Saturday, January 09, 2010

Look, It's That Dirty Beast!...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

How Did I Do It?

“High Rise: Lake City Drive” by Huma Mulji.

Recently the Asia Society, head-quartered here in New York City, exhibited a wonderful range of contemporary art from Pakistan, called Hanging Fire. The above water buffalo on a tall column was part of the exhibition.

Between Love and Goodbye

Between Love and Goodbye (2008) is a gay romance by director Caspar Andreas; it will be shown at the Queens Museum of Art, Sunday January 17th, 2010, at 3pm. Stills from the movie above...

Ireland Sounds Grim These Days

It's rough in Ireland these days:
Last year, the Society of St Vincent de Paul spent €6.1 million ($8.8 million) giving people in Ireland food. This year, it says that requests for food are up 50 per cent, that calls in general are up 35 per cent and in Dublin 50 per cent, and that 25 per cent of callers are new clients, many of whom were contributors to the charity at the church gates last year. These new clients are people who, ‘like the rest of us’, as one of their volunteers, John Monaghan, says, ‘were living on 110 per cent of their salaries’.
This above is from novelist Anne Enright's observations in the London Review of Books.

During the recent good times, I was dimly aware that economies were being driven by a housing and construction boom.

Nowhere was the property speculation more feverish than Ireland. I spent maybe half an hour one day in 2006 0r 2007 talking to a friend in Ireland, during which I said: "I just heard that there are Irish guys buying and selling coastal properties along the Black Sea coast, in Bulgaria and Romania. Enough Irish guys are doing this that the phenomenan has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal... Is this true?"

I was told yes, it was true. How weird the new century seemed, after the one into which I was born had seemed so frozen into its fixed-pattern Cold War shape that 'Bulgaria' was less a real place than an exotic location in a story, a Narnia, even.

So Ireland, about the size of Indiana, but with a much-less mixed economy, relied heavily on American corporations and money for its Celtic Tiger years; in Northern Ireland, it was U.S. diplomacy and investment which helped bring the Troubles to an end. But when the cold wind of recession blew across the world,
fear – the shouty, panicky kind – set in, with people on the radio fighting about public sector pay, and media personalities crying for Ireland on national TV.
For a while, it got quite personal. ‘Fuck them,’ says a friend about the public sector. ‘They’re not losing their jobs, they’re not losing their pensions. Fuck them.’ My entire family works in the public sector. During the boom, the worst you could say was that they were a bit boring. I don’t think they have done anything wrong. I find myself shouting back at her.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

What's That Red Line Mean?

When using Google's browser, Chrome, I sometimes see the web address like this, with the http in red and a red line across it. What does that mean?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

But Do You Think The Toilets Are Clean?

The World's Tallest Building has opened in that ghastly tinsel-shrouded, trashy shithole, Dubai. Then it exploded!!!!
Oh no... Oh wait — that's just the opening night fireworks display. We hope.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Tenth and Dyer

Tenth and Dyer Avenues, Manhattan

New York City is currently in the grip of severe freezing cold weather, and I hope the above photo, randomly culled from Google's Streetview, will remind that Spring, and indeed, seething Summer, will come again.

She'll Even Eat Your Brain

"I love meat. I eat pork chops, thick bacon burgers, and the seared fatty edges of a medium-well-done steak. But I especially love moose and caribou. I always remind people from outside our state that there's plenty of room for all Alaska's animals — right next to the mashed potatoes..."
Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin.

How.... unfortunate

Luckily, this airline operates far away from English-speaking countries and Western alphabet users...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Astonishment of Spam

An occasional glance at my Spam folder has revealed some lost literary masterpieces, which could even be said to aspire to a Joycean stream of consciousness. Who can forget the opening lines of "Nicolas," found in my Spam folder last June?

Then again, there are those Spam-writing charlatans who simply cut-and-paste, point, and click. So, whichever plagiarist sent this to my Spam folder, you've been busted!

The count was delighted at Anna Mikhaylovnas taking upon herself one of his commissions and ordered the small closed carriage for her. The old countess, not letting go of his hand and kissing it every moment, sat beside him.
When spring came on, the soldiers found a plant just showing out of the ground that looked like asparagus, which, for some reason, they called mashkas sweet root.
Pierre had managed to start a conversation with the abbé about the balance of power, and the latter, evidently interested by the young man's simple minded eagerness, was explaining his pet theory.
These words above come from Tolstoy's War and Peace, and unless Tolstoy is squirreled away in a basement apartment in Cincinnati or Trouserpress, Nevada, spamming furiously, then I deduce: nicked!