Sunday 2 May 2010


aka propitiation, expiation
Up, Down.

Just usual I try to focus, start out merely confused and end up throwing in the kitchen sink, and never get around to 'discussing the issue' at all ... oh well, I'll leave it to you, I started out thinking about the word 'expiation' went to the OED and it was all downhill from there ...

Apocalypse Now, opening sequence.Apocalypse Now, opening sequence.Apocalypse Now, Kurtz' consort towards the end.Apocalypse Now, Kurtz' consort towards the end.Apocalypse Now, Kurtz' consort towards the end.Apocalypse Now, Kurtz' consort towards the end.
"Oh, this is the end, my only friend, the end." Jim Morrison, 1967.

a few days ago I watched Apocalypse Now again, the Redux version, 3 hours +, (uh oh, maybe it was a mistake? do farts have lumps?) Coppola & Brando conspire to empty Kurtz' final gasp, "The horror, the horror," of any meaning whatsoever except maybe a kind of wierd comedy (of the kind that overtakes Joe Ben as he drowns in Sometimes a Great Notion), there is an on-line version (beware the links and pop-ups!) of Heart of Darkness with a search feature, I have not read the book for years and don't remember this line, neither does it show up in the search, none of that is conclusive but it begins to look as though our Francis Ford Coppola made it up, doh! dunderhead! probably genetic considering Nicholas Cage, so ... but except for those final scenes, the movie is gold,

here is a clip of our Jimmie John, complete with Brando's botched whisper and some bits of the movie on YouTube,

I imagine the girl pictured is Kurtz' consort, nothing stated, Heart of Darkness has Marlow following up Kurtz' request to visit his wife which is hinted at in the movie and becomes about the only loose end in the film, oh well,

1979 eh? ... four years after the end of the war and a year before the fateful American election in which Ronnie Reagan & George (HW) Bush, were elected over Jimmy Carter & Walter Mondale, this was when the Zeitgeist tide turned foul according to Bill McKibben in his latest book Eaarth (not for the faint of heart this book ...)

the title of this post, this 'atonement' is another of those words that I learned with childish & enthusiastic etymology, the first was 'discover' which I took apart as I was able to at the time, making dis-cover, take the cover off, hence things which have not been discovered are covered up, introducing intentionality as well (and so much of what is intended is not for the best) into my green salad of a little universe

later on, much later on, but with the same childish technique, came 'atonement,' at-one-ment, being as one, satori, nirvana, being comprehensively agreed, aligned, hence accepting that Canadian naïveté that everything will be ok if we can just sit down and talk about it, even hinting at the devastation of the subject/object split.

to me, the forces that keep our imaginations 'in the box' are pernicious, but (it has been coming to me lately) maybe my notions of freedom are not benign, not at all, maybe they are deadly wrong in fact, this Yann Martel guy who wrote Life of Pi might think that way, and indeed, what little freedom I have managed to achieve in my life has been costly and painful and without cure, there it is, and so many of the images I have of this freedom are trite and silly too, and so many of them not from life at all, but from movies I have seen - Elvira Madigan reaching out to a butterfly as she is shot - on the other hand some of my memories are as real as hitting cast iron with a base ball bat, whatever ... "the truth shall make you free," they say, John says, someone says ...

Eyjafjallajökull ... ahh the umlaut on the 'o'   (umlaut meaning 'modified' or changed by its neighbours :-)
Iceland Map, EyjafjallajökullEyjafjallajökullEyjafjallajökullEyjafjallajökullEyjafjallajökullEyjafjallajökull
the lightning being both a surprise ... and unsurprising, I mean of course there's going to be lightning! (doh!?)

