Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Staring Up at Me
I love seeing words I've never seen before suddenly staring up at me from out of a book, in this case the word "hebdomadal," staring up at me from a page in Jane Eyre--just as you think Jane is safe, a new humiliation and hardship befalls her. I'm beginning to think how influential the Candide tale was on writers from a certain era of our ghostly pasts. Charlotte Bronte using "hebdomadal," and I felt like a fool trying to impress her with my no-problem-ever-with-words attitude--and I gulped deeply in shame and had to go prone of the floor of abstract ignorance and admit, "Thou hast befuddled me with so queer a word and to wit I must admit defeat, dear Charlotte..., and if I beg your permission to pun on the hebdomadal definition, I hope you're weeklies don't leave you WEEK like they do the lady-like hebdomaries..." and pushing my head deeply into her heavily skirted lap, I plead, "...all I ask is a brief moment of forgiveness in thou sainted virginal lap."

Pronunciation: heb-dom-ê-dêl Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Weekly, occurring or changing once every 7 days. 2. Fickle, changeable.

Notes: You might be surprised to know that today's word, however, useless it might seem, belongs to a large and strong family. It is the adjective of hebdomad "set of seven, week". Another adjective from it, hebdomadic, means "pertaining to the days of the week". Monks who take weekly turns in performing holy services are called hebdomaries. There are several others in the Oxford English Dictionary. [from the alpha on-line free dictionary:

During the Past Hebdomadic Era
I learn that:

185,000 New York Citians have been randomly stopped and searched on the streets--the cops here have the right to do this if you look suspicious to them. "Land of the free," right? Not any more.

Down in the Southernmost area of Texas--Brownsville, Texas/Matamoros, Mexico--they have a new hurricane evacuation rule in place. This rule refers to the coming hurricane season down in that neck of the woods--G.W. Bush's big expensive shoddy-looking fence to keep filthy Messkins out of our precious pure-white country is up tall and flimsy looking dividing the town down there--brown refers to "shit" in the white vocabulary in Texas--"Little brown monkeys"--someone called them, was it Pappy Bush?--I know Barbara Bush refered to her half-Messkin grandkids as "little brown things"--maybe she's the one that called 'em monkeys--what a caring woman Babs Bush is--she was right about those New Orleans transplants--they were better off in the Astrodome than they were had they stayed in New Orleans at the Convention Center--what a wise woman--but anyway, I'm driving off the main road here--but what I'm driving at is this new hurricane evacuation rule down in Southernmost Texas as the powers that be down there ready for what may be a coming wild hurricane season in the Gulfo de Mexico this year--and this new rule comes directly from the New Orleans/Katrina FEMA farce when hundreds of operable school buses were left to sit and wallow in a wavy field of wind-fluttered floodwater while thousands of HUMAN BEINGS--OK, yes, they were mostly poor blacks--needing to be rescued were left to die at the New Orleans Convention Center--so this new hurricane evacuation rule down on the Mexican-Texican border there at the mouth of the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande River--it's a big full-bodied river at this point--it brings all that Rocky Mountain snow water down its gulley all the way from southern Colorado through New Mexico, then the wildest parts of Texas to dump what's left of its waters into the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville/Matamoros. And here's what this new hurricane evacuation rule states: During a huge hurricane, one surely coming to smash into that part of the world this season, school buses will be used to evacuate folks--yessiree Bob, hop aboard and we'll rush you the high ground and safety in a slightly used FEMA trailer--but WHOOOAAAAA! Wait just a damn minuto here--you can hop aboard that school bus THAT IS if you can prove to the white authorities you're a Amurican citizen by Gawd--yep, you heard me, before they'll let you on the evacuating school buses, you'll have to prove you ain't no god-damn illegal Messkin looking for free handouts and stealin' jobs from our real Amuricans, forcing Amurican corporations, especially our food growers, fruit growers, meat packers, to hire them at low-low wages--yep, folks, the benevolent USA gooberment is gonna kick your slimy Messkin ass off those school buses and leave you sittin' ducks against the force of a wildass hurricane if you ain't got no papers (sound familiar, all you Conservative Jews?). "You dirty Messkins just swim yore wetback asses back over to yore own poor ass country--let yore own people rescue you, you filthy swine."

Another Texas Fact: There are now over 350 mostly blacks and Latinos awaiting execution on Texas Death Row. A big cheer went up down in Texas when the SupremeIdiot Court ruled lethal injections weren't cruel and unusual punishment afterall, another bullshit alarm coming from the Liberal press and that it was Amurican as apple pie and Mom to go ahead and kill all 350 of those mostly black and Latino scumbags ASAP.

He Spy: a poem by Ted Joans

cop concealed in our group
calling us brothers &
putting whitey down by
calling it mother
police plant on our scene
asking questions
listening to black plans
collecting data
only for the MAN
nappy fuzz infiltrator
skin color is grey
afro dressed trying
to disguise his white
affiliation he believes
in money/integration or
dropping on China the bomb

from BLACK POW-WOW Jazz Poems by Ted Joans, 1969.

for The Daily Growler


Marybeth said...

I'm glad you haven't given up on Charlotte. I was wondering if you had abandoned her, since you hadn't mentioned her in a while. I was forced to read Jane Eyre, by my mother, when I was about 11 or 12 years old. My mother forced me to read a whole bunch of what I considered, at the time, sickening girly books. I had to read all those stupid Louisa May Alcott books too, like Little Women and Little Men and Jo's Boys, etc. I hated them. Also, Heidi, when I was littler, and finally, the biggest piece of crap of all, Gone With The Wind. God how I hated that piece of shit, and it dragged on forever. There wasn't a single character in that story that was remotely appealing to me.

I didn't want to read any of that stuff. I was deep into biographies of Abraham Lincoln when I was that age. I'd read Sandburg's Lincoln and Benjamin Thomas's Lincoln before the start of the 7th grade. I always preferred nonfiction to fiction. Still do. But my mother had no respect for my taste in reading material and her efforts to change that made me miserable. I discovered recently that she told my father that all he ever read was crap and he had the same taste in reading material that I have: history, biographies, science, mathematics, natural history, poetry.

She tried hard to make me appreciate the things she loved, with indifferent success. I must say that Jane Eyre was the best of those books I was forced to read and decades later I actually bought a whole set of the Bronte women's novels along with a biography of Charlotte. I never managed to read them though, sadly. They're on the list, though, the infinite list. I'm thinking I might read Jane Eyre along with you. I actually did like Jane Eyre enough at the age of 11 to still remember the gist of it, and the main characters, and the weird gothic feel of it. So I might just jump in and read it from an adult perspective. And develop some appreciation for the talents of my own miserable gender, at long last. Maybe all those books weren't sickening girly books.

Marybeth said...

Alright, I've jumped in. I took Charlotte off the shelf in the living room and brought her into the bedroom. I read the first two chapters last night before falling asleep. She certainly pulls you right in. No 100 pages of questionable writing before you decide to quit or continue. She gets you hooked on the first page. I got up to where she faints in the haunted room. I remember the fainting spell from when I read the book 40 years ago. I remember it because the copy I had was missing those two pages and I read ahead without them. The next time I went to the library I found a copy and was stunned by how much I had missed in those two pages. Yes, the writing is dense. I think what I hated about it as a child was the miserable oppression of a little girl in the 19th century when I felt miserably oppressed enough by the condition of being a female child in the 20th century. I wanted to forget about the whole gender nightmare altogether. In my imagination I was a major league baseball player and a jet pilot and a wilderness explorer and all sorts of other good things that a girl could never be. (And a trumpet player and a scientist, too.)