[ by Charles Cameron — cross-posted from BrownPundits in response to a friend’s comment there ]
I’d written a response to @AnAn and included a quote from the Chuang Tzu’s chapter on Lord Wen-hui and what he learned from his Cook Ting, and wanted to throw in the following DoubleQuote — but graphics seem to be discouraged in the Comment sections here, so I’ve opened this post for the purpose:
The thing is, Lao Tzu offers us the ideal statement, formulated in terms of an impenetrable absence of space, and an absence of substance to the point of non-existence — while Chuang Tzu, peering over Lord Wen-hui’s shoulder right there in Cook Ting’s kitchen, offers us the same insight, couched in terms of there being “spaces between the joints” and his knife having “really no thickness” — Chuang Tzu’s measureless insight penetrates Lao Tzu’s impenetrable absolutes to show us there’s room for play there — “room — more than enough for the blade to play about in”.
If we bear these two versions of the same idea — formulated ideally and in practical terms by the two principle philosopher-poets of the Taoist school — in mind when our thoughts run up against the impracticality of an ideal, we may find, like Cook Ting, that we too have room enough room to play in.
[ by Charles Cameron — strongs words on the significance of chyrons, honor and dishonor in the services, things within things and so on.. ]
Ari Melber and Jon Meacham talk twitter-fights and chyrons:
This is a truly fascinating clip, containing not only Ari Melber’s nicely phrased “Bob Mueller brought a book to a Twitter fight” and Jon Meacham’s “The Mueller team has been out-gunned”, but also a discussion of chyrons — which as you know, I’ve been tracking in more than thirty recent posts:
Jon Meacham again:
Basically, Mueller is also fighting not only twitter but what I sometimes think of as Chyron Conservatives – you know, the chyrons are the captions at the bottom of the screen ..
The power of the chyron is a really interesting force right now in our public life ..
As you know, there are footnotes in the Mueller report, that have date stamped of certain TV chyrons that Donald Trump reacted to, to explore his mind as criminal evidence ..
Two other Ari Melber quotes of interest — this one a variant on what’s already been said: “trigger fingers turn into twitter fingers” .. — and this one a quasi-ouroboric formulation: “guns as a solution to guns” ..
Shame and dishonor:
Whatever officials were involved in the attempt to obscure the name of John McCain from the gaze of Donald Trump on the ship bearing that name — on Memorial Day — dishonor an honorable service.
“A request was made to the U.S. Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain” during President Donald Trump’s recent state visit to Japan, the Navy said in a statement.
Also shameful, if not dishonorable: the scramble up Everest.
The mountain is so crowded by those who want to come home and say I climbed Everest that they’re stumbling over one another. This is the mountain Tibetans call “Chomolungma”– “Goddess Mother of the Snows” — sacred, it seems to me, by virtue of its beauty — and now polluted by our petty pride.
I was going to post in honor of U.S. soldiers Captain Silas Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer, who refused to participate in the Sand Creek Massacre of 200 or so Cheyenne and Arapaho, many of them women and children, until I realized the piece I was going to point to was from November 2017. Their names do not age, but the news oif the annual run from Sand Creek to Denver is now a year and a half stale. . SO I’ll render them honor with these words:
Xi Jinping’s blind spot:
Some time when you have an hour — Malcolm Nance‘s intelligence-oriented conversation at USC packs a wallop:
And finally, things within things, so to speak:
If I recall correctly, the Mughal emperor Jahangir is depicted as preferring to speak first with a Sufi sant, then with a lesser king, then with King James I of England, pretty faithfully rendered btw, and finally on the bottom rung of the ladder, with the artist.
[ by Charles Cameron — our advertising and magic series continues — the Volkswagen bug in its many transforms! ]
In our last magic and commercials post, The magic of miniatures, we saw the power of associating the small with the large. Volkswagen seems toi have taken this idea to new levels, with the assistance of toy manufacturers and the film industry.
Let’s start here:
Hey boy, c’here!
Remember Chuang-Tsu? Here’s a fragment in Burton Watson’s translation:
Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn’t know he was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Chuang Chou. But he didn’t know if he was Chuang Chou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Chou. Between Chuang Chou and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.
This post is all about the transformation of things, eh?
Okay, who’s dreaming here?
There and back again — the mechanics behind the dream:
[ by Charles Cameron — think of these screen-grabs as frames in a comic, okay? — delicious ]
on having her first taste of mille feuille on her b’day —
Apparently this is a whole category of dessert ..
It looks like a normal cake from the outside .. That is what this news story out of Florida is .. So it’s not s million layers of cake, it’s a million layers of weirdness, one on top of another, that culminate in tonight’s news story ..
At this point in the delicious layer cake, we’ve got the massage parlor owner selling Chinese nationals personal physical access to the President, his family and cabinet-level officials in the administration, while she is simultaneously hanging out at the President’s private club, taking pictures with him, and working with the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government in a number of murky organizations that seem to have no public-facing purpose.
Layer on top of that, the arrest on March 30th, of a new lady we had not heard of before ..
The streets of Chengdu in western China could soon be lit up by an artificial satellite moon in the night-time, rather than the more conventional streetlights, if an ambitious plan by a private aerospace company gets the go-ahead.
The thinking is to save a hefty sum in electricity costs, according to Wu Chunfeng, chairman of the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., who is behind the scheme.
Rather than using up energy here on Earth, the satellite would reflect the Sun’s rays from the other side of the planet back on to Chengdu. [ .. ]
The illumination on the ground would be about eight times what you would expect from the actual Moon, Chunfeng says.
Have they not read Li Po, Bo, or Bai‘s great poem, The Jewel Stairs’ Grievance, given here in the translation by Ezra Pound?
The jewelled steps are already quite white with dew,
It is so late that the dew soaks my gauze stockings,
And I let down the crystal curtain
And watch the moon through the clear autumn.
Were they not taken with the footnote?
Jewel stairs, therefore a palace. Grievance, therefore there is something to complain of. Gauze stockings, therefore a court lady, not a servant who complains. Clear autumn, therefore he has no excuse on account of weather. Also she has come early, for the dew has not merely whitened the stairs, but has soaked her stockings. The poem is especially prized because she utters no direct reproach.
“We are ruled by brands and events,” project leader Vlad Sitnikov told Futurism.
“The Super Bowl, Coca Cola, Brexit, the Olympics, Mercedes, FIFA, Supreme and the Mexican wall. The economy is the blood system of society. Entertainment and advertising are at its heart.
“We will live in space, and humankind will start delivering its culture to space. The more professional and experienced pioneers will make it better for everyone.”
Faugh! For shame!
Have I not whispered to another under the stars those words of William Butler Yeats:
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
I am heart-hurt.
Rape the night sky, and what are lovers to wrap themselves in? poets to raise their cups to?
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.