there are some who think this is all linked up with global warming, the Haiti quake too I guess, they call it the 'rebound effect,' proposed by serious geologists apparently (but I am too tired to be bothered finding out, and anyway there is lots without that eh? :-), but hey! maybe Lula was right about the Aceh tsunami then?   (is there bubblegum in my single malt? asks the Globe and Mail)   then there's the Nigerian fellow, a Senator, who marries a 13 year old girl, Ahmad Sani Yerima, he probably thinks it is because we are not properly observing Sharia law, or the Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, who really does! and blames it specifically and particularly upon women who wear immodest clothing and behave promiscuously (very tempting for me to be distracted by 'Boobquake' here, this once at least, let it be noted that I resisted :-) and don't get me wrong, I am not dissing Muslims, if I haven't mentioned James Mountain Inhofe or Domtar, it's just ... because

Barack ObamaBarack Obama by Shepard FaireyBarack ObamaBarack ObamaBarack Obama
I found the ad for Obama Zombies in the New York Times, AND it is even on the Best Seller List or some subset thereof, not high on the list but, yeah - on the list, there are excerpts here and there on-line in case you have to read some of it to see what's up

the relationship between, say, female literacy and birth rate is well known, so why on earth would someone who can read take up such dreck as this? mystifies me, but they are definitely out there, ok, I mean ... I once met a very well paid American technocrat who worked for Halliburton, who, when he found out that I read the NYT regularly, stopped talking to me, so ... and a friend of mine recently reported to me that there is a big modern highway billboard on a southern Georgia highway that simply says, ‘WHERE IS JOHN GALT?’ (see Ayn Rand if you are confused) ... and Barack Obama? who is still preaching growth? with his princess wife and his princess children? and a willingness to work hard for a health plan? for some half-baked plan to reign in the banks? for nuclear disarmament? while he fiddles on the issue of the planet? wants to build nuclear power plants in Georgia? and drill for more offshore oil? doh!? there is lots to criticize in the man so why bother with such crapola as this Obama Zombies?

I heard Gwynne Dyer say in public the other night that Barack Obama understands the necessity to act for the planet, I used to think so too, I don't anymore but I can still admire what the man has accomplished ... whatever ...

Nina BurleighNina Burleighhere's something funny, as I was fossicking about in the Internet manure pile, figguring out which American President went with which Vice President I came across Nina Burleigh, who is reported in the San Francisco Chronicle back around 1999 like this:
Give her a pair of commemorative kneepads. Nina Burleigh, former White House correspondent for Time, confessed that she enjoyed having Clinton check out her naked legs after they played a game of hearts aboard Air Force One en route to Jasper, Ark. "If he had asked me to continue the game of hearts back in his room at the Jasper Holiday Inn, I would have been happy to go there and see what happened," Burleigh wrote in Mirabella. Elaborating for the Washington Post, she said, "I'd be happy to give him a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal."
I think maybe it was a rhetorical blow job she had in mind ... even so, what a woman!

there is reductio ad absurdum, and then there is reduction to zero, to the vanishing point, to extinction, lots of examples in literature including: Coetzee's Michael K, Yann Martel's Life of Pi, Pynchon's V & Gravity's Rainbow, obscured by seven forms of ambiguity? only seven? are there also seven forms of insincerity? of dissimulation? dissembling? of lies?... or something?

of these Coetzee comes the closest, check this out: J.M. Coetzee, The Life And Times Of Michael K, final paragraph,

and then there are the exampes washed up on so many of the streetcorners of this city, the homeless & hopeless "old men with broken teeth stranded without love."

I was going to mention the Adam Sandler movie You Don't Mess with the Zohan but I'll spare you gentle reader :-) but Zohan does sort of resonate with the German 'zorn' - anger, wrath, do you think?

