Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

Read Post

Busytown: A Thought Went Up My Mind To-day

138 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

  • Jolisa,

    Or No Jersey?

    Oh, gracefully done!

    From the Weather Underground (no, not that one, this one):

    A record high temperature of 103 degrees was set at Newark NJ at 1234 PM (ldt) today. This breaks the old record of 102 set in 1999

    The temperature's rising, it isn't surprising... maybe we will need that New Ark sooner than we think?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Newark NJ or New Yark NY?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Grace Dalley,

    Ben: my point (perhaps not clearly expressed) is that the intention makes all the difference. As I understand it (someone correct me if this is wrong), mokamokai were made by killing captured enemies, and removing the most sacred part of the body to be displayed as a trophy. Lenin is preserved as a hero of his country. You get the difference.

    Ancient Egyptian mummies or European bog people are trickier to work out, ethically. I'm quite OK with scientists examining them to discover things about the times in which they lived, but I don't think it's particularly OK to turn their bodies into a freakshow. Is there some good reason for the general public to be looking at them? If not, then I'd rather they weren't.

    There has been some debate in Europe about the display of plastinated, dissected corpses for the sake of public education. Where the bodies were donated specifically for this purpose, I think that's OK too, provided they're displayed in a sensitive and respectful way. People who don't want to go and look at them don't have to.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2008 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    atopical heatwave?

    The temperature's rising, it isn't surprising...

    I guess Ethel Merman won't need an ark
    but Marilyn could Monroe the boat...

    it's reigning men...
    of course if it's Weather Girls you want
    then... Humidity's rising, barometer's getting low,
    according to all sources the street's the place to go...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Oh Ian, you can't do that and not post the video...

    I do question the fact that it's raining men who are wearing undies with sports socks, though. That's... problematic.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    On the other hand, if the socks had Union Jacks on them, would it be all right?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Noah-found-land! I knew he was a Newfie!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I do question the fact that it's raining men who are wearing undies with sports socks, though. That's... problematic.

    a veritable malestorm...
    if you are have a problem attic
    it may be faulty flashing
    - hence the drips in socks 'n' grunds

    On the other hand, if the socks had Union Jacks on them, would it be all right?

    Union Jocks, surely?


    let's turn the heat up and cross the Berlin wall (Irving that is)...

    also from near Berlin, but not Irving - Who knew?

    not to be confused with this fine Disco whine from Martha's Vineyard

    and The Muppets do a great version too...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    (Lucy, when do you arrive hereabouts? NO need to bring a cardie, obvs).

    Berkeley mid-August, for This-Is-America, Plagiarism-Is-Bad indoctrination, Boston a few days after that, heading in to Amherst in late August when the husband and cat make it over.

    (And DO NOT MENTION packing of clothes. Or shoes. Or my inability to get down to a rational amount. It's a wee bit pathetic from someone who has to be forced to go clothes-shopping. Or, hang on, maybe it makes perfect sense; I'm trying to delay inevitable clothes-shopping. Either way, Air New Zealand's decision to suddenly remove half their baggage allowance is not being greeted with equaminity in my household.)

    People who don't want to go and look at them don't have to.

    You could kind of say this is true of mummies, but they tend to be sprung upon one in the middle of otherwise inoffensive museum exhibits. I'd be a lot less queasy about it if there was a mummy-viewing room and you could make a definite decision about going to look at the dead people.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The patron Saint of Milan, Ambrose (337-397), is buried in a glass sarcophagus in the crypt of the Basilica that bears his name, along with his posse, the saints Protais and Gervais. Last time we were there I gave Joseph (6) the option to see them, but he declined. Yet he was very keen to see the mummies in the Egyptian museum. Could never fathom why he was scared of the former, but not the latter.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    my point (perhaps not clearly expressed) is that the intention makes all the difference.

