Saturday, October 29, 2005

Comment Tarry Two


October 15 (A)

Suspiria is the most disappointing film I have ever seen, I think. My expertations were too high and were dashed. Horrible soundtrack too.stephenesque
Homepage 10.16.05 - 1:55 pm #
Exceedingly high expectations oft go awry. I first saw this movie ca. 25 years ago, and it was quite the date-gripper. Nowadays, I savour the art direction, but if I want to be frightened I try to catch a glimpse of the neighbor lady down the street. I sort of like Goblin's brand of Italian shock-prog: only quasi-ept but never pretentious.As with most Argento movies, the images continue to haunt long after one has ceased puzzling over the incoherent scripts and laughing at the bad dialogue.The most disappointing movie I ever saw was "Citizen Kane."Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.16.05 - 3:04 pm #

10/15 (B)

Case solved.In monitoring the various utility bills that we seem to have to pay (wouldn't they be free in a socialist country), I noticed, with clichese horror attached thereto) that our gas and water bills have gone through the roof since the kids went to high school and became involved with athletics. O.K., I reasoned, we have to wash the uniforms and clothes sodden with sweat. Although why we have to wash them after one wearing is beyond me. Where is the odeur du temp that was so esprit de corps when I was mucking about the muddy fields in clash with equally soggy fellows? Well, it turns out that in this Age of Hooking Up, rampant sex with unknown parties is o.k., but showering in public is not. A paradox of modesty. The kids were taking the 15 minute long hot showers after returning home, rather than at school. What was the tipping point of cleanliness? The kids were mum on the subject; it was obviously a mass teenage secret.And now, that secret is revealled. Your son, after nicking your "Hymn to Beauty" has somehow broadcast your message of clothliness is next to godliness to all of the teens in the USA. I'm assuming he broadcast it in a whiny pitch, that tone level at which all parents of teenagers tune out.So, I didn't hear then but I can read now. It is you, B. Mouse, that is the cause of my financial dilemna. I will be forwarding my utility bills to you directly. Please enclose your checks in the envelopes provided.DarkoV
Homepage 10.14.05 - 8:51 am #
Please rest assured that your utility bills will be given a prominent place in our Important Paper Pile here at Bleak House, where they will be given quite as much attention as everything else therein. Be sure to forward your dunning letters and disconnection notices, too, as we like to keep abreast of these matters.The rule when I was at school was that students MUST shower in the gym facilities after class, and that gym uniforms MUST be taken home and washed between semesters. Priorities now seem to have been reversed in this area, as in so many others. Our coach, Mr. Bader (who was wittily referred to as "Master Bader" by his charges), made pretty goddam sure that everybody took a shower after gym class, and was especially strict with slackers, which always included a few persons who were temperamentally counter-sanitary, and a few who, for one reason or another, were mercilessly teased by the rest, and thereafter became mental wrecks for life. (The major desginated teasee in our class was one who was unfortunate on a number of grounds: he had flaming red hair; his physical maturing process was signficantly late; he was pudgy and ill-coordinated; and he was the son of the school's vice principal. I would not be surprised if he is now permanently confined at Gleeway Acres.)Personal cleanliness is of course an important factor if teens are going to have random sex with perfect strangers. However, there must be more to it than that, because I kept myself quite clean in high school, and these unknown parties failed to make themselves known to me. On the other hand, members of the football team could be quite dirty, yet still had opportunities not available to me, despite diligent scrubbing.I hope this answers all of your questions concerning the economics of utility costs.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.14.05 - 9:55 am #
Random sex, especially in high school, is a matter of timing. Cleanliness was an option opined by the fair sex as being "nice bit not necessary". It wasn't until college, when I was readily equipped with one of those watches that displayed the time in principal cities of the world, that I realized the timing thing. Thank you Casio!DarkoV
Homepage 10.14.05 - 11:31 am #

10/16 (A)

