Log24

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Garden of Good and Evil

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

(Continued from February 10.)

http://www.log24.com/log/pix12/120225-NYTobits-Nabokov-11PM.jpg

Related material— For Ash Wednesday and Semantic Transparency.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Garden of Good and Evil

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 PM

(Continued)

Related material: The Thing Itself and Tombstone.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dirty Dating

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:56 PM

A background check of a date from the previous post —
March 12, 2013 — yields . . .

A Wikipedia check of Porter yields . . .

This  date from Wikimedia — 3 March 2007 — leads to
a post in memory of Myer Feldman, presidential advisor
and theatrical producer.

"It's been dirty for dirty
Down the line . . ."

— Joni Mitchell,
"For the Roses" album (1972)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Conclave

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

For the Garden of Good and Evil

(Click image for some backstory.)

Tim Robbins in 'Mystic River'

On Cambridge, Massachusetts:

"By all means accept the invitation to hell,
should it come. It will not take you far—
from Cambridge to hell is only a step;
or at most a hop, skip, and jump.
But now you are evading— you are
dodging the issue… after all,
Cambridge is hell enough."

— Great Circle , a 1933 novel by Conrad Aiken
(father of Joan Aiken, who wrote The Shadow Guests )

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sermon

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM

IMAGE- Book cover symbolizing postmodern theory with a minus sign and biblical theology with a plus sign

"Accentuate the Positive."

— Clint Eastwood, soundtrack album for
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spelling Brougham*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Midsummer Night in the Garden of Good and Evil, starring Nina Simone

Click for details.

Related material—

Midnight in the Garden on the Ides of March and New Day Nina.

* For the title, see an historical note on October the 16th.
   For a related novel, see Groundhog Day 2009.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Game

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Virginia Heffernan in Sunday's online New York Times

"… In the past, information on paper was something to read. Bricks and mortar were a place to be. But, since the first appearance of the Web in 1990, we have come to accept that information in pixels is something to read— and also a place to be . That familiar and yet still jaw-dropping metaphor takes energy to maintain. The odd shared sense that there’s three-dimensionality and immersion and real-world consequences on the Web as in no book or board game— that’s the Web’s sine qua non. Hence, cyberspace . And 'being on' the Internet….

… The dominant social networks are fantasy games built around rigged avatars, outright fictions and a silent— and often unconscious— agreement among players that the game and its somewhat creaky conceits influence the real world…."

— "The Confidence Game at Google+"

"It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my funday"
— The Bangles

"Accentuate the Positive"
— Clint Eastwood, soundtrack album
 for "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110410-Sugimoto-AndoChurch.jpg

This journal on All Saints' Day, Sunday, November 1, 2009

Suggested by the New York State lottery numbers on All Hallows’ Eve [2009]—

430 (mid-day) and 168 (evening)…

From 430 as a date, 4/30

Beyond Grief and Nothing: A Reading of Don DeLillo , by Joseph Dewey, University of South Carolina Press, 2006, page 123:

“It is as if DeLillo himself had moved to an endgame….”

For such an endgame, see yesterday’s link to a Mira Sorvino drama.

The number 168 suggested by the Halloween lottery deals with the properties of space itself and requires a more detailed exegesis…

For the full picture, consider the Log24 entries of Feb. 16-28 this year, esp. the entries of Feb. 27 and the phrase they suggest—

Flores, flores para los muertos.

      See also Pearly Gates of Cyberspace in this journal.

      For flores para los muertos , see today's Times .

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Every Picture Tells a Story

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:28 AM

Background— Midnight's post.

IMAGE- 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' and 'I Put a Spell on You'

IMAGE- 'Waiting for Guffman' audition

IMAGE- 'I've Got Your Number' rendition

IMAGE- May 3, 2008- 'Take a number' at Dairy Queen

This journal on the above "Take a Number" Dairy Queen date—

Saturday May 3, 2008

m759 @ 11:07 PM
 
“Teach us to
 number our days.”

