“Weeping, I saw him then depart from me.” ~ Vide Cor Meum, Hannibal (Patrick Cassidy)

 At the Opera, from the movie Hannibal

Allegra Pazzi: Dr. Fell, do you believe a man could become so obsessed with a woman, from a single encounter?
Hannibal Lecter
: Could he daily feel a stab of hunger for her and find nourishment in the very sight of her? I think so.

This is the kind of day it was: hot and melancholy.

 

Vide Cor Meum is a song composed by Patrick Cassidy based on Dante’s “La Vita Nuova,” specifically on the sonnet “A ciascun’alma presa,” in chapter 3 of the Vita Nuova. The song was produced by Patrick Cassidy and Hans Zimmer and was performed by Libera/Lyndhurst Orchestrathe, conducted by Gavin Greenway. The song first appeared in the movie Hannibal, while Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Inspector Pazzi see an outdoor opera in Florence, and was specially composed for the movie. This aria was chosen to be performed at the Oscars in 2002 during the presentation of a lifetime achievement award to producer Dino De Laurentis and at the 53rd Annual Emmy awards.

English Translation:

Chorus: And thinking of her
Sweet sleep overcame me

I am your master
See your heart
And of this burning heart
Your heart
(Chorus: She trembling)
Obediently eats.
Weeping, I saw him then depart from me.

Joy is converted
To bitterest tears

I am in peace
My heart
I am in peace
See my heart

“Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.” ~ Jules Renard, Journal, 10 April 1895

  

A Writer Writes About Blogging

The following is taken from an Atlantic article written by Andrew Sullivan (The Daily Dish) in 2008. I thought it worth reprinting as Sullivan’s article provides a keen description of the blogger’s reasons for doing what he or she does as well as a cogent analysis of the genre. For the complete article, click on the Atlantic link. Enjoy.

Why I Blog

For centuries, writers have experimented with forms that evoke the imperfection of thought, the inconstancy of human affairs, and the chastening passage of time. But as blogging evolves as a literary form, it is generating a new and quintessentially postmodern idiom that’s enabling writers to express themselves in ways that have never been seen or understood before. Its truths are provisional, and its ethos collective and messy. Yet the interaction it enables between writer and reader is unprecedented, visceral, and sometimes brutal. And make no mistake: it heralds a golden era for journalism.

The word blog is a conflation of two words: Web and log. It contains in its four letters a concise and accurate self-description: it is a log of thoughts and writing posted publicly on the World Wide Web. In the monosyllabic vernacular of the Internet, Web log soon became the word blog.

This form of instant and global self-publishing, made possible by technology widely available only for the past decade or so, allows for no retroactive editing (apart from fixing minor typos or small glitches) and removes from the act of writing any considered or lengthy review. It is the spontaneous expression of instant thought—impermanent beyond even the ephemera of daily journalism. It is accountable in immediate and unavoidable ways to readers and other bloggers, and linked via hypertext to continuously multiplying references and sources. Unlike any single piece of print journalism, its borders are extremely porous and its truth inherently transitory. The consequences of this for the act of writing are still sinking in.

A [ship’s] log provided as accurate an account as could be gleaned in real time . . . 

As you read a log, you have the curious sense of moving backward in time as you move forward in pages—the opposite of a book. As you piece together a narrative that was never intended as one, it seems—and is—more truthful. Logs, in this sense, were a form of human self-correction. They amended for hindsight, for the ways in which human beings order and tidy and construct the story of their lives as they look back on them. Logs require a letting-go of narrative because they do not allow for a knowledge of the ending. So they have plot as well as dramatic irony—the reader will know the ending before the writer did.

Anyone who has blogged his thoughts for an extended time will recognize this world. We bloggers have scant opportunity to collect our thoughts, to wait until events have settled and a clear pattern emerges. We blog now—as news reaches us, as facts emerge. This is partly true for all journalism, which is, as its etymology suggests, daily writing, always subject to subsequent revision. And a good columnist will adjust position and judgment and even political loyalty over time, depending on events. But a blog is not so much daily writing as hourly writing. And with that level of timeliness, the provisionality of every word is even more pressing—and the risk of error or the thrill of prescience that much greater.Click here to find out more!

