in Seattle in 2005, my favorite DJ Theo Parrish talks & plays records...
Thursday, February 19, 2009
from Edward Lear: The Story of the Four Little Children Who Went Round the World
The Four Children then entered into conversation with the Blue Bottle-Flies, who discoursed in a placid and genteel manner, though with a slightly buzzing accent, chiefly owing to the fact that they each held a small clothes-brush between their teeth which naturally occasioned a fizzy extraneous utterance.
'Why,' said Violet, 'would you kindly inform us, do you reside in bottles? and if in bottles at all, why not rather in green or purple, or indeed in yellow bottles?'
To which questions a very aged Blue-Bottle-Fly answered, 'We found the bottles here all ready to live in, that is to say, our great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers did, so we occupied them at once. And when the winter comes on, we turn the bottles upside down, and consequently rarely feel the cold at all, and you know very well that this could not be the case with bottles of any other colour than blue.'
'Of course it could not;' said Slingsby, 'but if we may take the liberty of inquiring, on what do you chiefly subsist?'
'Mainly on Oyster-patties,' said the Blue-Bottle-Fly, 'and, when these are scarce, on Raspberry vinegar and Russian leather boiled down to a jelly.'
'How delicious!' said Guy.
To which Lionel added, 'Huzz!' and all the Blue-Bottle-Flies said 'Buzz!'
At this time, an elderly Fly said it was the hour of the Evening-song to be sung; and on a signal being given all the Blue-Bottle-Flies began to buzz at once in a sumptuous and sonorous manner, the melodious and mucilaginous sounds echoing all over the waters, and resounding across the tumultuous tops of the transitory Titmice upon the intervening and verdant mountains, with a serene and sickly suavity only known to the truly virtuous. The Moon was shining slobaciously from the star-bespringled sky, while her light irrigated the smooth and shiny sides and wings and backs of the Blue-Bottle-Flies with a peculiar and trivial splendour, while all nature cheerfully responded to the cerulaean and conspicuous circumstances.
In many long-after years, the four little Travellers looked back to that evening as one of the happiest in all their lives, and it was already past midnight, when - the Sail of the Boat having been set up by the Quangle-Wangle, the Tea-kettle and Churn placed in their respective positions, and the Pussy-cat stationed at the Helm - the Children each took a last and affectionate farewell of the Blue-Bottle-Flies, who walked down in a body to the water's edge to see the Travellers embark.
As a token of parting respect and esteem, Violet made a curtsey quite down to the ground, and stuck one of her few remaining Parrot-tail feathers into the back hair of the most pleasing of the Blue-Bottle-Flies, while Slingsby, Guy, and Lionel offered them three small boxes, containing respectively, Black Pins, Dried Figs, and Epsom Salts: and thus they left that happy shore for ever...
Posted by Peter at 8:26 AM
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Posted by Peter at 9:32 PM
Posted by Peter at 5:39 PM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
There is a line of reasoning which accepts that totalitarian ideologies were shaped by apocalyptic and utopian thinking, while insisting that liberal humanism is entirely different. They - the Nazis and communists - may have been deluded and irrational; we - enlightened meliorists - have purged our minds of myth. In fact, the belief in progress in ethics and politics, which animates liberal rationalism, is itself a myth: a view of history as a process of redemption without the Christian belief in a single transforming event, but nonetheless a faith-based narrative of human salvation. It is obvious that human life can sometimes be improved. Equally, however, such gains are normally lost in the course of time. The idea that history is a process of amelioration is an article of faith, not the result of observation or reasoning.
Posted by Peter at 8:17 AM
Posted by Peter at 7:54 AM