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posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 04:02pm on 16/07/2005
Warning - this is long. And babbly.

Read more... )
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posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 10:11am on 12/06/2005
Wizarding government works under a hellishly disjointed system, and I have some trouble making sense of it, because it’s pretty much a slapdash job. A lot of very intelligent people have written essays on this topic, and those are better and more worth reading. The thing is that those essays tend to tie the package up very neatly, compartamentalizing little bits until it all makes sense. And my impression is that the system's completely pointless. It came into being by chance, and it's not successful in anything that it attempts to do.

follow the yellow brick road... )
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posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 11:17pm on 30/04/2005
I closed and merged and edited and altered and deleted threads all bloody day. Must have gotten at least 70 total. A friend of mine made me an icon after my complaints, which is now my avatar, with a lovely new title to match.


What He Thought - Heather McHugh

We were supposed to do a job in Italy
and, full of our feeling for
ourselves (our sense of being
Poets from America) we went
from Rome to Fano, met
the Mayor, mulled a couple
matters over. The Italian literati seemed
bewildered by the language of America: they asked us
what does "flat drink" mean? and the mysterious
"cheap date" (no explanation lessened
this one's mystery). Among Italian writers we
could recognize our counterparts: the academic,
the apologist, the arrogant, the amorous,
the brazen and the glib. And there was one
administrator (The Conservative), in suit
of regulation gray, who like a good tour guide
with measured pace and uninflected tone
narrated sights and histories
the hired van hauled us past.

Of all he was most politic—
and least poetic— so
it seemed. Our last
few days in Rome
I found a book of poems this
unprepossessing one had written: it was there
in the pensione room (a room he'd recommended)
where it must have been abandoned by
the German visitor (was there a bus of them?) to whom
he had inscribed and dated it a month before. I couldn't
read Italian either, so I put the book
back in the wardrobe's dark. We last Americans
were due to leave
tomorrow. For our parting evening then
our host chose something in a family restaurant,
and there we sat and chatted, sat and chewed, till,
sensible it was our last big chance to be Poetic, make
our mark, one of us asked

"What's poetry?
Is it the fruits and vegetables
and marketplace at Campo dei Fiori
or the statue there?" Because I was
the glib one, I identified the answer
instantly, I didn't have to think— "The truth
is both, it's both!" I blurted out. But that
was easy. That was easiest
to say. What followed taught me something
about difficulty,
for our underestimated host spoke out
all of a sudden, with a rising passion, and he said:

The statue represents
Giordano Bruno, brought
to be burned in the public square
because of his offence against authority, which was to say
the Church. His crime was his belief
the universe does not revolve around
the human being: God is no
fixed point or central government
but rather is poured in waves, through
all things: all things
move. "If God is not the soul itself,
he is the soul OF THE SOUL of the world." Such was
his heresy. The day they brought him forth to die
they feared he might incite the crowd (the man
was famous for his eloquence). And so his captors
placed upon his face
an iron mask
in which he could not speak.

That is how they burned him.
That is how he died,
without a word,
in front of everyone. And poetry—
(we'd all put down our forks by now, to listen to
the man in gray; he went on softly)— poetry
is what he thought, but did not say.
starpaint: sleepy, sleepy kitty (Default)
posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 11:59pm on 23/11/2004
Last minutes of being 15.

Damn, this is a weird feeling.
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posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 06:44pm on 11/07/2004
I finally got around to making most of my lj friends-only. I'm not sure how much of it is still public, but it's not much. So if you have any reason to want to read this... it'd be nice if you could tell me.

(Ah. Helen, if you're reading this, and you're probably not. Your livejournal makes my computer freeze - I think it's the background... )
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posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 09:43pm on 16/06/2004
(1) If you turn your head sideways and squint a little, you can see an image of a bearded face in that tortilla.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

(1) Do you agree with the utterly trivial proposition X?
(2) Atheist: of course.
(3) How about the slightly modified proposition X'?
(4) Atheist: Um, no, not really.
(5) Good. Since we agree, how about Y? Is that true?
(6) Atheist: No! And I didn't agree with X'!
(7) With the truths of these clearly established, surely you agree that Z is true as well?
(8) Atheist: No. So far I have only agreed with X! Where is this going, anyway?
(9) I'm glad we all agree.....
(37) So now we have used propositions X, X', Y, Y', Z, Z', P, P', Q and Q' to arrive at the obviously valid point R. Agreed?
(38) Atheist: Like I said, so far I've only agreed with X. Where is this going?
(81) So we now conclude from this that propositions L'', L''' and J'' are true. Agreed?
(177) ...and it follows that proposition HRV, SHQ'' and BTU' are all obviously valid. Agreed?
(178) [Atheist either faints from overwork or leaves in disgust]
(179) Therefore, God exists.

*cackles* I've spent enough time watching people argue the existence of God in similiar ways, none of them meaningful and all resulting in a headache, which is what makes this so amusing. It's not meant to be insulting, but really, saying that you can prove God's existence and showing off more eloquent versions of those arguments isn't helping you at all.

More here.
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posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 08:20pm on 01/06/2004
Almost all of my regular readers are familiar with my slight obsession to fanfiction. I've thrown random quotes at all of you except Matt and Elisabeth. (Both of you, consider yourself lucky, and when can you get on AIM/MSN so we can remedy this?) By now, I think you've learned the best technique for getting away from this - smiling, nodding, and running in the other direction. That said...

Read more... )
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posted by [personal profile] starpaint at 10:20am on 04/10/2003
Half my friends are dead.
I will make you new ones, said earth.
No, give me them back, as they were, instead,
with faults and all, I cried.

Tonight I can snatch their talk
from the faint surf's drone
through the canes, but I cannot walk

on the moonlit leaves of ocean
down that white road alone,
or float with the dreaming motion

of owls leaving earth's load.
O earth, the number of friends you keep
exceeds those left to be loved.

The sea-canes by the cliff flash green and silver;
they were the seraph lances of my faith,
but out of what is lost grows something stronger

that has the rational radiance of stone,
enduring moonlight, further than despair,
strong as the wind, that through dividing canes

brings those we love before us, as they were,
with faults and all, not nobler, just there.