No columnist or reporter or novelist will have his minute shifts or constant small contradictions exposed as mercilessly as a blogger’s are. A columnist can ignore or duck a subject less noticeably than a blogger committing thoughts to pixels several times a day. A reporter can wait—must wait—until every source has confirmed. A novelist can spend months or years before committing words to the world. For bloggers, the deadline is always now. Blogging is therefore to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.

You end up writing about yourself, since you are a relatively fixed point in this constant interaction with the ideas and facts of the exterior world. And in this sense, the historic form closest to blogs is the diary. But with this difference: a diary is almost always a private matter. Its raw honesty, its dedication to marking life as it happens and remembering life as it was, makes it a terrestrial log. A few diaries are meant to be read by others, of course, just as correspondence could be—but usually posthumously, or as a way to compile facts for a more considered autobiographical rendering. But a blog, unlike a diary, is instantly public. It transforms this most personal and retrospective of forms into a painfully public and immediate one. It combines the confessional genre with the log form and exposes the author in a manner no author has ever been exposed before.

. . . It was obvious from the start that it was revolutionary. Every writer since the printing press has longed for a means to publish himself and reach—instantly—any reader on Earth. Every professional writer has paid some dues waiting for an editor’s nod, or enduring a publisher’s incompetence, or being ground to literary dust by a legion of fact-checkers and copy editors. If you added up the time a writer once had to spend finding an outlet, impressing editors, sucking up to proprietors, and proofreading edits, you’d find another lifetime buried in the interstices. But with one click of the Publish Now button, all these troubles evaporated.

Alas, as I soon discovered, this sudden freedom from above was immediately replaced by insurrection from below. Within minutes of my posting something, even in the earliest days, readers responded. E-mail seemed to unleash their inner beast. They were more brutal than any editor, more persnickety than any copy editor, and more emotionally unstable than any colleague.

Again, it’s hard to overrate how different this is. Writers can be sensitive, vain souls, requiring gentle nurturing from editors, and oddly susceptible to the blows delivered by reviewers. They survive, for the most part, but the thinness of their skins is legendary. Moreover, before the blogosphere, reporters and columnists were largely shielded from this kind of direct hazing. Yes, letters to the editor would arrive in due course and subscriptions would be canceled. But reporters and columnists tended to operate in a relative sanctuary, answerable mainly to their editors, not readers. For a long time, columns were essentially monologues published to applause, muffled murmurs, silence, or a distant heckle. I’d gotten blowback from pieces before—but in an amorphous, time-delayed, distant way. Now the feedback was instant, personal, and brutal.

More later. Peace.

Axe Mormon Commercial, just because

“I feel your scorn and I accept it.” ~ Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

 I Beg Your Barton . . . Just Because

   

“I always knew I shouldn’t have said that.” ~ Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

Boy oh boy. Where do I start? It’s been quite a week for inanity in action (say that three times in a row really fast: inanity in action inanity in action inanity in action). The Tea Party, the oil spill, the Republicans, the African lions, the Wal Mart shoppers . . .

