My great and precious friend Amy made a recent entry about guitar faces. She suggested we visit the link to see more faces. So i did. This one in particular, er, struck a chord. I mean, what the fuck? Have a look. Now have another look. These guys are Scandinavian, right?
Friday, June 30, 2006
Check out the knobbly club on that guy. Also, check out his clubby knob. Nobody knows from whence he came, but his priapism's lasted at least 400 years. The barren would lie together on his shlong, rumour stating it would induce fertility. This is yet another Dorset heirloom, cut into the chalk that lies maybe a foot or two beneath the undulating downs. For generations, people have been declaring 'let's have a pricknic on the Cerne Abbas Giant this Sunday'. You cannot see him from space, as Google Earth's resolution is decidedly poor on this segment of the UK. I think it is very important to note that Church parishes would crop up close to pagan symbols like this. The reasons are manifold. Predominantly: 1) The Church knew the psychological importance of semiotic assimilation. The Devil was cunningly given hooves to wear to spite the pagan symbols (eg. Pan the faun). Father Christmas (Old Saint Nick) was originally a wayward spirit who'd actually loot your house, not leave gifts. The pentagram, a smear campaign against factions, both Christian and not. 2) There is power in them old hills. Cathedral's were engineered to resonate: to project; to thrum with reamplified energy; to exhalt. Beyond their stalwart import and awe, they are calculated to hum human. Churches and abbeys and cloisters, on the other hand, were used as taps to a pre-existing and natural resonance. To appeal to the Folk, you must control the source. Only then can you direct the flow.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Odds and Sods
- Girls go through toilet paper like albinos go through aloe vera.
- On windy days, I fart alot. Is this a form of repressurization?
- On still days, I fart alot. When a butterfly flaps its wings...
- InFringement's Car Stories is the only 'play' to ever get kicked out of the Fringe Fest. This year, they didn't have a car (not that you'd ever really want to be driven anywhere by a Miami lounge lizard) and picked you up at Biftek. Amy and Steve went on a happening (?) with them. The mise en scene: the space on St. Laurent between Biftek and Miami.
- 'Azim' means 'fantastic' in Arabic.
- Rebecca, my sister's name:
fem. proper name, biblical wife of Isaac, mother of Jacob and Esau, from L.L. Rebecca, from Gk. Rhebekka, from Heb. Ribhqeh, lit. "connection" (cf. ribhqah "team"), from Semitic base r-b-q "to tie, couple, join" (cf. Arabic rabaqa "he tied fast"). Rebekah, form of the name in Authorized Version, was taken as the name of a society of women (founded 1851 in Indiana, U.S.) as a complement to the Odd Fellows.
- Theoretically, in a fight between Bruce Lee and a silverback gorilla, Chuck Norris would win.
- This is the third day in a row that my right thumb (my favourite) has been asleep. After all that Mario Kart 64 in the mid-90s, after countless doobs, all those remote detonators pushed, after giving me a means to converse semi-sensibly with Michelle O'Bradovich's Dad in '95, you are really starting to oppose me now as well. Thumb, I bite my thumb at you.
- Grace and Beauty. You are my hiccough and harlet. Why do you run? We know each other.
- Moonfleet, by J. Meade Falkner. Set in the Fleet and Chesil Beach of Dorset in the 18th century, it is a tale of high adventure. If you ever find yourself 8 years old, read this book.
- A colloquialism I picked up recently: 'work'
- Ever notice how chewing-gum these days (working on the Chiclets model) resembles the exposed surface of an idealized top-front incisor?
- The world's biggest raindrop fell near Hilo, Hawaii. It only measured 8mm or 1/3 inches across.
