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Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Lost Shakespeare play found?

Cardenio. Written by William Shakespeare. Based on an episode in Miguel Cervantes’ novel, Don Quixote. The novel was translated from Spanish into English in 1612. The play was known once, but lost. Performed by the King’s Men in 1613, the same year Shakespeare penned Henry VIII, or All is True and The Two Noble Kinsmen. […]

PostArctica: Mammoth Miners Memorial, Mammoth, Arizona

Came across this remarkable art in honour of dead miners.

“The Mammoth Miners Memorial honors 55 miners who lost their lives over the years in the San Manuel, St. Anthony and Tiger mines. Along with a statue of a hard-rock miner and ore buckets, the memorial features a sculpture of life-size metal skeletons holding mining equipment.The sculpture is the work of artist Jerry Parra.“

And you really should check out Bongolnc’s Flickr pages for an endless array of beautiful pictures of the Arizona countryside!

. . . → Read More: PostArctica: Mammoth Miners Memorial, Mammoth, Arizona

Art Threat: Painting, Resisting, Giggling: An Interview with George Littlechild

I first stumbled upon George Littlechild’s art at the Comox Valley Art Gallery in my hometown of Courtenay, British Columbia. After reeling from the emotional turmoil and historical reopening, rapprochement and reordering rendered in his bold and colourful brush strokes and integration of collage through archives, I was delighted further to learn that Littlechild resided right there, in my little town. After several years run by a city council dominated by career politicians and land developers, Courtenay has come to resemble the big box subsidiary that many other communities in Canada have become after non-local retailers move in to newly (Read more…)

wmtc: some thoughts on emily brontë’s wuthering heights

Cover of 1943 Random Houseedition with woodcut illustrations

Emily Brontë published Wuthering Heights in 1847, under a pseudonym. Brontë died the following year, at age 30. It was the only book she would ever publish.

How did an isolated young woman, a parson’s daughter from a remote area of Yorkshire, who never married, rarely left home, and hated travel, come to create this story of ferocious passion and violent revenge that would shock her contemporaries, and enthral audiences into its second century?

The existence of Wuthering Heights is one of the great arguments against that wrongheaded advice to writers: “write what (Read more…)

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Reflections on Chartres Cathedral, the death of civilization and the deification of the banal

Thinking of Chartres Cathedral, I ask myself, what, if anything, have we built in the past eight centuries, that compares to this? The iPad, computers, cell phones, the internet? Are you kidding me? You must be joking. We have more ways to amuse ourselves, yes, but when has our capacity for entertainment, amusement and […]

Dead Wild Roses: Civilization, Capitalism, Consumption – Why stop the Orgy?

I’m glad I’ll be dead when humanity’s collective shit hits the fan. I used to get all wrapped up in debates about Capitalism and the slow motion Seppuku we’re committing. I was genuinely flummoxed when my arguments were characterized as hopelessly naive and that my positions were unfounded vis-a-vis economic reality (a.k.a the dominant capitalist consumption paradigm).

Bollocks to that noise.

I’m out of fucks to give about important economic arguments and how super-fucking-awesome capitalism is. I will not be around when glitz comes off of our over-consumption and enough of humanity realizes how hard (Read more…)

wmtc: march 19, 2003: don’t call it a failure. it was a huge success for so many.

Eleven years ago today, the US invaded Iraq.

This unprovoked invasion of another country that had not threatened the United States was justified by the pretense of finding weapons of mass destruction (which the US knew did not exist), and as payback for 9/11 (which the US knew Iraq had no part in), and by of ridding the world of Saddam Hussein (who was trained and financed by the US). Many such rationales were advanced, including a a Christian crusade against Muslims.

None of the stated rationales for the invasion mentioned the massive profiteering that would reap trillions in profits (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Machiavelli and the Elizabethans

In 1555, Bishop Stephen Gardiner wrote a treatise to King Phillip II of Spain, in which he borrowed (aka plagiarized) extensively from Machiavelli’s The Prince and The Discourses. Gardiner did not credit Machiavelli or attribute any of his quotes, but rather copied some of Machiavelli’s content verbatim or very closely. This was less than two […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Lucretius and the Renaissance

It’s fairly clear, even after reading only a few verses, why Lucretius’s didactic poem, On the Nature of Things – De Rerum Natura – made such an impact on thought, philosophy, religion and science in the Renaissance. It must have been like a lighthouse in the dark night; a “Eureka” moment for many of the age’s thinkers. […]

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Snacking Cake Revenge

Muffy and Cuddles were pretty sure they had the math right, but they had a lingering worry that the explosion might ignite the Earth’s atmosphere. On the other hand, the cat was certainly never going to bother them again. No … Continue reading →

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Reading Thucydides at last

Somewhere on one of my bookshelves, is an old Penguin paperback copy of History of The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. It’s a bit worn, pages lightly yellowed, glue a little brittle. It’s been sitting on the shelf, stacked with many other paperbacks, piled two deep, floor to ceiling, for the past two decades and more. It’s […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Greens: Conservatives Ordered Illegal Destruction of Canadian Records

Elizabeth May on Harper government's library closures: Book burning doesn't remind me of this century #CDNpoli— Mike De Souza (@mikedesouza) January 27, 2014

A worrying subset of the Canadian population seems content settling for a Conservative Party that willingly destroys Canadian heritage and property. How can Canadians peacefully stop the looting and burning of our cultural and scientific records?

