Archives for February 2009

What are we doing, in terms of research, to deal with the possibility of a large asteroid heading our way?

I received my earliest religious instruction from my Grandfather, who rather cheerfully explained the coming Apocalypse to me on our way to Kingdom Hall. A few years later I did a little research on my own by reading The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsay. This may help you understand why the title of this post is for me no minor question.

The California Literary Review has a great interview with Philip Plait, author of Death From the Skies! and the blog Bad Astronomy. Wouldn’t you know, Bruce, Ben and Billy Bob got most of the science wrong in Armageddon; the good news is that real scientists like Professor Plait are taking the threat seriously.

Today in Porn, Queasy-Making Edition

The Onion has always been the gold standard for porn commentary; your humble host is just a jester to the king on that one. Their latest is no exception, though I imagine any number of decent-minded people will not want to read it. The headline: ” Japan Pledges To Halt Production Of Weirdo Porn That Makes People Puke.” Proceed with caution.

UPDATE: So why post it at all? Because of a bit like this: “I’ve seen about a million of these films, and each one is worse than the next,” Portugal’s José Randulfo told reporters… “The doctors say it may take months before I remember what normal genitals look like, and even longer before I remember how they are intended to function.” Porn rubbing up against nature, anyone?

“What happens when the poet has a superfluity of daughters to get the better of his superannuated heart…”

Or: Passing the time when baby, it’s cold outside.

Birthday Haiku

Rufus shelves books in
stacks; buffers life’s cruel rule: to
Live is to Suffer.

The Fate of Humor.

Original price: $39.95.

Because we never have weather in San Diego (at least, not that we’ll admit to), I found this compelling enough to photograph through my windshield.

I’ll be honest: that doesn’t really come as much of a surprise. But what worries me is the monk’s robe. What up with that?

What Death is For.

Death has been much on my mind of late – even more than usual. So maybe there’s a providence that shapes our websurfing. Here is First Things editor Jody Bottum on mortality.

(Special self-loathing bonus for your host: early on, he refers to journalism as not so much a career as it is a character defect.)

Birthday Haiku

There once was a fellow named Jon
Who once lit a fire on the lawn
Upon which he threw
Everything that he knew
And wished for the coming of dawn.

The Godsbody What Now?

Finished a draft. Whoo-hoo!

Novelist and Poet Roberto Bolaño in n+1

Roberto Bolaño, a Spanish author (Chilean, Mexican – the Spanish language seems to be the best description of his nationality) died in 2003, but has lately received a lot of attenion for the posthumously published 2666. Including this article in the muy hip magazine n+1. I’ve read very little of Bolaño, although this article makes me want to read more. But it isn’t necessary to have read Bolaño for these sentences from the article to ring a bell:

Considered simply as a job, writing is erratically paid but with flexible hours: potentially not so bad, especially with the hedge funds laying everybody off. But as a vocation? Look around, and all you see is literature and publishing faltering in tandem. People read less and less; worse yet, they’re right to. It’s clear that, besides the occasional small or large check, most writers—ourselves included—write out of vanity and compulsion. One believes in being a writer more, it seems, than in writing. What is it, again, you once had to say? And who, supposedly, wanted to hear it?


The Ten Commandments Revisited

(1) Just one God.
(2) Put nothin’ before God.
(3) Watch yer mouth.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin’.
(5) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(6) No killin’.
(7) No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal.
(8) Don’t take what ain’t yers.
(9) No tellin’ tales or gossipin’.
(10) Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff.

Purportedly from: Cross Trails Church in Gainesboro, TN

Today in Porn, Words Fail Me Edition

Available here.

And while I’m at it: a link to the (NSFW) trailer for Burning Passion, a film about a guy who ejaculates fire. Naturally, he winds up murdering prostitutes and becoming a priest. A truly remarkable bubbling up from the swampy cultural id. Viewer discretion is advised.

Depression Expression

I was speaking with a friend the other day about the place of poetry in our lives, which got me thinking about Percy’s thought about how the expression of depression might lead to a reversal of depression (I’ll leave it to Rufus to find us chapter and verse). And in fact the word “expression” actually derives from the Latin “exprimo”, meaning “to press out, force out, squeeze forth”. Which might equally apply to certain scatalogical functions and such fine verse as this:

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

~ Philip Larkin

Not sure if Percy ever read Larkin. Maybe Rufus can dig that up for us as well. As I remarked to my friend, Philip Larkin (or this poem) strikes me as a perfect specimen of mid-century-middle-class-white-guy-possessed-by-Original-Sin-via-Freud type of thinking. Which is not to say there isn’t some truth to it.

Apologies to all the parents out there. Especially mine.


Michael Dubruiel, husband to Friend of Godsbody Amy Welborn, has died.

Prayer is the beginning.

The Next is Silence

So says Variety:

Martin Scorsese is determined to make “Silence” his next movie. The helmer and Graham King’s GK Films are negotiating with Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro to star. Gael Garcia Bernal is also circling the film, expected to begin production later this year in New Zealand.

I guess now I’m gonna have to read it. Or maybe not! Let me quote my dear brother-in-law, a great fan of movie adaptations: “I saw that book.”

p.s. I was once told that Endo’s Scandal, a book I admired and which really needs its own Today in Porn entry, was intended as a kind of companion piece to Silence. Yes, no?

From the YouTube Music Video Archives: Die Mensch Ma(s)chine by Kraftwerk

If you’re able to make it past the two-minute mark, I have a couple of questions for you. One, why is “Machine” sometimes spelled with an “s” before the the “c”? Why do those people clapping hands refuse to follow the (painfully simple) rythym of the electronic drum machine? Are they picking up on microrythms (or whatever it is they’re called) of the keyboards? Are they just high? Is it possible that Ralf, Henning, Fritz and Stefan don’t understand how creepy red, white and black shapes consisting of 90° angles is extremely creepy, especially as it accompanies German spoken before an audience of thousands, mesmerized into a state of trance? And what exactly does “über ding” mean?

These guys are getting old. Older than me. But if that isn’t enough Kraftwerk for you, here’s Elektro Kardiogramm:

So much more healthy.