Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Talking about the Poor"

Erik Loomis  is right to question a speakers position: Pro? Con? In? Out? Pay Me? Bless me? or round about?

Brecht said: "First feed the face and then talk right and wrong!"

One's moral worth is best measured after dinner and the Doctor's bill is paid; Not as a ticket of admission to the hall.
--ml

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice 2013

 
Brother Heinrich mobile
Mobile: Brother Heinrich
By DJS & ml  
The English composer John Rutter delighted to tell the legend of Heinrich Susso, a 14th-century Dominican Abbot, who is credited with notating In Dulce Jubilo
One night, as Heinrich finished trampling the monastery's grapes with the help of Sigismund, the donkey, on the way to Sigismund's stable, they saw angels dancing in the sky and heard their song. Heinrich attempted to notate the song for the choir to sing at Christmas. Sigismund helped him remember the tune at a crucial point in the bridge.
We first heard this on Jurgen Goth's Disc Drive in the '80's on CBC Stereo.  Seven or eight years ago DJS knit Brother Heinrich as one of her Sillies. Now the cast is complete, ml built a mobile to display them all.  Melissa hung the mobile.
--ml

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Alas Alack a Day! Why Was I Not Invited to the Wake?

Digby posts a quote which, despite her usually persuasive prose, and without the least fault on her part, induces me to wander off her point to my own pointless weepy stuff for the English language:
Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy at Northwestern and a fan of Mr. Brown’s work, wrote in The Huffington Post that, “Project PM under Brown’s leadership began to slowly untangle the web of connections between the U.S. government, corporations, lobbyists and a shadowy group of private military and infosecurity (sic) consultants.”
When did among die?

Between thee and me
but
Among thee and me and the old bailey.

Yet here is this putative academic, with a presumable pile higher and deeper, quoted in a fileting of the language worthy of Macheath.

This is not the first time I noticed this atrocity. The first half hundred that passed barely stirred my stupor. This year's wine being altogether thinner did make it grate more thoroughly of late. Until this -- if only to belie the death of blogs -- results.
Remember, please! Connect two only with between. Conjoin all and sundry more with among!
--ml

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Forward Fulmanations

While assembling the recipes for Dum Luk's Ordinary I came across this file. It is a sketch to begin a book. But which one? The synapses issue a stale fart and inquire if any whiskey might help? I give my best rendition of a deer in the headlights in response.
This being more a writer's scrap book, or doodlewerk, I take the liberty of offering to quote myself:
Caveat 
Neither to inform nor instruct do I write. Rather I hope to share my mediocrities, triumphs, and the failures that made them both possible. This is a work of fiction. I have taken to heart the hoary mantra of Advice to Writers:Write only of what you know For years I fulminated against this as a homicide of fancy leading at best to mere journalism – and folk think me opinionated now! “Mere”, of course, meant journalism in theory, Kipling’s “who, what, where, when, why and how” purveyed by a neutral observer, not the ill-kempt, own horn sounding, condescending verbiage of modern infotainment (so little info and hardly more tainment, *sigh*). Life has beaten into me at last that what makes a writer valuable is his point of view – that is: the imagination through which the writer conceives this world. First, last and in-between a writer must study his own imagination. All that happens to him must be filtered, reduced, transmogrified in the lens and alembic of that organ. What emerges is mingled with dross. For a Shakespeare all is forgiven. The rest of us take our chances in a frequently harsh, and sometimes indulgent world, busy at telling its own story. Here you have not one, but a double-barreled blast of my current effusion. If you like it you obviously are a person of taste and discretion. If you cavil at the germ and quibble at the dross, no doubt you are a person of discernment. Please don’t tell me about the fault’s you find, I am already busy elsewhere. Instead write your own book stating your own truth. If that contradicts mine I promise I won’t bring it to your attention. If in the process you discover that picking a quarrel with me is not so important I will be pleased. You have been warned. Here goes.
"Double-barreled"? What was I thinking of?
... wanders off in a blue study
--ml

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Path

The young man
– scapegrace--
Declined chivvying
into a proper place.
Choose to drift
from space to space
into an old age
saved from disgrace
by obscurity alone.
                          --ml

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Ox and a Moron?

