2007 — 19 May: can you hear the sound of CDs ripping?

I shall get as many done as I can before John and Judy Smythson show up for a tea break en route to middle daughter. Incidentally, ye server is back online, but I have no idea how long it was down. Maximum outage could have been ten hours, basically mostly while the sun wasn't shining on the UK. <Sigh>

Batman and Robin... department

I can't resist one more example from yesterday's discovery of that Superdickery site:

Robin, what have I done

I have no idea if it's a genuine frame or whether it's just a clever bit of Photoshopping. (I must admit I was always more of a Superman fan, at least until dear Mama chucked all the comics out in her relentless attempts1 to stem the evil flood. Since I had been buying them with my own pocket money, and/or by walking to save the school bus fares, I thought [and still think] this was just a bit rich of her. I've since learned that this is relatively common behaviour among middle class mothers, of course.)

Of course, contemplating the value today of the comics horde of yesteryear is another matter. Which reminds me... back here I mentioned we were off to an auctioneer. We were sent a copy of their sale catalogue yesterday, with one of Christa's items in it...

Ivory brooch

Guide price upwards of £160 if you're interested in bidding. It was worn daily by Her grandmother, and is a carved ivory brooch, probably German (!). Monogrammed to the reverse 'H.W.B.', the panel of the ivory pierced and carved with an abstract geometric design, within a stepped mount. 5 cm wide according to the glossy Bonhams catalogue entry.

My word, you're early Mr Postie...

And unwrapping the Jiffy bag, we find Music and Lyrics — I think I prefer the French-Canadian title (couple et couplets). So that's tonight's viewing sorted!

Plagiarism? Moi?

Here's a nice piece:

I recall the day when I finally understood one of Nietzsche's statements which had previously baffled me, one which Harold Bloom is fond of quoting. To wit: "There is always a kind of contempt in the act of speaking." What happened was, I was talking one evening to a co-worker about the war in Iraq and, after explaining why I think we should get out of there fast, he suggested the following: "We should just nuke the whole goddamn country. What's Iraq? Desert. We nuke the whole goddamn country and turn the desert to glass. Then our troops just have to look down and find the oil. Easy. It's all about easy extraction." Then he laughed and slapped my back in solidarity. That laugh, I thought, is the sound of hope losing its feathers.

Times such as these, I like to play a little existential game with myself, one that I think Nietzsche would appreciate. The idea is to see if I can "will myself dead," to, say, conjure up a myocardial infarction or a brain aneurysm by an act of sheer concentrated will. It never works. Instead of unbecoming I usually end up nodding, renouncing articulation for gesticulation (my co-workers always accept the gracious indefiniteness of the nod). Soon the talk turns to women anyway (we're usually in a bar), which amounts to the only esoteric art most of my colleagues are interested in pursuing.

Erik Campbell, writing here

Dammit! He also goes on to use a word I do not know: "apodictic". I hate it when that happens.

Shops etc?

After "feeding and drinking"2 the Smythsons, we later nipped into Eastleigh where, between them, Waterstones and The Works yielded:

That should keep me quiet for a bit, now that I've finished browsing the latest issue of What Video & High-Definition TV.

Day 197  


1  As John Jay Chapman put it, in Memories and Milestones: "Each generation is a secret society, and has incommunicable enthusiasms, tastes and interests which are a mystery both to its predecessors and to posterity."
2  Those transitive and intransitive verbs will get you every time!