songofcopper: (pendigestatory interludicule ^_^)
I devoutly desire to defy description, and yet occasionally I pick up a word (in a bookshop corner or in that disreputable dive, the Thesaurus) that knows me at a glance. Such a one batted its lashes in my direction just the other afternoon.

And here it is:

That Word )

*

This morning, I unexpectedly got another interesting word (two, in fact) free gratis with my cup of coffee.

The non-boring way to talk about the weather )

*

One last semantic bagatelle. File this one under ‘Clearly I am an awful person’ episode no. 987.

She Rhymes With Dilemma )
songofcopper: (Pyjamafied)
Oh dear, having started again to say things here I am now becoming a Regular Nuisance, innit.

Anyway, I couldn’t NOT tell you about these gems. It’s not my intention to become some kind of news aggregator, but these items are quite irresistible.

File both under ‘You Absolutely Could Make These Up; In Fact, Someone Already Has’ - call it the opposite of ‘fake news’, this is more like Life Imitates Art.

First, this - a church service conducted in Polari: Church 'regret' as trainees hold service in gay slang

Think Julian and Sandy - it’s impossible to read this without hearing it in the accents of Kenneth Williams. And it’s rather difficult, as a 21st C. human, to decipher the full implications of such an occurrence. On the one hand, ‘queering the liturgy’ seems like a valid experiment. On the other, there might be a more relevant way to do that than invoking quaint old gay argot. But there again, perhaps it’s a pertinent comment on contemporary conditions: conducting a church service in the secret code that queer folks were obliged to use in order to hide in plain sight during more oppressive times does highlight the current predicament of gay clergy and churchgoers. The Church of England does not yet conduct same-gender marriage ceremonies, and though there are plenty of openly gay clergy, they are expected to refrain from marrying their partners and encouraged to keep their relationships platonic.

Anyway, everyone’s apologising like billy-o for the unfortunate incident. Whilst it’s easy to conclude that it may have been rather artless to address the Holy Spirit as ‘the Fantabulosa Fairy’ (yes, really!), some might feel that letting certain kinds of love go unacknowledged and uncelebrated is the greater sacrilege.

Secondly, how about this tattoo backstory: The man who sold his back to an art dealer

The gist of it is, Man has back tattooed by famous artist; work is sold to a collector; on man’s death, ownership of his hide will revert to said collector. The instant I read this I thought of Saki’s story ‘The Background’ - in that tale, a man’s back is tattooed by a renowned artist, the man fails to pay for the work and ownership of the piece (still attached to the man) is given to the town of Bergamo. Conflict ensues. I shall not spoil the ending in case you haven’t read the story before.

One other impressively Sakiesque point of interest: the real-life present-day artist who has decorated a human canvas is apparently well known for his controversial practice of tattooing live swine. Art fans can buy these works, which are delivered into their possession once the pigs have died of old age. Clearly, this raises all manner of ethical issues - not to mention practical queries. Considering that a pig is unlikely to enjoy being tattooed, presumably they must have to be sedated or anaesthetised in order to endure the experience. Couldn’t the artist avoid controversy (and porcine distress) by tattooing recently-deceased pigs instead? Or is the inconvenience to the pig of being drugged and decorated outweighed by the subsequent benefit of having a nice life and the opportunity to die of old age rather than ending up as sausages? Maybe it’s some kind of comment on farming standards or dietary morals - or just a modern outbreak of artistic decadence.

The Local Noise

Saturday, 4 February 2017 14:31
songofcopper: (neg)
What unwary wordsmith coined the phrase ‘fake news’? I really wish they hadn’t. Far from its original sense (purposeful lies and/or mischievous satire, liable to be believed by the undiscerning reader), it has now become a throwaway insult to be lobbed in the direction of any media statement disliked for any reason by any consumer, of whatever political persuasion. It’s like the current affairs equivalent of “Your mama” - nyah, nyah, nyah.

Journalism does seem to be a dying art, of course. Local news is a joke now. Our ‘local paper’ is just one of a great many owned by one of those companies that owns local papers. The websites of the supposedly individual local papers are pretty much interchangeable, except for the header. Proof-reading and sub-editing seem to have been suspended, along with any genuine interest in relevance or depth. (…No, this in itself is not news.)

