a brother of the foam,
of the herons, of roses ...
and the sun.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ariettes Oubliées

Forgotten Ariettas
I divine behind a whisper
The subtle rustling of the ancient voices
And, in the musical glimmers,
Ô pale love, the future of a sunrise!
And my soul and heart upside down,
No longer are but some kind of a double eye,
Which flickers through an uncertain day
The arietta, alas! Of every lyre !
Ô dying like this all alone,
As , leaving - dear frightening love -
Swinging young and old hours,
Ô dying of this swing.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Accute Schizophrenia Blues

Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
Which shows like grief itself, but is not so;
For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects;
Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
Show nothing but confusion, eyed awry
Distinguish form: so your sweet majesty,
Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
Find shapes of grief, more than himself, to wail;
Which, look'd on as it is, is nought but shadows
Of what it is not.
- Shakespeare, "Richard II"

Who am I, 24601?

I have no name, no title,
No, not that name was given me at the font,
But ’tis usurp’d: alack the heavy day,
That I have worn so many winters out,
And know not now what name to call myself!
O that I were a mockery king of snow,
Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
To melt myself away in water-drops!
-Shakespeare, "Richard II"

Friday, March 1, 2013

Shame on Me? No! Shame on YOU!

De-interpreting the Gay Pride Parade Shame Game
Lacan specifies shame as a respect for castration, as an attitude of discretely covering up the fact of being-castrated. (No wonder women have to be covered more than men: what is concealed is their lack of a penis...) While shamelessness resides in openly displaying one's castration, shame enacts a desperate attempt to keep up the appearance: although I know the truth (about castration), let us pretend that it hasn't happened... This is why, when I see my crippled neighbor "shamelessly" pushing his disfigured limb toward me, it is I, not he, who is overwhelmed by shame. When a man exposes his distorted limb to his neighbor, his real target is to expose not himself, but the neighbor: to put the neighbor to shame by confronting him with his own ambivalent repulsion/ fascination with the spectacle he is forced to witness. In a strictly analogous way, one is ashamed of one's ethnic origins, of the specific "torsion" of one's particular identity, of being caught in the coordinates of a life-world into which one was thrown, with which one is stuck, unable to get rid of.
Zizek, "The Parallax View"