Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fisk on T.E. Lawrence

"The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour," he wrote. "They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqu├ęs are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows . . . We are today not far from a disaster."

from Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition by Robert Pogue Harrison--

"There is no doubt that Meneleus would opt for Elysium over Hades—any of us would—but would he gladly give up his worldly life prematurely for that garden existence? It seems not. Why? Because earthly paradises like Dilmun and Elysium offer ease and perpetual spring at the cost of an absolute isolation from the world of mortals—isolation from friends, family, city, and the ongoing story of human action and endeavor. Exile from both the private and public spheres of human interaction is a sorry condition, especially for a polis-loving people like the Greeks. It deprives one of both the cares and the consolations of mortal life, to which most of us are more attached than we may ever suspect. To go on living in such isolated gardens, human beings must either denature themselves like Utnapishtim, who is no longer fully human after so many centuries with no human companionship other than his wife, or else succumb to the melancholia that afflicts the inhabitants of Dante’s Elysian Fields in Limbo, where, as Virgil tells the pilgrim, sanza speme vivemo in disio, we live in desire without hope. As Thoreau puts it in Walden, “Be it life or death, we crave only reality” . If Meneleus took that craving for reality with him to Elysium, his everlasting life there is a mixed blessing indeed..."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

farewell country crooner Eddy Arnold, a great favorite of my childhood...

YouTube - Eddy Arnold - I'll Hold You in My Heart--memorably covered by Elvis, who did a lot of Eddy's songs--both were managed by Colonel Parker...

YouTube - Elvis Presley's version of Mary In The Morning

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Welcome To The Security State Of North America

"1) As FISA currently stands, U.S. security agencies can monitor phone calls, emails and whatnot outside of the U.S. without the need of warrants - this of course, includes Canada;

2) Similarly, current Canadian laws do not require that Canadian security agencies obtain court approved warrants in order to monitor phone calls, emails and whatnot outside of Canada - which includes, of course, the U.S.;

3) If anything, the Maher Arar affair has shown to which extent American and Canadian security agencies have been freely sharing information compiled into databases for quite some time now;

and 4) the Security and Prosperity Partneship of North America (SPPNA) aims at full integration/cooperation of security measures, police activities, anti-terrorism policies, and even use of armed forces domestically - including, of course, the complete sharing of intelligence databases, such as no fly lists, private citizen files, private citizen informations, etc. And by the way: the establishment of the SPPNA keeps on advancing slowly but surely ..."

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

from PC: Burnaby Youth Correctional Centre trees

a day late--YouTube - Liz Phair - Cinco de Mayo (1994)
Zombie Bush

"It's a beautiful place," the president discloses. "In the spring, the flowers are fantastic. In the fall, the -- it's just such a -- kind of a place that's so fresh. In the winter, of course, it's got a lot of snow. [Laughter.] Summer is real hot, but it's -- we love it out here. It's beautiful."

Mark E. Smith has written his memoirs--

"Despite the practised snarl of his publicity shots and a willingness to conform to curmudgeonly stereotype, Smith is no nihilist; far from it. He sings a song of common sense, decency, loyalty to your family and community. He writes that he “doesn't deliberate”, and this has meant that his art and vision has remained steadfast for 30 years. He seems to have understood, almost from The Fall's first practice, that the values a working-class background instils: graft, self-belief and honesty, are armoury enough to withstand any condescension or chicanery..."

Nanaimo's Harmac pulp mill, for many years (though not recently) the cornerstone of the local economy, seems to be on its last legs...

Anthony Mann's glorious The Fall of the Roman Empire--remade as the much inferior "Gladiator"-- is finally out on DVD...

Monday, May 05, 2008

just before toddling off to bed last night watched a bit of the 1943 Ann Miller 'B' musical "Reveille for Beverley", a great favorite of Dad's, full of wartime jokes about ration cards & saving your grease, just long enough to see Count Basie do One O'Clock Jump and Bob Crosby (with Ray Bauduc & Bob Haggart) perform Big Noise From Winnetka, whose awesome bass/drums/whistiling duet was memorably used in "Raging Bull"...

Sunday, May 04, 2008