If I had words to make a day for you
I'd sing you a morning, golden and new
I would make this day last for all time
Give you a night dipped in moon shine

(I like cartoons, some cartoons, this song is from Babe or I'm not sure, maybe the sequel, Babe, Pig in the City)

a man who had fallen among thieves
lay by the roadside on his back
dressed in fifteenthrate ideas
wearing a round jeer for a hat

fate per a somewhat more than less
emancipated evening
had in return for consciousness
endowed him with a changeless grin

whereon a dozen staunch and leal
citizens did graze at pause
then fired by hypercivic zeal
sought newer pastures or because

swaddled with a frozen brook
of pinkest vomit out of eyes
which noticed nobody he looked
as if he did not care to rise

one hand did nothing on the vest
its wideflung friend clenched weakly dirt
while the mute trouserfly confessed
a button solemnly inert.

brushing from whom the stiffened puke
i put him all into my arms
and staggered banged with terror through
a million billion trillion stars

(ee cummings)

this story of The Good Samaritan is so central to Christian mythology, and not just Christian, this is the embodiment of the perenial philosophy, except that it's a crock, it's a notion for future time forced to overlap with now, nobody gives a rat's ass, nobody cares except for themselves, live with it!

thinking of Occam's_razor aka Keep it simple stupid! or, maybe it should be
 Give me some milk or else go home! 
there! how's that for expiation?

Argyle Sweater, Divorce Mantis StyleI was standing in front of a cabin somewhere on Allenby Road in drunken Duncan in about 1974 sometime wondering what they would do with my son now that they had taken him finally & completely out of my ambit, I was reading the letter she sent and I pondered my way around this word for a while and then forgot it, I've been trying to remember it ever since, and this week I did, I remembered,

Be well.but I never did specify who it was that might be doing the atoning did I? the 'expiator' as it were, ah well, oh well, there you are, there you go.

"O hapless mother, surely thou hast a heart of stone or steel to slay the offspring of thy womb by such a murderous doom."
     Euripides, Medea, 431 BC.

but of course we are not Greeks, no outright murder is done here in our courts, a matter of degree maybe, and even having to guess at which might be the mother which the father in this age of twisted ideology ... trusted uncle? ... when I read this play I am all the parts.

BP CEO Tony HaywardBP CEO Tony HaywardBP CEO Tony HaywardBP CEO Tony HaywardBP CEO Tony HaywardBP Danziger Corporate DecisionsBP Toles Hoax? What hoax?BPBP The Knife ThrowerBP John Browne
BP ... remember their record in Columbia? remember the 2005 fire at their Texas City refinery where 15 died? remember the enormous oil spill in 2006 and again in 2007 from their faulty pipelines at Prudhoe Bay Alaska? remember Lord Browne their CEO until 2008? who repeatedly lied under oath to a British court in 2007 over an affair?

and now the Deepwater Horizon drill rig, 11 more dead with the involvement & connivance of Halliburton in the Gulf of Mexico and potentially endless crude oil pouring into it, the BP CEO Tony Hayward says, “We are responsible, not for the accident, but we are responsible for the oil and for dealing with it and cleaning the situation up,” he says the equipment that failed on the rig and led to the spill belonged to owner Transocean, not BP, which operated the rig - how do you operate the rig and not take responsibility for the equipment you mealy mouthed weasel!?

Massey Energy Don BlankenshipMassey Energy Don BlankenshipMassey Energy Don BlankenshipMassey Energy Don BlankenshipMassey Energy Baxter PhillipsMassey Energy Baxter Phillips (left) Don Blankenship (2nd from right)Massey Energy Massey Energy James Hansen
the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia had been cited at least 44 times in the last two years for major methane violations - that's about once every two weeks, but these scumbag maggots, the men in charge, Baxter Phillips & Don Blankenship, say in response, "Massey has no knowledge of criminal wrongdoing," say wha? no knowledge?


(or whatever the equivalent to 'polishing your knob' is for the women involved)

1. Domtar: Print those e-mails to your heart’s content, Bertrand Marotte, April 26 2010.
2. Life of Pi, Chapter 74, Yann Martel, 2002.

Domtar: Print those e-mails to your heart’s content, Bertrand Marotte, April 26 2010.

Paper company assails environmentalist ‘think before you print’ mantra

Montreal — Domtar Corp. is getting frustrated with those “think before you print” messages at the bottom of so many e-mails.

