Variation on a theme

Die for what you believe in

Words and Music: George Brassens, "Mourir pour des idées" (1972)
English translation: Andrew Kelly

Die for what you believe in, that's the great idea;
I was just about killed for failing to believe it.
All those people who did - that fierce pack of idealists
Howled like wolves after blood and helped me to conceive it.
They converted me quickly and my mischievous spirit
Soon renouncing its error rallied to their cause
With one slight reservation - like a contract clause
Let's die for our beliefs, O.K. if we don't hurry it
O.K., we wait for good old - natural death!

My belief remains fixed - there is no harm in waiting:
Let's reach that other world, but let's go really slow!
If we rush things too much we could find ourselves dying
For the greatest idea that's obsolete when we go.
This whole question's so vexed, there's so much bitterness to it,
When you've given up the ghost and everything is clear,
Have you backed the wrong horse and got the wrong idea?
Let's die for our beliefs, O.K., if we don't hurry it
O.K., we wait for good old - natural death!

How can silver-tongued folk preaching martyrdom's virtues
Manage in their own way to linger here below?
"Die for what you believe in": that's just something they say to
Give them something to live for , they don't want to go.
They're around on all sides, their age is over the limit,
They'll outlive old Methuselah in their ripe old age:
Just imagine them whispering softly from the stage:
Let's die for our beliefs, O.K., if we don't hurry it
O.K., we wait for good old - natural death!

Look at all those sects if you're wanting a sample
Of beliefs that demand the final sacrifice.
Novice victims should get this idea for example,
Which beliefs should they die for, how to make their choice?
They're so similar those beliefs, they differ not one whit;
Wise men, seeing them parading, with their flags unrolled,
Don't like making their minds up - tombstones are so cold!
Let's die for our beliefs, O.K., if we don't hurry it
O.K., we wait for good old - natural death.

Tell me, if it just takes murderous anarchist urges
To put everything right and change things for the better,
Why so many heads rolled during all those great purges
And yet Heaven on Earth has never been unfettered.
Man's great Golden Age never comes, it's always adjourned, it
Seems the Gods ask for more and can't be satisfied;
Death takes over again and Mayhem's glorified.
Let's die for our beliefs, O.K., if we don't hurry it
O.K., we wait for good old - natural death!

You fanatical types, tell me who are you kidding?
Why not try dying first if anyone must go?
Why not live and let live, leave your neighbour in peace when
Life's his simple and only pleasure here below?
Father Time's on the look-out and you've got to admit that
He can do without help to wield his great big scythe.
Stop this dancing on scaffolds - let's get on with life!
Let's die for our beliefs, O.K., if we don't hurry it
O.K., we wait for good old - natural death!


I'd wonder which I am, but the truth is, I know too well


May 31, 2010

Variation on a theme.




"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster."
--- Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955

Modern day gangsterism . . . really comes down to how many zeros you're looking at.

Gone are the days of Alphonso Capone and Nitti.
Today's Goodfellas are driven around Washington in Limousines.
Give it up! In this business, Eliot Ness has sold out.
Satan is celebrating the Mass. And so don't expect anyone will be confessing soon.

Il rêve de politique pour être un gangster moderne...
Gangster moderne, c'est juste ajouter quelques zéros
Jadis c'était : Alphonso Capone et Nitti
Aujourd'hui Les Affranchis roulent en Berline à Paris
Laisse ! Dans ce business, Eliot Ness est de mèche
Satan dirige la messe. Donc personne ne se confesse.



What Do YOU Dream?

I brought some of my jinfamous scratch-made Sangria, can I pour a glass for anyone before I begin?

Jinerally, I dream three scenarios:

  1. I am late delivering a Wedding Cake for the Brides Reception... by a DAY!
  2. Zombies are chasing me so I have to steal a car that's been abandoned in a lot. Usually they're junkers but I always cut the noshing of my brains way too close by trying to get the red convertible sports car.
  3. Sex.

The analytical brain goes tick tock:
  1. No chance. Never been late, never will. (Before you even ask- No, never dropped one, never will. Confidence People!)
  2. I hate red cars. I don't like sports cars either & I never want a convertible! (I do however, salivate over the green Mini Cooper with White Racing Stripe. Hubba.)
  3. All I can say is that I must have been a dude in my most recent past life. I mean, you guys think about it like once every 3 seconds, right?! (Ok, so I'm not quite that bad.)

