Log24

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Make America Strange Again

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:59 PM

Suggested by the previous post, "The Swarm" —

“‘Oracle, why did you write
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy?
What are we supposed to learn?'”

— Philip K. Dick

“She began throwing the coins.“

I Ching Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dead at 61

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:22 AM

I Ching Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

See also Hexagram 61 in this journal.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A6!

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 9:57 AM

The title refers to a line by Louis Menand quoted
at the end of the previous post.

There "a6!" refers to the chessboard square in
column a, row 6.  In Geometry of the I Ching,
this square represents Hexagram 61, "Inner Truth."

See also "inner truth" in this journal.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

See More Glass

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM

The first story of "The Snow Queen, in Seven Stories"
by Hans Christian Andersen (1845) (see yesterday morning)—

Story the First,
Which Describes a Looking-Glass
and the Broken Fragments

You must attend to the commencement of this story, for when we get to the end we shall know more than we do now about a very wicked hobgoblin; he was one of the very worst, for he was a real demon.  One day, when he was in a merry mood, he made a looking-glass which had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it almost shrink to nothing, while everything that was worthless and bad looked increased in size and worse than ever. The most lovely landscapes appeared like boiled spinach, and the people became hideous, and looked as if they stood on their heads and had no bodies. Their countenances were so distorted that no one could recognize them, and even one freckle on the face appeared to spread over the whole of the nose and mouth. The demon said this was very amusing. When a good or pious thought passed through the mind of any one it was misrepresented in the glass; and then how the demon laughed at his cunning invention. All who went to the demon’s school—for he kept a school—talked everywhere of the wonders they had seen, and declared that people could now, for the first time, see what the world and mankind were really like. They carried the glass about everywhere, till at last there was not a land nor a people who had not been looked at through this distorted mirror. They wanted even to fly with it up to heaven to see the angels, but the higher they flew the more slippery the glass became, and they could scarcely hold it, till at last it slipped from their hands, fell to the earth, and was broken into millions of pieces. But now the looking-glass caused more unhappiness than ever, for some of the fragments were not so large as a grain of sand, and they flew about the world into every country. When one of these tiny atoms flew into a person’s eye, it stuck there unknown to him, and from that moment he saw everything through a distorted medium, or could see only the worst side of what he looked at, for even the smallest fragment retained the same power which had belonged to the whole mirror. Some few persons even got a fragment of the looking-glass in their hearts, and this was very terrible, for their hearts became cold like a lump of ice. A few of the pieces were so large that they could be used as window-panes; it would have been a sad thing to look at our friends through them. Other pieces were made into spectacles; this was dreadful for those who wore them, for they could see nothing either rightly or justly. At all this the wicked demon laughed till his sides shook—it tickled him so to see the mischief he had done. There were still a number of these little fragments of glass floating about in the air, and now you shall hear what happened with one of them.

 "Was there more to come? Was I done?
I wondered if I had dreamed
the connectedness of Being
the night before, or if now, awake,
I dreamed distinctions.
I didn’t know where I was for an instant."

"Alethia," by Charles Johnson, as
     quoted by Eve Tushnet on Aug. 22, 2013

Tushnet on Johnson —

"Somebody–I hope a commenter will remind me who it was–
has suggested that the Left typically thinks in terms of an
opposition between oppression and liberation, whereas
the right typically thinks in terms of an opposition between
civilization and barbarism. I would reframe the latter opposition
as order vs. chaos; if we do that, it’s obvious that both
oppositions are unrelentingly relevant, yet few thinkers or artists
are able to hold both conflicts before our eyes at once.

I just finished Charles Johnson’s 1986 short-story collection 
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Tales and Conjurations ,
a bag of broken glass which is equal parts liberationist and
reactionary, yearning for freedom and knuckling under to fatalism." 

Related material —

Saturday Night Live, Dec. 11, 1976

Consumer Reporter: Alright. Fine. Fine. Well, we'd like to show you another  one of Mr. Mainway's products. It retails for $1.98, and it's called Bag O' Glass. [ holds up bag of glass ] Mr. Mainway, this is simply a bag of jagged, dangerous, glass bits.

Irwin Mainway: Yeah, right, it's you know, it's glass, it's broken glass, you know? It sells very well, as a matter of fact, you know? It's just broken glass, you know?

Consumer Reporter: [ laughs ] I don't understand. I mean, children could seriously cut themselves on any one of these pieces!

Irwin Mainway: Yeah, well, look – you know, the average kid, he picks up, you know, broken glass anywhere, you know? The beach, the street, garbage cans, parking lots, all over the place in any big city. We're just packaging what the kids want! I mean, it's a creative toy, you know? If you hold this up, you know, you see colors, every color of the rainbow! I mean, it teaches him about light refraction, you know? Prisms, and that stuff! You know what I mean?

Tommy Lee Jones perhaps knows what Mainway means.
Kristen Wiig (see Aug. 22, 2013, in this  journal) perhaps does not.

See also Tushnet on The Man in the High Castle  as well as
Tommy Lee Jones and Hexagram 61.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mere 61

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Today is the 61st anniversary of the publication
of the book Mere Christianity , by C. S. Lewis.

In its honor, here is a link to "Hexagram 61
in this journal.

See also "Moonshine and Lion."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Requiem for a Screenwriter*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
 

Click for obit.

Background:

Hexagram 61
and

Still Point.

* Notably, of the film "Downfall" (Der Untergang ).
   "Has time rewritten every line?" —Streisand

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday June 4, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 1:24 PM

The Grasshopper
Lies Heavy

David Carradine dies at 72

“‘Oracle, why did you write
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy?
What are we supposed to learn?'”

