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When cats and elephants act the role of snakes

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — ouroboroi — i’ll take the elephant first, since the cats are frankly vulgar ]
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More vicious circles — serpents biting their tails. As I’ve suggested elsewhere, the serpent biting its tail or ouroboros, is one of humankind’s oldest and most profound patterns.

It appears that cats, and elephants too, can enact it.

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The circle here is a triple one — same transformer which killed child elephant is avenged by child’s mother:

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I can’t do better for a follow-up than to embed for you this tweet by my friend Bill Banzon;

Click through to the full thread he links to, if you want to see a dozen or so more examples of cat-lick.

I mean, this was clearly a medieval meme..

Whoa boy, Roy Lichtenstein

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — from comix-pop to painting paint to a swirling portrait of complexity, aka tohu=bohu ]
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Whoa boy, I had no idea Roy Lichtenstein ever painted anything like this:

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I knew, of course, that he’d painted blown-up mersions of comic frames:

Whaam! 1963 Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997 Purchased 1966

But that’s too easily “cool” to impress me much. Far more interesting is his painting of painting:

He’s still doing a blow-up, in this case even more extreme than in his comic-book blow up Whaam, above — but this time it’s self-conscious, a painter taking paint for his subject, a serpent biting its own tail you might say, an exemplary ouroboros.

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And in the course of my quick search for Lichtenstein images, I also found this, which interests me as, potentially, an image of multiple musical voices intersecting and separating — a strange, wave-like form of polyphony:

Composition II 1996 Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997 ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Lent by The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Collection 2015

This in turn reminds me of the “wavy music” in Reynolds Stone‘s bookplate for my aunt Esther:

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But to return to that first image:

That’s an astonishing image of tohu-bohu, the “formless and void” just before creation as envisaged in Genesis. And here’s my point:

This image is both patterned (with formal properties) and abstract (formless), as befits that great mirror in which all forms arise and fade away, and thus a superb image for complexity, which is both patterned like overlapping waves, and swirling beyond our comprehension..

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Here’s R Cromb‘s version of tohu-bohu:

And that of the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493:

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Ah, for a breath of theology hovering above the waters, see Catherine Keller & a theology of chaos, Part 1 and, no doubt, Catherine Keller, The Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming.

A Methodist Happiness Healthcare Ouroboros

Saturday, June 29th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — on finding that the word hospital just might be related to the word hospitable ]
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Note that the name of the medical group is Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

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The twenty-first century thinks in terms of optics; Christianity thinks in terms of the imitation of Christ. And it would seem from this ProPublica report that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare isn’t doing terribly well on either count:

The thing is, there’s an ouroboric (snake-bites-tail-ish) quality to the situation. The same hospital group that is under-paying and under-insuring its workers is then over-suing them for their medical costs.

It wouldn’t be terribly good, from either a Christian or an optical perspective, if they were suing people who were too poor to pay, but who were employed by others. That would be simple thoughtless meanness, though, and since they’d not be responsible for the financial situation of their creditors, John Wesley, the Anglican pastor who founded Methodism as a revivalist movement in the English church, might shrug in his grave, knowing how things tend to be down or up here on earth, but not actually spin.

But Methodist Le Bonheur are the ones under-paying and under-insuring their own workers: they appear to control both ends of a vicious circle, and that’s why the headline above caught my eye.

See the vicious circle? That’s the snake biting its tail — that’s ouroboros.

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Hmm.

The appearance is terrible — as, in these cases at least, is the fidelity to Christ’s teachings as reported in Matthew 25: 35-40 —

I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me .. Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

It’s pure speculation, of course, but my guess is that there’s a layer or three of bureaucracy atop the medical staff, inhospitable to hospital-ity. And that’s the ouroboric vicious serpent in its essence: being inhospitable to hospitality

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Le Bonheur is French for happiness, welfare, by the way.

Here’s aother way of phrasing the problem: those whose focus is on quantity all too often blind themselves to quality.

I fully expect Methodists do a great many (quantity) of good works (quality). What ProPublica reports here would not appear to be among them.

Mind-stuff.. and a thought-experiment

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — I’m no longer captivated by chyrons, it seems — and for the next week weeks, it’ll be glass bead games at BrownPundits and my extended examination of advertising as magic here ]
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Mind-stuff.. mind-stuff that grabs my attention is what I’ll deliver here

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Baghdadi — not meditating — contemplating, perhaps — more mayhem?

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Another pattern to follow:

It was unclear whether the increase was the result of a shift of Taliban tactics, or just the greatly increased tempo of the war this year, as both sides pushed to improve their positions at the negotiating table.

Taliban Train Sights on Aid Groups, an Ominous Turn in Afghanistan

One thinks — I tend to think — of negotiations as leaning away from warfare and violence and towards peace and reconciliation. My pattern language now needs to encompass negotiations as warfare and violence inducing as well as peace and reconciliation leaning.

