Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daily Window On A World Of Wonder: My "New" Blog

For the past few months I've been publishing a different blog. The reason I started it is very simple. I find, while I roam around the web, images I just love, pictures evocative and inspiring, and I put them all in my library. I'd like to share them, but don't always have a lot to say about them, so I simply post them (with the artist's name, when I know it) at dailywindowonaworldofwonder.blogspot.com. It's a little something I can do every day, even when I'm too tired to compose a whole post. So I hope anyone who enjoys PowerOfBabel will also like the Daily Window.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Satyrday: Female Fauns

Technically speaking, there were no such thing as female fauns or satyrs in classical Graeco-Roman mythology; the goat-men mated with nymphs and sometimes human women. Since the Renaissance times, though, the "fauness" has appeared as an image of female sexuality, either as a temptation or as the symbol of a simple, natural state.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wizard in the Kitchen: Quotes

"A wizard in a hurry would head for the kitchen--where there'd be fire and boiling water and whatnot all just waiting for him." --Tim Powers, The Anubis Gates.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

O Where Are You Going: Favorite Poems


"O where are you going? said reader to rider,
"That valley is fatal where furnaces burn,
Yonder's the midden who's odors will madden,
That gap is the grave where the tall return."

"O do you imagine," said fearer to farer,
"That dusk will delay on your path to the pass,
Your diligent looking discover the lacking,
Your footsteps feel from granite to grass?"

"O what was that bird," said horror to hearer,
"Did you see that shape in the twisted trees?
Behind you swiftly the figure comes softly,
The spot on your skin is a shocking disease?"

"Out of this house"--said rider to reader,
"Yours never will"--said farer to fearer,
"They're looking for you"--said hearer to horror.
As he left them there, as he left them there.

--W. H. Auden.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Watching Old Cartoons

Has it really been almost twenty years since Rocko's Modern Life premiered on TV? How the world has changed, in both material and conceptual ways. Who would have thought in 1993 that you would have children's shows using the word "crappy," or the vast number of animated human buttocks there would one day be! But even in the dark times of the early '90's, RLM was pushing the boundaries of what could be implied--in the words of TV Tropes, of getting crap past the radar. Even the very title of Nickelodeon's (the Kid's Channel!) The Angry Beavers carries within itself a double entendre, despite the fact that it is about two brothers who are beavers and are often angry. Cartoons, while written for kids, are written by adults, and often with a look over at the other adults who many a time have to watch with the kids. And very creative people working within the kind of restraints placed on children's programming can produce sly, high quality work that appeals across age groupings. These are not the shows of my childhood, or even of the generation after mine. But they bring back memories of a time, otherwise not yet remarked by nostalgia, and cause a realization of the passage of time, both by their assumptions and touchstones, since transmuted or superseded, and by what is not in their cultural vocabulary. I am brought up short when my nephew (who is watching these shows with me) asks me to explain some reference or item that seems totally obvious to me, but which the tides of time have swept out of significance. It reminds me of watching the Loony Tunes when I was a child, with the dozens of celebrities and catchphrases that I simply accepted at the time as merely funny-looking or bizarre in their non sequitur silliness, the true point or reference which I learned only after years of picking up the history (I had no uncle to question, or none I would ever have thought to bother to ask). Rocko' Modern Life and The Angry Beavers have not been available on TV for some time, and RML has only been available in anthologies (not complete seasons) until now; AB, never before in any form. Many of my favorite episodes from either show have not appeared yet; I pray nothing disrupts the business till are are produced.