- This time last year, when I was on Vancouver Island, I was taken crab and prawn fishing by my UK fisherman friend Jay. He told me a story: One time, on the piss in Soho, London, one of Jay's mates bet him he wouldn't climb a streetlamp (they are stubby there, and have crossbars), hang upside down and try to wizz into a bottle. Sure enough, he monkeyed up, hung upside down from his knees and started to pee. He heard an 'ahem' and opened his eyes to focus on an upsidedown policeman with his hands on his hips. His friends had all buggered off. Jay wasn't charged (strange, as London's by-laws probably include such absurd infractions), but I wonder now if there isn't a bobby out there who tells this story to this day. Jay likes to pee. As we were out in Brentwood Bay, he peed over the side of his boat maybe 4 times. Each time saying 'brr, the water's chilly' and chuckling. I peed once, and tried to top him by asking if he'd seen me on the SONAR. Later on we squeamishly chopped live crabs in half on his driveway. It was a good day.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I'd used Google Earth before, but only really as a type of party curiousity and icebreaker. Today, Saint John da Baptist's, I hunkered down with aching temples to really spin the world. It was enthralling. I zipped over the two places I'd lived in Oakville, my Mum's place on Vancouver Island (a cargo loading jetty, a local landmark that prongs out from the Cowichan Bay estuary, can be seen from 50 miles up and maybe more if Saltspring Island's titletab hadn't blocked it off) and then tried to have a look at me here (cloudy). Then I dug a little: had a few ganders at Al Iskandariyah (Alexandria.. who's reading Justine then?) and Cairo, the Grand Canyon (there's a crazy camera 'tilt' function that'll let you handglide over the topography. Dynamite) and London. I was amazed at how quickly I found my old house. And so then I went deeper, to look at where I lived when I was five. A county on the south of England called Dorset, it's well-known for its rural, growly dialect (commonly associated with pirates -- for a quick e.g., today's subject heading is the Dorset motto) and gentrified seaside holiday towns. Read: retirement. Portland, mid-Dorset, was a major mustering base for the Allied ships in preparation for D-Day. My mum worked there as a teacher in the 80's. She said the kids talked like the howling wind (it's built on a rocky bluff). Anyway, the view from space flinted another ember of memory: something that isn't too uncommon on the Downs (the rolling hills that 'become' the chalky cliffs). When walking there, on cliff trails admidst the gorse bushes and sheep-cropped grass tufts, you can find yourself sitting down in utter surprise at the realization that you just crested not a hill, but a 5,000 y.o. Bronze Age fortification, or even barrows (burial mound). And the awareness will creep over and thrill you as you scan the chiefdom that once was, likely overlooking the sea. Sometimes, usually a way inland (the only ones I ever saw were in wooded areas) you could stumble across a small stone circle. On Google, I saw a few forts (one just south of Dorchester, if you have Google Earth and want to check it out. It looks like a pair of rippled hills) and checked out Salisbury (Sarum) to see Stonehenge (great zoom on that one, so much so, you see its long morning shadows). I could go on about Dorset for hours, instead I'm going to get this red hot laptop off my junk. Arrr.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
I just gave myself a friggin headache.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Tired of the metrosexual shmooze image yet? Fey guys in ties with soft hands out-cooling you in front of the dames? Sculpted eyebrows? Dandied hair? Delicate affectations? Well, fuck them. Try 'swamposexuality'. Basically, you dig in mud a lot, tout unidentifiable lacerations and stain smears, trip over your toenails, talk to everybody you can, see hyperhidrosis for the artform it is, eat maybe once a day, climb tall stuff to roar down from, vote NDP and occasionally carry women off into the woods. Although, if you can get him, apparently Batman's up for some Swampcore too. Swampcore!
Monday, June 12, 2006
My other run-in with cheese today was when Sophie Of Tim Horton's snuck philly cheese into my bagel when I had to downgrade my cheesy $1.59 order to no-cheesy $1.19 for lack of funds. Thank you Sophie.
I think Graham went to Cowichan Bay with his Mum this weekend. This is where my Mum lives, and I do hope they all got to meet. G's next off to Edmonton to visit Lindz and Ruth.
I had a fantastic weekend, topped off with Lasting Sleep Deprivation, which left me a bit gormless today. As Steve and I were coming back down the mountain (I'm really getting so fed up of Tom and Steve gay jokes.. we were only fishing) we met with Nina and Lori. I'd never met Lori before, but it turned out she was Lori Braun, director of a film named Pantychrist about an all-girl group named Pantychrist (I almost asked what form the stigmata would take, but held my tongue). I was thrilled, as I'd heard much about Lori. She had heard nothing about me, and wondered how long I had known Steve. I answered: 'We're not gay.' Then, over sangria, she told us about a brief relationship she'd had with a lucky geezer with the name Hugh-John. I'll say it again: Hugh-John. And then other stuff happened. It was an excellent Sunday.
