суббота, октября 27, 2007
enough to put your health in a bad mood, and you’d be lucky to ever get over it. I would never have
suspected it before I started dreaming about getting a job, as I spent most of my mornings and early
afternoons pondering over softer things like pillows and blankets. And then one day like the darndest
unexpected guest all of a sudden there it was knocking on my desires – the idea I might be of some use
to the work force. So I cleaned my body up and shaved my face and made good my intention to make a
great impression by setting the alarm for early morning. When that alarm flew off at nine I have to say I
expected to be the first person up by a couple of hours at least, securing me a career in greatness like
the city has rarely seen before. And as I’m sure you have come to understand with equal chagrin and
unhappiness – most businesses are already getting ready to close down for the night by then. So I had to
make a quick decision that would affect my future – I chose to set the alarm for eight. I shaved again,
washed a little less sincerely and when early morning came – it brought a whole lot of confusion with it.
How early does a person need to get up in this city to be considered earnest?
But I don’t intend to tell you about how I kept getting up earlier and earlier and kept washing less and
less thoroughly until finally I gave up on shaving completely and went back to believing there was no
way to be happy on earth unless you had a beard. I have something slightly more uplifting to say, I am
just setting the scene.
So then, a few days later, when my mood had started to slide, I began to despair I might not actually
have what it takes to get a job and make enough money to survive. I suspected I might very well succeed
in winning over some business owner with my grade A smile and no-nonsense handshake, but I was
tormented by the thought that I would eventually be called upon to eat my money in my mouth and
wake up and go to work and pretend I believed what I was doing made any sense whatsoever. In this
frame of mind I stood at the Main Street/Science World bus stop waiting for a bus, trying to understand
where everything had gone so terribly wrong when I noticed I was not the only person having dark
thoughts. Apparently there were a lot of folks thinking darkly. No busses came and as we waited, the
line growing all the while, the dark thoughts of the folks around me grew as well and I had to wonder if
the cause was existential or somehow transportational.
The bus finally floated up. As it pulled in and the crowd began to struggle for position in the line up, I
remembered why we had given up the earlier culture of simple pleasures - like sleeping in and living in
small communities and in caves. Namely – for the excitement of keeping close quarters with others.
Squeezing onto the bus I felt a great relief at the fact that I was not alone in my quest for rent money
and more meaning to life – there were many of us.
All of a sudden the bus driver, after loudly requesting that those already on the bus move all the way to
the back, closed the doors, leaving half of the crowd unhappy on the street. Someone even took the
event so close to heart that he threw his textbook at the window. But this didn’t faze the driver in the
least – he was a professional. He took off at a swift trot, sending another wave of excitement through
the tightly packed community of accidental friends as a fellow, not prepared for the burst of speed, lost
his balance, perhaps never having fully acquired it in the first place, and fell onto the pink furry backpack
of a student girl from another country. The girl took this event close to heart and began to cry, which in
turn the fellow took to heart, which he showed by saying out loud a number of expletives that would be
best described in numerical code, ‘####, %%%%, $$%$!!!!!’
After this folks calmed down for a while and spent the journey in relative ease, uninterrupted except for
the occasional passenger not understanding properly how to open the back doors, despairing loudly,
banging on the doors feverishly and becoming agitated. Then someone with a keener knowledge of the
system would yell, ‘back door,’ and the driver would open it and the despairing passenger would
disembark, taking his despair with him. And other than that the journey was peace itself, except for the
constant complaining of one fellow who kept exclaiming quite loudly, ‘we’re not sardines, we deserve a
life on land and not in a can, the government absolutely must buy more buses, one for each person, and
then we can all ride on our own buses completely alone, away from sorrow and sadness.’ This he
continually repeated, word for word, from which I gathered that he was an improbable type, and that he
must experience this scene with frequency, having worked his speech out to the word.
Now, none of this may seem overly worthy of mention if it weren’t for one more highly improbable
occurrence which struck me for its extravagance, especially for a country as unimposing as Canada.
What happened was this.
In the course of riding and listening to each other’s grunts of complaint and humbly bearing each step
on our toes or poke in the groin with an umbrella, or cries of agitation inspired by the complicated back
door exit system, one fellow came to the conclusion that he was being dealt a raw deal by not being
shown the proper respect and, seeking the proper outlet for his malcontent, fixed his attention upon an
elderly Asian woman. ‘Listen buddy,’ the fellow said, his eyes shining in perfect hatred, ‘don’t bother
being a buddy, just take up all the space you need, you’re the only person who has to go anywhere, eh?’
The rather meek looking woman clearly did not understand what he was saying.
