Saturday, August 28, 2010

Troubadour Song

Maybe you would like to come visit me
At my blog like a nursing home

I Want to be a Small Birds Cheerleader

What does extinction mean
Or declarations of animal lust?
They look very similar
If a species does not have enough habitat
It starts killing things
Elects Arnold Schwarzenegger
And I think this is the best explanation
I will ever be able to give you
Why I want to be a Small Birds Cheerleader
Plus I already bought the pom-poms
And I refuse to waste five bucks
My favorite Cheerleader Pose
Is the Fuck Me
Where the cheerleader lies on her stomach
On a shiny wooden gym floor
She puts her elbows on the floor
Rests her head in her palms
She swishes her feet about in the air
Crosses and uncrosses her legs
Blinks eyes fast, exagerratedly
Lets the blood dry on her mouth
For a few moments
Before jumping back up and clapping her hands
Over her head like Hitler Youth
Giving Hitler Youth in the bleachers
Seamless erections
Jane Goodall could explain this beautifully
Desmond Morris could too
Or we could visit a nursing home

Dear Stephen J. Hawking

I wonder does Stephen J. Hawking
Have a button on his speech synthesizer
Somewhere on that wheelchair
Which he presses to raise the pitch
At the end of a bunch of words
To let us know he's asking a Question
Inflecting, spiking the mystery
Physicists believe there will come a day
When we will not need that button
Because the universe will come completely clear
And this is why
Stephen J. Hawking is a Windex commercial
I'm afraid of everyone
And especially when it's capitalize
I wonder about you
Do you believe in Windex, I don't
Could it really be the Universe is
Just a stupid sudoko puzzle
A serial killer does on a bus
Waiting for just the right moment
To explain everything to you
With Total Silence
And I wanted to say I Love You
But last night I broke my Button
And the Universe is all very clear suddenly
Dear Stephen J. Hawking,
You got Served


The horrible disaster of truth won't stop me
People or other habitats
That asshole in the mirror
I Sing the Body Erratic
O celebrated art robots Go Ahead
Hate me in your beautiful way
When I was fourteen
I just wanted...
Small birds tip death's green aura
Go Small Birds!
Should I try to speak
To their Lumbering Muse
Hypertext extinct animals
O the poor animals
Animals without frontiers Anymore
Look at you all trapped
in Anymore
Did you mean to search for extinct animals?
The computer jokes like Stephen J. Hawking
No, I have had enough
Of your predator homeworld
I'm going dancing
Like Sarah Palin

Friday, August 27, 2010

SLI on Wiki

They're probably right. This probably is "magical thinking." Well, this only happened to me once in my life (and it was three streetlamps I believe that burned out in sequence). After that I turned down a sidestreet. Running lol.

But the lightbulbs burning out in sequence when I'm upset has happened at least a dozen times.

So I put more faith in the science of that.

I don't think I believe in SLI. I suppose extremely improbably things happen and that could have been a case of that.

I don't know what to make of my house or its behavior.

I do think of it as alive, but that's anthropomorphic thinking.

When I first started seeing the electromagnetic explanations for poltergeist activity I really clung to that. It calmed me down.

But then every time I rationalize it away, the house gets more devious.

I didn't even get the dark humor of the sandals placed that way. Interpeting a 500 year old poem sarcastically. Until hours later. Then I felt really creeped out. Was the house laughing at me? Or did it want to amuse me. To show me it enjoyed reading the poem over my shoulder or something?

I mean I don't fall down the stairs. It doesn't try to drown me in the bathtub like the evil houses in movies do.

And then I went back and re-examined the sandals and saw they had metal buckles. So I told myself it could still be the electromagnetic thing. But to remove the sandals from the center of a parson's table under which they sat surrounded by books on all four sides and place them five feet away in the middle of the floor facing one another perfectly aligned with the door of the room where I would enter. A tad unlikely. And then to have it happen the night I had written about that poem and tried to interpet "Walk dead still."

It still boggles my mind.

I suppose you'd have to ask yourself whether I am more psychotic than I realize and whether I am doing these things to myself in a complete fugue state or something.

I don't ask myself that because I have only had one psychotic experience in the past ten years and it lasted about ten minutes. And I knew what I was seeing couldn't be real even as it was terrifying me.

But if I went into total fugue states would I know?

We want to believe we would.

You would think Lee or someone else would see me in a state of distraction doign something like this.

And no, I was not drinking or abusing any of my prescribed or OTC drugs when that happened.

I have seen no correlation between drinking and the weird phenomena.

I drink very infrequently now. And the OTC drugs I take (Valerian mostly) don't really cause those distortions in perception or alterations in consciousness.

I never even considered calling one of those ghost shows because I value my privacy.

But I have considered buying some of those instruments used to measure electromagnetic abnormalities.

Because it might prove I'm not crazy (well crazy...but not that type of crazy).

Plus Lee knows the house is fucked and he's not a superstitious thinker at all really.

He just accepts it as some sort of thing that happens.

Although he likes to blame it on me.

But I know he had a busy July two years back and I was at work so he couldn't blame me at all for those days.

He rarely called me at work but I remember him calling several days and sounding really fucking weirded out.

Which is the exact opposite of his nature.

So it had to be bad.

And he doesn't drink or take any prescription or OTC meds whatsoever.

Okay, fish oil pills.

Can they cause poltergeist activity? lol

Street light interference

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A concrete streetlight on its mounting pole using a high intensity lamp fixture
Mercury vapor street light fixtureStreet light interference, or SLI, is an alleged anomalous phenomenon where a person seems to turn off (or sometimes on) street lights, or outside building security lights, when passing near them.

Although street lights can turn off by chance, such as high pressure sodium street lights cycling (turning on and off repeatedly) at the end of their life cycle, believers in street light interference tend to claim that it happens to them personally on a regular basis, more frequently than chance would explain. Some propose paranormal explanations for SLI, sometimes based on scientific terminology, such as the explanation that electrical impulses in their brain interfere with the workings of electric lights. Anecdotes about people's experiences of SLI have been reported by news sources.[1]

SLI has never been demonstrated to occur in a scientific experiment, and those who claim to cause it have been found to be unable to reproduce the effect on demand; they give the explanation that the effect is not within their mental and physical control.[2] Many times they do report, however, that it occurs with specific lamps and not just randomly shutting off street lights or electrical lamps in general.[3][4]

Hilary Evans and the The SLI Effect
Hilary Evans, an English author who writes about paranormal subjects, coined the word "SLIder" to refer to someone who causes this effect, in his book The SLI Effect.[5] In this book on page 15 he explains that a wide variety of street lamp types show

“ the effect is spontaneous and is apparently meaningless; it serves no practical purpose, nor does it seem to provide satisfaction for the individual or in any other way serve some kind of psychological purpose. ”

In the preface of the book Evans says,

“ SLI is an apparent phenomenon, based on claims by many people that they involuntarily, and usually spontaneously, cause street lamps to go out. Generally the effect is intermittent, infrequent and without an immediately discernible sequence of cause and effect. SLI deserves study because it gives the appearance of being an anomalous phenomenon in its own right. That is to say, it appears to be an effect which is not consistent with our current knowledge of how people interact with the physical world, and which occurs in specific circumstances. ”

On page 16 he explains what seems most likely to be happening,

“ Most commentators, confronted with the Street Light Interference phenomenon, look - and rightly - for a straightforward physical explanation. For example, when Robert McMorris of the Omaha World-Herald devoted two or three issues of his regular column to SLI reports in January 1990, he quoted Allen Klostermeyer, manufacturer's representative for Lighting Specialists Inc., who pointed out that when a sodium (amber) bulb nears the end of its useful life, it may go into an off-and-on sequence:
When one of them starts to "die", it requires more voltage. This will cause the lamp to go off temporarily;
when it cools down, it will come on again for a while. Eventually it will die completely. ”
“ This, it was suggested, is sufficient to explain the SLI effect; what happens is that the witness just happens to be passing such a lamp during its death-throes, and is led by the synchronicity to imagine that he is somehow responsible. But as the testimony shows, even if we allow the coincidence in place and time, this effect could account for only a small fraction of the reported cases. For one thing, other types of lamp are involved besides sodium lamps. Then again, only a small number of reports describe anything like an SL going off, then on, then off again. And what about when a witness extinguishes a whole batch of SLs: are we to conclude that the whole batch was purchased together, and so shared the same life-span, and such was the perfection of their manufacture, that they all reached their death-point simultaneously? Yet even if we allow that, there is still the fact that some SLIders extinguish a row of SLs in sequence, each one going out as the witnesses nears it: it is asking too much to suppose that a series of lamps would have been arranged in order of their life-span.[6] ”

