Friday, May 31, 2019

Dog Days in School Years

I was telling you (whoever you are) yesterday about my journal book, the one given me by my student. There's a dog pictured on the front cover - and the same dog on the back cover! This dog looks a bit like a beagle, but more scholarly.  He's settled himself into a chair and has both front paws on the desk before him. His head is clad with one of those graduation caps (a mortarboard, I think it's called), and on the desk is his diploma. But what would a dog study? Ah. Obedience. At obedience school. Of course.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Less was Less, So Aim for More

I have a journal given to me by a student, and I've written in it every day since November 21, 2015. But I've actually been keeping a journal since 1985. Until the advent of the internet, I wrote long entries in my journal, writing experimentally. I imposed rules on my style, such as forbidding myself any use of the word "be" unless it were being used in an "-ing" form. That forced me to think harder in expressing myself. But my journal entries became perfunctory and have been for the past decade or longer. I will continue writing shorter entries, but I'll work harder at offering more substantive entries.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

It's about "dingnity"

The bill finally comes due. Google tells me I'm almost out of storage:
You're almost out of storage.
I have a free account of 15 GB. What's a GB? An economic unit based on Great Britain's economic power? Anyway, my GB space is 93 percent full, but Google tells me:
To continue backing up your photos and videos in original quality, buy more storage.
Nah, I think I'll just stop posting photos. So no photo of this vacation spot here in Korea:
Sono Felice Village
To Satisfy Your Dingnity.
The Honorable Relax In Sono!
The place looks like Disney . . .

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Learning to Walk

My Aunt Pauline shows how hard raising a new baby doll can be in these days of religious pluralism:

I was shocked and had to gasp:
I also had to explain my gasp:
"That doll is wearing a hijab! This is exactly how Islamization begins."
But warnings trickle through our heads like water through a sieve . . .

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Monday, May 27, 2019

Escape from . . .

The Korean poet Kim Seung-hee says that "Korea is a Karaoke Room" from which one must try to escape. Professor Kim Seong-kon translates an attempted escape:
Alone, you escape the karaoke room
The glittering red neon lights
Have engulfed the night and stars
Wiping tears, you come to realize
That karaoke rooms are ubiquitous
Nothing exists beyond the karaoke room
And Korea is a karaoke room.
There is no escape. Like in "The Cube." I mean a drama production from the sixties and seventies.

For more of the professor's column, see this TKH link.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Richard Kostelanetz on American Avant-Gardes

Avant Gardes

Carter Kaplan calls our attention to the recent publication of A Dictionary of the American Avant-Gardes, by Richard Kostelanetz.

Kostelanetz, you may recall, is the man who nominated my garbled proverbs for a Pushcart Prize, which I did not win because the judges were biased toward works of higher quality.

Dammit! Aren't there any judges who have standards low enough to vote for me?

Anyway, follow the various links, and you'll eventually end up somewhere . . .


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Big Words: Why?

ou-  and  eu-


"Bound Together in Spelling"

The other day, I mentioned that Coptic prepositions are proclitic to the word they govern, but they will be spelled separate in Lambdin's book.

An exception is the preposition epsilon (e (to, for)), which will be "ligatured orthographically" to the following omicron (o) of omicron upsilon (ou), such that ou- becomes epsilon upsilon eu-.

I think.

And "ligatured orthographically." Big words. Really fascinating, eh?


Friday, May 24, 2019

Thomas Harris

Thomas Harris
(Believe it or not!)

According to Wikipedia, Thomas Harris - creator of the brilliant serial killer Hannibal Lecter - attended Baylor University, where he studied English literature, graduating with an M.A. in 1964, about a decade before I arrived on the scene there, where I also studied literature.

There's hope for me yet!

(No, not as another Lecter.)


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Coptic Stuff


Lambdin tells us that Coptic prepositions are proclitic, namely, unstressed and bound to the word that they govern. But how does he know this? In the ancient Coptic writings, words are not separated by spaces. How, then, does he know that Coptic prepositions are bound to the word that they govern?

Really how does he know this? Every Coptic word is bound to every other Coptic word sometime or other. How does anyone know when a word has a special bond?

And unstressed? Ha! Just look at the stress we're under right now . . .


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Knowledge of Good and Evil in China-Supported Newspaper


Whoever dreamed up this substitute for the sort of paper normally found in an American bathroom certainly lacked a subtle sense of the nuances intrinsic to native-speaker fluency in English.

The large-lettered wording of the title,  China Watch, turns one's mind to the warning implicit in the word "Watch," as in Human Rights Watch. Meaning: Watch them or they'll take away your human rights. In short, a warning to keep a close eye on a tricky, untrustworthy China. But why would China want to warn us about China?

And just above the title, we see the ominous words, "All You Need To Know." In other words, don't try to find out more than this. We know best.

Why do I have this paper? It comes about once a month as a paid-for advertisement supplement inserted into my New York Times.

That's all you need to know!


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

So Much for Brotherhood in Islamism . . .

News Brief: MEMRI TV Clip No. 7168 tells us:
"Former Dutch ISIS Fighter Regrets Having Joined ISIS, Says Syrians, Immigrants Were Treated Poorly Because Leadership Became Dominated By Iraqis"
Just as nationalism undermines communism, so does tribalism undermine Islamism.


Monday, May 20, 2019

I'm No Linguist, But . . .

. . . I've decided to refresh my Coptic, after having been away from it for about ten years, maybe even fifteen?

