Posts Tagged ‘ arm’s length ’

Our Labor Day Message

2011.09.05
By

Fig. 1.

“WORKERS OF THE WORLD, RELAX.”

(And for everyone else: who made your stuff? Who brought or sold it to you? Are you grateful? Then thank a worker. They seem to be an endangered species.)

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Saturday Night Owls, Sunday Morning Penguins

2011.09.04
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EVEN IF THERE’S LITTLE TO read — sometimes, especially if there’s little to read — nothing beats sharing an early morning newspaper with someone you love.

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The Best Quote Ever About Torah (And Stories In General)

2011.09.04
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“What does that song mean?” I asked Ernie once about a particular song.

He thought for a bit and then replied that if I wanted to know what the words meant, he’d be glad to translate them for me. But if I was asking what the song meant, that was different. A song, he explained, carries much more meaning than just its words. For him, for example, a large part of a song’s meaning is about who first taught it to him — a relative? an elder? a friend? What instructions were given with that teaching? Can it be sung in the daytime or only at night? Can it be sung only at one particular season? Is it a public song or private? Can women sing it or only men? Is it spiritual or ‘just for fun?’ Are there dietary or behavioral restrictions placed upon the singer as he prepares to perform? Each time a song is sung, he went on to explain, it accumulates further meaning — from the people he is singing it with, the audience he is singing it to, the circumstances under which it is sung. If a song is brought out at a funeral, for example, the funeral lends a weight and history to the song that is felt each time it is subsequently sung. Even my own curiosity about the song, he smiled, adds to its meaning.

– Malcolm Margolin, The Ohlone Way
(And yes, I excerpted this Friday, but it’s quite too good not to share in full.)

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Love to a Cat

2011.09.02
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HAD I NOT BEEN SWIFT,
He would have brought the rat in.
It’s the thought that counts.

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Generational Drift

2011.09.02
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BY OUR BEST CALCULATIONS, HISTORY began in Sumer when people first started writing things down (there are some examples of probable earlier scripts, but no one’s translated them yet). This would be about 6,000 years ago.

Let’s assume twenty-five years to the generation. That would be four generations per century. Six thousand years is sixty centuries is two-hundred forty generations.

Which means history began with your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great-grandparents.

Kind of neat to think about.

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First Graf: The Lore Of Sail

2011.09.01
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THE MARITIME SECTION OF MY home library is, like a captain’s yacht, small but well-appointed. I’ve been a ship geek since 1987-88, when I served as a deckhand/docent on a replica of the Golden Hinde, and my taste tends toward the practical: knots, rules of the road, sea survival, Bluejackets’ Manual, even a 1955 Watch Officer’s Guide published at Annapolis. One book whose slim size belies its comprehensivity is more theoretical and historical: I refer to the excellent 1982 volume The Lore Of Sail.

LoS’ 256 pages are divided into four sections plus index: The Hull, Spars and Rigging, The Sail, and Navigation and Ship-handling. Each is a well-illustrated guide to the historical evolution of ships from ancient Egypt to modern Europe. Its size makes it perfect for backpack or peacoat pocket while browsing the world’s great maritime museums or rigged ships, but it’s also museum-like in scope and scale. From the Introduction by Captain Sam Svensson:

From ancient times, sailing the seas has been a unique profession, with techniques and methods which have always puzzled the landlubber. One thousand years before Christ, Solomon said that the way of a ship in the midst of the sea was too wonderful for him to understand.

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Touching With Words

2011.08.22
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THE FIRST TIME I DISCOVERED that my words had an effect on other people was when something I wrote made other people cry.

The people were my fellow high-school English students, and the topic was a personal essay we’d been assigned. My take on it was to write about loneliness, and I wish I still had the essay because I can’t even remotely reconstruct it after 31 years and thousands of more words down the line. Read more »

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Echo (Pithyism #18)

2011.08.19
By

Fig. 1.

YOU REALLY FEEL LIKE A Jewish Teacher when a former student says “This needed to be here” and gives you a rock he picked up at Masada.

(Thanks, Nick. May you also be blessed to know the difference you make.) (Photo by Ann.)

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Pithyism #+/-1

2011.08.16
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Thank God or your equivalent that the uttermost limits of joy and misery remain mostly unexplored — and largely uncommunicated.

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Two Indigent Sketches

2011.08.14
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1. HITCHHIKING THROUGH RENO IN 1985, I wandered by the green banks of the Truckee River, where a number of better-days men lived in the park, in what apparently remained of their business suits.

“Hey buddy, you got a second?” An older man, anyway older than I was — maybe 35. Dirty face, dirtier clothes.
Read more »

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Three More Tender Words Than “I Love You”

2011.08.14
By

“TAKE YOUR TIME.”

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Dear Hollywood …

2011.08.12
By

Fig. 1.

WHY DO YOU INSIST ON MARKETING to us as though we were all ignorant, venal, cynical, cruel, swinish oafs? We at The Metaphorager decry these loutish generalizations and will boycott the offending generalizers: we may not starve you into submission, but by Golly you won’t be riding to Happy Hell on our hard-earned nickels. Kindly cease and desist with the crotch-humor, the vomiting, the meanness, the glorification of skeeve and sleaze, the recreational character assassination. If you cater to the lowest common denominator, it’ll just get lower.

Your pal, Neal (PS: Have I got a pitch for you!)

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