…Yaw wasn’t certain that he believed in forgiveness. He heard the word most on the few days he went to the white man’s church with Edward and Mrs. Boahen and sometimes with Esther, and so it had begun to seem to him like a word the white men brought with them when they first came to Africa. A trick their Christians had learned and spoke loudly and freely about to the people of the Gold Coast. Forgiveness, they shouted, all the while committing their wrongs. When he was younger, Yaw wondered why they did not preach that the people should avoid wrongdoing altogether. But the older he got, the better he understood. Forgiveness was an act done after the fact, a piece of the bad deed’s future. And if you point the people’s eye to the future, they might not see what is being done to hurt them in the present.—Yaa Gyasi
—found in Homegoing (2016)
friable · /FRIY-ə-bəl/ · /ˈfrʌɪəb(ə)l/. adjective. Crumbly; easily broken up into fine fragments. In medicine, tumors that are easily torn apart and prone to malignancy. From Latin friāre (to crumble). Related to fricare to (to rub), from which we get friction, among other words. See also: pulverulent, frangible, brittle, flaky.[Read more…]
0 – Just watch Hamilton, even if you are allergic to all things hyped. I was fortunate to see it twice onstage and I can’t express how much I loved it → Hamilton on Disney+: Why we’ll never stop fighting about this brilliant, frustrating musical – Vox ※ Debating ‘Hamilton’ as It Shifts From Stage to Screen (NYT) ※ A fascinating exploration from an unexpected source: How does ‘Hamilton,’ the non stop, hip-hop Broadway sensation tap rap’s master rhymes to blur musical lines? ※ Everyone has a theory: Why Eliza Gasps at the End of Hamilton.
- A modern classic worth revisiting: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack ※ Complete the Privilege Points Questionnaire ※ Join the viral ‘Check Your Privilege’ challenge ※ If you’re really ambitious, spend some time with Lyala Saad’s Me and White Supremacy Workbook.
- A linguistic perspective: The harmful effects of responding ‘All lives matter’ to ‘Black lives matter’
- I dare you to try Circular, a simple game where you attempt to draw as perfect a circle as possible, and not lose time for a while. ※ For inspiration and awe, ► watch the World Circle Drawing Champion at work ※ Previously: How do you draw a circle? We analyzed 100,000 drawings to show how culture shapes our instincts and Nick Barclay’s ultra-clever movie posters made entirely of circles.
- Some good long(ish) reads: The Quarantined Hippies Trapped in a Jungle Paradise // The True Cost of Dollar Stores // The glitz and absurdity of Las Vegas’s gun playgrounds // The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Lockets
- A poetry archive and collection of “actors, poets, and regular people reading and performing poems,” the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation spans work “from English metaphysical poets and early American writers through contemporary poets born throughout the English-speaking world.” I can’t figure out if Adrian Brinkerhoff is a fictional character, a myth, or just an invented name.
- The eyes have it: 1820s Selfie // Boryana Ilieva’s Film Set Floor Plans // Milcho Pipin’s “Locked Up” photos from inside a Brazilian Prison // Francesco Nazardo’s (occasionally NSFW) photography // EXP TV‘s 24/7 broadcast of “an endless stream of obscure media and video ephemera” // Mourn on the 4th of July postcard art project // G. Augustine Lynas’ sand sculptures
- Underwater Post Office ※
Whale Mail Is the New Snail Mail at the World’s First Underwater Post Office ※ You’ve got mail — it was posted at this underwater postbox in Sabah
- Explore Boobslang, the argot of New Zealand prison inmates (thesis including a 3000-term lexicon. It’s curly mo.
- Smörgåsbord → The Sisyphean Quest to Bring Back Discontinued Foods // Why ‘Everything Is Cake’ is the perfect meme for our horrible era // Would You Kiss This Fish? // Google Forms Escape Rooms // (an LOL) Lexicon for a Pandemic // OffLimits Cereal // World of Snail Mail forums // WindowSwap // The Brimley/Cocoon Line Calculator (I’m having a hard time getting over the fact that I’m almost over it).
