He seemed distracted and I know just what is gonna happen next before his first step, he's off again
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 23:59:43 -0400
From: nick black <email@example.com>
********************* left as an exercise for the reader:
> I can't tell whether I just saw words of the general or a common czech
allusion from after the war of western agression or both at once heaven help me.
Did I recognize at least three of the quotes or was it really one of which I've
so much yet to learn? -Stephen
Let's step through dank's mind, eh?
> Just pass along the attached bug report and
A kinda-reference to Kurtz's report in Heart of Darkness. Exterminate the
brutes -- kill them all! The horror, the horror. It's always good to open
with Józef because it gives you a spiritual connection to "The Hollow Men".
> let whomever wishes to read it, read it.
A definite reference to Jesus's refrain in the synoptic Gospels (Mark 4:23;
7:16; Matthew 11:15; 13: 9, 34; 25:29; Luke 8:8; 13:9; 21:4). Now, I'm no
big fan of Jesus, so you should figure "Let anyone with ears to hear,
listen" means something more than that tired animadversion. When it's dank
and the Bible, that something is usually Daniel or Revelation. And there in
Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 3:6, 3:13, and 13:9 -- it's good to know that should
one suffer the hallucinatory mania of a Patmos exile, it won't be for lack
of anaphora -- what do we find? "He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches!" A mighty invocation, here used sidelongingly
to indicate: those who might understand, do read on with fascination; you
others, thought you squint and try to read, you cannot; depart from me,
for I know ye not.
This of course takes us right back to Luke 13:27, through a narrow gate.
Regarding this narrow gate, I'd like to loop in something about "putting our
five fingers through it, and finding perhaps a door, nebeneinander" and thus
pay tribute to my favorite passage of all -- especially since "shut your
eyes and see" works so well with what is to follow. But we need be getting on.
> To Caesar's, what is Caesar's:
matthew 22:21 dicunt ei Caesaris tunc ait illis reddite ergo quae sunt
Caesaris Caesari et quae sunt Dei Deo and aren't we very proud of them.
> we're all sons-of-bitches now.
Harvard physicist Kenneth Bainbridge to J. Robert Oppenheimer following the
Trinity test (of which he was Director) at Alamogordo, 1945-07-16. Many
internet sites claim JRO said this, indicating they're fuckheads who haven't
even read their canonical Rhodes. Certainly no one who'd read American
Prometheus would attribute this to JRO; it has nothing about the Ramayana or
sublimation of the self or martinis in it.
> Since when are these people allowed to question you, Stambo?
Lèse-majesté laws and Isaiah 6:2 / Enoch 14:21's descriptions of the angels
before "He who is honored and praised". I always like a reference to the
non-canonical Enoch when I can get one. "Stambo" makes me think of
Punch-and-Judy characters (why? unsure...Pietro Gimonde? Scaramouche? who
knows). Finally, I really like vocative case + long vowel endings. They
sound however you intone them to.
> Take no guff from these swine.
HST, of course, cleaned up for the kiddos.
> If you want, summon everyone outside tomorrow. I'll put a
> cigarette out in someone's eyes, and ask the rest whether they're happy to
> be seeing whatever Stambolsky lets them see. They nod eager assents and are
> informed they'll be allowed to retain their sight...for now. But only so
> that you might be gazed upon.
This is obviously all just totalitarianism imagery in its most crass form
with a bit of Solzhenitsyn / Levi thrown in. There's inspirations for the
core image from Vlad III Tepes to Saddam, but let's leave it with Mr.
Tarantino: "Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with
you. However, leave the limbs you've lost. They belong to me now." And, of
course, Matthew 5:27-30.
> Except our original counterrevolutionary; two bullets later, we leave his
> corpse to bloat underneath a sky even now filling with grim vultures seeking
> a feast of flesh and carrion and putrefaction.
We manage to avoid yet another Biblical reference by the narrowest of
jackals, which thankfully aren't licking the body. "Carrion" I use as often
as possible, because it reminds me of that first fantastic Fiona album.
> Remember that grey week backed up against the Vltava, stambo? we called it
Flip this and reverse it, as Missy Elliott might say, and you've got
Stalingrad's siege against the Volga 1942.
> the "city of a hundred spires" between
This is a name for Prague, through which the Vltava flows.
> mouthfuls of blood in the Vysehrad.
Seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide. Vyšehrad, the high castle of
Prague, suggests to my Western eye "Upanishad", helping "Vltava" flow into
"Vedanta"; self-realization is found among the blood-dimmed tide and among the
saved and the drowned, putting a positive end to Vico's theory of cyclical
histories (forever tied in my mind to Joyce's masterful use in the Wake). So
too, through death or victory -- e tan, e epi tan. With your shield, or upon
it. This paragraph was full of water, but the suggestion of Sparta drags us
back to land, with the hoplites and phalanxes. You are correct to assume
suggestions of the evolutionary cycle here, from the oceans to land and back
to oceans, and so too from a quark soup to plasmas to planetary accretions
and lithifications to the roar of photodisintegration to the infinite silence
of entropy death. Our experience debugging is the experience not just of all
Man, but of all Multiverse.
> What'd I say then?
> "Whatever it takes."
This is a reference to a New Warriors comic book I read in 1990, with its
origins in some of classic literature's most famous opening phrases: Omnis
homines, qui sese student praestare ceteris animalibus, summa ope niti
decet -- this from Sallust's Bellum Catilinae. Cicero uses variation on this
theme all over the place, in his speeches and Letters to Atticus; see "ad
quas adero et omni ope atque opera enitar" etc. In a secondary literal sense
but a primary literary sense, see George Herbert's "The Collar".
nick black <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"NP: The class of dashed hopes, and idle dreams"
Principal Engineer, Secure Computing Applied Research
Grad student, Georgia Tech College of Computing
i'm around; grad school + work is even less wise a lifeplan than it sounds and i have no idea what i was thinking. if anyone's still alive when i emerge, holla.