Saturday, January 05, 2008

TSO on Obama

Longish post; definitely worth a read.
I voted for Kucinich


Barack Obama is in the lead, with Ron Paul second, and John McCain third.

Via The Daily Eudemon.

Addendum : They really should let you vote for more than one candidate.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Dante Alighieri
from La Vita Nuova, section xxvi

Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare
La donna mia, quand' ella altrui saluta,
Ch' ogne lengua deven tremando muta,
E li occhi no l'ardiscon di guardare.

Ella si va, sentendosi laudare,
Benignamente d'umiltà vestuta;
E par che sia una cosa venuta
Da cielo in terra a miracol mostrare.

Mostrasi si piacente a chi la mira,
Che dà per li occhi una dolcezza al core,
Ch' intender no la può chi no la prova.

E par che dalla sua labbia si mova
Un spirito soave pien d'amore,
Che va dicendo all' anima: sospira.

Translation of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82):

My lady looks so gentle and so pure
When yielding salutation by the way,
That the tongue trembles and has nought to say,
And the eyes, which fain would see, may not endure.

And still, amid the praise she hears secure,
She walks with humbleness for her array;
Seeming a creature sent from Heaven to stay
On earth, and show a miracle made sure.

She is so pleasant in the eyes of men
That through the sight the inmost heart doth gain
A sweetness which needs proof to know it by:

And from between her lips there seems to move
A soothing spirit that is full of love,
Saying forever to the soul, "O sigh!"

who were so dark of heart they might not speak,
a little innocence will make them sing;
teach them to see who could not learn to look
--from the reality of all nothing

will actually lift a luminous whole;
turn sheer despairing to most perfect gay,
nowhere to here,never to beautiful:
a little innocence creates a day.

And something thought or done or wished without
a little innocence,although it were
as red as terror and as green as fate,
greyly shall fail and dully disappear--

but the proud power of himself death immense
is not so as a little innocence
"Messianic wibble"

A Brit's amusing Obama-skepticism.

Spotted here.
We need a president

who has the experience to bring about change

who'll be ready on Day One

who has the experience to bring about change

who'll be ready on Day One

who has the experience to bring about change

who'll be ready on Day One

who has the experience to bring about change

who'll be ready on Day One

I don't know about you but I don't think I can take four years, or eight, of this particular voice.

With the help of a merciful God, I might not have to.
2008 means

It's been 40 years since my conception

it's been 30 years since the Blizzard(s) of '78 (Jan. 20 and Feb. 6-8)

it's been 25 years since Bowie's Let's Dance and the Police's Synchronicity

it's been 20 years since Tracy's first album

it's been 20 years since I visited Seattle, California, and New Orleans

it's been 20 years since my first presidential vote (Dukakis)

it's been 20 years since I worked in that no longer extant ice-cream-and-cookie place in Harvard Square

it's been 10 years since I did Charbo's Run (road race in memory of a slain state trooper) with J. B. in the snow

I'm doubtless forgetting other personal and cultural milestones. Eheu fugaces labuntur anni!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Going to the dentist's

I went today. Twenty minutes of drilling and filling.

Here's Bill Cosby's memorable take on the subject:

Did my WeatherPixie freeze to death?

It's 13 degrees Fahrenheit in this neck of the woods. Was 3 this morning.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Democratic presidential politics

Hillary makes a boo-boo.

Barack tells a fib.
For the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God

Virgin Mother, daughter of thy son;
    humble beyond all creatures and more exalted;
    predestined turning point of God's intention;

thy merit so ennobled human nature
    that its divine Creator did not scorn
    to make Himself the creature of His creature.

The Love that was rekindled in Thy womb
    sends forth the warmth of the eternal peace
    within whose ray this flower has come to bloom.

Here, to us, thou art the noon and scope
    of love revealed; and among mortal men,
    the living fountain of eternal hope.

Lady, thou art so near God's reckonings
    that who seeks grace and does not first seek thee
    would have his wish fly upward without wings.

Not only does thy sweet benignity
    flow out to all who beg, but oftentimes
    thy charity arrives before the plea.

In thee is pity, in thee munificence,
    in thee the tenderest heart, in thee unites
    all that creation knows of excellence!

Dante, Paradiso, Canto XXXIII, lines 1-21, trans. John Ciardi

And in the original:

Vergine Madre, figlia del tuo Figlio,
    umile ed alta piú che creatura,
    termine fisso d'eterno consiglio,

tu se' colei, che l'umana natura
    nobilitasti sí che il suo Fattore
    non disdegnó di farsi sua fattura.

Nel ventre tuo si raccese l'amore,
    per lo cui caldo nell' eterna pace
    cosi é germinato questo fiore.

Qui sei a noi meridiana face
    di caritate, e giuso, intra i mortali,
    sei di speranza fontana vivace.

Donna, sei tanto grande e tanto vali,
    che qual vuol grazia ed a te non ricorre,
    sua disianza vuol volar senz' ali.

La tua benignitá non pur soccorre
    a chi domanda, ma molte fiate
    liberamente al domandar precorre.

In te misericordia, in te pietate,
    in te magnificenza, in te s'aduna
    quantunque in creatura é di bontate.
New Beginning

We're overdue for a Tracy Chapman video. We haven't had one since ... last year!

Happy 2008, everybody!

Monday, December 31, 2007

The Ron Paul Song

From a crew called the New York Violets. Sent to me by a relative who spent time in the military in the early '80s.