- Today is National Ice Cream day in the United States, proclaimed so by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, as is July’s official status as Ice Cream Month. Some…interesting ice cream flavors: horse flesh, foie gras, Old Bay caramel, lobster, mayo, Cheeto, Hawaiian pizza with Spam, crocodile egg, pickle soft serve, sea urchin, squid ink, and the previously mentioned tear gas. ※ A few delicious facts: New Zealand is the top per-capita consumer of ice cream in the world, weighing in at 7.5 gallons a year // Norway holds the record for largest ice cream cone, a 2015 monstrosity over 10 feet tall // The first known recipe for ice cream dates back to 1665, and one of the flavors was ambergris // The “ice cream” headache is caused by the nerve endings on the roof of your mouth, which aren’t accustomed to cold, sending a signal to the brain that the body is catastrophically cooling, causing a constriction in the brain’s blood vessels.
► Let’s Work Together from William Shatner’s forthcoming blues album, with special guest Canned Heat…and special special guest, original Canned Heat member and amazing blues guitarist, Howard Mandel. ※ If this taste isn’t enough, you’ll be glad to know Shatner will soon be releasing not just one, but two new albums ※ On the other hand, if you need a palate cleanser, ► listen to Canned Heat’s original from their platinum album Future Blues ※ Even better, check out Wilbert Harrison’s ► 1962 original “Let’s Stick Together” or his reworked ► Top 40 version from 1969.
People being yanked off public streets by unmarked federal law enforcement officers with no identification (because this isn’t the place and I assume the neckbeards addicted to the 2nd Amendment to form a militia will obviously be protecting these citizens) ☡ Princess Beatrice’s wedding (because who?) ☡ Baseball bans (because that’s a sport?) ☡ Twitter hack (because Breaking Bird isn’t bad) ☡ The [forced] opening of the American school (because eternal cravenness)
- Reader J.: “Under Milk Wood! Yay! ¶ Also Typography – katexic is always a treat. ¶ Loved the Parks/Manzotti link as well, but was sorry to see Manzotti devolve into externalist mysticism at the end.
- Reader M.: “…how fun about the weird fungi–I just today got word that, although not a botanist, I was able to contribute photos of two types of fungi, Shoehorn Oyster and Leafy Brain, to the Belle Island Species Count, a project that “aims to identify and track all living organisms observed on Belle Island in Kingston, Ontario. Besides its history and spiritual significance, this small piece of land provides home to great diversity of species. By documenting the biodiversity of the island we are hoping to improve its protection.”
- Reader S.: went on an illuminating journey…thanks so much for sharing! They write:
This morning, when reading katexic clippings I became intrigued by this “xanthic laugh” of Beckett. I was trying to find deeper the origins of this phrase – it seems he took it from the original phrase in French which is “rire jaune” (yellow laugh).
But where did “rire jaune” come from?
Then I stumbled upon an article in Le Figaro (typically, politically, a right-learning newspaper but occasionally worth a read for other content) and learned that (putting aside for a moment its positive symbolism in gold) “When the yellow is dull, it becomes on the contrary the symbol of evil, of sulfur, of hell and ultimately, of betrayal. “It is associated with adultery when the sacred bonds of marriage are broken, like the sacred bonds of divine love, broken by Lucifer,” notes the Dictionary of Symbols. Thus was born during the medieval era a whole mythology around the color yellow. An imagery of the evil one, notably reinforced by the biblical figure of Judas, whom painters and customs very often represented dressed in yellow.”
Also it seems that Jews, during the Spanish Inquisition, were made to dress in yellow, a symbol of heresy and betrayal, according to Claude Duneton in “La Puce à l’oreille”…
As for the original expression, “rire jaune”, Duneton attests the locution at Oudin in 1640. He writes: “He laughs yellow like flour.” Flour does not refer here to food, but to “concealers” in slang, says Georges Planelles. It eventually becomes an expression that refers to a sort of hypocritical laugh.
And then suddenly, “xanthic laugh” made more sense.
So thanks for the little journey your katexic sent me on this morning!