    I think you're clear enough, and I don't really disagree. I carefully chose the example of the skull ashtray because the intention of the Nazis was to dehumanize their victims, so most people will feel a visceral sense of repulse at the idea of the use of a body in this way. But other people consider being put in a display cabinet to be dehumanizing too, and so feel creeped out in a similar way about mummies, even though the intention of the display is not to dehumanize them - that is just a side effect.

    I actually don't feel that spooked by mummies myself. The connection between living and dead is so long ago. I'd be much more grossed out by the Lenin and Mao mummies, and somewhere in between about really old shrunken heads. As to whether it's moral to actually keep them, that's a really complicated case by case question.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Could never fathom why he was scared of the former, but not the latter.

    Medieval dead Italians are a lot closer to the bone than ancient dead Egyptians? Perhaps he was thinking "what if he looks like Grandad?".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Grace Dalley,

    Has anyone else read Memento Mori by Muriel Spark? It's about a man who rings up random strangers and reminds them that they're going to die. People try and have him arrested for threatening to kill, but the police eventually decide it's not a threat, just a factual statement. :-)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2008 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Has anyone else read Memento Mori by Muriel Spark?

    "Memento mori!"
    "Sorry?"
    "Memento mori!"
    "I'm going to go back there now and make a note of it."


    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Irony Maiden vs Mummies Boy?
    a mash up where Bruce Dickinson
    meets Emily Dickinson...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Hairy, hairy art. Made of hair.

    Oh god, so disgusting. The hairball machine! The hair-grinder! The hair in resin! BLAAAARGH!

    That does it. I'm changing my name to Danielle O'Hurlihy.

    (I find the Friedman soap piece rather intriguing, though: how did he straighten out the hairs? Did he use GHDs?)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Dickinson, Death, and Watermelon Salad

    I like it , but surely Richard Brautigan's lawyers would have something to say

    Ok, a page late, but just picked up Reality Sandwiches and found this;

    A naked lunch is natural to us,
    we eat reality sandwiches.
    But allegories are so much lettuce.
    Don't hide the madness.
    *

    I'll just go get my Sombrero
    in light of the fallout,
    so as to keep my hair on.

    Ginsberg. On Burroughs' Work.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Could never fathom why he was scared of the former, but not the latter.

    For the same ineffable reason we are all terrified of nuns? (I don't know why; I just know that when my 4 year old sees the large blue nuns from over the road going walkabout, he hides behind me and growls "I hate those grannies").

    Disclaimer: my favourite teacher ever was a nun of such celestial sweetness and intelligence that I still think of her often and would write her a fan letter if I knew where she was.

    Undisclaimer: my least favourite teacher ever was also a nun, and if I knew where she was, I would give chase, and then give her the strap for running in the corridor.

    Nuns, mummies, hairballs... what is this, the summer-camp Things That Go Bump in the Night scary story thread?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    is it weird then that I made a cat toy for my cat from its own hair?

    There is usually an ad in the back of Interweave Knits from someone who will spin your pet-brushings into yarn. You could make your cat a little sweater to wear while it plays...

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    (And DO NOT MENTION packing of clothes. Or shoes. Or my inability to get down to a rational amount. It's a wee bit pathetic from someone who has to be forced to go clothes-shopping. Or, hang on, maybe it makes perfect sense; I'm trying to delay inevitable clothes-shopping. Either way, Air New Zealand's decision to suddenly remove half their baggage allowance is not being greeted with equaminity in my household.)

    I must mention it, though, to give you useful advice and (I hope) reassurance.

    1) Don't worry that you're not packing in July! I didn't really manage to pack until the week before I left.

    2) Improve your volume-for-permitted-linear-dimension by packing in large cube-ish boxes rather than suitcases. (I used monitor boxes, but I suppose now those are all much flatter? There must be something, though.)

    3) Baggage allowance, schmaggage allowance. Excess baggage fees are still cheaper than any other mechanism for moving large amounts of your stuff quickly to where you want it. Plus you may find that you are crying so hard when you check in that they waive the fees out of pity. Uh. I hear.

