Friday, March 28, 2008

Still in Limbo

Hello, friends.
Coming to you live here, amid the racket of simulated gunfire in this Internet cafe!
[At least I HOPE it's simulated!]
How can people play video-games all night long?
It mystifies me.
But then again, I'm sure they would all ask me... "How can you read so much?"
Speaking of which, that is what I did tonight... sat at a Starbucks and drank a pail of coffee while reading a terrific book.
I wish I could at least post the image here but I am on a remote computer and cannot re-size photos and stuff.
I'm really enjoying John Irving's, A Widow For One Year.
I find him to be a fabulously engaging storyteller. This is my third book by Irving, and I have enjoyed the other two and I know that this one is going to be great.

As for my computer, umm... suffice it to say it is not fixed yet.
It is amazing to me that places do not stock internal hard-drive components for laptops.
I've been having a difficult time getting the thing fixed.
Soon, sometime next week, I think I will be back in business!
Wishing you all the best.
Have a great weekend! And... HAPPY READING!
-- Cip

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Today is my mom's birthday.
She is 76 years old today, and I love her.
She is not all that well [physically] as many of you may know [I've mentioned her illness before]... but this year, at her Birthday Party which was combined with an Easter Sunday celebration at my sister's, my mom, when blowing out the candles on her cake, made a wish.
She said it out loud.
It was that everyone there would be with her for her 90th Birthday!
And then my sister said, "Mom, you're not supposed to SAY the wish out loud, or else it won't work!"
And mom said, "Oh come on. It'll work. It'll work!"
Which is very similar to something I have been muttering whenever I think of my laptop-computer, lately...

[CYBER-UPDATE: I am writing this from a Library computer. My laptop is incarcerated in a Mac-Hospital for the Terminally Unbooted! It's a place run by a bunch of nuns!]


Monday, March 24, 2008


Computer Meltdown!
Bookpuddle is down. Down, I say!
[Remember that one scene in "So I Married An Axe-Murderer" where Mike Myers, playing the role of his own father at the wedding of himself, comments on the Bagpiper that has expired in the middle of playing "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Myers, in harsh Scottish brogue bellers out "We've got a piper dooon! I repeat! A piper is doooon!"]
Great movie.

Well, yesterday my laptop, yes, the Mac [go figure] went doooon!
It went way dooooon! I repeat, My laptop is dooooon!
When I try booting up, it sounds like a herd of mice are eating a bag of potato chips just under the keyboard. It's terrible. SCREEN IS BLANK.
My first thought [I swear to God] was just to fill Jack's food dishes up and then jump off my balcony!
I am an Internet cafe here, reporting.
So I am not sure how long it will be before I am up and running again.
I am very very chagrined over this.
I will miss you all!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ouija: A Saturday Poem


So I turned to a road atlas, in lieu of your
Vanilla limbs. My finger along interstates
Ran and I said, These are her veins.
In blue, lakes and rivers showed their wet
Spots and again, my fingers, searching,

Where is a park, where we can hide away?
I’m not familiar, I complained, and just then
I felt, Ouija-like, an assistance.
Here. Follow me, and
I followed, sleep-walking but never more
Awake. Here, further a bit.

You and I were in Green River.
I said I am a stranger here.
I asked, Those geese, are they always
So loud?
No, you said.
Only when they are confused, or

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wonderful Tonight

← Eric and Pattie (circa long time ago).
In my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful songs of all time, both lyrically and musically, is Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight.
It was written for his then girlfriend and future wife, Pattie Boyd. His nickname for her, was Nell.
In his memoir entitled Clapton, Eric gives us the context of the song’s composition:

“What it was about, for me, was drinking and escaping my responsibilities as a bandleader, so I could just hang out and play for sheer enjoyment, and the music reflected this. Very homespun and mostly acoustic, it was in just this spirit that the song ‘Wonderful Tonight’ was written. I wrote the words for this song one night at Hurtwood [his estate] while I was waiting for Nell to get dressed to go out to dinner. We had a busy social life at that time, and Nell was invariably late getting ready. I was downstairs, waiting, playing the guitar to kill time. Eventually I got fed up and went upstairs to the bedroom where she was still deciding what to wear.
I remember telling her, “Look, you look wonderful, okay? Please don’t change again. We must go or we’ll be late."
It was the classic domestic situation; I was ready and she wasn’t. I went back downstairs to my guitar, and the words of the song just came out very quickly. They were written in about ten minutes, and actually written in anger and frustration. I wasn’t that enamored with it as a song. It was just a ditty, as far as I was concerned, that I could just as easily have thrown away.”

I’m glad he didn’t throw it away.
The song ended up on the Slowhand album, released in 1977.
Here it is [below] performed on a recent concert DVD.
I love the arrangement on this, and of particular note is the lovely Katie Kissoon on vocals at the end. It’s worth waiting for… oh yes!

Wonderful Tonight
Eric Clapton

It's late in the evening, she's wondering what clothes to wear.

She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair.

And then she asks me, "Do I look all right?"

And I say, "Yes, you look wonderful tonight."

We go to a party and everyone turns to see

This beautiful lady that's walking around with me.
And then she asks me, "Do you feel all right?"

And I say, "Yes, I feel wonderful tonight."

I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes.

And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don't realize how much I love you.

It's time to go home now and I've got an aching head,

So I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed.

And then I tell her, as I turn out the light,
I say, "My darling, you were wonderful tonight.

Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight."

The new memoir, by Pattie Boyd.
Why, oh why do you girls take so long to get ready, when you were already so gorgeous before you started?
When you already looked so wonderful, tonight?

Splash du Jour: Friday

Integrity and honesty, not objectivity and certainty, are the highest virtues to which the theological enterprise can aspire. From this perspective, all human claims to possess objectivity, certainty, or infallibility are revealed as nothing but the weak and pitiable pleas of frantically insecure people who seek to live in a illusion because reality has proved to be too difficult. Papal infallibility and biblical inerrancy are the two ecclesiastical versions of this human idolatry. Both papal infallibility and biblical inerrancy require widespread and unchallenged ignorance to sustain their claims to power. Both are doomed as viable alternatives for the long-range future of anyone.
-- Bishop John Shelby Spong, Episcopal (Anglican) Bishop of Newark, NY, in Resurrection: Myth or Reality? pg. 99 –

Have a Good Friday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:
1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

-- George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language", 1946 –

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.
-- Saul Bellow --

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 17, 2008


-- Montreal --

Some of you may be wondering where I was all weekend.
The Bookpuddle has been silent of its usual ripples.
That’s where I was… oh yes, now I remember.
Montreal is a nutso place!
And while there, I discovered something I had not known about this city.
[Girlfriends, listen up. ] Montreal has the largest interconnected underground shopping system in the entire world.
That’s right. Not just Canada.

It is insane, how far you can walk around, spending money with wild abandon!
Ms. Katrina can be raging outside and your credit card WILL THINK IT’S THE MILDEST DAY OF THE YEAR!

Yeah. It’s crazy. Not for the faint of heart.
Let me put it in perspective for you. You can be walking along Catherine Street and innocently enter a Guess© store, or maybe Tommy Hilfiger© or American Eagle Outfitters© and…. umm…. see you next week, honey!
Better drop crumbs behind you Hansel and/or Gretal, if you ever intend of re-entering the exterior world through the same aperture with which you went in to the abyss!
But fun.

I made the mistake of wandering around in a Le Chateau© on Friday night [the men’s section, relax!]… and somehow got pooped out the nether-end of the thing Saturday afternoon.
In a different time zone!
The Underground City will boggle you.
The Underground City will rob you blind.
And will not apologize.
But fun. It’s fun!
You don’t believe me?


Splash du Jour: Monday

The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines - so they should go as far as possible from home to build their first buildings.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright, New York Times, October 4, 1953 –

Have a great Monday!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Steinbeck's Credo

“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone.”
So begins one of the best chapters of one of the best books by one of the best writers the world has ever known.
It is the beginning of Chapter 13 of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, one of my favorite books of all time. [Click image for my review ]

To read Steinbeck is to be transported not only in place, but in time. It is to embrace a new (old) vernacular, and encounter some of the most lifelike dialogue ever composed. When he writes of dust, you feel the grit in your teeth.
In Chapter 13, at the beginning of Part II of Eden, the author slips into a bit of his philosophizing, much as another great writer, Tolstoy, was wont to do. Here the narrator definitely steps forward and addresses his readers in an aside that remains relevant to the overall story, yet is definitely jarring in its abruptness. It does seem to come out of nowhere, and for about one page-worth, Steinbeck warns of the dangers of “mass method” and “collective production.”
He points out that a man’s importance in the world should be measured by the “quality and number of his glories.”

