Sunday, June 28, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

C'est moi

So much has happened this past week that I now feel like I must consider myself Un homme d'un certain âge.

I look back at what we've all lived through and yet I can't quite believe how quickly it has just passed.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Someone else is knocking at the door 2.0

(Sorry about the previous version posted.  Apparently I was drunk at the time and I could not operate auto-correct: but hey, you have to be drunk most of the time to be a political operative.)

In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Eric Arthur Blair was born on this day in 1903, in the Indian village of Motihari near the Nepalese border. His British father was an agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service (why is this job no longer available - I checked.) The family returned to England in 1907 so that young Eric could struggle and drop out of school. By 1921 he had returned to the subcontinent and joined the police in Burma (now known as Myanmar but for our purposes and to annoy the generals there, we'll continue to refer to it as Burma.)  He spent five years with the Burmese police before returning to England to quit and struggle. He stayed in England for a year, then went to France to be poor.

Finally he returned to England and wrote a book about being poor in Paris but no one wanted to publish it. He told his mother to burn the book (she did not), then wrote a new one about being a policeman in Burma. It too was rejected by several publishers. Meanwhile, however, his mother had been sneaking around with the book she hadn't burned and had found a publisher for her son.

Upon submitting the final manuscript to the publisher, Blair decided that a book about being poor in Paris written by a middle-class servant of the British Empire might not look good, so he decided to write under a pen-name. The name he chose was George Orwell.

Later he wrote a book about the poor voting habits of farm animals and another one about a future involving apple computer that sucked (he later acknowledged that it would have been a cheerier book if he hadn't been dying of tuberculosis).

Finally he became a Famous Author and even a Great Writer, but by then he was dead, whatever his name was.

And so it goes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Come what might, she would be wild, untrammeled, free

Happy Bloomsday!

June 16, 1904 -
If you notice English majors greeting one another joyously saying, "Yes - yes - yes!" They'll titter. It will all be terrific fun for them. And here's the reason why -

Today is the date on which all the events depicted in James Joyce's famous novel Ulysses takes place, even though the book itself was published in 1922 and therefore cannot celebrate a real centennial until my daughters have graduated college. There is probably also a lot of excitement in all sorts of intellectual circles.

And now, you can truly impress your friends by telling them the plot -

Leopold Bloom, the main character of Ulysses, does not have much work to do, so he spends most of his day wandering around Dublin doing some errands. He leaves his house on Eccles Street, walks south across the River Liffey, picks up a letter, buys a bar of soap, and goes to the funeral of a man he didn't know very well.

In the afternoon, he has a cheese sandwich, he feeds the gulls in the river, helps a blind man cross the street, and visits a couple of pubs. He thinks about his job, his wife, his daughter, his stillborn son. He muses about life and death and reincarnation. He knows that his wife is going to cheat on him that afternoon at his house.

In the evening, he wanders around the red light district of Dublin and meets up with a young writer named Stephen Dedalus, who is drunk. Leopold Bloom takes him home with him and offers to let him spend the night. And they stand outside, looking at the stars for a while. And then Bloom goes inside and climbs into bed with his wife.

They'll feel smart and proud and better than the rest of us (and you again can feel morally superior for knowing it), and now you know why.

And so it goes (...yes I said yes I will Yes.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Dr. Caligari product endorsement

I don't always take morphine in pill form, but when I do, I take Cube Morphine.

Ask for it by name

Monday, June 8, 2015

Overheard on Madison Avenue today ....

Jenkins, this is brilliant!  Your charts prove that if we get one more candidate, we will have a raft of loons

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Breaking News!

This just in:

Godzilla, 61, nuclear accident survivor, Pacific Islander, Tokyo Bay illegal immigrant has officially been given Japanese citizenship and has been named ambassador at large of the busy Shinjuku ward of Tokyo.

It's about time.

Ningyo Kuyo

Today is Memorial to Broken Dolls Day