Something there is that doesn't love a wall


Of all men who are alive, who knows anything?
They do not know whether they do good or evil.
0 lord, do not cast aside thy servant!
He is cast into the mire; take his hand.
The iniquity which I have committed, let the wind carry away.
My many transgressions tear off like a garment!
My god, my sins are seven times seven; forgive my sins!
My goddess, my sins are seven times seven; forgive my sins!
Known and unknown god, my sins are seven times seven; forgive my sins.
--Sumerian Penitential Prayer

"Gaza is Israel's Warsaw -- a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians...We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide," says UC Santa Barbara's tenured sociology professor William I. Robinson in an e-mail he sent to the 80 students in his sociology of globalization class. The e-mail contains more than two dozen photographs of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust juxtaposed with nearly identical images of Palestinians in the Gaza strip. The snapshot above features three of those pictures.

Wouldn't you know...

I'm most of the way through a set of Deepak Chopra tapes, the theme of which is the use of experiences of...



My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going...But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

The Blanket Of Heaven by ~Kanikuman on deviantART


my lord god, i have no idea where i am going but i believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.  and i know that if i do this you will lead me by the right road Pictures, Images and Photos

Prayer of Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
my lord god, i have no idea where i am going but i believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.  and i know that if i do this you will lead me by the right road Pictures, Images and Photos
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.

(from “Thoughts in Solitude” ©Abbey of Gethsemani)


Sugar 'N Spice

As P'an-chang was about to die, he asked the monks: "Is there anyone among you who will produce my likeness?" All the monks tried to do their best, but none of their sketches pleased the master. Then one of his disciples, P'u-hua, came up and said, "I can produce your likeness."
"If so," said the master, "why not present it to me?"
P'u-hua performed a somersault and left the room.
"When this monk becomes a teacher, he will be a lunatic!" exclaimed P'an-chang.

---Zen mondo

A hole in the bridge---
the horse remembers it
in the evening mist.


"Just ask, just ask!"
says the dew,
and rolls away.


My dear online friend, BebopAuthor aka Lady Haig aka Grange Rutan, asked me to put up this photo of her. Newly invited and graciously accepting, she still is feeling her way around our august establishment---somewhat more difficult without the wise Bartender to lend a hand. Lady already has posted a couple of comments, and one of them describes her in her blue wig. She noticed our comment facility doesn't allow for images and worried a bit that people wouldn't understand what she was talking about. Being a lady top to toe, she asked for a bit of assistance.

Now you may wonder, Isn't this rather elegant for a bebopper? I mean, don't they ram around all night, getting blasted and playing any riff that pops into their twisted heads? And anyway, isn't bebop some old music from a vague past? Well maybe it is, but the vague past is why The Wulfshead is let's be respectful.

And actually bebop was a stately music, more akin to Haydn than to Satchmo---which may be why bop made that jazz master a bit nervous. Eddie Condon, 1920s and '30s Chicago wildman, called it "Chinese music," and given the whole tone scales Thelonious Monk used he may have been closer to the truth than he realized. The people who invented and played the music were virtuosos of their instruments and could have been great classical musicians...but they weren't schooled that way, nor did they see the world as a relaxed chamber for pipe and slippers. And so in their personal lives, many of them stumbled and fell.

Enter the bebop wife. It still was the case that most jazz musicians were men---but that was changing fast even in the 1940s. (Certainly vibist Margie Hyams from George Shearing's first quintet qualifies as a bopper, and MaryLou Williams' compositions from this period still are a stretch.) So when a jazz player needed taking care of, it was a special kind of lady who was by his side. Long suffering perhaps, but they were devoted beyond anything most people can imagine. For some it just was not possible to stay because the dangers were many. There are some who did and most of them are memorialized in song and memory among players and fans. Lady Haig could not stay with Al, but everyone knows and remembers her anyway...and understands. Wasn't it Dizzy Gillespie himself who gave her the name?

