speak Appalachian
December 29, 2011, 5:54 pm
Filed under: departure lounge | Tags: ,

How to speak Appalachian, a primer.  Use the words quoted below to make your own sentences.  Here’s my attempt:

Whar is it?  Over thar.  It looks tard and that critter with it for sartin’s a-goin to he-it it.  This far’s hot.  Drink?  Name your pizen.  Let’s swim nekkid only you’ll eetch if you roll in a boosh or wrassle after.  Chaw your food proper, and don’t poosh and shet yer gob when yer in line.  The ba-it’s wigglin and we be-in fishin this narrer stream.  Look in that winder at poor widder Elsie an her young-uns.

Here are the words from Fischer’s book:

whar for where, thar for there, tard for tired, critter for creature, sartin for certain, a-goin for going, hit for it, he-it for hit, far for fire, deef for deaf, pizen for poison, nekkid for naked, eetch for itch, boosh for bush, wrassle for wrestle, chaw for chew, poosh for push, shet for shut, ba-it for bat, be-it for be, narrer for narrow, winder for window, widder for widow, and young -uns for young one.

Accent of the original settlers of Applachia, David Hacket Fischer


Rome was a poem
December 21, 2011, 4:26 pm
Filed under: departure lounge | Tags: ,

Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.
Anatole Broyard

out of deserts
December 21, 2011, 3:17 pm
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Prophets walk out of deserts for some reason.  I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that lone gunmen do too; they are like prophets of a harsh, frontier religion.

The Yeatsian view of the prophet entering the scene, as the smoke and ash settled from the Great War, was of a lion- man emerging from the desert – an enduring 20th century image, poetic and grand:  “a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi /  Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; / A shape with lion body and the head of a man, / A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.”

On the other hand, J. G. Ballard’s view of the coming of the prophets is banal and cynical.  He says they will emerge from shopping malls.   Continue reading

December 20, 2011, 6:26 pm
Filed under: departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: , ,

love what it loves
December 19, 2011, 7:38 am
Filed under: the sweet life, unseen world | Tags: , , , ,

Are you hard on yourself?  Do you feel you need to do penance, crawl across cut glass, punish yourself, walk through deserts to find your rightful way in the world?  Are you despairing?

Here is some solace, within reach, that gives relief from the human habit of constant striving.  It’s in the form of a poem by Mary Oliver which tells us up front to end our ceaseless and vain attempts to justify ourselves.  Then it says to simply succumb to what we love.

There’s a yawning void between self justification and yielding to what we love.  We desperately and forever cling to our habits of guilt and self immolation.  But the suggestion here is clear, we should – and it is natural to – yield to what our bodies want.

How can we be sure?   Continue reading

desire is a triangle
December 15, 2011, 6:43 am
Filed under: unseen world | Tags: , , , ,

My desires are my own.  Not true apparently, but somehow we really don’t want to believe it despite the evidence.  A child suddenly pathologically desirous of a toy he had no interest in, the moment he sees his playmate pick it up.  That surge of desire now that she has been on her first date since breaking up with you.  The rival, the object and the ego converge from the vertices of a triangle to make desire.

There are two ideas here:  that it takes a village to desire and that we still need to believe that desire is our own discreet little activity.

“Our desires copy or mimic the desires of others.  Desire is triangular because the object of our desire—knowledge, mate, position—is made desirable by the desires of others which also converge toward it. Desire is not a straight line. It is a triangle. Its vertices are occupied respectively by the other, the object, the ego. That is what the later Dostoevsky has discovered. He has learnt also that the dissonance which results from the collision of this fact with our cherished illusion of an autonomous desire breeds conflict and mystification.”

Paul Dumouchel

son of a preacher man
December 15, 2011, 4:53 am
Filed under: unseen world | Tags: , , ,

Eastern Orthodox

Slobodan Milosevic
George Stephanopoulos – TV journalist.

Nicola Tesla —


Jane Austen-English novelist; daughter of an Anglican clergyman.

Ingmar Bergman-filmmaker, son of a Lutheran minister.

Anne Brontë – novelist

Charlotte Brontë – novelist

Emily Brontë-novelist, daughters of an Anglican vicar.

Continue reading

the refined palate

In love, as in gluttony, pleasure is a matter of the utmost precision.

Italo Calvino

Food glorious food.  Is it getting gloriouser?  Surely our palettes are refining.  It used to be our parents and grandparents scrounged what was available and then boiled it to an inch of its life; and when the jet age came along tinned their meats and put their cheese in squeeze tubes and powdered their drinks; and with the advent of fast food drove to highway restaurants and ate their burgers and drank their shakes sitting in sedan cars.

But we all got fat and there are no nutrients in those foods and so now slow food, and farm to table, and seasonal eating is upon us and servers in pubs and restaurants wear long white aprons and memorize complex menus which they recite to us full of words like truffle, shallot, saute, cous cous, porcini, demiglaze, cognac, tenderloin, swordfish, and seitan.  In cafes, we used to order coffee, now we order Iced Single Venti Mocha, No Whip.  We live in the age of organics and iron chefs – food is a competition now? – and craft beers.

So are we really refining or are we merely becoming, in our selfishness and wealth, obsessive over our food choices and habits?  In his article about our food culture The Moral Crusade Against Foodies, B. R. Myers says that we are, and that food obsession is the classic definition of what it means to be a glutton.

Continue reading

spotting communists
December 5, 2011, 2:28 am
Filed under: brave new world | Tags:

“If a person consistently reads and advocates the views expressed in a Communist publication, he may be a Communist. If a person defends the activities of Communist nations while consistently attacking the domestic and foreign policies of the United States, she may be a Communist.[…] If a person does all these things, over a period of time, he MUST be a Communist!”

December 4, 2011, 7:59 pm
Filed under: the sweet life, unseen world | Tags: ,

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Alebrijes (Spanish pronunciation: [aleˈβɾixes]) are brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. The first alebrijes, along with use of the term, originated with Pedro Linares. After dreaming the creatures while sick in the 1930s, he began to create what he saw in cardboard and papier mache.