  • Attention Wal Mart shoppers: In Salinas, California, police have arrested a couple who tried to sell their six-month-old baby outside a Wal Mart. Going price? Twenty-five dollars. Just how much meth does $25 buy? It goes without saying that the two were high when police got to their home.
  • In Kingsport, Tennessee, a woman being charged with DUI told police that she would test possible for a few drugs: Xanax, Lortab and Phenergan. Okay, let me just say right here that Lortab and Phenergan are on my daily medication list, and neither one of those affect me. Well, phenergan sometimes makes me sleepy. I once joked with my PCP that if I ever got stopped, I would have the police call him to verify that the medications found in my bloodstream are all prescribed . . .
  • The National Pork Board (yes, there is one) attested that they know that unicorn meat isn’t real. Wow. That’s a relief. Seems that Pork Board people got put out because an online retailer called ThinkGeek was selling fake unicorn meat and marketing it as “the new white meat.” The canned meat is described as being an “excellent source of sparkles. The Pork people sent a Cease and Desist. Seems they didn’t understand the whole concept of April Fool’s.
  • Word of warning: Don’t get on a pool float if you are smashed. Seems a man at a Tampa Beach in Florida passed out while on a float and drifted about a mile offshore into the Gulf of Mexico. The U. S. Coast Guard rescued the man after receiving a report from a boater who saw the unconscious man. I wonder if he got any oil spill on him . . .
  • Those whacky Arizonans are at it again: A restaurant in Phoenix is serving burgers made of African Lion meat. The restaurant ordered 10 pounds of the lion meat from a USDA-regulated, free-range farm in Illinois. Il Vinaio restaurant owner Cameron Selogie claims that he researched to make sure they were humane. I feel so much better now.
  • “For me it was just exciting to see fake news catching on like that. We don’t . . . you know, it’s interesting. I think we don’t make things up. We just distill it to, hopefully, its most humorous nugget. And in that sense it seems faked and skewed just because we don’t have to be subjective or pretend to be objective. We can just put it out there.” ~ Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
    • Senatorial candidate (R-KY) Rand Paul (so glad he’s running because he is great for fodder), has a bright new idea: He wants to  build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Heard it before, right? Wrong. Paul wants the fence to be underground and electrified: “My plans include an underground electric fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border.”

    • Half-governor Sarah Palin must give back more than $386,000 in contributions to her Alaska Fund Trust (AFT), which she set up as a private legal defense fund while she was governor of Alaska. According to the AFT website, the trust is “the official legal fund created to defend Sarah Palin from an onslaught of political attacks launched against her, her Family, and colleagues (sic).” What’s wrong with that? Well apparently it’s a question of ethics: The trust website quite openly uses the governor’s position to solicit donations, and “There is probable cause to believe that Governor Palin used, or attempted to use, her official position for personal gain in violation of Alaska statute. Shame, shame.
    “We don’t consider ourselves equal opportunity anythings, because that’s not—you know, that’s the beauty of fake journalism. We don’t have to—we travel in fake ethics.” ~ Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
      Minnesota Loons
    • Speaking of politicians using things for personal gain, Eliot Spitzer, former governor of New York and Client No. 9 of the Emperor’s Club escort service, fancies himself a political pundit. Spitzer has been selected to star in CNN’s 8 p.m. time slot with Kathleen Parker, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist. The show will not be called “Crossfire,” the long-running show that originally featured Pat Buchanan and Tom Braden. Giving Spitzer the 8 p.m. slot formerly occupied by Campbell Brown has caused more than a few raised eyebrows. Felix Gillete and Reid Pillifant of Media Mob had this to say: “The truth is, a solid foundation in scandal has come to be a perfectly respectable starting point for any small-screen aspirant hoping to break through in an age of hundreds of channels and on-demand everything. Whatever else his qualifications, Mr. Spitzer has proven in recent times to have a knack for one of the more prized skills in cable news-namely, polarizing audiences.” Personally I just don’t like the guy.
    • In the 1990’s, Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle belonged to Nevada’s Independent American Party. Noteworthy is that in 1994, the party placed a sixteen-page advertising insert in Nevada newspapers promoting an amendment to the state constitution that would explicitly permit discrimination against LGBT people by businesses and government. The anti-gay insert portrayed LGBT people as  “sodomites” and child-molesting, HIV-carrying, Hell-bound freaks and brazen perverts. How absolutely delightful.
    • Coming to a theater near you: One of my favorite politicians, Michele Bachmann, is slated to star in “Socialism: A Clear and Present Danger,” a documentary that explores the dangers of socialism. Bachmann is touted to be an anti-socialism expert. Must be the crazy eyes that give her such insight.
    “No. I’m not going to be your monkey.” ~ Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
    • And finally, Stephen Colbert took a look at Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul’s dissident ophthalmology re-certification group, which Paul created after a dispute with the national board.

    Fiona Apple’s “Across the Universe”