I used to know Coptic pretty well, well enough, anyway, to correct Alexander Boehlig.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Most Beautiful Redheads in the World

Birds have the most beautiful red heads in the world . . .


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Fine-Tuning Tech

In the beginning . . .


Friday, May 17, 2019

Once Upon a Time . . .

There was a problem . . .

But the problem was solved: e=mc^2

And they all lived happily ever after . . .

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Joyfully Wrecking a Poem! Watch!

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Watch me wreck this poem, "The Windhover," in mere seconds:
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
"Hi there!" . . .
Poem wrecked. So much for Gerard Manley Hopkins and his sprung rhythm . . .


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Science Hints: Eggs

A Braking Egg

Eggs brake instantly against a hard surface.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Radicalized at the Root of Islam?

Hamed Abdel-Samad

I've often stated that Islamism (e.g., the ideology of ISIS) is not Islamic extremism, but is, rather, radicalization at the root of Islam. I now see that the "Egyptian-German scholar Hamed Abdel-Samad [has] said that Islamic extremism and terrorism stem from the 'core of Islam' – from its texts, its history of conquests, its founder, and its ideology." In short, he says what I've been saying.

This is reported in Memri Special Dispatch No. 8056 (May 12, 2019), which can be seen online via this link.


Monday, May 13, 2019


Kevin Kim is talking about evil, both moral and natural, and I have obliquely suggested that the existence of God raises the possibility that natural evil might be God's moral evil.

This may sound shocking, but it's implicit in theodicies and the like.

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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Fraudian Analysis Again!

Freudianism w/o Freud

I posted something transactionally funny last night and woke up to this:

* * * Empty Space * * *

I had probably written something like:

"Freudianism without Freud is almost like Ianism without Joy."

And then I probably added something hilarious like this:

Parent (Superego) - Adult (Ego) - Child (Id)

And was that.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Fraudian Analysis?

without a
Single Freud

Remember Transactional Analysis?

Remember "I'm Ok, You're Ok?"

Remember Parent - Adult - Child?

Not Freudian Analysis, but Fraudian Analysis?


Friday, May 10, 2019

Memri Report: Syrian Moonshine

Memri Report

I didn't even know that the Israelis had a moon mission until some part of the spacecraft's flight went awry, giving rise to varied remarks in the Arab world, Syria's reaction being the most bizarre :
There were also bizarre reactions, like that of former Syrian MP Ahmad Shalash, who hinted that Syrian intelligence had caused the spacecraft to crash, apparently in retaliation for the airstrikes in Syria that are attributed to Israel. He wrote on his Facebook page: "An Israeli spacecraft has crashed on the moon. We have said previously that the operations of the Syrian intelligence [apparatuses] would surprise everyone and that the arena of conflict is unlimited. I do not want to say anything more explicit."
Yeah, I can understand that one wouldn't let too much of that intelligence get out.


Thursday, May 09, 2019

Sounds Like Psych

Someone took Freud's Es, Ueberich, and Ich and rendered these words in 'English' as the more scientificky-sounding terms Id, Superego, and Ego, but how much better wouldn't It, Overi, and I have sounded . . .


Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Analysis without Freud


Freud didn't posit the Id, the Superego, and the Ego. He posited the Es, the Ueberich, and the Ich. English should have rendered these as the It, the Overi, and the I.

I may have said this before. Or maybe Overi said it. It didn't say it.


Tuesday, May 07, 2019

The Id is a Short Idiot!

 Big Short? Nah, it ain't that short!

Superego: "Virtue is its own reward."

Id: "Oh, no, not you again. Well, just for the record, everything I do, I do it as its own reward for me."

Ego: "Might I address what, in principle, our reality is?"


Monday, May 06, 2019


Superego: "Virtue is its own reward."

Id: "Oh, do shut up!"

Superego: "You never tell Ego to shut up."

Id: "That's 'cause Ego has at least thought a lot and sometimes says something interesting, whereas you're just a yes-man's ego-echo."

Superego: "Yeah. Right."

Ego: "Might I address what, in principle, our reality is?"


Sunday, May 05, 2019

Virtue is What?!

Virtue Signaling?

Superego: "Virtue is its own reward."

Id: I take great pleasure in looking back on the origin of our word "virtue," namely, directly in its present form, from Middle English, which borrowed from Old French vertu, which came from Latin virtus, "valor, merit, moral perfection," and all these wonderful attributes come down to us from the Latin word vir, which means "man," meaning that true virtue can be only masculine, but such masculinity can be had with ease for men, for men have it with ease, by definition.

Ego: "Might I address what, in principle, our reality is?"


Saturday, May 04, 2019

Throw me a Real Lifeline

Not Salman Rushdie!

Superego: "Virtue is its own reward."

Id: "I like my vice a little naughty but nice."

Superego: "You shouldn't plagiarize Salman Rushdie!"

Ego: "Might I address what, in principle, our reality is?"


Friday, May 03, 2019

Perish the Taught!


Superego: "Virtue is its own reward."

Id: "But vice is also nice, and would suffice."

Superego: "Would you want to perish twice?"

Ego: "Might I address what, in principle, our reality is?"


Thursday, May 02, 2019

Tortured Talks

Grave Jones and Earnest Import

Superego: "Virtue is its own reward."

Id: "You said that already."

Superego: "It bears repeating."

Ego: "Might I address what, in principle, our reality is?"


Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Freud's Joyful Science


Superego: "Virtue is its own reward."

Id: "So's vice. Do it till you're satisfied."

Ego: "Might I address what, in principle, our reality is?"