- Where does one end and the other begin?
- "I'll Call it Monica.. heeh heeh."
- When John Stewart's scriptwriters dream:
- The Presidental Hardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey
- Political Pop Quiz: how many Turkeys?
- Where's Cheney When You Really Need Him?
- Putting the W into a "fowl pecker"
A dear friend revealed that one of her middle names is "Cockayne". I went 'hmmm' and promptly coopted it as a possible source for my last name. Until that moment, the best I'd heard was that my name (Corcoran) meant 'purple face'. I think I'd much prefer to be known as Tom Utopia than Tom High-Blood-Pressure, but then again, genealogical similitude is a tough bugger to defy.
Friday, June 09, 2006
As I walk along the shore of the Red Sea at dawn a hundred pale pink crabs scuttle carefully back across and into the white sand. Behind a sharp crust of coral a rock crab, seaweed-green edged with red, pries the back of a sand crab and feeds. It is not so easily frightened and merely watches me. There are tiny porcelain-blue crabs in the mangroves a few mile south, popping out of the dense muddy quicksand like living jewels.
In this harsh environment life itself is a gorgeous miracle, coming out of the barren desert, out of the bitter sea: hals, the sea of salt.
Above the tide line the sand is crusted over with glass, hard-surfaced and brittle like frosting sugar. It snaps into square panes of rock. Rocks flecked electric blue-green with what became copper here wash down in the mountain floods. Walking in these hills I am looking at visual puns. I can see how readily the creatures translate, were translated long ago, into thought and language. What is lost is a sense of their intense beauty, that they are alive.
Words begin as description. They are prismatic, vehicles of hidden, deeper shades of thought. You can hold them up at different angles until the light bursts through in an unexpected colour. The word carries the living thing concealed across millenia.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
c.1225, from Anglo-Norm. chere "the face," from O.Fr. chiere, from L.L. cara "face," from Gk. kara "head," from PIE base *ker- "head." Already by M.E. meaning had extended metaphorically to "mood, demeanor, mental condition" as reflected in the face. Could be in a good or bad sense ("The feend ... beguiled her with treacherye, and brought her into a dreerye cheere," "Merline," c.1500), but positive sense has predominated since c.1400. Meaning "shout of encouragement" first recorded 1720, perhaps nautical slang (earlier "to encourage by words or deeds," c.1430). Cheer up (intrans.) first attested 1676. Cheers as a salute or toast when taking a drink is British, 1919. Cheerleader first recorded 1903, Amer.Eng. Cheerful is from c.1400.
This is all well and good, highly likely, but a little too indirect (afterall, this is drinking terminology). I heard, that clinking glasses and saying cheers originated from the custom of actually pouring a part of your drink into another's before quaffing it. A gesture of "well met", whether you're afraid of poison, or just a means to share your symbolic wealth with the other etc. I propose then that 'cheers' is more a bastardization or drunken truncation of the possible phrase "to you", which in days of yore'd sound more like "t'youse", which could readily sound like 'cheers'. I get this line of thinking from comparison to other greetings, such as 'goodbye', which is a compound of "God be with you".
Regardless, sober cheersing is rampant, and must be squelched! I don't want to be toasted as if we met and shared special time and bummed smokes off each other and danced to the Beegees and asserted our mutual, undying friendship by someone I only held a door open for once.
These days I say 'ta' a lot. Which generally people don't understand, so I have to follow it up with a quick 'thanks'. Also, Ted Danson is a dildo.
i had also wondered about entopy as being significant, but i think more as a 'wow, crazy that my body is as attracted to itself as it so as i don't fall apart' kinda way. yay life. thanks for engaging that house of mirrors of a post.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
I thought about how happy I was, and put it down to a renaissance of sorts. I'd always imagined happiness to be some hidden state of return, to innocence, if you will. I decided amist the watery mist that I was ready for more responsibility and that I'd start by learning Arabic. Little did I know how quickly the chance for this would manifest.