And what were these glories to consist of? Hah! This is the awesome part!
Glories consist in a man’s individual awareness of the beauty of life.... “so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes.”

He said that the industrial age had many wonders all its own, but if they ever usurped these other “glories” mankind would be impoverished. Too much emphasis upon what the “group” can do would diminish (in its end result) the very quality of that which is done! And then he went on in an extended passage that is so wonderful, I want to reproduce it here in its entirety, and I don’t even want to spoil it by commenting at the end of it. It stands better on its own. I have taken the liberty of thinking of this passage as Steinbeck’s own credo, for his voice seems to be so strong in it, I cannot help but picture him speaking it in a spotlight. And if he did, and I were there, I would applaud till my hands were raw!
Whether it was his “credo” or not.... I wonder if he would mind if I adopted it as my own, because I want it as My Credo.
The words which follow, are his.

At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?

Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.
And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken. And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost.


Splash du Jour: Thursday

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.
-- Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963 --

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

“...the part of any poem or novel that makes it a work of art doesn’t derive its value from the realm of market exchange. It comes from the realm of gift, which has altogether different modes of operating. A gift is not weighed and measured, nor can it be bought. It can’t be expected or demanded; rather it is granted, or else not. In theological terms it’s a grace, proceeding from the fullness of being. One can pray for it, but one’s prayer will not therefore be answered. If this were not so, there would never be any writer’s block. The composition of a novel may be one part inspiration and nine parts perspiration, but that one part inspiration is essential if the work is to live as art. (The parts vary for poetry, but both are still involved.)”
-- Margaret Atwood, in Negotiating With The Dead: A Writer on Writing

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Hand of God

“If you make the Most High your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways, they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
-- Psalm 91:9-12 --

First off, I should begin this blog by stating right up front that I have not the slightest desire to poke fun at anyone’s personal beliefs, or belittle their statements made in faith.
At the same time though, my motivation is to merely point out what a rational perspective may look like, when placed alongside such statements, and beliefs. To apply a bit of logical reasoning, congruence, or [yes] outright opposition at times, to some things that are commonly held to be truisms about God or theology.
So here is my current disclaimer.
Nothing that I am about to say in this article is said with malicious intent, nor is it said to belittle or otherwise poke fun at anyone.

Having said that, let me tell you about a phone call I recently received. It was from a friend, telling me of an accident that occurred.
An out of control car overshot the roadway, and smashed into the very office building where someone very dear to them was working away, at their desk. The vehicle came through the building and very nearly ran right over the person, working there. The impact sent her hurtling from her desk and she suffered considerable trauma and injury, requiring hospitalization.
That is about enough detail. I think it provides an adequate picture of the sudden seriousness of such an event.
My friend then proceeded to say, “It is so obvious to me, to our whole family, in fact, that ______ was spared by the hand of God.” [Name withheld].

That is the firmly-held conclusion of my caller friend.
At the time, I just said…. “Mmm-hmm!”

Now comes the part where I want to repeat that it is not my desire whatsoever to make light of the situation we are discussing here. Truly, someone could have been killed.
But what I want to point out is the inherent logistic absurdities of my friend’s conclusion. [Strictly speaking, the statement itself is what I want to critically investigate, not the person who said it.]
I maintain that to interpret the event in this fashion, is to also assume that God CAUSED the accident!
Well, simply because of the absurdity of the only other possible option, which is that God was SURPRISED by it!

In other words, God was not at all aware of the accident’s possibility until it began happening, and then [at that moment] God sprang into action, slowing the out of control vehicle down, so that the person behind the desk would not be killed, but merely injured.
When all of the events came to light, it was found that the driver of the vehicle made the mistake of hitting the accelerator rather than the brake pedal!
Hence, my own conclusion [were I asked] would be more along the lines of:
Extremely poor driving skills were the cause of the accident, and rapid decrease in momentum the cause of any vehicle stoppage whatsoever.

