Spare The Rod
Remember, ladies and gentlemen, only you can stop the cycle of abuse. The future is in your hands.
(By the way, this blog is particularly fond of the use of the word "stranglehold." There's nothing like good, er, diction.)
(a) the event itself;
(b) the incredible understatement of the BBC reporter who described the event as "a stinking mess";
(c) the morbid fascination of the gawking residents;
or (d) the use of the word 'experience' in the article's final sentence?
Attentive eyes, fantastic heed,
Assessing minds, he does not need,
Nor urgent writs to sup or dine,
Nor pledges in the rosy wine.
For loud acclaim he does not care
By the august or rich or fair,
Nor for smart pilgrims from afar,
Curious on where his hauntings are.
But soon or later, when you hear
That he has doffed his wrinkled gear,
Some evening, at the first star-ray,
Come to his graveside, pause and say:
"Whatever his message-- glad or grim--
Two bright-souled women clave to him";
Stand and say that while day decays;
It will be word enough of praise.
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There once was a hooker named Venus
Who found all her tricks rather heinous,
So she had a surprise
Attached 'tween her thighs
To protect her locus amoenus.
There was a young woman from Panama
For whom coffee was anathema,
But when she did find
Her butt in a bind,
She still chose it instead of an enema.
There once was a painter named Patrick
Whose models disrobed on the quick;
He'd toss one a smile,
And seduce her a while,
So he could limn her lithe limbs in a rick.
Here he was, addressing the chasm,
Awaiting a quake or even a spasm;
His energy tapped,
His cunning now sapped,
She saw her aim finally past 'im.
It started with talk, followed by liquor,
But just as a passion seemed nearly a-flicker,
She suddenly paused,
She told him her cost,
And he sighed, "Alas, I'm not going to dicker..."
Every man is not only himself; there have been many Diogenes and as many Timons, though but few of that name. Men are lived over again; the world is now as it was in ages past. There wasnone then but there hath been someone since that parallels him, as if it were his revived self. (Religio Medici)
We carry with us the wonders we seek without us: there is all Africa and her prodigies in us. We are that bold and adventurous piece of nature which he that studies wisely learns in a compendium what others labour at in a divided piece and endless volume. (Religio, again)
Darkness and light divide the course of time, and oblivion shares with memory a great part even of our living beings; we slightly remember our felicities, and the smartest strokes of afflliction leave but short smart upon us. Sense endureth no extremities, and sorrow destroy us or themselves. To weep into stones are fables Afflictions induce callusities; miseries are slippery, or fall like snow upon us, which notwithstanding is no unhappy stupidity. To be ignorant of evils to come, an forgetful of evils past, is a merciful provision in nature, whereby we digest the mixture of our few and evil days, and, ourdelivered senses not relapsing into cutting remembrances, our sorrows are not kept raw by the edge of repetitions. (Hydropathia)
or, even this:
Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us. (ibid.)
but just as that might seem cliched:
A small fire sufficeth for life, great flames seemed too little for death, while men vainly affected precious pyres, and to burn like Sardanapalus; but the wisdom of funeral laws found the folly of prodigal blazes, and reduced undoing fires unto the rule of sober obsequies, wherein few could be so mean as not to provide wood, pitch, a mourner, and an urn. (ibid.)
>> rectory, rectify, recto; oddly, "rectangle" doesn't seem to have this problem, despite have a blatant suggestion of, er, a specific, ahem, positionality.
>> caucus (especially as a verb, as CNN thinks it always necessary to use it), coccyx, cock, coquette; and yet, "cockatiel" and "cockatoo" don't have these problems...
>> Regina and angina; and, for Canadians, the most famous Canadian town of all, Dildo, Newfoundland. Imagine if one of the subdivisions within Regina were named Dildo.... *rolls eyes*
>> seamen is now moreorless out with the politically-correct bathwater, but... Anyone remember the bit from Wayland Smithers? "Women and seamen don't mix, sir."
>> haemorrhage still often gathers giggles from people preoccupied with, er, speedbumps.
>> probably the worst famous name in the history of language, Englebert Humperdinck.
>> how did squirrel become so nasty? well, if you don't know, count yourself blessed.
>> the term Homo Erectus will never recover will it? Same with "homo[genized] milk."
>> woodpecker. 'Nuff said, no matter how tautologous the dirty-minded sense is.
>> rather inexplicably, the word swatch gets some people a-titter; strange what an off-rhyme does.
>> assuage. The proximity to "ass wage" tickles, however asinine (there's another word) the association is.
