Archives for October 2012

Betty’s Got a Brand New Bag

aka, The Duffer’s New Digs

Up from the comments.

Happy birthday, Boswell.

Resistance is futile.

Also Posted Without Comment

David and the Dung Beetle

For Jobe and Webb

…in all that he does he prospers.

I dance before invisible design
To find the world a rolling ball of shit
But make its mother lode of singing mine.

My feet would stamp and tamp, a tambourine
To shake the stars and make them answer what
I dance before invisible design.

The wicked walk and sinners’ stand define
What never moves. While silly scoffers sit
I make a mother lode of singing mine.

Conspire and plot beneath the sun in vain,
But purest action knows I roll with it.
I dance my own invisible design.

My feats may never meet the bottom line,
But tracing closely Eden’s rising plot
I make its mother lode of singing mine.

Let Sisyphus see toil’s anodyne
As nothing more than bloody sweat and spit –
I dance for You, invisible design,
And make your mother lode of singing mine.

So after summer, autumn makes a feint
To still an afternoon of naked trees
With tensile strength. It only fools the saint –
For we have felt the elemental breeze
That captivates the stripping act of leaves –
The ballets twirl in a furious mess.
From limbs to trunk to crotch, the plumage heaves
Its skirts like virgins dropping out of dress.

Upon the wind, the equinox enjoys
The swelling spheres of music. Perfect curves
Are tilting earthward, baring shoulders – toys
Of sun and shade. The failing daylight starves
Toward solstice – leaves the hungry eye no choice
But feasting on the famine it deserves.

Politician Apparently Unaware of Paschal Mystery

“As a pro-life Catholic, I’m stunned and ashamed that Richard Mourdock believes God intended rape,” added Indiana Democratic Party chairman Dan Parker. “Victims of rape are victims of an extremely violent act, and mine is not a violent God.”

Politician Encounters Difficulty in Explaining Mystery of Suffering

“I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”



Well, of course:

“As [Jobs’] life wound down, and cancer claimed his body, his great passion was designing Apple’s new, three-million-square-foot headquarters, in Cupertino. Jobs threw himself into the details. ‘Over and over he would come up with new concepts, sometimes entirely new shapes, and make them restart and provide more alternatives,’ Isaacson writes. He was obsessed with glass, expanding on what he learned from the big panes in the Apple retail stores. ‘There would not be a straight piece of glass in the building,’ Isaacson writes. “All would be curved and seamlessly joined. . . . The planned center courtyard was eight hundred feet across (more than three typical city blocks, or almost the length of three football fields), and he showed it to me with overlays indicating how it could surround St. Peter’s Square in Rome.’”

Do the Dung Beetle!

“…having only learned to recognize merde when I see it, having inherited no more from my father than a good nose for merde, for every species of shit that flies–my only talent–smelling merde from every quarter, living in fact in the very century of merde, the great shithouse of scientific humanism where needs are satisfied, everyone becomes an anyone, a warm and creative person, and prospers like a dung beetle…”
― Walker Percy, The Moviegoer

Prospering includes dancing, and now they’re being provided with rubbery boots made of silicon for some relief from their strenuous exertions.

“Dung beetles are the first example of an insect using a mobile, thermal refuge to move across hot soil,” researcher Jochen Smolka, a neuroethologist at Lund University in Sweden, told LiveScience. “Insects, once thought to be at the mercy of environmental temperatures, use sophisticated behavioral strategies to regulate their body temperature[s].”

The researchers discovered that beetles on hot soil climbed onto their excrement balls seven times more often than when on cooler ground. When the researchers painted rubbery boots made of silicone onto the legs of the insects to protect them from the heat, “beetles with boots on climbed their balls less often,” Smolka said. The scientists think the insects get on top of dung when it gets hot to give themselves a respite from scorching sands and help protect their brains from overheating.

I look forward to seeing kids imitate the dung beetle in discotheques all over the world. And I suppose we can now refer to the 21st century as the Great Discotheque of Scientific Humanism.

Read the straight poop at Live Science.

Real is the New Fake

Balance out your prostrations with some power poses.


Someone we know was and possibly still is in France. I was there once long ago, too, but this song is all I need to know about it now.

Homily Hangman


My daughter and I played a couple of rounds of hangman during the homily at mass on Sunday.

Today in Barn

Cletus is passing by Billy Bob’s hay barn one day when, through a gap in the door, he sees Billy Bob doing a slow and sensual striptease in front of an old John Deere tractor.

Buttocks clenched, he performs a slow pirouette, and gently slides off first the right strap of his overalls, followed by the left. He then hunches his shoulders forward and in a classic striptease move, lets his overalls fall down to his hips, revealing a torn and frayed plaid shirt.

Then, grabbing both sides of his shirt, he rips it apart to reveal his stained T-shirt underneath. With a final flourish, he tears the T-shirt from his body, and hurls his baseball cap onto a pile of hay.

Having seen enough, Cletus rushes in and says, “What the world’re ya doing, Billy Bob?”

“Good grief, Cletus, ya scared the bejeebers out of me,” says an obviously embarrassed Billy Bob.

“But me’n the wife been havin trouble lately in the bedroom d’partment, and the therapist suggested I do something sexy to a tractor.”

Le Blog de Jean-Paul Sartre

A little existentialism from the New Yorker. My favorite:

Monday, 27 July, 1959: 4:10 A.M.
Lunch with Merleau-Ponty this afternoon in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. I was disturbed to hear that he has started a photoblog, and skeptical when he told me that although all its images are identical—a lonely kitten staring bleakly into space as rain falls pitilessly from an empty sky—he averages sixteen thousand page views per day. When I asked to see his referrer logs, he muttered evasively about having an appointment with an S.E.O. specialist and scurried away.

So this is hell.

Basically me looking at Potter, back when I used to post at the Quotidian. Back when, you know, I used to post at all.

Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, call your office for your new brand…

More history-for-hispters coolness here.

h/t Althouse.

Where Sleeping Dogs Give the Lie

The dog of faith curled herself around our house,
Irreplaceable as the light only
October sheds, that desperate month which counts
Darkness by its end, going as far as any month
Will go to dilute seasons into days.

The dog of hope grew for spring and the rabbits vanished,
Disappearing one by one, day by day,
Through sunlit cracks in the rose bush, circumventing
The rain- and hoof-rutted cow paths, parting seas
Of alfalfa and cowslips into pastured abyss.

But love’s a dog that whimper-grunts in her sleep.
We heard her clear as light from that old lamp
You bought at auction from the neighboring sorrows
Of a failed farm. Its light shed differences.
In our room – its glow lost nothing between darkness

And absence, splintering walls into shadows
And trapping moist eyes like stars alert with distance.
That Indian summer evening outside our window,
Farmland’s proximate darkness
Spreading its old throw rug around her, she grew deaf

To moonshine and growled a drowsy anthem
To runaway dreams. Snapping judgments at ghosted hares,
Did she feel the jugular breath of acres,
The pulse of territory marked,
Pressing her movements beyond instincts?

In our own sleep we knew she was running now –
Desperate to unearth her bit of anonymous dirt,
The unspeakable plot in a fallow hayfield,
Where she catches her animal need in terminus,
The wilderness patch our children would soon

Forget like undergrowth slowly maturing
To overwhelm the play of their forest paths.
So busy with their own unrepentant growth,
They look on blindly at such remote finalities,
As if outrun by love’s four legs, too late to find

The buried bones that leave a sleeping dog to lie.