So there's her picture, and I'm sure she'll be around as her pleasure allows. Since she's been a bebop wife, we need to realize (as we do with Utah, Nausicaa and the other ladies in here) that she loves a good time...but lines and boundaries are very clear in her head. After all, BebopAuthor also is a staunch Presbyterian. (Has anyone ever met an un-staunch Presbyterian?) So Saturday night is one thing, and Sunday morning is another. That's how the great beboppers kept going, with ladies like this one looking after them. She keeps track of me too, and it is a great privilege for me that is so.


We need to spice this place up a little bit.


Variations on a Polish Folk Theme

His manager, Mary Pat Buerkle, told the Associated Press on Monday that Zimerman has talked for the last couple of years about not coming back to the United States "for a while. . . . I don't think it's appropriate to say it's all political."

In a spirited range of comments on Culture Monster, following the LA Times article from which the above quotes were extracted, many praise Zimerman...

Others say the stage is no place for divisive political speech.

As if there ever was such a thing as a place free of politics. Or as if silence had ever been apolitical. The whole world is a stage, and too much of the play and the actions of the actors on that stage are scripted with too little leeway for any of the performers to depart from the politically correct play written for them. Not if they know what is good for them -- even in the USA (The Dixie Chicks know something of it). What Zimerman chose to do, whatever his reasons and regardless of whether one personally agrees with the opinion he expressed, is a rare luxury not given to the average man or woman, especially if the said average man or woman wants to keep his or her job.
Most civilization is based on cowardice. It's so easy to civilize by teaching cowardice. You water down the standards which would lead to bravery. You restrain the will. You regulate the appetites. You fence in the horizons. You make a law for every movement. You deny the existence of chaos. You teach even the children to breathe slowly. You tame
--The Stolen Journals (Frank Herbert, Dune)
Most people are kept lingering, obedient and bound by an invisible chain of obligation and expectations which keep them subdued and subservient and not too overtly "unhealthily" interested in politics, except to cast their vote every so often, and in moderation, and on matters where they are told to do so, a little bit like going to church (where the faithful and good God fearing Christians are told to make the right choice, and whom to vote for).



Variation on a theme

Is there a Doctor in the room?

What can he do?

Is the world expecting too much from Obama?

Richard Silverstein from Tikun Olam (Obama to Invite Abbas, Mubarak and Netanyahu for Separate Talks) believes that things will play out differently this time around.


Is there a Doctor in the room?

Nurse Piggy: Dr. Bob, you should be ashamed of yourself. You call yourself a doctor, Dr. Bob?

Dr. Bob: I don't call myself a doctor. They don't come when you call them anyway.

But then, there are doctors and doctahs...


Listen to the Dr.



Grieve no more

Grieve no more!

Beer today...

More tomorrow...


There'll Be Sad Memes (To Make You Cry)

I'm tagging Ben Trovato, Nausicaa, and Tom Bombadil...but don't let that stop the rest of you from posting your own in comments. Your challenge is: name two scenes or lines of dialogue from TV or film, that make you cry. Mine are under the cut.

Lisa: Being myself...didn't work. Being somebody else...didn't work...

--The Simpsons, from Summer of 4 Ft. 2



I don't know what to make of that new DJ

The bartender has not returned yet, and then this new guy showed up... I am pretty sure I've not seen him here before... He said that he is our DJ for today.



Pub Quiz

Do you know what this music has to do with this movie?

The answer is after the cut.

Breakfast Club - Rico Mambo - The best video clips are right here

This is a remix (or a demo) of the single "Rico Mambo," a non-charter by a more-interesting-than-they-were-given-credit-for band called...Breakfast Club.

The movie, I'm assuming you recognize.



A good song is a good song.


Wherever you go . . .

. . . there you are:

Myself, I'll be right over here. Enjoying a nice serving of bean curd.

Things have been quiet of late at The Wulfshead, and I like it that way.