>> shitake -- or Shittake, depending on the given spelling-- still has people pronouncing it "shit-take," which is just a little too ironic concerning the process for growing them. And on that note, fungi fits on this list too.
>> finger, especially as a verb. Organ is in the same boat here, too. The illiterates still love 'organism.'
>> masticate and matriculate. How odd is it that your parents will encourage you to matriculate but probably not to.... Extirpate fits in this category, too.
>> swallow, as a noun (as in the bird). "Oh, look, what a lovely swallow..."
>> ejaculate, as a verb. Oh, the Coleridgean exclamation is now the expression that dare not speak its name.
>> moist and its cognates. For some reason, damp doesn't suffer from the same stigmatism.
>> curiously, urges causes chuckles, but "urge" doesn't. Go figure.
>> thrust and all its cognate, except, curiously enough, not when associated with swordplay.
>> one has to wonder why schism inspires and prism doesn't. Hmmm...
>> fallacy and fallacious. How appropriate a word to be misread.
>> prostrate. Strange how this word has fallen into this list of words, and is now stuck there and can't get up.
>> whacking, and wax; but curiously enough, 'whack' isn't bound to this, thanks, primarily, to the mafia-connections to that word. Don't tell me you don't snicker while watching "The Karate Kid."
>> commodious but not commodity. Another oddity.
>> slurp seems pretty much inescapable, though I can't help but wonder how much of the problem comes from the onomatopoeic dimension of that word.
>> asteroid. Need I say more?
>> sepulcher. Something in the sound of that word.... Something between that odd "ulch" sound and that proximity to 'pecker.' (This one's a personal favourite.)
>> titter and twitter.
>> all words erecting and erupting, and leaving quite a mess.
>> pistil, but yet not pistol. Any ideas on this? See also anil.
>> penal. Irredeemable, methinks.
>> facetious-- oh, another shit-take...
>> one has to wonder why penetrate is generally okay, but penetration is not.
>> approbate, so reminiscent of reprobrate, needs mention here, as does the word probe, as a verb, anyway.
>> and, of course, dictum ("Damn near killed 'im... "). This blog will add nothing of the English dessert "spotted dick," save to say that Doc J won't be eating it ever. Call it a matter of principle. ;-)
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (inevitable... sigh)
2. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys (last list I saw of this ilk, this was #1; didn't agree with that either)
3. Revolver, The Beatles (C'mon....)
4. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan (Fair enough.)
5. Rubber Soul, The Beatles (But, of course... Slurp, slurp, slurp.)
6. What's Going On, Marvin Gaye (Fair enough. We still miss ya, Marvin.)
7. Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones (Fair enough.)
8. London Calling, The Clash (Not my cup o' tea, but understandable.)
9. Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan (Fair enough. It's easy to forget how profound Dylan's influence really was.)
10. The Beatles ("The White Album"), The Beatles (I'd have thought this would have been higher; but here we are again...)
11. The Sun Sessions, Elvis Presley (I thought this would have been higher.)
12. Kind of Blue, Miles Davis (I'm surprised this wasn't in the Top 5)
13. Velvet Underground and Nico, The Velvet Underground (Iffy. Maybe 'round 25-30...)
14. Abbey Road, The Beatles (Okay, 5 in 14. Gimme a freakin' break. And their poop was burnished gold.)
15. Are You Experienced?, The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Top 10 contender, really.)
16. Blood on the Tracks, Bob Dylan (About right. Maybe a tad higher...)
17. Nevermind, Nirvana (Hugely influential, but crap. Maybe Top 40 or 50.)
18. Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen (About right. Maybe a tad high.)
19. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison (Used to be in the Top 5 all the time. This really seems low, and that's not my Van-Fan-ness speaking. This album used often to rank at #1.)
20. Thriller, Michael Jackson (I still hate this album, but you can't deny it's influence; I'd have thought top 15 or so...)
21. The Great Twenty-Eight, Chuck Berry (About right. Maybe a tad higher?)
22. Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon (Fuck off.)
23. Innervisions, Stevie Wonder (Fair enough.)
24. Live at the Apollo (1963), James Brown (Definitely should have been higher.)
25. Rumours, Fleetwood Mac (Hugely influential, great album, but 25 seems high; 40, perhaps?)
>> Sir Frank Kermode has a review in the NY Times on three new books about Shakie, including yet another quasi-biography by the voluminous Shakespearean Stanley Wells.
>> Ah, and here's a brief piece about a matter near and dear to the Not-So-Good Doctor's heart. Pardon me a moment while I wax nostalgic for simpler days.
