Quote: “In one of history’s more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is “an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation.” And you thought the wheel of samsara was complicated now! Ha. Wait and see what some good ‘ol fashioned bureaucracy can do… A lifetime of karmic actions in triplicate anyone? The Pope may have to rethink his stance on purgatory… The real punchline though is less amazingly and perfectly hilarious. Ah well.

08.22. filed under: belief. headlines. politics. 3

...He advised me not to worry about lice. “You’ll soon get used to ‘em, not feel ‘em biting at all. All you have to do is ‘boil up’ once in a while”—that is, take off your clothes and boil them, a piece at a time, to kill the vermin. These and other personal chores the well-groomed tramp more or less regularly performs, were usually attended to during stop-overs in camps and jungles. It was here I learned to shave with the aid of a broken bit of whiskey glass. The toughest method of shaving I ever saw, though, was when one old veteran of the road rubbed another’s face with the rough side of half a brick!

-Harry Kemp (footnote to history, tramp poet, author, dune shack dweller, village bohemian, home wrecker, hanger on to giants, and purportedly a “lecherous and lazy man who committed as many wrongful acts as a man can safely commit”) from the the Federal Writers’ Project American Life Histories.

08.21. filed under: history. people. 1

Beautiful Specimens

Wikipedia tells us: “A microscope slide was originally a ‘slider’ made of ivory or bone, containing specimens held between disks of transparent mica. These were popular in Victorian England until the Royal Microscopical Society introduced the standardized microscope slide in the form of a thin sheet of glass used to hold objects for examination under a microscope.”

I’d like to add the following: Antique microscope slides, looked at from a strictly aesthetic standpoint (egged on by a design obsessed brain obviously) are some of the most elegant and perfectly beautiful human artifacts on planet earth. You can quote me on that. See below for irrefutable scientific aesthetic evidence.

08.19. filed under: art. design. science. 8

Nature Vs. Art

Æsthetic Friend: “Yes, This room is rather nice, All but the window, with these large blank panes of plate glass! I should like to see some sort of pattern on them—Little squares or lozenges or arabesques…”

Philistine: “Well, but those lovely cherry blossoms, and the lake, and the distant mountains, and the beautiful sunsets, and the purple clouds—isn’t that pattern enough?”

(Taken from Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 102. June 4, 1892. which, along with many other volumes, can be found on Gutenberg, listed for your ease here.)

08.19. filed under: art. history. play. 2

The work of master goldsmith Giovanni Corvaja is a fascinating mixture of the ancient and the cutting edge. His pieces are strikingly modern in form, clean geometries encasing staggering complexities, but the techniques employed to create these works are in fact the re-imagining of 3000 year old Etruscan methods (filigree and granulation) largely forgotten until very recently. 

 

08.19. filed under: art. people. 2

To simply say Lord Dagmar was not pleased might be the very definition of understatement.

08.04. filed under: misc. play. 4

The Last Epiphany

Waiting for a light bulb to go on… it can be a drag. That’s what I did though, just sat there and waited. I couldn’t understand it. Not a flicker of warning. Not a buzz. Not even that final brilliantly bright POP you might expect before a burn out… the thing just stopped working, leaving me to sit there in the dark. I tried a few times to coax it back… a jiggle… a tap. Nothing. At one point, and I’m not proud of it, I think I might have threatened it, saying something to the effect of, “go on or I’ll smash you against the fucking wall!” (Big man me, threatening a defenseless, paper-thin, spheroid of glass!) Other than that though I pretty much just sat there, waiting. 

08.02. filed under: ideas. life. personal. 4

Selaginella Lepidophylla does not know it’s waiting for rain. It’s roots do not yearn for flood. It’s leaves do not twist upward beseechingly. The argument could be made that it is not waiting at all, really, at least not in that expectant, care-worn, way bourn by anthropomorphic implication. Yes, time passes, bone dry, and Selaginella Lepidophylla is there. What of it?

The “Resurrection Plant” is desiccated. It is brown and it is dormant with all lively function slowed to a corpse-like still, but it’s not dead. Even separated from soil, laid out on an off-white field, it is alive. Why should it care about the rain? The rain is tacit. The rain WILL come eventually. Selaginella Lepidophylla is alive and can go on living for 50 years without so much as a stray pity drop from the sky. A freakishly strong wind might pull it from the ground and blow it across the sand like a tumbleweed, but it would not roll with it’s destiny caught up in piddling puddles. It would just roll, freakish wind guiding where it might.

No, the Resurrection Plant is superbly adapted, and I envy it this, because it is I who, desiccated and dormant, waits like a nervous child for rain. 

07.29. filed under: personal. 6

01.06. filed under: personal. 15

Like a shining diamond, Like a knife.

Or: My finest art?

First I’d like to say thanks to everyone who took my little poll. The results have been pretty much what I expected (more on that later). Double thanks go to those who left thoughtful comments, they were illuminating, and I appreciate it very much. Second though are apologies. Yes, apologies to all of you who have travelled these parts long enough to witness my repetitions. Ennui, desire, dissatisfaction, and labor pains- I am about to speak on these yet again, and yet again I will mull the pulling of my rug out from under you. Giving thoughtful consideration to, and writing about, the creative process is both honorable and necessary. So when a creative sort has, for a period, spent the better part of his creative energy on a blog the result of an inventory is, unfortunately, that most tiresome of things- another blog post about blogging.

01.01. filed under: announcements. personal. 14

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