Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday September 30, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:14 AM
Hole in the Wall

Loren Eiseley,
Notes of an Alchemist:

I never found
the hole in the wall;
I never found
Pancho Villa country
where you see the enemy first.

— “The Invisible Horseman”

This quotation is the result of
the following meditation:

Part I:

The Feast of St. Michael
and All Angels

On Michaelmas 2008 (yesterday):

The mailman brought next Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. On the last page was an essay by Steven Millhauser, “The Ambition of the Short Story.” It said that…

“The short story concentrates on its grain of sand, in the fierce belief that there– right there, in the palm of its hand– lies the universe. It seeks to know that grain of sand the way a lover seeks to know the face of the beloved.”

Part II:
An Actor’s Lesson

A search for the “grain of sand” phrase in this journal yielded a quotation from actor Will Smith:

“Smith has just finished reading The Alchemist, by the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho: ‘It says the entire world is contained in one grain of sand, and you can learn everything you need to learn about the entire universe from that one grain of sand. That is the kind of concept I’m teaching my kids.'”

The quotation’s source is The Independent of July 9, 2004.

Part III:
A date with Reba

The date of The Independent‘s story turns out to contain, in this journal, a meditation on white-trash food and Reba McEntire.

(Recall her classic lyric
“I might have been born
just plain white trash,
but Fancy was my name.”)

It also contains the Notes of an Alchemist quotation above.

“Let, then, winged Fancy find
Thee a mistress to thy mind”

— John Keats, “Fancy

A passage closely related to Keats’s poem:

“Fullness… Multitude.”

These are the missing last words of Inman in Cold Mountain, added here on the Feast of St. Luke, 2004.  For the meaning of these words, click on Luke.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday September 29, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday September 28, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM
Buffalo Soldier

Part I:

Play Time

Retired pastor William W. McDermet III on the editorial page of Saturday’s Buffalo News (Warren E. Buffett, chairman):

“In the 1940s, there was no Internet or television, so after school I amused myself with a snack of graham crackers and milk, maybe a comic book or a Tinkertoy project. Yet what was really exciting was a frequent ring of the doorbell, which mother answered, followed by the request: ‘Can Billy come out and play?'”

Part II:

Excerpt from Fritz Leiber’s
“Damnation Morning,” 1959

“Time traveling, which is not quite the good clean boyish fun it’s cracked up to be, started for me when this woman with the sigil on her forehead looked in on me from the open doorway of the hotel bedroom where I’d hidden myself and the bottles and asked me,

Linda Hamilton as Our Lady of Judgment Day

Our Lady of
Judgment Day

 ‘Look, Buster,
 do you want to live?'”

Part III:

Saint Anna

Washington Post,
Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008 —
Sheri Jennings, ROME —

“It’s early autumn in 1944,
and the Nazis are advancing
on the Italian front….”

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday September 27, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 PM
The Revelation Game
(continued from Sept. 21)

Sept. 26,
(No revelation)
New York
(No belief)
No belief,
no revelation


without belief

Belief without

Belief and


See also

Members of the Hole in the Wall Gang

Hole in the Wall.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday September 26, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 3:17 PM
Christmas Knot
for T.S. Eliot’s birthday

(Continued from Sept. 22–
A Rose for Ecclesiastes.”)

From Kibler’s
Variations on a Theme of
Heisenberg, Pauli, and Weyl
July 17, 2008:

“It is to be emphasized
 that the 15 operators…
are underlaid by the geometry
 of the generalized quadrangle
 of order 2…. In this geometry,
the five sets… correspond to
a spread of this quadrangle,
 i.e., to a set of 5 pairwise
skew lines….”

Maurice R. Kibler,
July 17, 2008

For ways to visualize
this quadrangle,


see Inscapes.

Related material

A remark of Heisenberg
quoted here on Christmas 2005:

The eightfold cube

… die Schönheit… [ist] die
richtige Übereinstimmung
der Teile miteinander
und mit dem Ganzen

“Beauty is the proper conformity
of the parts to one another
and to the whole.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday September 22, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:20 PM
Gates of Hell

(continued from the birthday
this year of Pope Benedict XVI)

"'I took a course in modern poetry when I was back at the university,' he began. 'We read six authors– Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Crane, Stevens, and Gallinger– and on the last day of the semester, when the prof was feeling a little rhetorical, he said, "These six names are written on the century, and all the gates of criticism and Hell shall not prevail against them.''"

— "A Rose for Ecclesiastes,"
a 1963 story by Roger Zelazny

The last poet of the six is fictional.
The name "Zelazny" might be
subsituted for "Gallinger."
It won't happen, but
I wouldn't mind if it did.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday September 21, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM
A Tale

“… told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury,

 signifying nothing”    

— Quoted here Sept. 14

We’ve got to get ourselves
  back to the garden.”         

— Quoted here Sept. 10

Being There, by Jerzy Kosinski

“The woman introduced herself. ‘I am Mrs. Benjamin Rand. I am called EE by my friends, from my Christian names, Elizabeth Eve.’

‘EE,’ Chance repeated gravely.

‘EE,’ said the lady, amused.

Chance recalled that in similar situations men on TV introduced themselves. ‘I am Chance,’ he stuttered and, when this didn’t seem to be enough, added, ‘the gardener.'”

— Jerzy Kosinski, Being There

Related material:

“Heidegger’s philosophy of Dasein, his model of the ego, reminds me of… the ancient temple of Jerusalem…. in the innermost chamber, the holy of holies, the room was completely empty. The essence of Dasein, similarly, is nothingness, a fact that it tries to hide by assuming the trappings of existence.”

— Heinz Pagels,
   The Dreams of Reason

“Nothing is the great mystery. It cannot be described. Words can try to touch it. Zen may be such a word and Tao, Christ, Allah, Buddha, and others. There is a word called ‘God.'”

— Janwillem van de Wetering,
   A Glimpse of Nothingness

Sunday September 21, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 AM
The Revelation Game
(continued from Sept. 8)

Sept. 20,
(No revelation)
New York
(No belief)
No belief,
no revelation


without belief

Belief without

Belief and


Related material:

Deep Beauty

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday September 20, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:27 AM
A Story of Sorts
LA Times Rose Garden story, photo by AP's Pablo Martinez  Monsivais

Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Related material:

The American President,
American Beauty,
and the time of this entry,


Saturday September 20, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:09 AM
In memory of

James Crumley, author of One to Count Cadence, and of Paul Flynn, a former president of USA Today. On Thursday, the date of Flynn’s death, for the first time in months I bought a copy of USA Today. Earlier that morning I had posted The Religion of Journalism.

Walked to the store the other day
(Your left, your left, your left right left)
Dead men beside me all the way
(Your left, your left, your left right left)
Didn’t know it then but I know it now
(Your left, your left, your left right left)
Heard it through the grapevine,
    don’t know how
(Your left, your left, your left right left)
Dead men beside me all the way
(Your left, your left, your left right left)
One to count cadence and one to pray
(Your left, your left, your left right left)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday September 19, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 AM
Toward the Light

O dark dark dark
They all go into the dark
Four Quartets  

This morning’s NY Times obituaries:

(Click to enlarge.)

NY Times obituaries, Sept. 19, 2008, starring Norman Whitfield

I love those Bavarians…
so meticulous

Marvin Gaye sings 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'

Related material:

Church of the Forbidden Planet,

Campaign Song,

At the Apollo.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday September 18, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:15 PM


Thursday September 18, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:25 AM


  1. One whose occupation is journalism.
  2. One who keeps a journal.
 — The American Heritage Dictionary
of the English Language,
Fourth Edition,
according to

Doonesbury Sept. 18, 2008: From the Washington Post to blogging

Related material:

“We seem to be caught in a squirrel cage, running as hard as possible and getting nowhere. At times like this, almost anyone will find real help in writing the feelings and thoughts down in a journal or notebook…. Later on we shall look at other ways in which a journal record is important.”

— Fr. Morton Kelsey,
   The Other Side of Silence

See also Tuesday’s Church of the Forbidden Planet and the journal entry of October 9, 2005, which contains both the thoughts of Joan Didion on Hoover Dam and the following meditation:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040715-Pit2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A quotation that somehow
seems relevant:

O the mind, mind has mountains,
   cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man fathomed.
   Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Thursday September 18, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM
“Surely some
 is at hand”

W. B. Yeats

“Obama stands revealed as a typical Democratic politician with the same laundry list of suppositions and policy stances that all his predecessors have shared: there’s an unbroken line from Obama’s speech all the way back to FDR.”

Mark Heuring, conservative Catholic writer, on August 28, 2008 (St. Augustine’s Day)

Wikipedia on the  presidential election of 1932

“The United States presidential election of 1932 took place as the effects of the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression were being felt intensely across the country. President Hoover’s popularity was falling as voters felt he was unable to reverse the economic collapse…. Franklin D. Roosevelt saw that Hoover’s failure to deal with these problems could be used as a platform for his own election….”