Yesterday they published an article with the headline, ‘Someone’s spray-painted ‘F**K TRUMP’ on a wall in Exeter’. Illustrated with copious modestly-blurred photographs of the graffito in question, the article does touch on local protests against the enthusiastic American amateur’s alarming Batman-villain approach to statesmanship, but its main focus is the titular act of opinionated vandalism. The distinction of concluding statement is given to the city council’s intention to wash off the spray paint. A whirlwind gallop from world affairs to parochial minutiae: no matter how global the issue, reliably, inevitably, our purview telescopes.

Elsewhere, we learn that ‘Devon woman finds face inside her pepper’. The fruit-or-vegetable at issue does not even have the decency to impersonate Elvis, Jesus or any of those other frequent habitués of perishable foodstuffs - ah, the juxtaposition of immortality and transience! - instead offering a simply-rendered smiley. The writer does not neglect, however, to tell us the woman’s age, in traditional tabloid style. Mind you, this has to be an improvement on that other popular strand of food-related journalism - finding a mouse, a centipede or mould in, on or under your dinner.

If happy produce is too workaday for your taste, then how about this: ‘Here’s why Adolf Hitler's telephone, used to bark his evil orders, is in Dawlish’. Apparently it was smuggled to Britain out of the Berlin Bunker by a British officer, and is now being offered at auction by the officer’s son. The auction is taking place in the USA; the vendor hopes a museum will buy it, but one may conjecture that there are a few folks across the pond who might like to own this object for more personal reasons.

I find myself imagining a horror movie in which the telephone is haunted by the spirit of the late Führer and anyone who uses it becomes his possessed slave, abetted by a horde of Nazi zombies. But wait a while and this very scenario may turn up as an example of present-day ‘journalism’.

Cravattitude

Thursday, 26 March 2015 18:47
songofcopper: (Poste Dalferinin)
Something about today required a dash of vivid red. (I think it’s because I’m very tired: wan, weary and wilting. I really must force myself to go to bed at the proper time, though this is inconvenient to the natural flow of interesting conversation.) Anyway, red certainly does fill in the blank of one’s personality when it is AWOL owing to mental and spiritual fatigue.

BeforeTheGlass
“Would you buy a secondhand book from this person?”

Within: Crimson Silk, Cosy Coffins, Pens In Profusion, Notebooks For Idiots )
songofcopper: (Dalí)
…down at the Roxymoron Casino, presumably.

Slogans, slogans, slogans. You know me: I hate slogans (though I adore Mottoes, Axiomata, Aphorisms!). Who comes up with these things? ‘Please Gamble Responsibly’… that one wants filing next to ‘Please Die Quietly’.

Anyway, the other day I learned via Facebook that North Korea has recently issued a whopping 310 new patriotic slogans. Most have the sinister, hysterical quality that one expects from narcissist parents (which, I suppose, is a befitting label, considering the exploits of the Kim Dynasty).

Some, however, are just… plain… surprising.

Let’s Science Our Vegetables Unstintingly! )

Today I have dipped a toe into the seething, turbid waters of eBay, in search of Cheap Chinese Fountain Pens. Apparently, these can be surprisingly good for the hilariously-low price; I guess I’ll find out how true that is once the ones I’ve ordered arrive. The thing is, you see, I have fallen in love with bottled ink: and I seem to want to pair each hue I acquire with its own pen. (I’m clearly exactly as bad as those pseuds who buy the myriad differently-shaped wine glasses to match their wines! …Well, to be honest, I tend to drink wine - if I drink it at all - out of one of those tumblers that used to be a mustard-pot, but you get the general idea.) The other day I ordered three new bottles of ink in captivating shades, so of course fresh pens must follow. Luckily, I found my old Waterman pen, with accompanying converter, so one new colour will find its billet therein, but the others shall be housed in cheap ’n’ cheerful lodgings.

Sins, Aesthetick )

Today’s post brought me a couple of good things: a silver pendant depicting Hermes-Mercury (a thing of beauty!) and a good, cheap secondhand copy of ‘The Secret Service’ by Wendy Walker, which I have been wanting to acquire ever since I read its description.

A Mauve Decade )

Renascent

Tuesday, 7 October 2014 20:36
songofcopper: (Albrecht Dürer Forever)
Yesterday, very very overdue indeed, I gave myself a much-needed haircut. Really, it is quite a relief to feel like myself again! Hair is psychologically significant, even if to own so is apt to make one feel rather superficial.



