Sunday, October 30, 2022

A Fellow Arkansawyer Purchases my Book of Poems and Contacts Me to Announce the Fact


One will recall that Vitasta Raina designed the book cover and that International Authors published the book in Brookline, Massachusetts through the efforts of Carter Kaplan.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Gypsy Scholar Receives Visit from Intrepid Tripper

Caught in a moment of intrepid sitting, the tripper (Vitasta Raina) ponders her next move, while I (Gypsy Scholar, aka Horace Jeffery Hodges) am grateful for the brief respite.

For more on our writings, see Carter Kaplan's publications blog, specifically, the blog entry International Authors in Seoul.


Friday, October 21, 2022

Time just gets away from us (True Grit)

Ever read those "Today in History" columns that purport to tell us what happened TODAY in HISTORY? They don't.

Ah, the aimlessness of youth . . .

Sportswriter Jim Bulley informs us: "Hwang Hee-chan goes 22 games without a goal!" Bulley then helpfully adds: "The Bull" has lost his bite, but can he get it back again?"


One might well also wonder if "The Bull" has polished off any china closets lately . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Yawning Gap

 Is a yawning gap always also a bored gap, or can it also sometimes be a tired gap? 

Sunday, October 02, 2022

A Wail of a Tale had to be Told

 My blog got spammed, and the price for getting it despammed was the loss of several blog entries. Sorry about that.

Horace Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Incensed Deity

 Brother James would say that, but he never had to pay the price demanded by incensed deity.

Horace Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Friday, September 23, 2022

It's the thought that counts

An anti-hunger scam stole 240 million dollars from the US government "by billing the government for meals they did not serve to children who did not exist." (David A. Fahrenthold, "Dozens are charged in theft of hunger aid," The New York Times, September 22, 2022)

Sunday, August 21, 2022

No One Feels Death

 I wrote this religious poem about a month ago.


No One Feels Death


No one feels death, but Jesus,

who reckons my every stroke,

the forty minus one

of which the rabbis spoke.


No one seeks death, but Jesus,

who counters every blow

and bears our every sorrow

because he loves us so.


But how in the Hell do we know? (This query is not part of the poem.)

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Fame is Dangerous

Father: It's dangerous to be famous.

Son: Why?

Father: Famous people die more frequently.

Son: What!

Father: It's true! Every day, I read the papers, and the people who've died are almost always famous.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

My True Ancestry

My True Ancestry sent me an email with emphasis upon the following: "Upload Your Raw DNA Data."

I hadn't been planning on uploading any DNA data at all, but I'll make a note that it should be uncooked if I ever do decide to use their services.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Such Subtle Sapience!

I read an interesting statistic in the "Korea Herald" for Monday June 27th (2022):

"Majority of Americans hold Trump culpable for 1/6 riot."

I wonder who is held responsible for the other 5/6.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

It knocked some sense into this hee-yar boy's haid!

About a week ago, I fell out of bed. I don't know I did it, but the feat must have been a magnificent acrobatic one, for I met the floor in a full frontal position -- as though I'd been dropped from heaven face-first into the arms a lovely lass, except that I'd hit the floor instead. My wife jumped out of bed in alarm. I groaned, "That really hurt." I had a bump on  my head and something like a scratch on the bump and stuff that felt like blood on the scratch, and something like a crust forming on the blood. Kind of like that old song that starts out with a hole in the bottom of the sea. From there, it's to infinity, and beyond!

And oddly enough, for about week from that accident, my Parkinson's symptoms were gone!

I called it "my little miracle."

But it went away.

"Thanks a lot, God. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Indian-giver be the name of the Lord."

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Riddle

What do you call the actions of the male offspring of a forest, given that the offspring have betrayed the forest through those actions?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

Friday, June 03, 2022

Taking Responsability

In his new book on teaching, Kevin Kim draws attention to me and my influence, and he thanks me for my insights into homeschooling. In private, he says that my ideas can be found scattered throughout the book.

In other words, if the book fails, well, it was mostly Jeff's stupid stuff anyway.

Friday, May 27, 2022

A Klein word on Christianity

The writer Ezra Klein offers an essay on Christianity in the NYT International on April 3rd, 2022:

"Christianity . . . is a religion that insists on the dignity of all people and centers the poor and the marginalized. . . . What I, as an outsider to Christianity, have always found most beautiful about it is how strange it is. Here is a worldview built on a foundation of universal sin and insufficiency, an equality that bleeds out of the recognition that we are all broken, rather than that we must all be great. I've always envied the practice of confession, not least for its recognition that there will always be more to confess and so there must always be more opportunities to be forgiven."

Quite a confession for a confessing Jew to make of Christianity's institution of confession.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Carter Kaplan wants you:

to do what Mack Hassler and Cara Gilgenbach did: Emanations for Special Collections.