Unlike some of the more prissy clientèle of the club---Who are some of those people anyway and how did they ever find their way in here?---I don't mind pouring my own beer.

They say real men don't eat Tofu. But they say so many things [link]. On the other hand, there is hope: if Jorge Chavarro and his team have it right, soy may become one viable solution to the Human overpopulation crisis. (Except that it doesn't look like it has been working that way, so far, in countries such as China or India or Brazil and in other countries where the consumption of soy is high.)

But who cares what they say, the bean curd goes well with the beer.

Besides, it's a specialty of the house. And "why is that?" do you ask. all started with that Guan Di fellow. That guy with the white beard over there, who just stormed in. He has just found out that the bartender is away and he looks rather pissed off about the whole thing. Don't let the haughtiness and all the drama fool you. I know him; there is a kind heart under that fierce appearance. He'll soon calm down and pour himself a drink just like the rest of us.

They say he is some kind of a god, you know.

Don't ask  . . . [cont'd']

Too late!

Maybe he is "the solution to the human overpopulation crisis."



Jazzolog Is Away

                  Empty Club

A creation of artist Gabriel Orozco in 1996, at 50 St James’s Street, London SW1.

The hand that guides the brush has already caught and executed what floated before the mind at the same moment the mind began to form it, and in the end the pupil no longer knows which of the two---mind or hand---was responsible for the work.
---Eugen Herrigel

Treading the gingko leaves
a young boy quietly
comes down from the temple.

Pray to God, but hammer away.
---Spanish proverb

Big Brother (webmaster?) is away. Bartender is away. Maybe they want to shampoo the rugs. This management is discreet. I shall go away too for the nonce. If others look in, I hope they will comment at the many tables now moved into adjoining archives.



Far and away

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Watch yourselves for a while.



Black is the color

We have always been a little wary of religious zealots. You know, like Saint Gorgeous or the Holy Rollers.

Or The Really Righteous Atheist Brothers.

The Atheist Brothers can be downright boring, actually. If nothing else, there is some measure of entertainment value to Saint Gorgeous or the Holy Rollers. As I always say, if you're going to get religious on me, at least make it fun! I don't know, use your imagination. Ride a funny cubicle car, like the Pope does. Or go skyclad like The Sisters of La Vecchia Religione.

Kali Mystics are alright. As a matter of fact, the bartender fixed one for me, just last night.

I mean, the real thing. None of that Amaretto/Rum/7-up crap they serve in some places.

The bartender actually used black vodka. And while I do usually prefer my drinks on the dry side, I thought the hint of black raspberry liqueur was a nice touch.

This Martini comes with a black olive, of course! No maraschino cherry at The Wulfshead. No, sir.

Black will always be the color that defines style and sophistication. There is an undeniable mystic allure to it. As the bartender put it: "it definitely has a place in the world of spirits."




We've been wrestling with some of the great questions around here lately. Love, afterlife, philosophy, tradition, new age, Hinduism, Kali mystics. Questions of mercy. This is all very well.

But I think, at the end of the day, the real question is...


Wish You Were Here

---current New Yorker



The Strange Little Fellow by the Fireside

I see... That would explain a lot. Like that strange little fellow by the fireside:


Thich Nhat Hanh said:

When a person's speech is full of anger, it is because he or she suffers deeply.



Because he has so much suffering, he becomes full of bitterness.



For a bunch of strange and unusual people, we're pretty genteel

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou -


The call of the new rite

"Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance."
---Bede, "De temporum ratione"

Ostara (1884) by Johannes Gehrts.

Un carillon ding dong
Fait un peu de ping pong
Dans l'espace léger
Les cloches se répondent
Aux quatre coins du monde
Qu'y a-t-il de changé ?
---S. Lama/ Y.Gilbert, "Qu'y a-t-il de changé ?"

On Dec. 2, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) delivered a timely speech about Milton Friedman’s Legacies, in which he argued that Friedman’s ideology is responsible for the current Economic Crisis and "the enormous damages" it has caused to the middle class and to working families, here and throughout the world at large.

