Monday, January 30, 2006

Prime Ate Prime

#1) Primate photography continues apace—five posts in a row, by my count—and somebody should pull the alarm, make it stop. Okay, what does that even mean? Sometimes my own nonsense shakes me up slightly.

#2) "Things I learned this weekend." Apparently, wasabi is absolutely harmless, judging by how J wolfed it down. He did, briefly, turn into the Tasmanian Devil, but you had to look really closely to spot the change. Next week, I'm going to try some w myself, maybe up the nose or straight into the heart. Then I'm going to knock down a herd of buffalo with my fists and butt heads with Galactus over cribbage.

#3) My girlfriend bought me a couple of cds on Friday. Okay, that's the best sentence I've ever written. Let's sit back and take a look at it. Nine chief justices couldn't do better. Last year's [Edit: last year's? Oh, snap.] Breakaway hit was one of them, and I've been listening to tracks 2, 3 and 4, nonstop. Damn, I never realized how good "Because Of You" could sound in a dark car on an icy highway, it's gorgeous.

#4) Hic jacet The Wolfnote, rex quondam, rexque futurus. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

"Heavy Lifting" + Like A Fox This song will Whoops! What song, again?

"A Little" + Like A Fox This song will apparently be the first track off the band's 2006 CD. I actually don't know if the CD has been released yet, but it's certainly worth tracking down. I, however, lack the skills to do this. I am not Holmes, dudes! I'm not even the good doctor. A little is all I've got, and I'm up against the wall, here. I just discovered this song last night! Anyways, the band's site has got the lead singer's email address tagged onto it, so if you're keen about keen songs, give way to a little care and message the man. Meanwhile, enjoy the soft-water-running and white-horses-in-the-rain of this song.

Come Wind, Come Weather + Daphne du Maurier The title comes from Bunyan's poem beginning "Who would true valour see." Like Bunyan's books, this, too, is a simple book. And, like Bunyan's words, this author's words cut to the heart of the matter. Du Maurier would agree with Carlyle when he said that all that history was but the lives of great men, for she, too, ascribes the motions of the political machines to the personal motivations of its leaders. National unity in 1940's Finland is brought about, not by some hallowed system of checks and balances, but by certain key people recognizing and laying down personal ambition and private pride. The most astonishing vignette, in this collection of very short stories, is, to my mind, "London, 1940?". The piece is told from the viewpoint of a Russian aristocrat during and after the Bolshevik revolution. Anna resents losing her place of privilege to a bunch of peasants who say, "If we can't be equally rich we can at least be equally poor," but the narrator comments, "She was lucky to escape with her life". Living a life of poverty, though, Anna comes to realize the troubles of the poor and the injustice of having lived thoughtlessly wealthy among them. She becomes ashamed of her past life, and when she and her husband are shipped to Poland, into an obviously very dangerous situation of poverty and jeopardy, she refuses to cave-in to self-pity or bitterness. Instead, she has decided to do her best to change positively change the people around her, and not, like a lifetime before, live without care or thought toward others. Her life, and this story, is to be a lesson for Englishmen and Londoners complaining about the loss of luxury in the middle of war.

This book is out of print.

These stories are Christian propaganda, of course, very simplistic. They are lessons more than they are stories, literature in the wholesome and nearly dead tradition of moral instruction. They are very simple, but that is the point. The world is not black and white, people are not irredeemably evil or consistently good, but one thing holds true, always. People are selfish, people can do better, private responsibilty will make public good. And if it doesn't, that's a lie, because it will.

No comments: