Archive for August, 2013

The “I would prefer [not] to…” Bartlebeevian Proust…er…Post

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Seeking clarity, testing memory, listing those things that have most excited my interest thus far, as I,

more or less,  freewheel,  my way through this life, barreling towards … what-have-you…my idea

is to assemble  lists that are wholly idiosyncratic, with as little objectivity as possible,  basing my

 appraisals on totally, personal criteria and then;  as briefly as possible (although taciturnity has never

been a signature trait), explain my passion for these honorees (if/when/as  the impulse arises).

Now, what would be really great, what would be stupendously spectacular (given much to hyperbole,

Dave…?) would be if anyone (friends or family) felt like adding a bunch of their own faves and/or

commenting on anything….

David “Dick Daily” von Teskeldwarf

The Zehn Liszts

I. Seven Words (…words…words) *

1.     Thrasonical….def.: boastful, vainglorious        my brother , as an 18-year old marine in Vietnam,  would often send me , his 12-year old sibling, letters signed, Johnny  the Thrasonical…(he  enjoyed reading dictionaries)  and the origin of this word from the mid 16th Century play Eunuchus by Terence and drawn from the character, Thraso, a boastful soldier, was perfectly appropriate…the word combines a pleasing  musicality and my deep and abiding love for my Brother John (now relaxing by the fire at the Omega Point Lodge and Spa).

2.  Bartlebeevian…def.:   favoring (in some way) Melville’s Bartleby(the Scrivener)I just made it up (I think), but, in any case, I find it very pleasurable to enunciate.

3.      Love… def.: that,  without which,  the Universe would cease to exist…  (loveananda in Sanskrit) simply perfect.  I also “love” all of Woody Allen’s versions of the word  that he has Alvy use while professing/confessing his deepest feelings for Annie Hall….in the Bridge Scene ( the same scene where he describes his paramour as “polymorphously perverse”… another charming coinage, I find endearing)  “…I lurve you… I loave you…I luff you…with two F’s..!”.

4.   chronosynclastic infundibulum… A point in space where, upon a person entering it, that person’s existence in space-time ceases to be linear.     So, I’m gonna pretend this is one word, although we can clearly see that it’s at least two (and possibly more). It’s one of those things (like Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky”  that I have never forgotten since my first reading of Uncle Kurt’s (I’ve always liked  to pretend that Maestro Vonnegut was one of my uncles…[I also have an Uncle Alby {Einstein} and, of course, my mostest,  favoritest of all uncles, my Uncle Willy {The Bard of Avon, not, The Great Ejaculator}])  Siren’s of Titan and subsequently, its liberal use throughout  Schlachthof Fünf   (I would like to mention, parenthetically, since I’ve just used it, that “Fünf”  is one of my favorite foreign words… and one of the few words in German that I find it fun to pronounce…. “Fünf, Fünf… Fünf…!” yep…it’s a keeper and so is chrobosymplastic infidigulum…erp.)

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7.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              *thanx & a hat tip to George C. & Will S. (gone, but not forgotten)

II. Books

1.  The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings… J.R.R.Tolkien    does it seem terribly mundane…? yeah, well,  fuck it..!   It it was anything but, when at age 12, my Dad gave me five bucks to go up to Bookmasters at 34th Street and pick up four books by this Tolkien guy (which he had read during a week-long business trip to San Francisco for A.T.&T., where, a friend of his, a professor at San Francisco State, who had just put together a course on Tolkien, loaned him a copy of the very first paperback edition, which had just come out)…anyhow, I already loved reading when I visited Middle Earth, that summer of ’65, but, the combination of language and mythos and adventure and love and yearning and… and the endless, mind boggling imagery, therein, really bowled me over… I read the tetralogy at least once a year for the next 10 years, ‘til I was 22 and since then, a few more times, as well as cherishing the wonderful  gift of Peter Jackson’s films…He showed lot of guts to take it on and although he couldn’t cover absolutely everything, he really came through…(Rivendell was just as I pictured it..like a giant Knott’s Berry Farm [or I should say, my recollection of Knott’s Berry Farm] where I once cavorted when I was five… just before we left my home state, California and moved to New York).       The Fellowship of the Ring will always live in my heart..! 

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III. Music

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IV. Film

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V. Television

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VI. Plays

1.   Lysistrata’s Little Sister  by Mitch Hogue     There is a certain amount of personal involvement (read: total, as in: “..this selection represents both a degree of academic and artistic objectivity combined with a mess of  TOTALLY, bullgoose loonily, majorly, personally involved subjectively subjective subjectivity, as the playwright in question, is one of my dearest friends, the father of two of my [Greek] god-daughters, Chrissy and Jenny [gifted performers {and darling angels} in their own right]).  Mitch was a man/boy of prodigious talents with an unparallelled sense of humour, possessed of an infectious laugh and a wonderfully rambunctious face, with wild (joyously wild, not crazy wild) eyes and an expansive grin that lit up the room….!!!!! (pause for breath…..)  so there’s that…and then there’s the fact that he’s gone… and so absurdly young (he was only 45 when he left us).. happily, his great vitality is forever frozen in the rose-tinted  amber of our memories…and then there’s the fact that he asked me to direct his first produced full-length play, The Best Part, Off Broadway, the same year i turned forty, can it possibly that long ago…? He was gearing up for greatness with a number of projects, including a play entitled Comedy 101 [performed with his beautiful daughter, Jennifer, it called upon skills Mitch honed during his first years as a performer, doing Stand-Up in the City] 101 was the preamble to a proposed ten-part documentary on the History (and Herstory) of  Humour,  he was exhaustively researching  with an eye to developing it for public television; several commissioned works for the 400th anniversary celebration of the founding of Jamestown; and his one act plays, Gone Fission[sic], The Spear of the Nation (a brilliant, metaphorical  examination of the psycho-sexual depravity, implicit in Apartheid) and Lysistrata’s Little Sister which i never even had the chance to read..wait…but then..how…uh…why..? I’ll tell you why…’cause the magically alliterative nature of the title itself is so absolutely sublime in its near-perfect symmetry and brings to mind so many endless, dramatic possibilities that i have always cherished it as one of my very favorite “plays-in-potentia” . That’s why.

2. “The Canon”  …whose..? you ask…why, Will’s, says I, only He merits such a superlative sobriquet for His oeuvres, “The Canon”...only He has earned the endless accolades (from noble scholars throughout the four-plus centuries since he first dipped quill) that are best summed up in a line from Ben Jonson’s preface to the First Folio…“He was not of an age, but for all time!”   Well done, Sir Ben…or, as Stan Lee might say, “‘Nuff said..!”
Say, is this pirating of other people’s  words going to be a feature of my lists…? why not..? there are so many people with more wit than I (or is it me..? [ there....see what i mean..?]) anyhow, before Hamlet, and we, ourselves, lose our mirth entirely, i want to finish my valentine to the Bard of Avon with a few of his own words…because its quite simply the most comprehensive (and compact) expression of wonder at the brilliance of homo sapiens at his best and i always thought it was a great description of  He, Himself :  

“‘What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!   (and then…because, who but He could craft such a desolate rejoinder…?)  And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seem to say so.” (that smarmy Rosencrantz, with his knowing glances…and now that i’ve started I can’t leave without hearing Will dish out the same “matter/anti-matter” treatment of heaven and earth…  ” I have of late, (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition; that this goodly frame the earth, seems to me a sterrill promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this Majesticall roofe, fretted with golden fire: why, it appeares no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.”

VII. Art

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VIII. People

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IX. Places

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and…

X. Things

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(more…)