For an analytic mind, boggling; for on the ground negotiators, something to bear in mind

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It’s like our scattered space debris, mind-stuff.

As Patanjali says: Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodha — Great Silence quiets the mind-stuff..

Ah, well..

I’ll do a post on religions that offer analytic methods shortly..

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And on that topic —

I have always wondered — I haven’t been here always, but wot the hell, Archie, as Mehitabel would say — always wondered about the parallelism between koans, ie case law precedents in Chan and Zen Buddhist tradition, and case law precedents in Western jurisprudence>

Now my wish gets new life, as I read Jason Giannetti, Koan and Case Law:

The Zen koan comes from the Chinese kung-an, meaning a “public case,” as in a legal matter brought before a judge. There are numerous ways in which these koan could be related to law cases. Very straightforwardly, these are public records, the recorded sayings of the early Chan masters that have been passed down and commented upon, just as there may be public legal cases that have authority as precedent and have been commented upon. The koan encounter could be understood as a judgement by a master upon a student based upon the student’s understanding of the “case.” A third way in which the connection could be understood is that the koan tests the student’s understanding of the Dharma. Dharma has many meanings in Buddhism, but one of those meanings is “law.”

Wheee thanks, Jason!

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Nancy Pelosi’s “self-impeachable” is both a wonderful ouroboros and nonsense — a contradiction in terms. Trump’s “investigating the investigators” is far more (semantically) interesting. It’s a bit like that card game where you call out “War” or “Snap when you see both cards are the same..

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I’m keeping an eye out for security implications of climate chamnge, also “climate migrants” which may well become quite a phenomenon:

  • DoD, FY 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap
  • DoD, National Security Implications of Climate-related Risks and a Changing Climate
  • World Bank, Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration
  • Climate & Security, Activities of Agencies to Address Potential Impact on Global Migration
  • DoD, Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense
  • Climate & Security, U.S. GAO Issues 2 Reports in 2 Months Covering Climate and Security
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    To wrap up:

    I was looking for an ilklustration to go with my weaponized thoughts post, To weaponize metaphors.. thoughts as clothes, clothes as thoughts, and I finally — too late — came across this:

    I certainly think that pic could be interpreted as illustrating the assembling and disassembling of thoughts (2nd Amendment, Don’t Tread on Me, Safety First etc) as a function of weaponizing them.

    It comes from an (is it?) anti-gun (as if one can be pro- or anti- gun rather than pro- or anti- certain kinds of access) piece titled Thought Experiment: What might the world be like if there were no guns?.

    But a thought experiment? That’s a refreshing change from arguments pro- or con!

    Some chyrons &c as my chyrons series draws towards a close..

    Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — this post has been lingering while I’ve been slowly adding elements, and with some Bach now firmly in place I think it’s past time to drop it into the slip-stream ]
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    This one’s priceless in a Matrioshka, Through the Looking Glass kind of way:

    Can the Actor Who Ruled Ukraine on TV Do It in Real Life?

    File it under life imitates art?

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    I’m tired of chasing chyrons. If I see stunners, I may bring them here, but I’ll be concentrating on other things.

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    I was surprised to overhear the words “perfect sacrifice” in a baseball commentary my room-mate was attendinmg to, but apparently the phrase fits in the context of bunts – what those are, I still don’t know – as well as they do in the context of the Eucharistic liturgy, often considered, eg by Pope John Paul II , as a perfect sacrifice of praise..

    What can I say? My ears perked up.

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    Three levels of beauty for your illumination:

    Lidia Ksiazkiewicz

    Lidia Ksiazkiewicz at her instrument:

    Lidia Ksiazkiewicz plays Bach’s Fantasia in G major, BWV 572, on the great organ of Laon cathedral in 2012:

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    This one’s an almost ouroboros — Chris Matthews on Hardball:

    The Democrats don’t know how to play hardball>>

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    From the poets — Walt Whitman:

    both in and out of the game, and watching

    Life, the game, yes. And Shakespeare:

    The southern wind
    Doth play the trumpet to his purposes,
    And by his hollow whistling in the leaves
    Foretells a tempest and a blustering day.

    Marvelous. Those unexpected words can break through the strands of conventional thought that spin their deadly shroud about us every day.

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    “IT’S GOING TO BE A GUERRILLA WAR”: THE SANDERS LEFT OPENS FIRE ON BIDEN

    Within a few hours of Joe Biden’s official presidential announcement, the Justice Democrats, the progressive group behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rise to power, brought out the flamethrower.

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    So as you see, this is the sort of amount that would have made the first quarter of a chyrons series post a couple of weeks ago, and today it’s all I’ve collected in a week or so. I’m really cutting back on this game, and will be concentrating on other areas..

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    Let’s close here with this trio:

    That’s the rough number.

    That’s just this last week.

    And here’s the exact figure, if there’s no margin of error, which seems unlikely..

    I’m leaving some terrorism screen-grabs for a later post.


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