2012-02-28



"Where is home? I’ve wondered where home is, and I realized, it’s not Mars or someplace like that, it’s Indianapolis when I was nine years old. I had a brother and a sister, a cat and a dog, and a mother and a father and uncles and aunts. And there’s no way I can get there again."

Kurt Vonnegut

2012-02-22

To all that is chaotic
in you,
let there come silence.

Let there be
a calming
of the clamoring,
a stilling
of the voices that
have laid their claim
on you,
that have made their
home in you,

that go with you
even to the
holy places
but will not
let you rest,
will not let you
hear your life
with wholeness
or feel the grace
that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you
cease.
Let what divides you
cease.
Let there come an end
to what diminishes
and demeans,
and let depart
all that keeps you
in its cage.

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

—John O’Donohue

from To Bless the Space Between Us

2012-02-21

“Hope thou not much, and fear thou not at all.”

A poet of some notoriety, Algernon Charles Swinburne kept society and his critics inflamed. “An unclean fiery imp from the pit” said one of Swinburne’s Poems and Ballads (1865) - a book considered to be "unclean for the sake of uncleaness." Thought of as bawdy and anti-Christian, the book was viciously attacked in the press. Swinburne came close to criminal prosecution.

Many critics could still recognize his lyrical ability and mastery of many different forms of poetry.

The “libidinous laureate of a pack of satyrs” was a son of the English aristocracy. A small man, he made up for his lack of height with a mane of ill controlled red hair.

As a poet and critic, he became enmeshed in the Pre-Raphaelite movement via his association with the Rossettis (Swinburne dines with Lizzie Siddal and Rossetti on the evening before she died), William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones in the late 1850s(whom he met at Eton and Oxford) .

His beatings with a birch branch would lead to an obsessive love of erotic spanking and a group of poems known as the “birching poems.”

Oscar Wilde said of him: “It has been said of him, and with truth, that he is a master of language, but with still greater truth it may be said that language is his master…. Words seem to dominate him. Alliteration tyrannizes over him. Mere sound often becomes his lord. He is so eloquent that whatever he touches becomes unreal.”
Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, Jeune fille Surma, Éthiopie, 2005
from Uncertain Times

2012-02-18

Living on Wheels

Fiscally quite screwed, I'd often said I'd end up living in the back up of my pick-up truck. No van down by the river for me!


Deciding to see how viable that really was, I discovered that many people already are living that way. Many families already are. Some in major cities.

Most convert the truck with camper kits or self-made campers you can get plans for or you can come up with your own. This certainly increases the amount of room and, in my case, the amount of books I could have with me.

But some manage with tents, retreating to the cab of the truck when the weather become untenable. Thought I'd say "untentable," didn't you?

The advantages of moving south when it's cold may sway  those who have to learn to live with a lot less.

And moving on to where the dumpster diving brings glory and food for the table. A redolent night for all. Kick back from the wheel well and you are at your ease.

How can anyone live in that small a space? There are some ways of expanding it.

This gentleman's idea is brilliant as well as aesthetically pleasing. Plans here.

And there is a walk-in door truck cap that provides easy access to your on wheels abode.

It can be amended to include a tent that doubles your living space in whatever place your are currently calling home.

Problematic are:

1. Most cities/states have laws against living in your vehicle. Perhaps this will change as more and more people lose their homes. For many, paying rent and trying to pay down debt (student loan/credit cards) is overwhelming. I've little doubt that homelessness will be a growing issue in the years to come.

2. Where do you do your doo doo?  If you build a camper onto your truck, it will be more of a matter of gray and black water disposal. Camping sites will let you dump your dump for a small fee. Otherwise, paying for overpriced java to earn you a visit to the porcelain goddess.

3. Showering. This was a sticky point for me. I like being clean. Being ridiculously filthy doing whatever one is doing is fine. But one must be clean after. There are camping sites and many truck stops have showers for rent.

4. Safety issues. Especially for women, living on the road can be a dangerous proposition. And there is no shortage of weapons to chose from as protection. Stun guns, pepper spray, etc. But laws very from state to state. 





5. Mail can be as easy as having friends collect it all for you or renting a mail box from UPS or USPS. Since most  bills can be paid online, life on the road is easier than it was years ago.

The rules of the road are covered very well here.

2012-02-04

In 1934 the MPAA voluntarily passed the Motion Picture Production Code, more generally known as the Hays Code, largely to avoid governmental regulation. The code prohibited certain plot lines and imagery from films and in publicity materials produced by the MPAA. Among others, there was to be no cleavage, no lace underthings, no drugs or drinking, no corpses, and no one shown getting away with a crime.

A.L. Shafer, the head of photography at Columbia, took a photo that intentionally incorporated all of the 10 banned items into one image.

The photograph was clandestinely passed around among photographers and publicists in Hollywood as a method of symbolic protest to the Hays Code.


From The Society Pages

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger,for his anger will change nothing.
Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

2012-02-01

One of my finer crushes.


And Baryshnikov isn't bad, either.
Paul Gustave Doré was a French engraver, painter, illustrator, and sculptor. He was first published when he was 15. His illustrations appeared in works such as Poe’s The Raven, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Tennyson’s The Idylls of the King, and The Divine Comedy. After a major exhibition of his work in London, Doré also produced engravings for a book called London: A Pilgrimage, which was published in 1872. It was a success, but critics disliked it because of the fact that “Doré appeared to focus on the poverty that existed in parts of London.” Bummer for you, snobby critics! The Westminster Review claimed that “Doré gives us sketches in which the commonest, the vulgarest external features are set down.” So, to review, he was insanely talented, wasn’t afraid to speak the truth, and was a good-looking man to boot.

from fuckyeahhistorycrushes