Psalm 90, verse 12

The New Yorker,
issue dated Oct. 1, 2007 —

James Wood on Robert Alter’s new translation of the Psalms:

“At any time, God can cancel a life. ‘So teach us to number our days,’ as the King James Version has it, ‘that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.’….

The ancient Hebrew word for the shadowy underworld where the dead go, Sheol, was Christianized as ‘Hell,’ even though there is no such concept in the Hebrew Bible. Alter prefers the words ‘victory’ and ‘rescue’ as translations of yeshu’ah, and eschews the Christian version, which is the heavily loaded ‘salvation.’ And so on. Stripping his English of these artificial cleansers, Alter takes us back to the essence of the meaning. Suddenly, in a world without Heaven, Hell, the soul, and eternal salvation or redemption, the theological stakes seem more local and temporal: ‘So teach us to number our days.’”

Today’s numbers from the
Pennsylvania Lottery:

PA Lottery Saturday, May 3, 2008: Mid-day 510, Evening 724

which, being interpreted,
is 5/10 and 7/24.

Selah.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday March 13, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM
Midnight in the Garden

From 12:00 AM on last month’s
Friday the 13th:

'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' and 'I Put a Spell on You'

From the soundtrack CD of
“Midnight in the Garden
  of Good and Evil”–

“Accentuate the positive.”
— Clint Eastwood 

MODE online:

Wilhelmina Slater, MODE editor-in-chief My advice for this month is to learn the lesson from the young and innocent. Embrace optimism and go forward with life, hoping only for the best…. Accentuate your positives and don’t worry about your negatives…. Because when you smile, others smile back.

Wilhelmina Slater

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday February 13, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM
Happy birthday to
King Friday XIII
and friend:

Mr. Rogers and King Friday XIII

Yesterday, by the way,
was Georgia Day
in Savannah
.

'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil' and 'I Put a Spell on You'

“I Put a Spell on You”
— Nina Simone,
title of autobiograpy


“The voodoo priestess looked across the table at her wealthy client, a man on trial for murder: ‘Now, you know how dead time works. Dead time lasts for one hour– from half an hour before midnight to half an hour after midnight. The half-hour before midnight is for doin’ good. The half-hour after midnight is for doin’ evil….'”

— Glenna Whitley, “Voodoo Justice,” The New York Times, March 20, 1994

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday August 21, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:29 PM
Shell Game

The Bourne Ultimatum, starring Matt Damon” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Part I:

Overview of Unix
at pangea.stanford.edu

Last revision August 2, 2004

“The Unix operating environment is organized into three layers. The innermost level of Unix is the kernel. This is the actual operating system, a single large program that always resides in memory. Sections of the code in this program are executed on behalf of users to do needed tasks, like access files or terminals. Strictly speaking, the kernel is Unix.

The next level of the Unix environment is composed of programs, commands, and utilities. In Unix, the basic commands like copying or removing files are implemented not as part of the kernel, but as individual programs, no different really from any program you could write. What we think of as the commands and utilities of Unix are simply a set of programs that have become standardized and distributed. There are hundreds of these, plus many additional utilities in the public domain that can be installed.

The final level of the Unix environment, which stands like an umbrella over the others, is the shell. The shell processes your terminal input and starts up the programs that you request. It also allows you to manipulate the environment in which those programs will execute in a way that is transparent to the program. The program can be written to handle standard cases, and then made to handle unusual cases simply by manipulating its environment, without having to have a special version of the program.” (My italics.)