So he repeated it one more time, and the fact that the woman yet again failed to understand him seemed to inflame his sense of right and wrong with burning coals and he shoved her aside, hissing like
a lost snake and moving towards the door. This made a few people feel uncomfortable, but nobody felt
brave enough to step in – you never know with those types, he could be seeing purple rabbits and giant
crocodiles as a result of having taken some narcotic drug that morning, and why chance it. At that
moment it struck me, however, that Canada is such a highly logical country, a veritable bastion that I
really ought to reason with the fellow and lead him to a knowledge of his error. So turning to the fellow I
said, ‘hey pal, what the heck are you doing? You just pushed a little Chinese lady?!’
To which he replied, ‘gobeldy goo,’ or in other words – something completely incomprehensible. The
only part of his speech that I understood was the punch he gave me in the face and the way nobody on
the bus hampered him from getting off at the next stop, which I believe to have been a complete
anomaly, because for the most part Vancouverites are very good citizens.
So that’s my Vancouver story. I found a job and get up so early I sometimes don’t bother hitting the sack
at all. What can you do? This is the way we live.
пятница, октября 26, 2007
i would never have suspected it before i started dreaming about getting a job, as i spent most of my mornings and early afternoons pondering over softer things like pillows and blankets. And then one day like the darndest unexpected guest all of a sudden there it was knocking on my desires – the idea i might be of some use to the work force.
So i cleaned my body up and shaved my face and fixed my intention to make a great impression by setting the alarm for early morning. When that alarm set off at nine i have to say i expected to be the first person up by a couple of hours at least, securing me a career in greatness like the city has rarely seen before. And as i’m sure you have come to understand with equal chagrin and unhappiness – most businesses are already getting ready to close down for the night by then. So i had to make a quick decision that would affect my future – i chose to set the alarm for eight. I shaved again, washed a little less sincerely and when early morning came – it brought a whole lot confusion with it. How early does a person need to get up in this city to be considered earnest?
But hold on to your rickshaw just a moment if you think i intend to tell you about how i kept getting up earlier and earlier and kept washing less and less thoroughly until finally i gave up on shaving completely and went back to believing there was no way to be happy on earth unless you had a beard. I have something slightly more uplifting to say, i am just setting the scene.
So then, a couple of days after the beginning of this whole fiasco called waking up before the sun has risen on the east coast, my mood had started to slide and i was beginning to despair i might not actually have what it takes to get a job and make enough money to survive. Though i suspected i might very well succeed in winning some business owner with my grade a smile and no-nonsense handshake, i was tormented by the thought that i would eventually be called upon to eat my money in my mouth and wake up and come to work and pretend i believed what i was doing made any sense whatsoever. And this thought tormented me so effectively that i eventually became quite unhappy and stopped smiling at the folks who hand out the free papers everywhere in the morning (at an hour when their ancestors were still in bed). I was walking past one of these unhappy fellows when he looked at me and said, ‘good morning, sir’ and the greeting sounded so much like a taunt i grabbed the fellow by the two legs that were closest to my anger and tossed him backwards into a pile of his pop-culture dailies. If my two swiftest legs hadn’t carried me away i might not have got a chance to realize that wasn’t the proper approach to living in the western hemisphere. Which is precisely what i did only an hour later.
I was standing at the main street science world bus stop waiting to go south like many had before. No busses came and the number of people standing around grew in proportion to the people’s impatience. Every needless sigh brought another transit rider and every open exclamation of dissatisfaction was enough to attract another three. But nobody seemed to catch the correlation between complaining and making the situation worse for themselves. I tried to explain it to the surly fellow with the construction helmet beside me, ‘quit your complaining, eh?’ i said. ‘You’re only making the situation worse.’
The surly fellow looked at me as though he were completely nonplussed and said, ‘if you don’t quit moving your lips and exuding sounds i’ll be obliged to rub your whiskers in the turd at the top of the stairs leading into the skytrain.’
Indeed, someone had felt unhealthy at the top of stairs, i had nearly stepped into the unsanitary pile as i strove towards the street. What’s more the fellow had felt so unhealthy as to not be able to digest fully his morning meal and had relieved himself of that burden as well in a less traditional way by letting it come back the route it had first taken.
So i held my tongue until the bus i needed finally came round. And it was at this time that i remembered why we gave up the original joys, life’s simpler pleasures – like sleeping in and living in small communities and in caves. Namely – for the excitement of keeping close quarters with others. As i squeezed on the bus i felt a great relief at the fact that i was not alone in my quest for rent money and more meaning to life – they were many of us. And some of them didn’t even make it onto the bus – all of a sudden the bus driver, after loudly requesting that those already on the bus move all the way to the back, closed the doors, leaving half of the crowd unhappy on the street. Someone even took the event so close to heart that he threw his textbook at the window. But this didn’t the phase the driver in the least – he was a professional. He took off at a swift trot, sending another wave of excitement through the tightly packed community of accidental friends as a fellow, not prepared for the burst of speed, lost his balance, perhaps never fully having acquired it in the first place, and fell onto the pink furry backpack of a student girl from another country. The girl took this event close to heart and began to cry, which in turn the fellow took to heart, which he showed by saying out loud a number of expletives that would be best described by numerical code, ‘####, %%%%, $$%$!!!!!’