    4) Things I am not sorry I packed: textbooks, kitchen/household gear, hiking boots (excellent in snow), little bits of memorabilia, medium-size bits of memorabilia (esp. art).

    5) Things that mattered less than I thought: my nice NZ-suitable clothes - only weather-appropriate for 2 weeks in the fall and 2 in the spring, because the rest of the time it's either too cold or too hot. Computer - they are so much cheaper here anyway.

    6) Somehow you will get packed. You probably know that already.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    What Amy said. Especially about the sob-related baggage allowance, although I have been refused even when bawling. What you need, if that happens, is a shameless Mum who will turn to the carry-on-baggage-only Japanese businessman in the queue behind you and say "You look like a kind man. Would you mind checking in one of my poor daughter's suitcases for her?"

    (NB this may only work pre 9/11/01, and with my actual Mum).

    Also: clothes-shopping is pretty cheap over here, if you need to supplement your stuff. It's also really quite boring. So if you are a femmey clothes-horse-type like, ah, me, do bring a suitcase full of uniquely gorgeous NZ-made skirts. I wear mine year-round, with strappy tank-tops in summer, and layers of merino and tights & boots in winter. It gets me through. Otherwise, it's khakis, khakis, and more khakis, with the odd pair of jeans.

    Berkeley mid-August, for This-Is-America, Plagiarism-Is-Bad indoctrination

    Wow, that's new since I arrived. I think we had America-is-Bad, This-is-Plagiarism? But it was the Clinton/internet bubble years, though, so maybe we just got the America-Fuck-Yeah! seminar. Amy, do you recall?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Wow, that's new since I arrived. I think we had America-is-Bad, This-is-Plagiarism? But it was the Clinton/internet bubble years, though, so maybe we just got the America-Fuck-Yeah! seminar. Amy, do you recall?

    I didn't get any of those. Is this a Fulbright thing?

    I did, however, get this super-awesome pamphlet from the international students' office.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    I didn't get any of those. Is this a Fulbright thing?

    NSF funded fellowship?? (Well, the NSF has just added a "scientific integrity" training requirement for all grant-supported students and post-docs. But not, oddly, principal investigators... But if the training had been in Berkeley I suspect people here would have grumbled less).

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Back to the heatwave, or Heatwave: there has to be a word for what MM is doing to that song. "Sing" just doesn't cover it, really. I love how her sequined brassiere gets a whole line all to itself.

    Plus, Deep South -- oooER!

    And the Who - the Whuh? the How?! the HELL??! I'm suffering a bad case of Eurovision* after that. What next, the Beatles doing I've Got a Loverly Bunch of Coconuts?

    Happy birthday, Ringo, by the way. Peace and love!

    (Alas, "Only Mr God Knows Why," Anthony Lane's excellent account of this year's Eurovision Song Contest is not available online, but I thoroughly recommend you get hold of a copy of the 28 June issue of the New Yorker, and suffer through it, as he did, and as I did just by reading about it. Now, that's what I call embedded reporting -- and he did it without a kevlar flak jacket, or earplugs).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Amy, that is indeed a super-awesome pamphlet and I'd totally forgotten about it, although at the time it reminded me strongly of the super-awesome nihonjinron material I'd been given as a foreign student in Japan.

    I re-read it with a sort of worried/horrified/"awww, bless" expression on my face, as if I was looking at a kitten that had just been rescued from a storm drain.

    Favourite bits:

    Frequent bathing and the use of chemical deodorants, perfumes, and soaps may not be necessary for one's health, but they may have an effect on a person's social relationships in the U.S.

    People from other cultures sometimes see the large number of casual relationships that Americans have as their reluctance to become deeply involved with others. ... This casual friendliness should not be mistaken for deep or intimate friendships which are developed over a long period of time.

    Americans place considerable value on punctuality. Because they tend to organize their activities by means of schedules, they may seem harried, always running from one thing to the next and unable to relax and enjoy themselves.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.