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Subtle Line Between Merely Bad and Absolutely Terrible

"I think, therefore I am," quod he to me.
Said I, "But what happens if your mind goes blank?
And quoting others takes no thought, I think.
To put another's words in verse is worse
than keeping silent, or so I believe."

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Fictionalism

Scott Herschovitz wrote in a recent NYT issue (May 3, 2022) of an interesting question posed by his four-year-old son: "Is God real?"

His father turned the question back on the lad: "What do you think?"

He replied: "I think that for real God is pretend and for pretend God is real." His father asks for explanation, and the son says: "God isn't real, but when we pretend, he is."

This is called "fictionalism," Herschovitz tells us (assuming that he has understood his son), and it means that the statement "Dumbledore teaches at Hogwarts" is true because in that fictional world, Dumbledore does teach at Hogwarts.

Similarly, the statement "I teach at Harvard" is true because in my fictional world, I do teach at Harvard. So from now on, I'll introduce myself as follows: "Pleased to meet you. I'm Jeffery Hodges, and I'm a Harvard professor."

The onus is on them to realize that I'm speaking of the fictional world, a world in which I excel in many fields.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Wittgenstein: Silence and Confession

The NYT International Edition recently (April 13, 2022) ran a somewhat garbled piece (cf. paragraph eight) on Ludwig Wittgenstein, who experienced his writing as a burden, and "sexuality as a burden, too, writing "frankly (and frequently) about his masturbation (or lack thereof), an activity he associated with not getting enough exercise. Sometimes commentary on work and sex would run together: "--Will I find the redemptive thought? Will it come to me??!!--Yesterday & today I masturbated."

Elsewhere, Wittegenstein said, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

I suggest: "Whereof one need not speak, thereof ought one adopt the prudence of silence."

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Divide and Put Difference (Revision):

The verb bāḏal (בָּדַל, pronunciation, baw-dal') occurs in both (baw-dal') Genesis 1:4 and Leviticus 10:10.

Genesis 1:4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided (בָּדַל) the light from the darkness.

Leviticus 10:10. And that ye may put difference (וּֽלֲהַבְדִּיל) (בְדִּיל)

between holy (קֹדֶשׁ) and common (חֹל), and

between impure (טָמֵא) and pure (טָהוֹר);

Regular readers here at Gypsy Scholar will be familiar with my position that Leviticus 10:10 is an example of Semitic parallelism and literary chiasm combined, something like an "X" inscribed within a rectangle (or square).

Note the context given in Genesis 1:1-3, namely, that God's initial act was to create the heavens and the earth. The earth at this point was formless and empty, a very odd statement, hard to grasp. Also, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This is the state of things at the initial moment of creation. The text merely describes a moment of anticipation. Nothing of substance has yet happened. At most, there is the slight trembling motion of hovering. God then acts to divide the light from the darkness. Why did he do this first? Was the darkness considered 'bad'? Apparently. The light was good. The darkness was not. These two must first be divided. We can post here:

heavens/earth

light/darkness

I'm making a scholarly inference here that these two opposing pairs reveal the correct way for arranging creation.

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Loss of Emails Late March, Early April, 2022

If you have been expecting a reply to an email that you recently sent to me, your email may have gone missing in a virus-induced loss of emails, and if you think that this may have happened, then send your email again.

Horace Jeffery Hodges

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Forehead to Keyboard

I nodded off while trying to type something:

D3qw Th

What in the world was I thinking?

Thursday, March 31, 2022

When we were young . . .

Who said this?

Old age is when we find out what happened to us when we were young.

Does this accord with the experience of you, my older readers?

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Divide and Put Difference

The verb bāḏal (בָּדַל, pronunciationbaw-dal') occurs in both Genesis 1:4 and Leviticus 10:10. 

Genesis 1:4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided (בָּדַל) the light from the darkness.

Leviticus 10:10.  And that ye may put difference (וּֽלֲהַבְדִּיל) (בְדִּיל)

between holy (קֹדֶשׁ) and common (חֹל), and 

between impure (טָמֵא) and pure (טָהוֹר);

Regular readers here at Gypsy Scholar will be familiar with my position that Leviticus 10:10 is an example both of Semitic parallelism and literary chiasm.

Note the context given in Genesis 1:1-3, namely, that God's initial act was to create the heavens and the  earth. The earth at this point was formless and empty, a very odd statement, hard to grasp. Also, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This is the state of things at the initial moment of creation. The text merely describes a moment of anticipation. Nothing of substance has yet happened. At most, there is the slight trembling motion of hovering. God then acts to divide the light from the darkness. Why did he do this first? Was the darkness considered 'bad'? Apparently. The light was good. The darkness was not. These two must first be divided. We can post here:

heavens/earth

light/darkness

I'm making a scholarly inference here that these two opposing pairs reveal the correct way for arranging creation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Oceankind CEO Raises Alarm, But Why Not Louder?

