Monday, January 31, 2011

No Regrets

"No, nothing at all
I do not regret anything at all (x2)
Either the good that has been done to me
or the evil
everything is equal to me
no, nothing at all, no...
everything is paid, swept away, forgotten
I don't care about the past!
With my memories I lit the fire
My pains, my pleasures,
I don't need them anymore
My love stories are swept away
with their tremolos
swept away for ever
I'm starting on new bases
no, nothing at all etc...
Because my life, my happiness, today everything begins..."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Musica do Brasil

Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy.
Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,
Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tunèd sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother,
Who, all in one, one pleasing note do sing;
Whose speechless song being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: "Thou single wilt prove none."
W. Shakespeare, Sonnet #8

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Well Blow me Down...

Let brawling waves beat his ship
against the shore, and have the mop-haired Thracians
take him naked at Salmydessos,
and he will suffer a thousand calamities
as he chews the bread of slaves.
His body will stiffen in freezing surf
as he wrestles with slimy seaweed,
and his teeth will rattle like a helpless dog,
flopped on his belly in the surge,
puking out the brine. Let me watch him grovel
in mud- for the wrong he did me:
as a traitor he trampled on our good faith,
he who was once my comrade.
-Archilochus of Paros

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pindar's Pythian Ode #1

Golden lyre, rightful joint possession of Apollo and the violet-haired Muses, to which the dance-step listens, the beginning of splendid festivity; and singers obey your notes, whenever, with your quivering strings, you prepare to strike up chorus-leading preludes. You quench even the warlike thunderbolt of everlasting fire. And the eagle sleeps on the scepter of Zeus, relaxing his swift wings on either side, the king of birds; and you pour down a dark mist over his curved head, a sweet seal on his eyelids. Slumbering, he ripples his liquid back, under the spell of your pulsing notes. Even powerful Ares, setting aside the rough spear-point, warms his heart in repose; your shafts charm the minds even of the gods, by virtue of the skill of Leto's son and the deep-bosomed Muses. But those whom Zeus does not love are stunned with terror when they hear the cry of the Pierian Muses, on earth or on the irresistible sea; among them is he who lies in dread Tartarus, that enemy of the gods, Typhon with his hundred heads. Once the famous Cilician cave nurtured him, but now the sea-girt cliffs above Cumae, and Sicily too, lie heavy on his shaggy chest. And the pillar of the sky holds him down, snow-covered Aetna, year-round nurse of bitter frost, from whose inmost caves belch forth the purest streams of unapproachable fire. In the daytime her rivers roll out a fiery flood of smoke, while in the darkness of night the crimson flame hurls rocks down to the deep plain of the sea with a crashing roar. That monster shoots up the most terrible jets of fire; it is a marvellous wonder to see, and a marvel even to hear about when men are present. Such a creature is bound beneath the dark and leafy heights of Aetna and beneath the plain, and his bed scratches and goads the whole length of his back stretched out against it. Grant that we may be pleasing to you, Zeus, you who frequent this mountain, this brow of the fruitful earth, whose namesake city near at hand was glorified by its renowned founder, when the herald at the Pythian racecourse proclaimed the name of Aetna, announcing Hieron's triumph with the chariot. For seafaring men, the first blessing at the outset of their voyage is a favorable wind; for then it is likely that at the end as well they will win a more prosperous homecoming. And that saying, in these fortunate circumstances, brings the belief that from now on this city will be renowned for garlands and horses, and its name will be spoken amid harmonious festivities. Phoebus, lord of Lycia and Delos, you who love the Castalian spring of Parnassus, may you willingly put these wishes in your thoughts, and make this a land of fine men. All the resources for the achievements of mortal excellence come from the gods; for being skillful, or having powerful arms, or an eloquent tongue. As for me, in my eagerness to praise that man, I hope that I may not be like one who hurls the bronze-cheeked javelin, which I brandish in my hand, outside the course, but that I may make a long cast, and surpass my rivals. Would that all of time may, in this way, keep his prosperity and the gift of wealth on a straight course, and bring forgetfulness of troubles. Indeed he might remember in what kind of battles of war he stood his ground with an enduring soul, when, by the gods' devising, they found honor such as no other Greek can pluck, a proud garland of