Maybe you just need a pair of SeaVees!Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.16.05 - 10:20 pm #
Drats, Haloscan wouldn't let me post a picture...Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.16.05 - 10:20 pm #
Ode to Manly Footwear by Jerry Jeff Walker:Well, I decided that I'd get my cowboy hatAnd go down to the Marble Arch Station'Cause when a Texan fancies that he'll take his chancesFancy chances will be taken, that's for sureAnd them limey eyes, they were eyeing the prizeSome people call manly footwear. And they said,"You're from down South and when you open your mouthYou always seem to put your foot there."Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.16.05 - 10:24 pm #
"Well we're from the North,And whene'er we go forth,We eat feet for breakfast and dinner."Best I can do on a Suqday.Send along your photo by e-express, and I'll post it. My backlog is down to two-thirds of a ghost story and two poems.My son promises eventually to "take care" of the HaloScan "problem." I wouldn't want to be in their shoes when he does.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.16.05 - 10:46 pm #
Actually, it was just a googled photo of SeaVee sneakers. What most of us would refer to as deck shoes. And, as to the wearing of tennis shoes...I don't wear them to work, but I would if I could. When the boots aren't on, the tennis shoes are.I used to a shoe freak, a pair to match every outfit, but now I just buy the basic brown and black pumps for work, and live in my tennies and my Justin's on the weekends. Tromped around today out in some pastures and high grass and briars with my favorite boots...Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.16.05 - 11:14 pm #
Truth to tell -- get your true confessions right here -- I am and always have been a sock person. Not our of doors, of course -- I am not insane!, as I frequently remind people -- but as often as possible at home. I consider it perfectly proper to wander out to the porch in my socks, where I plunk myself down with book and walkman, thereby taking the air but having a perfect excuse not to chat with any neighbors weaving by. I've also been known to plod about the backyard in socks, although rain, mud, or company will generally put me to the trouble of lacing up, even if it's all such a bother.At a job I had throughout the 80s, I used even to pad about the office in socks. I'd noticed that many of the ladies pranced about in stocking feet, donning their killer shoes only for meetings and consuiltations with Important Personnages. As one who is fully supportive of sexual equality when it suits his purposes, I did likewise. I knew which areas and whose offices were Safe, and in which places such behavior might be considered Odd or even Subversive. I was always perfectly well besuited at such times -- but I guess I always was a bit of a social subversive, and generally had many grinning co-conspirators who shared my little jokes and gestures. (Nobody could right and distribute a totally nonsensical memorandum to the department like I could -- giving giggle fits throughout the office while being perfectly untraceable by those without humor.)(Astounding that I lasted a full ten years at that job.)Anyway, shoes. I always enjoyed being well-shod when necessary, but I endeavored to make it necessary as little as possible.Now, I care less -- perhaps because the world cares less, perhaps because I'm beyond the age of dandyism.Pastures? High grass? Briar? I've heard tell of such things. Where do you live? Africa? Ever seen one of those centaur things, have you?Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.17.05 - 1:24 am #
No, no centaurs, no African safari. But, it always makes me do a doubletake when I see llamas in fields and pastures where I expect to see less exotic game. Likewise the emus. For a while, emus were the next big thing here in Tejas. Once while poking around Kman's grandfather's old place in Stagg Creek, I was intensely studying the side of the dirt lane for old bottles, etc. Kman was off further by the mule barn and outhouse, but I suddenly realized I was not alone. Looking up, I came almost face to face with the neighboring farmer's emu. He was curious and had come right up to the fence to watch this weird human scratch in the dirt. Unfortunately, I couldn't suppress a rather loud squeal and the emu vamoosed to the next county. Kman came running sure I had been snakebitten. When I explained that some turkey with triple-helix alien DNA almost attacked me, he made me go sit in the shade for a spell.Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.17.05 - 10:49 am #
Thanks, Mr. B. Mouse, for letting your curious readers know that I do not live in Iceland. (You're probably going to realize soon, however, that just mentioning "Iceland" in your blog will get the Internet's attention. It's the Abbott & Costello "Niagara Falls" quip that turns a sane person into a rant 'n raver).However, if I were to live in Iceland, it's those high-lace sneakers that I'd be wearing, especially during the summer. What with all of the daylight at that time, I'd have quite a bit of time on my hands. What better way to keep the hands busy and stay out of the Devil's Workshop than to be lacing the 500 loops of these sneakers. By the way, the Devil's Workshop is getting bad press. It's improved substantially what with unionization and integration of the work-force. I believe Wal-MArt, despite its recent humanitarian efforts may be the Devil's Workshop of today. Plus, they're everywhere just like the Devil's Workshop. Or was it God that was everywhere and the Devil's Workshop had limited market penetration?One thing that I fondly recall looking at those sneakers is wrestling. I tried out one time for the high school team. We had to wrassle in shoes similar to those. It took forever to lace up for a match. My mind would wander, the laces would not fit in the holes, I wouldn't be ready when my match was called. Another forfeit! I eventually quit, not realizing that wrestling involved much more than simply lacing one's shoes. That's probably why I wear slip-ons these days. Just couldn't shake that teenaged trauma.DarkoV
Homepage 10.17.05 - 12:25 pm #
This past Saturday, I was attending a conference at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The weather was (finally) bearable, so I decided to walk from 20th Street and 7th Avenue to the museum on 53rd and Fifth. A schlep, but do-able. I had forgotten, however, how truly unbearable the tourist crush would be in Times Square on Saturday morning. And it was. I told my Williamsburg-hipster niece about it later that evening and she said, “Wait! I know what they were wearing! Fanny packs and big white sneakers, right?”The phrase “big white sneakers,” when uttered by a hipster of the Williamsburg variety, is so utterly damning and scornful that it causes my eyes to water involuntarily whenever I think about it.“Big white sneakers … ewww!”(And I should add that the sneaker-clad hordes were also sporting big beige shorts of the khaki genus.)Searchie
Homepage 10.17.05 - 1:50 pm #
Ah, the khaki lemmings.Tromp.Tromp.Tromp.It's those damn NYC laws! Forcing us to wear the bland and the comfortable, so that real New Yorkers can be distinguished for our photo-taking.DarkoV
Homepage 10.17.05 - 2:19 pm #
To quote my favorite character Batty Coda:“Human tales? Humans don't have tales, they have big, big bottoms that they wear with bad shorts!”Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.17.05 - 5:18 pm #
The bottoms I observed were not necessarily large or objectionable, but, for some reason, they did cause me to momentarily choke on my absinthe.Searchie
Homepage 10.17.05 - 7:33 pm #
Well, I've had a large and objectionable day -- why does the world have to get up to such nonsense when I'm abroad in it? -- and am hence rather cranky, so I think I may go and talk back to the television for awhile before I engage in conversation. So, Searchie, please save some absinthe for me (they do say it makes the heart grow fonder.) My chemist advised me last time that over-the-counter sales were limited to four liters per customer, so I had to go to twenty different shops to stock up -- and this during a gasoline crisis. For the last few days I've been forced to subsist on "Dr. Cranium's Miracle Digestive Cure, Processed From the Exotic Tibetan Poppy." Foul stuff.Pattie -- If anyone had told me 20 years ago that I'd be googling for emus someday, I'd have had him declared mentally unsound and confined in a large, forbidding building with high iron railings.DarkoV -- I like to think that some of those little boys in high-lace sneakers are lacing them still in abandoned playgrounds, as fashion and history pass them by and they grow old, thinking that they'll get them right in just a few more minutes.New York? Modern art? Kman? Kmart? Bottoms? These are all infinitely complex topics to which I must devote deep thought. Who knew so much could happen when one stays away from the computer a mere day?Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.17.05 - 10:21 pm #
Good to have a wristwatch when you're in college, especially one with a luminescent face. But it's equally important to have an appointment calendar to which one attends scrupulously. It's terribly embarrassing, and sometimes noisy, when the one leaving runs into the one coming.Also helpful for getting to classes.Bleak Mouse at Climax Island
Homepage 10.14.05 - 3:45 pm #
I didn't mean to sign off "Bleak Mouse of Climax Island" -- I accidentally clicked on a name from another post -- but I suppose it's vaguely appropriate.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.14.05 - 3:47 pm #

