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Hope Springs Eternal: The Mary Wheeler Interview

Mary and Tim Wheeler, with son Christopher.  Courtesy Mary Wheeler. Prepare yourself(s) for an amazing interview with a largely u...

Monday, December 20, 2010

The foot mystery continues

A 10th foot has washed ashore off the West Coast, this time near Tacoma, Washington.  Don't know if we can speculate any further on this as the police haven't turned up evidence of foul play in any of the cases....

Any theories?  See our tags (Canada and feet) for the posts we've already made on the subject.

Recent news articles via Google.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Go forth by day

Don Van Vliet, perhaps better known as Captain Beefheart, has died at the age of 69.  RIP, Cap'n.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Covering up the smell of decay


First of all, squint a little bit and look at this photo.....

According to the Scented Salamander blog, this is the revamped ad for Guerlain's Idylle Eau de Toilette.  It features actress Nora Arzeneder looking "...much sultrier, khol-eyed and voluptuous...."

Maybe in this version.  But in Toulouse and Blagnac this image is posted upon billboards all over the place to gear up for the Christmas season.  Problem is, everytime I see it, even after a dozen or so times, I do a troubled double-take.  For you see, that wisp of hair over the cheek gives her face a sallow, sunken look almost blue/grey in color.  I always see a face in the early stages of putrefaction

Perhaps it's simply the colors and (lack of) clarity of the billboard image, I don't know.  Maybe it's cuz I've been watching The Walking Dead too much.

Has anyone else had this reaction, I wonder?  Can it be good advertising when your model has the head of a Zombie?  Am I mad?

Look again and squint.  Turn your head slightly.  Jump up and down.  You might see a face on Mars....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

¡Hooper!

Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times
Ah, the obelisk rises again, aherm.  The dying and resurrected god, perhaps.  Cock and balls.  We've done some extensive writing about obelisks and columns, especially those surmounted by a ball finial.  The most extensive post on this symbolism was Pillars of the Community from back in December '09.

So I was delighted but a bit befuddled to see the following article (A Bypassed Small Town Makes a Visual Statement) in the NYT today, written yesterday but on today's page one.  Befuddled due to its being one page one, btw.

Apparently, the town of Hooper, Nebraska, not wanting to be forgotten, decided to make a monument to distinguish themselves.  Their choice:  a truncated obelisk with the name of the town arranged vertically upon two sides; the obelisk rises above the flat surrounding planes and is illuminated on the sides with the name, recalling perhaps that the obelisks were originally held to be petrified rays of light.  Mighn't the socle recall as well the sacred Benben stone upon which the first rays of light were said to fall in the sacred solar city of Heliopolis and which is said to be the prototype of all obelisks, their capstones and thus the pyramids?

Is there also a hope that like the Phoenix, worshipped at the Benben stone, the town might rise again from the ashes?  Which brings us back full circle to the rising and setting sun, the resurrected god and of course, the resilient penis.

Hey, if you're gonna erect a phallus to distinguish your town, yer gonna have to get use to this kind of commentary.

Rock on, Hooperites!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

His name means beautiful mountain

Sad that most (all) of our posts tagged Mexico seem to deal with the out-of-control drug war going on down there, a spiral of increasing violence which is almost surreal in proportion:  dismembered corpses, acid baths, severed heads, brazen daylight murders....

I spent several months in Mexico in 1994, driving from Tampa to Guatemala and back.  I spent time in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Nuevo Léon, Villahermosa, Papantla, etc.  Nary a scratch.  Someone broke the rear window of the topper on my pickup but didn't steal anything.  This was offset the same day by the guy who let us camp at his house and offered us beers as we sat on his porch looking out over the sea and watching a marvellous swarm of long-legged ants making one half of its annual trek up and down the beach.

All in all, I've spent about a year in various parts of Mexico on that and subsequent visits in the late-nineties:  Mexico City, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi....  I've seen a wider swath of Mexico than the US.  Lots of cities and rural areas and again, never one hint of violence directed towards me.  (I did see a pair of dogs fighting over a donkey's severed head by the side of the road once, but that's another tale....)