No Actual Capes )
songofcopper: (Yay!  Blackadder!)
Decadence is ever en train, chez moi. The other day, a day otherwise untroubled by anything more strenuous than a romp through the thesaurus, I went outside and discovered something foul and rank. (Please, if you are of a sensitive disposition, consider that your final warning.) The drain that leads to the septic tank was overflowing with feculent effluent (…try saying that sixty-two times after a stiff measure of Demerara rum). I was forced to phone the drain-unblockers (is there a one-word title for such pioneers?), who eventually turned up and dealt with the matter (taking most of it away in buckets). To add to the general air of excess and decay, I was charged £145 for the privilege of allowing my friendly local drain-unblocker to rid me of my unwanted gardenful of filth. I daresay a true decadent would have composed an elegy right there in the midst of this avalanche of overpriced shit, but I'm afraid words failed me just at that moment. (I did, however, manage to sluice the patio with disinfectant after the drain-unblocker had fled, clutching my big fat cheque in his mucky paws.)

I can only look to my betters to encapsulate the emotion that swelled through my quivering person in response to this unplanned diurnal upsurge of the night-soil that most properly belongs to the crepuscular churnings of the underworld.

Herewith, a song that I cannot hear without feeling it is essentially an exercise in extended sarcasm. Its title is 'O ravishing delight' (which is almost exactly what I exclaimed when I first laid eyes upon that ordure-ruined patio). The composer is Daniel Purcell, a relation of the more famous Henry of that ilk. The librettist, meanwhile, is William Congreve (it's from 'The Judgement of Paris', and it's the eponymous abductor of fit birds who sings this aria. Incidentally, I learn from Wikipedia that Daniel P. won third prize with his version in a contest to judge the best setting of the masque).

Here are the lyrics - and very delightful they are too.

O Ravishing Delight!
What Mortal can support the Sight?
Alas! too weak is Human Brain,
So much Rapture to Sustain.
I faint, I fall! O take me hence,
Ere Ecstasie invades my aking Sense:
Help me, Hermes, or I dye,
Save me from Excess of Joy.

I cannot find on YouTube the recording I have here at home, in which one Ryland Angel makes mincemeat of those Baroque twiddles that are so beloved of the counter-tenor in full chirp. Instead, have Alfred Deller's rendition.



When the line about Hermes is reached, I can't help but mistake the word for 'Homies'. "Help me, Homies, or I die" - it could be a line from any gangsta rapper's violent soliloquy! It makes me to wonder what other Baroque gems might appeal to the modern-day purveyor of 'urban' music, looking to relieve his or her ennui with something fresh (or indeed, a retread of something so antique as to be freshly novel). Therefore, I propose a new musical genre: HIP-FOP. You know what I'm saying: let's have that unutterable nightingale Iestyn Davies guesting as relief-vocalist on some edgy joint. (Maybe he can soothe the supplanted Beyoncé's jealousy afterwards by teaching her a spot of Handel.) And oh yes, let's rope in Andre 3000 (a dapper dan indeed) - he'd enjoy some eighteenth century costumes, I'm sure…

…No? You don't think this is a good idea? Oh. …I rather fear contemporary culture is not young Cosmé's strong point. Never mind - I'll drag my anachronautick corpse out of the spotlight, I think, and get on with a bit more scribbling. Now, where did I put that thesaurus…?

Oxford Baggage

Thursday, 5 December 2013 17:31
songofcopper: (fred)
"Whither shall I wander?" ponders Cosmé, looking down upon the World (as per usual). "It's a straight toss-up twixt Oxford (Exeter College, I think - some accommodating swain will invite me in for tea, scones and wistful gazing) and Paris (that café where the torch-singer competes nightly with feuding Surrealists throwing food in fits of fury…). Nineteen-thirty-three, indeed."

DSCF3129

Nineteen-Thirty-Three )
songofcopper: (Prince Stash Klossowski de Rola)
What ho, my gossips! Will you, won't you, hava cuppa tee? …Oh, dear me, yes, well, they do talk like that, whence I am come. Anachronautick wanderin's found me somewhere around 1967-ish, totterin' in the heady wake of Prince Stash Klossowski de Rola and courtiers.

