Luke and I were looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era.
so yes this is LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell
2:10 am • 12 February 2014 • 90,374 notes
“I am conscious of myself and become myself only while revealing myself for another, through another, and with the help of another. The most important acts constituting self-consciousness are determined by a relationship toward another consciousness. The very being of man (both external and internal) is the deepest communion. To be means to communicate; to be means to be for another, and through the other, for oneself. A person has no internal sovereign territory, he is wholly and always on the boundary: looking inside himself, he looks into the eyes of another. I cannot manage without another. I cannot become myself without another. I must find myself in another by finding another in myself (in mutual reflection and mutual acceptance).”
— Mikhail Bakhtin, Theory of Socialization (via heteroglossia)
9:12 pm • 9 February 2014 • 537 notes
#i have opinions about social networks
Social media surely change identity performance. For one, it makes the process more explicit. The fate of having to live “onstage,” aware of being an object in others’ eyes rather than a special snowflake of spontaneous, uncalculated bursts of essential essence is more obvious than ever — even perhaps for those already highly conscious of such objectification. But that shouldn’t blind us to the fact that identity theater is older than Zuckerberg and doesn’t end when you log off. The most obvious problem with grasping at authenticity is that you’ll never catch it, which makes the social media confessional both inevitable as well as its own kind of predictable performance.
4:27 pm • 9 February 2014 • 2 notes
Here’s a song that I won’t ever finish and won’t be on the new album. I give it to you, Tumblr. It’s called Cat Hacks.
I’m going to sleep now
4:36 am • 9 February 2014 • 436 notes
Starred reviews affix to all works of literature a kind of efficiency rating, which over time average out to a meaningless valuation somewhere between the middle threes and the low fours.
King Lear is valued at 3.87; Paradise Lost at 3.74; The Divine Comedy at 4.0. Although there is a great deal of variation in the five-star reviews, the one-star reviews are overwhelmingly alike, even across genres and styles of literature. I noticed the recurrence of three principal objections: (1) this book was confusing; (2) this book was boring; and (3) this book was badly written.
“Confusing”, “boring” and “bad” are fine complaints, and in many cases may be pertinent complaints, but they are not criticisms. They are three different ways of saying that the work in question failed to evoke any response from the reviewer at all. Far from describing and critiquing a literary encounter — the job of criticism — such “reviews” only make it clear that a literary encounter never took place.
The book in question is evaluated as a product, and because the product has failed to perform as advertised, it is judged to be deficient. These negative appraisals are rarely developed beyond, “If I had understood/enjoyed/been interested in this book, it would have been better.” I am always tempted to reply: “If you had understood/enjoyed/been interested in this book, you would have been better.”
As Amazon releases a selection of “100 books to read in a lifetime,” no better time to revisit Eleanor Catton's fantastic essay on literature vs. consumerism. She continues:
Elitism is a standard of discernment that seeks to exclude everything (or everyone) perceived to fall short of that standard. Criticism can be elitist; censorship can be elitist; educational programmes can be elitist; advocacy and propaganda can be elitist; literary prizes can be elitist; communities and clubs can be elitist; bookstores and websites can be elitist.
But literature simply cannot be. A book cannot be selective of its readership; nor can it insist upon the conditions under which it is read or received. The degree to which a book is successful depends only on the degree to which it is loved. All a starred review amounts to is an expression of brand loyalty, an assertion of personal preference for one brand of literature above another. It is as hopelessly beside the point as giving four stars to your mother, three stars to your childhood, or two stars to your cat.
The full essay is a must-read.
Also see the greatest books of all time as voted by 125 famous authors.
2:03 pm • 7 February 2014 • 309 notes
I figured out how to display tags on my Tumblr page by customizing the theme.
I know how to look up Tumblr’s templating syntax on Google.
#i dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education
#my job is computer and internets
2:36 am • 7 February 2014