Part II:

Programs

From my paper journal
on the date
“Good Will Hunting”
was released:

Friday, December 5, 1997

To: The executive editor, The New York Times

Re: The Front Page/His Girl Friday

Match the speaker with the speech–

The Speech
“The son of a
bitch stole my…”
  The Speaker Frame of Reference
 1. rosebud A. J. Paul Getty The front page, N.Y. Times, Monday, 12/1/97
 2. clock B. Joel Silver Page 126, The New Yorker, 3/21/94
 3. act C. Blanche DuBois The Elysian Fields
 4. waltz D. Bob Geldof People Weekly 12/8/97
 5. temple E. St. Michael Heaven’s Gate
 6. watch F. Susanna Moore In the Cut (pbk., Dec. ’96) p. 261
 7. line G. Joseph Lelyveld Page A21, The New York Times, 12/1/97
 8. chair H. Kylie Minogue Page 69, People Weekly, 12/8/97
 9. religion I. Carol Gilligan The Garden of Good and Evil
10. wife J. John Travolta “Michael,” the movie
11. harp K. Shylock Page 40, N.Y. Review of Books, 12/4/97
12. Oscar L. Stephen King The Shining (pbk., 1997), pp. 316, 317

Postscript of June 5, 2003:

“…while the scientist sees
everything that happens
in one point of space,
the poet feels
everything that happens
in one point of time…
all forming an
instantaneous and transparent
organism of events….”

Vladimir Nabokov

Part III:

The Bourne Shell

“The binary program of the Bourne shell or a compatible program is located at /bin/sh on most Unix systems, and is still the default shell for the root superuser on many current Unix implementations.” –Wikipedia

Afterword:

See also
the recent comments
of root@matrix.net in
Peter Woit’s weblog.

“Hey, Carrie-Anne,
what’s your game now….”

— The Hollies, 1967   

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday June 24, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:07 AM
Midsummer Night
in the Garden
of Good and Evil

Midsummer Night in the Garden of Good and Evil

"I Put a Spell on You"
— Nina Simone,
title of autobiograpy

"The voodoo priestess looked across the table at her wealthy client, a man on trial for murder: 'Now, you know how dead time works. Dead time lasts for one hour– from half an hour before midnight to half an hour after midnight. The half-hour before midnight is for doin' good. The half-hour after midnight is for doin' evil….'"

— Glenna Whitley, "Voodoo Justice," The New York Times, March 20, 1994
 

Last year on this date:

Zen and the Art:

Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974:

"But what's happening is that each year our old flat earth of conventional reason becomes less and less adequate to handle the experiences we have and this is creating widespread feelings of topsy-turviness. As a result we're getting more and more people in irrational areas of thought… occultism, mysticism, drug changes and the like… because they feel the inadequacy of classical reason to handle what they know are real experiences."

"I'm not sure what you mean by classical reason."

"Analytic reason, dialectic reason. Reason which at the University is sometimes considered to be the whole of understanding. You've never had to understand it really. It's always been completely bankrupt with regard to abstract art. Nonrepresentative art is one of the root experiences I'm talking about. Some people still condemn it because it doesn’t make 'sense.' But what's really wrong is not the art but the 'sense,' the classical reason, which can't grasp it. People keep looking for branch extensions of reason that will cover art's more recent occurrences, but the answers aren't in the branches, they're at the roots."

Primitive roots modulo 17

Related material:

D-Day Morning,
Figures of Speech,
Ursprache Revisited.

See also
the midnight entry
of June 23-24, 2006:

"Let the midnight special
shine her light on me."

Nina Simone and eight-point star

Nina Simone
 

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday March 17, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:00 PM
Dogma in the
State of Grace

“Words and numbers are of equal value,
for, in the cloak of knowledge,
one is warp and the other woof.”

— The princesses Rhyme and Reason
in The Phantom Tollbooth,
by Norton Juster, 1961

(From a Sermon for
St. Patrick’s Day, 2001
)

The Pennsylvania midday lottery
on St. Patrick’s Day, 2006:

618.

Comparing, as in Philadelphia Stories,  the Catholic style of Grace Kelly with the Protestant style of Katharine Hepburn, we conclude that Princess Rhyme might best be played by the former, Princess Reason by the latter.