10/16(B)

More cowbell.Quicquid
Homepage 10.16.05 - 10:32 am #
I prefer The Big Triangle.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.16.05 - 10:46 pm #
If only humans could smile like that! Those were the days in kiddom when you'd do the body experiments, trying to see how much you could stretch your lips, how far you could pull your tongue out, how many times you could twist your ears. And I do mean "your", as my face was off-limits to such childish behaviour.DarkoV
Homepage 10.17.05 - 12:30 pm #
As I coincidentally mentioned to CP a few moments ago, my dear mum used to warn that if you do such things, "it'll stay that way." And one would often see sufficient apparent examples in the street of this rule that one was tempted to give the injunction a certain credence.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.17.05 - 10:26 pm #

10/18 A (No Comments)

10/18 B

BM,Your inventiveness knows no bounds. Or, is that bounding knows not of inventiveness? Well, whatever you are doing is drawing stares in my direction. Here I sit, magnifying glass in hand (yes, I actually do keep one at hand), peering at the computer screen. Intent caused by font size. I don't recall font size 1/8th being available on my version of Word or Blogger, but I could be easily mistaken.So, here I (still) sit, magnifying glass in hand, peering at the writing, when what crops up in the center of my vision but quite an exemplary backside of the type considered fashionable in the early 1900's. I dated it as such, since there was a stocking crisis at that time causing fashionistas of that time to wear leggings barely up to the knee. That also explains why the dresses and skirts were riding barely above their shoes.Frankly such a sight, especially under magnification, was quite the morning shock. Coffee spilled onto my khakis, which were luckily the exact same shade of brown. Coffee-colored is what the Gap clerk told me. And he should know as he's a recent English Lit grad.I'll have to come back and finely evaluate the piece when I'm dried out. Reading "Lila tittered vivaciously, raising her cigarette holder to her scarlet lips and tossing her curls in a motion that at once captivated the consumptive undersecretary" is just a bit too escalating for the morning. There's so much coffee I'm willing to spill on the coffe-colored khakis.DarkoV Homepage 10.18.05 - 9:17 am #
I hadn't intended to give anyone the squints, but rather to suggest random, decorative prose from which the occasional phrase might be gleaned, inducing a momentary "?" This was done largely to fill in the gaping spaces between pictures, which I could not figure out how to manipulate into an efficient but uninformative, yet deeply moving, whole. After a few moments of that, I simply began adding words, which my research has revealed are the standard adornments of blog postings.Thank you for your kind words about my inventiveness. The only bounds to it I have yet discovered are reality and sense, against which I continue to press unrelentingly. If only they didn't press back.Re "the exemplary backside." I am glad you "dated it as such." Far too much emphasis is placed on mere personality in dating today.I like to dump the morning's first cup of coffee directly into my lap. Somehow, this seems to immunize against similar accidents later in the day. If it's going to happen anyway, why not get it over with? I'm hoping to render the brown-lap look fashionable eventually, by sporting it with dignity and aplomb.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.18.05 - 10:37 am #
An emu! You are a very unique voice in the blogsphere for sure. Absolutely true genius. No shit, Sherlock.Like our friend DarkoV, I must peruse this when I have more time and less chance of screen-flashing my bosses with an old butt...(nice, but old).To quote those wonderfully talented musical masters of poetic lyrics, K.C. and the Shineshine Band:Keep it coming, love! Keep it coming, love!Don't stop it now, don't stop it, no, don't stop it now, don't stop!Keep it coming, love! Keep it coming, love!Don't stop it now, don't stop it, no, don't stop it now, don't stop it!Don't let your well run dry, don't stop it now.Don't give me no reasons why, don't stop it now!Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.18.05 - 11:45 am #
Uh, that's K.C. and the SUNSHINE Band.Drats, ruined my witty commenting...Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.18.05 - 11:46 am #
...who were precursed by K.C. and the Shoeshine Band, resident band of the Gare de Lyon.....NB: I figure if the Shoeshine Band is the precursor of the Sunhshine Band, then they must be precursed. Logic to follow when my matchstick course sign-up takes effect.DarkoV
Homepage 10.18.05 - 12:07 pm #
Even as I concur with the assessment of this post as a brilliant piece of work, I am compelled to note one glaring omission that would substantially increase the hallucinogenic tone of today's musings at However Bleakly/Coy Mouse:
http://www.absinthe-literary-rev...ges/ 2bottle.jpgSearchie Homepage 10.18.05 - 12:18 pm #
You know, I have never tried the stuff. Anything like Southern Comfort with mint leaves? That concotion can be downright hallucinogenic if you ain't kurful.Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.18.05 - 12:22 pm #
Pattie honey, it's like Aqua Velva liberally laced with opium. Don't go there, please ...And the Schiele is an absolutely perfect choice, by the way.Searchie
Homepage 10.18.05 - 1:08 pm #
Not to worry,Searchie. THese days my allergies have made any alcoholic beverage, even a wee sip, a sneezing, itchy affair.Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.18.05 - 3:07 pm #
For some reason, the computer just spontaneously CONSUMED the five paragraphs I just wrote to post here. Grgnfgn mgnsnpk. I hate it when that happens. I must now go sulk for a while.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.18.05 - 3:52 pm #
