"Typhoons such as Yolanda (Haiyan) and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action," spoke Filipino diplomat Yeb Sano in a moving speech to international delegates at the annual U.N Summit on climate change in Warsaw (http://ift.tt/1eHSEuk). “What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness,” he says, “The climate crisis is madness.”
Super Typhoon Haiyan has sent a chill through the global nervous system. Thousands dead. Weather scientists in shock. Lives destroyed. The greatest typhoon to touch land in recorded history brings with it more than total destruction. It ups the level of urgency for a new economic paradigm … one that puts the planet first. Radical economist and historian Richard Smith lays out the path for a new way forward, to stop the “climate madness” about to descend everywhere.
This is bigotry. And it is not complicated by the fact that Baldwin supports marriage equality. One need not believe that LGBTQ human beings are equal to support their right to marry, any more than one needed to be an anti-racist to support abolition, or an anti-sexist to support women’s suffrage. There any number of self-interested reasons to support the advancement of civil rights. “Let them niggers vote” or “let them fags marry” is actually a politically consistent position. It says, “I don’t like you, but I’m not willing to put my tax dollars behind my dislike.” Or more even, “I don’t like you, but I think I can profit from taking this position. — Ta-Nehisi Coates, on Alec Baldwin and bigotry. (via theatlantic)
Run, pugs, run!
Speaking of Reed, Laurie Anderson’s account in Rolling Stone of her 21 years with him and seeing him through his death was the most moving thing I read this week. A notable thing here is that Reed met Anderson when he was fifty. One of the biggest wastes on the planet, I think, is the mythology of “older” people as already happened to, already complete, already fading, already done. Probably my favorite thing about the literary world (and certainly the same could be said in any arts community) is this view being less prevalent, and it being more widely understood and embraced that people are always evolving, changing, connecting and becoming. This wasn’t true in the neighborhood where I grew up, and for a long time I believed that was due to poverty and lack of education, but that wasn’t the only reason. Now I live in an educated urban neighborhood where most people have enough money to take good vacations and rehab their homes and all that…yet there still seems to be a prevailing view that after a certain point people are “set,” they “stop,” the younger generation becomes immensely more vital and important and interesting, and older adults retreat to background noise. Admittedly in my old hood, “older” often meant 28 or 30. Girls had babies at 15 or 18 or 20 and by the time they were 30 they were burnt out and wearing house dresses on the front porch chowing on coffee cake, knowing everyone they were ever going to know. Where I live now, that age bar is higher, quite a bit higher, but you still hear forty-year-old women talking about the fact that their lives aren’t all that fulfilling but they’re fine with that because they’re happy to “sacrifice” for their kids; you hear women saying why not just wear the granny panties, fuck it, who’s looking anyway, they’re done. I’m all for the liberation of granny panties if that’s what floats someone’s boat–it’s not about forcing women to stay on the Sexy Treadmill forever; that’s not what I mean. My father-in-law got married in July at the age of 72. I once had a 78 year old student in a class I taught at Northwestern. Reed and Anderson lived an entire life together that didn’t begin until he was half a century old. Being done is always a choice, but it’s treated like a fact. Why only live until a certain age bracket–why not live until you’re…not alive anymore? —
Lit-Link Round-up by Gina Frangello.
Read Laurie Anderson’s piece too.
kateoplis: “I met Lou in Munich, not New York. It was 1992, and we were both... -
“I met Lou in Munich, not New York. It was 1992, and we were both playing in John Zorn’s Kristallnacht festival commemorating the Night of Broken Glass in 1938, which marked the beginning of the Holocaust. …
As it turned out, Lou and I didn’t live far from each other in New York, and after the festival Lou suggested getting together. I think he liked it when I said, “Yes! Absolutely! I’m on tour, but when I get back – let’s see, about four months from now – let’s definitely get together.” This went on for a while, and finally he asked if I wanted to go to the Audio Engineering Society Convention. I said I was going anyway and would meet him in Microphones. The AES Convention is the greatest and biggest place to geek out on new equipment, and we spent a happy afternoon looking at amps and cables and shop-talking electronics. I had no idea this was meant to be a date, but when we went for coffee after that, he said, “Would you like to see a movie?” Sure. “And then after that, dinner?” OK. “And then we can take a walk?” “Um . . .” From then on we were never really apart.
Lou and I played music together, became best friends and then soul mates, traveled, listened to and criticized each other’s work, studied things together (butterfly hunting, meditation, kayaking). We made up ridiculous jokes; stopped smoking 20 times; fought; learned to hold our breath underwater; went to Africa; sang opera in elevators; made friends with unlikely people; followed each other on tour when we could; got a sweet piano-playing dog; shared a house that was separate from our own places; protected and loved each other. We were always seeing a lot of art and music and plays and shows, and I watched as he loved and appreciated other artists and musicians. He was always so generous. He knew how hard it was to do. We loved our life in the West Village and our friends; and in all, we did the best we could do.
Like many couples, we each constructed ways to be – strategies, and sometimes compromises, that would enable us to be part of a pair. Sometimes we lost a bit more than we were able to give, or gave up way too much, or felt abandoned. Sometimes we got really angry. But even when I was mad, I was never bored. We learned to forgive each other. And somehow, for 21 years, we tangled our minds and hearts together.
It was spring in 2008 when I was walking down a road in California feeling sorry for myself and talking on my cell with Lou. ‘There are so many things I’ve never done that I wanted to do,’ I said.
