josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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10 Aug '04 11:17:54 AM

That, though, was just a bunch of things in a row. These, besides being in a row, seem to benefit from being in the same company:

Ahmad Jamal - Stolen Moments
The Postal Service - Nothing Better
The Postal Service - Such Great Heights
Brandy f. T.I. - Where You Wanna Be
Junior Boys - When I'm Not Around

10 Aug '04 10:54:42 AM

My ears are getting tired. I listened to all of this, and other things, tonight:

Petey Pablo - Still Writing in My Diary
Pete Rock / INI - Center of Attention
Junior Boys - Three Words
Junior Boys - When I'm Not Around
Aesop Rock - No Regrets
Aesop Rock - Big Bang
Aesop Rock - Fascination
Aesop Rock f. Slug - I'll Be OK
Aesop Rock - Basic Cable
Aesop Rock - Oxygen
Aesop Rock - Skip Town
Madvillain - The Illest Villains
Madvillain f. Quasimoto - Shadowss of Tomorrow
Madvillain - Figaro
Madvillain f. Viktor Vaughn - Fancy Clown
Madvillain - All Caps
Theodore Unit f. Ghostface - Guerilla Hood
Theodore Unit f. Trife - Punch In Punch Out
Theodore Unit f. Ghostface, Method Man, Streetlife & Trife - The Drummer
Theodore Unit f. Ghostface & Trife - Wicked With Lead
Goodie Mob - Dead Homies
Goodie Mob f. Sleepy Brown - Play Your Flute
Pete Rock f. Talib Kweli - Fly Til I Die
Junior Boys - Neon Rider
Ciana f. Petey Pablo - Goodies

Playing 'Goodies', 'Yeah', and 'Freek-a-Leek' right in a row provides lots of nice little counterpoints.

6 Aug '04 09:50:28 AM

Comment via parataxis gives me more pleasure than I think it should, sometimes.

6 Aug '04 09:44:10 AM

'The idea has occurred to me that if one wanted to crush, to annihilate a man utterly, to inflict on him the most terrible of punishments so that the most ferocious murderer would shudder at it and dread it beforehand, one need only give him work of absolutely, completely useless and irrational character. Though the hard labor now enforced is uninteresting and wearisome for the prisoner, yet in itself as work it is rational; the convict makes bricks, digs, does plastering, building; there is sense and meaning in such work. The convict worker sometimes grows keen over it, tries to work more skillfully, faster, better. But if he had to pour water from one vessel into another and back, over and over again, to pound sand, to move a heap of earth from one place to another and back again--I believe the convict would hang himself in a few days or would commit a thousand crimes, preferring rather to die than to endure such humiliation, shame and torture. Of course such punishment would become a torture, a form of vengeance, and would be senseless, as it would achieve no rational object. But such torture, senselessness, humiliation and shame is an inevitable element in all forced labor; penal labor is incomparably more painful than any free labor--just because it is forced.'

6 Aug '04 09:25:55 AM

'for, as I must repeat again, the first principle of all action is leisure'

3 Aug '04 10:03:18 AM

'Now I gotta give a shout-out to Seagram's gin, cause I drink it, and they payin me for it.'

3 Aug '04 09:05:08 AM

Interestingly, the least knowledgable of those three was the most helpful to me. I suppose this is not all that surprising.

3 Aug '04 08:59:42 AM

A few people wrote to help me with my German question. The answer is, basically, that Anscombe's translation is more or less appropriate, and that mine is not. Though I know about them, I'm not familiar enough with separable verbs to have realized that 'auskennen' is one, and that in 'Ich kenne mich nicht aus' it has been separated. The situation is more or less like that with phrasal verbs in English, where the addition of a particle (not really a preposition, here) like 'up' to 'fuck' results in the distinctly semantically different (from 'to fuck') - and separable - verb 'to fuck up'.

Thanks to Alex, Jessie, and T.P. for the help.

3 Aug '04 04:35:15 AM

A reader who came across my blog recently sent me a couple of books from my wishlist, something which hasn't happened to me in quite a while. By way of explanation (this was rather quick; and I usually have already gotten to know, in some way or another, people who send me anything via meat-mail), they wrote:

'two or three years ago, i hated most everything, and was a savage & vituperative soul, and did many things that hurt and alienated people, perhaps myself more than anyone else. times have changed (tremendously) and i've finally crawled up to a high enough ridge that i can look back on that era with some perspective, survey the damage, and be aghast at it. i don't think i can explain exactly why sending you gifts constitutes part of the reparations, but you'll have to take my word for it.'

This means more to me than the prospect of gifts. It reminds me of an attitude I used to slip into with little effort, one in which I would often write, here. It has something to do with the difficulty I have sometimes had with explaining why it is that I write in public, especially in light of the fact that I often seem to be uninterested in writing the sort of things that are generally thought to have public appeal.

Writing used to feel more like a gift. Not to me, but from me, to whoever would eventually read what I wrote. A gift in the best sense.