Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Bored. A small sketch of no importance, from a magazine photograph of some actress. Lisbon is too hot and empty for the hunting of fleeting pictures in public transportations...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What foot fetish?

I have no idea of what you're talking about! I do not have a foot fetish!

Monday, August 15, 2005


Im am listening to the ghostly voice of Allen Ginsberg reciting, no, intoning, Howl. No, Howling it, really.

(...)who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccess-
fully, gave up and were forced to open antique
stores where they thought they were growing
old and cried, (...)

I have the obvously fake, but honest recolection that I spent the whole day on it, though objectively it takes little more than twenty minutes to get the job done, and I only listened to it about three times.

It sounds like a mixture of the indifferent reciting of stock quotes by a cold, busy, crackling machine, and the angry intoning of ancient, magically incomprehensible latin mass in an old cathedral by a blind, mad, castrating prophet of doom.

(...)who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,

who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism
and subsequently presented themselves on the
granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads
and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,

and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin
Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,

who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic
pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia, (...)

Ginsberg, crop of 97 for the grim reaper, fits adequately enough into this somber parade of the recently deceased...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The list goes on, and on, and on...

Clifford Truesdell was another one...I actually know someone who met him. She claims she was "not impressed". I bet the feeling was mutual. He was gone in 2000. I remember stumbling upon the news, a small reference somewhere. I felt a beautiful part of the world had crumbled before I had spotted it. Some sport news of the day had a bigger share of the same page.

Or Julian Jaynes, gone in 1997, author of "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind", a book titled obviously and deliciously without any help of an advertisement department. Academia received it badly, apparently, as it was too controversial and academia hates anything that does not fit into a grant request. Also, it was actually a great read for the non-specialist, which is a crime these days. A book of such wonderful audacity that I will love it forever even if it is utterly wrong in its bold claims. That would merely transform it into epic poetry of the highest caliber.

Or Robert Beverly Hale...Some people walk around with the memories of his lectures on artistic anatomy...Lucky bastards...I can only dream of a videotape... many others...

Obituaries are a wonderful, sad thing. Following up on the names above can change your life...each one of them changed mine a great deal. I invoke each one as one would an ancient incantation. I just wish I could meet some live oracles for a change...My personal Delphi is getting too full of ghosts for my taste...

Forwarding address: Unknown

It is not only that interesting people keep dying before I get the chance to meet them, but they seem to enjoy making their exit slightly before or just after I learn of them. I remember when I found the preliminary version of E. T. Jaynes "Probability Theory: The Logic of Science" on the web. Right on the first few chapters it clarified in one fell swoop what had been to me an intellectual swamp until then. I had no idea who Jaynes was, I just knew I owed him an immense debt. I was compelled to write him an email that was really above all a way of saying thanks. It also included a question on a particular point. It took me some time to write it down. When I finally considered it ready I went to look for his email on the page...only to find that he had died just a few years before, and the page was actually handled by someone else. I cannot describe how that unexpected revelation shocked me. There was a special type of emptiness created by the fact that I had written him a letter, that now had no possible recipient. The words just hovered there, useless. I kept wondering: "where do I send it to?". Quite definitely, his forwarding address was utterly unknown...

Caem como tordos...

Spent the afternoon looking at some drawings, paintings and photos, by Zdzislaw Beksinski, only to find, while sniffing around wikipedia, that he is already dead. Why do interesting people keep falling dead around me? Can somebody tell me? I am not old enough for this. Really I'm not.

Am I?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Flexor Digitorum Brevis prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept that some joints cannot be moved independently;
the ability to move independently the joints that can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

It is August. It is too hot for posting. And reading up on anatomy can drive you to madness. :)

(illustration from Gray's Anatomy, which, by the way, is freely available online)