Swedish prog band made an album with Afro 70.
“Bado Kidogo” translates as “Not Yet.”
On July 10 Sotheby’s is auctioning Samuel Beckett’s autograph manuscript of “Sasha Murphy”—what would become Murphy (1938). The handwritten, heavily-edited draft fills six school exercise books and is sprinkled throughout with hundreds of doodles, in pen and crayon, “of women with huge, globular breasts, of bicycles, syringes and astronomical figures, of a mermaid and men in bowler hats” along with caricatures of Charlie Chaplin, James Joyce and others. But, to my taste, the best sidebar doodle (noticed by Peter Leggatt in his preview of the manuscript) is a rhetorical question scribbled in the margins:
What is my life but a preference for the ginger biscuit?
Last night PBS aired a cool documentary on Mount Rushmore & its creation. The program ended with an incredible quote from the ever-intense sculptor/designer/engineer/promoter of the monument, Gutzon Borglum:
I am allowing an extra three inches on all the features of the various Presidents in order to provide stone for the wear and tear of the elements, which cuts the granite down one inch every 100,000 years. Three inches would require 300,000 years to bring the work down to the point that I would like to finish it. In other words, the work will not be done for another 300,000 years, as it should be.
From the permanent collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Apparently Philip Reingale invented internet humor in 1805.
Albrecht Dürer was on tour recently and played the National Gallery in DC. Dürer is an unimpeachable master, whose genius we won’t go into, suffice it to say that the dude knew how to dress! (Those sleeves!) For all his ability, however, Dürer had the strange habit of giving the most misfortunate lil’ scrunch-faces to his ladies. (See, for example, Eve.) One of the misfortunate-faced gals on display at the National Gallery was that of the quasi-mythic Lucretia.
Lucretia’s suicide was a popular & enduring motif in medieval & renaissance art, variously employed with sexual and/or political overtones. In the classical narrative, Lucretia was raped in her bedroom by the son of Lucius Tarquinius, the seventh and soon-to-be-final king of the Etruscan dynasty that ruled over Rome. In horror at the incident, and to demonstrate her resolute chastity, Lucretia took her own life with a dagger. Lucretia belonged to a prominent Roman family and they, outraged, vowed to avenge her death. The native leading men of Rome, who swore an oath while hoisting Lucretia’s bloodied dagger, led a revolution to overthrow the Etruscan king and banned forever any king from entering Rome. Thus, Lucretia, who would rather die than suffer the shameful subjugation of tyrants, is a heroine of both chastity and Republicanism. And her suicide is entwined with the birth of Rome.
Dürer considered her self-sacrifice so momentous & so redeeming that he portrayed Lucretia’s wound to exactly mirror that of Christ. Compare with Lamentation of Christ, for Albert Glim (1503). (That the wound which birthed Rome should match the wound that Jesus received from a Roman soldier is a symbolism-ouroboros for abler mind-snake charmers!) Apparently, however, Dürer’s idealization of Lucretia was not reverent enough for the viewing public of “prudish Catholic Munich around 1600”. The authorities felt that for a symbol of ultimate chastity Lucretia’s loincloth was not adequate. And so, more than half a century after Dürer’s death, Lucretia’s loincloth was “expanded upwards”! What’s funny here is that church censors were not the only ones who saw it necessary to further cover Lucretia’s (fictional) flesh. In Chaucer’s dream-vision poem The Legend of Good Women (c. 1380) Lucretia, that “noble wyf”, is presented as so modest & dignified & chaste that as she lay dying she took care to adjust her gown to cover her ankles!
You know how Google commands a fleet of camera-cars that drive around cities creating ‘street views’? This cumbersome process is only a suggestive stepping-stone.
In 7 years when every weirdo is wearing Google Glasses equipped with GPS, a complete pictorial map of the world will be steadily filled in. The uploaded views of 1,001 pedestrians in Bangkok will be aggregated by massive online databases and from your laptop in Illinois you’ll be able to tour Bangkok city streets and move your roving eye into restaurants, office buildings, and even some apartments, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, refrigerators, the drawer of a mahogany desk. Any visible space shared by wearers of the magic glasses.
As this astonishing spectacle dawns/dons on us we will turn to various gurus to make sense of it all, and inevitably we will need to consult Mr. Borges’ short fiction about the civilization—striving fanatically for informational exactitude—that created a map of the empire the size of the empire. “On the Exactitude of Science” (1960):
Related: See also the White House’s new initiative to ‘map the human brain’.
Tanky Soundtrack: My Bloody Valentine, “Map Ref 41°N 93° W” (Wire cover)
p.s. in our looming future there will also be a strange new journalistic genre, wherein people will compose accounts of virtually-encountered cities, written from afar. It will be a hybrid of “The Parisian Prowler” and Jayson Blair style absentee-reportage. (Also, related: Instead of waiting for after-the-fact youtube videos, Washington Think Tanks will hire Google Glass stooges/fixers to attend protests, meetings, etc. in distant cities. [Through an earpiece] “OK, Anwar, do you see that guy on the left holding an anti-Ennahda poster? Can you casually go up to him and ask his opinion of the new IMF loan deal?”