After this folks calmed down for a while and spent the journey in relative ease, uninterrupted except for the constant complaining of one fellow who kept exclaiming quite loudly, ‘we’re not sardines, we deserve a life on land and not in a can, the government absolutely must buy more buses, one for each person, and then we can all ride on our own buses completely alone, away from sorrow and sadness.’ This he continually repeated, word for word, from which i gathered that he was an improbable type, and that he must experience this scene with frequency, having worked his speech out to the word.
Now, none of this may seem overly worthy of mention if it weren’t for one more highly improbable occurrence which struck me for its strangeness, especially for a country as uninteresting as Canada.
What happened was this.
In the course of riding and listening to each other’s grunts of complaint and humbly bearing each step on our toes or poke in the groin with an umbrella, people decided at intervals to discontinue their ride. After pulling the rope people would normally step towards the exit and at the stop disembark. One fellow however, felt that he was being dealt a raw deal by not being shown the proper respect and seemed to be seeking the proper outlet for his malcontent.
‘Listen buddy,’ the fellow said, ‘don’t bother being a buddy, just take up all the space you need, you’re the only person who has to go anywhere, eh?’
This he said to a rather meek looking asian woman who clearly didn’t understand what he was saying. He repeated it one more time, and the fact that the woman didn’t understand him seemed to inflame his sense of right and wrong and he shoved her aside and moved towards the door.
This made a few people feel uncomfortable, but nobody felt brave enough to step in – you never know with those types he could be seeing purple rabbits and giant crocodiles as a result of having taken some narcotic drug that morning, and why chance it. At that moment it struck me, however, that Canada is such a highly logical country, a veritable bastion that i really ought to reason with the fellow and lead him to a knowledge of his error. So turning to the fellow i said, ‘hey pal, what theheck are you doing? You jsut pushed a little Chinese lady?!’
To which he replied, ‘goobledy goo,’ or in other words – something completely incomprehensible. The only part of his speech that i understood was the punch he gave me in the face and the way nobody on the bus hampered him from getting off at the next stop, which i believe to have been a complete anomaly, because for the most part Vancouverites are very good citizens.
So that’s my Vancouver story. I found a job and get up so early i sometimes don’t bother hitting the sack at all. What can you do? This is the way we live.
вторник, октября 23, 2007
понедельник, октября 22, 2007
четверг, октября 18, 2007
вторник, октября 16, 2007
In a large city, on Christmas eve in the biting cold, I see a young child, still quite young, six years old, perhaps even less; yet too young to be sent on the street begging, but assuredly destined to be sent in a year or two.
This child awakes one morning in a damp and frosty cellar. He is wrapped in a kind of squalid dressing-gown and is shivering. His breath issues from between his lips in white vapor; he is seated on a trunk; to pass the time he blows the breath from his mouth, and amuses himself in seeing it escape. But he is very hungry. Several times since morning he has drawn near the bed covered with a straw mattress as thin as gauze, where his mother lies sick, her head resting on a bundle of rags instead of a pillow.
How did she come there? She came probably from a strange city and has fallen ill. The proprietress of the miserable lodging was arrested two days ago, and carried to the police station; it is a holiday to-day, and the other tenants have gone out. However, one of them has remained in bed for the last twenty-four hours, stupid with drink, not having waited for the holiday.
From another corner issue the complaints of an old woman of eighty years, laid up with rheumatism. This old woman was formerly a children's nurse somewhere; now she is dying all alone. She whines, moans, and growls at the little boy, who begins to be afraid to come near the corner where she lies with the death rattle in her throat. He has found something to drink in the hallway, but he has not been able to lay his hand on the smallest crust of bread, and for the tenth time he comes to wake his mother. He finishes by getting frightened in this darkness.
The evening is already late, and no one comes to kindle the fire. He finds, by feeling around, his mother's face, and is astonished that she no longer moves and that she has become as cold as the wall.
"It is so cold!" he thinks.
He remains some time without moving, his hand resting on the shoulder of the corpse. Then he begins to blow in his fingers to warm them, and, happening to find his little cap on the bed, he looks softly for the door, and issues forth from the underground lodging.
He would have gone out sooner had he not been afraid of the big dog that barks all the day up there on the landing before their neighbor's door.
Oh! what a city! never before had he seen anything like it. Down yonder from where he came, the nights are much darker. There is only one lamp for the whole street; little low wooden houses, closed with shutters; in the street from the time it grows dark, no one; every one shut up at home: only a crowd of dogs that howl, hundreds, thousands of dogs, that howl and bark all the night. But then, it used to be so warm there! And he got something to eat. Here, ah! how good it would be to have something to eat! What a noise here, what an uproar! What a great light, and what a crowd of people! What horses, and what carriages! And the cold, the cold! The bodies of the tired horses smoke with frost and their burning nostrils puff white clouds; their shoes ring on the pavement through the soft snow. And how every body hustles every body else! "Ah! how I would like to eat a little piece of something. That is what makes my fingers ache so."
A policeman just passes by, and turns his head so as not to see the child.
"Here is another street. Oh! how wide it is! I shall be crushed to death here, I know; how they all shout, how they run, how they roll along! And the light, and the light! And that, what is that? Oh! what a big window pane! And behind the pane, a room, and in the room a tree that goes up to the ceiling; it is the Christmas tree. And what lights under the tree! Such papers of gold, and such apples! And all around dolls and little hobby-horses. There are little children well-dressed, nice, and clean; they are laughing and playing, eating and drinking things. There is a little girl going to dance with the little boy. How pretty she is! And there is music. I can hear it through the glass."
The child looks, admires, and even laughs. He feels no longer any pain in his fingers or feet. The fingers of his hand have become all red, he cannot bend them any more, and it hurts him to move them. But all at once, he feels that his fingers ache; he begins to cry, and goes away. He perceives through another window another room, and again trees and cakes of all sorts on the table, red almonds and yellow ones. Four beautiful ladies are sitting down, and when any body comes he is given some cake: and the door opens every minute, and many gentlemen enter. The little fellow crept forward, opened the door of a sudden, and went in. Oh! what a noise was made when they saw him, what confusion! Immediately a lady arose, put a kopeck in his hand, and opened herself the street door for him. How frightened he was!
The kopeck has fallen from his hands, and rings on the steps of the stairs. He was not able to tighten his little fingers enough to hold the coin. The child went out running, and walked fast, fast. Where was he going? He did not know. And he runs, runs, and blows in his hands. He is troubled. He feels so lonely, so frightened! And suddenly, what is that again! A crowd of people stand there and admire.
"A window! behind the pane, three pretty dolls attired in wee red and yellow dresses, and just exactly as though they were alive! And that little old man sitting down, who seems to play the fiddle. There are two others, too, standing up, who play on tiny violins, keeping time with their heads to the music. They look at each other and their lips move. And they really speak? Only they cannot be heard through the glass."
And the child first thinks that they are living, and when he comprehends that they are only dolls, he begins to laugh. Never had he seen such dolls before, and he didn't know that there were any like that! He would like to cry, but those dolls are just too funny!
Suddenly he feels himself seized by the coat. A big rough boy stands near him, who gives him a blow of his fist on the head, snatches his cap, and trips him up.
The child falls. At the same time there is a shout; he remains a moment paralyzed with fear. Then he springs up with a bound and runs, runs, darts under a gateway somewhere and hides himself in a court-yard behind a pile of wood. He cowers and shivers in his fright; he can hardly breathe.
And suddenly he feels quite comfortable. His little hands and feet don't hurt any more; he is warm, warm as though near a stove, and all his body trembles.
"Ah! I am going asleep! how nice it is to have a sleep! I shall stay a little while and then I will go and see the dolls again," thought the little fellow, and he smiled at the recollection of the dolls. "They looked just as though they were alive!"
Then he hears his mother's song. "Mamma, I am going to sleep. Ah! how nice it is here for sleeping!"
"Come to my house, little boy, to see the Christmas tree," said a soft voice.
He thought at first it was his mother; but no, it was not she.
Then who is calling him? He does not see. But some one stoops over him, and folds him in his arms in the darkness: and he stretches out his hand and--all at once--oh! what light! Oh! what a Christmas tree! No, it is not a Christmas tree; he has never seen the like of it!
Where is he now? All is resplendent, all is radiant, and dolls all around; but no, not dolls, little boys, little girls; only they are very bright. All of them circle round him; they fly. They hug him, they take him and carry him away, and he is flying too. And he sees his mother looking at him and laughing joyfully.
"Mamma! mamma! ah! how nice it is here!" cries her little boy to her.
And again he embraces the children, and would like very much to tell them about the dolls behind the window pane. "Who are you, little girls?" he asks, laughing and fondling them.
It is the Christmas tree at Jesus's.
At Jesus's, that day, there is always a Christmas tree for little children that have none themselves.