wealth. But now he has gone to battle in the manner of Philoctetes; and under compulsion even a haughty man fawned on him for his friendship. They say that the god-like heroes went to bring from Lemnos that man afflicted with a wound, the archer son of Poeas, who sacked the city of Priam and brought an end to the toils of the Danaans; he went with a weak body, but it was fated. In such a way may a god be the preserver of Hieron for the time that is still to come, giving him the opportunity for all he desires. Muse, hear me, and beside Deinomenes sing loud praises for the reward of the four-horse chariot. The joy of his father's victory is not alien to him. Come, let us devise a friendly song for the king of Aetna, for whom Hieron founded that city with god-built freedom, in accordance with the laws of the rule of Hyllus. The descendants of Pamphylus, and, truly, of the Heracleidae also, dwelling beneath the cliffs of Taÿgetus, are willing to abide forever as Dorians under the ordinances of Aegimius. Setting out from Pindus they took Amyclae and prospered, highly renowned neighbors of the Tyndaridae with their white horses, and the fame of their spear burst into bloom. Zeus the Accomplisher, grant that beside the waters of Amenas the true report of men may always assign such good fortune to citizens and kings alike; with your blessing the man who is himself the leader, and who instructs his son, may bring honor to the people and turn them towards harmonious peace. I entreat you, son of Cronus, grant that the battle-shouts of the Carthaginians and Etruscans stay quietly at home, now that they have seen their arrogance bring lamentation to their ships off Cumae. Such were their sufferings, when they were conquered by the leader of the Syracusans—a fate which flung their young men from their swift ships into the sea, delivering Hellas from grievous bondage. From Salamis I will win as my reward the gratitude of the Athenians, and in Sparta from the battles before Cithaeron1—those battles in which the Medes with their curved bows suffered sorely; but beside the well-watered bank of the river Himeras I shall win my reward by paying my tribute of song to the sons of Deinomenes, the song which they earned by their excellence, when their enemies were suffering. If you speak in due proportion, twisting the strands of many themes into a brief compass, less blame follows from men. For wearying satiety blunts the edge of short-lived expectations, and what the citizens hear secretly weighs heavy on their spirits, especially concerning the merits of others. Nevertheless, since envy is better than pity, do not abandon fine deeds! Steer your men with the rudder of justice; forge your tongue on the anvil of truth: if even a small spark flies, it is carried along as a great thing when it comes from you. You are the guardian of an ample store. You have many faithful witnesses of both good and bad. But abide in a blossoming temper, and if you are fond of always hearing sweet things spoken of you, do not be too distressed by expenses, but, like a steersman, let your sail out to the wind. Do not be deceived, my friend, by glib profit-seeking. The loud acclaim of renown that survives a man is all that reveals the way of life of departed men to storytellers and singers alike. The kindly excellence of Croesus does not perish, but Phalaris, with his pitiless mind, who burned his victims in a bronze bull, is surrounded on all sides by a hateful reputation; lyres that resound beneath the roof do not welcome him as a theme in gentle partnership with the voices of boys. The first of prizes is good fortune; the second is to be well spoken of; but a man who encounters and wins both has received the highest garland.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time Out

"Your Commie has no regard for human life, not even of his own. For this reason men, I want to impress upon you the need for extreme watchfulness. The enemy may come individually, or in strength. He may even appear in the form of our own troops. But however we must stop him. We must not allow him to gain entrance to this base. Now, I'm going to give you THREE SIMPLE rules: First, trust NO one, whatever his uniform or rank, unless he is known to you personally; Second, anyone or anything that approaches within 200 yards of the perimeter is to be FIRED UPON; Third, if in doubt, shoot first then ask questions later. I would sooner accept a few casualties through accidents rather losing the entire base and its personnel through carelessness. Any variation of these rules must come from me personally. Any variation on these rules must come from me personally. Now, men, in conclusion, I would like to say that, in the two years it has been my privilege to be your commanding officer, I have always expected the best from you, and you have never given me anything less than that. Today, the nation is counting on us. We're not going to let them down. Good luck to you all."
-General Jack D. Ripper:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Breaking the Mold...