"Cosmé, fellow prince," said he, "be a dear and stand in for me on the corner of the Kings Road while I make a quick exit in the Bentley. Really, it's a drag being adored by all these dollies. They'll have the shirt off your back before you can say 'knife'. Strike a pose, love, like the fabulous decoy you are. I'm outta here!"

I could only shrug and obey. A man such as Prince S., who is forced to toss a coin so as to choose between Marianne and Anita, is obviously on to something. (Probably he has contrived to lose the coin between the floorboards in order to unlock the third option: Both!)

DSCF3118
Cosmé demonstrates the Dandy Peacock Decoy Technique which proved all too successful on the Kings Road.

Teatime for Peacocks )

Pre-Raph Sib

Thursday, 12 September 2013 16:18
songofcopper: (Prince Stash Klossowski de Rola)
Cosmé, that ageless anachronautic sprite, gave the 1840s a spin, but was soon disenchanted.

"How very earnest, and yet how very hypocritical, these Pre-Raphaelite fellows are," he summarised. "Had they seen the girl-me with the torrent of auburn hair (well, it flowed down to the very dimple, didn't it - you know the one I mean...), they'd have pulled out each other's beards for the chance to site me in a moral allegory... but - alack! - this creature here in the natty checked unmentionables is not much to their liking. Were I dressed as a rustic or pauper, I might have a chance at immortality: at haystack-side, or in a slimy slum. (...I should have carried a rake, or put holes in my boots!) Oh, well. Let me stand here by the inglenook, courting invisibility, until the fashions change."

brood

Drape cobwebs 'pon the ghost of memory )

Flim Flam

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 12:06
songofcopper: (disdainful domination!)
How was your weekend? Did you have an exciting adventure? Did you discover something, or forget or remember or buy or sell or drink or kiss or or or...?

Me, I was very, very tired. I stayed indoors and watched films. (Adventure-outsourcing, one might say.)

Of course, that wasn't all I did - I noticed an interesting phenomenon. Sleep deprivation can, in small doses, unlock a glittering portal in the brain - granting access to that plush and chintzy backstage area of your mind that you always suspected was there, Beyonce-ready with a white velvet chaise longue, Laurent-Perrier on ice, scent-organs wafting calming vanilla-musk, flunkeys AND lackeys, and a solemn shirtless long-fingered youth whose sole purpose is to perform shiatsu and look decorative, whilst his twin brother grooms your pedigree Pomeranian... hotcha!

It's nice there until the inevitable Diva Meltdown that will happen past a certain point of insufficiency in the Arms-o'-Morpheus dept.

In other words, I suspected that I couldn't function well for long on slightly less than half the recommended nightly allowance of sleep, but have now proved it empirically. Thus, the weekend required dedicated, focused laziness - and a mental screensaver (movies work well) to sluice away the Byzantine* excesses of the zzz-starved thoughtmode. [*Avoid this word, by the way, when your brain is tired, along with all others that seem to have so many alternative pronunciations!!]

Moral: I've never tried cocaine*, nor am I likely to do so, but perhaps lack-o'-zzz is a cheaper, less sticky option anyway. The overall effects appear to be rather similar. Someone needs to tell all celebratties. [*Or any of those other sugar-or-talc-substitutes, nor even baccy, of the plain or patterned kind. With my constitution, boring old oxygen is quite enough of an oooh. Having said that, I did chew coca leaf in Peru. But only cos the air woz rare, innit?]

But I sense that you may not like to know all this gnonzense, and all upon a Tuesday morning too, so let us draw across a line of dainty dots and Move On!
* * * * *

Now then, where was I...?

Oh yes, Films. Or indeed Flims, as they are called in this house. (No word is ever safe. Even the DVD turns into a VDV, which sounds more interesting than it should.)

"You fucking broke my sitar, motherfucker!" )

"You fucking stole my cocoanut, motherfucker!" )

"You fucking entombed me in molten gold, motherfucker!" )

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Eavesdrop, snoop, and sigh with yearning…

This journal is not a private diary, it is more like an occasional, imaginary column. Therefore, much of it is on public display. However, if you want to read my occasional attempts at creative writing, my Caution Elf tells me I should only show that stuff to my friends. You know what to do. :-)

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