A deeply tanned young man with a cast on his right arm approached me. He was obviously distraught, and seemed to need something. This is not abnormal in the park, so though wary, I obliged. He asked me if I was Canadian, which usually requires a longish answer, though the answer I gave was 'yes'. His relief was palpable. He told me he'd just returned from serving with the 22nd Regiment, the Grenadiers, in Afghanistan, and needed to talk to a Canadian. He said noone else would give him the time, and all his family here had asked him to leave, for an emotional sojourn. He called it a pilgrimage. And then he broke down. I hugged this stranger for a while, silently weeping myself, and said 'welcome home'. He said I had been waiting for him, to give him water in the desert. His name is Eric LeBeouf
As he told it, he'd been captain of a platoon of predominantly Quebecois soldiers, and had lost 4 of his men on a confidential mission as coordinated with MI6. During one event, they'd been pinned down in a shallow colvert for a day, bullets zinging right over their noses (they had to lie on their backs). At one juncture, when the shots seemed to have lulled, he'd instructed a man to look right while he looked left. When he looked back, the soldier's head was cocked towards him, blood seeping from where he'd been shot in the eye. This was LeBeouf's last straw: as captain, he said he was under immense pressure trying to balance his emotions whilst remaining strong for those under his command. He asked for sick leave and was refused. So he found a wall and broke his arm on it. He was sent home in a Goliath, with a temporary cast to help relieve pressure from atmospheric swelling. He brought his wife and kids home with him.
I asked about them, wanting to divert some of his attention back to what his life holds now. This primed another story: I don't know to what capacity they were there, but his command were running operations in Algeria, and were sent into a town for a recon sweep before a supply convoy went through. They spotted militants, and so fired warning shots to disperse the crowd. The town scattered, but the claps shocked one poor old blighter so much, he feel from a balcony and shattered his femur. Now, Eric is a field medic, and feels a true conflict between being both a warrior and a healer, he invokes the catchphrase 'hippocratic oath' much. So, tending to this unconscious man on the spot, he recognized that the bone had pushed out towards his inner thigh, and was resting against this man's major artery. He took off his rucksack, giving it to his translator, and lifted the old man onto his back. He potato sacked this guy for fifty-two kilometers (!!?) to fall down face first inside a family's threshold. He was awoken by water being dripped onto his face, and saw he was being attended to by a young Muslim woman. He rested at this woman's house with the blessing of her father, as miraculously, the 73 year-old man he'd just saved turned out to be her grandfather. One night she slipped into his bed, and he said he could smell she was ready. 9 months later she gave birth to their first child, Daphne. At this, I burst into tears. It is one of the more beautiful things I've heard in a long time.
After some trepidation, and conferring with Armand, introducing Grae and Ian to him, and struggling with the due suspicions that Steve invoked, I made a bed for him on my couch and went out for a beer. I came back in to see that he had opted to sleep on the floor. Both Eric and I needed each other, I needed to commit to this leap of faith and to just believe (I don't usually pick up men in the park). He needed water in the desert.
He asked me, in case of him ever being shipped back to war, to keep attentive of his wife and children. I said I'd love to meet them and perhaps spend time together, as obviously coming to Canada would be a culture shock. Eric said his wife would teach me Arabic.
My mind is still agog.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
the best i can do right now is point-form.
on my weekly visit to SW Welch's, there it was sitting, the alexandria quartet. it's quite an amazing book, i've been looking for a copy that met my budget for over a year. i discovered that i have a fascinating new super power: i can tell if ladies' have moustaches from any distance (before i could only tell if a stranger had recently shaved his long-term moustache. the phantom 'stache. what a shame.) my heart seems to be racing, as if i'm thrilled by life, and i was today reminded about the time my dad told me that when young, he used to fall in love a lot. there's some kind of MSG that's been added to my music collection, and, like a drunk fatass waking up with half a shish taouk in his lap, i've met a few mornings cuddling my computer. someone told me i had beautiful eyes in accented, awkward english. as a compliment, it really does work. i've been meeting some fantastic people, quite randomly and outside of convention. my foosball game is weak right now. but i think the fact that i don't really care is more telling. i caught a cold from the storm that rattled a couple of the days this week, and i'm enjoying that too.
maybe i'm just sleep deprived, but it's been a wonderous past few days.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
When I bought this album, I was 15, and I did not 'get it'. I sat out in our rental car, listening to this on the tape deck. Because we were in England, it was raining.