>> Dave Barry's current column might be subtitled "Real Men Don't Make Concessions," and is a delight to read; and, before any of you ask, I have to admit I am as subject to a lot of the same basic responses as Guy A and Guy B, if only for the sake of spite and giving as good as one bloody well gets. *smirk*
>> And then there's this, which RK forwarded to me this morning, but which I've seen floating about the net for a while now. I can't help but find it ironic that RK sent this the day after the detestable Dr. Laura appeared on Larry King Live (with, of course, the shocking headline that "Dr. Laura Speaks Out!"). Anyway, for those of you who've not seen this before, it's worth remembering the old credo, "God save me the righteous and the holy":Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a U.S.radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a U.S.resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I learn a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.
When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:
1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35: clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
7. Lev.21:20states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting twodifferent crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev.24:10-16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
When after a long silence one picks up the pen
And leans over the paper and says to himself:
Today I shall consider Marsyas
Whose body was flayed to an excess
Of nakedness, who made no crime that would square
With what he was made to suffer.
Today I shall consider the shredded remains of Marsyas
What do they mean as they gather the sunlight
That falls in small pieces through the trees,
As in Titian's late painting. Poor Marsyas,
A body, a body of work as it turns and falls
Into suffering, becoming the flesh of light,
Which is fed to onlookers centuries later.
Can this be the cost of encompassing pain?
After a long silence, would I, whose body
Is whole, sheltered, kept in the dark by a mind
That prefers it that way, know what I'd done
And what its worth was? Or is a body scraped
From the bone of experience, the chart of suffering
To be read in such ways that all flesh might be redeemed,
At least for the moment, the moment it passes into song.
Our friends who lumbered from room to room
Now move like songs or meditations winding down,
Or lie about, waiting for the next good thing
Some news of what is going on above,
A visitor to tell them who's writing well,
Who's falling in or out of love.
Not that it matters anymore. Just look around.
There's Marsyas, noted for his marvelous asides
On Athena's ancient oboe, asleep for centuries.
And Arion, whose gaudy music drove the Phrygians wild,
Hasn't spoken in a hundred years. The truth is
Soon the song deserts its maker,
The airy demon dies, and others come along.
A different kind of dark invades the autumn woods,
A different sound sends lovers packing into sleep.
The air is full of anguish. The measures of nothingness
Are few. The Beyond is merely beyond,
A melancholy place of failed and fallen stars.
I am sure you would find it misty here,
With lots of stone cottages badly needing repair.
Groups of souls, wrapped in cloaks, sit in the fields
Or stroll the winding unpaved roads. They are polite,
And oblivious to their bodies, which the wind passes through,
Making a shushing sound. Not long ago,
I stopped to rest in a place where an especially
Thick mist swirled up from the river. Someone,
Who claimed to have known me years before,
Approached, saying there were many poets
Wandering around who wished to be alive again.
They were ready to say the words they had been unable to say
Words whose absence had been the silence of love,
Of pain, and even of pleasure. Then he joined a small group,
Gathered beside a fire. I believe I recognized
Some of the faces, but as I approached they tucked
Their heads under their wings. I looked away to the hills
Above the river, where the golden lights of sunset
And sunrise are one and the same, and saw something flying
Back and forth, fluttering its wings. Then it stopped in mid-air.
It was an angel, one of the good ones, about to sing.
It is true, as someone has said, that in
A world without heaven all is farewell.
Whether you wave your hand or not,
It is farewell, and if no tears come to your eyes
It is still farewell, and if you pretend not to notice,
Hating what passes, it is still farewell.
Farewell no matter what. And the palms as they lean
Over the green, bright lagoon, and the pelicans
Diving, and the glistening bodies of bathers resting,
Are stages in an ultimate stillness, and the movement
Of sand, and of wind, and the secret moves of the body
Are part of the same, a simplicity that turns being
Into an occasion for mourning, or into an occasion
Worth celebrating, for what else does one do,
Feeling the weight of the pelicans' wings,
The density of the palms' shadows, the cells that darken
The backs of bathers? These are beyond the distortions
Of chance, beyond the evasions of music. The end
Is enacted again and again. And we feel it
In the temptations of sleep, in the moon's ripening,
In the wine as it waits in the glass.
I go out and sit on my roof, hoping
That a creature from another planet will see me
And say, "There's life on earth, definitely life;
"See that earthling on top of his house,
His manifold possessions under him,
Let's name him after our planet." Whoa!