Skepticism of SLI

The skeptical explanation to claims of SLI is to consider it an example of confirmation bias: people are much more likely to notice when a street light near them turns on or off than they are to notice a street light in a steady state. This is compounded by a failure mode of street lights, known as "cycling", in which street lights turn off and on more frequently at the end of their life cycle.[7] Also, a bizarre personal causal inference, especially in the case of inferring a relationship from one or few instances, is known as magical thinking. A top high pressure sodium engineer at General Electric, quoted by Cecil Adams, summarizes that SLI is "a combination of coincidence and wishful thinking".[7] Massimo Polidoro notes in Skeptical Inquirer that "Paranormal phenomenon is the least likely possibility."[8]


^ ASSAP Early SLI (street lamp interference) News reports from the later 1980's to the early 1990's.
^ SLIders & the Streetlight Phenomenon, in's "Paranormal Phenomena", by Stephen Wagner.
^ The SLI Effect (PDF) by Hilary Evans (Pub: Frome, ASSAP - London, England 1993, 2005) pp 12, 23, 24, 25, 26.
^ Cool - Street Light Interference
^ The SLI Effect by Hilary Evans (Pub: Frome, ASSAP - London, England 1993, 2005 ISBN 0952131102
^ Evans, p. 16
^ a b Cecil" Adams. "Can some people extinguish streetlamps by means of their bodily emanations?" In "The Straight Dope", October 28, 1994. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
^ Polidoro, Massimo (November 2008). "The Curious Case of Street Lamp Interference". The Skeptical Inquirer (Amherst, NY: Committe for Skeptical Inquiry) 32 (6): 21–22. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
[edit] References
Waymouth, John (1971). Electric Discharge Lamps. Cambridge MA: The MIT Public Press. ISBN 0-262-23048-8.
Spencer, John The Paranormal: a Modern Perspective, 160 p. Hamlyn, London (1992) [Paranormal Phenomena].
Street Light Interference article published in scientific magazine Omni, September 1990 journalist Dennis Stacy,
Street Light Interference articles reported by Robert McMorris Omaha World-Herald several issues January 1990.
The Paranormal Investigator's Handbook by Valerie Hope

I Just Googled "when i am upset light bulbs blow out"...

and I can see other people have this experience...okay, okay..i probably could have typed "alligators are eating my brain while i sleep" and other people would "have this experience."

But I really believe in this one because it happens over and over. For years.

There has to be frontier science behind this baby.

Now I see there's a name for the phenom...SLI....

I remember once when I was a troubled teen walking down a lonely street and each streetlight went out as I arrived at it...of course at that age I was sure it was Satan...the weird thing is when I met my ex he told me he had had the exact same experience one time...walking down a deserted street and each light went out as he reached it...I asked him if he was upset (before this happened) and he said was an "angry walk."

It's weird that these people are also mentioning the batteries draining thing which has been a real problem in this house.

Maybe this is all electromagnetic abnormalities in our living space.

But why do the lightbulbs blow when I am upset.

Last year we had that period where four bulbs blew in less than a twenty-four hour period. And that was accompanied by serious poltergeist business.

It's been quiet since the "sandals incident."

I relax much more quickly now after these incidents. Or try to.

Because I find then the house quiets down.

I really do think negative energy feeds it somehow.

That sounds completely unscientific. I realize.

But it's not counter-intuition. Or experience.

I used to think this door tremble on the third floor was related to that phenomen whereby buildings vibrate naturally...what do they call that? something resonance?

Even great skyscrapers have to bend and shift.

But now I just believe it's "motherfucking ghosts." lol

Because that door shakes whenever the hell it feels like.

"They" also like to pop open the little mini-door in the second floor bathroom when Lee's at work. The first few times I heard it open I called Lee at work to make him stay on the phone while I went down to check it.

That thing's creepy. That little cubbyhole. I don't even like looking in there.

Even though you try to cover up age in a house there are certain places where you can peel back the surface and see the creepy beast beneath.

I remember when Lee and his dad and son expanded that one back room Clayton told me about the writings about murder that were in the crawlspace. And then Lee instantly rushed to shut him up and said "He's joking." But I looked at the kid's eyes and could see he wasn't. He bit his tongue.

Too fucking funny.

I should have gone out to the pile of detritus before it was hauled away and read what it actually fucking said.

Anyone else blowing light bulbs? - Topic Powered by Social Strata11 posts - 10 authors - Last post: Dec 8, 2006
I blow out bulbs, mess with stero's, TV's etc, getted shocked, ... react when I walk by only do that when I am upset or throwing off energy. ... - Cached - Similar
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I'm Upset....Please help w/ Headlamp Bulbs - NASIOC25 posts - 11 authors - Last post: May 1, 2001
Or is there something similar out there I'm not aware of...bulb wise! ... APC suck, i just got some fog light bulbs from APC, ... - Cached
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Street Light Interference, SLI - Are You A SLI-der?Now whenever i'm upset or about to cry, lights flicker. ... i burn out lights. my car lights burn out or freeze on, even when the battery is ... person. i did notice that light bulbs at home always blow after a short ammount of time ... - Cached - Similar

Help! I keep making equipment malfunction when I'm upset! - ESP ...7 posts - 7 authors - Last post: May 30, 2009
I find that any time that I am upset or stressed, equipment around me ... computer games to help me out, and as my frustration mounted his computer switched off. ... I have turned off things, or blown up light bulbs. ... - Cached
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Report your Unusual Phenomena: High Voltage PeopleI have since become very psychic aswellas having the unpleasent sid effect of blowing out bulbs whenever I turn on a light when I am upset or angry.anyone ... - Cached - Similar

Flicker Lights........ - Empath Community13 posts - 9 authors - Last post: May 20, 2008
I go through a lot of lightbulbs. They burn out very quickly. ... 90% of the time, it's me flicking the switch when they blow, too. .... I've had other odd little moments where I am upset or tired and lights will go out. ...
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Bad Light Bulbs85 posts - 1 author - Last post: Mar 30, 2009
I'm no electrician, but I've noticed that my garage lights burn ... They started blowing after only a few months and over the last 4 years, 14 have died. ..... But the percent failure rate is about 5 percent, so I am not too upset. ... in any case i've only had a few bulbs burn out on me and i've ... - Cached - Similar
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Petition against the Mercury Vapor Lamps (Lightbulbs) Ban ...30 posts - 18 authors - Last post: Feb 18
Another problem with MV is the bulbs usually don't burn out, .... At the moment, what I'm upset about is people making illogical comparisons ... - Cached - Similar
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Ghosts - Supernatural Message Boards > Dimming Street Lights8 posts - 8 authors - Last post: Oct 9, 2008
Batteries drain around me, light bulbs blow constantly, i am ... Not sure about whether it happens more when i am upset though, i have not noticed this. ... Street lamps burn out or dim on and off VERY frequently. ... - Cached
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Bright Effects 13297 30 watt Circuline CFL Bulb - One Billion BulbsStrangely the light was not even on. Out of curiousity I wanted to see if ...... I am extremely upset with these bulbs. They kick off after being on for ... - Cached - Similar
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Lightbulb Theory

Don't tell me there's no truth to that lightbulb theory.

Because just know after hearing those phone messages and feeling cortisol and whatever other hormones surging through my body...when I turned on the lightswitch in the kitchen the ceiling light blew out.

And then I went upstairs cursing and flipped the switch to go to the third floor.

And that bulb blew out.

The last time a bulb blew out I was similarly stressed.

And Lee told me that bulb had actually exploded. He had to use pliers to get it out.

Aren't they supposed to, like, implode?

I didn't know at the time even though it was loud. Because it was behind a frosted glass shade.

I Googled this before and I have found other people having the same experience.

The amount of electricity generated by the brain is supposedly minuscule.

Although look what it can do during a grand mal seizure (now called tonic-clonic seizure I just read).

So I don't know how to rationalize it through physics.

But I know it happens.

Grand Mal

There must be dark stars falling into the Sun lately.

I wake and hear three messages getting progressively worse about someone dear to Lee and me having a grand mal seizure.

We didn't even know she had epilepsy.

We knew seizures but when you see a hundred doctors is it that hard to diagnose epilepsy?

A tree had fallen on her house recently.

A big motherfucking tree.

It split the house in two.

Then her husband nearly died and was in the hospital for a long time.