Now the paper giant is planning a North American ad campaign to urge computer users to hit the print button – often.

The campaign – called Put It On Paper – is aimed at countering what Domtar’s top executive says are the more “simplistic messages” about alleged forest destruction, which induce consumer guilt over the use of paper to print out e-mails and web pages.

John Williams, the president and chief executive officer of the Montreal-based fine-paper and pulp company, says the “think before you print” messages are “just bull” and he wants people to feel better about using paper responsibly.

“There is an appropriate use for paper. You should feel comfortable to use it appropriately and you shouldn’t be feeling there is some environmental negative when you use it,” Mr. Williams said at a news conference Monday.

“People do not have to feel guilty about using paper to print.”

The campaign will use print ads but also have a strong social media dimension – on Facebook and YouTube – in order to reach younger people, who tend to be printer averse, Mr. Williams said.

“Young people really are not printers. When was the last time your children demanded a printer? They want the electronic device,” Mr. Williams said after making a luncheon presentation to the Canadian Club.

“We’ve got to do some work about having them believe and feel that printing isn’t a sort of environmental negative.”

Mr. Williams’ comments did not go down well in some environmental circles.

“What irks me is the fact that Domtar says it uses sustainable forestry practices when in fact they and others are opening up what should be protected forests in Quebec, threatening the habitat of some species,” said Melissa Filion, acting Quebec director for Greenpeace Canada.

“To go against the current with this kind of campaign is to go backwards,” she said. “We should be encouraging reduction of paper use and use of recycled paper.”

Mr. Williams said in his presentation that Domtar enjoys “an enviable position” as a forestry company committed to the highest sustainability practices – harvesting from FSC certified forests -- but that it must find new growth areas to offset the decline of paper demand, expected to slip by 4 per cent a year over the next several years.

Domtar is a North American leader in the manufacture of copy paper.

Responsible forestry companies like Domtar are the stewards of the world’s forests and ensure that they maintain their biodiversity, Mr. Williams, a consumer products industry veteran who took over as CEO of Domtar early last year, told reporters after his speech.

They typically plant three trees for every tree they harvest, he said.

“No one is more interested in the well-managed forest than the paper industry.”

The key to winning over people in the campaign being launched is being “real,” he said.

“I think it’s very powerful and I think it’s time and I don’t apologize for the fact I think it’s true and that this will resonate with young people.”

Life of Pi, Chapter 74, Yann Martel, 2002.

I practised religious rituais that I adapted to the circumstances — solitary Masses without priests or consecrated Communion hosts, darshans without murtis, and pujas with turtle meat for prasad, acts of devotion to Allah not knowing where Mecca was and getting my Arabic wrong. They brought me comfort, that is certain. But it was hard, oh, it was hard. Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love — but sometimes it was só hard to love. Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the very bottom of the Pacific and I would not be able to lift it back up.

     At such moments I tried to elevate myself. I would touch the turban I had made with the remnants of my shirt and I would say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S HAT!"

     I would pat my pants and say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S ATTIRE!"

     I would point to Richard Parker and say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S CAT!"

     I would point to the lifeboat and say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S ARK!"

     I would spread my hands wide and say aloud, "THESE ARE GOD'S WIDE ACRES!"

     I would point at the sky and say aloud, "THIS IS GOD'S EAR!"

     And in this way I would remind myself of creation and of my place in it.

     But God's hat was always unravelling. God's pants were falling apart. God's cat was a constant danger. God's ark was a jail. God's wide acres were slowly killing me. God's ear didnt seem to be listening.

     Despair was a heavy blackness that let no light in or out. It was a hell beyond expression. I thank God it always passed. A school of fish appeared around the net or a knot cried out to be reknotted. Or I thought of my family, of how they were spared this terrible agony. The blackness would stir and eventually go away, and God would remain, a shining point of light in my heart. I would go on loving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

keep on, keep on