Reason informs us that the lottery result “618” may be regarded as naming ” – 0.618,” the approximate value of the negative solution to the equation

x2 – x – 1 = 0

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050208-Crowe.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Following the advice of Clint Eastwood (on the “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evilsoundtrack CD) to “accentuate the positive,” Reason notes that the other, positive, solution to this equation, approximately 1.618, a number symbolized by the Greek letter “phi,” occurs in the following geometric diagram illustrating a construction of the pentagon:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050208-pentagon2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

For further enlightenment, we turn to Rhyme, who informs us that “618” may also be regarded as naming the date “6/18.” Consulting our notes, we find on 6/18, 2003, a reference to “claves,” Latin for “keys,” as in “claves regni caelorum.”

We may tarry at this date, pleased to find that the keys to the kingdom involve rational numbers, rather than the irrational ratios suggested, paradoxically, by Reason.

Or we may, with Miles Davis, prefer a more sensuous incarnation of the keys:

The image �http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060125-ZenerKeys.jpg� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Alicia Keys

“… it’s going to be
accomplished in steps,
this establishment
of the Talented in
  the scheme of things.”

— Anne McCaffrey, 
Radcliffe ’47,
To Ride Pegasus

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Tuesday April 5, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:28 AM
The Garden of Good and Evil
continued

"Just the facts, ma'am" — Joe Friday

See the entry Lucky (?) Numbers of Saturday, April 2, 2005, 11:07 AM ET, for links to a few facts about the historical role of the Number of the Beast in the Pennsylvania Lottery.

The Pennsylvania Lottery mid-day drawings take place at about 1:10 PM ET.

Pope John Paul II died on Saturday, April 2, at 2:37 PM ET. 

Thus the final PA drawing of his lifetime was on that Saturday afternoon.

The winning mid-day number that day was…

034.

In the I Ching, this is the number of
The Power of the Great.

Father Richard John Neuhaus yesterday argued that John Paul II should be called "the Great."

 

Neuhaus stated that "If any phrase encapsulates the message that John Paul declared to the world, it is probably 'prophetic humanism.'"  If there is such a thing, it is probably best exemplified by the I Ching.  For further details, see Hitler's Still Point.

Father Neuhaus's argument included the following mysterious phrase:

"God's unfolding covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus."

Compare the following two passages from Holy Scripture:

Genesis 22:13

"…behold behind him
a ram caught in a thicket by his horns"

I Ching Hexagram 34

"A goat butts against a hedge
And gets its horns entangled."

A topic for discussion by the foolish:

In the current historical situation,
who is Isaac and who is the goat?

From yet another Holy Scripture,
a topic for discussion by the wise: 

“Anyone can create a pretty little bamboo garden in the world. But I doubt that the gardener would succeed in incorporating the world in his bamboo grove.”

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Thursday April 22, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:14 PM

Inscape

Picture said to be of
a Japanese Skylark,
Hibari or Alauda japonica.
Photo: 05/2002, Nagano, Japan.

A false definition of “inscape”:

Brad Leithauser, New York Review of Books, April 29, 2004:

“Not surprisingly, most Hopkins criticism is secular at heart, though without always acknowledging just how distorted—how weirdly misguided— Hopkins himself would find all interpretations of a spiritual life that were drawn purely from the outside. For him, a failure to see how divine promptings informed his shaping internal life—his ‘inscape,’ his own term for it—was to miss everything of his life that mattered.”

A truer definition:

“By ‘inscape’ he [Hopkins] means the unified complex of characteristics that give each thing its uniqueness and that differentiate it from other things.”


A false invocation of the Lord:

Brad Leithauser, New York Review of Books, Sept. 26, 2002:

“I’d always thought ‘Skylark’ quite appealing, but it wasn’t until I heard Helen Forrest singing it, in a 1942 recording with Harry James and his Orchestra, that it became for me something far more: one of the greatest popular songs anybody ever wrote. With her modest delivery, a voice coaxing and plaintive, Forrest is a Little Girl Lost who always finds herself coming down on exactly the right note—no easy thing with a song of such unexpected chromatic turns. On paper, the Johnny Mercer lyric looks unpromising—antiquated and clunky:

Skylark,
Have you seen a valley green with Spring
Where my heart can go a-journeying,
Over the shadows and the rain
To a blossom-covered lane?