Kim Yong-kyu warns of the danger posed by the massive trash-disposal problem created by the extra medical litter polluting Korea's beaches as a consequence of the ongoing pandemic.

Although Kim doesn't emphasize this point, I note that this pandemic is not just littering Korea's beaches, it's changing the behavioral habits of aquatic creatures.

In a recent Korea Herald interview (February 23), Kim mentions: "I once saw a fish that got stuck in a single-use plastic glove while scuba diving."

This is actually rather alarming and deserves more attention, for if the sea's pollution problem is so dire (e.g., limited vision, limited oxygen) that fish themselves need to use scuba gear when swimming, then we are far gone indeed.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Romantic Meal

On this Valentine's Day, February 14, 2022, I surprised my wife with toast-hearts in bed. I had attempted to cut some toast-bread into hearts, then toast the hearts till they were crisp and fresh. The heart shapes, however, were not consistently in the shape of hearts. Perhaps they could be considered misshapen hearts, hearts battered about by the slings of outrageous fortune. Be that as it may, my wife scarcely recognized the heart shapes and didn't cotton on to why she was receiving them till I reminded her of the meaning behind today's most secular of Christian holidays. She then laughed, broke off a large chamber of one of the hearts, and she did eat . . .

Friday, January 21, 2022

Derrida: Leviticus 10:10

Poking around in leftover thoughts scavaged on by the vultures of my intellect, I came upon this doctoral thesis by Adrian Platts:

Jacques Derrida, the Sacred Other and Seventh-day Adventism: Stumbling on the Creative Play of Différance in Genesis.

This seems to be the only text on the internet (as of first Google search) that uses Leviticus 10:10 and Derrida together:

What Derrida means when he uses the word "sacred" is not immediately evident nor is it necessarily consistent. The French - sacré - clearly sharing a common root with the English, provides no obvious additional insight. In a biblical context, one stumbles on the word "holy" - the Hebrew root being transliterated qdsh. Whether in the verbal form (qadash) or as a noun (qodesh), the idea of holiness or the sacred is denoted - including the idea of being separated or set apart. Hence, the sacred stands in direct contrast to that which is "common or profane" as in Leviticus 10:10: "You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the clean and the unclean" (NIV). Here "qodesh occurs as the antithesis of hol ('profane,' 'common')." (p. 36, ft. 144) (Platts adds another antithesis: blessing, curse. p. 36) 

See 144 Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr. and Bruce K. Waltke (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), s.v. "1990.

The author of this doctoral thesis is Adrian Platts, and he wrote it in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, in November 2012.

Platts himself speaks correctly in noting that the basic meaning of "holiness" is that of being "set apart" or "separated," but I hesitate to give "blessing, curse" the same status. Not having read all of Platts's thesis, I don't know what he does concerning Derrida's inconsistency, but Leviticus 10:10 might offer some insight, given the verse's use of both parallelism and chiasm. 

Maybe . . .

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Make a distinction . . .

Derrida speaks of difference, of distinction between this and that, and somewhere that the sacred and the profane are distinguished as of between clean and unclean, which reminds us of the original act of separation between light and darkness, but why meaningless separations such as those demanded in Leviticus?

Or has Derrida said nothing of the sort?

Wittgenstein said that in the presence of that before which we cannot speak, we usst remmust werg emsinrem . . .

Sunday, January 09, 2022

A wordy world? A worldly word?

Yeah, it's . . .

Language Games

I. Pour Derrida:

This word is strictly about
whatever this word keeps out.

II. Für Wittgenstein:

This world is solely within
whatever this world keeps in.

Another reworking?

Derrida asks: "What's the difference?"

"It's all the same," Wittgenstein replies.

Friday, January 07, 2022

Is this Game Serious?

Here is the most current version of whatever it is that I'm doing these days:

Language Games

I. Pour Derrida:

This word is strictly about
whatever the word it leaves out.

II. Für Wittgenstein:

This world is solely within
whatever the world it leaves in.

According to Pynchon, if the world is just all that the case is, that's a pretty discouraging basis upon which to place any kind of romance.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Worldly Word

I first worked on this short, two-point poetic work many years ago, during my early times in Germany. This current version is rather different from the one back then and also from the one posted a couple of blog entries ago. Here is the current version:


Hermeneutics of Suspicion

I. Pour Derrida:

This poem is strictly about
whatever in word it leaves out . . .

II. Für Wittgenstein:

The world is solely about
whatever in case it leaves out . . .

Chronology apart, are the two parts coherent? Note also the apparent etymological connection between "pour" and "für." Are they linked? In a post like this one, you can bet on a good deal of trickery.