Friday, May 30, 2008
( 8:48 PM ) The Rat
This pattern of rapidly-alternating seduction and repulsion of the audience can be explained in a number of ways. Constance Kuriyama, for example, explains it psychologically in terms of the fundamental conflicts of an unresolved, ambivalent, homosexual author whose protagonists act out an obsessive pattern of extravagant adolescent rebellion and retributive parential humiliation. This reading has the unfortunate side-effect of turning Ferneze into Barabas's father, to the dismay of both parties. More important, it subordinates a conscious perception of the external world to an unconscious internal drive. I want to offer a less Freudian, possibly less contentious version, one which begins with the fact that each of Marlowe's 'heroes' is based on a well-established, immediately recognizable stock type of villainy: the Jew, the Machiavell, the pagan tyrant descended from Herod of the mysteries, the diabolical conjurer, the homosexual, the misruler, or of course the academic.
—Arthur Lindley, 'The Unbeing of the Overreacher: Proteanism and the Marlovian Hero'
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:48 PM
( 9:04 AM ) The Rat
CLICK HERE and see the note about antlers.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:04 AM
Monday, May 26, 2008
( 2:23 PM ) The Rat
REDNECK SEAFOOD DINNER, via JM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:23 PM
( 9:28 AM ) The Rat
A MISUNDERSTOOD MONUMENT. Yes, I know, I need to stop getting all my links from Arts & Letters Daily...
Design and construction moved slowly, thanks to bureaucratic hiccups and World War I. The jewel of the temple was to be a statue of its subject, set under alabaster skylights in a central hall, flanked on either side with Lincoln's greatest utterances: the Gettysburg Address on the south wall and his Second Inaugural on the north. Bacon resisted several proposals that struck him as overenthusiastic. He and French insisted that Lincoln be shown in street clothes, and that the physical likeness not be idealized. The conventions of classical art required that only warriors be depicted as standing figures, so Lincoln would be seated, in repose, an attitude suited to the contemplative calling of statesmen, philosophers and poets, and to the contemplation the statue was meant to inspire in those who came to see it.
The statue that French produced is casually called an "icon." It's a double-edged cliché. We use it sometimes as a compliment, more often as a sly denigration, to describe figures of history who have been idealized into unreality—stripped, as Mr. Thomas says, of all earthly imperfection.
Yet French worked hard to make his huge Lincoln a man and not a god. This is one rumpled icon. The imperfections are hard to miss. His hair is uncombed. His tie is askew. His hands betray a fidgety disposition, and his eyes aren't quite symmetrical. He's really, really big, but he's still a man...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:28 AM
Sunday, May 25, 2008
( 1:13 PM ) The Rat
KEW GARDENS OPENS TREETOP WALKWAY.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:13 PM
( 9:31 AM ) The Rat
HOW I SPENT MY STIMULUS. This and the link below are both via Consumerist.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:31 AM
( 9:18 AM ) The Rat
WORLD'S BEST VODKA? I'm not surprised about the taste test, but the author fails to consider something pointed out in the reader comments, which is that certain higher-end vodkas leave you less hung over. Um, or so I've heard.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:18 AM
Saturday, May 24, 2008
( 11:05 AM ) The Rat
"Her and her husband just found each other. All their neuroses intertwine so perfectly, and it just works like a charm."
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:05 AM
Friday, May 23, 2008
( 9:38 PM ) The Rat
LIBRARY PORN! The Rat has found lodgings for eight weeks in London, incidentally... on Thanet Street—check out where it's located!
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:38 PM
( 9:29 PM ) The Rat
"I have to be honest... I have to say that I actually like that I have one of the more obscene names."
—Lois Chiles on playing "Holly Goodhead," Inside Moonraker
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:29 PM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
( 11:04 AM ) The Rat
THE MOST EXPENSIVE SPIRITS IN THE WORLD.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:04 AM
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
( 10:31 AM ) The Rat
COULD MARTINIS BE THE SECRET OF BOND'S SUCCESS? Awesome.
In 1999, a group of students at the University of Western Ontario in Canada led by Colleen Trevithick (and overseen by her father John, a professor of biochemistry) decided to test Bond's preference in a series of experiments on gin and vodka martinis.
They studied the martinis' ability to deactivate hydrogen peroxide—a substance used to bleach hair or disinfect scrapes, and a potent source of the free radicals linked to ageing and disease.
While the detailed chemistry is not fully understood, martinis were much more effective than their basic ingredients—such as gin or vermouth—at deactivating hydrogen peroxide, and about twice as effective when shaken.
The martini must contain an antioxidant that deals with the peroxide, and which works better after shaking. (The olives that are normally added might also have an effect, but were left out as being "too difficult to model".)
