The Countdown continues; Christmas is getting closer! Today I have, not one, but two poems — both “politically correct” parodies of familiar seasonal icons.
The first Way-Back link is a new look at the The Night Before Christmas and Santa’s woes in a consumer-aware world (worse than his woes with physics). The second picks up the next day with The (Politically Correct) Twelve Days of Christmas. (Both are neolithic email “shares” from the ghost of Christmas Past.)
And now fun — and funny — Christmas tunes…
I was going to write about something completely different. Specifically: religion, spirituality, atheism, morality and ethics, faith and unbelief… that sort of thing. I like one day of the week to be different from the rest — a Sabbath, so to speak. For cultural and personal reasons (and pragmatic reasons — many businesses take today off) Sunday seems an appropriate day. I’ve got Sci-Fi Saturday; I suppose you could call it Sermon Sunday or something.
But when I sat down to write, something else came out. I thought I’d better grab it and stick it onto the blog wall before it ran away and, due to its youth and naiveté, ran afoul of Unpleasant Business. The thing about letting your mind drift is that you can never be sure where it’ll come ashore. In this case, mental notes about a possible future post morphed into… Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
And, yes, you have to look below the fold — no cheating!
Wow! Kansas City Royals — the wildcard team — take the Los Angeles Angels (the best team in baseball this year) three-zip in the ALDS. And that after an amazing wildcard game against the Oakland Athletics. The game last night — their fourth post-season game — was the first to go only nine innings and featured their biggest win so far: 8-3!
It’s hard to separate my rooting for them to win from how objectively great all four games have been, but I think anyone would agree these were great games. The Royals have been so much fun to watch. Their running game alone is a joy to behold.
Blue beat green in one and red in three; now they go after orange best of seven!
Ever looping, ever spinning,
Passes a point.
Ever higher, ever warmer,
Melts all the snow.
Ever turning, ever changing,
Brings forth fresh life.
Winter’s silence fades.
Birds sing, life renews.
A new year begins.
Computer programmers, and others who work with languages, sometimes use the related terms: semantics & syntax. They are concepts with a specific application to language, but language is communication and there are many forms of communication. For example, when music is viewed as a language one can apply the concepts of syntax and semantics.
This article (in my queue for years) was meant to introduce those two concepts, but my vision for this blog has evolved in ways that largely moot those original intentions. Why write about topics no one is casually interested in, and which are already covered in exhaustive detail elsewhere for those with a serious interest?
Besides,… this one… turned out different…
It’s poetry week here at con carne! To balance out the seriousness of Henley’s Invictus last time, here’s something a bit more whimsical. And much older; Andrew Marvell ‘s To His Coy Mistress pre-dates Henley by a good 200 years. Yet, both poems are about overcoming obstacles.
It must be said that the obstacles in question here are a bit different from the “bludgeonings of chance” that concern Henley. Marvell has something else entirely on his mind! And while Henley speaks of staying the course against all odds, Marvell’s advice is more carpe diem.
So for a little fun on Friday, I give you…
I was involved in a discussion not long ago that reminded me of the Henley poem, Invictus. Not that I needed a lot of reminding; the poem has been near and dear to my heart since high school.
I’m not very conversant with poetry, but I’ve run into a few “pomes” over the years that have really grabbed me. (In other words, this is one place where I don’t know art, but I know what I like.)
In the past I’ve published copies of favorite poems on my personal website, and I’ve always intended to write about them in a blog article. For this poem especially, no time like the present.
I mentioned Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey recently. It’s actually one of my favorite films, although by “favorite” I mean it makes my Top 25 Best Films list (or it would if I ever made one). I consider it a major landmark in the cinema landscape.
I’m not sure it makes my Top 25 Favorite Films list, but that’s only because there are so many others I love for reasons beyond their mere quality. It would probably make the Top 50 list, and I’m sure it’s in my Top 100. Some find it opaque or pointless, but to me it’s a visual tone poem that’s as beautiful as it is technically accomplished.
When I say that last part, people sometimes ask me what a visual tone poem is.
After a seemingly endless succession of gloomy, cloudy, drizzly days, we’ve managed to pull off a couple of blue-sky, bright sunny days! Not in a row, mind you, but Friday was beautiful, and today is downright glorious! Sunday is truly earning its name today!
The Minnesota Twins, bless their hearts, even pulled off a win against the Detroit Tigers yesterday (hoping for another today). That gives them a win-loss record of 30-35, only five games below the desired .500 mark. (It’s a no-go mojo for a team to play below .500 or a batter to hit below .200 (in infamous “Mendoza Line“).)
On a day like today one can’t help but to think about oranges.
It’s a gray skies snowy Sunday afternoon, the fireplace is turned on, Bull Durham is on the TV machine, and I’d rather play with POV-Ray, snooze or get back to reading Terry Pratchett‘s Going Postal than spend hours working on a blog post. Sunday should be a day of rest or, at least, of difference.
I’m not particularly stuck on Sundays; my Lutheran background programs me for Sundays, but there are other ways to keep a Sabbath.
I do think it’s important to observe one day a week that is tuned differently than your other days. I think it’s mentally and spiritually healthy to change your pace one day a week. Dedicating a day helps insure following the practice.
Saturday thousands died for my amusement; today my desiderata is pax and nepenthe, so I thought I would share a Desiderata with you.