The insurance company put them up at a hotel for a while, then bailed on them. Some scam where one insurance company bought out another company and changed all the policies. I mean their comprehensiveness.

How can that be legal? The same shit happens with mortgage companies all the time.

The first message said "blood on the brain."

So I'm fearing "stroke" or "aneurysm."

Is grand mal good news in that case?

She's probably taking what? Dilantin? Depakote?!

Dilantin can cause that fucked up foot problem too.

With about a hundred other problems I'm sure.

Now I have to go read about epilepsy. And pray. All that good stuff.

In the past, I didn't understand why I had certain gay friends who were old men who only hung around (comparative) children.

Now I understand perfectly.

Cowardice. Cowardice and joy.

I would so love to be a joyful coward.

Oh I am. And aren't we all.

Hoarding joy away from the world's misery.

Treat your body like a Christmas Tree. Satan's First Commandment.

Oh what does bravery have to do with empathy.

Hold people's hands in doom. Shouldn't that be the First Commandment? Sorry, God. Don't mean to edit you.

There are really only two buttons on the Great Supercomputer in the Sky, you know.


And you are made in God's image so that's what's inside you too. DELETE and ONWARD. You're pushing those motherfucking buttons all the time. Don't think I don't see you.

Anyone who tells you any different is "softening the blow."

I Wanna Be a Guido

I wanna be a Guido.

I want girls to compare my penis to brass knuckles when I grind on their ass dancing in da club.

I wanna tenderly hold my bro's crucifixes and other chains out of the way while he vomits cheese fries on the boardwalk at 3 a.m.

I wanna chuck empty forties at seagulls when I wake up drunk on the beach.

I want my best friend to spraytan my asshole.

I wanna be a Guido with an asshole so tight I could make orange juice with it.

I wanna show girls that my asshole is prettier than theirs. Make the bitches jealous.

I want my lungs to get unexplainable tattoos from New Jersey air.

I wanna manscape my best Guido friend and pretend my erection is "only steroidal."

I wanna call parking attendants fagtron and then punch them in the dick for losing my Dave Matthews c.d.

I wanna get drunk and call Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau "some genius muthafuckers."

I wanna fuck only girls who are five feet Cave Barbies.

I wanna punch my best friend out if he ever uses a word more than three syllables long that is not the name of a nun, saint or pro wrestler.

I wanna pull girls' hair during sex and compare them to chihuahuas out loud while I fuck them.

I wanna hit some asshole who questioned my fashion sense in a bar in the head repeatedly with a garbage can lid in some alley...the old fashioned metal kind...while laughing.

I wanna tell girls that pizza (or a stuffed animal won on the boardwalk) should be "foreplay enough."

I wanna put pictures of Al Pacino as Scarface on the invitations to my "dudes drinking party" I design on my computer.

I want my computer to have wallpaper of me with two girls who now have restraining orders against me each hanging off one of my biceps.

I wanna tell girls I'm talking to on my cell phone that I am vulnerable, misunderstood and totally fuckable and the only thing missing is someone to complete me...while masturbating to the photos they just texted me and trying to figure out how long until it's safe to ask if they do anal.

I wanna treat girls like second choice loaner cars and have them brag about it.

I wanna know the Saints are in my corner even when I no longer know who I am punching in a bar fight because my vision is now 20/20 blood.

I wanna know I'm going to Heaven when I die and that Heaven will have a 24 hr gym and the fags will no longer be there to make me nervous while I'm working out.

I wanna giggle in the e.r. while the doctor is giving me thirty-nine stitches because I am watching my bar fight on my cell phone for the fourteenth time. I wanna be proud of the words "my bar fight."

I wanna feel that I would sooner eat a gun or a dick than wear a fucking watch for crissake.

I wanna know in my heart that Atlantic City proves that mini-golf is the only culture a city really needs. Because there are, like, literary references and stuff. In the golf structures and shit.

I wanna only watch shows in which guys fly helicopters, get shitfaced, fuck women who giggle for punctuation, drive speedboats and murder people or preferably all of the above.

"Thank You For Introducing Me..."

Thank You for introducing me to that Roadbump in American poetry.

I said to some asshole standing in a mirror.

Perhaps we should write to the Michelin Guide and suggest it merits inclusion.

You go first.

What Makes You Think?

What makes you think you are my favorite Emperor Penguin?

I'm neither confirming nor denying at this point.

I'd just be curious. I mean to see your thought processes.


"Squirrelgasm!" is what I screamed when I saw you with your lover's boyfriend's hairdresser's confidante's arsonist's docent's favorite bowling partner's gaucho's psychic friend for the first time.

Hence this Greeting Card of Feral Apology.

You will kindly notice it is made out of semolina.

I spent three lifetimes picking it out.

If I ever have a son, I will name him Malarkey.

And his middle name will be oh...I dunno...Trotting?

Probably he will go by his initials...


Thursday, August 26, 2010

You Have Blogereth All Over Mine Borrowsome Sward

You have bloggerethed and bloggeresced over my grave for the last time. My gravennness bides its time and my sympathies with corbies will not vanish. Despite your evil attempts to make this soeth. I know you and your furbelow kind. I know you induce labor in mendicant marsupials for kicks...sometimes when you think nobody's watching. You pretend to be a Lamaze instructor too. You have fooled the Koreans and the Norwegians into believing you are Keanu Matrix's reflexologist. And I know all about that bullshit Miracle of the Whispering Sporkscrew. I can't believe you actually charge people to see that and had that inserted into the Michelin guide. That ridiculous cave lighting. That mummifed poodle and that homeless guy you hired to play "The Human Excrescence." I can't help it that your kindergarten graduating class voted you "Most Likely to Circus Geek Exes in a Spermicane." I now caveman a job. Surprised? No I'm not lying. If you must know, I direct parachute traffic in dreams. I work in one of the busiest dream cloverleafs. The one over by the new Minatorium. Jealous much? Oh why don't you go eat some more maneth chowderth. If you came and surprised me while I was working I might not call the Arborists on you. I said might. This poem isn't about you at all. It's about the handsome lawnmower of the French Revolution. Who I'm sleeping and centrifuging with now. I just destroyed you with that last sentence, didn't I? Well not even Little Debbie sells her apple bandersnootch for a dollar anymore. How long did you think I would wait for your krumpetty zero calorie frumptiousness? Florever?

Love Poem

"It was disingenuous of you to disingenuously accept the disingenuously-proferred disingenuous Poison Apple when I disingenuously held it out to you at your disingenuous front blog door. You disingenuously pretended to swoon and went into a disingenuous cryabetic coma just to get the seven disingenuous trolls you disingenuously sleep with (and sponge off) to disingenuously wring their disingenuous claws. And Prince Disingenuous was supposed to be all disingenuously charming and disingenuously kiss you and wake you from your disingenuous academic welfare swoon and slumber, which too I found disenchantingenuously disingenuous. This is the way you have made my world. Disingenuouser and disingenuouser," said the Evil Queen to Snow White. In her victim impact statement.

The Apropos People

The Apropos People see waltzing as a martial art. The Apropos People will break into your home and waltz there in the middle or seven-eights or fourteen-fifteenths of the night. You will come downstairs with a gun or a machete, and they will be waltzing through your apology room, kitchen or plush insectarium. You may find the Blue Danube running through your downstairs as well, if the Apropos People have remained true to form and shunted their favorite body of water through your house. (The Apropos People love to shunt; they are incredible shunters.) You may see some fishermen standing and casting alongside your downstairs Danube. Possibly there will be yodeling. Be courteous but firm. The Apropos People are known to abuse semicolons; horribly. The Apropos People cannot be defeated because interrupting a waltz with a machete is terrible form. The Apropos People use words that nobody else on earth uses, like sordor and Deforest Kelly green. They are rumored to possess the world's largest collection of douchebagiana. If you see the Apropos People waltzing in nature, call your nearest Fish & Game Commission immediately, and at all costs (even half-price) do not approach. Continue feeding apples to starveling deer and do not make eye contact. Hold your cell phone under your porkpie hat while texting for reinforcements. If they pass particularly close, count in waltz time, one two three, one two three...until they blithely pass dancing into the Museum of Inarguably Celebrated Ditherers.

Do You Come Terrier-Equipped?

"Do you come terrier-equipped?"

is an opening line I find myself struggling

horribly against horribly constantly

meeting people for the thirty-second time.

I Said, I Was Saiding Tonight

"You are brighter than you look."

Which is invisible.

I said to the Imaginary Man.

As again I again passed him on the again stairs tonight again.

Smiling back at myself.