Last week I spent an entire night dreaming about The Wulfshead! (Dreamspeak... an entire night = 5 minutes & 27.3 seconds. Roughly ;-) I was in my Blogger Dashboard trying to post at my private blog about the recent horribleness regarding my relatards & their inbreeding-not-so-poor-white-trash-vileness towards yours truly. The thing is, every time I clicked Publish it appeared on The Wulfshead blog! I was mortified that everyone would think I was a bit of a pussy for letting lower life forms affect me & quickly tried to delete before anyone saw what I had typed... when it dawned on me, that even though my visits here are sporadic, I do believe that all of you are good decent people.

I realized, in my dream, that I could be myself here.

Then I realized, after I awoke, that I simply must try to come round more often.

If you want a boost for your self-esteem, it's probably best not to ask the internet

But that's exactly what Greta Van Susteren did.

Fox News host Greta Van Susteren has surely received audience complaints before — but a recent email exchange irked her enough to take issue with it on her own blog. And in a move that Fox executives probably would have tried to discourage had they been consulted, Van Susteren also urged her blog readers to weigh in on the central point raised by her correspondent: that she is, well, rather dimly lit.

It all started when Brian of Tahlequah, Okla., told Van Susteren she had a "mind like a seive" (yes, it should be "sieve"). Brian didn't stop there: He also wanted the host to know that her "brain is empty."

"Matter of fact, it is so empty, if you put a pea in your skull it would rattle around like a BB in a boxcar," he wrote.

In her blog post, Van Susteren responded with a few questions — and several question marks. "Why does Brian watch if he thinks I am so stupid?" she wrote. "How stupid is that????"

Perhaps expecting fans to rally around her, Van Susteren polled the audience as to who's dumber: Van Susteren or the guy watching a show he doesn't like. As of this writing, after more than 12,000 votes, the results aren't in the host's favor: 67 percent of respondents say Van Susteren is dumber.



The Petit Trianon

Visited the Petit Trianon on this trip.

Louis XIV’s palace only proves that nothing is too good or too big for a king. Kings everywhere have always tried to prove it. That mentality even infected the Vatican, since the cathedral church there is bigger, larger, fatter, grosser, huger than any other church in the world. And proud of it. Markers, along the main central aisle, mark the lengths of the naves of its main competitors, and none have it beat. (And to think Bernini that supreme genius of the Renaissance participated in all this - the bloating, biggening, gross enlargening that is.)

But to get back to Versailles the king, being king, I suppose, was capable of getting the best artists of his time to fill the palace with many truly excellent portraits. All perfectly harmonized in excellent taste. Guys mostly I never heard of. And the Hall of Mirrors truly is impressive, in a showy way. I once had a glimpse of the interior of Donald Trump’s place in New York. (A photo layout.) It was all glittering gold. The walls were gold, the ceiling was gold, the chandeliers were gold, everywhere you looked: gold. Totally tasteless. Rich guys, with lots of power - rulers of the world, whether on Wall Street or in Paris - have to watch out for that. Even in Florence there are some inextricable displays of bad taste. And this was a place where, at one time, geniuses were a dime a dozen. And the aristocracy had enough sense to take advantage of all that vision and talent.

But to get back to Versailles, as I said, I visited the Petit Trianon, expecting to find some lifeless stuffy place filled with the showy opulence vulgar rich people are drawn to. In any age. What a surprise! What I found instead was a truly attractive home with a wonderful atmosphere of comfort and serenity. The queen had taste.

Down on the lower floor, the ground floor, you’ll find the small, simple rooms which attended to the practical concerns of living out there (and out there it is. From palace to palace is at least a forty five minute walk.) Up on the first floor, the floor above, is where the Queen slept and played. Entering her bedroom what may immediately strike you is how small her bed was. It almost could pass for a baby’s crib. A big baby, yes. But the entire length of the bed may not even be five feet. True, people were short then. Much shorter than today. Though to think that the Queen of France was so tiny is still nevertheless startling. Considering her size in history.

But the queen slept in a small room which was beautifully and magnificently appointed, creating an atmosphere of perfect comfort. Some of that tranquility can still be felt today. Standing there looking at the room beyond the rope you can still go back to that time, distantly absorbing it. Enjoying it. And, of course, the contrast of this perfect ease and comfort with the poverty and squalor so many of the French in her day knew is striking. Not that one begrudges her good fortune and good taste. One simply feels the suffering of the millions lacking it. Who had no chance of ever enjoying any of that privileged life she knew.

The queen loved music. In an adjoining room (let’s not forget the palace is extremely small) there was a small harp, an antique piano of some sort, and a variety of beautiful padded chairs (practically comfortable as well as attractive) where music was performed for her and her visitors and guests. All in perfect taste. That kind of good taste which may make its fortunate possessor forget all the distant sufferings in the outside world. After all, in such an atmosphere one can not touch or feel that pain. And ugliness does not harmonize with comfort. It’s normal and easy to want to forget all that. And of course it was only through the accident of birth that she possessed her pleasures.