Now that Bleak is all calm and restored to equanimity after having smashed the desk a few times, perhaps the computer will kindly ALLOW him to post what he writes.First, on the matter of absinthe. I believe it has been illegal in all civilized nations for around a century. Yet surely this cannot be what accounts for its decline in popularity, as witness the effect of mere law on other mind-melting substances. Perhaps the fact that it drove you stark staring bonkers with habitual use might have had something to do with it, if indeed it is a fact; one might argue that habitual absinthe users did not have the hardest shells in the nutbag to begin with. Sometime recently, I saw, perhaps on e-bay, sealed antique bottles of absinthe fetching extraordinary sums. The catch-22, as with so many collectors' items, is that once you unseal the bottle, its value becomes considerably less, but you're never going to really know WHY Baudelaire or Coleridge drank it if you don't pop it open.Pattie, I used to refer to the English group King Crimson as "K.C. and the Sunshine Band." This was done mostly to irritate the Gothadelic Crimson-worshippers who took them so incredibly SERIOUSLY. The only thing I remember about the REAL K.C. and the Sunshine Band is that horribly insinuating dance melody of 30 years ago, the lyrics to which were mostly, "Shake (repeat six times) your booty." This is one of those songs that will repeat in your brain for hours and hours even if someone merely mentions the name of the band thirty years later. Thanks a lot.I am not finished, not hardly, but I will attempt to post now. If unsuccessful, I will go out and KEY CARS.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.18.05 - 4:54 pm #
Fine.And, Pattie, although it is nice to hear all of this Keep it coming! Don't stop! Eearghhss! stuff, this may be counterproductive with the Highly Sensitive writer, who may as a result have to get a prescription from his doctor before he can perform again.Concerning butts factory-sealed versus experienced -- well, we must get back to civilzation, Merriwether.Searchie -- I love Schiele, although after spending too much time in his company I begin to think he's a major creep, and should be asked to leave quietly. I don't think I'll be seeking out his bio anytime soon.And, by the way, your latest posting is utterly brilliant, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a shameless flatterer. I do commend to your attention a great study called Art and Illusion, by the art historian E.H. Gombrich. Also, the classic discussions of innate ideas -- those prior to sensory experience -- by the usual suspects, such as Descartes, Kant (unreadable but worth the incomprehension), Hume, and Berkeley. They had not the benefit of modern neurology, but I am not sure that this is necessarily a drawback, for they defined the problems extraordinarily well, without getting into all of the technical nonsense that makes contemporary philosophers so unhelpful and the biological literalists so shallow.I can't believe I'm leaving a Comment for your blog in my own Comments section, Searchie. You really must add a comments feature to your own blog. This has certain drawbacks, but I like to sashay in unannounced like the sophisticate in a 1920s drawing-room comedy, too.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.18.05 - 5:15 pm #
You are the Jacques Tourneur directing films in the Hollywood Babylon of the Valley of Lost Things University Film Department ... or are you actually the Tudor Gates writing screenplays in the Hammer Studios of Ruritania? I(Only time will tell)stephenesque
Homepage 10.18.05 - 7:09 pm #
Mr. Bleak:That was a lovely comment – thank you so much. I can be a bit esoteric at times, but such is the nature of my work, alas. The art/science tug-of-war is continuous and unrelenting, but – thus far, at least – I remain in the science column, at least professionally.About comments (or lack of same): At first, the mere thought of comments was unthinkable and inconceivable, which I’m sure you understand. As time passes, however, I’ve become accustomed to bloglife without them. One doesn’t miss what one has never known, yes? I also realize that a comment-less blog has given me a modicum of freedom from expectations, which I quite enjoy during my more – shall we say – anguished moments. Perhaps if you think good thoughts instead, I shall, as Thérèse-Adèle Husson said, “see them in my head, the same as you, Monsieur Mouse.”And about Schiele: I think it’s just as well he died young. He is far weirder when viewed in his Viennese milieu. (But no weirder than the Freud Museum, of course.)Searchie
Homepage 10.19.05 - 10:49 pm #
I had to look up Tudor Gates, and found of that, in addition to being something of a respected British playwright, he was in his lean years the scripter of one of my favorite guilty pleasures, The Vampire Lovers. So I will take this as a compliment.I found out recently that, in researching a movie that I absolutely loved as a child, a swashbuckler called The Flame and the Arrow, that it was directed by none other than Jacques Tourneur. It is, unfortunately, unavailable on DVD or even on tape, but I continue to hope.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.19.05 - 10:49 pm #
Dear Searchie -- Oddly, it seems that my anticipation of the nature of your objections to comments was remarkably accurate. This either makes me supremely insightful, or a master of the obvious.I've been through the art-science continuum, too, and I sometimes find my analytic self at odds with my direct-perception-of-the-aesthetic self, but I now try, more or less successfully, to keep them in their respective offices, where they may converse, but are discouraged from arguing. My educational journey was from literature to music to art, thence to literature again, then to traditional philosophy, on to formal logic, then to the philosophy and history of science, then to science itself (mostly physics and biology), then to history proper, and finally to graduation. A sensible person would have made a sensible choice, but I continued to go in about twenty directions at once, and still do, to a lesser extent. However, one thing I know, for all my superficial confusions, is that there is no conflict between art and science -- and most of the apparent conflicts derive from artists who misapprehend science, and vice versa.I could go on in this vein, but won't. I suppose I'll have to be stuck in the Astaire-post vein, and respond to your blog entries on my own from time to time. Please note that this is a service offered to a select few.I'm not sure if this idea isn't a bit vague to be fruitful, but I was wondering idly if there might not be a certain parallel between the way people with certain sorts of blindness "see," and the way in which people who interact on the InterNet "see" each other. There is certainly a sort of image, a picture in correspondence that derives from acquaintance by words -- and the image, if not visual in the sense that my computer moniter is visible to me, is certainly quite real, as if seen out of the corner of one's eye, or through a glass, darkly. The visualizing process, in other words, enters into these verbal and symbolic matters, despite the fact that it has no data.But perhaps this is more of a poetic fancy.One might also look into the a priori nature of geometry for clues as to what defines the "space" of blindness.Just ideas, which may again be commonplace or obvious.As ever, always delightful to see you.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.19.05 - 11:21 pm #