My question therefore becomes the following: If God is as directly involved in this story as my friend assumes, would it not have been much more easier for God to have directed the placement of the foot of the driver? I mean, rather than doing nothing, and then having the car smash into the building and causing all of that mayhem and destruction and injury?
I agree that God is intimately concerned with the welfare of the person working away behind their desk. If the God that my friend believes in exists at all, then of course that God does not want anyone to get run over by a car.
But, nonetheless, people are run over by cars all the time! Every day!
Even now as I have typed these few paragraphs, several people [and of this there can be very little doubt] have died in tragic motor vehicle accidents, the world over!
So again, I am not making light of the intense gratitude one might be expected to want to send off in some sort of a direction after being “spared” such a potential tragedy as is herein being described, but at the same time, to attribute this gratitude to the hand of God is absolutely absurd.

To me, it is far more logical to simply conclude that the reason the car stopped when it did is a combination of:
a) Its momentum being slowed from the impact of having to drive through the wall of the place.
b) The driver, in that moment, probably realizing which pedal was the one for the brake.
c) The initial speed of the vehicle in the first place.

Some people might say, reading those three unemotional facts…. “Hah! Your reasoning powers are tempered by the fact that it was not close enough to home! It was not your own family or friends involved.”

But that is not true at all. Let me tell you another true story.

A number of years ago, my mother and father drove out to Vancouver Island to visit my sister and her family. One day, they all decided to go up-Island on a scenic tour.
Just as they were leaving the house, my brother-in-law said he would prefer to drive my father’s van. And so it is that all seven of them piled into the thing, and set off.
Not far into it, my brother-in-law noticed that an oncoming vehicle was swerving towards them in an erratic fashion. As anyone who has ever driven a vehicle at highway speed knows, there is not a lot of time to figure out what to do. Within one or two seconds he had to negotiate a near-roll-over swerve to avoid the car, and as he looked into his rear-view mirror the out of control vehicle slammed into the car behind them.
The result was a number of fatalities in this tragic accident that my own family had avoided by mere inches!
Almost assuredly, if my 70-year old father was driving the van, all seven of the passengers in it that day would have been killed in the head-on collision. He would never have achieved the reaction-time necessary.
But I cannot possibly come to the conclusion of God’s hand being upon them unless I am at the same time able to explain why God’s hand was so intent upon killing the other people….. the people in the rear-view mirror!

If God was so involved, and loves people without partiality [as I, in fact, believe God does]… would it not have been better, and even easier, for God to have nudged that sleeping driver into an awake state, so that no-one at all needed to be killed?
In the above scene, am I to conclude that God loves my own family more than he loves the families of the other people? The ones that were killed that day on the highway?
Am I to conclude that it was God who told my brother-in-law to drive the van, as they all left the house? If so… wouldn’t it have been even better for God to have told the sleepy driver of the other car to pull over to the side of the road and have a little bit of a napsie-wapsie?

Some people [speaking of partiality now] might even conclude that the other people [the ones who perished] may not have had God’s protection upon them, because they were not “believers” whereas my family [which is, in fact, the case] WERE!
But again, this explains absolutely nothing unless at the same time we can point to the immunity of all “believers” when it comes to tragic events that happen every single day of the year! And we simply cannot do this. Horrifically tragic things happen every single day to “believers” and “non-believers” alike!

So what am I saying?
Am I saying that God does not care about us?
Am I saying that there is no such thing as “God’s hand” protecting anyone, at any time?
I am not saying either of those things because I do not know either of them to be true or false.
What I am saying is that what we are meaning and believing when we employ the phrase “God’s hand” is most of the times….. utterly absurd.
There is absolutely no empirical or experiential cause and effect correlation between our belief in the protection of “the hand of God” and any actual real-life protection.

This will surely sound cold of me to point this out, but in my friend’s initial statement to me on the phone, what is essentially being said is that even if the car in question had been travelling at a speed of 350 miles an hour when it hit the building, it STILL would have stopped before running over the person behind the desk.

Hmmm… maybe in the pages of the Bible yes, but not anytime since!