Smiling back at himself.

Most of his sentences married to the mob.

Such Moons usually can be found usually unfound

saiding in some bar's gay Alice blue surroundsound nun.


Enargiably, language and nature pretend to be twin sisters.

Enargia Specimens


catalogue of rhetorical and other literary terms from American literature and oratory

Style, Winter, 1997 by Brett Zimmerman

I was amazed at how he did everything. He touched the arrow experimentally, and I could tell that it was set in him as solidly as his breastbone. It was in him tight and unwobbling, coming out front and back. He took hold of it with both hands, but compared to the arrow's strength his hands were weak; they weakened more as I looked, and began to melt. He was on his knees, and then fell to his side, pulling his legs up. He rolled back and forth like a man with the wind knocked out of him, all the time making a bubbling, gritting sound. His lips turned red, but from his convulsions - in which there was something comical and unspeakable - he seemed to gain strength. He got up on one knee and then to his feet again while I stood with the shotgun at port arms. He took a couple of strides toward the woods and then seemed to change his mind and danced back to me, lurching and clog-stepping in a secret circle. He held out a hand to me, like a prophet. . . . He crouched and fell forward with his face on my white tennis shoe tops, trembled away into his legs and shook down to stillness. He opened his mouth and it was full of blood like an apple. A clear bubble formed on his lips and stayed there. (102-03)

There are several types of enargia; I list and define those dealing with visual imagery:

* anemographia: description of the wind;

* astrothesia: description of a star;

* chorographia: description of a country, a nation (see above);

* chronographia: description of time;

* dendrographia: description of trees;

* geographia: description of the earth;

* hydrographia: description of water;

* pragmatographia: description of an action or event;

* prosopographia: description of the appearance of a person, imaginary or real, alive or dead;

* topographia: description of a place.

Dupriez discusses enargia under the synonymous term hypotyposis (219-20), and Lanham distinguishes between it and energia. Crowley points out that enargia is useful rhetorically to orators in order to stir the emotions of an audience - often empathy with a person being described (126).

ENTHYMEME: a rhetorical term the equivalent of a syllogism in logic and science - but an enthymeme is an abbreviated syllogism. A syllogism is a deductive argument consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion derived from the premises. An enthymeme, however, leaves out one of the premises, but it is implied:


Enargia abluta Hübner, 1808
Enargia fausta Schmidt, 2010
Enargia flavata Wileman & West
Enargia contecta Graeser, 1892
Enargia fuliginosa Draudt, 1950
Enargia infumata (Grote, 1874)
Enargia kansuensis Draudt, 1935
Enargia paleacea Esper, 1788
Enargia pinkeri de Freina & Hacker, 1985
Enargia staudingeri Alphéraky, 1882
Enargia jordani Rothschild, 1920
Enargia decolor Walker, 1858

I Like "Bomphiologia"

Now I'm beginning to wonder if this is the origin of the word bumptious!

You know how sometimes scholarly words morph closer to the living languages in the mouths of the students studying them.

There is a term in linguistics (or is it a rhetorical term again?) for this, but I forget it.

Well I know rhetoric has terms which address with specificity how these linguistic deformations and deviations of orthoepy and orthography occur: terms like epenthesis, for example.

The esteemed professor at Brigham Young seems to be a noted authority on rhetorical figures.

I was looking this word up and there he is in the references...his Silva Rhetoricae again.

That is a very cool site.

I had encountered someone discussing this trope in the works of Poe.

Poe does have a lot of braggarts in his stories.

Verborum bombus makes one think of bombast and bombastic of course.

Some speakers and writers seem to swell with bomphiologia...almost as embarrassing as borborygmus.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bomphiologia, also known as verborum bombus, is a rhetorical technique wherein the speaker brags excessively.[1]


The term verborum bombus is used by the sixteenth-century English rhetorician Richard Sherry in his 1550 book A treatise of Schemes & Tropes.[2] In it, Sherry says

Verborum bombus, when small & triflyng thynges are set out wyth great gasyng wordes. Example of this have you in Terrence of the boasting souldiar.[3]

Sherry mentions the miles gloriosus character from the plays of the Roman playwright Plautus. The miles gloriosus (meaning "braggart soldier") is a stock character from Plautus established in a play by Plautus. The miles gloriosus was a soldier who, although a coward, bragged excessively about past experiences.[4]

The most famous miles gloriosus in theatre is probably Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff. Falstaff is a fat old knight in the service of the English king who brags about his battle experiences, despite being cowardly and adverse to battle.[5] In one scene, Falstaff says

I would to god my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. I were better to be eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to nothing with perpetual motion (Henry IV, Part 2 1.2.218-221).[6]

Falstaff here is lamenting the fact that because his name is so terrifying, enemies avoid fighting him. This is obviously bomphiologia on Falstaff's part.


Bomphiologia can be used to comic effect[7], as in the above hyperbolic instance with the character of Falstaff. This is an ironic use of the term, because Falstaff is an old, fat drunkard—-obviously in no condition to be scaring enemies as he claims to be.

Edgar Allan Poe used bomphiologia as a part of his style. One instance of this is in the following passage

two cats ... alighting opposite one another on my visage, betook themselves to indecorous contention for the paltry consideration of my nose. ("Loss of Breath" 2:159)[8]

This could have been simply stated, "Two cats fought over my nose." Instead, Poe presents a more stylized version which fills out the personality of his narrator.[7] It lets the reader know that the story is told by an unreliable narrator who is prone to exaggeration.


^ Silva Rhetoricae (2006). Bomphiologia
^ California State University (2006). The Development of the Field of Communication: Our Roots
^ Dakota State University (2006). A treatise of Schemes & Tropes
^ Cuddon, J.A., ed. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. 3rd ed. Penguin Books: New York, 1991.
^ Cummings Study Guides (2006). Henry IV Part II
^ Wells, Stanley, ed. The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works. 2nd ed. Clarendon Press: New York, 2005.
^ a b HighBeam Research (2006). A Catalogue of Selected Rhetorical Devices Used in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe
^ The Works of Edgar Allan Poe (2006). Loss of Breath
Retrieved from ""

Silva Rhetoricae

"The Forest of Rhetoric."

Dr. Gideon Burton's online glossary of rhetorical terms is wonderful.

I will add it to my blogroll.

Amo mensam suam.

I took a course in rhetorical terms once and loved it.

So I know more terms than I don't know on this site.

But Gideon's glossary is much more comprehensive than the small (but excellent!) glossary of rhetorical terms that guided the course I took.

So I got some "lurnin" to do.


You used a word I didn't that Eco quote you left as a comment...hypotyposis.

So I looked it up...

hy·po·ty·po·sis   /ˌhaɪpətaɪˈpoʊsɪs/ Show Spelled[hahy-puh-tahy-poh-sis]
–noun Rhetoric .

lifelike description of a thing or scene.

1575–85; < Gk hypotýpōsis outline, copy pattern, equiv. to hypo- hypo- + týpōsis forming, molding ( týp ( os ) beat, impression, mold + -ōsis -osis)

and then found these other weird words.

I'm sort of questioning why the first two of the following words (pragmatographia and chronographia) exist, because I'm thinking this is all so tautological.

But then that's making me believe I'm not understanding yet...and why does this say "counterfait" (sic). What am I missing here. Is this some sort of weird melding of English and French or just a weird typo?

Language isn't behaving for me today.


prag-ma-to-gra'-fi-a from Gk. pragma, "that which has
been done" and graphe, "writing"
the counterfait action, description of actions

The description of an action (such as a battle, a feast, a marriage, a burial, etc.). A kind of enargia.
This figure is frequently used in drama for exposition or to report what has happened offstage.
Horatio reports to Hamlet the appearance his father's ghost:
Horatio: Season your admiration for a while
With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.
Hamlet: For God's love let me hear!
Horatio: Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Marcellus and Barnardo, on their watch,
In the dead waste and middle of the night,
Been thus encount'red: a figure like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pe,
Appears before them, and with solemn march
Goes slow and stately by them; thrice he walk'd
By their oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes
Within his truncheon's length, whilst they, distill'd
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
In dreadful secrecy impart they did,
And I with them the third night kept the watch,
Where, as they had delivered, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes. I knew your father,
These hands are not more like.
—Shakespeare, Hamlet 1.2.92-211

Related Figures
Figures of Description

Related Topics of Invention
Subject and Adjuncts
Since description typically takes the form of delineating the attributes of something, it is therefore the use of this topic of invention, by which one identifies the characteristics (or adjuncts) of a given subject.