But in Helen Forrest’s performance, ‘Skylark’ turns out to be a perfect blend of pokiness and urgency, folksiness and ethereality—and all so convincing that it isn’t until the song is finished that you step back and say, ‘Good Lord, she’s singing to a bird!’ “


For Hopkins at midnight in the garden of good and evil, a truer invocation:

Friday, December 27, 2002
12:00 AM

Saint Hoagy’s Day

Today is the feast day of St. Hoagy Carmichael, who was born on the feast day of Cecelia, patron saint of music. This midnight’s site music is “Stardust,” by Carmichael (lyrics by Mitchell Parish). See also “Dead Poets Society” — my entry of Friday, December 13, on the Carmichael song “Skylark” — and the entry “Rhyme Scheme” of later that same day.

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Thursday June 5, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM

Regime Change
at the New York Times:

With Honors

Departing New York Times executive editor
Howell Raines:

"Remember, when a great story breaks out,
go like hell."


Returning
executive editor
Joseph Lelyveld

Good Will's
Oscar

From the date "Good Will Hunting" was released:

Friday, December 5, 1997

"Philosophers ponder the idea of identity: what it is to give something a name on Monday and have it respond to that name on Friday."
— Bernard Holland, C12, N.Y. Times, 5/20/96

To: The executive editor, The New York Times

Re: The Front Page/His Girl Friday

Match the speaker with the speech —

The Speech
"The son of a
bitch stole my…"
  The Speaker Frame of Reference
 1. rosebud A. J. Paul Getty The front page, N.Y. Times, Monday, 12/1/97
 2. clock B. Joel Silver Page 126, The New Yorker, 3/21/94
 3. act C. Blanche DuBois The Elysian Fields
 4. waltz D. Bob Geldof People Weekly 12/8/97
 5. temple E. St. Michael Heaven's Gate
 6. watch F. Susanna Moore In the Cut (pbk., Dec. '96) p. 261
 7. line G. Joseph Lelyveld Page A21, The New York Times, 12/1/97
 8. chair H. Kylie Minogue Page 69, People Weekly, 12/8/97
 9. religion I. Carol Gilligan The Garden of Good and Evil
10. wife J. John Travolta "Michael," the movie
11. harp K. Shylock Page 40, N.Y. Review of Books, 12/4/97
12. Oscar L. Stephen King The Shining (pbk., 1997), pp. 316, 317

Postscript of June 5, 2003:

"…while the scientist sees everything that happens
in one point of space, the poet feels everything that happens
in one point of time … all forming an instantaneous
and transparent organism of events…."

Vladimir Nabokov

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Saturday December 21, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:59 PM

For the Green Lady
of
Perelandra,
from the City of Angels

“The oral history of Los Angeles
is written in piano bars.” 
— Joan Didion in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Tonight’s midnight music in the garden of good and evil is a shamelessly romantic classic from a site titled simply Piano Bar.

De Rêve En Rêverie
(Lyrics by Eddy Marnay)

Tu es le pianiste
Et moi je suis ton encore.
Un feu de joie pour deux
Tombe sur nous d’un ciel amoureux.
Toi, toi qui m’as tout appris
Moi, dans l’ombre de ta vie
Je vis,
Je vis de rêve
En rêverie. 

 Washington Square Press paperback, 1981, page 222 

Saturday December 21, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Nightmare Alley

Tonight’s site music in the garden of good and evil is “Hooray for Hollywood,” with lyrics by Johnny Mercer:

Hooray for Hollywood.
You may be homely in your neighborhood,
But if you think you can be an actor,
see Mr. Factor,
he’d make a monkey look good.
Within a half an hour,
you look like Tyrone Power!
Hooray for Hollywood!

 

From Pif magazine:

Nightmare Alley (1947)
Directed by Edmund Goulding
Reviewed by Nick Burton

“Edmund Goulding’s film of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel Nightmare Alley may just be the great forgotten American film; it is certainly the darkest film that came from the Hollywood studio system in the ’40s….