NOTE: The above posting originally appeared on my other blogpage, called Godpuddle.

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Splash du Jour: Monday


Rhymes with weighting, and makes me heavy.

You know I am going to keep believing in you.

The first half-hour I was embarrassed, I guess.

Felt there should be no reason for me, waiting.

I smiled at people, as they passed me by.
An hour passed, and I put a hand to my chest.

Yes, beating, my heart. You know something?

I am leaving our corner now, but not you. No.

Something is wrong. Something is very wrong.

You know I am going to keep believing in you.

I am not embarrassed or scared, I am hurried.

Rhymes with worried, and makes me love you.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Hitlermobile©

So, yesterday I saw Hitler’s car.
That’s right.
← The Hitlermobile©.
As in, I was not only standing right next to the Hitlermobile, but I even touched it.
I’m sure he had more than one car, and stuff. Plus, he probably took the bus now and then. Or a cab.
But this car, this very one pictured here… this big black Mercedes Benz, brought to Canada in 1945, this exact one, was his favorite parade car and/or promo-convertible!
What with no roof and all there was plenty of room to stand up in the thing and give that big salute deal.

It’s at the War Museum here in the nation’s capital, Ottawa.

[click on image for a swivel-view]

What a fabulous place, I thoroughly enjoyed touring the premises. Spent the entire day, walking around, going through very realistic mock-trenches, where you can peer through holes in the sandbags and actually see frontline battle footage on little screens. And there are guns and bayonets and bombs and grenades and suspended jets and airplanes and helicopters, and every kind of tank imaginable. Tons of neat displays and multi-media presentations.
The architecture of the place is fantastic. There seems to be no wall parallel to another, and the entire thing is set up like a gigantic ship, as evident from outside as within. The entire experience is thought-provoking.
For instance, the Vimy Memorial Gallery is perhaps one of the most artistically beautiful things I’ve seen, museum-wise, ever.
But it was the Hitlermobile that really captivated me.
Because I hate Hitler so much.
I’ve written of this before, HERE and THERE.

So it was startling. 
I was walking around in the War Museum, pretty much minding my own business and then all of a sudden there was Hitler’s car. It gave me pause.
On the explanatory plaque there is a photo of him being motored around in that very car, and he’s doing the salute deal, and there are at least forty million people returning the gesture, in every direction.
I touched it.
It was like for a few moments I heard the roar of history, followed by silence, and the clicking footsteps of others walking away from the exhibit.
And it gave me pause, the Hitlermobile did.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

human: A Saturday Poem


i looked up.
they had made their webs
in the rafters,
these two silent architects.
so i knocked them into a foil pan
where they lightly clattered.
exoskeletons, spinning
and disoriented.
so i sprayed aerosol on them
in great amounts, until
swimming to the center of the pan
they found each other,
and broke their own necks.
i heard it.
two faint snaps.
i did not look up
at the empty webs, but
went my way.
and i am human.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

Friday, March 07, 2008

Splash du Jour: Friday

Northrop Frye is a genius!
I love the following quote, especially the final conclusive sentence.
However, I think that the first word (literature) is vital. If the term “pulp fiction” were substituted, I would recant my endorsement.

Literature keeps presenting the most vicious things to us as entertainment, but what it appeals to is not any pleasure in these things, but the exhilaration of standing apart from them and being able to see them for what they are because they aren't really happening. The more exposed we are to this, the less likely we are to find an unthinking pleasure in cruel or evil things.
-- Northrop Frye, in The Educated Imagination

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Nub & The Hub©

At the bookstore tonight, I drank Starbucks coffee as though the end of the world was scheduled for sometime before noon tomorrow. And I browsed books.
I happened upon this new one by J.M. Coetzee, Diary of a Bad Year.
It’s written in an unconventionally daring fashion. It seems to be three books in one, like a diary, but interspersed with little essays of all kinds. Quite fascinating.
I flipped through it, and really enjoyed Essay 17.
Here it is below, in its totality:

I have no desire to associate myself with the people behind the Intelligent Design movement. Nevertheless, I continue to find evolution by random mutation and natural selection not just unconvincing but preposterous as an account of how complex organisms came into being. As long as there is not one of us who has the faintest idea of how to go about constructing a housefly from scratch, how can we disparage as intellectually naïve the conclusion that the housefly
must have been put together by an intelligence of a higher order than our own? If anyone in the picture is naïve, it is the person who elevates the operating rules of Western science into epistemological axioms, arguing that what cannot be demonstrated scientifically to be true (or, to use the more timid word preferred by science, valid) cannot be true (valid), not just by the standard of truth (validity) used by practitioners of science but by any standard that counts.

