This time it’s arterial…
This time it’s arterial…
At the very end of Lent 2012, the six members of the Korrektiv Kollektiv received, as a gift from Matthew Lickona, cartoon portraits from the pen of the wonderful Daniel Mitsui. What Mitsui memorialized in those small and startling figures, with unobtrusive allusiveness and an unsettling but corrective touch of the grotesque that exemplified the Korrektiv ethos of the classic period, was a golden age: a flowering, a ripening, the sun at zenith.
But flowers fade; ripeness turns to rot; light declines toward a slow, final failure; and shadows lengthen and coalesce unto the great shade, Night, who is herself the shadow of Death.
You couldn’t have noticed all that fading, rotting, and declining, though, since none of it showed on the surface — until November 1. On that day — All Saints’ Day (bitter irony!) – a mistake was made.
Now, at the beginning of Advent 2012, Mr Lickona has once again hired Daniel Mitsui — not to memorialize glory this time, but folly.
Fittingly so: Our Faith teaches that wrongs can be not merely prevented, not merely undone, but actually redeemed. And this is true.
For example: Though my addition to this blog’s roster may be a loss for you, the reader (not to mention the dragging-down it entails for Jonathans Potter and Webb, Mr Finnegan, Mr Lickona, Mr JOB, and Ms Expat), I get a brilliant Mitsui portrait:
Enigmatic, spooky, funny, and a good likeness to boot, though enough obscured to provide a useful degree of plausible deniability. I could hardly be happier with it. If only it had not come at such awful cost to you, dear friends.
Thank you for the picture, Mr Mitsui. Thank you for the present, Mr Lickona.
Thank you (in advance) for forbearing to sting, scorpion.
Lickona missed this one as well, and Webb must be off smoking a cigar somewhere. So today the task falls to me:
A porcupine’s main defense against predators consists of keeping its backside to a predator. Get too close and you’ll snag 500 quills engineered to embed themselves deeper and deeper into flesh. A mouth full of these painful pins has caused many an animal to starve to death. In fact, the porcupine is so well-respected, it wanders the forest day or night without much hurry or fear. Few animals are clever enough to successfully hunt porcupines, though mountain lions, fishers, and Chevy Impalas have the most success. That mess of quills is equally effective against its own kind.
Whatever you do, do not follow the echidna link. And I don’t mean that in a ‘Ha! ha! Now that I’ve said something you won’t be able to resist following anyway!’ sort of way. This porcupine story contains enough sex and violence for the day.
“O pomo che maturo
solo prodotto fosti, o padre antico…”
– Paradiso, XXVI, 91-92
When Adam found his voice, the wilderness
Was ready: “Washed in meaning made complete
By Eden’s living stream, what names confess
Our roots commune in fruitful vine and wheat…”
Confirmed in nature, called by name, each word
Collects the truth as branches bearing fruit.
Our father, first in faith and doubt, had heard
And seen the ripe and raw, the soft and brute –
The babbling minaret’s catastrophe
Ordained his words to plant in thorns – he reaped
The wind, though not alone, since unity
Betrothed distinctions love alone has kept
Since Adam’s tongue anointed everything
With rites that verbalized the wilderness –
Each blade and leaf, each paw and fin and wing
That Adam’s ripened apple strained to bless.
“…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.
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.
A nod to Kierkegaard and Walker Percy: existentialist tomfoolery, political satire, literary homage, word mongering, a year-round summer reading club, Dylanesque music bits, apocalyptic marianism, poetry, fiction, meta-porn, a prisoner work-release program.
Good Country People
Labora / Editions
By Way of Beauty
Charlotte was Both
I Have to Sit Down
From Empty Hands
The Fine Delight
All Manner of Thing
Gerasene Writers Conference
The Ironic Catholic
Catholic and Enjoying It
Catholic Radio International
Is My Phylactery Showing?
The Lion & The Cardinal (Daniel Mitsui)
Babes in Babylon
Fort o' Tude
En pocas palabras
William Wilson, Guitarist Extraordinaire
Signposts in a Strange Land
This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled.