Saturday, August 30, 2008

*When we met, the fairly unqualified Harriet Miers was being considered for the Supreme Court.Now the massively unqualified Sarah Palin has been chosen to run for vice president. It's hard to explain why I consider that romantic, a kind of anniversary.

The set of all women who are qualified for their jobs and who are doing them well is larger than the set of all women who are thrown at a job because "You want a woman? Here's one."

The reason I remember the Harriet Miers connectin is I thought at the time you'd be goood for the Supreme Court sometime, if you could stand such a papery job.

A term I've learned from the focus on Sarah Palin is "unfair chase."

Voters in Alaska have voted twice to make hunting wolves from airplanes illegal. The legislature and Governor Sarah Palin have over ruled them.

Some of the qualified women doing their jobs well are lessening the occasions of unfair chase.
We won.

It was a win from the future and for the future. so it was tough to get into our head, fresh from the past, that it was a win.

Whether we got it or not, it was a win. Learning to know that would make us smarter and happier. But we don't need to know that for it to take effect.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

How far inland will the coastal weather pattern go? How cold will I be when I open the door?
I think they are acting stupid, so I get ticked off and act, yes!, stupid.

That's not changing history; that's being history.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

* Why is Chicago more corrupt than New York?
* You could sit around and say many big words and not participate.
* Despair is kind of a downer
* Porously intelligent so things flow in and out.
* Relentless activity is one way. Another is, give and receive the gorgeous pause.
* May this stress be part of healing and strengthening. Okay?
* Sappho is now placed in the department of women loving women and the department of ancient Greek poetry.

Sappho herself was in the department of being alive. What happened to Sappho and what happened around Sappho, she was there for it.
* She's got to know that she can go.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The amount that I don't know is varied. Jeweled. Ornate. Deep,
If we all turned at the same time. . .
It's familiar, poisonous, and destructive. I wonder if I'll stay.
Living on the planet, amidst the winds of sadness.
P.D. James, the writer of long detective novels, has no sense of humor, as a writer, so there's this whole world of characters with not sense of humor. Makes the long books longer.

I never in particular noticed the lack of humor until her main character, Adam Dagliesh, a high-ranking London detective, is described as not permitting any jokes about the corpse at murder sites. This in "The Murder Room," where the victim was murdered, burned to death in a particularly gruesome and unlikely way.

When the book was scolding about joke making in the prescence of horror, I flipped out of the book's reality for a minute and got judgemental myself, thinking,"Come one, P.D. James, your the one who imagined a corpse in this condition."

She might have been feeling a competitive strain. Since the best selling novels of Patricia Cornwell, who actually worked in government figuring out what had happened to dead bodies, and describes dead bodies in extensive details in her books, the ick, or realistic, factor in corpse description has increased across the field.

Murder isn't funny, but it often includes something about humans that also contributes to humor--a lack of a sense of proportion. Life is heck, and then you rot.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

* Once the area that is now France had two languages. Both of the languages were called the language of yes. With different yeses.

Langue d'oil was the language that became French as now spoken. It's word for yes was "oil" which became "oui." It was spoken in what is now the northern part of France.

Langue d'oc was spoken in parts of the south. Oc meant yes.

Languedoc was for a long time the name of a province of France, and parts of the south of France are still referred to as languedoc.

From here, it looks like the French people are better than some at saying yes to the ongoing details of every day life--always excellent food, always high-quality talk, always time to be at the cafe and see the world and say good words, like yes.
*Restate the problem or say nothing because this person actually knows what to do.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The group you're in is not bad, but it is a bad fit that you are used to

Your natural ways of knowing and moving are not what's valued her, so you'll never get good at what you're best at here.
A way to compete without having a common language is armed combat. A way to compete without having a common language is sports. Art is another way, but it's harder to tell who won.
A planter, circle-shaped, obviously city-owned, about a meter wide, and rarely and barely planted in. In San Francisco, such things are often planted in by kind, gardeny neighbors, but this one wasn't, or barely.

Perhaps not big enough to be worth the trouble. Perhaps, as it was on the way to and close to a MUNI station, someone had maintained it and had some bad experience with the passing many people hurting the plants.

It was either a big round bit of dirt or a big round bit of dirt with a couple of sad looking plants in the middle.

The city did the right thing, and took the planter out.

Now where it was is a circular pattern of bricks, carefully done, more pleasant to look at than the neglected planter.

Bricks stick out around the diameter of the circle and then the middle is filled in with bricks going back and forth. It is kind of interesting looking, and there is now no apparent reason for these circle bricks in the middle of the angular bricks that lead to the MUNI station. It's pleasantness and purposelessness make it almost art, something in the art family. Thanks be given for the care taken by the people who took out the planter.

It almost feels like it doesn't matter.

However, if they planter had just been ripped out and exposed dirt left to wear into an ugly hole, that would matter. So the stylish alternative matters too, in the public interest. In the public interest, make public spaces interesting and faintly encouraging.

(If one were walking down 17th Street to Market, this is fairly soon before the MUNI station and close to the entrance to the elevator.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

*The mask falls. it's amazing how little there is under the mask.

Having a bully be a bully at you is scary in one way. Standing up to bullies to the extent that they drop the bully act is scary in another way because there is so little beneath the bully facade.

They have constructed so many of their moments scaring people that they don't have direct knowledge of different ways to be in reality and different ways reality is.

The mask drops, and you see this person who is very young, unformed, unappealing--presumably the little kid who started copying the local bully in his little life and hasn't since been learning to be alive
Charles Dickens made wildly optimisticly unlikely things happen in his books in order that some poor person stuck in a hopeless situation might be rescued from that situation.