They said Libertarianism had never been tried before---until then.

The following goes to the heart of it:
Friedman earned his bread by denouncing government at virtually every turn. He, like his acolyte, former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan, believed that a largely unregulated free market constituted the most superior form of economic organization imaginable.

Right-wing economists have argued that we can simply trust wealthy people and large corporations to do the right thing. Recent history has demonstrated what a silly idea that is.
The Senator's main point was that our country is due for a transformation:
1. We have endured years of right-wing ideology and we are eager to move in a different direction.

2. This last general election represented a repudiation of right-wing economic arguments.

3. We will see a major reordering of social and economic priorities.
It has now been barely three months since the Obama administration took office and although I understand how there are those who will find the question a little bit precocious, I think Easter makes it a propitious time to ask:

How is the transformation going?

Are we already living in a world dominated by for-profit corporate entities in which governments' political power has become so limited that no meaningful change can really take place (Jennifer Government comes to mind), or "yes" can we, still?

Yes, can we?

The world we live in remains in large part a world devastated by ongoing invisible and not so invisible economic wars in which nations are struggling for control of the markets and for their very own economic survival. The sacrifice of Human rights and social expectations is considered a necessary casualty of war and is justified in the name of competitiveness and economic efficiency, just as slave-labor was justified from 1654 until 1865 within the boundaries of much of the present United States.

A "change of direction" would be good. But direction to where? Direction, how? By what means? The international community? What international community?

If "unregulated free market" (aka "turbo-capitalism," "market fundamentalism," "casino capitalism," "cancer-stage capitalism," and "McWorld") is the disease, what is the cure? Regulations? How does one go about fostering the kind of global integration that better provides democratic representation, advancement of human rights and more egalitarian states? Do the nation-states of the world (including a Super Power such as the USA) still have any real say in the economic control of their individual destinies? How does one regulate the world?

Does Barack Obama know?

Do you?


From The Wisdom of No Escape:

The problem is that

the desire to change

is fundamentally a form of aggression toward yourself.



our Lecture Series resumes


Grass and Lightning

Do April showers bring May flowers?

Is it just the rain? Or does lightning too have something to do with it?

A good question.

A question that was submitted to Joel Block and Deborah Byrd for Earth and Sky:
Listener: "Why does my grass look greener after a lightning storm? Is it true that lightning acts like a fertilizer for plants?"

DB: Lightning can help produce a form of nitrogen that's useful for growing plants. Lightning can cause oxygen and nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere to combine -- to form nitrogen oxide -- the main nutrient in lawn fertilizers. But that's not the whole story -- does the nitrogen oxide created during a lightning storm really cause your lawn to look greener?

JB: And the answer to that is probably no. Lightning produces nitrogen oxide -- but storm winds generally blow it thousands of kilometers away. What's more, it can take days for the nitrogen oxide created in a lightning storm to wash down to the ground. Nitrogen oxide produced in a storm does add nutrients to the soil -- but only much later and in places far from where the storm took place.

DB: So if your grass looks greener after a thunderstorm, you might want to consider a different explanation. It might be because of the extra rain -- and the quick return of sunshine. That's our show for today. Thanks for joining us.
I asked Caravan Palace the same question---I just had to---and here is what they had to say:



Think nothing of it

Patrons have always been free to bring their animal companions to The Wulfshead, and vice-versa.

It's easier that way. One obvious reason is that there are patrons here who would never accept being separated from their familiar...

...Don't stare.

Another, less obvious reason to one unaccustomed to The Wulfshead's clientèle, is that considering that Man is after all an animal too (not to mention a "pestilence"), there would otherwise be those occasions that would make it a bit awkward trying to establish which is which.

Besides, people here don't like it when you start asking too many questions.

All and all, I like it that way; it helps atypical social environment.

Especially the dogs. As far as I'm concerned, they make the bar a more human place.