Wikipedia today

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday September 16, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
I Love LA
Randy Newman    

“It’s the year 2007 in Los Angeles…
…a new sitcom, Church Windows

Wizard of Id on the Birthday of Anne Francis (2008)


Detail from Wizard of Id: Window (nine panes)

Related material
from Epiphany 2007:

Picture of Nothing.

Happy 78,
Anne Francis.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday September 14, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 PM
Part I:

by David Foster Wallace

On John McCain’s presidential campaign eight years ago

“He always pauses a second for effect and then says: ‘I’m going to tell you something. I may have said some things here today that maybe you don’t agree with, and I might have said some things you hopefully do agree with. But I will always. Tell you. The truth.’ This is McCain’s closer, his last big reverb on the six-string as it were. And the frenzied standing-O it always gets from his audience is something to see. But you have to wonder. Why do these crowds from Detroit to Charleston cheer so wildly at a simple promise not to lie?

Well, it’s obvious why. When McCain says it, the people are cheering not for him so much as for how good it feels to believe him. They’re cheering the loosening of a weird sort of knot in the electoral tummy. McCain’s resume and candor, in other words, promise not empathy with voters’ pain but relief from it. Because we’ve been lied to and lied to, and it hurts to be lied to. It’s ultimately just about that complicated. It hurts.

We learn this at like age four– it’s grownups’ first explanation to us of why it’s bad to lie (‘How would you like it if…?’). And we keep learning for years, from hard experience, that getting lied to sucks– that it diminishes you, denies you respect for yourself, for the liar, for the world. Especially if the lies are chronic, systemic, if experience seems to teach that everything you’re supposed to believe in’s really just a game based on lies….

… It’s painful to believe that the would-be ‘public servants’ you’re forced to choose between are all phonies… who will lie so outrageously and with such a straight face that you know they’ve just got to believe you’re an idiot.”

Part II:
by William Shakespeare

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Related material:
Log24 last Wednesday

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday September 10, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM
Hitler on

The Fuehrer's wisdom seems especially appropriate today, in light of John McCain's recent "sex education for kindergarteners" and "lipstick" ads:

"… thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously…. The grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down."

Mein Kampf

From Sept. 8:
"I'm Joseph Goebbels, and
   I approve this message."

Wednesday September 10, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:40 AM

this journal had
an entry, titled
“Back to the Garden,”
quoting Don Henley’s
song “Garden of Allah.”
Henley’s Garden is,
of course, not a
religious concept,
but rather a
Hollywood hotel.
(Think “Barton Fink.”)


An echo:

“We are stardust,
billion year old carbon.
We are golden,
caught in
the devil’s bargain,
and we’ve got to
get ourselves
back to the garden.”

Joni Mitchell

In memory of
one not caught in
the devil’s bargain —
W. Deen Mohammed,
who died yesterday —
a link:

and Soul

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday September 9, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
And the fruit is rotten.
The serpent’s eyes shine
As he wraps around the vine
In the Garden of Allah.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday September 8, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:25 PM
Annals of Propaganda: Cabaret and Goebbels, Arthur Szyk and German Authority
Related material:

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aesthetics for Jesuits


The Guardian, July 26,
on a work by the
late playwright
 George Tabori:

“… inspired satire, laced with Jewish and Christian polemics, sparkling wit and dazzlingly simple effects. For Golgotha a stagehand brings on three crosses. ‘Just two,’ says Jay. ‘The boy is bringing his own.’ Tabori often claimed that the joke was the most perfect literary form.”

Update at noon,
Sept. 9, 2008:

Tabori, a Jew from Hungary
and former screenwriter
(“No Exit“), died at 93
on July 23, 2007.

Black monolith, 4x9

For related material on
another Jew from Hungary
click on the black monolith
(also known as
the Halmos tombstone).

Monday September 8, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM
The Revelation Game
(continued from August 18):

Google logo, Aug. 18, 2008: Dragon playing Olympic ping pong

Sept. 7,
(No revelation)
New York
(No belief)
No belief,
no revelation


without belief

Belief without

Belief and


Related material:

The Man Who
Would be King

Stanza My Stone:
Wallace Stevens
and the Hermetic

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday September 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 PM
From the
Finland Station

For C. Sheridan Murphy,
   Radcliffe ’65…

A footprint from Finland:

/72725902/ google.fi 9/7/2008/
1:59 PM
The entry it leads to:

Gravity's Rainbow, Illustrated: Rainbow's End

Related material:

A eulogy for the late
editor Robert Giroux:

“How many masterpieces Mr. Giroux discovered will be for the future to decide. As he himself insisted, it can take decades for a book to become a classic. Still, one of the first books he edited is now on any list of the century’s best: To the Finland Station, Edmund Wilson’s 1940 masterwork on the rise of socialist thinking. Mr. Giroux judged the manuscript to be nearly flawless.”