And he learned that all these little boys and girls were children like himself, who had died like him. Some had died of cold in the baskets abandoned at the doors of the public functionaries of St. Petersburg; others had died out at nurse in the foul hovels of the Tchaukhnas; others of hunger at the dry breasts of their mothers during the famine. All were here now, all little angels now, all with Jesus, and He Himself among them, spreading his hands over them, blessing them and their sinful mothers.
And the mothers of these children are there too, apart, weeping; each recognizes her son or her daughter, and the children fly towards them, embrace them, wipe away the tears with their little hands, and beg them not to weep.
And below on the earth, the concierge in the morning found the wee corpse of the child, who had taken refuge in the courtyard. Stiff and frozen behind the pile of wood it lay.
The mother was found too. She died before him; both are reunited in Heaven in the Lord's house.
суббота, октября 13, 2007
четверг, октября 11, 2007
'i have a question for you - why is liberalism better than fundamental conservatism? what does freedom to do whatever you want have on being told by others what to do? when you get the freedom you do whatever you want and then feel like shit and realize you screwed up anyway, and either find a cause to fight against to distract yourself or try to put all the blame on them. its all distraction. you have the freedom, now what? life still seems pretty meaningless doesnt it? i really dont see the difference between them telling me what to do conservatively and you liberally. youre both telling me what to do. though i dont mind you doing so if you do it in the comfort of your own home and not in my face.'
Fortunately (sadly?), I've got far too powerful an ego to conform to such perceptions, and far too much pride to resist the urge to talk about myself.
Let us clarify a couple of things here:
I suspect that 'liberalism' has a different definition in Northern America than it does in Australia. This is a minor problem; a much larger one is that I suspect that 'liberalism' has a vastly different meaning in Gwain's mind than it does in mine. So without taking the time to determine what the different definitions are, let's instead use mine: liberalism is the notion of individual freedom. It is not a philosophy to which I whole-heartedly subscribe.
Conservatism in my usage is the notion that there are certain fundamental values which are so self-evidently good that they should never be changed. It is not a philosophy to which I whole-heartedly subscribe.
I endeavour to extract elements of both and subsume them into a coherent personal philosophy. It is an ongoing and fascinating task.
I endorse the notion that we should have some individual liberty. I like to feel as if I am making decisions and actively participating in my own existence, and do not like feeling as if my behaviour is being enforced and that I am passively enduring my own existence. My endorsement of individual liberty stops at the point where individual liberty unreasonably encroaches upon the happiness of others. For example:
- An individual's desire for the freedom to rape children is not a freedom I endorse.
- An individual's desire to accumulate and maintain power at the unreasonable expense of the happiness of others, and to exercise that power at the unreasonable expense of the happiness of others, is not a freedom I endorse.
- An individual's desire to carry a concealed handgun is not a freedom I endorse.
I endorse the notion that we should conserve and maintain certain fundamental values. The destruction of these values, as most conservatives contend, can lead to the degeneration of a functional society. For example:
- The understanding that consenting adults may safely and privately pursue their own sex life is a fundamental value I would see conserved.
- The understanding that nobody deserves to be tortured or executed is a fundamental value I would see conserved.
- The understanding that all people deserve equality before the law I would see conserved.
On Telling People What to Do
At this point in my life, I don't aspire for more personal freedom. I'm lucky enough to be included amongst the 'freest' people in the world: I live in a secular liberal western democracy, I am university educated, I am employed, I am male, I am white. On the whole, nobody tries to enforce my behaviour. The only organisation which does (and to which I am largely bound to obey) is the state. I can see how the state has a role enforcing behaviour, such as when the collective individual liberties of a minority (eg. the desire to rape children) obfuscate the collective individual liberties of a majority (eg. the desire of children not to be raped and the desire of parents not to have their children raped). On the whole, I think it is not inherently good for the state to enforce behaviour, and the operation of the state requires constant vigilance from its citizens, who are obliged to object when the state oversteps its mandate to enforce behaviour. In my opinion this is a workable (but not unproblematic) mode of existence, not least because it is open to the notion of change, and in particular to the notion of the transfer and devolution of power.
There are certain institutions which seek to enforce behaviour without a popular mandate, without consultation with its constituents, and without recourse to the possibility of devolving power. Some examples of such institutions are certain organised religions, tyrannies, and totalitarian states. These institutions invest and seek to consolidate power in a small minority, who enforce the behaviour of the majority according either to doctrine, or to nothing more than their own unaccountable whim. In my opinion, these are unlikely to be workable modes of existence, as they resist the notion of change, and in particular the notion of the transfer and devolution of power. They will often oppress, sometimes with violence, those who endorse the notion of the transfer and devolution of power.