Although the Department of Fisheries and Oceans states that the purpose of its Library Consolidation Initiative is to create greater public access to information online through ‘digitization,’ it is unclear what, if any, digitization has taken place to date. A (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Mac celebrates 30 years

A recent article on Gizmodo shows off some previously unseen (or perhaps just forgotten) footage of a young Steve Jobs unveiling the Macintosh computer, back on January 30, 1984. Thirty years ago, this week. Seems like forever ago. But I remember it, and reasonably well. I remember where I was living then, what I was […]

Calgary Grit: Canada’s New Government Turns 8

Today marks the 8th anniversary of Stephen Harper’s election as Prime Minister. At the time, a lot of Liberals figured they could turn him into Joe Clark after a quick leadership change. Yet, by this time next year, Harper will have passed Louis St. Laurent, Robert Borden, and Brian Mulroney, to become the 6th longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history – and most succesful conservative in over a century.

That’s the good news. The bad news for Harper is that it’s hard to fight the “time for a change” bug. Trudeau and King both lost elections after around a (Read more…)

Things Are Good: New Technique For Restoring Historic Videos

USC Shoah Foundation has a large collection of interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. Old physical media formats are susceptible to damage from fires to improper storage and USC has had to deal with this. The tech department at the foundation has figured out a painless way to restore and even improve the quality of footage from the damaged media.

Remembering history and being able to hear first hand accounts of events (no matter how horrific) can only help humanity. If we forget our history we are likely to repeat it.

Ryan Fenton-Strauss, video archive (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Pardon?

I’d wondered why the USA wasn’t chasing after draft dodgers still.

On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter granted an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men…— Christina Cherneskey (@ccherneskey) January 21, 2014

My respect for Carter went up when I learned this.

Obama could redeem some of his failing popularity if he stood up to the NSA spy machine and pardoned Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, among other whistle blowers of illegal American spying programs aimed at American citizens.

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: For want of a nail…

Bought a book at Loblaws (of all places) this week, one by Harry Turtledove: The Big Switch. It’s one of his many alternative history novels, about what might have happened if things had happened a certain way – a different way from what actually transpired – in the opening years of World War Two. He’s […]

wmtc: what i’m reading: just kids by patti smith

Just Kids is a memoir by the artist and musician Patti Smith, about her life and relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The book is a memoir of both Smith’s and Mapplethorpe’s coming of age as artists, and of the path of their relationships, both with each other and with other people who were formative in their young lives. Just Kids is also a memoir of New York City in the 1970s, especially of certain slices of the art and music scenes.

Although Smith met and hung out with many famous musicians, artists, and writers during the time she writes about, (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Music of the Templars

For the past 25 years, I have had a mysterious page in Latin, held in a cheap picture frame, and stored in a closet for many years. It’s a two-sided page from a book, printed in black and red letters. I bought it at a used-book store in Toronto back when I lived there and […]

wmtc: government destruction of environmental archives: the harper govt’s war on facts marches on

At year’s end, The Tyee reported that a memo – marked “secret” and first reported on - cast grave doubts on the Harper Government’s claim that environmental archives were destroyed only after they had been preserved digitally. In other words, the memo proves what progressive and concerned Canadians have long known and suspected to be true. A federal document marked “secret” obtained by Postmedia News indicates the closure or destruction of more than half a dozen world famous science libraries has little if anything to do with digitizing books as claimed by the Harper government.

In fact, the (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: DWR Quote of the Day – Assata Shakur

“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.”

— Assata Shakur

Filed under: History Tagged: DWR Quote of the Day, On Freedom and Oppression

wmtc: murdoch mysteries, abortion on tv, and maybe an anti-war reference, too

I always like to have a detective-mystery series to follow. I try many of them, like a few, and watch several episodes in a row as downtime relaxation. I recently started the Canadian “Murdoch Mysteries,” which takes place in Toronto at the turn of the 20th Century. Back when we still had cable TV, I frequently saw promos for Murdoch Mysteries, but I thought it looked kind of cheesy. But when I recently clicked on it through Netflix, I discovered it’s actually quite good. I’m now well into Season 2, and I’m finding the mysteries not obvious and the character (Read more…)

wmtc: new year’s resolutions from our man woody guthrie

According to the good folks at, our hero Woody Guthrie wrote these New Year’s resolutions, which he called “rulin’s,” in 1943.

Happily for us, an admirer at another website has transcribed them. Woody’s rulin’s are by turns sweet (“learn people better”), fanciful (“dream good”), and practical (“wear clean clothes”). Some are downright hilarious: “wash teeth if any”. 33. Wake Up And Fight

32. Make Up Your Mind

31. Love Everybody

30. Love Pete

29. Love Papa

28. Love Mama

27. Help Win War — Beat Fascism

26. Dance Better

25. Play And Sing Good

24. Send Mary (Read more…)

wmtc: what i’m reading: the immortal life of henrietta lacks, by roberta skloot

I’ve just finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. I’m sure many of you have read it, but if you have not, please run to your local library or bookstore or website and borrow, purchase, or download a copy immediately. This book is literary nonfiction of the highest order, a melding of social, cultural, and science history, and a a triumph of research and writing.

Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman, a poor tobacco farmer who lived near and in Baltimore. Henrietta died of cancer in 1951, at the age of 31. She left behind five (Read more…)

wmtc: before the onion, before the yes men, there was the post new york post

One day, as I was getting off the subway on my way from Brooklyn to my workplace on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, people were handing out these tabloids. I never learned who made them, where they came from, or where they went. But I’m so glad I saved my copy all these years.

It’s a whole newspaper – news, sports, weather, ads for fake movies, personal ads. Brilliant. In case you can’t read the date, it was 1984.

And special bonus from one decade later, The National OJ.

I had to scan them in two parts, but they (Read more…)

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