See Also
Progymnasmata: Description

Sources: Peacham (1577) O4v; Putt. (1589) 246 ("pragmatographia," "the counterfait action")


chro-no-graph'-i-a from Gk. chronos, "time" and graphein, "to write"
Also sp. cronographia
the counterfeit time, description of time

Vivid representation of a certain historical or recurring time (such as a season) to create an illusion of reality. A kind of enargia.

“Listen, my children and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
On the eighteenth of April in seventy-five,
Hardly a man is now alive,
that remembers that famous day and year.”
(Longfellow, “Paul Revere’s Ride”)
Related Figures
Figures of Description

Related Topics of Invention
Subject and Adjuncts
Since description typically takes the form of delineating the attributes of something, it is therefore the use of this topic of invention, by which one identifies the characteristics (or adjuncts) of a given subject.
Past Fact/ Future Fact
Obviously chronographia might be used in conjunction with that topic of invention that deals with things as they have been or will be.

See Also
Progymnasmata: Description

Sources: Peacham (1577) P1v; Putt. (1589) 246 ("cronographia," "the counterfait time")

So both of these are examples of enargia then?

enargia - definition and examples of enargia

"George Puttenham [in The Arte of English Poesie] explains enargia as the 'glorious lustre and light' uniting the 'outward shew' and the 'inward working' of figurative language . . ., whereas Torquanto Tasso [in Discourses on the Art of Poetry] emphasizes the visibility implied by enargia.";

Just now I misread that as outward shrew and the inward working of figurative language.

And enargia leads a double life. At night it dresses up with a capital E and flies about the town as...

Enargia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Enargia is a genus of moths of the Noctuidae family. • Enargia abluta Hübner, 1808 • Enargia fausta Schmidt, 2010 • Enargia flavata Wileman & West • Enargia contecta Graeser, 189...

This led to Dr. Bill Long's eloquent explanations of some instances where Greek rhetorical terms marry legal terms...I love the concept of the locus poenitentiae...I want to do something with that...

Legal Enargia/Hypotyposis

We recall from last essay that hypotyposis is derived from a Greek word meaning a "sketch" or "outline" and may be defined as a "vivid description of a scene," or, in Peacham's felicitous phrase, "painted in tables rather than expressed in words." Let me paint a few legal phrases in tables for you.

1. "Laughing Heirs." This is a term from trusts and estates law and refers to relatives beyond the fourth or fifth degree, who normally do not know the deceased but may, under various statutes of intestate succession, receive money from an intestate's estate. They are "laughing heirs" because they do not mourn the deceased at all; rather they laugh all the way to the bank. Because of the problem with laughing heirs, some states are even considering legislation that will permit remote heirs (as they are humorlessly called) to inherit, in the case of an intestate's death, only if they can show by "clear and convincing evidence" a "cordial" relationship with the decedent. In the meantime, they are still laughing.

2. "Locus Poenitentiae." At first glance this doesn't look visual, so to speak. This is the Latin phrase for "place of repentance" and has a utility in both criminal and civil law. It really means a time to change your mind or, in more cool student jargon, a "chickening out zone." Its oldest signification seems to be in contract law. In an auction the locus poenitentiae is that time, sometimes only a split second, between the time of the last bid and the fall of the hammer. In that split second, the bid can possibly be rescinded (if the auction rules permit) or a new bid can be placed. You can almost see in your mind's eye the auctioneer lifting the mallet, standing poised as he says, "Going once, going twice..." In that moment your whole life may flash before your mind. Do I really want this thing? Can I afford it? I must decide instantly. Do I have it in me to decide? Oh, well, here goes!! And then you must leave your safe place, your locus poenitentiae and you launch into the world of choice. So, in one sense, locus poenitentiae captures an almost Edenic world, a world before choice and sin and complexity and responsibility entered into the world. Some people would like to make their entire lives a kind of huge locus poenitentiae, and stretch out indecision forever.

The term also has a meaning in the law of criminal conspiracy. A conspiracy is a joint venture that only becomes criminal when an overt act is made by one or more of the conspirators to commit a crime. As prosecutors examine criminal responsibility of conspirators, they must ask themselves the question whether any of the participants "withdrew" (the punchless legal phrase) from it before consummation. Another way of putting this was whether any entered into a locus poenitentiae in which they changed their mind and renounced the scheme. When is it too late to enter the locus poenitentiae? How do you do it? In any case, the locus poenitentiae in the law of conspiracy is almost like a biblical city of refuge or a sanctuary, where you can go and not be rooted out by authorities. To change heart you must, figuratively speaking, enter into the locus poenitentiae and renounce your past ways.

Thus, the locus poenitentiae is the place where you have a choice, even a second chance, to make a decision truly your own. I can see a novel emerging that picks up on this resonant concept...What would I call the novel? I have it. Living in the Locus. And then volume two comes quickly to mind. Leaving the Locus. Oh, maybe I need a volume before Living in the Locus which I might call Loving the Locus. I have my trilogy here. Let Star Wars or Indiana Jones or Tokien have their trilogies. I will have my Locus trilogy. All thanks to hypotyposis.

This site is a great compendium of rhetorical terms...I should add this to my blogroll...


pro-gym-nas'-ma-ta from Gk. pro "before" and gymnasmata "exercises"
Rhetorical Pedagogy: Rhetorical Exercises

A set of rudimentary exercises intended to prepare students of rhetoric for the creation and performance of complete practice orations (gymnasmata or declamations). A crucial component of classical and renaissance rhetorical pedagogy. Many progymnasmata exercises correlate directly with the parts of a classical oration.

The 14 Progymnasmata
Similar progymnasmata are grouped together. The exercises are in general sequential.

Thesis or Theme
Defend / Attack a Law

Related Figures
Figures of Amplification
See Also
Rhetorical Pedagogy
Rhetorical Exercises
General Rhetorical Strategy: Amplification

Compare the progymnasma "narrative" with narratio
Compare the progymnasma "refutation" with refutatio
Compare the progymnasma "confirmation" with confirmatio
Internet Resources

Online English translations of the progymnasmata of Aphthonius and of Libanius
Sources: Ad Alexandrum 1436a26; Theon; Aphthonius; Hermogenes; Quintilian ("primae exercitationes"); Richard Rainolde (1563)

The Jewel of the Susquehanna Has Tired Blood

I have decided to refer to myself as the "Jewel of the Susquehanna."

Don't worry, I'll get tired of it after a few hours. days. whatever.

I noticed the quality of my blogging drastically declines after 3 a.m.

I post music videos like some eighties pimpbot.

And paw the screen or something.

I deleted a few overkill posts.

When the Jewel of the Susquehanna awoke today, it was barely shining.

It was morning and it was already dusk inside the jewel.

I rolled over and thought about just becoming moss.

Sinking into wet green moss.

I realized everybody I know would be dead 100 years from now and we all appeared to be together inside some antiquated copying machine when I thought that.

And then I thought why "100 years." you could just say "seventy five years."

well there might be a few left then.

100 years sounds more poetic.

things come in centuries. it's like you have to buy the whole thing like a carton of eggs.

The Jewel of the Susquehanna needs ice water.

The Jewel of the Susquehanna is going back to bed.

Leave a message for the Jewel of the Susquehanna and the Jewel of the Susquehanna will get back to you shortly.

I think I will record that as my answering machine message.

That should really piss the bill collectors off.

Patrick Wolf's Remix of Mika

I also love his remix of Bjork's "Army of Me."

This remix is heavy on the AMIGA.

I love AMIGA.

O Patrick


My favorite Ryuichi Sakamoto song ever.

I could NEVER find this song on YouTube.

Finally someone put it on.

This is my favorite song from a great album.

My Understanding Was That Jane Wiedlin

wrote this classic while the Go-Gos were touring England.

She wrote it over there in the middle of the night, very quickly.

And she wrote it somewhat with the tempo the song is given here by Fun Boy Three.

But I believe a producer pointed out the song would have much greater hit potential with a fast tempo, and the producer was completely right.

But many seem to think the song is better as a slow tempo song without the chirpiness.

I agree totally.

I was trying to find the version with both Fun Boy Three and Bananarama that aired way back on MTV.

But it seems to be long gone.

Even if Belinda Carlisle had the most star power, the other members contributed substantially. Especially Jane Wiedlen.

I believe her first solo album was Fur.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mainline Ghost Story: Mass Murder in Malvern, PA?

I found this AOL story interesting: Sometimes ghost stories hold historical hints.