10/20 A

You keep this kind of things up, Bleak Mouse, and you're going to have to put up a warning site asking if readers are +18. The scandal!Misspent
Homepage 10.20.05 - 10:18 pm #
Thanks, BM! Quite a nice bit of research!My stars, surfing this topic is fraught with naught!Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.20.05 - 10:53 pm #
Yes, I'm ever pushing at cultural boundaries here at Bleak House, all right. I feel that such things as garters exist in the world, and, by God, we should be speaking openly about them, rather than hiding them in dusty drawers and old French museums. The day will come, mark my words, when responsible discussion of stockings and garters will be commonplace among scientists, statesmen, medical experts, educators, and solid citizens. Until that happy day, sir, we must press on, on -- against the forces of Darkness and Ignorance.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 10:54 pm #
Dear Pattie--Fraught with naught indeed. On some of the links I turned up, if I'd been a wig-wearer, it would have leaped six inches into the air, done a flip-flop, and landed in a mess.Mr. Misspent seems to think I'm being daring, but I think my post fairly tasteful and restrained compared to much of the material I came across.In fairness, though, a great deal of the material, mostly that having to do with wedding garters, was stupifyingly dull. That's the slow grind of research, though; it goes with the territory.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 11:03 pm #
Frankly, I think you completely
missed the point.Fcb Homepage 10.21.05 - 12:18 am #
Yes, it would seem I did miss the point; but think how badly I might have missed it had I been researching The Order of the Bath.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.21.05 - 1:50 am #
Mrs. Bleak may have to start patrolling these questionable waters between Garter Point and Butte Naked Cheeks. Dangerous whirpools swirling about in one's imagination.DarkoV
Homepage 10.21.05 - 8:32 am #
Mrs Bleak gave a delghtful laugh when I told her in my most mock-scholarly tone that I was "researching the history of the garter." Later in the day, she had the benefit of my spontaneous -- and illuminating -- monologue concerning the results of that research. She did not wander off midway through my discourse, which is usually a good sign.Mrs. Bleak is quite liberal with me, and even allows me to watch R-rated movies after 9 in the evening.I will endeavor to tone down the blog for a bit, and return to our usual sober, responsible, sleep-inducing topics. I wouldn't want to attract that attention of those notoriously bluenosed Boston authorities.Then again, I've never been a cause celebre. I think that I might rather like being a cause celebre, if the legal fees are not too high.Perhaps I can get Mrs. Bleak to weigh in on this topic later. She is a semi-regular reader here, though has only commented once, many moons ago. N.P.I.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.21.05 - 12:02 pm #
BM said moons...Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.21.05 - 2:31 pm #
Yes, the "N.P.I." signifies "no pun intended," which of course translates as, "pun fully intended." But I can't use "P.F.I.," because it is very dirty.The Lads at Vivian Hall
Homepage 10.21.05 - 3:58 pm #
Miss Patricia of Bovine Village?"What's in a name? That which we call a roseBy any other word would smell as sweet." Sweet, that's me. Snort.Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.22.05 - 1:33 am #
Well, I dropped that name at the royal opera, and it impressed the self-important classes mightily. Although "Lady Patricia" might have caused some of those bejeweled binoculars to crash to the floor.Fair warning: I have pet names for all of my friends. Many of them are suitable for polite company. They change without notice."A rose is a rose is a rose." Is a rose is a rose, and that's a rose, too. Thanks for the vital info, Bill. Now go write a sonnet or something.We know you're sweet. "Sweet Pattie From Cowe"?Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.22.05 - 2:03 pm #
BM,You know what they say: If no pun's intended, then no punishment.limerick savant
Homepage 10.29.05 - 11:25 am #