I didn't touch them much in the next few years, and molested myself through the age with the likes of Prodigy and Daft Punk and the Chemical Brothers. But I had no idea of the power and concepts sequestered away in the subterranean strata of this album. It is no understatement to say that this has been the biggest musical influence on my life. Considering it took me roughly 4 years to understand it (I was a 'natural' electro-head for about the same length of time) and a few big spliffs, it isn't readily relayable to others.
Some call it polyrhythmic, like a choose your own adventure of dance. Some call it IDM (intelligent dance music). It's beyond that, it's more like an exercise in enlightenment. How they successfully ran an axis of mesopotamian sound through the viscera, or found such stutter-step drums still confounds me. My enthusiasm grows every day for these pioneers. When people ask me what my favourite food is, I reply: The Black Dog_Spanners. When the album exhausts itself, I just start it again. This is one of the very few seminal electronic albums and I would wager it would change anyone who listened to it. The name's also a wonderful euphemism for depression.
The Black Dog, Shpongle, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Freeworm, Pink Floyd, Daft Punk, Jane's Addiction, David Bowie, Chemical Brothers, Led Zepplin, Rush, Tool, White Zombie, The Flaming Lips, The Prodigy, Amon Tobin, AC/DC, Pantera, Nine Inch Nails, Donovan, Paradise Frame, Radiohead, The Raincoats, Kissing the Pink, Gomez, Mr Oizo, Kraftwerk, Primal Scream, The Smiths, Of Montreal, Thomas Dolby, Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Goldie, Suns of Arqa, Ishq, Kid Koala, Smashing Pumpkins, Gary Numan, Bluetech, Ozzy Osbourne, A Tribe Called Quest, Boards of Canada, Mix Master Mike, De La Soul, The Cure, Gustav Holst, Philip Glass, Bonobo, Freestylers, Bjork, Blur, Elastica, The Clash, The Police, Sergei Rachmaninov, Suba, The Velvet Underground, Black Grape, DJ Hype, Qbert, B12, Billy Idol, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Decemberists, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Legion of Green Men, Massive Attack, Tricky, Mum, KRS One, RJD2, Les Jardiniers, The Who, Pulp, Art of Noise, Plaid, Aphex Twin, Hive, Blackalicious, Roots Manuva, DJ Shadow, Crystal Method, Fat Boy Slim, Godspeed You Black Emperor, KMFDM, Ultravox, Weezer, Sigur Ros, Alice in Chains, Rage Against the Machine, Chopin, Deltron 3030, Adham Sheikh, Metallica, Veruca Salt, The Doughboys, Enya, The Herbaliser, Two Lone Swordsmen, Neil Young, Super Furry Animals, Brian Eno, James, Kool Keith, Ministry, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Petra Haden, Rammstein, Ennio Morricone, Salif Keita, Minotaur Shock, Prefuse 73, Magnetic Fields, Orange Juice, Hieroglyphics, Sneaker Pimps, Echo & The Bunnymen, cLOUDEAD, Marilyn Manson, Public Enemy, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, Howie B, Prince, Blondie, Lush, Love and Rockets, Lo-Fidelity Allstars, Raezel, The Fiery Furnaces, Kate Bush, Yes, 2 Unlimited, Talvin Singh, Bill Laswell, Mr. Bungle, Nirvana, A Guy Called Gerald, Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, Saul Williams, sCISSOR sISTERS, King Tubby, Luciano, Peter Gabriel, Nina Simone, Cat Stevens, ooioo, Luke Vibert, New Order, The Beastie Boys, Nils Petter Molvaer, The Cars. . .