Give Dick Cavett A Show

When I was a teenager, maybe 16, 17, I used to watch reruns of the Dick Cavett Show on VH1.  This was in the late middle 90’s.  George Harrison, Paul Simon, those kinds of guests.  There always seemed to be something slightly subversive about Cavett’s nerdy cool and nervous, low-key way.

Check this episode out from 1981.  John Updike and John Cheever are the guests.  What happened to this kind of television?

Having Fun with Shepard in the Creative Commons

I’ve blogged a lot about how Shepard Fairey is either the most subversive or the least ironic person on the planet. I’m happy to say he’s at it again.

For $75, you can have a t-shirt with his new Creative Commons design. Rather than write that sentence again, I’ll just encourage you to re-read it.

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I support the Creative Commons. I use it. I love it. And I even think it’s worth giving money to. But come on. This should be like a pay-what-you-want Radiohead kind of thing. My contribution (I’ll claim fair use…irony!) is below:

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Feel free to put that on a t-shirt. No charge.

Original story here.

Try To Praise The Mutilated World

Try To Praise The Mutilated World
—Adam Zagajewski

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

Translated by Clare Cavanaugh

Adam’s Rib

From the fall of 2009.  It’s amazing the things we forget we’ve heard and read.  I don’t have very much of a recollection of this, but I’m glad I wrote about it.

Poet Emily Warn read at The New School last night, and she shared something I’ve never heard said before about the account of creation in Genesis.

As everyone knows, it’s impossible to translate ancient or even contemporary texts between two languages exactly. There are idioms and feelings that, as the saying goes, become inevitably lost in translation. Warn said that one of the ancient Hebrew words that has no known analog in English is the word for that which God took from Adam to fashion Eve. It was rendered long ago as “rib” but, according to Warn, no one really knows what it means. Warn, raised in an Orthodox Jewish family after the age of 6, said it’s more like a fleshing over of Adam’s own incompleteness.

Wikipedia says that the word translated as rib could also be rendered as “beam” or “side” or “chamber” and that recent feminist interpretations have favored the idea of Eve being made from Adam’s side, suggesting her equal bearing (literally, by, even if out of, his side). I think that squares nicely with understanding the creation of Eve, within the context of the narrative, as a fleshing over of Adam’s incompleteness. Sure, you still have to deal with a God who didn’t choose to create them together (?), but there is, nonetheless, something very poignant here. Perhaps from the chamber of Adam’s emptiness?