The essay reminded me of my own greatest personal conundrum, concerning evolutionary theory. In a nutshell, it deals with the intermediate stages of reproduction, as a species evolves.
I’m talking here about The Nub and The Hub© .

It is something that completely boggles me, and maybe there is an answer to it somewhere.
Now, don’t get me wrong, dear readers, I am a believer in evolution, and as Darwinian as the next guy.

It is just that this one aspect of it seems to be a problem.

It is the one thing I would most like to ask my hero, Mr. Richard Dawkins, because surely ...surely he has to have considered this problem [which for me is by far the hugest problem facing evolutionary theory] and he probably has a damn good answer to it. Basically, my question is this, Umm… in the far back primordial ages past, when say for instance something that would BECOME us climbed out of the ocean and looked like a frigging blob of something....... HOW DID THIS THING REPRODUCE ITSELF?

And as whatever would become homo sapiens was way back in its unformed and blobby beginning stages, [and by that I mean prior to being either male or female].... when neither of the blobs of them had a penis nor vagina proper, and they felt that to rub themselves together might feel nice [this is what I mean by the "intermediate" stages]...... well...... how did they then reproduce themselves, so that their NEXT stage would be more advanced?
I mean, the way I understand it, evolutionary theory asks us to believe that after 650 million years of rubbing against each other, one of the blobs formed a penis, and the other a vagina...... [which still would not explain the intricate unseen internal organs that also need to be in existence]..... yes, they accidentally copulated and formed new life, which would in turn evolve into a higher-and-higher and more advanced and progressed form...... yes, but WHAT OF THE INTERIM?

In those 650 million frigging years of rubbing..... what was reproducing those half-formed penis-less and
vagina-less things!

This is why I think Coetzee's little essay is quite relevant. I believe there is, at the very heart of evolutionary theory, a mystery that science will not ever get to. I really believe that. Regarding the real origins..... and reasons, science will never really get there.
Perhaps one of my readers here can explain to me how the two genitalia-less blobs rubbing against each other reproduced themselves.
The nub and the hub.
Ay! There’s the rub!


Splash du Jour: Thursday

The teacher, as has been recognized at least since Plato's Meno, is not primarily someone who knows instructing someone who does not know. He is rather someone who attempts to re-create the subject in the student's mind, and his strategy in doing this is first of all to get the student to recognize what he already potentially knows, which includes breaking up the powers of repression in his mind that keep him from knowing what he knows. That is why it is the teacher, rather than the student, who asks most of the questions.
-- Northrop Frye, in The Great Code

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

Isn’t the above painting gloriously good?
Look at the thing. Look at it some more!
It’s by Edward Hopper and I am embarrassed to say that I don’t even know what it’s called.
But LOOK at it!

"Hopper was a man to whom social intercourse did not come easily. His artist friend, Du Bois, exclaimed of him when young, 'The hunger of that man!' Were the single figures and couples he painted also hungry for human contact? Who knows? Feelings as strong as hunger, let alone desperation, do not erupt from his paintings. Generations have felt the stillness and contemplation of his figures as loneliness. But solitude is not the same thing, and, in any case, the relations of people to each other (or even themselves) in Hopper's works are seldom clear, as they create tension more than tell stories."
-- Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune. Feb.17, ’08 –

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Just Horsing Around...

For a time I lived in the Canadian Rockies. Well, not in them, but... at them!
In British Columbia.
One of the things I enjoyed most during that time was the construction work I did in the remote mountainous areas of that beautiful province. I worked on a road crew as an equipment operator, and often, the work we did would be on bridges over sprawling tree-lined canyons, or side-roads and highways along rivers... and always, the beautiful mountains in the distance. Or sometimes, not in the distance at all, we’d be paving for days at the very feet of them.
I especially liked the week-long adventures, when the whole crew would be put up at a hotel in picturesque Who-Knows-Where... and after a minimum twelve-hour day in the "shphalt" most of us would carouse all night long until pretty much firing up the machines in the morning, and (bleary-eyed but ready) get right back to the spreading and pounding of gravel and asphalt.