Yes, there was an ideal atmosphere out there, far from the main palace, surrounded by countryside, and she must have known many peaceful and happy moments in her little nest. But of course “the deluge” eventually came. In the main palace, next to the royal bed, which is enormous, you can see the tiny side door Marie Antoinette fled through when the Paris crowds stormed the palace. Her luck simply ran out.

And isn’t that worth considering too?



The truth shall set you free

It's "all very complicated"...

Or not...

The scientists should have talked to one of our bartenders, first. It all comes down to the same thing in the end.

It's all a matter of perspective...and proportions...

The truth shall set you free...

I say half a dozen glasses of this before a press conference should do---for starters.

As a matter of fact, it ought to be made mandatory: no more sober politicians.

I mean, imagine, George W. Bush off the wagon. Clearly the man was never meant to quit drinking---a world of good it did him. Had he kept drinking... Who knows? He may have become one of our most popular President to date. (Our loss, I am sure.)

They ought to make it a law. And it should apply to any government or corporate spokesperson (so hard to tell them apart nowadays).

It could help redefine the face of politics...

In any case, it would certainly make politics more interesting.

You lie - take another drink!

And help avoid awkward embarrassing Carol Browner moments, such as this one:



What you haven't become . . .


How it has changed you, you will never know.

You mean, she is her own person!!! *sigh*...

"...take our dreams and turn them into ash... "

(Did I say that out loud?)

Er...what I meant to say...

What was on my had been hoping...

Never mind what was on my mind!

All the same, insofar as Dennis is concerned, I say somebody's better check the back of his neck--just to make sure.

Who knows what might have been lurking aboard Air Force One on that fateful day.



You know you really love the '80s when...

...Keith Olbermann teases an upcoming story about a would-be Republican candidate who claims to have found the The Ark of the Covenant in Arizona, thus:

"I hope all the animals had the right papers with them."

--and you immidiately think, "Ha ha, Keith, but the Ark of the Covenant isn't the same as Noah's Ark, it's the container/chest in which the tablets of the 10 Commandments were carried. Didn't you see Raiders?"


The Nuremberg Defense

I do what they tell me.

We all do.

What a joke. I don't care who picks them, certainly, these wogs can't govern themselves.


But at least David O. Russell makes good movies

Megan Fox walked away from "Transformers 3" because director Michael Bay was "verbally abusive" toward her and "she had enough and decided to get out early," an individual close to the actress has told TheWrap.

Bay ... has a history of demeaning his leading ladies, including "Pearl Harbor" star Kate Beckinsale; an individual close to the actress recalled that the director "wasn't very nice" to her on the set, either.

Apparently, Fox wasn't the only "Transformers" cast member affected by Bay's rude behavior. TheWrap also learned that "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" star Isabel Lucas chose not to join her co-stars on a publicity tour for the film because she didn't get along with the director, who was described as being "too powerful" and "not well-liked" by the female talent community.

It's no secret that Bay has a reputation for being an extremely controlling filmmaker who can be difficult to work with at times -- but directors aren't required to be "nice." Just ask George Clooney and Lily Tomlin, the respective stars of David O. Russell's "Three Kings" and "I Heart Huckabees."



Déjà vu all over again?

Jog my memory - Am I reading too much into this, or is there something oddly familiar about the whole thing?


It's things like this that make me want to call for a violent overthrow of the United States government

ATMs a mystery to senator

The Nebraska Democrat [Sen. Ben Nelson] pleaded ignorance when asked this week whether Congress should cap ATM fees. Nelson said that while he's no fan of unnecessary fees, he's unfamiliar with the charges.

“I've never used an ATM, so I don't know what the fees are,” Nelson said, adding that he gets his cash from bank tellers, just not automatic ones.

Wait, it gets better.

“But I could learn how to do it just like I've . . . I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about the holograms.”


By “holograms,” Nelson clarified that he meant the bar codes on products read by automatic scanners in the checkout lanes at stores such as Lowe's and Menard's.

Oh, sure, I can see how--what?

However, lest you think Nelson leads a completely pampered life inside a bubble, he insists:

“I go and get my own seating assignment on an airplane,” Nelson said.

Well! Aren't you a big boy?


Plato Corollary

"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are fated to be ruled by those who are dumber."


Those who are too naive and engage in politics are doomed to be eaten alive by those who are shrewder than they are.

Which is about the same thing the Obama administration did with the Public Option:

They all lie.

It can't be helped.

Such is the nature of the beast.

It comes with the job:



I think I speak for everyone in America

...when I say...there was still an "Annie" comic strip?

