Sunday, July 13, 2003
Today's birthday: Harrison Ford is 61.
7-11 Evening Number: 000.
From the conclusion of
"I know what 'nothing' means,
"The real star of Zabriskie Point... is the desolate, parched-white landscape of Death Valley...."
For Harrison Ford and Zabriskie Point, see
The Harrison Ford of the 1970 film Zabriskie Point and the "Harrison Porter" of the 1970 novel Play It As It Lays may not be completely unrelated.
For the religious significance of the names "Porter" and "BZ" in Play It As It Lays, see both the devilish site
and the Princeton site
Sunday, July 13, 2003
ART WARS, 5:09
The Word in the Desert
For Harrison Ford in the desert.
The link to the word "devilish" in the 6:13 AM entry above leads to one of my previous journal entries, "A Mass for Lucero," that deals with the devilishness of postmodern philosophy. To hammer this point home, here is an attack on college English departments that begins as follows:
For more, see
See also the link on the word "contemptible," applied to Jacques Derrida, in my Logos and Logic page.
This leads to an National Review essay on Derrida,
I prefer the following notice of a 7-11 death, that of a powerful art museum curator who would have been well cast as Lady Macbeth:
From the Whitney Museum site:
Anderson: When artist Frank Stella first showed this
painting at The Museum of Modern Art in 1959, people were baffled by its
austerity. Stella responded, 'What you see is what you see. Painting to me
is a brush in a bucket and you put it on a surface. There is no other
reality for me than that.' He wanted to create work that was methodical,
intellectual, and passionless. To some, it seemed to be nothing more than
a repudiation of everything that had come before—a rational system devoid
of pleasure and personality. But other viewers saw that the black
paintings generated an aura of mystery and solemnity.
From Play It As It Lays:
I smoke old stogies I have
Cigar Aficionado on artist Frank Stella:
" 'Frank actually makes the moment. He captures it and helps to define it.'
This was certainly true of Stella's 1958 New York debut. Fresh out of Princeton, he came to New York and rented a former jeweler's shop on Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side. He began using ordinary house paint to paint symmetrical black stripes on canvas. Called the Black Paintings, they are credited with paving the way for the minimal art movement of the 1960s. By the fall of 1959, Dorothy Miller of The Museum of Modern Art had chosen four of the austere pictures for inclusion in a show called Sixteen Americans."
For an even more austere picture, see
For more on art, Derrida, and devilishness, see Deborah Solomon's essay in the New York Times Magazine of Sunday, June 27, 1999:
"Blame Derrida and
For those who prefer a more traditional meditation, I recommend
("Behold the Wood of the Cross")
For more on the word "road" in the desert, see my "Dead Poet" entry of Epiphany 2003 (Tao means road) as well as the following scholarly bibliography of road-related cultural artifacts (a surprising number of which involve Harrison Ford):
Saturday, July 12, 2003
Before and After
G. H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology:
"We do not want many 'variations' in the proof of a mathematical theorem: 'enumeration of cases,' indeed, is one of the duller forms of mathematical argument. A mathematical proof should resemble a simple and clear-cut constellation, not a scattered cluster in the Milky Way.
A chess problem also has unexpectedness, and a certain economy; it is essential that the moves should be surprising, and that every piece on the board should play its part. But the aesthetic effect is cumulative. It is essential also (unless the problem is too simple to be really amusing) that the key-move should be followed by a good many variations, each requiring its own individual answer. 'If P-B5 then Kt-R6; if .... then .... ; if .... then ....' — the effect would be spoilt if there were not a good many different replies. All this is quite genuine mathematics, and has its merits; but it just that 'proof by enumeration of cases' (and of cases which do not, at bottom, differ at all profoundly*) which a real mathematician tends to despise.
* I believe that is now regarded as a merit in a problem that there should be many variations of the same type."
(Cambridge at the University Press. First edition, 1940.)
Brian Harley in Mate in Two Moves:
"It is quite true that variation play is, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the soul of a problem, or (to put it more materially) the main course of the solver's banquet, but the Key is the cocktail that begins the proceedings, and if it fails in piquancy the following dinner is not so satisfactory as it should be."
(London, Bell & Sons. First edition, 1931.)
From my entry of Epiphany 2003,
For the implicate order and Finnegans Wake, see sections 33 and 34 of
The second link in the box above is to the Chi-Rho page in the Book of Kells. For a commentary on the structure of this page and the structure of Finnegans Wake, see
Here are some religious meditations for the holy day 7-11:
As the website Hollywood Jesus perceptively points out, defending the story theory of truth, "Images that carry universal truths move us from the mundane to the sacred. Jesus knew this when he spoke in parables."
Here is a parable about my own name.
The Hollywood Jesus site tries to connect the cross of Christ, "holy wood," with Hollywood by claiming that the words "holly" and "holy" are cognate.
From the Online Etymology Dictionary:
holly - O.E. holegn, from P.Gmc. *khuli-.
holy - O.E. halig "holy," from P.Gmc. *khailagas. Adopted at conversion for L. sanctus. Primary meaning may have been "that must be preserved whole or intact, that cannot be transgressed or violated," which would connect it with O.E. hal (see whole).
This shows that the holly-holy connection is, pace Neil Diamond, like nearly every other Christian claim, a damned lie.
Connoisseurs of junk culture may enjoy
Here is a different Hollywood etymology that may be somewhat truer.
From the RootsWeb.com archives:
"Cullen in Irish is Ó Cuillin (holly tree). ... This astonishingly simple name has worked its way through an astonishing number of variations including Cullion, Culhoun, MacCullen and Cullinane. ...
In a message dated 6/5/01 8:24:18 PM Pacific Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org
the English equivalent of the surname CULLINANE is