On Who to Listen To
The purpose of all this is to establish sufficient individual freedom and the conservation of sufficient fundamental values that each of us is able to decide for ourselves what the purpose and meaning of life is. I personally dislike the notion of being told what the purpose and meaning of my life is. That is nobody's decision but mine. Hence, I find the notion of telling others what the purpose and meaning of their lives are to be highly oppressive and totally unnecessary. Unfortunately, it is not the case that everybody has sufficient individual freedom and the conservation of sufficient fundamental values that they might decide what the purpose and meaning of their lives are. This is the motivating principle of my political activities.
in Yugoslavia back into Hungary, came to rest
near a bend in the Radca, at what his translator
describes as "a strange and lonely place" where
the tributary joins "the great river," a marshland
watched over by willows and "high circling birds."
Condors perhaps - they appear in the notes and
poems he was writing - under a foamy sky.
Huddled in a trench with the body of a friend
who'd been shot in the neck, he wrote with a pencil
stub in his notebook: patience flowers into death.
His wife's face bloomed in his head.
Thinking of the petals of crushed flowers
floating in a wake of perfume, he wrote to caress her
neck. The fascists' bullets wiped out his patience.
His written petals survive.
Today, we listen to the news of war
here in a river sanctuary my wife's unbending
will has created - horizontal slats of cedar, verticals
of glass - a Mondrian chapel of light.
This afternoon just before dark the first
greenshank arrived from the Hebrides.
Ignorant of human borders, its migration
technology is simple: feathers
and fish-fuel, cryptic colour and homing
instinct. This elegant wader landed on a mooring,
got ruffled in the westerly, then took off again,
an acrobatic twister, and levelled down
onto a mudflat - a lone figure that dashed across
the shore, stood on one leg, then, conducting
its song with its bill, came forward
in a high-stepping dance.
~ R. Adamson
bare in the early summer's heat.
We strung a bow from the willow tree
and used bamboo for arrows.
The afternoon thrummed with locusts.
Clouds at the end of the sky
were alive with thunder that shook
the corrugated iron. We were wet
with sweat - it was a hundred degrees
that day. Granny said, hot as bloody Hades.
It was Christmas time - the girls
were up for holidays - and we were
playing under the verandah. The sun
spread a golden glow in the calm
before the gathering storm
as the first snake of the season
came slithering out of the fowl yard,
leaving us its red-checked skin.
~ R. Adamson
He said we should all be good to each other, and not be nasty. Lots of people didn't like it when he said this.
They nailed him to a cross and he died.
He was a good bloke.
This is a picture of baby jesus by Gerard Von Honthorst. It is not an accurate depiction, for babies do not glow. And here is another picture of Jesus giving a sermon by Carl Bloch. It is probably also not an accurate depiction, for people were poor and dirty in the olden days, and Jesus was a good bloke who did not hold forth like a wanker.
And here is another picture of Jesus on the cross by Cristo Velazquez. It might well be an accurate depiction of Jesus. Except the glowing head bit. People's heads don't glow.
And here is another picture of Jesus resurrection from the dead by Matthias Grunewald. It is rather idealised. Jesus didn't fly around like a wizard with a big glowing balls behind him and a beatific expression on his face, and alas people don't rise from the dead.
среда, октября 10, 2007
вторник, октября 09, 2007
like they act
in real life
in real life. They
and record the passive changes
Or change themselves
into green persian dogs
When you see one
you know the world is a contrivance.
It has proverbiality.
People are poor.
понедельник, октября 08, 2007
“Let us not, who would be Christians, expect anything else from it than to be crucified. For to be a Christian is to be crucified, in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example–and warning–to us all. We must be crucified personally, mystically; for through crucifixion is the only path to resurrection. If we would rise with Christ, we must first be humbled with Him–even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world.
“And we must be crucified outwardly, in the eyes of the world; for Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world, and the world cannot bear it, even in a single representation of it, even for a single moment. The world can only accept Antichrist, now or at anytime.
“No wonder, then, that it is so hard to be Christian–it is not hard it is impossible. No one can knowingly accept a way of life which, the more truly it is lived, leads more surely to one’s own destruction. And that is way we constantly rebel, try to make life easier, try to be half-Christian, try to make the best of both worlds. We must ultimately choose–our felicity lies in one world or the other, not in both.“God give us the strength to pursue the path of crucifixion; there is no other way to be Christian.”
There can be no Imperial Federation in the true meaning of the word Federation. Imperial Federation means a union between England and each one of her colonies individually, whilst the colonies themselves would be divided by bitterness and jealousy of the meanest and most despicable kind. Say, can there ever be as brotherly a feeling between the Australian colonies of Great Britain as there would be between the United States of Australia?
