Well, the actual Proclamation is hanging in my office. This is just the image from a file from a scan I took of it.
Anyway, what can I say, Colorado has been good to me. And when in Denver, Vote Gallagher! Early and often!
A blog for passing time, and passing messages about media, about media ecology which is the study of media as environments, about language and symbols, about technology, about communication, about consciousness, about culture, about life and the universe, about everything and nothing, about time...
Chapter-5 Wool and Water
'It's very good jam,' said the Queen.
'Well, I don't want any TO-DAY, at any rate.'
'You couldn't have it if you DID want it,' the Queen said. 'The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday--but never jam to-day.'
'It MUST come sometimes to "jam to-day,"' Alice objected.
'No, it can't,' said the Queen. 'It's jam every OTHER day: to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know.'
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first--'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
'--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.
Paulie and T drive through the night rain reminiscing about the old days. When Paulie mentions Ralphie, Tony brings up Ralphie's off-color joke about Ginny that got him knocked off when someone told Johnny Sack . "Who the f**k would tell Johnny about that joke?" Tony asks. "How should I know?" Paulie replies defensively.The action shifts to the subplot concerning the elderly Junior Soprano at the Wycoff Therapeutic Center (a North Jersey locale), before returning to Tony and Paulie:
Dozing off on the road, Tony recalls the dive motel they stayed in back in the day in Culpepper, Va. They head off to find the Havenaire motel, but in its place is a corporate Marriott. No steaks, no bottle of scotch available from room service. They have to settle for nachos at Buckingham's pub where Paulie reminisces about similar trips he made with Tony's father, Johnny Boy. The next morning, T chastises Paulie for being too chatty with the hotel patrons: "We're supposed to be layin' low."The episode moves back and forth between the two plot lines, so when we return to Tony and Paulie, they're in Miami, where they remain until they've been assured that they are not in trouble back in Jersey.
Silvio is at dinner with Gerry Torciano when a shooter working for Doc Santoro takes Gerry out. Sil gets out unscathed.
GENEVA -- Centuries before it became a continent or country synonymous with wealth, power, freedom or democracy, "America" was coined by a Renaissance cartographer as the catchall designation for a world that Europeans had yet to name or explore.Let's skip the politics, and get into the interesting part of the story:
The name stuck despite its humble history and unsure start at a backwater French court. It celebrates the 500th anniversary of its baptism in the remote town of St. Die today, exactly a half-millennium after its first use on a world map.
The murky origins are causing problems in winning recognition for the source. A resolution citing cartographer Martin Waldseemueller and the conference organized by Rene II, the Duke of Lorraine, for their unique contribution to American history has yet to make headway in the U.S. Congress.
Sometimes called America's birth certificate, the map and accompanying 103-page "Cosmographiae Introductio" caused the hemisphere to be named for explorer Amerigo Vespucci instead of Christopher Columbus.
"AMERICA," in capital letters, appears on a part of the map showing what is now Brazil. The first map to depict a separate Western Hemisphere and a separate Pacific Ocean, it also included an inset of North and South America, and a portrait of "Amerigi Vespucci," whom Waldseemueller honored for being the first to identify the New World as a new land mass.
Columbus believed to his death in 1506 that his four voyages had all been to Asia. Vespucci, an Italian who came to the New World soon after Columbus, sailed along South America's north and east coast.
"Europe and Asia have received names of women," Waldseemueller wrote in the book first released to the public on April 25, 1507. "I see no reason why we should not call this other part 'Amerige,' that is to say the land of Americus, or America, after the sagacious discoverer."
The full title for the 12-panel map covering 36 square feet was "a drawing of the whole earth following the tradition of Ptolemy and the travels of Amerigo Vespucci and others." It has been housed since 2003 in the Library of Congress, which paid $10 million in making the map the most expensive single item it had ever acquired.
"It is remarkable that the entire Western Hemisphere was named for a living person; Vespucci did not die until 1512," wrote John R. Hebert, the library's chief of the geography and map division.
But Hebert said America was not universally accepted after its baptism. Waldseemueller, perhaps in an indication of second thoughts, removed America from later geographical works in the next decade, substituting "terra incognita" (unknown land) for both continents, or "terra nova" (new world) for South America and "Cuba" for North America.
Printers, however, reinserted America after Waldseemueller's death. The name was later used by other cartographers, earning widespread acceptance for both continents by the late 1530s.