...and the neuronal "hold"
Step 1 - Carding the wool... inundating the mind in a chemical dopamine and testosterone laden soup.

Friday, January 7, 2011

On "Free Will"

...and the self-denial thereof. "German literature is so virulently allegorized that the German never knows whether he is a Kangaroo, a Scythian, or his own sweet self." Wyndham Lewis, Code of a Herdsman (1914)

Reminder - Turn "Closed Captions" (CC) ON
Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11

Steering Towards Scylla...

...having just passed Charybdis

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Anaximander of Miletus (ca. 560 B.C.)

Whence things have their origin,
Thence also their destruction happens,
As is the order of things;
For they execute the sentence upon one another
- The condemnation for the crime -
In conformity with the ordinance of Time.
Dance me to the end...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Aspasia's Lover

Like the Mykonians, Perikles,
you drink our unmixed wine
and pay for nothing.
You broke into this party, uninvited, and act as if
among old friends.
Your stomach has tricked the brains in your skull
and now you are shameless.
-Archilochus of Paros (Athens "Tea Party" founder)

On the Origins of the Poloponnesian War

I detest the Lacedaemonians with all my heart, and may Posidon, the god of Taenarus, cause an earthquake and overturn their dwellings! My vines also have been cut. But come (there are only friends who hear me), why accuse the Laconians of all our woes? Some men (I do not say the city, note particularly, that I do not say the city), some wretches, lost in vices, bereft of honour, who were not even citizens of good stamp, but strangers, have accused the Megarians of introducing their produce fraudulently, and not a cucumber, a leveret, a sucking-pig, a clove of garlic, a lump of salt was seen without its being said, "Halloa! these come from Megara," and their being instantly confiscated. Thus far the evil was not serious, and we were the only sufferers. But now some young drunkards go to Megara and carry off the courtesan Simaetha; the Megarians, hurt to the quick, run off in turn with two harlots of the house of Aspasia; and so for three gay women Greece is set ablaze. Then Pericles, aflame with ire on his Olympian height, let loose the lightning, caused the thunder to roll, upset Greece and passed an edict, which ran like the song, "That the Megarians be banished both from our land and from our markets and from the sea and from the continent." Meanwhile the Megarians, who were beginning to die of hunger, begged the Lacedaemonians to bring about the abolition of the decree, of which those harlots were the cause; several times we refused their demand; and from that time there was a horrible clatter of arms everywhere. You will say that Sparta was wrong, but what should she have done? Answer that. Suppose that a Lacedaemonian had seized a little Seriphian dog on any pretext and had sold it, would you have endured it quietly? Far from it, you would at once have sent three hundred vessels to sea, and what an uproar there would have been through all the city! there 'tis a band of noisy soldiery, here a brawl about the election of a Trierarch; elsewhere pay is being distributed, the Pallas figure-heads are being regilded, crowds are surging under the market porticos, encumbered with wheat that is being measured, wine-skins, oar-leathers, garlic, olives, onions in nets; everywhere are chaplets, sprats, flute-girls, black eyes; in the arsenal bolts are being noisily driven home, sweeps are being made and fitted with leathers; we hear nothing but the sound of whistles, of flutes and fifes to encourage the work-folk. That is what you assuredly would have done, and would not Telephus have done the same? So I come to my general conclusion; we have no common sense.
-Aristophanes, "The Archarnians"

More on the source of Pericle's famed rhetorical skill (spurious Plato, "Menexenus") and
text of Pericle's "Funeral Oration" as documented by Thucydides

Some Polishing Required

And wandering about the household
was that hateful chattering eunuch.
-Archilochus of Paros

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Code of a Herdsman

1 Never maltreat your own intelligence with parables. It is a method of herd hypnotism. Do not send yourself to sleep with the rhythm of the passes that you make. = As an example of herd-hypnotism, German literature is so virulently allegorized that the German never knows whether he is a Kangaroo, a Scythian, or his own sweet self. = You however are a herdsman. That is surely Parable enough.

