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JOB I ain’t

Look, some people write epic, and some people write doggerel, and then there are some people who aren’t even Irish, so what do you know? Anyway, there was a gathering last night, and there was some Mexican whiskey at the gathering, and there was a great deal of singing, and so naturally, I wrote a song. Apologies, of a sort, to the English in the room. Sung, more or less, to the tune of, “Whiskey, You’re the Devil.”

Oh the English kicked our asses
For seven hundred years
But we have fairer lasses
And we have darker beers
So let them have the courthouse
And let them take the square
And we’ll go back to our house
And take some comfort there

 

Oh, the English fog is yellow
And the English heart is pale
If your friend’s an English fellow
Then your friendship’s sure to fail
So we’ll pay their English taxes
And we’ll speak their English tongue
But when their grip relaxes
Then will Irish songs be sung

 

Oh if I were born in England
I wouldn’t stay at home
I’d get right out of England
And to Ireland I would roam
So for all the English bastards
I feel pity more than scorn
Who wouldn’t be a bastard
If in England he was born?

 

If you have to say it…

IMG_0321

Gerasene ’17: The Kollektiv at Notre Dame

4a52b04c-9854-4f8d-857b-c68d95a89614-002[Image: the Mississippi gravesite of Senator LeRoy Percy, Walker Percy’s uncle.]

CONFIRMED: Two [hopefully three] members of the Korrektiv as panelists at this summer’s Trying to Say “God”: Re-enchanting Catholic Literature, June 22-24 at the University of Notre Dame. Rally, Korrektiv, rally!

Consolations


(Interview gets going around four minutes in.)

Every now and then, I smile at the thought of Evelyn Waugh’s happy death at the end of an increasingly unhappy life: on Easter Sunday, after attending Mass in the ancient form which he preferred (as he preferred all things that smacked of permanence and eternity), and on the pot. Heaven and earth, the sublime and the ridiculous, rational and animal, the call of supernature and the call of nature – and so on.

Possible opening shot for Love in the Ruins

Tonight, it struck me that the novel might be filmed in the manner of David Lynch, with an emphasis on the weirdness and horror lurking at the edges of things.

Open on a close shot of Samantha’s deformed face: “The neuroblastoma had pushed one eye out and around the nosebridge so that Samantha looked like a two-eyed Picasso profile.” Her eyes are closed, but it’s only when the camera starts to swing around and pull back that we realize she is in a casket.

The camera completes its swing and comes to rest on Dr. Tom More, who is kneeling at the casket and looking down at his daughter. His expression contains all the complicated emotions of the following passage:

I wonder: did it break my heart when Samantha died? Yes. There was even the knowledge and foreknowledge of it while she still lived, knowledge that while she lived, life still had its same peculiar tentativeness, people living as usual by fits and starts, aiming and missing, while present time went humming, and foreknowledge that the second she died, remorse would come and give past time its bitter specious wholeness. If only— If only we hadn’t been defeated by humdrum humming present time and missed it, missed ourselves, missed everything. I had the foreknowledge while she lived. Still, present, time went humming. Then she died and here came the sweet remorse like a blade between the ribs.

But is there not also a compensation, a secret satisfaction to be taken in her death, a delectation of tragedy, a license for drink, a taste of both for taste’s sake?

It may be true. At least Doris said it was. Doris was a dumbbell but she could read my faults! She said that when I refused to take Samantha to Lourdes. Doris wanted to! Because of the writings of Alexis Carrel and certain experiments by the London Psychical Society, etcetera etcetera. The truth was that Samantha didn’t want to go to Lourdes and I didn’t want to take her. Why not? I don’t know Samantha’s reasons, but I was afraid she might be cured. What then? Suppose you ask God for a miracle and God says yes, very well. How do you live the rest of your life?

Samantha, forgive me. I am sorry you suffered and died, my heart broke, but there have been times when I was not above enjoying it.

Is it possible to live without feasting on death?

More crosses himself, rises, and the camera follows him as he walks down the aisle between the rows of chairs in the funeral parlor. Doris is in the front row. More pauses when he reaches her, his eyes pleading: Why did you insist on the open casket?

Doris senses the unasked question, and retorts, “I want everyone to see what a loving God you’ve got there.”

Defeated, More continues down the aisle and out into the vestibule, where he takes out a flask and knocks back a hefty snort. He closes his eyes. The camera continues out the door to the immaculate exterior of the funeral home. But as it heads for the ground, we see a crack running the concrete walkway — and pushing up through the crack, an ominous sprouting vine.

 

“…to the last syllable of recorded time.”

copyHeath Ledger’s Joker performs Macbeth’s “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…” for a captive and humiliated Batman at the most recent iteration of Cherie Peacock’s Shakespeare Party, held at the La Mesa home of Tim and Roisin O’Neill.

The Last Word on Silence

…comes from my dear brother, and can be found over at Artefact.

Nasty enough for Waugh?

A diligent striver at an office seeks to rise through sheer effort, despite the lackadaisical behavior of his fellow team members. He does great work, but the hours spent covering for everyone else’s sloth cause him to develop serious carpal tunnel syndrome. As a result, he is unable to grip things without considerable pain. The boss takes notice of his tremendously good work, and calls him in to congratulate him. But at the end of the meeting, the man’s handshake is, of course, painfully weak (and also just painful to the man himself, who winces visibly). The boss, who had been thinking of promoting the guy, begins to wonder if he’s really management material. For that matter, maybe it’s not him who’s doing such great work. Maybe it’s that fellow he works with, who always appears so fresh-faced and cheerful…

Images: one of these things is not like the others…

…one of these things/ doesn’t belong…

WARNING: Graphic, unpleasant images after the jump…

[Read more…]

Rejected New Yorker cartoons dept.

Photo on 8-11-14 at 4.39 PM