'You know, I never learned German, I never studied physics, I never got married.'
'Why don't we get married?… I'll meet you halfway. I'll come to Colorado. How about tomorrow?'
'Um – don't you think tomorrow is too soon?'
'No, I don't.'”
Read on: Laurie Anderson’s Farewell | Rolling Stone
56 Victorian Slang Terms -
A society word meaning “smart.” Forrester demonstrates the usage: “The goods are not ‘afternoonified’ enough for me.”
A figure of speech used to describe drunken men. “He’s very arf’arf’an’arf,” Forrester writes, “meaning he has had many ‘arfs,’” or half-pints of booze.
- Back slang it
Thieves used this term to indicate that they wanted “to go out the back way.”
- Bags o’ Mystery
An 1850 term for sausages, “because no man but the maker knows what is in them. … The ‘bag’ refers to the gut which contained the chopped meat.”
- Bang up to the elephant
This phrase originated in London in 1882, and means “perfect, complete, unapproachable.”
Low London phrase meaning “to thrash thoroughly,” possibly from the French battre a fin.
Nineteenth century sailor slang for “A riotous holiday, a noisy day in the streets.”
- Bow wow mutton
A naval term referring to meat so bad “it might be dog flesh.”
Brave or fearless. “Adroit after the manner of a brick,” Forrester writes, “said even of the other sex, ‘What a bricky girl she is.’”
- Bubble Around
A verbal attack, generally made via the press. Forrester cites The Golden Butterfly: “I will back a first-class British subject for bubbling around against all humanity.”
- Butter Upon Bacon
Extravagance. Too much extravagance. “Are you going to put lace over the feather, isn’t that rather butter upon bacon?”
A London society term for tea and coffee “used scornfully by drinkers of beer and strong waters … in club-life is one of the more ignominious names given to champagne by men who prefer stronger liquors.”
A talkative woman.
A nickname given to a close friend.
- Collie shangles
Quarrels. A term from Queen Victoria’s journal, More Leaves , published in 1884: “At five minutes to eleven rode off with Beatrice, good Sharp going with us, and having occasional collie shangles (a Scotch word for quarrels or rows, but taken from fights between dogs) with collies when we came near cottages.”
- Cop a Mouse
To get a black eye. “Cop in this sense is to catch or suffer,” Forrester writers, “while the colour of the obligation at its worst suggests the colour and size of the innocent animal named.”
A delightful way to refer to your rather boring hands.
This creative cuss is a contraction of “damned if I know.”
- Dizzy Age
A phrase meaning “elderly,” because it “makes the spectator giddy to think of the victim’s years.” The term is usually refers to “a maiden or other woman canvassed by other maiden ladies or others.”
- Doing the Bear
“Courting that involves hugging.”
- Don’t sell me a dog
Popular until 1870, this phrase meant “Don’t lie to me!” Apparently, people who sold dogs back in the day were prone to trying to pass off mutts as purebreds.
A type of beard “formed by the cheeks and chin being shaved leaving a chain of hair under the chin, and upon each side of mouth forming with moustache something like a door-knocker.”
“Satirical reference to enthusiasm.” Created by Braham the terror, whoever that is.
- Fifteen puzzle
Not the game you might be familiar with, but a term meaning complete and absolute confusion.
- Fly rink
An 1875 term for a polished bald head.
An 1870 term for “a man devoted to seduction.”
A term for especially tight pants.
“An habitually smiling face.”
- Got the morbs
Use of this 1880 phrase indicated temporary melancholy.
- Jammiest bits of jam
“Absolutely perfect young females,” circa 1883.
Lying, from 1896.
- Mad as Hops
An excellent word that means getting rowdy in the streets.
- Make a stuffed bird laugh
A street term meaning coward.
- Mind the Grease
When walking or otherwise getting around, you could ask people to let you pass, please. Or you could ask them to mind the grease, which meant the same thing to Victorians.
- Mutton Shunter
This 1883 term for a policeman is so much better than “pig.”
- Nanty Narking
A tavern term, popular from 1800 to 1840, that meant great fun.
- Nose bagger
Someone who takes a day trip to the beach. He brings his own provisions and doesn’t contribute at all to the resort he’s visiting.
- Not up to Dick
- Orf chump
- Parish Pick-Axe
A prominent nose.
This term, Forrester writers, describes a person with a “wilful determination to ignore the objectionable or inconvenient, at the same time assuming airs of superior virtue and noble resignation.”
- Poked Up
- Powdering Hair
An 18th century tavern term that means “getting drunk.”
- Rain Napper
- Shake a flannin
Why say you’re going to fight when you could say you’re going to shake a flannin instead?
- Shoot into the brown
To fail. According to Forrester, “The phrase takes its rise from rifle practice, where the queer shot misses the black and white target altogether, and shoots into the brown i.e., the earth butt.”
Secret, shady, doubtful.
- Smothering a Parrot
Drinking a glass of absinthe neat; named for the green color of the booze.
A legal term from 1889 meaning “to prompt.”
- Take the Egg
According to Forrester, this low class phrase means “thoroughly understood.”
A term meaning “inferior, noisy singers” that could be used liberally today during karaoke sessions.
The New Yorker: Should Literature Be Useful? -
Lee Siegel explores the practical usefulness of literature: http://nyr.kr/1hjyUit
“Fiction’s lack of practical usefulness is what gives it its special freedom. When Auden wrote that ‘poetry makes nothing happen,’ he wasn’t complaining; he was exulting. Fiction might make people more…