10/20 B

A click on the cover reveals that the album cover is that of the "great unreleased third album" -- evidently never recorded except in bits for John Peel.Damn. I'd hoped someone had at last come up with the Holy Grail of Bonzophilia.And, yes, "Sofa Head" grooves.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 3:30 pm #
All we are saying is, give booze a chance.The Lads at Vivian Hall
Homepage 10.21.05 - 1:32 pm #

10/20 C
I am commenting on the above post here since there is no comment space there, and my comment is this: "Sofa Head" is my favorite Bonzo track (available on the Peel Sessions CD if ont, alas, on "The Brain Opera" itself.stephenesque
Homepage 10.20.05 - 9:09 am #
And before I forget, in case you didn't know - "Do Not Adjust Your Set" has been released on DVD here with all the Bonzo clips intact (the best bits of the show BY FAR).stephenesque
Homepage 10.20.05 - 9:12 am #
What an odd and disturbing ad photo.I can't imagine what Luxite thought this was to portray? As you so storied quite imaginatively, the lady in billowing chiffon seems frivolous and in bad taste next to an injured veteran who appears despondent. Makes one say, "Huh?"Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.20.05 - 11:18 am #
Dear Stephen -- I will ask brother David to check the Comments box for his posts. I haven't seen the Do Not Adjust episodes, but the criticule consensus seems to be that the Bonzo features are the highlights -- even among those who are not fans. I don't know anything about this Brain Opera CD, so I'll have to look into it.Pattie -- I think you'll agree that even many contemporary ads are frivolous and in poor taste. So are lots of fantasies. It seems to be what sells. But there is a certain charm to period fantasies -- so foreign to contemporary minds, yet so like us in many ways.It's sort of a brilliant ad in its twisted way, hitting all of the key notes -- martyrdom, patriotism, wealth, travel, high fashion. Not necessarily bad stuff to dream on if you're working in a factory or raising eight screaming kids in a tenement.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 12:00 pm #
Weel, since CP jarred open the door to Bad Taste, let me slam it wide open. The socks on the uniformed guy in the (quite) stylish yet bare wheelchair (I though Shakers only did chairs?)? They seem to be translucent, a peculiar choice and probably not within the Navy code of dress. Just an oversight? Or. A deliberate stroke of artistry by a painter who had his own axe to grind over the service? And that horizon, bereft of any ship or man-made contraption, is the color a new shade, Bleak Blue?DarkoV
Homepage 10.20.05 - 12:16 pm #
Perhaps the naval officer is also wearing Luxite Hosiery? Or -- here's a disquieting thought -- perhaps he's the only one wearing Luxite Hosiery, which gives the ad a whole new layer of significance.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 12:32 pm #
I noticed the soldier's socks, too. Reminded me of those my dad wore, "Gold" something-or-others.So, BM, where, pray tell, are the garters that go with all these wonderful Luxite hosiery?Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.20.05 - 2:23 pm #
Lord knows. I may as well research garters now -- in the days when they had a distinct utility, as opposed to today when they're merely whimsical accessories for private moments. I've surely researched more obscure things. Watch this space.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 3:20 pm #

