Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dogs and Crocodiles, Sunlamps

Hey, that's new Wye Oak.

I caught myself late last night reading from the New York Review of Books blog Jeff Madrick's analysis of Obama's SOTU from Tuesday night and by extension his presidency as a whole. I responded strongly, actually c/p-ing a couple of paragraphs into this very blog post and adding comments. Before reading the article I'd had drinks with a friend, a staunch Obama supporter who insists on what staunch Obama supporters insist upon. We enjoyed the squabble way too much. This is two-way snark: He started it and persisted when I initially voiced disinterest in our old game, but once taunted I insisted on what obamapostates insist upon with the passionate obstinance that makes hearing others' impassioned obstinance hard to hear. Neither my friend's nor my passionate obstinance will be reported here, I didn't hear what he had to say though I know what he said, he didn't hear what I had to say though he knows what I said, you know what he said, you know what I said, and there will not be paragraphs from Madrick's post nor my now deleted responses to them. Since I hope (but am not hopeful) this paragraph's last sentence is true this needs saying one more time: Madrick's point of view is a good example of my friend's (and once and always my) rationalizing a hero's failures, or at least this hero. I'm always horny for the possibilities of the next false hero, am hornier for my next apostasy just like the last, just like the next. I'm hoping (if not hopeful) this is the last time I post another version of this paragraph, or at least the part about Obama.

Hey, this is older Wye Oak.

  • Pete Seeger and the avant garde. Silliman's re-posting of his article from 1987.
  • Neil Halstead playing some Slowdive songs.
  • My favorite Neil Halstead song ever.
  • Slight housekeeping note: updated the blogrolls: moved more moribund to moribund, added a couple of new sites to both New Gags, please check them out as they float to the top.
  • That moribund list is going to be the largest blogroll on the blog within a year if current trends in Blegsylvania continue.
  • Mr Alarum sent me this article on a new record store opening in Georgetown and asking if I wanted to go on a field trip. Yes, I do. Orpheus was the headshop where I bought bongs after Sights and Sounds closed.
  • Lordy, Jack Spicer. If I played My Sillyass Deserted Island Five Game with poets....
  • My favorite book of anything is this century is Spicer's My Vocabulary Did This to Me, which of course he wrote last century.
  • It would be my favorite book of last century too.
  • This Wye Oak song and the two below via Richard, who gave me Wye Oak when I didn't know them.


Jack Spicer

Rest and look at this goddamned wheelbarrow. Whatever
It is. Dogs and crocodiles, sunlamps. Not
For their significance.
For their significant. For being human
The signs escape you. You, who aren't very bright
Are a signal for them. Not,
I mean, the dogs and crocodiles, sunlamps. Not
Their significance. 


  1. speaking of crocodiles:

    How doth the little crocodile
    Improve his shining tail,
    And pour the waters of the Nile
    On every golden scale!

    How cheerfully he seems to grin,
    How neatly spreads his claws,
    And welcomes little fishes in
    With gently smiling jaws!

    ----Lewis Carroll

    Wikipedia: "How Doth the Little Crocodile" is a parody of the moralistic poem "Against Idleness And Mischief" by Isaac Watts. Watts' poem uses a bee as a model of hard work. In Carroll's parody, the crocodile's corresponding "virtues" are deception and predation, themes which recur throughout Alice's adventures in both books, and especially in the poems.


    How doth the little busy Bee
    Improve each shining Hour,
    And gather Honey all the day
    From every opening Flower!

    How skilfully she builds her Cell!
    How neat she spreads the Wax!
    And labours hard to store it well
    With the sweet Food she makes.

    In Works of Labour or of Skill
    I would be busy too:
    For Satan finds some Mischief still
    For idle Hands to do.

    In Books, or Work, or healthful Play
    Let my first Years be past,
    That I may give for every Day
    Some good Account at last.

    Isaac Watts, 1715

  2. I think the TPP settles the entire argument.

    Although, like global warming, it's been increasingly settled by the steady march of events.




  4. Why is what you feel about what you (and your pal) think about Obama more important for this shetty bloog than what you think about what you feel about same? Does it have something to do with poetry?

    1. Just the constant documenting of inability to let this shit go.

      Everything has something to do with poetry.

    2. What poetry has something to do with my obsession with Supertramp for the best part of a week? Is it Poe? I bet it's Poe.

      DON'T JUDGE ME. I am sure I will be back to the Mekons in a couple of days.