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Showing posts from May, 2013

Bullying the Coy Mistress throughout History (Carpe Diem poetry)

(c) Rubens, 'Pastoral Scene' (1638)
Prune back your long hopes.
As we speak, envious time
is running away with us.
Pluck the ripe day!
Trust the future as far as you can throw it.
. - Horace

'Coy mistress', sir? Who gave you leave
To wear my heart upon your sleeve?
Or to imply, as sure you do,
I had no other choice than you
And must remain upon the shelf
Unless I should bestir myself?
Shall I be moved to love you, pray,
By hints that I must soon decay?
No woman's won by being told
How quickly she is growing old
- A.D. Hope

People who say "Carpe diem!" mean well. (We are running out of time, after all.) But you have to wonder if even the urgent affirmation of good life justifies the associated YOLO crap and emotional blackmail.
Premise: [Action x] looks pretty stupid.
Premise: But you'll die some day!
Conclusion: You may as well [x]. or, less ignobly:
Premise: Life is transient. (Memento mori)
Premise: You're in your prime now. (Sic transit gloria)

summer miscellany

(c) Arcimboldo (c.1570) "Spring and Summer"

Deciphering corporate language:
"Manager" = Controller.  "Executive" = Controller controller / KingSimpleton / Capital's Metatron"Administrator" = Cartesian demon."Supervisor" = Guard labour."... Officer" = Desk ballast."Analyst" = Cherry-picker."Advisor" = "Yes" Man."Consultant" = "It'll cost you" Man."Assistant" = monkey."Intern" = monkey's monkey."Technician" = nerd monkey."Programmer"= Code monkey."Developer" = Programmer.
(OK, so job-title inflation is an understandable process - you're trying to convince people that what they do is important - but you're doing so without changing their work or working conditions.)


Here is the great joke of the humanities: "we shall wake you to the injustice and pain of the …

virtually yours

(c) Olafur Eliasson (2010), Your uncertain shadow

I sent out another one of thoseround-robins with which I fish for large identity statements from my friends. This time: "if you were a computer game, what computer game would you be?"

I meant the question metaphorically ("what game has features, broadly construed, that you also have?") but people took it literally ("what game world would you like to be in?") as often. Making this latter interpretation is itself a Statement of sorts.

CR: "On a good day, Grand Theft Auto - popular because fun to mess around with, but equally if not more more rewarding when engaged with more deeply. On a bad day, Metal Gear Solid - pretentious, talks too much." [Metaphorical, and received within 5mins of my sending the challenge.]

RM: "Haze. Never great, never popular, pseudo-intelligent, made by better people capable of great things. Desperately trying to escape its British origins. Not quite finished." […