'Annie' comic strip ending after 85 years

The iconic redheaded orphan Annie is ending her time on newspaper comics pages after 85 years.

Tribune Media Services announced Thursday that it will cease syndication of the "Annie" strip on June 13.



Knowledege alone is a poor primer

Cause and effect?
That's not it at all.

There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there's a hole in the bucket.

A closed system lacks the ability to renew itself.


The Usual Suspects

Which philosopher are you?
Your Result: Sartre/Camus (late existentialists)

The world is absurd. No facts govern it. We live well once we truly accept the world's absurdity. YOU give our life's meaning, and YOU control your world.
(see Nietzsche for very closely tied beliefs)
--This quiz was made by S. A-Lerer.

W.v.O. Quine / Late Wittgenstein
Early Wittgenstein / Positivists
Immanuel Kant
Plato (strict rationalists)
Which philosopher are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Could be worse--I could've been the Marquis de Sade.

(Or Joss Whedon)

The Audacity of Hope

More than words are needed for a vision to take form in today's world.

Or as Jimmy Jellinek put it, "people want things that last and have meaning."

Hard to argue with that!



Are you Ruthless?

Every once in a while
when I become entrenched in despair
I pop a phrase jinto Google
to remind myself some can be fair

It takes my mind off the foibles
and occasionally does enlighten
yet sometimes all it seems to do
is depress & frighten!

jins Google of the day: "relatives ruthlessness"
(Why, yes... yes it was personal! The bastards! You truly wouldn't believe I am of their blood!)
came up with:
The Ruthless Gene Test

Of course, don't we all know of one (or more) peeps whom would not need the actual test?!!?
Bartender, a round on me please!
(...and pass those sea salted pecans you hide behind the bar... I need sustenance!)


What currency is that?

Forgive me, Sir; I was merely inquiring out of idle curiosity. Your money is no good here.

Today, the drinks are on him:

Never regard something as doing you good if it makes you betray a trust...or makes you show ill-will or hypocrisy or a desire for things best done behind closed doors.
---Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

What can I say, Sir? Marcus Aurelius' Meditations are still revered to this day as a literary monument to a government of service and duty.

Who wouldn't drink to that?

He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors," you know.

Speaking of service and duty, I understand that Glenn Greenwald will be on Rachel Maddow's show tonight at 9:00 p.m. (EDT) to discuss Elena Kagan's nomination.

Er... Sir?

What is that the gentleman is toasting with?

Please, don't tell me it's water!

Rest In Peace, Fierce Loveliness

Lena Horne, the ground-breaking singer, actress and civil rights activist who, in 1942, became the first African-American performer to be put under contract by a major studio, died on Sunday, May 9, at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92.

From Lady Haig, in June 2009~~~

"James Gavin's long awaited 'Stormy Weather,' about the legendary-most-exquisite-living elegant beauty: Lena Horne, is gorgeous gold and blows my mind and I am haunted by what was required of this beautiful, intelligent woman, still remembering in 1965 as I watched an at least seven foot tall Las Vegas deputy ... See Moresheriff in true ... See Morewild west garb, clad in beige, from the top of his huge hat to his shiny brown boots, escort the trembling stone-faced beauty of Lena across the open floor of Jake Gottlieb's Dunes Hotel, where she was appearing but could not throw those 'bones' and wish a 'new pair of shoes for baby.'

"Once upon a time, my first husband, a white man Al Haig, the chosen pianist of the innovators and titans of bebop:Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, played the piano in a movie, entitled: Stormy Weather with Lena Horne. He opened and he closed; Al was present at the heart of the rhythm, then suddenly he was gone, so is The Dunes Hotel, BUT LENA HORNE IS STILL STANDING. YES!

"I picture Lena, dressed in a gorgeous flowing red chiffon caftan, alone in a penthouse with Ava Gardner sipping a toast to James Gavin and reciting:

'Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - '

John G. Magee

Posted by BebopAuthor"


New holiday

Polanski Day: It's held on the 13th, but you swear you thought it was the 18th.


It Could Happen To You

I'm back in the Club...but the Google Cops could grab me again anytime. You too. It's getting worse out there. Bartender, set 'em up for the house on my tab. The story's here~~~


Clearly, this is a far-seeing metaphor...

...for the damage done by the Gulf spill, and the challenges of cleaning it up. I mean honestly, what else could it be?


Caveat Emptor

OK, I hear what you are saying, Sam . . .

I really do . . .

But, consider this:
1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.
What to say?

I don't know...

For some strange reason, I have been feeling the urge of learning some other language lately. . .

What do you think?

Does that make me unpatriotic?


Kaption this foto


The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step