Why on earth do we want closer connection with England? We have little in common with English people except our language. We are fast becoming an entirely different people. We are more liberal, and, considering our age, more progressive than England is. The majority of English people know nothing of Australia, and even the higher classes understand neither us nor our country. The latter entertain a sort of good-natured contempt for us which is only the outcome of their contact with our own shoddy aristocracy, which is several degrees more contemptible than that of England.
The loyal talk of Patriotism, Old England, Mother Land, etc. Patriotism? after Egypt, Burmah, Soudan, etc. Bah! it sickens one. Go and read “His Natural Life”, and other natural lives, by Marcus Clarke, and then talk of the dear old Mother Land that gave us birth.
Another argument used by the loyal, is that we should at least entertain a brotherly feeling for Englishmen and be ready to assist them in extremity. So we should, but we cannot assist Englishmen in Soudan or Burmah, neither can we assist them in Egypt with the “eyes of centuries” looking down upon us. “Where then can we assist Englishmen?” you ask. Amid the slums and alleys of London, or under the pitiless eyes of the stone lions (symbolical of the pity of the aristocracy) in Trafalgar Square, my masters!
Who says Australia offers not a home for every poor Englishman, or any other countryman that finds his way to our shores? And what sort of thanks do we get for it? Take the Cockney newchum, for instance; for many years after arrival, the burden of his cry is “Yer oughter go ’ome to Hingland, young man. Yer oughter see Lunnon, young man.” When he is not saying this he is running down Australians and the country that gives him food and shelter to their very faces. If England is such a glorious place why do not all the newchums stay there, or go back as soon as they earn passage money?
We shall never be understood or respected by the English until we carry our individuality to extremes, and by asserting our independence, become of sufficient consequence in their eyes to merit a closer study than they have hitherto accorded us. Every few weeks an English journalist or big bug comes out on a flying visit, drinks champagne and gorges beef with men who are no more representative Australians than Laplanders are, and returns to England a recognised authority upon the colonies.
Dr Cameron Lees has just gone, and left his “last impressions” of Australians upon the page of a Melbourne daily—among a lot of type marks—that amount to the same thing as saying Australians are provided with a pair of arms and a pair of legs apiece. He says that there is a tendency to bounce amongst some young Australians. He is very near the truth in that statement, but the tendency to bounce, as he calls it, is that spirit of independence that is growing and spreading slowly, surely, and almost silently. The calm precedes a storm. Telegrams fly, war clouds spread, and the air is filled with rumours, but nothing happens, and when everything is calm again war breaks out in some totally unexpected quarter. It is the same with revolution; so long as the proper spirit is spreading amongst our young men, we are satisfied that it spreads without bombast or parade.
There is one thing that we see with regret. It is that jealous, unkind feeling that exists between New South Wales and Victoria, and it is caused by reasons explained in the beginning of this article. Deny it as you may, it is nevertheless true that these two colonies do not entertain anything like the good-will that they should for each other, and although Victorians are very American in their egotism and very ready to disparage New South Wales, it must be admitted that the latter colony has not always treated the former in a fair spirit. The Soudan bungle was born partly of sentimental loyalty and partly of the afore-mentioned jealousy existing between the colonies, and now at a time when the colonies should club closer together our Government is doing all they can to widen the breach by trying to pass a bill enabling New South Wales to monopolise the name “Australia”.
If this feeling of animosity is fed or permitted to grow between the two colonies it will end—laugh as you may—in iron and fire and cannon smoke rolling over the Murray!—and then! “Perish Australia!”
Federation should begin at home.If Federation —whether Imperial or of the world should ever appear in a better light than at present there will be plenty of time to consider it. But for the present, let our colonies try to cultivate a still more brotherly feeling for each other, and the day will come when the sons of all the colonies can clasp hands and say truly, “We are Australians—we know no other land!”
When i think
When I think of where I've come from
or even try to measure as any kind of
distance those places, all the various
people, and all the ways in which I re-
member them, so that even the skin I
touched or was myself fact of, inside,
could see through like a hole in the wall
or listen to, it must have been, to what
was going on in there, even if I was still
too dumb to know anything-When I think
of the miles and miles of roads, of meals,
of telephone wires even, or even of water
poured out in endless streams down streaks
of black sky or the dirt roads washed clean,
or myriad, salty tears and suddenly it's spring
again, or it was-Even when I think again of
all those I treated so poorly, names, places,
their waiting uselessly for me in the rain and
I never came, was never really there at all,
was moving so confusedly, so fast, so driven
like a car along some empty highway passing,
passing other cars-When I try to think of
things, of what's happened, of what a life is
and was, my life, when I wonder what it meant,
the sad days passing, the continuing, echoing deaths,
all the painful, belligerent news, and the dog still
waiting to be fed, the closeness of you sleeping, voices,
presences, of children, of our own grown children,
the shining, bright sun, the smell of the air just now,
each physical moment, passing, passing, it's what
it always is or ever was, just then, just there.