In their analysis of the results in the British Medical Journal, the team concluded, reasonably enough, that Bond's excellent state of health "may be due, at least in part, to compliant bartenders"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:31 AM
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
( 10:06 PM ) The Rat
After a long afternoon spent assembling a typology of the craziness of various nationalities of Asian women (consensus: Malaysians "not so crazy"; Taiwanese "really crazy"), Saio stepped back and sounded a wise note. [...]
—The Sushi Economy
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:06 PM
( 9:06 PM ) The Rat
OH DEAR. Via LH by way of IM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:06 PM
Friday, May 16, 2008
( 6:40 PM ) The Rat
YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT? Fun little piece on New Yorkers, by Joan Acocella.
But I think it's also possible that New Yorkers just appear smarter, because they make less separation between private and public life. That is, they act on the street as they do in private. In the United States today, public behavior is ruled by a kind of compulsory cheer that people probably picked up from television and advertising and that coats their transactions in a smooth, shiny glaze, making them seem empty-headed. New Yorkers have not yet gotten the knack of this. That may be because so many of them grew up outside the United States, and also because they live so much of their lives in public, eating their lunches in parks, riding to work in subways. It's hard to keep up the smiley face for that many hours a day. [...]
Why are New Yorkers like this? It goes against psychological principles. Psychologists tell us that the more stimuli people are bombarded with, the more they will recede into themselves and ignore others. So why is it that New Yorkers, who are certainly confronted with enough stimuli, do the opposite? I have already given a few possible answers, but here's one more: the special difficulties of life in New York—the small apartments, the struggle for a seat on the bus or a table at a restaurant—seem to breed a sense of common cause. When New Yorkers see a stranger, they don't think, "I don't know you." They think, "I know you. I know your problems—they're the same as mine—and furthermore we have the same handbag." So that's how they treat you.
This belief in a shared plight may underlie the remarkable level of cooperation that New Yorkers can show in times of trouble. Every few years or so, we have a water shortage, and then the mayor goes on the radio and tells us that we can't leave the water running in the sink while we're brushing our teeth. Surprise! People obey, and the water table goes up again. The more serious the problem, the more dramatic the displays of cooperation. I will not speak of the World Trade Center disaster, because it is too large a subject, but the last time we had a citywide power failure, and hence no traffic lights, I saw men in business suits—they looked like lawyers—directing traffic at busy intersections on Ninth Avenue. They got to be traffic cops for a day and tell the big trucks when to stop and when to go. They looked utterly delighted...
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:40 PM
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
( 12:01 AM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:01 AM
Monday, May 12, 2008
( 12:48 PM ) The Rat
THE LOUVRE OF PAWNSHOPS.
In between the trendy decoration shops and smart cafes in the Marais quarter, there is old "auntie."
That would be Credit Municipal of Paris, the pawnshop owned and operated by this city since 1777 where Auguste Rodin put up pieces of his sculptures to pay for new tools and Claude Monet had a friend buy back his late wife's beloved medallion so she could wear it in her casket. It got that cozy nickname after a young French royal hocked his watch to cover a gambling debt and told his mother he'd left it at the home of his aunt.
For centuries, that home has been an undistinguished Right Bank stone building with a sprawling underground maze of rooms that now hold 76,000 boxes of jewelry, racks of furs and countless odds and ends as well as a collection of art second in size only to the Louvre.
"We are like Ft. Knox," said Bernard Candiard, director-general of Credit Municipal, which takes any object worth between 60 ($93) and 2 million euros ($3 million) as security against a 12-month loan equal to half its value. The loans must be paid back with 8% to 12% interest or can be renewed indefinitely for a fee...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:48 PM
Thursday, May 08, 2008
( 2:07 AM ) The Rat
TOP TEN WEIRD USES FOR VODKA.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:07 AM
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
( 2:04 PM ) The Rat
BATTLE AT KRUGER. Best viewed on mute.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:04 PM
Sunday, May 04, 2008
( 2:43 PM ) The Rat
WHERE MOTHER SAW BEST. Via A&L Daily.
Friedman says that even today, professional-class mothers who work with architects to design their own houses (and what other class of woman can afford to do so?) want to place their primary work area, be it kitchen or home office, at the center, so that they can always monitor, if not necessarily engage with, their children. She calls this "the maternal eye," and it’s a concern that, though she fails to note it, brought about probably the most significant design change in the last hundred years of American domestic architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright, at least since designing his Prairie houses, in the early part of the 20th century, had been exquisitely sensitive to the ways parents and children interact in a house and to the ways design could alter those interactions. Those houses broke down the complex network of Victorian rooms, substituting long, flowing spaces that both reflected and encouraged parents’ newly informal and more intimate relationship with their children...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:43 PM
Friday, May 02, 2008
( 3:08 PM ) The Rat
OVERHEARD HEREABOUTS LAST NIGHT.
Ratty [hanging up a phone call from Ratty's mom]. So apparently, I once urinated on the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
ET. Well, I can't top that.
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:08 PM