Archive for May, 2007

Tech Support

May 29, 2007

Wow…for some reason this actually works. I thought it would never happen, but the day has come…Thank you, tireless and unrecognized crew with mad skillz at WordPress. You rock.

Now if only everything worked this well…and if only I had anything interesting to write…Aww, nuts.

That is all.

Umbrella

May 16, 2007

K, I’m not usually all about the “next thing,” but this is one fly website, an aggregator called Critical Metrics, by way of hegemony rules. Warning, if you’re musically inclined, it’s a mondo waste of time. But it helped me “discover” the new Rihanna track (feat. the ever ingenious Jay-Z) straight from those dastardly thugs at Def Jam. This is going to get a lot of radio play, folks. Call it my “pick of the week”. LL Necro, y’all.

OK, the last bit was bad…

Wet

May 15, 2007

niagarafalls2.jpg

After a week of lovely sunshine, it’s kinda rainy here today, which reminded of wild and wet things. This is the other Niagara Falls, in Goldstream. Hard to believe it’s basically a city park…

Osiris Veiled

May 14, 2007

Why does the great Theosophical Baba Yaga herself, Blavatsky, begin the trance-state, automatically-written manifesto, Isis Unveiled (1877), with a condemnation of agnosticism (coined by “Darwin’s bulldog” Huxley), positivism (Comte) and materialism? For Theosophists, these were the three great failings (evils?) of the emerging modern world. They’ve since become commonplaces.

Why are we so afraid of the dark? What is it we fear? Fear? The unknown? Fear of the unknown? Warm puppy snuffles? You get the idea. Words. Here’s some famous words…”Fear is the mindkiller.”

Fear is time. Lost time, lonely time, hard time, the only time. But we made it up – this is our thing. Thank you, Sir Flemming. Damn, now I’m afraid I won’t catch the bus, or, even worse, the wave. Surf’s up.

A-gnostic. What a lame word. Just another term for skepticism. Like Pyrrho? No, not really. More like the Amazing Randi. Few remain skeptical of the laws of physics…Jumping out of windows and “just sort of hoping.” Dopey. Doped. Maybe even duped. The big “I”-con. My steam engine is better than your steam engine. A-theism, fine – never much for scripture in the raw anyway. But who would have the nerve to deride gnosis for the sake of knowledge…Silly, silly naughty Victorians. I’ve got just the laudanum for you. Take two and call me in the morning. But not on the phone…

I’m positive. But you’re negative…Because you’re a positivist. Stop telling me what to do…How would you like it? Anyway, I’m done with that, on to the fourth stage. Nobody liked the third one anyway…Too petty. Good for rotting in trenches, sucking down the mustard gas, and well, dreaming of something else. There is something else, right? No atheists in trenches…Or was that foxholes? What the hell is a foxhole anyway? Sounds pretty hot…I’ll pass on the phosphorescent twist, though. Just a little lemon for me. I’m not sour. Bitter, maybe.

Let’s get real here…Stop playing around and talk brass tacks, nuts and bolts, flotsam and jetsam, the twin towers. Are you a lady or are you a Horus? Turn on the high beams Isis, there’s something in the back of the engine I can’t quite see. Or is it in the trunk now? Damn, I forgot where I put my keys. You got a spare set? Not in this space-time continuum, sadly. I think they’re in my other jacket. The yellow one. Fit for a king. Call him. 1-900-Dunwich.

Monarchies of the mind, I say. Just go with the flow. Fluid dynamics has always been a little non-Newtonian. And an apple a day can keep the doctor away. But what the hell do doctors know, anyway? Celsus. Paracelsus. Megaparacelsus. AMA-zing. The guy from upstairs medical college. What’s his name? Dr. Nick? Paging Dr. Nick…

This has been so seedy, I think I need a shower. Of kindness.