Sunday September 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:16 PM
Pro Bono

Thanks to UD for her
notes on Sen. Joe Biden
as a teacher of
constitutional law
at Widener.

Related material:

Hitler’s Still Point,

U2’s Achtung Baby album —

U2's 'Achtung Baby' album
— and The Bangles’  
Different Light:

The Bangles' 'Different  Light' album

See also

“Oooh, oooh,
  (oooh) oooh”

— The Bangles,
September Gurls,”


Random Thoughts
for St. Patrick’s Eve.

Sunday September 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:09 AM
Bringing Change
to Washington

'Only I can bring change to Washington'-- LA Times, Sept. 7, 2008

First in War,
   First in Peace…

Quotations for
Chairman George

on February 22, 1999
(Washington’s Birthday)

I Ching Hexagram 49: The Image of Revolution

Fire in
the lake:
the image of Revolution

Thus the
superior man
Sets the calendar
in order
And makes the seasons clear.

Change for Washington:

'The Laws of Change: I Ching and the Philosophy of Life,' by Jack M. Balkin

For the details, see

“As important to Chinese civilization as the Bible is to Western culture, the I Ching or Book of Changes is one of the oldest treasures of world literature. Yet despite many commentaries written over the years, it is still not well understood in the English-speaking world. In this masterful [sic] new interpretation, Jack Balkin returns the I Ching to its rightful place….

Jack M. Balkin\

Jack M. Balkin

Jack M. Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, and the founder and director of Yale’s Information Society Project. His books and articles range over many different fields….”

Wallace Stevens on 'the work of a comedian'

Sunday September 7, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:01 AM
A review
by Jim Holt

'The Same Man: George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh in Love and War,' by David Lebedoff

Click on image
to order from Amazon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday September 5, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:23 PM
Adult Books

On author Madeleine L’Engle:

“Madeleine’s adult books– including the autobiographical titles that eventually would be grouped together as the Crosswicks Journals– A Circle of Quiet (1971), The Summer of the Great-Grandmother (1974), The Irrational Season (1976), and Two-Part Invention (1988)– were edited by Robert Giroux. If Roger Straus was FSG’s [Farrar, Straus & Giroux’s] worldly sophisticate presiding over editorial meetings, Bob Giroux was the white-haired, rosy-cheeked favorite uncle (if you happened to have an erudite uncle who had edited T. S. Eliot, Robert Lowell, Isaac Bashevitz Singer, Elizabeth Bishop, Flannery O’Connor, and Walker Percy).”

Sandra Jordan, School Library Journal, November 1, 2007

On Robert Giroux, who died early this morning:

the gold standard of literary taste.”

For a less demanding standard, see today’s previous entry.

Friday September 5, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM

For Mike Hammer

Block That Metaphor

“Michael Hammer, an engineer and author on management who helped popularize the ‘re-engineering’ movement in the 1990s, died Thursday [Sept. 4, 2008].

A spokesman for Mr. Hammer’s consulting firm, Hammer and Co., said Mr. Hammer died from cranial bleeding that began Aug. 22 while he was vacationing in Massachusetts. He was 60 years old.

Mr. Hammer was the co-author of the bestselling management book Reengineering the Corporation and founder and president of Hammer and Co., Cambridge, Mass.”

The Wall Street Journal

“An engineer by training, Hammer focused on the operational nuts and bolts of business.

Hammer’s relentless pursuit of ‘why?’ drove his entire career. ‘My modus operandi is simple,’ he once wrote, ‘though not always easy to carry out. I take nothing at face value. I approach all business issues and practices with the same skepticism: Why?’

A funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 5 in Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, 1668 Beacon St., Brookline. Interment will follow at the Shaarei Tefillah Section of the Chevra Shaas Cemetery at Baker Street Jewish Cemeteries in West Roxbury.”


Related material:

From Feb. 12:

Shoe: 'Mort's Mortuary,' Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008

From today:Outside the Box

The late Michael Hammer, engineer: 'Outside the Box'

“I need a photo opportunity,
I want a shot at redemption.
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard…”

Paul Simon

Bill Melendez, Peanuts animator, in NYT obituaries Friday, Sept. 5, 2008

Powered by WordPress