"It was appropriate," wrote Daniel Boorstin, the late historian and former librarian of Congress, "that the name America should be affixed on the New World in a manner casual and accidental, since the European encounter with this new world had been so unintentional."
Subject: Anthropologist Michael Wesch Wins Rave Award 2007
Dear Students, Friends & Colleagues,
Kansas State U anthropologist Michael Wesch, self-taught specialist in
digital ethnography, is one of the winners of this year's prestigious
RAVE award from Wired Magazine. Check it out at
He is off to San Francisco on Friday to receive this award, together
with other lauded innovators. For those not familiar with Wired
Magazine, it is described as “a full-color monthly American magazine
and on-line periodical published in San Francisco, California since
March 1993. Owned by Condé Nast Publications, it reports on how
technology affects culture, the economy, and politics. Wired was a
great success at its launch and was lauded for its vision, originality,
innovation and cultural impact. In its first four years, the magazine
won two National Magazine Awards for General Excellence and one for
That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like 'religion', to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism. (p. 175).
'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo.
'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." (Tolkien, 1965a, p. 82).
Late in 1996 Waterstone's, the British bookshop chain, and BBC Channel Four's programme Book Choice decided between them to commission a readers' poll to determine 'the five books you consider the greatest of the century'. Some 26,000 readers replied, of whom rather more than 5,000 cast their first place vote for J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Gordon Kerr, the marketing manager for Waterstone's, said that The Lord of the Rings came consistently top in almost every branch in Britain (105 of them), and in every region except Wales, where James Joyce's Ulysses took first place. The result was greeted with horror among professional critics and journalists, and the Daily Telegraph decided accordingly to repeat the exercise among its readers, a rather different group. Their poll produced the same result. The Folio Society then confirmed that during 1996 it had canvassed its entire membership to find out which ten books the members would most like to see in Folio Society editions, and had got 10,000 votes for The Lord of the Rings, which came first once again. 50,000 readers are said to have taken part in a July 1997 poll for the television programme Bookworm, but the result was yet again the same. In 1999 the Daily Telegraph reported that a Mori poll commissioned by the chocolate firm Nestlé had actually managed to get a different result, in which The Lord of the Rings (at last) only came second! But the top spot went to the Bible, a special case, and also ineligible for the twentieth-century competition that had begun the sequence. (pp. xx-xxi)
He thought that people . . . could detect historical strata in language without knowing how they did it. They knew that names like Ugthorpe and Stainby were Northern without knowing they were Norse; they knew that Winchcombe and Cumrew must be in the West without recognizing that the word cûm is Welsh. They could feel linguistic style in words. Along with this, Tolkien believed that languages could be intrinsically attractive or intrinsically repulsive. The Black Speech of Sauron and the orcs is repulsive. When Gandalf uses it in 'The Council of Elrond', 'All trembled, and the Elves stopped their ears'; Elrond rebukes Gandalf for using the language, not for what he says in it. By contrast Tolkien thought that Welsh and Finnish were intrinsically beautiful; he modelled his invented Elf-languages on their phonetic and grammatical patterns . . . It is a sign of these convictions that again and again in The Lord of the Rings he has characters speak in these languages without bothering to translate them. The point, or a point is made by the sound alone. (p. xiv)Shippey then goes on to write
But Tolkien also thought—and this takes us back to the roots of this invention—that philology could take you back even beyond the ancient texts it studied. He believed that it was possible sometimes to feel one's way back from words as they survived in later periods to concepts which had long since vanished, but which had surely existed, or else the word would not exist. (p. xiv)
However fanciful Tolkien's creation of Middle-earth was, he did not think that he was entirely making it up. He was 'reconstructing', he was harmonizing contradictions in his source-texts, sometimes he was supplying entirely new concepts (like hobbits), but he was also reaching back to an imaginative world which he believed had once really existed, at least in a collective imagination: and for this he had a very great deal of admittedly scattered evidence. (p. xv)
the remark about 'philology' was intended to allude to what is I think a primary 'fact' about my work, that it is all of a piece, and fundamentally linguistic in inspiration . . . The invention of languages is the foundation. The 'stories' were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse. To me a name comes first and the story follows. (p. xiii)
'For one thing, it would take a long while: my name is growing all the time, and I've lived a very long, long time; so my name is like a story. Real names tell you the story of the things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.
