Wednesday, April 30, 2008


ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή

The way up and the way down is one and the same.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Epigraph for Spring

Car ce n’est pas travailler
que d’être
une rose, dirait-on.
Dieu, en regardant par la fenêtre,
fait la maison.

Because it is isn't really work, you know,
to be a rose.
God, while looking out a window,
picks up the house.

-Rainer Maria Rilke ("Les Roses," XIX)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Deux Choses

1) I was reading earlier today how Edward Elgar, a fellow animal-lover, had to give his dog away because his wife didn't like it. She never let him get another dog and he had to settle for playing with the dogs of friends. Elgar's wife was a bitch!

2) A video of Messiaen teaching (as seen in this new and wonderabulous DVD). In this case, a brief exploration of word-setting and color in Debussy's Pelléas. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that near the end of the clip he is interrogating none other than the the late, great Gérard Grisey (in his student days) on the "grey-violet" of a particular Debussyan voicing. Yeah, totally grey-violet. Orange? Sure. Green? Why not!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Greatest Songs of All-Time (A Continuing Series of  Videos for Songs I Say Are Great, And Therefore, Must Be)

OutKast (featuring Slick Rick) - "Da Art of Storytellin' (Part 1)"

If you don't already own "Aquemini," get it. Along with every other OutKast album (except "Idlewild"-that sucked). I think I'm going to start rocking the very smooth perm Big Boi has here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Captain Sibelius

I am pretty sure that last night I heard the glorious agony and triumph of the final pages of Sibelius' Fifth Symphony in a Captain Morgan commercial. The notorious alcoholic preferred (like Stravinsky) whiskey. I saw no rum in my cursory perusal of Sibelius' list of preferred liquors-mostly said whiskey, wine and brandy. Interesting, smart choice by Captain Morgan though, if it is truly what I heard. Perhaps the Captain can make it happen!

Sunday, April 06, 2008


If you would like to see a hackish charlatan intellectually drowning in front of a crowd of the digital age's equivalent of divinity students, I bid you here. It's NYU professor, Derrida hanger-on, feminist, philosopher and (of course) performance artist Avital Ronell talking about...something. Something...that...isn't...quite...there. Something...profound? Perhaps....maybe...something...aeiawejksdjionaoaiooakersjs.
So much of theory is an endless preparation for a conversation that will never take place. It attempts to set barriers and parameters to an imaginary future discussion, it lays out the jargon that to be utilized, it creates the authority figures to be interrogated as oracles. In the end it only confirms Zeno's denial of motion. Nothing happens. Only wanking.
Really, for a group of people that wish (often admirably) to demolish tradition and reject authority, the authority of the "author," the law, the late-capitalist hierarchy, these people use their precursors, their Foucaults, Batailles, Nietzsches, Lacans, like Aquinas or Rashi used Aristotle or the Talmudic sages. It's pure ipse dixit. Hence, 'divinity students'.
I understand that bashing "post-modernism" or continental philosophy in the academy is an old trick, and something I've done a lot before, but really folks! This shit is BONKERS! Watch her randomly go from one foggy generality to another. It's almost touching, the way she unsuccessfully searches for an interesting thing to say, constantly to come up empty-handed. In the third part (yes, I watched all three. I am sick) she has to ask Judith Butler for a life-preserver, perhaps the most desperate situation of all for a thinking human being.

All said I'm sure she's a nice gal. Or not. Feel free to post your favorite quotes!
My favorite (this should be added the next edition of Bartlett's):

"For example, what's happening today isn't necessarily happening today [sic]. But is something that never stopped, um,retching, or, or, or, agitating, or, or, having a phantasmatic site (sight?) [sic] in something that, um, was calling from another time, or something. I could give you a really foolish example [thanks]: have you seen the 'Star Wars'...not 'Star Wars', 'Star Trek' which takes place in San Francisco with the...[nerd in audience, probably fat: With the whales?]...okay...the punchline...They [the crew of the Millennium Falcon or whatever the fuck] thought it was, that, the, uh, uh, signaling was coming from a human, or a human figuration [?], but it was more like something from, and from the past [sic], but it was really from the future, and from a different, uh, let's say a different manifestation of dasein [let's not and say we did], from the whales....[looks at Butler in desperation]...okay how does this help?"

It doesn't. It absolutely does not help.