Halfway through the morning coffee I came across Duncan's post on the grifter society. That an arts administrator might claim a salary so far in excess of the annual budget of the small arts groups I can lay any claim to once administering boggles.

But a further thought meditated on the title Chief Executive Officer. Somewhere late in the sixties this locution became trendy, and then de riguere, in place of the title 'President'. It was part of the moves that took top management compensation into the stratosphere. It appears to be an interesting feint.

In the way of things corporate power is nominally wielded by a Board of Directors who delegate their powers to the President. The President runs the operation, with the consent of the board. The military analogue is a Captain of a ship. Said 'Captain' [a title, not necessarily a rank] may report to an Admiral, but still runs the ship.
Assisting him or her is a second in command titled The Executive Officer. Every officer aboard may execute orders, indeed, that is their function, but only one is 'The Executive Officer'.  To call him a 'Chief Executive Officer would be an offense even to the Navy's love of verbal redundance. To call the Captain a Chief Executive Officer would offer a heinous demotion insulting to military honor or gloire or some such.
So, in an epic Uriah Heap move, our quondam president offers to titularly demote himself to Chief Executive Officer for a slight increase in compensation by a power of ten, or so. And, with complete humbleness would be delighted to remove the onerous duties of Chairman of the Board from the Board's weary care including adding to their compensation and a promise to vote likewise for each Director at their own company. All CEOs together!
--ml

Friday, April 20, 2012

But, Doctor, What Is in That Coffin?

In the event, it is a century since the demise of Bram Stoker. BBC Radio 3's The Essay presents five short (fifteen minutes each) takes on the man who wrote the book that eclipsed himself and the notable Hungarian actor, Bela Lugosi.
--ml

Sunday, March 25, 2012

POV

Today's Guardian has an article about job interviewer's trick questions and riddles to winnow applicants.
Try this one. You're locked in a pitch-black, empty room with bare walls and no electric lights. You've got a book of matches, a box of tacks and a candle. How would you attach the candle to the wall for a light?
The best answer: empty the box of tacks. Take the box top, turn it upside down and tack it to the wall. The box top projects out like a little drawer. Then put a tack to attach the candle to the box's bottom. The tack's point, projecting through the box bottom, serves as a pricket. Finally, slide the box bottom into the box top on the wall. The nested top and bottom will be sturdier than either alone, and safely support the weight of the candle.
.
So that works.

If you are used to tacks distributed in full telescope boxes. (that's the kind where the bottom has sides that fit inside the sides of the top.)

In my observation, tack makers stopped using that style decades ago. The boxes cost too much and slowed processing which diminished productivity.

Reverse tuck boxes had a go. (That's the kind that is one piece and the top flap tucks into the side opposite the one it is integral to.)
These were disparaged when the blister pack appeared.

These permitted small quantity packaging in an easily handled form. Everybody appeared to win.
The customer is sold on the convenience; she can see the product, and buy as few as she needs. There is little excess to store.The blister pack's total retail cost is less than the box price.
The seller has an attractive low maintenance display which saves his clerks' time because customers find the options they desire on their own. The cards the blisters were on, make the product bulky enough to discourage shoplifting while they provide a good platform for price tags and, later, bar codes.
The maker can inflate the price per unit outrageously. The per pound price of a 100 count box might be $10 at retail. When repackaged in tens, those same fastenings might sell for $1.98 each. That makes $19.98 per hundred. The maker and seller  more than double their margins. The customer "saves" $8.00.

Neither blister packs nor reverse tuck boxes would be suitable to support the candle as the full telescopic box does. Given the difficulty I had finding the image of the telescopic box, I guess it would not be very familiar to today's job applicants.

The interviewer might think that these children just don't know as much as she did at their age. That would prove that the labor force has declined in quality?

Perhaps that is the real point?
--ml