A never better Tyrone Power stars as Stan Carlisle, a small-time carny shill….  Stan shills for mind reader Zeena…. The… pretty ‘electric girl’…   tells Stan that Zeena… had a ‘code’ for the mind-reading act… Stan… decides to seduce… Zeena in hopes of luring the code from her.”

The rest of this review is well worth reading, though less relevant to my present theme — that of my 

Sermon for St. Patrick’s Day,

which points out that the article on “nothing” is on page 265 of The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. (This is also the theme of yesterday’s journal entry “Last-Minute Shopping.”) Here is another work that prominently features “nothing” on page 265… As it happens, this is a web page describing a mind-reading act, titled simply

Page 265

“Imagine this: A spectator is invited to take a readable and 100% examinable, 400 page, 160,000 word novel, open it to any page and think of any word on that page. Without touching the book or approaching the spectator, you reveal the word in the simplest, most startlingly direct manner ever! It truly must be seen to be believed.

The ultimate any-word-on-any-page method that makes all other book tests obsolete….

All pages are different.

Nothing is written down.

There are no stooges of any kind. Everything may be examined….

 ‘Throw away your Key. This is direct mindreading at its best.'”

From Finnegans Wake, page 265:

“…the winnerful wonnerful wanders off, with hedges of ivy and

hollywood
 
and bower of mistletoe….”

Hooray.

Mercer’s lyrics are from the 1937 film Hollywood Hotel.”  For a somewhat more in-depth look at Hollywood, hotels of this period, and mind-reading, see

Shining Forth.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Wednesday December 18, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

For the Dark Lady

On this midnight in the garden of good and evil, our new site music is “Nica’s Dream.”

From a website on composer Horace Silver:

“Horace Silver apparently composed Nica’s Dream (1956) for Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter-Rothschild, an English aristocrat and a very dear friend of his. She was known to the New York press as the Jazz Baroness and to the black musicians for whom she was something of a patron, simply as Nica. Her apartment in the fashionable Hotel Stanhope on Fifth Avenue became a ‘hospitality suite for some of the greatest jazz players of the day, whom she treated generously.’ (Jack Chambers, Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis, University of Toronto Press, 1985, 1:248)

This music is not unrelated to the work of Thomas Pynchon.  From an essay by Charles Hollander:  

“There are some notable parallels between Nica and the woman Stencil knows as V., who started her career with ‘…a young crude Mata Hari act.’ (V.; 386)….  Not that V. is Nica in any roman a clef sense: she is not. But the resonances are powerful at the level of the subtext. Nica is a Rothschild whose life reflects the issues Pynchon wants us to attend in V.: disinheritance, old dynasty vs. new dynasty, secret agents and couriers, plots and counter-plots, ‘The Big One, the century’s master cabal,’ and ‘the ultimate Plot Which Has No Name’ (V.; 226)….” 

See also my journal entry for the December 16-17 midnight, “Just Seventeen.”

Friday, December 13, 2002

Friday December 13, 2002

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Dead Poets Society

Man’s spirit will be flesh-bound, when found at best,
But úncúmberèd: meadow-dówn is nót distréssed
For a ráinbow fóoting it nor hé for his bónes rísen.

—  The Caged Skylark,

Gerard Manley Hopkins,
Society of Jesus

In accordance with this sentiment,
this midnight in the garden of good and evil
is the occasion for a change of site music
to “Skylark,” by Hoagy Carmichael
(lyrics by Johnny Mercer).

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Wednesday December 11, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Culture Clash at Midnight
in the Garden of Good and Evil

From the Catholic Church:
John V. Apczynski
Dept. of Theology
St. Bonaventure U. 

From Paris, Texas:
Sam Shepard, playwright,
actor, and author of
Great Dream of Heaven.