A Good Way to Feel is "So Motherfucking Vindicated"

This is funny. And petty. It's funny and petty. But I was talking to a very sweet woman who works in our county's mental health system yesterday--and she helped me tremendously with a problem I was having. And it's so funny...we got to chatting candidly and in conversation with her I relived my horror story encounter with that first psychiatrist the county had assigned me to. The pig. The guy who said "Why don't you just get a job?" in the most sarcastic, nasty, dismissive way within the first four moments of our encounter on earth. When I was still going to emergency rooms in the middle of the night every other night and nobody knew what to do with me. When I kept signing myself into mental hospitals and then threatening them with legal action days later until they released me. The guy who I told at minute five: "I would like to know the procedure for replacing you with another psychiatrist." He was a total fucking creep. I have a new psychiatrist now. And he's a sweetheart of a man. And superintelligent. He doesn't lie to bipolar patients about the good stuff or the bad stuff. He's very process-oriented and he knows your history when you walk into the office. He demonstrates empathy without the condescension of pity. I am not a "problem patient." At least not in clinical settings. In my own setting I'm a problem, yes. Oh yes indeedy. But The Pig was surprised to learn (in our first and only clinical encounter) that some people who have functioning levels much lower than garden slugs, actually still have enough self-esteem to defend themselves when attacked. This longwinded rehash is only here because I wanted to say that the sweetheart (who has been in her job for years and is very succesful at it, unlike The Pig, who has only been with the county for like two months, sixty short days and will certainly not be here a year from now) told me that "Nobody can stand him. Not even the staff." And when I told her while I don't believe in judging people based on their clothes or shit like that...that "he looks worse than me when I'm in the worst depressive phase" she laughed quite a bit. I told her I think we shop at the same thrift stores. It wasn't just the "get a job" comment he lobbed at me. It just went downhill from there. Even though I told him at minute five he would be replaced, he went on for an hour. And much of it was attacks and worse...mindgames...he played one mindgame after another. As soon as I walked out of the office I asked the receptionist to explain the process for making complaints based on unethical conduct. And a week or so later the head of the place called me and talked to me for like an hour. And she was a sweetheart and we got along wonderfully. And she was of course diplomatic and had to maintain a certain fairness but she left me laughing because she let me know she knew what was up. Or suspected as much. It was all tacit and kind. I hope that guy finds a new job soon. One that doesn't involve any human interactions and especially no human interactions where he could maliciously wield power over people he despises for whatever reason he despises them. I don't even care to know. The Pig's story.

Schopenhauer's Thirty-Eight Ways

Okay, I found it online and cut-and-pasted it.

Because it is such a classic.

He knows all our little uglinesses and deceits.

Who said philosophers can't be comedians?

Because this is pretty fucking funny.

But then with Schopenhauer, his disgruntlement and his difficulty were always his charm.

He made his philosophy out of his unsuitability to life.

Many of us can relate.

He actually resembles the majority of French philosophers after the Enlightenment was over.

One could become a philosopher by virtue of style. Rigor of thought had become passe, or German or something.

38 Ways To Win An Argument

by Arthur Schopenhauer

1 Carry your opponent’s proposition beyond its natural limits; exaggerate it.
The more general your opponent’s statement becomes, the more objections you can find against it.
The more restricted and narrow your own propositions remain, the easier they are to defend.

2 Use different meanings of your opponent’s words to refute his argument.
Example: Person A says, “You do not understand the mysteries of Kant’s philosophy.”
Person B replies, “Oh, if it’s mysteries you’re talking about, I’ll have nothing to do with them.”

3 Ignore your opponent’s proposition, which was intended to refer to some particular thing.
Rather, understand it in some quite different sense, and then refute it.
Attack something different than what was asserted.

4 Hide your conclusion from your opponent until the end.
Mingle your premises here and there in your talk.
Get your opponent to agree to them in no definite order.
By this circuitous route you conceal your goal until you have reached all the admissions necessary to reach your goal.

5 Use your opponent’s beliefs against him.
If your opponent refuses to accept your premises, use his own premises to your advantage.
Example, if the opponent is a member of an organization or a religious sect to which you do not belong, you may employ the declared opinions of this group against the opponent.

6 Confuse the issue by changing your opponent’s words or what he or she seeks to prove.
Example: Call something by a different name: “good repute” instead of “honor,” “virtue” instead of “virginity,” “red-blooded” instead of “vertebrates”.

7 State your proposition and show the truth of it by asking the opponent many questions.
By asking many wide-reaching questions at once, you may hide what you want to get admitted.
Then you quickly propound the argument resulting from the proponent’s admissions.

8 Make your opponent angry.
An angry person is less capable of using judgment or perceiving where his or her advantage lies.

9 Use your opponent’s answers to your question to reach different or even opposite conclusions.

10 If your opponent answers all your questions negatively and refuses to grant you any points, ask him or her to concede the opposite of your premises.
This may confuse the opponent as to which point you actually seek him to concede.

11 If the opponent grants you the truth of some of your premises, refrain from asking him or her to agree to your conclusion.
Later, introduce your conclusions as a settled and admitted fact.
Your opponent and others in attendance may come to believe that your conclusion was admitted.

12 If the argument turns upon general ideas with no particular names, you must use language or a metaphor that is favorable to your proposition.
Example: What an impartial person would call “public worship” or a “system of religion” is described by an adherent as “piety” or “godliness” and by an opponent as “bigotry” or “superstition.”
In other words, insert what you intend to prove into the definition of the idea.

13 To make your opponent accept a proposition, you must give him an opposite, counter-proposition as well.
If the contrast is glaring, the opponent will accept your proposition to avoid being paradoxical.
Example: If you want him to admit that a boy must to everything that his father tells him to do, ask him, “whether in all things we must obey or disobey our parents.”
Or , if a thing is said to occur “often” you are to understand few or many times, the opponent will say “many.”
It is as though you were to put gray next to black and call it white; or gray next to white and call it black.

14 Try to bluff your opponent.
If he or she has answered several of your question without the answers turning out in favor of your conclusion, advance your conclusion triumphantly, even if it does not follow.
If your opponent is shy or stupid, and you yourself possess a great deal of impudence and a good voice, the technique may succeed.

15 If you wish to advance a proposition that is difficult to prove, put it aside for the moment.
Instead, submit for your opponent’s acceptance or rejection some true proposition, as though you wished to draw your proof from it.
Should the opponent reject it because he suspects a trick, you can obtain your triumph by showing how absurd the opponent is to reject an obviously true proposition.
Should the opponent accept it, you now have reason on your side for the moment.
You can either try to prove your original proposition, as in #14, maintain that your original proposition is proved by what your opponent accepted.
For this an extreme degree of impudence is required, but experience shows cases of it succeeding.

16 When your opponent puts forth a proposition, find it inconsistent with his or her other statements, beliefs, actions or lack of action.
Example: Should your opponent defend suicide, you may at once exclaim, “Why don’t you hang yourself?”
Should the opponent maintain that his city is an unpleasant place to live, you may say, “Why don’t you leave on the first plane?”

17 If your opponent presses you with a counter-proof, you will often be able to save yourself by advancing some subtle distinction.
Try to find a second meaning or an ambiguous sense for your opponent’s idea.

18 If your opponent has taken up a line of argument that will end in your defeat, you must not allow him to carry it to its conclusion.
Interrupt the dispute, break it off altogether, or lead the opponent to a different subject.

19 Should your opponent expressly challenge you to produce any objection to some definite point in his argument, and you have nothing to say, try to make the argument less specific.
Example: If you are asked why a particular hypothesis cannot be accepted, you may speak of the fallibility of human knowledge, and give various illustrations of it.

20 If your opponent has admitted to all or most of your premises, do not ask him or her directly to accept your conclusion.
Rather, draw the conclusion yourself as if it too had been admitted.

21 When your opponent uses an argument that is superficial and you see the falsehood, you can refute it by setting forth its superficial character.
But it is better to meet the opponent with a counter-argument that is just as superficial, and so dispose of him.
For it is with victory that you are concerned, not with truth.
Example: If the opponent appeals to prejudice, emotion or attacks you personally, return the attack in the same manner.

22 If your opponent asks you to admit something from which the point in dispute will immediately follow, you must refuse to do so, declaring that it begs the question.

23 Contradiction and contention irritate a person into exaggerating their statements.
By contradicting your opponent you may drive him into extending the statement beyond its natural limit.
When you then contradict the exaggerated form of it, you look as though you had refuted the original statement.
Contrarily, if your opponent tries to extend your own statement further than your intended, redefine your statement’s limits and say, “That is what I said, no more.”

