Friday, October 31, 2014

Wouldn't it be nice to flog togs


  I notice fashion's
  persistent abuses
  of its archetypes;
  I struggle against
  the evidence, this
  is a Faustian deal.

  Even then, I wish
  couturiers had so
  much as a decor-
  ator's reverence
  for the skeletons.

  The breast sketch
  is blithe and gay.
  The desecrations
  of the smoker are
  Is Paris burning? 

  Happy Hallowe'en.

Mark Rothko
Nr. 21

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Code dwellers

 It was Clarence's custom to leave the
 office of his newspaper at one o'clock
 each day, and lunch at a neighbouring
 Aerated Bread shop .. [He] had just
 finished this when there came to his
 ears the faint note of a tarantula
 singing to its young. He looked up.
 Opposite him .. was seated a youth ..
 He was eyeing Clarence closely. 

Clarence took off his spectacles, pol-ished them, and replaced them on his nose. As he did so, the thin gruffle 
of the tarantula sounded once more. Without changing his expression, Clarence cautiously uttered the deep snarl of a sand-eel, surprised while bathing. It was sufficient. The other rose to his feet, holding his right hand on a line with his shoulder, palm to the front, thumb resting on the nail of the little finger, and the other three fingers upright. Clarence seized his hat by the brim at the back, and moved it swiftly twice up and down. The other, hesitating no longer, came over to his table.

 'Pip-pip!' he said, in an undertone.

 'Toodleoo and God save the King!'     whispered Clarence.

 The mystic ceremony which always      takes place when two Boy Scouts 
 meet in public was complete.

P.G. Wodehouse
The Swoop!
  Or, How Clarence
  Saved England
Overlook Press, 2013©

NB: In the entirety of
the Wodehouse canon
this is the one volume
which Lady Donaldson
hazards to suggest, may
have no literary merit.
Its current publisher in
England is Everyman,
in America, Overlook.
Seems about right.

A brilliant codemaster,
Wodehouse's widely
alleged immaturity is,
possibly, the shiningest
skewer of paranoia to
be found in literature.
He's a necessary man.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Origins of Wednesday xi: Declension of the comic superlative

 Saddam Hussein is
 worse than Hitler;
 Clarence Thomas is
 the best there is.

   At last I've got
   something to do.


             Conversation on the Subway is impossible.
             The ingenious gentlemen who constructed it
             started with the object of making it noisy.
             Not ordinarily noisy, like a ton of coal,
             falling on to a sheet of tin, but really
             noisy. So they fashioned the pillars of
             thin steel, and the sleepers of thin wood,
             and loosened all the nuts, and now a Sub-
             way train in motion suggests a prolonged
             dynamite explosion blended with the voice
             of some cataract.

Arnold Rothstein
Boy, Oklahoma

P.G. Wodehouse
Psmith, Journalist
  The Highfield
Macmillan, 1915
Trustees of the
  Wodehouse Estate©


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adventures in creationism

   Given, that everything
   we see was simply once
   a Guy's idea, I always
   wanted to learn, which
   came first, the aquat-
   ic complex or the aqua.

   I don't doubt, there
   are whole sects that
   have this all figur-
   ed out, and will al-
   most certainly offer
   to explain how an a-
   quatic body may give
   rise to other aquat-
   ic bodies, just like
   that. Such is the a-
   quatic complex, that
   the miracle seems to
   be off-limits to the
   timorous or unwashed.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

"They're animals anyway .. "

 Let them lose their souls.

 Texas got itself a poll tax dis-
 guised as ballot authentication,
 only to be insouciantly approved
 by the Bush Family Court the other
 day, and whuddya know. The contempt
 for humanity we heard at Barzini's
 meeting of the five families, turned
 out to be for every person, after all,
 as the great American highway of dem-
 ocracy was blocked utterly by Citizens
 United. Tim Egan - The Worst Hard Time,
 Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher -
 was around to write it up, in passing.

Robert Frank
  Belle Isle, Detroit

Henri Cartier-Bresson
  New York

Francis Ford Coppola and
  Mario Puzzo, screenplay
The Godfather
op. cit.

Timothy Egan
The Disgust Election
The New York Times
26 October 2014