Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Memory Remains

It's Proust's birthday. 'nuff said.

Now, that wasn't very Proustian, was it? No, the sentence length, not the Metallica, though that isn't either. On the other hand, Miss Faithfull probably has a few novelfuls of interesting memories tucked away in that English noggin. Anyway, here are a couple of songs that are Proustian, L'heure exquise and Tyndaris, sung by Ninon Vallin and played by the composer himself, Reynaldo Hahn, a close pal of Marcel. Don't tell The Maverick®, but I think -- shhhh! -- they were real close.

If you're one of those weirdos who isn't merely fascinated by memory the way some are fascinated by dinosaurs so they watch stuff on the National Geographic channel, but are obsessed by the idea of it, the inherent power and control it can have over our lives, whether voluntarily submitting to its will or simply being subject, by definition, to its whims that lead us to other, heretofore hidden paths lined by long-limbed boughs of remembrance shadowing our every step, whatever our state of mind at the time, a state that might shift us off those roads and onto yet more occulted ones that seemingly spring fully formed out of the ether, realms concealed from conscious view, then there simply isn't anything better than À la recherche du temps perdu and if you haven't read it yet, what the bloody hell are you waiting for?

I love a run-on sentence, but now I'm tired. Here, look at some purty pictures whipped up by another famous dude who shares the same birthday, Camille Pissarro. Don't tell The Maverick®, but I think -- shhhh! -- he was a commie pinko.

Edge of the Woods or Undergrowth in Summer, 1879.

Le Boulevard Montmartre, effet de nuit, 1897.

To close out on a completely unrelated subject, my hometown, save for lazy and supposedly car-less New Orleans, has lost the most folks of any big city this decade (ignore the optimistic crap at the end, it only ruins the theme of this paragraph). Even when we suck we're still not number one. Well played, looters, well played.

On the credit side of the column, as I strolled, smiling as I always do each morning in anticipation of helping my fellow patriots, past an Embassy Suites hotel in beautiful, alluring, yet not overtly swanky in a cheesy Old European way downtown Cleveland (okay, City Hall, where's my fucking check?) I noticed, parked in the loading/unloading zone, a brand spanking new white SUV of US Customs and Border Protection, a subsidiary of the Department of Homeland Security, headed by a man whose gut we all know and love like a brother, Michael Chertoff. This sleek, clean-burning machine of sturdy American craftsmanship even had one of those fancy logos that Barack Hussein X stole for his own nefarious Muslim use. No, wait, that was the Presidential seal. Even more heinous!

My point is thus: we obviously have Al-Qaeda #3 cornered, so it's safe to leave your homes and stimulate the economy. Surely you haven't forgotten that 'the priority mission of the Border Patrol is preventing terrorists and terrorists' weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, from entering the United States.'

Citizen vigilance (one of our strengths here in Northeast Ohio -- ahem, Mr. Mayor) along with the muscle of DHS, has once again thwarted a plot to blow up something red, white and blue. You're welcome.

Postscript: editorialist, you aren't helping with our image:

No matter what this or any other law says, Congress has few practical means to force an end to hostilities. Its most obvious lever -- withholding the money -- is distasteful and could endanger U.S. troops.
Got that kids? Withholding money from bloodthirsty warmongers ranks quite high on the Distaste-O-Meter along with cannibalism and voting Republican. En plus, all those soldiers will chance getting killed as they scramble to find their own way home, constructing rafts out of smouldering wreckage and tightly packed sand that may or may not float on the unpredictable currents of the Gulf of Hormel, the Indian and the Atlantic.

Or, to put it more succinctly, Congress is icky, but doing stuff is ickier.


Mary Ellen said...

Congress is icky, but why do we keep voting those bums into office? Does that make us icky enablers?

Thanks for the YouTube, the second one, not the first. I'll listen to that after I've had my coffee. I'm waiting for the birthday cake, to go with it. There is birthday cake, right? I think a nice Strawberry Shortcake will be nice for a beautiful summer morning, don't you think?

dguzman said...

Good summary, Randal. Maybe the solution is just to scrap the whole fucking system and start over.

Je ne regrette rien said...

can you imagine writing a book with 2,000 characters? *shudder*

man, I thought you'd have a field day with the whole 'cut his nuts off' remark. is that tomorrow's material?

chertoff and the rest of his criminal posse should be imprisoned. rat bastards, one and all.

mmmm....did somebody mention strawberry shortcake?

Randal Graves said...

ME, to an extent. Sure, there's the whole idea of 'voting for better candidates,' but sometimes the better ones are still garbage, just garbage that smells better.

Bah! All cake must be chocolate!

dguzman, I'm on board with that idea. Problem is, that's probably only 0.02% of the country.

JNRR, hell, writing one with less than a dozen is a pain in the ass!

That non-news item? Who hasn't wanted to cut someone's nuts off now and then?

Another strawberry shortcake fan? Must be a chick thing. Muah.

Mary Ellen said...

That non-news item? Who hasn't wanted to cut someone's nuts off now and then?

I applaud Jackson for saying what he did, I only wish he hadn't apologized for it later. That just proved that he had no balls at all.

And speaking of balls...isn't their a ballgame on soon?

Later, kiddo.

Utah Savage said...

Proust is high on my list of favorite writers and Pissarro is one of my favorite painters. I'm delighted that they celebrate a common birthday. I will celebrate with the rest of the batch of brownies I baked last night. Half a batch last night when they were fresh and warm, the rest with milk when I get home from seeing my shrink today. I'll either be celebration my freedom or consoling myself that I have to adjust to a new anti-depressant.

My question about Jesse is what the hell was he doing on Fox anyway?

