Archive for May, 2012

Perplexidus Albion

William examined the cloth, then said, “Now everything is clear.”

“Where is Berengar?” they asked him.

“I don’t know,” he answered.

Aymaro heard him and raised his eyes to heaven, murmuring to Peter of Sant’Albano, “Typically English.”

—Umberto Eco, The Name Of The Rose


I Had A Dream I Stood Beneath An Orange Sky

(Last year’s Memorial Day piece. This year’s, too.

(for and from ala)

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Please do not forget anything that you take with you.

                                                              —automated announcement, Beijing taxicab

One of the key indicators that I do indeed too often dwell in what William Burroughs identified as “an annex of Hell” is the local radio newsperson. He labors out here in the sticks, in the near-invisible bush leagues, but he is in his heart a Fox person—his station a Fox affiliate. I suppose his way of feeling as One with those far-off Fox mandarins who don’t even know he is alive is to endeavor ebulliently al-ways to out-Fox Fox. Thus, there is nothing too mental to come out of this man’s mouth. Nothing.

This man was on the air the morning that President Obama convened his extraordinary and unprecedented press conference to Stop The Madness. Obama deploying his long-form birth certificate as a sort of seawall, to break the tsunami of maniacal jabberers roiling with Knowledge that Obama is a nefarious foreign-born Manchurian Muslim out to outrage all that is America.

This man’s radio station aired Obama’s “Yes, I Am Not A Not-Person” statement, in its entirety, live. The man himself then returned to the microphone to declaim that Obama had just said things that he had not, in fact, said. Words were put into Obama’s mouth; words were taken out of his mouth. And the sense of all these omissions and commissions was that Questions Still Remained as to whether Obama might not truly be a nefarious foreign-born Manchurian Muslim out to outrage all that is America.

It was a jaw-dropping performance. I mean, mere moments had passed since we’d heard the words from the president himself. All had been recorded; the thing itself was even then available for playback to anyone with access to an intertube. Other tubes already bore transcripts of Obama’s words. Yet this “news”man was boldly, methodically laying a track along which chugged an alternative reality.


Friends And The Devil

Work progressed at a frenetic pace. Hacks-Bataille, after liberal doses of absinthe, described his inventions to Taxil, who wrote them up and embellished them; or Bataille busied himself over details concerning medical science, the art of poisoning and the description of cities and esoteric rites that he had actually seen. Meanwhile, Taxil embroidered upon Diana’s latest delusions.

Bataille, for example, began by depicting the rock of Gibraltar as a spongy mass crisscrossed with passageways, cavities and subterranean caves where some of the most blasphemous sects celebrated their rituals, describing the Masonic antics of the Indian sects and the apparitions of Asmodeus, while Taxil gave a profile of Sophia Sapho. Having read the Dictionnaire infernal by Collin de Plancy, he suggested that Sophia had revealed that there were 6,666 legions, each legion consisting of 6,666 demons. Although he was drunk by this time, Bataille managed to work out that the total number of devils and she-devils was 44,435,556. We checked his calculation, admitting with surprise that he was right, and he banged his fist on the table and shouted, “You see then, I’m not drunk!” He was so pleased with himself that he slid under the table.

—Umberto Eco, The Prague Cemetery

Gonna Lift Me Up To That Drinkin’ Fountain

I Like Birds

Disturbance At The Heron House

George II, in one of those many moments when he veritably hooted and scratched and dragged his knuckles across the ground, memorably referred to the people of Greece as “the Grecians.”

In this, at least, he was a form of prescient.

For these days, everybody—at least out here in the West—is encouraged to look upon the Greek people as a sort of terminally de-evolved form of human, rapidly descending onto animal, one that unaccountably runs wild, burning cars and throwing stones, because purportedly Saner People want them to Pay Their Debts, and then Go Back To Their Own Good Holes.

But “the Grecians,” they were busily founding Western Civilization, way back in about the 7th Century BCE. Back when everybody else in the West was about at, well, the level of George II. And it seems to me that, in these recent days, “the Grecians” have had just about a bellyful, of a bunch of jerky-cum-latelys, hectoring them about how they should behave, some 2700 years later.

You see, the Greeks were founding Western Civilization before even there was money . . . which was invented by the Lydians, round about the same time, 7th Century BCE. But over in some other country somewhere. Not some Grecian thing at all.

For the Greeks have never really been about money. They have always been more about history, science, philosophy, drama, oracles, fate, the Olympics, burning cars in the street rather than paying taxes, and pederasty.

But they’ve had a bad couple thousand years, the Greeks, and in and among those, those bad couple millennia, money got involved.

But now, it’s clear, they’ve had enough of it.

And so, last Monday, “the Grecians” went into their banks, and withdrew some $894 million euros.

Previously, between January 2010, and March 2012, the Grecians pulled out of the banks nearly one-third of all the money, that had previously resided there.

Some hair-on-fire wild man over in Wales has subsequently ululated that “[o]ver the last two years Greeks withdrew approximately 70 billion euros from their bank accounts, an amount equivalent to approximately 35 percent of Greek GDP.”

Taking into consideration the fact that the Grecians, like all Mediterranean peoples—Spanish, Portuguese, southern French, etc.—have for forever and a day given the stink-eye to banks, preferring to keep their money in the ground, and away from the tax-man, I am estimating that well over half the money in Greece is no longer in banks, but instead in mattresses, instead in the ground, instead in some other unknown place.



Silver Springs

When I Worked

May 2012
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