Today is a grim day, and I can't stop repeating in my head Emily Dickinson's most insightful, dead on poem. So I'm reproducing it here.
After great pain, a formal feeling comes-
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs-
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?
The Feet, mechanical, go round-
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought-
A Wooden way
A Quartz contentment, like a stone-
This is the Hour of Lead-
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow-
First-Chill-then Stupor-then the letting go-
posted by Sara 9:35:00 AM
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"I'm ashamed to be French." That's reportedly the sign one Frenchman carried in demonstrations after xenophobic nationalist politician Le Pen took just over 17 percent of the vote in presidential elections, beating out socialist Prime Minister Jospin.
Because of recent immigration trends (many Northern Africans and Arabs), the very definition of Frenchness is transforming with the speed of revolution, and it's scaring people, apparently rendering 17.1 percent temporarily insane.
Despite short term madness, immigration is great for France; that staid culture needs a jolt. Besides that, at least in Paris, Northern Africans run the only shops and liquor stores that are open late at night. I, for one, wouldn't have survived in the city without them (though I might have been sober more often). The Tunisian shops are actually a great example, because they show how commercial competition combines with cultural competition to make the old guard so uncomfortable.
Le Pen, btw, isn't just anti-Muslim, but also anti-Jew. In fact, he's pretty catholic with his hatred. He doesn't have a icecube's chance in hell of beating Chirac.
posted by Sara 2:27:00 PM
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A new person to add to my list of the world's coolest: Christopher Bruno of www.unbehagen.com. I haven't even been to his Web site yet; I await the event with glee. But I did read about his use of Google ads to launch "poetry happenings" on the Web. Google got wise and shut him down, telling him that "the content of your ad does not accurately reflect the content of your website. We suggest that you edit your ad text to precisely indicate the nature of the products you offer." (He didn't offer any products.) You can read about his whimsical exploits at http://www.iterature.com/adwords/.
In the meantime, here's one of his poems:
Words aren't free anymore
OK, it's not Dickenson, but context is everything!
posted by Sara 11:32:00 AM
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Two movies to comment on briefly: *Arthur,* with the recently departed Dudley Moore as a charmingly drunken playboy, and *Blow,* about a famous cocaine kingpin, well played by Johnny Depp. I recommend both, the first-halfheartedly, the second with enthusiasm. To fully enjoy the second, smoke yourself up. This will place you in the proper sympathetic "criminal" mindset to experience the Lear-level tragedy. I'm open to recommendations for more movies with one-word titles. That's all I'm going to rent for the next couple of weeks.
Does anybody want to read Dickens' *Bleak House* with me? It's time to start a new book and I need some motivation.
Finally, I've got an article about *Sean Connery Golf Project,* the short movie I made with Rhys Southan, on Salon. Check it out: http://salon.com/ent/movies/feature/2002/04/16/sean_connery/index.html.
posted by Sara 10:51:00 AM
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I've waited just over a month to commit my second post in blogland. Ah well; since I haven't told anybody about this evolving cyberspace masterpiece (of two short posts), I suppose it doesn't much matter. (But YOURSELF Sara, how will you live with yourself?) Blogger keeps eating my uploads, so my long and elequent recommendation of Mulisch's *The Discovery of Heaven* is now morphing into a quick "read it, damnit!" You may not agree with its anti-tech philosophy--I didn't--but you'll still wonder if the book was divinely inspired.
posted by Sara 5:26:00 PM
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Jim Dedman IV
Isle of Ewe
Russ the Foodie