In a future life, if not in this one, Dante might assign these two theologians to Purgatory, where they could teach one another.  Both might benefit if Shepard took Apczynski’s course “The Intellectual Journey” and if Apczynski read Shepard’s new book of short stories, Great Dream of Heaven

Background music might consist of Sinatra singing “Three Coins in the Fountain” (for Shepard — See my journal notes of December 10, 2002) alternating with the Dixie Chicks singing “Cowboy, Take Me Away” (for Apczynski, who is perhaps unfamiliar with life on the range).  Today’s site music is this fervent prayer by the Dixie Chicks to a cowboy-theologian like Shepard.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Tuesday December 10, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 PM

Point of No Return

From Dr. Mac’s Cultural Calendar for December 10:

  • On this day in 1864, General William T. Sherman’s Union army reached Savannah and the 12-day siege began.  Sherman was able to present the city to President Lincoln as a “Christmas present.”

An album recorded in September 1961:

Songs in the above list:

September Song * When the World was Young
I’ll Be Seeing You * I’ll See You Again
Memories of You * There Will Never Be Another You
Somewhere Along the Way * A Million Dreams Ago
It’s a Blue World * I’ll Remember April
These Foolish Things

Not in the list, but in the album:

As Time Goes By

The Savannah Connection:

Augustus Saint-Gaudens
William Tecumseh Sherman,
1892-1903 (installed 1903)
Central Park, New York City

From

The Necessary Angel,

by Wallace Stevens
(New York: Knopf, 1951)
 (New York: Vintage Books, 1966):

“The theory of poetry, that is to say, the total of the theories of poetry, often seems to become in time a mystical theology or, more simply, a mystique. The reason for this must by now be clear. The reason is the same reason why the pictures in a museum of modern art often seem to become in time a mystical aesthetic, a prodigious search of appearance, as if to find a way of saying and of establishing that all things, whether below or above appearance, are one and that it is only through reality, in which they are reflected or, it may be, joined together, that we can reach them. Under such stress, reality changes from substance to subtlety….”

Part of a journal entry for
October 25, 2002:

Trinity

See… Bonaventure’s
Itinerarium Mentis in Deum
and

a graves list for Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah,
final resting place for Johnny Mercer and plot key
to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Point of No Return was Sinatra’s
last album for Capitol.

Note the strategic placement
of the Capitol Records logo
on the album cover.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Friday October 25, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:11 AM

Trinity

The last two days were eventful on the obituary front.  See below for a reasonably holy trinity of lives: 

  • Richard Helms as the Father,
  • Derek Bell as the Son, and
  • Adolph Green as the Holy Spirit. 

See also Bonaventure’s
Itinerarium Mentis in Deum and

the graves list for Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah,
final resting place for Johnny Mercer and plot key
to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Saturday September 14, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:03 AM

God Is Her Co-Pilot

On the soundtrack album of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,"  Clint Eastwood advised us to "eliminate the negative."  As a sequel to the extremely negative note below, written at midnight on the night of September 13-14, 2002, the following is my best attempt, on this very dark night of the soul, to eliminate the negative.  

Some of us are old enough to recall that the beloved Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, died on September 14, 1982 — exactly 20 years ago —  from injuries she suffered in a car accident the day before.  The following photo recalls happier days of driving the Riviera, in the 1955 film "To Catch a Thief."

This note's title, combined with the photo, suggests that I have a mystical vision of Cary Grant as God.  I can think of worse people to play God.  The best I can do tonight to eliminate the negative is transcribe  the remarks I made in a (paper) journal entry in 1997.  (By the way, I realize that ordinary people are just as important as movie stars, but the latter are more suitable for public discussion.)

In memoriam: Robert Mitchum and James Stewart 

Eternal Triangles (July 3, 1997)

Every civilization tells its own story about the relations between heaven and earth.  Some of the best stories — those of Lao Tsu, the Greek poets, and Buddha — are now almost 26 centuries old.  Some even older stories — those told by the Jews — have enabled our current civilization, led by Charlton Heston as God, to outlast Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.  However, recent claims of Absolute Truth for these stories (The Bible Code) are disturbing.  Perhaps it is time — at least for Robert Mitchum and James Stewart — to meet a kinder, gentler God.