Randal Graves said...

ME, Bon Scott is rolling over in his grave. Ballgame? The Indians don't lose until later this evening.

utah, Proust is indeed The Literary Man and that Pissarro wasn't too bad with the brush, either.

As for consoling, brownies aren't a bad place to start.

I wondered that myself. I'm firmly in the 'let us all come together as a nation and shun Fox with scowling and laughter' camp.

kreplech said...

From Metallica to Proust to Ninon Vallin (?!) to Pissarro (??!!)... My goodness Randal, keep it up and we might get some culture 'round these blog-thingies.

Thought it was interesting that following your border patrol link a little further led to this.

Lastly, couldn't Cliff Burton have Remained (aside from his massive case of deadness)? Might have prevented them from writing some of the tripe they've subjected us to over the last 20 years ("Blackened" notwithstanding of course).

I find this all very disorienting.

Who needs a drink, eh?

Liberality said...

They get paid good money to do icky so icky they better do.

Dean Wormer said...

They could carpool home.

Unconventional Conventionist said...

Doing stuff IS ickier. Let's all just do nothing.

Mary Ellen said...

I miss the days when you cold throw rotten tomatoes at the politicians during parades. Now, they just arrest protesters or stick them in a corral. Wouldn't it be fun if we had a day where all the Congress and Senate has to stand in line and be subjected to having rotten fruit and eggs thrown at them? Maybe people could just stand in line in front of the politician they hate the most. Those politicians who haven't stabbed their constituents in the back won't be pelted as much, so it would be an incentive to listen to the people. Hell, this should happen about every waiting until right before the election.

Of course, the rules should be that you can only pelt the politicians of your own party.

I would love to bean that damned Pelosi right in those Botox lips of hers with a slimy, squishy tomato with black spots and white mold growing on it.

Mary Ellen said...


I took into consideration your complaint and the complaints of my other Kucinich fans and edited my post, Three Questions. I hope it meets with your approval.

Three Questions

American Hill BIlly said...

My Dear Sir,

Besides my slow island internet not allowing all of the items to come up the utterences on your blog were awesome! I really if it were you then great, or someone else whom ever uttered the words about the rememberences was incredible.

On another fascist note the fact that less than 5% of all shipping containers are checked entering OUR country.


Thank god we have $60,000 SUV's to keep us safe, and in our place!

Peace and Freedom

susan said...

Considering I never watch teevee - where else could I get such a fascinating news wrap in one easy, amusing package.. as well as strawberry shortcake, fresh brownies, literature, art and a memory of a nasty boss getting dunked for a charitable cause? Maybe we could convince them it would be in a noble cause.

Randal Graves said...

kreplech, culture? Shit, I better start showing more pictures of scantily-clad babes.

Bull riders? I noticed the NASCAR promo drive link, too. I don't want to sound like one of those 'elitists' I hear so much about on the news, but I'm noticing a trend.

As for Metallica, it's a strange deal. The rock of the band, Burton, dies, and they subsequently release arguably their finest hour. I never bought the sell out crap because if they wanted to sell out, they would've done the black album part 2, not a 70s boogie rock record. Load/Reload obviously have a bunch o' filler (and it's not thrash at all) but there are some good songs, IMO. As for their last one, yeesh.

liberality, then they're certainly earning their paychecks. Kudos, gang.

dean, carpooling is for effeminate Eurotrash and treehuggers.

UC, now there's something I can drink to.

ME, that's the finest idea I've heard in many a year. But come on, you know that librarians are the worst offenders in society.

So approved. The motion passes and other cryptic gobbledygook.

AHB, the run-on sentence was mine under great inspiration from the master himself.

Ah, the infamous shipping containers. So much beating of the drums about WMDs and killing your family, David, and they STILL don't thoroughly check them. Almost makes you wonder if *gasp* they honestly don't give a shit.

susan, a veritable cornucopia of vaguely related crap. Hmm, now there's a marketing slogan!

It's beyond obvious that pelting garbage politicians with rotten food is a noble cause. Who could say otherwise?

Scarlet W. Blue said...

Love those Pisarro paintings, esp. the first one.

Randal Graves said...

Looks like a hell of a place to sit and soak all the non-'real' world in for awhile.

Anonymous said...

RG - Did you know you have a penchant for remembering birthdays? I'm sure you do and your kids appreciate you more for it.

Pissaro paintings? Color me educated. They're great, which means I need to get out to museums more often.

So why is everyone leaving Cleveland? I can't imagine blaming this one on the Indian's GM or the Brown's GM for letting Bentley go.

Take heart my favorite Ohioan and remain vigilant. Those DHS bastards and their USCPB brown shirts will get their comeuppance. There is karmic justice in this world...sometimes you just have to wait for it.

DivaJood said...

There is a name for our one party system, after all: Icky.

Randal Graves said...

spartacus, in this case, penchant=no need to think of post. And who says I remember theirs? ;-)

I'm guessing the same reasons as a lot of other big cities, crappier-than-it-should-be infrastructure, lack o' jobs, all that good stuff. It's something I'd love to see improve. Hell, we have a damn river winding its way through the area, let's get a little Paris/London/San Antonio thing going on.

Not with you on the karma thing, my man. Too much contrary evidence, heh heh.

diva, the USI doesn't roll off the tongue. If can change Icky to Asshole...

Dusty said...

Jesus-H-Christ you covered a lot of ground here.

My head hurts now, so I have to lay down after absorbing all that trivia.

Randal Graves said...

I figure that it beats making 72 different posts. Take all the crap floating in my skull and dump it in one. If it doesn't make any sense, so be it!