A friend of mine on her way to visit me was held up at gunpoint while unwisely travelling by bus through Chiapas in the middle of the night.  But this was during the Zapatista conflict and as far as these things go, it was a pretty civil affair.  No one was hurt or even berated.  Just robbed by the masked bandidos.  This misfortune too offset by the kindness of strangers who lent her money, the hotel owner who let her stay in the best room for free and the local dealer who gave her a healthy Ziploc of weed.

So I'm a bit chagrined at including another story involving drug violence.  Especially since when I read comments to some of these drug war reports and see such ignorance on the part of American readers, such blatant hatred or indifference.  Remember folks, US demand drives this war and US guns make it possible.  Looking to blame someone?  You might start north of the border.  Not to be naive, there's plenty of corruption, incompetence and downright nastiness south of the border to make all this stuff actually happen.  Mexicans aren't getting a free ride in this post.  I'm just not willing to point a smug finger.

So all that is a long apologia and intro for the following article about a missionary who seems like a stand-up guy with balls of steel, something I read today in the Washington Post:  American missionary brings solace to drug-torn Mexican region.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass...."

It occurred to me the other day that the name Assange could be read as a portmanteau of "ass" and "ange", the French word for "angel".  The Ass and the Angel.  I was sort of  thinking this might be an apocryphal book of the Bible until I took a look and realized the book in question is in fact Bel and the Dragon.  I was confused with Nick Cave's first novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel (a reference to Numbers 22:28).  Which reminds me of another French/English bad pun.  "Niqué" means "fucked" and "nicked" means "arrested"....so this Julian Assange guy needs to go hole up in a cave because he's gonna get nicked and he's certainly fucked.

Anyone else think those rape charges are trumped up?

Anyway, the bestiality of the ass and the divinity of the angel remind me of the conflicting feelings I have about WikiLeaks' most recent endeavour:  noble public service or dangerously irresponsible act?  Journalism or espionage?  The Ass or the Angel?  (Associationalist philosophy may come in useful in examining these seemingly contradictory viewpoints....)

Sometimes I feel one way, sometimes another.  But our boy Julian, a name whose origin implies youth and downy beards, is a young man.  Too young to spend the rest of his life locked up in a superprison somewheres under the Denver International Airport.

Pull the tiger's dragon's tail and whatnot.  In Bel and the Dragon, Daniel blows the whistle on the Persian priests who have long deceived the king (Cyrus) into believing a clay and bronze dragon idol eats the offerings put before him.  Using a clever ruse, Daniel proves the priests and their families consume the goodies instead.  For this, the priests and their families are put to death and Daniel is allowed to destroy the idol.

Not so for our poor Julien.  For lifting the veil he's either gonna rot somewheres in prison or wind up in concrete boots at the bottom of the Potomac, an offering to the water dragon who lives there: a consumer of souls, purveyor of lies and all around stinker.  "Veil" ain't an anagram of "evil" for nothing....

There are only two speaking animals in the Old Testament:  Balaam's ass when he and his master encounter an angel...and the deceitful serpent of Genesis.  Fancy that.

Interestingly, while the Biblical story about Balaam casts him as a villain, other sources speak of the blessings he brought upon the Israelites.

a)  Ass
b) Angel
c) Both
d) None of the above

Take your pick!

Ham, eggs, comments and spam

Daurade here.

Due to 2 spam comments within the last week, I've decided to try out word verification for commenting.  You know, so that in order to comment, an image with randomly-generated letters appears, letters you then have to type into a box before you can post.  I hate to have to do it, but it's better than having "comments" appear which are in fact ads for RX drugs or bestiality porn (true!)

Hope the new procedure doesn't dissuade any actual commenters.....

Not that there are many anyway, except for friends of ours and the occasional sympathetic ear, sometimes someone who wants to take a crack at us.  But even more of the jabs would be welcome.  Since I added the Google hit counter in June there've been over 13.5 thousand visits to LoS.  Nearly 5,000 in the past 30 days.  Small taters really, but not too shabby.  But nary a peep from those visitors.

I should probably be grateful that it translates into so few comments---would be hard to keep up otherwise.

But still, it's always gratifying to know we're not pissing in the wind....