I propose Cary Grant — specifically, as seen in "The Grass is Greener" (1960) with Mitchum and Deborah Kerr, and in "The Philadelphia Story" (1940) with Stewart and Katharine Hepburn.  If we imagine Grant as God, then these films reveal a very old, always entertaining, and sometimes enlightening version of the Trinity:  God and Man as rivals for the Holy Spirit — as played by Deborah, by Kate, and (in heaven) by Grace.  Such a spirit, at work in the real world, may have influenced two of this century's better Bibles:

  1. The Oxford Book of English Prose (1925, reprinted through 1958), and

  2. "LIFE — The 60th Anniversary Issue" (October 1996)

From (1), for Mitchum's memorial, Deborah might pick "The Basket of Roses" (pp. 1057-1060).  From (2), for Stewart's memorial, Kate might select the page of LIFE's covers for 1941 — and all that page implies.

Finally, Grace, in the Highest society (beyond Bibles) might recall the following telegraphic catechism:

Q. — How old Cary Grant?
A. — Old Cary Grant fine.  How you?

Friday, September 13, 2002

Friday September 13, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:24 PM

Meditation for Friday the 13th

The 1946 British film below (released as “Stairway to Heaven” in the U.S.) is one of my favorites.  I saw it as a child. Since costar Kim Hunter died this week (on 9/11), and since today is Friday the 13th, the following material seems relevant.

Kim Hunter in 1946

R.A.F pilot
and psychiatrist 

Alan McGlashan

Alan McGlashan has practiced as a psychiatrist in London for more than forty years.  He also served as a pilot for the R.A.F. (with MC and Croix de Guerre decorations). 

The doctor in “A Matter of Life and Death” addresses a heavenly court on behalf of his patient, R.A.F pilot David Niven:

In the film, David Niven is saved by mistake from a fated death and his doctor must argue to a heavenly court that he be allowed to live. 

In a similar situation, I would want Dr. Alan McGlashan, a real-life psychiatrist, on my side.  For an excerpt from one of my favorite books, McGlashan’s The Savage and Beautiful Country,

click here.

As Walker Percy has observed (see my Sept. 7 note, “The Boys from Uruguay”), a characteristic activity of human beings is what Percy called “symbol-mongering.”  In honor of today’s anniversary of the births of two R.A.F. fighter pilots,

Sir Peter Guy Wykeham-Barnes (b. 1915) and author

Roald Dahl (b. 1916),

here is one of the better symbols of the past century:

The circle is of course a universal symbol, and can be made to mean just about whatever one wants it to mean.  In keeping with Clint Eastwood’s advice, in the soundtrack album for “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” to “accentuate the positive,” here are some positive observations on a circle from the poet (and perhaps saint) Dante, who died on the night of September 13-14:

In the sun, Dante and Beatrice find themselves surrounded by a circle of souls famous for their wisdom on earth. They appear as splendid lights and precious jewels who dance and sing as they lovingly welcome two more into their company. Their love for God is kindled even more and grows as they find more individuals to love. Among the blessed souls are St. Thomas Aquinas and one of his intellectual “enemies”, Siger of Brabant, a brilliant philosopher at the University of Paris, some of whose teachings were condemned as heretical. Conflicts and divisions on earth are now forgotten and absorbed into a communal love song and dance “whose sweetness and harmony are unknown on earth and whose joy becomes one with eternity.”

Dante compares their dance and song to God’s bride on earth, the Church, when she answers the morning bells to rise from bed and “woo with matins song her Bridegroom’s love.” Some critics consider this passage the most “spiritually erotic” of all the one hundred cantos of the Comedy. It is the ending of Canto 10, verses 139-148.

— Fr. James J. Collins, “The Spiritual Journey with Dante V,” Priestly People October 1997

The above material on Dante is from the Servants of the Paraclete website.

For more on the Paraclete, see

The Left Hand of God.

See also the illustration in the note below.

Powered by WordPress