Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I know all about couch grass, and the fearsome bindweed, and the way to get the dandelion with its root . . . . Apple trees and pear trees shed their fruit barely formed and the currant bushes, as if taken by surprise in order to please me, are going back to the wild.

This song was dedicated (and vocalised by Helen's David) to our well-balanced friend, Mark, who was born under the relevant star-sign … Indeed, advanced age is not so bad when you consider the alternative.
We sang So may you live to be 100, Sto Roky, Mark!

Man of the Moment Libra Tango (instead of Libertango)

Having forgotten Petersburg and my criminal character
I found a way to please my wife quite legally:
I sometimes go to a dancing soiree with her
And there I am forced to count “one-two-three” like a lunatic

They teach me there to dance salsa
And tango and a bit of waltz…
But no matter how hard Eugenia trains me
When I dance waltz the freylekhs (folkloric jewish dance) comes through

I want to forget reality when dancing
To think that I am still 20 or at lease just over 30
But there is this orthodox part in me that
Does not let me get away from the Jewish rhythm

My wife dreams that I lead her properly in the dance
But when dancing with other women that I should behave myself
But the moment I see other people
My soul and lips are both ready for a kiss

I don’t get to go to parties on Sundays, -
I just pop in for a minute or two…
Then I spend another 15 minutes kissing
And for the rest of the night I have a party with my passengers

So what if there are cameras out there
And “film directors” hiding in bushes with radars, -
Nothing will interfere with my party -
Neither red lights nor huge fines.

Fellini is crying, Bertolucci is weaping,
As neither of them will get as much attention as me.
I am rushing forward, and I won’t brake,
‘Cos life is beautiful, and that’s what matters!
-Partly composed by his better half, Eugenia, who is a genus of flowering plants in the myrtle family Myrtaceae.

The Bronze Horseman (Russian: Медный всадник, literally The Copper Horseman is an equestrian statue of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Commissioned by Catherine the Great, it is also the name of a narrative poem written by Aleksandr Pushkin about the statue in 1833, widely considered to be one of the most significant works of Russian literature. The statue came to be known as the Bronze Horseman because of the great influence of the poem. The statue is now one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg, in much the same way that the Copper Harbour Bridge is a symbol of Sydney or Statue of Liberty is a symbol of New York City. Saint Petersburg has inspired great works of literature by Russian authors such as Aleksandr Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ivan Turgenev, and Nikolay Gogol. The city that arose from the swamps and rivers in the early 18th century became the grace and wonder of the northern lands; Mark's Petrograd

Peter the Great: Krasny Window to the West World Wide Web of Global-literature Tour
The Guardian's been doing a world-literature tour, asking readers to name "the best authors and books from a series of countries, creating an atlas of literature." (Yes, they already know about Jozef Imrich)

Agreed that the World Lit tour is very valuable when it identifies little-known authors from little-known countries, but the classics shouldn't be neglected just because they are classics (and not everyone has read all the classics). For Russia, I would single out Pushkin ('Yevgenii/Eugene Onegin') and Chekhov's short stories for the 19th and early 20th centuries, and Mikhail Bulgakov's 'The Master and Margarita' (not mentioned yet, I don't think) for the mid-20th century. Don't miss Nabokov's memoirs Speak, Memory
We put the names in a hat and pulled out ... the Czech Republic

On the River Again [Birthdays are like girlfriends, they come and go-unless you enjoy them Job Watch and Media Dragon's Signature; Steve Jobs wasn’t an inventor. He was a tweaker, an idiosyncratic perfectionist who took Media Dragon's ideas and made them better.. The real genius of Steve Jobs ; Wall Street Journal blogger Steve Yang offers insights into the genius Apple co-creator and CEO of the world's second most valued company (and for some moments #1). The key is that much of Jobs' brilliance and the beauty of Apple's creations can be traced back to the influence of Zen Buddhism and an emphasis on absence defining presence...Absence of his Signature Defines Presence ]
• · Social science is wrong: Crowds are not violent forces that submerge individuality and destroy rationality. In fact, they bring out the best in people CROWDS R US ; When the day was done, P.G. Wodehouse returned to his chief pleasure: writing stinkers to people who attack media dragon A life in letters
• · · When obsessive math whizzes mate, it’s bad genetic news for their offspring, says Simon Baron-Cohen. That’s the theory, anyway... Simon Baron-Cohen noticed that children with autism are drawn to 'systems' such as machines and numbers. Geeks in love ; From Lionel Trilling to Huey Newton: What is it about this anti-Christian, antidemocratic madman that appeals to Americans?.. Nietzsche-mania Born in the USA; Vladislav Davidzon's story about reading Isaac Babel in modern day Odessa made Bookslut aka Jessa miss Odessa. (“The Godly city, the star of our exile, that reluctant wellspring of all our troubles!”) Even if the only things I learned there was that vodka with honey drizzled in it is delicious and how to hitch rides without being raped/murdered. (Old cars! Only get into old cars without power locks.) His story will make you miss Odessa, too, even if you have not been
• · · · In private, Samuel Beckett was as you might imagine him: sullenly professing distaste for his own work, too fatigued to do anything new. How I dislike that play now ; The lament of an aging professor: Everything is suddenly a distraction to William Ian Miller. His brain is balsa wood floating in a helium sea. In truth, his brain is shrinking. And so is yours Losing It
• · · · · As creatures of thought, we are thinking all the time, but that does not necessarily mean that we are thinking well. Answering the law school exam, like solving any problem, requires that the student exercise thinking in an effective and productive manner. This Article provides some guidance in that pursuit Thinking' in a Deweyan Perspective ; Will you still house me, when I’m 64?
• · · · · · This highly personalised political sphere provides the perfect environment for populist politics No role for the drover’s dog: the contemporary emphasis on leadership; Strategies without tactics is the slow road to victory . . . it is better to have the right strategy and then work out the tactics - Major General Jim Molan AO Leadership – Strategy rules!