Sooner or later I’ll piece it all together. For now, I’m going to peaces…

The Eternal City

May 12, 2007

Coming down to earth after a whirlwind week. Back in YULand for a spell. Seeing my old friend M reminds of where I was four years ago today. Another memory back alley by way of travelogue…

12 May, 2003, Rome, Italy

Sitting in St. Peter’s. Just passed the tomb of Queen Christina (1702). Same one connected with Descartes?

Space is so vast. There are markers on the marbled floor illustrating the dimensions of other great cathedrals of the world. All of them dwarfed by this awesome structure.

Addendum Re: San Piedro. Ran into an Australian tourist who shared a few facts he overheard from a tourguide and friend. Statues at higher level are larger than those at eye-level to maintain scale and perspective. Bernini “cupola” in center actually eleven stories high! The statue of liberty can fit under the dome twice. To top it off, the lettering on the frontice is two meters high. Size and scale mind-boggling.

12 May, 2003, Rome, Italy

Sitting in front of the main altar in Basilica San Paolo. A very different (but no less stunning) place than St. Peter’s. Altar is set in half-dome whose roof is decorated in medieval style, replete with rich, drippy guilding. Entire cathedral roof is also guilded and features oval fresco portraits of past Popes just above column work. Above this are beautiful large stained glass windows. Elaborate columned (Corinthian?) archways run along the center of the church (I could be all technical and start saying stuff like transept, but I won’t…). A classical feel. Four rows of columns, two on each side, evoke the Greek agora.

Quadriportico at front of the church divided in four green squares, each with a large palm in the center. Square surrounded by massive columned arches. The sense of the classical permeates this place.

Beautiful little Spanish style square to the right of main structure. Gorgeous formal rose garden in arrangement similar to quadriportico. Framed by elaborately roofed archways riddled with old early Christian sarcophagi. A charming space. Just off this square is a small hall of relics, which apparently houses the chain that held St. Paul in addition to other odd macabre bits of bone and such.

Took the metro a few stops to E.U.R. Sitting across from the Quaddrato Della Concordia, which features a massive 7-8 story Fascist-era structure. It’s a simple, heavy square building which seems a modernist interpretation of classical style offset by a multitude of unornamented archways. Each of the four corners sports a huge sculpture of a man and horse, again in an almost Art Deco variation on classical themes. In simple, Latinate letters the inscription on the building reads: “un popolo di poeti di artisti di eroi di santi di pensatori di scienziati di navigatori di transmigratori.” Heavy. The space is the structural inversion of quaint and humble. Actually stark, massive and unsettling.

From Quadratto D. Concordia we walk over to the Basilica San Pietro E Paolo (a simple modern dome compared to the other majestic sights…) and then down onto Via Europa. Area is E.U.R. complex; wide tree-lined boulevards and modernist (late 1930s) housing architecture. Whole space is very different from the center of Rome. Like a spacious, futuristic planned city (that is beginning to decay and shows signs of age).

12 May, 2003, Rome, Italy

Remembering the afternoon; tried to visit the Protestant and atheist cemetery, which houses the graves of Gramsci, Shelley (who drowned sailing…) and Keats (who didn’t). Arrived late, but still ran into a strange sight; the cats of the piramide. Peeking through the gates into the ruins behind the pyramid I spy a couple dozen cats languishing in the late afternoon sun. It’s a visitable sight, but we were too late…Again. Will try tomorrow. The weather is an unending series of hot and sunny days. Unseasonably warm, I’m told. Obviously not complaining.

Today it was up and down St. Laurent, wandering aimlessly, and it wasn’t nearly as warm…

May Day

May 1, 2007

In solidarity to any and all who celebrate (and agitate)…May Day. Or, if you prefer, May Week. For many the date conjures up the imagery of Soviet propaganda — long lines of marching soldiers and military vehicles bristling with missiles. But there are other connotations. Anybody actually remember the Haymarket Riot and the Knights of Labor? Or, further back, the grandaddy of them all, Proudhon, who said “property is theft.”

Ah, the good old days…Today May Day is badly in need of a mayday


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