2 Do not admit cleverness, in any form, into your life. Observe the accomplishment of some people’s signatures! It is the herd-touch.

3 Exploit Stupidity. = Introduce a flatness, where it is required into your commerce. Dull your eye as you affix it on a dull face. = Why do you think George Borrow used such idiotic clichés as "The beams of the descending luminary — ?" He was a great writer and knew what he was doing. = Mock the herd perpetually with the grimace of its own garrulity or deadness. If it gets out of hand and stampedes towards you, leap onto the sea of mangy backs until the sea is still. That is: cast your mask aside, and spring above them. They cannot see or touch anything above them: they have never realized that their backs — or rather their tops — exist! They will think that you have vanished into Heaven.

4 As to language: eschew all clichés implying a herd personality. Never allow such terms as Top-Hole, Priceless, or Doggo to pass your lips. Go to the Dictionary if you want an epithet. If you feel eloquent, use that moment to produce a cliché of your own. Cherish your personal vocabulary, however small it is. Use your own epithet as though it were used by a whole nation, if people would have no good reason for otherwise accepting it.

Examples of personal epithets:
That man is abysmal.
That is an abysmal book.
It was prestigious! [Borrowed from the French]
Here comes that sinister bird! [Borrowed from the French]
He is a sinister card. [Combination of French and 1890 Slang]
He has a great deal of sperm.
I like a fellow with as much sperm as that.

Borrow from all sides mannerisms or callings or classes to enrich your personal bastion of language. Borrow from the pulpit, from the clattering harangue of the auctioneer, the lawyer’s technicality, the pomposity of the politicians. = Borrow grunts from the fisherman, solecisms from the inhabitants of Merioneth. = "He is a preux, ah, yes-a-preux!" You can say "ah-yes-a-preux" as though it were one word, accent on the "yes."

5 In accusing yourself, stick to the Code of the Mountain. But crime is alien to a Herdsman’s nature.

6 Yourself must be your Caste. 7 Cherish and develop, side by side, your six most constant indications of different personalities. You will then acquire the potentiality of six men. Leave your front door one day as B; the next march down the street as E. A variety of clothes, hats especially, are of help in this wider dramatization of yourself. Never fall into the vulgarity of being or assuming yourself to be one ego. Each trench must have another one behind it. Each single self — that you manage to be at any given time — must have five at least indifferent to it. You must have a power of indifference of five to one. All the greatest actions in the world have been five parts out of six impersonal in the impulse of their origin. To follow this principle you need only cultivate your memory. You will avoid being the blind man of any moment. B will see what is hidden to D. = (Who were Turgenev’s "Six Unknown?" Himself.)

8 Never lie. You cannot be too fastidious about the truth. If you must lie, at least see that you lie so badly that it would not deceive a pea hen. — The world is, however, full of pea hens.

9 Spend some of your spare time every day in hunting your weaknesses, caught from commerce with the herd, as methodically, solemnly and vindictively as a monkey his fleas. You will find yourself swarming with them while you are surrounded by humanity. But you must not bring them up on the mountain. = If you can get another man to assist you — one, that is, honest enough not to pass his own on to you — that is a good arrangement.

10 Do not play with political notions, aristocratisms or the reverse, for that is a compromise with the herd. Do not allow yourself to imagine "a fine herd though still a herd." There is no fine herd. The cattle that call themselves "gentlemen" you will observe to be a little cleaner. It is merely cunning and produced with a product called soap. But you will find no serious difference between them and those vast dismal herds they avoid. Some of them are very dangerous and treacherous. = Be on your guard with the small herd of gentlemen!