10/20 D

Although Frog and Mouse play a splendid Mozart "Eine kleine Nachtmusik", my personal tastes leans to Brahms' "Violin Concerto".Brahms is overlooked far too often, you know.Cowtown Pattie Homepage 10.20.05 - 11:09 am #
Brahms is never overlooked by ME.I think Frog and Mouse are playing the Medtner Violin Sonata No. 1. Frog is having a very difficult time of it because of the lack of black notes, the fact that the keyboard has only one-and-a-half octaves, and also because he is a frog and has only three fingers, and is a one-handed hunt-and-pecker at that. Mouse is seriously annoyed, as he is doing about as well as one could hope with a one-stringed violin. Perhaps they should try something less challenging, like "Tea For Two."Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 12:13 pm #

For anyone who reads down this far, and who cares, I've managed to get the comments feature enabled for the Bonzo "Brain Opera" posting, directly above. Thanks to the Prisoner of Zembla for this service.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 3:24 pm #
Personally, I like the previous version of commenting where the comment referred to a different post. I think your comment in one of your previous posts on Searchie's not allowing comments which therefore allowed you only the option of self-commenting on another blogger's initial entry was inspired. I also had to sit down and fan myself as the cross-referencing got me so hot and bothered I was starting to call myself Blanche. But, you just go ahead and do what you have to do and see if it results in something do-able. Where's my mint julep?DarkoV
Homepage 10.20.05 - 3:43 pm #
Well, at one point during the evolution of this blog, I attempted to solicit comments that were ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT to the topic at hand. At length, I even began doing this myself for my own nocturnal amusement, using pseudonyms and invented correspondents. The latest example of this is the first dozen or so comments for the October 7 posting. The giveaway, apart from the random absurdity of the comments and ridiculousness of the names, is that when you put your pointer over the name, "Bleak Mouse" appears. I like to make things so that the detail-oriented will find much here to drive them mad.Stephen picked up on this, and for a bit was using pseudonyms as well.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.20.05 - 5:13 pm #

10/21 A

Monsieur Bleaque:I direct your attention to this painting:
http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2...nre/158- 035.htm François BoucherA Lady Fastening Her Garter (La Toilette), 1742From Art News:In most of his paintings, Boucher took inspiration from his wife Jean Marie … however, the only accurate portrait we have of Mme Boucher is by Roslin, who painted her when she was 45. Diderot verified the likeness of the portrait to Mme Boucher in his review of the Salon where the painting was featured.Searchy LaFemme Homepage 10.21.05 - 5:30 pm #
Ah, yes, I can "verify the likeness" as well -- as, I fear, can a few dozens of the Salon roues who took advantage of M. Boucher's singleminded devotion to his art.In a tiresome art history course of many years ago, I first learned of Boucheranfragonard, the monozygotic Siamese twin of anticipatory reaction. According to this reading, the rococo sins were prolixity, decorative sensibilities, and frivolous subject matter -- until they were replaced in the inevitable Artistic Revolution by the austere and solemn M. Jacques-Louis David, who is worthy of our admiration.Naturally, my inclinations were the other way 'round. OF COURSE.I shall save this image, and someday, some way, I will hit on a way to combine it with the absinthe picture in a posting. If you ever feel like sending along a third image just to make the task more challenging, feel free.It is all a bit of a remarkable coincidence, though, isn't it?Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.21.05 - 7:28 pm #
How curious - I also find myself a defender Faith I don't possess; and, sometimes, not a little envious of those who do find genuine comfort in it.Fcb
Homepage 10.22.05 - 1:34 am #
Curious indeed. Perhaps there are a number of us about.I'm not sure I envy the faith, but I do at times envy the comfort -- although I understand it's not a pick-and-choose deal. (And I have a certain skepticism concerning the nominally religious who claim to be licensed to choose those tenets they "agree" with.) But what continues to arouse my curiosity, and respect, is those who have thought much as I have thought, and often continue to do so, yet have arrived at a vastly different place. There are also those -- medieval scholastics, for instance -- whose thought processes are so vastly alien to mine that they become fascinating; I try to think as they think. It is quite an exercise, never entirely successful.Another, less intellectual, motive is that I just detest trendy bullies -- who think somehow that the religious are "superstitious" or "stupid" or "naive." These qualities do of course occur in all human beings, religious or otherwise, but I haven't noticed any particular lack of them among atheists.I remember a story of the philosopher Wittgenstein, a card-carrying board-certified atheist, reprimanding his logical-positivist students who were making a bit too free with their skepticism, with the sharp words, "Never mock holy things!"Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.22.05 - 2:23 am #
Weird, I mentioned Wittgenstein at TT last night... I must profess to being among the ranks of the agnostic, although I still seek the truth. Don't we all in one way or the other? I mentioned to a friend that I felt spiritual,just not religious, if that makes sense. Strange, but from even the early years of my Baptist Sunday School days, I never accepted any part of the theology. Skeptic at six...Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.22.05 - 9:56 am #
Ludwig W. was a strange case. He rejected Roman Catholocism in his youth; then he rejected the scientific-logical empiricism that he made major contributions to at Oxford, as being inadequate to experience. His writings are filled with a very odd combination of applied reason with odd twists of mysticism. Quite a tormented fellow, by all accounts.Bertrand Russell (an unrelentingly logical sort) recalls one of W.'s madly brilliant midnight monologues at his house, when W. abruptly fell silent. Russell asked him, "What are you thinking about -- logic or your sins?" Wittgenstein replied, "Both."I just stopped believing around the age you did -- the moment I stopped to think about it. It wasn't a rational moment -- just as sort of, "Naah."I was raised in a wishy-washy sort of Americanized Presbyterianism, and later Episcopalianism. The main emotional reaction I recall from church services was extreme boredom -- although many times I started out with excellent intentions. (Others, not so much.) Oddly, though, I found out that many of the other goody-twoshoes children and teens were likewise exquisitely bored; but many of them grew up to be believers, and many are bored still. So it's not in the special effects.Yes, I understand completely about the sense of the spiritual, though I am suspicious of vague doctrines, as well as peace-and-white-clouds pseudo-mysticism; they seem, to repeat Chesterton, to lead from believing nothing to believing anything.But that's me. I think that reading certain literature -- including the lovely language of the King James Bible -- and listening to some kinds of music is as close as I'll get to religious grace.As for general philsophies, color me skeptical -- healthily rather than cynically so, I like to think. But I can default to cynicism when necessary.Hey, I can almost believe when listening to Mozart's Requiem. Also (I am ashamed and puzzled to admit) certain romantic ballads by Sinatra.And some other, rather unpredictable, kinds of music.Father Bleak
Homepage 10.22.05 - 1:06 pm #
Boy, I do rattle on at times, don't I?Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.22.05 - 1:09 pm #
Of course, in the most basic sense, everyone has faith: that the sun will come up tomorrow, that the person who left the room does not cease to exist, that six is more than three. Faith is a predisposition of the soul ("mind", if you prefer), not just a habit or a technique. Religious faith is just one subcategory of faith generally; and because it is so often disappointed it is more flagging than what we might call "natural faith". It is desire trying to persevere in the presence of the absence; and as such, I can affirm that is neither comforting nor comfortable. "My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come upon me, and horror overwhelms me." This, too, is the voice of the faithful heart.David
Homepage 10.23.05 - 7:24 pm #
A belated "thank you" for this posting, Mr. Bleak. As a Believer ensconced in two families of Believers (well, three if you count our fledgling flock), I've typically found myself playing your doppelganger, articulating and defending my friends' atheistic beliefs to a living room of familiars who grow hotter and more panicked with every exchange. Fingers jab in my direction, until I finally squawk, "Look, that's not what I think! I'm just saying it's not as bad as all that!"As you suggest, when in "mixed company" I (for one) am inclined to silently listen to the almost inevitable atheistic tirades that come out. I take it as the dues expected of me, given all the shite people are expected to listen to should they ever cross the church threshold, or commit themselves further to the little classrooms in the basement. "Irrationality" is one accusation most of us can comfortably live with -- it's The Inquisition (etc.) that continues to sting. The Inquisition Card gets played, and what's a Believer to say? Little, or (better yet?), nothing.Whisky Prajer
Homepage 10.25.05 - 9:44 am #