— Philip K. Dick

She began throwing the coins.

I Ching Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

Click on image
for further details.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wednesday April 26, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:09 PM
Charm
At Decision Time,
Colleges Lay On Charm
– Today’s New York Times

Also in today’s Times:

“‘Lestat,’ the maiden Broadway production of Warner Brothers Theater Ventures, is the third vampire musical to open in the last few years, and it seems unlikely to break the solemn curse that has plagued the genre. Directed by Robert Jess Roth from a book by Linda Woolverton, the show admittedly has higher aspirations and (marginally) higher production values than the kitschy ‘Dance of the Vampires’ (2002) and the leaden ‘Dracula: The Musical’ (2004), both major-league flops.” — Ben Brantley

Related material:

See Log24,
St. Patrick’s Day 2004:

“I faced myself that day with
the nonplused apprehension
of someone who has
come across a vampire
and has no crucifix in hand.”

— Joan Didion, “On Self-Respect,”
in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon,
  Gravity’s Rainbow

Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

Inner Truth,
Hexagram 61

See also

  Transylvania Bible School.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Saturday February 28, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Inner Truth
and Outer Style

Inner Truth:

Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

Outer Style:


Joan Didion

“Everything I learned,
I learned at Vogue.”

Joan Didion, Nov. 2001 interview
with Amy Spindler.

Spindler died on Friday, Feb. 27, 2004.

For related material, see

Truth and Style: ART WARS at Harvard

and

blogs.law.harvard.edu/m759/.

Friday, December 5, 2003

Friday December 5, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:06 PM
Number 61    Hexagram 61: Inner Truth

For Joan Didion on her birthday

From “On Keeping a Notebook” (1966)
in Slouching Towards Bethlehem:

How it felt to me: that is getting closer to the truth about a notebook. I sometimes delude myself about why I keep a notebook, imagine that some thrifty virtue derives from preserving everything observed.  See enough and write it down, I tell myself, and then some morning when the world seems drained of wonder, some day when I am only going through the motions of doing what I am supposed to do, which is write- on that bankrupt morning I will simply open my notebook and there it will all be, a forgotten account with accumulated interest, paid passage back to the world out there: dialogue overheard in hotels and elevators and at the hatcheck counter in Pavillon (one middle-aged man shows his hat check to another and says, “That’s my old football number”)….

I imagine, in other words, that the notebook is about other people. But of course it is not. I have no real business with what one stranger said to another at the hat-check counter in Pavillon; in fact I suspect that the line “That’s my old football number” touched not my own imagination at all, but merely some memory of something once read, probably “The Eighty-Yard Run.”

From a 1994 interview with Tommy Lee Jones by Bryant Gumbel:

Gumbel: While majoring in English, Jones was also an offensive guard on the Harvard football team. Number 61 in your program, his last game, against Yale, proved to be one of the most famous games every played. Harvard scored 16 points in the last 42 seconds to gain a 29-all tie. (Photo of Jones in football uniform, footage of 1968 football game.)

Mr. J: It couldn’t have been a more spectacular way to leave the game that had been so important to me all my life. The grass had never looked that green, nor the sky that blue.

Gumbel: That lucky game was for Jones a precursor of good fortune to come. It seems Harvard´s team doctor, Thomas Quigley, had caught some of Tommy Lee’s off the field plays and come away impressed. (Photo of Jones at rehearsal)

Mr. J: And when I was about to graduate, he asked if I had thought about going to New York, and I said I didn’t know. He said, “Well, if you do, take this letter and give it to my daughter, she’s doing a play.”

Ms. Jane Alexander (Actress): And I opened it. It was from my father, and it said: “This young man excels at Harvard. He is a good football player, but he wants to be an actor. Take care of him.” So I introduced him to a few agents, and right away he got a job.

Mr. J: And I had one line…. The line was five words long.

Gumbel: Were this a fairy tale, it would be….

Joan Didion: “That’s my old football number.”

Friday, November 14, 2003

Friday November 14, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:56 AM

Philip K. Dick Meets Joan Didion

From the ending of
The Man in the High Castle:

Juliana said, “I wonder why the oracle would write a novel. Did you ever think of asking it that?” ….

“You may say the question aloud,” Hawthorne said. “We have no secrets here.”

Juliana said, “Oracle, why did you write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? What are we supposed to learn?”

“You have a disconcertingly superstitious way of phrasing your question,” Hawthorne said. But he had squatted down to witness the coin throwing. “Go ahead,” he said; he handed her three Chinese brass coins with holes in the center. “I generally use these.”

She began throwing the coins; she felt calm and very much herself. Hawthorne wrote down her lines for her. When she had thrown the coins six times, he gazed down and said:

“Sun at the top. Tui at the bottom. Empty in the center.”

IMAGE- Hexagram 61

“Do you know what hexagram that is?” she said. “Without using the chart?”

“Yes,” Hawthorne said.

“It’s Chung Fu,” Juliana said. “Inner Truth. I know without using the chart, too. And I know what it means.”

From the ending of
Play It As It Lays:

I lie here in the sunlight, watch the hummingbird.  This morning I threw the coins in the swimming pool, and they gleamed and turned in the water in such a way that I was almost moved to read them.  I refrained.

One thing in my defense, not that it matters.  I know something Carter never knew, or Helene, or maybe you.  I know what “nothing” means, and keep on playing.

Why, BZ would say.

Why not, I say.

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