One such job was at an isolated stretch of road leading to a weigh-scale area for truckers, and one morning, we were to begin the day at a set of train tracks that crossed the road. The goal was to pave the approaches to the tracks on either side, and as we arrived in our crew-cab we were notified by radio that the first truck hauling our asphalt to us was going to be delayed.
In post-carousal asphalt-worker language, such news means only one thing and that is this:
You may have time for a bit of a snooze, during which time you may try to process why your co-workers’ unanimously reported story of you stripping your shirt off and getting up on the table last night to dance with the waitress has somehow evaded your own ability to remember it!
This is exactly what I was doing this one morning as I drifted off... as we all drifted off in the crew-cab, parked there on the side of the road.

Soon, a slight rustling sound caused me to look to the side, open my eyes and see two absolutely gorgeous horses that had quietly sauntered over to the edge of a nearby fence on the other side of the ditch.
I stared.
There is only one thing more beautiful than naked horses... and these were mesmerizing. And they looked at me, somewhat expectantly, it seemed.
I got the hint.
I opened my lunch kit and brought out an apple and bit into it. The very crunch of it caused a couple of the guys in the cab to open their eyes, and the horses heard the crunch too as it bit through the morning stillness.
I opened the door of the truck and walked down the ditch toward the majestic beasts. If there were no fence they surely would have met me half way.
I bit off a big chunk of the apple, put it in my hand and fed it to the nearest horsehead.
The other came close to me and I stroked his soft cheek, petted him all the length of his long face and neck, as his lips twitched and he huffed and his big beautiful eyes saw only apple. Bringing it near, his lips reached out and took the whole thing out of my palm, and he munched away as I continued to stroke his neck and run my hand through his gorgeous cornsilk mane.

A sort of a snort.... then a chuckle.... undoubtedly some stifled laughter, caused me then to turn back towards the truck where several of the boys were literally in paroxysms of suppressed guffaw.
“What the hell is the matter?” I asked them, my hand never ceasing in its stroking motion. The horse still chomping away... by now, he was more like smacking his lips and wondering where more apple was going to come from.
I look back lovingly into my horse’s eyes.

There is no doubt of it... I can hear the boys slapping their backs against the seats... rocking, roaring.... I turn back to the cab and make my way up the ditch. One of the guys, his eyes squinted shut in laughter, is looking at me and pointing back to the horse as I am about to open the door and get back in.
I turned and beheld what I can only imagine to be the most hugest humanly-inflicted horse erection that has probably ever been seen by a truckful of asphalt workers in the history of the great province of British Columbia.


Splash du Jour: Tuesday

I’ve just started what promises to be a very interesting, and difficult, book.
← The Great Code: The Bible & Literature, by Northrop Frye.
It’s an examination of the influence of the Bible on Western art and literature and on the Western creative imagination in general.
In the Introduction, he tells us:

My interest in the subject began in my earliest days as a junior instructor, when I found myself teaching Milton and writing about Blake, two authors who were exceptionally Biblical even by the standards of English literature. I soon realized that a student of English literature who does not know the Bible does not understand a good deal of what is going on in what he reads: the most conscientious student will be continually misconstruing the implications, even the meanings. So I offered a course in the English Bible as a guide to the study of English literature, and as the most efficient way of learning about it myself.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Splash du Jour: Monday

“In a sense, this book is not an autobiography but a biography, because I am writing about someone I used to know.”
-- Steve Martin, on Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Aneurysm: A Saturday Poem


This is how I want it to be. While reading Hardy
I turn to her and tell her how good she would
Look in that blue dress she did not buy today.
And I see that smirk, the one that knows
I will get it for her tomorrow anyway. But just as
She adjusts the pillow behind her head, reaching
For her fourth volume of Proust, the same thing
Happens to her. And we lean into each other,
The calico cat not even stirring at our feet
As our books fall forward.
And that candle she lit, flickers.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008