24 State a false syllogism.
Your opponent makes a proposition, and by false inference and distortion of his ideas you force from the proposition other propositions that are not intended and that appear absurd.
It then appears that opponent’s proposition gave rise to these inconsistencies, and so appears to be indirectly refuted.

25 If your opponent is making a generalization, find an instance to the contrary.
Only one valid contradiction is needed to overthrow the opponent’s proposition.
Example: “All ruminants are horned,” is a generalization that may be upset by the single instance of the camel.

26 A brilliant move is to turn the tables and use your opponent’s arguments against himself.
Example: Your opponent declares: “so and so is a child, you must make an allowance for him.”
You retort, “Just because he is a child, I must correct him; otherwise he will persist in his bad habits.”

27 Should your opponent surprise you by becoming particularly angry at an argument, you must urge it with all the more zeal.
No only will this make your opponent angry, but it will appear that you have put your finger on the weak side of his case, and your opponent is more open to attack on this point than you expected.

28 When the audience consists of individuals (or a person) who is not an expert on a subject, you make an invalid objection to your opponent who seems to be defeated in the eyes of the audience.
This strategy is particularly effective if your objection makes your opponent look ridiculous or if the audience laughs.
If your opponent must make a long, winded and complicated explanation to correct you, the audience will not be disposed to listen to him.

29 If you find that you are being beaten, you can create a diversion--that is, you can suddenly begin to talk of something else, as though it had a bearing on the matter in dispute.
This may be done without presumption if the diversion has some general bearing on the matter.

30 Make an appeal to authority rather than reason.
If your opponent respects an authority or an expert, quote that authority to further your case.
If needed, quote what the authority said in some other sense or circumstance.
Authorities that your opponent fails to understand are those which he generally admires the most.
You may also, should it be necessary, not only twist your authorities, but actually falsify them, or quote something that you have entirely invented yourself.

31 If you know that you have no reply to the arguments that your opponent advances, you by a fine stroke of irony declare yourself to be an incompetent judge.
Example: “What you say passes my poor powers of comprehension; it may well be all very true, but I can’t understand it, and I refrain from any expression of opinion on it.”
In this way you insinuate to the audience, with whom you are in good repute, that what your opponent says is nonsense.
This technique may be used only when you are quite sure that the audience thinks much better of you than your opponent.

32 A quick way of getting rid of an opponent’s assertion, or of throwing suspicion on it, is by putting it into some odious category.
Example: You can say, “That is fascism” or “Atheism” or “Superstition.”
In making an objection of this kind you take for granted
1)That the assertion or question is identical with, or at least contained in, the category cited;
2)The system referred to has been entirely refuted by the current audience.

33 You admit your opponent’s premises but deny the conclusion.
Example: “That’s all very well in theory, but it won’t work in practice.”

34 When you state a question or an argument, and your opponent gives you no direct answer, or evades it with a counter question, or tries to change the subject, it is sure sign you have touched a weak spot, sometimes without intending to do so.
You have, as it were, reduced your opponent to silence.
You must, therefore, urge the point all the more, and not let your opponent evade it, even when you do not know where the weakness that you have hit upon really lies.

35 Instead of working on an opponent’s intellect or the rigor of his arguments, work on his motive.
If you success in making your opponent’s opinion, should it prove true, seem distinctly prejudicial to his own interest, he will drop it immediately.
Example: A clergyman is defending some philosophical dogma.
You show him that his proposition contradicts a fundamental doctrine of his church.
He will abandon the argument.

36 You may also puzzle and bewilder your opponent by mere bombast.
If your opponent is weak or does not wish to appear as if he has no idea what your are talking about, you can easily impose upon him some argument that sounds very deep or learned, or that sounds indisputable.

37 Should your opponent be in the right but, luckily for you, choose a faulty proof, you can easily refute it and then claim that you have refuted the whole position.
This is the way in which bad advocates lose good cases.
If no accurate proof occurs to your opponent, you have won the day.

38 Become personal, insulting and rude as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand.
In becoming personal you leave the subject altogether, and turn your attack on the person by remarks of an offensive and spiteful character.
This is a very popular technique, because it takes so little skill to put it into effect.

This Book of Lists

I said I was going to share some of my favorite lists from this odd little book of lists, so here I am making good on the threat...

The Threefold Aim of Art

Aristotle believed there were three goals in artistic creation:

1. To induce relaxation and pleasure
2. To achieve purification of the soul, which leads to
3. Moral perfection

The Three Keys to Happiness at Work

According to Ruskin (1819-1900), three things are needed to make people happy in their work:

1. They must be fit for it
2. They must not do too much of it
3. They must have a sense of success in it

The Ten Categories

Aristotle named ten fundmental categories by which everything in the universe can be defined:

1. Being
2. Quantity
3. Quality
4. Relation
5. Doing
6. Suffering
7. Having (possessing)
8. Position
9. Place
10. Time

Schopenhauer's Thirty-eight Stratagems, or Thirty-eight ways to Win an Argument, is hilarious but I'm not typing that monster up.

It's really devious and it's exactly what everybody does.

I've just never seen people called on their bullshit so efficiently as Schopenhauer does here lol.

This little essay is truly a Classic.

I bet before you read the following you couldn't name more than two or three of these babies...

The Fifteen Tectonic Plates

Geologists who study the earth's surface believe these are the main plates that can move independently of each other:

1. African Plate
2. Antarctic Plate
3. Arabian Plate
4. Caribbean Plate
5. Caroline Plate
6. Cocos Plate
7. Eurasian Plate
8. Indian-Australian Plate
9. Juan De Fuca Plate
10. Nazca Plate
11. North American Plate
12. Pacific Plate
13. Philippine Plate
14. Scotia Plate
15. South American Plate

The Seven Primary Types of Odors

Some scientists believe that most odors can be classified into these groups:

1. Camphoraceous
2. Musky
3. Floral
4. Pepperminty
5. Etherlike
6. Pungent
7. Putrid

I don't get the inclusion of "pungent." Any odor can be pungent. It's a subjective sense of the degree of an odor. Or that's always been my understanding. Granted, something that is pungent is usually considered unpleasant, but I could easily see someone referring to a "camphoraceous" or a "musky" odor as "pungent." How many people today know what ether smells like? Not many I'd wager. I'm imagining alcoholic spirits would fall into that "category." And there are so many different types of "putrid" odors. Do they mean to include sulfur here? Do they mean the smell of cadaverine in a rotting corpse? One could go on and one. The word itself implies rot, but there are many fetid odors which aren't even produced by rot or any catabolic process whatsoever. This is, to my mind, a very unsatisfactory list. Plus, we can all think of very distinct odors that aren't included on this list. What about the odor of plastics? Or other new synthetic substances, fabrics, etc. The smell of burnt gunpowder? I suspect they were using that bullshit "pungent" category as a catch-all.

And many musical pieces, paintings, stained glass windows, sculptures and poems have been written or created around these...

The Fourteen Stations of the Cross

Fourteen episodes that occurred during the Passion of Christ are set chronologically as stations or shrines for devotions and meditation. The fourteen events are:

1. the sentencing by Pilate
2. the receiving of the Cross
3. falling the first time
4. the meeting with His Mother
5. the compelling of Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross
6. the wiping of His face by Veronica
7. falling the second time
8. exhorting the women of Jerusalem
9. falling the third time
10. the stripping of His clothes
11. the crucifixion
12. His death
13. the taking down of His body from the cross
14. the burial of His body

For some reason, I thought the Harrowing of Hell figured in here. But I guess that comes after.

I Pre-Ordered Books by Kendra Grant Malone and Matthew Savoca

I went to Scrambler Book's site.

Wow! Established in April, 2008 and they already have "70 titles on Goodreads."

Very impressive!

I'm glad KGM told me about her forthcoming book, because there was actually a great deal there.

Her book is twelve clams and I think Matthew Savoca's the same but you can get both for twenty with free shipping. can get both in HARDCOVER for twenty-five with free shipping.

So I went for that.

And look very much forward to receiving both books.

Here's the dealio...

Announcing… Everything is Quiet by Kendra Grant Malone (left)
long love poem with descriptive title by Matthew Savoca (right)

Pre-order your copy for $12 or both for $20
(free shipping for USA orders only)
own a piece of ‘indie lit’ history by pre-ordering a limited edition hardbound volume containing both titles bound together in a ‘once in a lifetime’ type of deal that you will probably be able to sell in the future on E-Bay for like at least $100, or something (only 75 copies of this limited-first-edition-numbered-hardbound volume will ever be printed*)

And no, I don't plan on selling the book on EBAY.