11 You will meet with this pitfall: at moments, surrounded by the multitude of unsatisfactory replicas, you will grow confused by a similarity bringing them so near to us. = You will reason, where, from some point of view, the difference is so slight, whether that delicate margin is of the immense importance that we hold it to be: the only thing of importance in fact. = That group of men talking by the fire in your club (you will still remain a member of your club), that party at the theatre, look good enough, you will say. Their skins are fresh, they are well-made, their manners are good. You must then consider what they really are. On closer inspection you know, from unpleasant experience, that they are nothing but limitations and vulgarities of the most irritating description. The devil Nature has painted these sepulchres pink, and covered them with a blasphemous Bond Street distinction. Matter that has not sufficient mind to permeate it grows, as you know, gangrenous and rotten. Animal high spirits, a little but easily exhausted, goodness, is all that they can claim.

What seduced you from your severity for a moment was the same thing as a dull woman’s good-looks. = This is probably what you will have in front of you. = On the other hand, everywhere you will find a few people, who, although not a mountain people are not herd. = They may be herdsmen gone mad through contact with the herd, and strayed: or through inadequate energy for our task they may be found there: or they may be a hybrid, or they may even be herdsmen temporarily bored with the mountain. (I have a pipe below myself sometimes.)

There are numerous "other denominations." Treat them as brothers. Employ them, as opportunity offers, as auxiliaries in your duties. Their society and help will render your task less arduous.

12 As to women: wherever you can, substitute the society of men. = Treat them kindly, for they suffer from the herd, although of it, and have many of the same contempts as yourself. They are a sort of bastard mountain people. = There must be somewhere a female mountain, a sort of mirage-mountain. I should like to visit it. = But women, and the processes for which they exist, are the arch conjuring trick: and they have the cheap mystery and a good deal of the slipperiness, of the conjuror. = Sodomy should be avoided, as far as possible. It tends to add to the abominable confusion already existing. 13 Wherever you meet a shyness that comes out of solitude, (although all solitude is not anti-herd) naiveness, and a patent absence of contamination, the sweetness of mountain water, any of the signs of goodness, you must treat that as sacred, as portions of the mountain.

However much you suffer for it, you must defend and exalt it. On the other hand, every child is not simple, and every woman is not weak. = In many cases to champion a female would be like springing to the rescue of a rhinoceros when you notice that it had been attacked by a flea. Chivalrous manners, again, with many women are like tiptoeing into a shed where an ox is sleeping. = Some children, too, rival in nastiness their parents. But you have your orders in this matter. Indifference where there should be nothing but the 'whole' eagerness or compunction of your being, is the worst crime in the mountain’s eyes.

14 Conquests have usually been divided from their antitheses, and defeats from conquests, by some casual event. Had Moscow not possessed a governor ready to burn the Kremlin and the hundreds of palaces accumulated there, peace would have been signed by the Czar at Bonaparte’s entrance. = Had the Llascans persevered for ten days against Cortés, the Aztecs would never have been troubled. Yet Montezuma was right to remain inactive, paralyzed by prophecy. Napoleon was right when he felt that his star was at last a useless one. He had drained it of all its astonishing effulgence. = The hair’s breadth is only the virtuosity of Fate, guiding you along imaginary precipices. = And all the detail is make-believe, anyway. Watch your star soberly and without comment. Do not trouble about the paste-board cliffs!

15 There are very stringent regulations about the herd keeping off the sides of the mountain. In fact your chief function is to prevent their encroaching. Some, in moments of boredom or vindictiveness, are apt to make rushes for the higher regions. Their instinct fortunately always keeps them in crowds or bands, and their trespassing is soon noticed. Those traps and numerous devices you have seen on the edge of the plain are for use, of course, in the last resort. Do not apply them prematurely. = Not very many herdsmen lose their lives in dealing with the herds.

16 Contradict yourself. In order to live, you must remain broken up.

17 The teacher does not have to be, although he has to know: he is the mind imagining, not the executant. The executant, the young svelte, miraculous athlete, the strapping virtuoso, really has to give the illusion of perfection. = Do not expect me to keep in sufficiently good training to perform the feats I recommend. = I usually remain up on the mountain.

18 Above all this sad commerce with the herd, let something veritably remain "un peu sur la montagne." Always come down with masks and thick clothing to the valley where we work.

