Saturday, June 26, 2010

Damn You, Lao Tzu

It's the single step which leads to a journey of a thousand miles. And what do we get at the end of the thousand miles? Exhaustion, listlessness and frequent-flyer miles. Also, unread books, unplayed music, unwatched films, unvisited blogs and unfinished thoughts.

So do everything you can to resist that single step. Or there will be that journey of thousand miles.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Now They Know How Many Autographed Manuscripts It Takes To Fill The Albert Hall

I read the news today, oh boy.

And the Obvious Fairy bites an auctioneer on his ass:
"The outstanding price achieved for these handwritten lyrics is testament to the iconic status of the Beatles, John Lennon and especially this song," said David Redden, Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts Department international chairman.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Clarity Of Writing

"I think the point is that lucid writing is a byproduct of a process of careful thought. The more deeply you think about an issue, the more word choices start to matter, the clearer the purpose of each phrase and each sentence becomes, and the more the sentences themselves fall into a natural order. Clarity of thought produces clarity of writing."
Careful, Falstaff, or soon the Internet will be asking you for a writing manual.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Happened To Desipundit?

Desipundit is quoting Frost.

What's with the "Thank you for reading"? Lekhni, Patrix, anyone?

Edit: I posted before checking the blogs. Lekhni blogged this yesterday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Land Scrapes"

From photographer Kalyan Varma's blog, a photo-essay on the Deccan Plateau.

An aerial shot of a village panchayat meeting? How about that.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

CUT TO: Face Of A Buyer Filled With Remorse

A buyer's review (on Amazon) of Bergman's "Wild Strawberries":
"It's in Swedish, with English subtitles. That's fine if you understand Swedish, which I don't. It was a total waste of money for me."
Those strawberries, they can be sour, I tell ya.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What Do You

Poetry geeks, help me out. Here's a verse from Pearl Jam's "Elderly woman behind the counter in a small town":

"I swear I recognize your breath
Memories like fingerprints are slowly raising
Me, you wouldn't recall, for I'm not my former
It's hard when, you're stuck upon the shelf"

The lyric is not "I'm not my former SELF" but the word "shelf" in the fourth line - and the song's theme - makes me mentally supply the word "self" in the third.

So my question is this - is there a name for this technique of not completing the line and letting the reader/listener fill in the blank?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

White House Album

Some questions to think about:

Would John have played the White House? And if he did, would he have sung "Michelle"? (Oh dear God.)

Why are "Hey Jude" singalongs encouraged? How many na-na-na-nas must be sung before they are forever banned?

Instead of singing "Michelle" (oh dear God), couldn't Sir Paul have played something unexpected, like, "Why don't we do it in the road"?

What happens during a drum solo at a White House gig? Policy discussions? Oil spill debates?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Key Of The Grave

Melancholy womanliness, quaint creature, wild passions: these are descriptions of musical keys, made by an 18th century German poet named Christian Schubart. ("...student of theology" and "he led a dissolute life"? Rock on, Herr Schubart!)

My favorite description is for "F# minor"
"A gloomy key: it tugs at passion as a dog biting a dress. Resentment and discontent are its language."
A lot of blues music is in the key of E Major. So how does Schubart, who lived in an era and culture far removed from the blues, describe that key? Quite accurately, actually:
"Noisy shouts of joy, laughing pleasure and not yet complete, full delight lies in E Major."
It makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Real blues music is not about despair and hopelessness. When you wake up one morning and find your money gone, you may cry for a few hours or even a few days but then, let out "noisy shouts of joy" you must. (Wonder if that's my accountant on the phone?)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Updating Beckett

Do not despair, one of the documents was saved.

Do not presume, the saved document was an older version.