I once went down to an underpass in San Jose, California, and saw a camp of alcoholics who had come to San Jose to go to the mental hospital there to get treatment via LSD. Wha? That's what I said! And then I walked back up to the plaza with one of the dudes who claimed he'd been a professor at the University of San Francisco until he'd started livin' in the bottle, which, he added, was a much more comfortable life than his academic one had been. "Why once this delicious choice piece of freshman pulchritude approached me seeking the highest grade she could procure given the charms that oozed from her presence. To resist or not to resist, that was the question, and that was always the question; always decisions, decisions, and I got to drinking to solve all these problems and the drinking got more charming and more charming, you know, vis-a-vis the gaggles of freshmen ingenues." The further we walked, the further he babbled, and I was taking notes in my mental notebook as he talked. Suddenly, he decided to bark off Cicero's Canons of Rhetoric; yeah; I loved it; I loved it so much, I bought the poor sot a drink at a bar just up the street from the Salvation Army.
Cicero's Canons of Rhetoric
Logos - Pathos/Ethos
Arrangement - Organizing ideas
Style - Flair, fashion; impressing an audience
Time for a drink.
"It is both incredible and unbelievable." A car commercial, what else?
"Money shouldn't slow you down." A credit card company commercial.
From Glancing Through Isiah Berlin's Russian Thinkers
"Most Russian historians are agreed that the great social schism between the educated and the 'dark folk' in Russian history sprang from the wound inflicted on Russian history by Peter the Great. In his reforming zeal Peter sent selected young men into the western world, and when they had acquired the languages of the west and the various new arts and skills which sprang from the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, brought them back to become the leaders of that new social order which, with ruthless and violent haste, he imposed upon his feudal land. In this way he created a small class of new men ... these, in due course, became a small managerial and bureaucratic oligarchy, set above the people, no longer sharing in their still medieval culture; cut off from them irrevocably. The government of this large and unruly nation became constantly more difficult, as social and economic conditions in Russia increasingly diverged from the progressing west. With the widening of the gulf, greater and greater repression had to be exercised by the ruling elite. The small group of governors thus grew more and more estranged from the people they were set to govern." [p. 117, Penguin Books, 1982.]
The only Russian history I really know I've learned from Berlin's book--and from a couple of PBS specials, like the one on Catherine the Great after Peter left her with the mess of his reformation tactics and she almost relented and lessened the burden on the Russian peasantry, because of attacks from Voltaire, though, Katie bar the door, she slipped back into her royal ignorance and became more oppressive than ever.
I've been tricked into becoming interested in Russian history by recent posts on www.languagehat.com. l hat's my man when it comes to Russian history. I know he tried to live in Moscow one time and I know he speaks Russian fairly well and I've heard him any times, in person, exude his fascination with Russian people and Russian thinkers. l hat's enormous reading capacity gives him a library of Russian texts within his colossal memory's vaults--you gotta have a good memory (a mathematical way of remembering) to be a linquist--don't ya? All I'm suggesting, if you're not up on Russian stuff, tune in to www.languagehat.com these days and catch some of his Russian-leaning (learning) posts. I can still see l hat in his Russian sable hat piled high on his head, a ragged black overcoat pulled high-collared around him, his breathing blowing cold smoke as he chugged from his apartment up to big, gaudy, Uncle-Joe proud Moscow University in 10-below-zero temperatures--like Gogol following his nose.
wood s lot
Of all the blogs I've ventured onto in the blogosphere, wood s lot continues to amaze me. I don't see how the Canadian dude does it; it's marvelous; it's full of poetry, photography--where does he get these photos!!!, literature--why even politics--WHY HE'S EVEN POSTED The Daily Growler's thegrowlingwolf's growling occasionally, like recently posting my post describing Georgie Porgie Bushy Boy's 1000 Points of Light Brigades in his own words--thegrowlingwolf taking on the phony president's identity and talking Bush backward talk and shit. Mostly shit, but relevant shit.
If you'd like a daily intellectual delight, then bookmark wood s lot-- you can get to it over in The Daily Growler sidebar link list--I only list two blogs, www.languagehat.com and wood s lot. The best blogs I've found so far, though I did find a blog on nanoengineering that I'm looking into right now. Nanoengineering is good stuff, man.
for The Daily Growler
From wood s lot--How 'bout a Little Jimmy Joyce?
Now gode. Let us leave theories there and return to here's here. Now hear. 'Tis gode again. The teak coffin, Pughglasspanelfitted, feets to the east, was to turn in later, and pitly patly near the porpus, materially effecting the cause. And this, liever, is the thinghowe. Any number of conservative public bodies, through a number of select and other committees having power to add to their number, before voting themselves and himself, town, port and garrison, by a fit and proper resolution, following a koorts order of the groundwet, once for all out of plotty existence, as a forescut, so you maateskippey might to you cuttinrunner on a neuw pack of klerds, made him, while his body still persisted, their present of a protem grave in Moyelta of the best Lough Neagh pattern, then as much in demand among misonesans as the Isle of Man today among limniphobes.
- Finnegans Wake