10/21 B

f I stare intnelty enough, I still detect the outline of the dreaded but oh so desireable garter. I'm not sure which is more dangerous to one's state of mind, the outlines or the bare facts. But, I do appreciate such quick response from your Blog Customer Service Dept. Located in Bangalore, I presume?DarkoV
Homepage 10.21.05 - 2:09 pm #
Bleakus Rodentronicus, so I do affyIn thy uprightness and integrity,And so I love and honour thee and thine!Bloggers, make way. The good Rodentronicus,Patron of virtue, the Blogosphere's best champion,Successful in the battles that he fights,With honour and with fortune is return'd From where he circumscribed with his swordAnd brought to yoke the enemies of Blogs.Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.21.05 - 2:40 pm #
Lauramercy, Pattie, I'm flabberghasted. Also, flibbergibitted. Not to mention, less trivially, deeply honored. Thanks so much. I've actually had a POEM written for me. My head is swelling as I speak. Squeak.Darko -- We do not stoop so low as to export jobs at Bleak House. Nor, to be fair, do we import them. Most of our retainers have been tottering about the halls since before The Great War. God knows when they were last paid, if ever. But they're loyal, and know there's a whipping in it for them if they screw up Customer Service. Or tea service, for that matter.The Lads at Vivian Hall
Homepage 10.21.05 - 3:56 pm #
Ah me bonny lads...Egg on Pattie's face... the poem was filched and blasphemed from Willie S. (Titus Andronicus). I WISHED I could compose as well...Cowtown Pattie
Homepage 10.21.05 - 4:56 pm #
Egg on Bleak's face, for not recognizing a learned literary reference. And I did give it the monocled twice-over -- but was too eager to believe it plausible that great ladies sit about in distant lands penning verse in his honor. So it's my egg, not yours.I remain deeply thankful, though.I would say more, but the twin nieces are arriving here momentarily to celebrate their birthday, replete with cake and ice cream. (They should be undergoing sugar intoxication within the hour, with its attendant shreiks and giggles, descending forthwith into squabbles. I must take a preventative aspirin.)Off to the shower, where the dried yolk may prove a problem, even for the patented Bleak Bush.Bleak Mouse
Homepage 10.21.05 - 6:51 pm #