Jul 222019
 

The Anthropocene Reviewed

This is from a  99 percent Invisible Podcast

John Green
Can I tell you my favorite joke? I’m sure you’ve heard this joke but you’ve never heard me do it.

Roman Mars:
Okay.

John Green:
So a moth walks into a podiatrist’s office. Do you know this joke?

Roman Mars:
I don’t. I don’t know it from that set-up.

John Green:
All right. Then you don’t know the joke.

Roman Mars:
Okay.

John Green:
A moth walks into a podiatrist’s office and the podiatrist says, “What seems to be the problem, moth?” And the moth says, ” … doc, if only there were one problem. I mean, my wife doesn’t love me anymore. It’s not just that she doesn’t love me, I don’t even remember a time when she did love me. My daughter has married a man whom I despise and who despises me. My son is a wretched failure. And, to be honest, when I look at him, all I see is a reflection of my own failures. I just don’t know how to go on, doc. I don’t know. I don’t know. You know?”

John Green:
And the podiatrist says, “Well, those seem like very serious problems, moth, but I’m a podiatrist. What brought you here today?” And the moths says, “Oh, the light was on.”

 Posted by at 2:46 am
Oct 182016
 

THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF KNOWING EVERYONE

A profiteer, a Priest of Nebt-het, from Heliopolis, and a Fool were
walking together one day, when they met the grim figure of War belching
flame and fury.

‘Who is that?’ asked the fool and the priest of each other, quickening
their pace. But the profiteer raised his hat, bowed humbly, and stayed
to chat for a few moments with the terrible figure, before rejoining his
companions.

Presently, they came upon Death, mumbling to himself by the roadside.
The fool and the profiteer raised their eyebrows, and passed on, but the
priest of Nebt-het touched his forehead and made certain strange signs
with his hands, to which Death replied in like manner.

Then the three spied a beautiful woman who sat among the wildflowers. It
was Love, combing her hair and singing all the love-songs of the world.
‘That is a fine woman,’ said the profiteer, staring hard.

‘I do not know her,’ said the priest, somewhat sadly. But the fool ran
forward and caught her hands in his, and they laughed together. So the
priest and the profiteer walked on, but when they had gone a little way,
they turned round, and there was the fool sitting at her feet and
looking into her eyes as she sang and combed her hair.

‘The fool has all the luck,’ they grumbled.

From
BRIEF DIVERSIONS
being Tales Travesties and Epigrams by
J. B. PRIESTLEY
1922

 Posted by at 3:03 pm
Mar 082015
 

Louis Armstrong – (What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue
New York, July 22, 1929
YouTube
.

Louis Armstrong – Black And Blue

Songwriters: Brooks, Harry / Waller, Fats / Razaf, Andy

Black And Blue lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics

Cold empty bed, springs hard as lead
Pains in my head, feel like old Ned
What did I do to be so black and blue?

No joys for me, no company
Even the mouse ran from my house
All my life through I’ve been so black and blue

I’m white inside, but that don’t help my case
Cause I can’t hide what is on my face
I’m so forlorn. Life’s just a thorn
My heart is torn. Why was I born?
What did I do to be so black and blue?

I’m hurt inside, but that don’t help my case
Cause I can’t hide what is on my face
How will it end? Ain’t got a friend
My only sin is in my skin
What did I do to be so black and blue?
Tell me, what did I do?
What did I do? What did I do?
What did I do? What did I do?
What did I do? What did I do?
What did I do? Tell me, what did I do to be so black and blue?
What did I do to be so black and blue?

 Posted by at 7:34 am
Jan 142015
 

If name of Ambrose Bierce seems vaguely familiar its probably on account of his having famously disappeared without a trace, possibly in Mexico. Like that other famous disparu, D.B.Cooper, he most likely died in a ditch someplace, I think.

He wrote a book originally titled “the Cynic’s Word Book” in 1881, but which, for reasons he explains in the preface, was published as “The Devil’s Dictionary.” In the preface he addresses the book to “enlightened souls who prefer dry wines to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to humor and clean English to slang.”

A sampling:

PATRIOTISM, n. Combustible rubbish read to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.

In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.

LITIGANT, n. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.

IMPIETY, n. Your irreverence toward my deity.

IMPUNITY, n. Wealth.

RESIDENT, adj. Unable to leave.

SACRED, adj. Dedicated to some religious purpose; having a divine character; inspiring solemn thoughts or emotions; as, the Dalai Lama of Thibet; the Moogum of M’bwango; the temple of Apes in Ceylon; the Cow in India; the Crocodile, the Cat and the Onion of ancient Egypt; the Mufti of Moosh; the hair of the dog that bit Noah, etc.

PRESIDENCY, n. The greased pig in the field game of American politics.

PRAY, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

 Posted by at 4:27 am
Dec 202014
 

On my list of podcasts is 99% Invisible, whose creator, Roman Mars (and is there a better name that Roman Mars?) Has the above as his personal motto.

One sees lots and lots of carved stone plaques like this at every ancient Greek site, of which there are many in Turkey.

ancient plaqueplaque detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always wondered what they said. Celebrating great victories? Dedications to the gods? Finally, at a fabulous place called Patara, my question was answered.

Honorary Inscription of the people of Patara for Marcus Antonius Idagras

The people of Patara has honoured – with the people having introduced the motion concerning the honours for him – Marcus Antonius Idagras, son of Antipatros, citizen of Rome and of Patara, who was general of the Lycran League (selected) from al Lycians ambassador on behalf of the demos and of the Lycians to the (Roman) imperatores and received privileges to the advantage of the League and through his request obtained  discharge of 600 (fellow) citizens from military service; who at Argos won the boys’ pankration as the first of the Lycians, and at the Rhomaia organized by the Lycian League every four years as isolympic games (won) the boys and the teenagers’ pankration, and at the Letoa organized by the Lyclan League  and at the Rhomaia at Rhodes (won) the boys’ pankration; who also won other holy and stephanitic contests, with a golden wreath and a bronze statue, because he is an excellent man in the tradition of his ancestors.

Its a completely typical plaque. I have a similar one from a board I was on for a time. Nothing changes except the medium.

“Because he is an excellent man in the tradition of his ancestors.” I love that.

 Posted by at 11:02 pm

Bruce

 Quote of the Day  Comments Off on Bruce
Feb 162014
 
More than rich, more than famous, more than happy – I wanted to be great.
Bruce Springsteen
 Posted by at 11:39 am