I have read that Creeley wrote in variable isoverbal prosody. But I don't know what that means. Here's another poem I like:
an obscene poem
The girl in the bikini, my
wife, the lady-she sits on
the rocks, crouched
behind a jagged encumbrance.
the fisherman's daughter.
At night a dull movement
on the sands
and lightly at low tide
on the rocks
I also read that his stanzas are quatrains, but I don't what this means either. Here's a poem Creeley himself likes:
My children are, to me,
what is uncommon: they are dumb
and speak with signs. Their hands
are nervous, and fit more for
hysteria, than goodwill or long
Where fire is, they are quieter
and sit, comforted. They were born
by their mother in hopelessness.
But in them I had been, at first,
tongue. If they speak,
I have myself, and love them.
'When I first began writing,' Creeley said, 'I was very didactic and very involved with 'doing it right'. There was so much then to qualify what was acceptably a poem, and what was not. For example, there is a lovely story told me by John Frederick Nims about a fried of his reading somewhere in the Midwest. At the end someone in the audience asked if questions were permitted, and being told they were, said that he had one concerning the next to last poem read-to wit, 'Was that a real poem or did you just make it up yourself?'
I have a number of questions myself: what does 'isoverbal prosody' mean? And what is a 'quatrain stanza'? And what does Creeley mean when he says he was 'very didactic' and in what way was he concerned with 'doing it right'?
Robert Creeley died in Texas on March 30, 2005 of complications from pneumonia.
суббота, октября 06, 2007
четверг, октября 04, 2007
-St. Hesychius of Jerusalem (5th century)
The soul untried by sorrows is good for nothing.
-St. Theophane the Recluse (19th century)
At the present time many suicides are taking place, not only from disbelief, but also from lack of patience. They do not want to endure anything. If the Lord had not given men the natural desire to live, then almost all would kill themselves.
-Elder Joseph of Optina (20th century)
the liberals (variously now as liberals, whigs, and something else that slips the mind)
usually make up a very slight majority government not because the country loves them, but more because it often appears that the other parties cant tie their own shoes (to use the vernacular of the people.) the common canadian is dying to see another party in power.
continue to make up the government (with the present term excepted) on the strength of the population of ontario. outside of ontario the average canuck deeply despises the liberals because they are, as the name suggests, quite liberal.
the conservatives (known sometimes as tories, or right wing crazies)
havent been very popular with the average man (though they make up the present minority government) since the eighties of this century when they pushed through the north american free trade agreement despite the fact every single canadian threatened to be angry if they did. also unpopular in central canada (ontario especially) because they can be seen as a religious - evangelical Christian - party, mainly representative of western style (saskatchewan, alberta, british columbia)hillbillies. the eastern and central canadian hillbilly is decidedly secular.
the ndp or new democrats (socialists)
always win a few seats on the strength of their popularity amongst the students, the ageing hippies, and the working poor
the bloc quebecois
stand mainly for whats best for quebec (which is sometimes portrayed as canada ceasing to exist.) quite popular in quebec. less popular outside of quebec where they do not run candidates. they have even been known to form the official opposition in parliament, much the chagrin of english speaking canadians.
понедельник, октября 01, 2007
As we don’t have fixed-terms here in Australia, it’s up to the PM to call the election. Once he does so, everyone will fly into a tizz because they have only 6 weeks left to decide what they’ll wear on polling day. Polling day itself is on a Saturday, so there’s a broad range to choose from – no work gear necessary, but anything else other than stark nakidity goes. On this side of the Yarra, most opt for the traditional ‘tracksuit and t-shirt’ ensemble, with greens thongs and the occasional denim jacket. Over on the far side they probably wear roopelt coats with glimmery shirts made of newborn babyskin and hollowed out stoats for shoes.
On polling day, I’ll be wearing the onitsuka tigers (we form the brains-trust of the branch), some light slacks for the warm weather, and probably an ill-fitting Greens t-shirt (preferably black, not white). I gotta fang round Broady and surrounds in a car, making sure everything is popping off all Greenlike and sorting disputes and generally being the Commander in the Chariot, like I was born to be.
Afterwards, I’ll probably duck home for a shower and a loosey before throwing on something suitably summery yet alluring - maybe a shirt with a horse on it, although I don't really like horses, so maybe I should trust my instinct and go for a shirt with a dragon on it - and head off to wherever the election night party is. Hoping to sink piss and watch the votes roll in, but suspect I’ll collapse in a heap after two beers.