You can go order these too, right here: And check out the other great lit while you're there!

But now I have to give my credit card back to my partner, because otherwise I might do bad things with it.

It's a voluntary thing.


He does good things with it.

Like today he made me a salad at the grocery store. He made himself one too.

They were very attractive.

I referred to them as "artisanal salads."

It's fun to call everything "artisanal."

It ends in anal.

But of course you don't pronounce it that way.

An Exchange of Letters between T.S. Eliot and Groucho Marx


                                           26th April, 1961

Dear Groucho Marx,

       This is to let you know that your portrait has arrive and has given me great joy and will soon appear in its frame on my wall with other famous friends such as W.B. Yeats and Paul Valery. Whether you really want a photograph of me or whether you merely asked for it out of politeness, you are going to get one anyway. I am ordering a copy of one of my better ones and I shall certainly inscribe it with my gratitude and assurance of admiration. You will have learned that you are my most coveted pin-up. I shall be happy to occupy a much humbler place in your collection.

       And incidentally, if and when you and Mrs. Marx are in London, my wife and I hope that you will dine with us.

                              Yours very sincerely,
                                 T.S. Eliot

P.S. I like cigars too but there isn't any cigar in my portrait either.

                                    June 19, 1961

Dear T.S.:

       Your photograph arrived in good shape and I hope this note of thanks finds you in the same condition.
       I had no idea you were so handsome. Why you haven't been offered the lead in some sexy movies I can only attribute to the stupidity of the casting directors.
       Should I come to London I will certainly take advantage of your kind invitation and if you come to California I hope you will allow me to do the same.

                            Groucho Marx

Groucho Marx to Peter Lorre (October 5, 1961)

Dear Peter:

       It was very thoughtful of you to send me a book explaining James Joyce's Ulysses*. All I need now is another book explaining this study by Stuart Gilbert who, if memory serves, painted the celebrated picture of George Washington which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum. I realize that there is some two hundreds years' differences in their ages, but any man who can explain Joyce must be very old and very wise.

       You disappeared rather mysteriously the other night, but I attribute this to your life of crime in the movies.

       Best to you both.


*Marx's interest in Joyce might have begun with his learning that he appears in the author's Finnegans Wake.

Kendra Grant Malone

has written some pretty amazing poems here: I loved every one of these.

My Two Favorite Books in the Past Few Days

are these beauties...

One is a charming book of fairy tales updated for today's L.A.

Bukowski had his L.A.

And Francesca Lia Block has hers.

His might have been funnier.

But hers is prettier.

The other book is a compilation of hundreds of fascinating lists.

I can endorse both of these books as A-1 bathtub or bed reading.

Because, like, why would you read anywhere else?

Oh, you have a life? Well, excuse me.

Okay, then read them on the bus, in your cubicle or as you are shot out of a cannon in front of tens of thousands of onlookers.

Read them through a glory hole at a reptilian roadstop. I don't give a fuck.

I want to share some of those lists with you soon.

I found many of them rather fascinating.

The Book of Lists (and its "sequels") was one of my favorite books when I was a kid.

I was gonna say "when I was a child."

But I was never a child.

I was a kid.

A baby goat.

I didn't really know any children either.

Just other kids.

"Skull-a-Day 4.0"

When I was a child I had a skull and skeleton fetish.

Well, Halloween was my favorite holiday.

Now my favorite holiday is Permanent Holiday.

No, I never wanted real skulls or skeletons. Yuck.

I just liked the little plastic ones with the green sparkling eyes.

And glow in the dark skeleton stickers, etc.

God knows I see enough of these things (and facial reconstructions, etc.) with all the Investigation Discovery and Tru TV shows I watch.

Here is a hugely popular and very funny site dedicated to skulduggery: Noah Scalin's Skull Thang.

Don't worry. Most of the skulls on his site are actually arts, crafts, body adornment, etc.

Very cool visuals.

And now there's a book too...

Wouldn't you know when I went to his Skull blog, the first thing I saw was a bunch of brains in Philly's creepy Mutter Museum.

I deliberately never went to the Mutter Museum.

Yeah, I knew it was there.

Watching X-Files was as far as I wanted to take that, thank you very much.

The Mutter is too real.

I didn't go to see those touring plasticized corpses, either.

I mean Yuck. Seriously. Yuck.

Meet Greek Pop (Club Mix Mykonos 2010)

Who are these Cambridge bucks?

"Don't Bring Me Down"

in Mario Paint Composer...

Oronzo di Filippi


from the Shelleyan Skylarking album. These two songs are actually one and segue together but I had to get them as two separate videos...

Dorothea Lasky

Being her fabulous self...

I Am the Ghost...

I Bought this Obscure Wall of Voodoo EP as a Kid

Two of them have been dead for some time already.

I love Stanard R. still.

Vanessa Sunshine Does Breton

I dig Nadja's restructuring of the novel as intimate spaces in one's town a la Bachelard.

Edith Piaf's La Vie En Rose is a bit easy, but...

Wolves, Lower


Longo's "Men in the Cities" series.

See Pam Rehm's one book cover.

Wish I Could Find the Album Version

Pierre Alferi

The poet is lucky to have Cole Swensen as his translator.

"I Am Not Your Senorita. I Am Not from Your Triiiibe."

I Was Looking for a Split Enz Video

and found this transgender artist.

The YouTubers were saying this is Chingy's ex.

Chingy is gay. Or a phreak? Whatever?

Songs I Keep Coming Back to

Hahah I See You are Hanging with Will Shortz in the Lexical Empryean

It was very humbling to face off against you in a "crossword challenge" the night I arrived in NYC and about a half hour after I had gotten into your apartment.

I believe you went to the crapper and were done in something like four minutes.

I had maybe crowbarred my way into two tiny corners. In a tiny way.

I know you used to compete in these at the national levels.

I just Googled you and saw you were a judge or referee or something for the 2010 event.

This makes me very happy.

The last thing I need in my head is an image of you in the East River or something.

But you are deftly swimming.

You have been the star of like three dreams in the past four months.


And him too.

Come play mini-golf with me sometime.

Or I will come play with you.

And we will love the game.

For the game itself.

And if blossoms don't fall on the damn course, I will make them fall.

I'll bring some from the Dollar Tree or something.

We need that ukiyo-e thing.

The last time I saw you we were so pissy with each other.

The last thing you said to me was a horrible interpretation of something I had honestly said in all innocence.

We all sulked in a Chinese restaurant.

Someone verbally attacked me on the subway.

You questioned the spelling of Lee's daughter's name and I realized at that moment you were miserable.

I didn't know what to do but apologize for reality.

Now I have the Yiddish words I would have yelled back at the old fucker.

Comebacks that take ten years aren't good comebacks.

You were like a tired swimmer all day.

Thank god we didn't go to Ground Zero.

I didn't believe in New York that day. And I really don't believe in it now either.

It's pretty much the same everywhere now.

It had just begun to become the same everywhere which I noticed that day in New York.

It was so hot and sticky I wanted to just drink water in the restaurant.

I stared at the fire-retardant ceiling and knew everything was wrong.

But I didn't know how to say anything.

I just wanted to go walk around more corners.

I stepped on the bus and we both thought "Thank God."

Your sense of humor is like the best paper-cutter ever.

You do know that. Right?

David Hoenigman Said This About You

in Rain Taxi...either this year or last year...I forget....

Another book that I found really inspirational was Randie Lipkin’s Untitled (A Skier). I don’t often see this book mentioned elsewhere and I think it’s a crime. I had reached a point where I had the Burn Your Belongings material ready to go more or less, and I had an idea of how I wanted to put it all together, but I was really beginning to lose faith in the concept of the book. I don’t know. . . something about going through it all with a magnifying glass had my confidence really rattled. I knew that rhythm had to be, must be, a key element to this writing or else the whole thing would fall apart. So I became worried that I was relying too heavily on rhythm to pull me through and may have wasted years on material that was unsalvageable. It was a horrible feeling. Then I read Lipkin’s book. I’d never seen a novel use rhythm and repetition so beautifully—it’s just a soft snow flurry of phrases being repeated in a different order. Maybe a bit more information each time, but turning over the same things again and again, and throwing in something new and then repeating that again a bit later as if it had passed an initiation and been accepted so now could be repeated, and things that are said almost every page, and things that only seem to be repeated two or three times in all. . . Once I finished reading this book, I knew I could finish writing mine.