'But now . . . what is going on? What are you doing in it all? I can see and hear (and smell and feel) a great deal from this, from this, from this a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lind-or-burúmë. Excuse me, that is part of my name for it; I do not know what the word is in the outside languages; you know, the thing we are on, where I stand and look out on fine mornings, and think about the Sun and the grass beyond the wood, and the horses, and the clouds, and the unfolding of the world. (pp. 85-86)
I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me: nobody cares for the woods as I care for them, not even Elves nowadays. Still, I take more kindly to Elves than to others: it was the Elves that cured us of dumbness long ago, and that was a great gift that cannot be forgotten, though our ways have parted since. (p. 95)
You do not seem to come in the old lists I learned when I was young. But that was a long, long time ago, and they may have made new lists. Let me see! Let me see! How did it go?
Learn now the lore of Living Creatures!
First name the four, the free peoples:
Eldest of all, the elf-children;
Dwarf the delver; dark are his houses;
Ent the earthborn, old as mountains;
Man the mortal, master of horses. (p. 84)
And suddenly he felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leapt towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him. Very soon it would nail him down, know just exactly where he was. . . .
He heard himself crying out: Never, never! Or was it: Verily I come, I come to you? He could not tell. Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: Take it off! Take it off! Fool, take it off! Take off the Ring!
The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so. He took the Ring off his finger. (p. 519)
There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he was glad. (Tolkien, 1977, p. 3)
Then Ilúvatar said to them: 'Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.'
Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashion the theme of Ilúvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and heights, and the places of the dwellings of Ilúvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void. (pp. 3-4)
Ilúvatar said to them: 'Behold your Music!' And he showed to them a vision, giving to them sight where before was only hearing; and they saw a new World made visible before them, and it was globed amid the Void, and it was sustained therein, but was not of it. And as they looked and wondered this World began to unfold its history, and it seemed to them that it lived and grew. (p. 6)
While I’ve read the first half of Lance Strate’s Echoes and Reflections: On Media Ecology as a Field of Study in Communication Research Trends, I wanted to skim the whole book to think about it as a possible text if I decide to go with a media ecology theme for the special topics course. I like Lance’s various definitions of media ecology, and this passage from the book’s introduction stood out as something I wanted to blog:
From the standpoint of the trivium, Echoes and Reflections may be regarded as a grammar book, in that media ecology is concerned with the structures, rules, and biases governing languages, media, and technologies–governing the world as well as the word. (3)
It’s this notion of trying to understand how languages, media, and technologies function within that explains what I find so intellectually interesting about media ecology and its sub-field orality-literacy studies.
But I also like this passage for its positing Echoes and Reflections as a grammar book in the medieval sense of the term, in large part because I can’t think about grammar any more without thinking about Shippey’s discussion of grammar, grammarye, and glamour in both The Road to Middle-Earth and J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. This discussion is, in large part, a gloss on the curious passage in “Farmer Giles of Ham” in which the parson suggests that Giles take some rope with him as he goes looking for the dragon a second time. The passage from “Farmer Giles of Ham” reads:
at least the parson with his booklearning might have guessed it. Maybe he did. He was a grammarian, and could doubtless see further into the future than others.
This is one of Tolkien’s philological jokes, Shippey tells us. Well, joke isn’t the right word, but it’s Tolkien having some philological fun. Glamour is a corruption of grammar and is “paralleled in sense” by grammarye. Glamour is the ability to change shape for the purposes of deception, and grammarye is “occult learning, magic, necromancy.” To better make sense of this, I want to posit the notion of “natural” magic, the magic of faerie (to use a Tolkienian term), and formulaic, ritualistic, rule-bound magic one studies and may even learn from books. Grammarye would be of the later sort.
So, how does this all connect to Strate’s discussion of media ecology? Well, a grammar, in the medieval sense, is concerned with structures, rules, and biases. Its function is to make visible the invisible or hidden by providing the formulas and rules that govern a subject. (Consider, for instance, Innis’ study of biases, McLuhan’s laws of media, and Ong’s discussions of the interiorization of technologies.) In other words, as a field of study, media ecology is a grammar that explores the unrecognized function of language, media, and technology (the glamour) as systems (grammarye).
It’s an idea we shouldn’t take too seriously, but it is a bit of Sunday morning fun.