-- Carl Sandburg, Rutabaga Stories (1922)
In contrast with her generation, which had spent most of its time online learning to code so that it could add crude butterfly animations to the backgrounds of its weblogs, the generation immediately following had spent most of its time online making incredibly bigoted jokes in order to laugh at the idiots who were stupid enough to think they meant it. Except after a while they did mean it, and then somehow at the end of it they were white supremacists. Was this always the way it happened?
To future historians, nothing will explain our behaviour, except a mass outbreak of ergotism caused by contaminated rye?
The word toxic had been anointed, and now could not go back to being a regular word. It was like a person becoming famous. They would never have a normal lunch again, would never eat a Cobb salad outdoors without tasting the full awareness of what they were. Toxic. Labour. Discourse. Normalise.
‘Don’t normalise it!!!!!’ we shouted at each other. But all we were normalising was the use of the word normalise, which sounded like the action of a raygun wielded by a guy named Norm to make everyone around him Norm as well.
What are you swimming in that you can’t describe – won’t describe, because it’s too ordinary?
Keeping Things Whole
In a field
I am the absence
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.
We all have reasons
to keep things whole.
-- Mark Strand, 1934-2014
FARMERS SHOULD NAME THEIR FARMS.
There is more interest being shown in the naming of our farms this year than ever before. Farms are being named for locality, sentiment, business, and some special industry that may be emphasized upon that farm.
The naming of the farm is the expression of content and happiness. In naming your farm originality is of first importance. Words that go well together without harsh or awkward sounds should be selected. One should be very careful and take plenty of time, and give much thought to this important proposition. It means a great deal to you, and to your children, the future owners of your farm, to have a well selected name; in fact, the members of the family should be consulted before deciding upon a title. The name of your farm is of much more importance that what some people give to the naming of a calf or a colt.
There are some characteristics about each farm that will help suggest a name, or a combination name is often used. Once chosen, the name should become a standard of merit, and be known for the quality of everything produced upon which the name is placed. A well selected name, with an established record for good quality and honest dealings will add much to the sale value of a farm; but it is unusual for this kind of farms to be sold.
-- The Utah Farmer, August 14, 1915
The bicycle frame in use today is of relatively recent invention. It appeared around 1890. Previous to that time the body of the machine was constructed of two tubes soldered together at right angles. It was generally called the right-angle or cross bicycle. Jesus, after his puncture, climbed the slope on foot, carrying on his shoulder the bike frame, or, if you will, the cross.
Contemporary engravings reproduce this scene from photographs. But it appears that the sport of cycling, as a result of the well known accident which put a grievous end to the Passion race and which was brought up to date almost on its anniversary by the similar accident of Count Zborowski on the Turbie slope -- the sport of cycling was for a time prohibited by state ordinance. That explains why the illustrated magazines, in reproducing this celebrated scene, show bicycles of a rather imaginary design. They confuse the machine's cross frame with that other cross, the straight handlebar. They represent Jesus with his hands spread on the handlebars, and it is worth mentioning in this connection that Jesus rode lying flat on his back in order to reduce his air resistance.
Note also that the frame or cross was made of wood, just as wheels are to this day.
A few people have insinuated falsely that Jesus's machine was a draisienne , an unlikely mount for a hill-climbing contest. According to the old cyclophile hagiographers, St. Briget, St. Gregory of Tours, and St. Irene, the cross was equipped with adevice which they name suppedaneum. There is no need to be a great scholar to translate this as "pedal."
Lipsius, Justinian, Bosius, and Erycius Puteanus describe an other accessory which one still finds, according to Cornelius Curtius in 1643, on Japanese crosses: a protuberance of leather or wood on the shaft which the rider sits astride -- manifestly the seat or saddle.
This general description, furthermore, suits the definition of a bicycle current among the Chinese: "A little mule which is led by the ears and urged along by showering it with kicks."
-- Alfred Jarry