Stagnant gasses from these Yahooesque and rotten herds are more dangerous often than the wandering cylinders that emit them. See you are not caught in them without your mask. = But once returned to our adorable height, forget your sallow task: with great freedom indulge your love. = The terrible processions beneath are not of our making, and are without our pity. Our sacred hill is a volcanic heaven. But the result of its violence is peace. = The unfortunate surge below, even, has moments of peace.
-Wyndham Lewis, 1914

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sisyphian Philosobees


BURLY, dozing humble-bee,
Where thou art is clime for me.
Let them sail for Porto Rique,
Far-off heats through seas to seek;
I will follow thee alone,
Thou animated torrid-zone!
Zigzag steerer, desert cheerer,
Let me chase thy waving lines;
Keep me nearer, me thy hearer,
Singing over shrubs and vines.

Insect lover of the sun,
Joy of thy dominion!
Sailor of the atmosphere;
Swimmer through the waves of air;
Voyager of light and noon;
Epicurean of June;
Wait, I prithee, till I come
Within earshot of thy hum,--
All without is martyrdom.

When the south winds in May days,
With a net of shining haze
Silvers the horizon wall,
And with softness touching all,
Tints the human countenance
With a color of romance,
And infusing subtle heats,
Turns the sod to violets,
Thou, in sunny solitudes,
Rover of the underwoods,
The green silence dost displace
With thy mellow, breezy bass.

Hot midsummer's petted crone,
Sweet to me thy drowsy tone
Tells of countless sunny hours,
Long days, and solid banks of flowers;
Of gulfs of sweetness without bound
In Indian wildernesses found;
Of Syrian peace, immortal leisure,
Firmest cheer, and bird-like pleasure.

Aught unsavory or unclean
Hath my insect never seen;
But violets and bilberry bells,
Maple-sap and daffodels,
Grass with green flag half-mast high,
Succory to match the sky,
Columbine with horn of honey,
Scented fern, and agrimony,
Clover, catchfly, adder's-tongue
And brier-roses, dwelt among;
All beside was unknown waste,
All was picture as he passed.

Wiser far than human seer;
Yellow-breeched philosopher!
Seeing only what is fair,
Sipping only what is sweet,
Thou dost mock at fate and care,
Leave the chaff, and take the wheat.
When the fierce northwestern blast
Cools sea and land so far and fast,
Thou already slumberest deep;
Woe and want thou canst outsleep;
Want and woe, which torture us,
Thy sleep makes ridiculous.

- RW Emerson

Archilochus Colubris-->

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Psyche Revived by the Kiss of Love", Antonio Canova (1757–1822)

They told her that he, to whose vows she had listened
Thro' night's fleeting hours, was a spirit unblest;--
Unholy the eyes, that beside her had glistened,
And evil the lips she in darkness had prest.

"When next in thy chamber the bridegroom reclineth,
"Bring near him thy lamp, when in slumber he lies;
"And there, as the light, o'er his dark features shineth,
"Thou'lt see what a demon hath won all thy sighs!"

Too fond to believe them, yet doubting, yet fearing,
When calm lay the sleeper she stole with her light;
And saw--such a vision!--no image, appearing
To bards in their day-dreams, was ever so bright.

A youth, but just passing from childhood's sweet morning,
While round him still lingered its innocent ray;
Tho' gleams, from beneath his shut eyelids gave warning
Of summer-noon lightnings that under them lay.

His brow had a grace more than mortal around it,
While, glossy as gold from a fairy-land mine,
His sunny hair hung, and the flowers that crowned it
Seemed fresh from the breeze of some garden divine.

Entranced stood the bride, on that miracle gazing,
What late was but love is idolatry now;
But, ah--in her tremor the fatal lamp raising--
A sparkle flew from it and dropt on his brow.

All's lost--with a start from his rosy sleep waking;
The Spirit flashed o'er her his glances of fire;
Then, slow from the clasp of her snowy arms breaking,
Thus said, in a voice more of sorrow than ire:

"Farewell--what a dream thy suspicion hath broken!
"Thus ever. Affection's fond vision is crost;
"Dissolved are her spells when a doubt is but spoken,
"And love, once distrusted, for ever is lost!"
-Sir Thomas Moore