He would probably say that nothing in his books could be more unlikely than that poor people might be helped by the government. His disdain for government was deep and corrosive.

He early in his life worked as a parlieamentary reporter. He disdained parliament even more than other parts of government. In the course of observing life in London and himself trying to privately help poor people, he observed what the government did in its working: less than nothing.

Good government is a phrase that has come to mean a government that isn't corrupt, that is efficient and that has a good effect on its society. This phrase came later than Dickens and probably as a result of conditions of governing such as Dickens perceived by being interested and looking.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

*"My Life" by Isadora Duncan is a great read. She's sort of like the friend who is always saying, "You won't believe what just happened to me." Like that friend, she is hard to believe in toto, not because of any given thing that happens, but because of the consistently high drama level of it all.

I'm writing this before I read some book where someone tried to sort it all out.

Isadora Duncan did a lot of good. When she came on the scene, privileged US and European women engaged in torso binding. The extremes included women found in autopsies to have dents in their internal organs from their ribs being pushed into their guts.

Relax. What do you think? Kind of hard to really think under those circumstances, many avenues of imagination are difficult to reach when you are in waking hours, through your own choice, pushed in fiercely around the middle.

Isadora Duncan did many things and one of the paths she followed gave the slightly more daring privileged women the option of dressing in Greek/Roman-like loose dress and moving around freely.

Duncan and the women who did this had thoughts and ideas and theories about what they were doing. The thoughts and ideas gave her and them the freedom to move differently. Gave privileged women in the middle of the day on some days the power to get together with others and move outside in loose clothes in patterns of moement of their own making.



I think Duncan probably did have a fair number of men fall at her feet in worship and follow her around and such. Which was fun except when it wasn't but always intense.

Revolutionary leadership is what she showed when her loose clothes and free-form performances lead to women in little town and the hyper-respectable parts of cities got to move and breathe freely while hanging out with each other and playing around.

Both Isadora Duncan and women who perhaps without seeing or meeting her imitated, part-time, her clothes freedom, were mocked. That's one of the signs of women getting freer--mockery. Keep moving.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

There will be words. Some will match what is true. Your insides may be able to recognize the match. So you listening inward and outward.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

* Let yourself know.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Van Gagh wanted to work as a lay minister helping the spirits of the ordinary of his country. When he actually tried to do that, he was a failure. So he did this second choice thing, making images. Those images help the spiriits of lots of people all the time, propped up and there, posters and postcards, healing because we need healing and healing because that was Vincent van Gogh's deep intention.

Monday, August 04, 2008

* To approach another human being with the idea "I know nothing" is accurate.

Richard Boleslavsky, when he was teaching actors, liked them to do exercises where they acted as different animals.

He thought actors assumed that the people in the roles they were playing were more like the actors than they were. An actor would focus on a few characteristics of the character that were different, and leave the actor's own characteristics untouched to take over large parts of the character.

Playing animal, the actors know they didn't know, and knew they had to build the being from the beginning and all the way out.
* I noticed that San Francisco and California have the same number of syllables and accent pattern by singing a line from "The Lady is a Tramp" wrong without knowing I was singing it wrong, because it fit fine.

On summer morns, sometimes I sang, "Hate San Francisco, it's cold and it's damp. That's why the lady is a tramp."

Actually, as written, it's "Hate California, it's cold and it's damp." It seems quite likely that the reference was to San Francisco, but the word was California, in song written when San Francisco loomed larger in the elite's total experience of California.

The lady is a tramp partly because she says true things that aren't often said. I don't hate either San Francisco or California, but sometimes the dank mornings are a drag since I tend to feel a bit dank in the morning myself.
* Can hallow anything a bit by paying a certain kind of attention
* The deal is to talk about it all the time and never talk about it, you know?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Desperation expressed violently doesn't seem as needy and weak as it is. Also, for people addicted to being desperate, desperate violence is helpful because it tends to make a bad situation worse, so there is more to be desperate about. People who aren't used to knowing the normal room temperature of their souls sometimes don't know how to be with that, so they boom away from quiet and little.
John Irving's novels tend to include someone having a body part cut off. Kazuo Ishiguro's novels tend to include a scene where someone is outside a closed door and hears someone on the other side of the door weeping. The listeners thinks of opening the door and then doesn't, walks away away. Cut off.

These recurring parts of these men's novels seem stuck. One of Ishiguro's novels is called "Never Let Me Go." Open the door; heal the body back together.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

She's a health-oriented anorexic, so the foods she doesn't eat are different than the foods are more mainstream anorexic doesn't eat.
Some people like their gossip structured, so they follow sports, where it's clear who won, and by how much, and what game was being played.
This land used to be sea. I used to be me. I'm different. More solid. You're here.
Jesus walked. That's mostly how he got around. But he would understand our need to move quickly, trailing poisons.

Friday, August 01, 2008

* Let it alone, and let it heal.
* The sidewalk shines if shone upon with sunlight and the right mood.
* The trees are still rooted. The winds today are mild, like winds these trees are used to.
*An old way of looking at the story is that stories that started in Europe are most important and that the important European story began in ancient Greece.

The earliest part of ancient Greece that counts, in this way of remembering, is the Iliad and the Odyssey, the Iliad a story about part of a war.

The first word in the Iliad, as written down, is wrath. Anger. Because the way the ancients Greeks built sentences is different than how English speakers build sentences, that isn't the first word in English translation. The first sentence of the Iliad is translated into English something like, "This is the story of the wrath of Achilles" or "I sing of the anger of Achilles," something like that.

So in the old way of telling the story the entitled and most important cultural system begins with a word for anger.