Daily Archives: February 2, 2011

Crackdown in Egypt


Raw footage from Tahrir Square today

It may be starting.  “Pro Mubarak demonstrators” armed with whips, sticks and bricks are assaulting demonstrators and reporters in Tahrir Square in Cairo.  It’s reported that some are now jumping onto tanks and encouraging the drivers to move against the crowd.

Dish updates here.

Al Jazeera English here.

Al Jazeera YouTube Channel live feed here.

Groundhog Day


Phil Connors begins to rescue himself from an eternity of Groundhog Days by reading books and learning to play the piano

It’s Groundhog Day, which, thanks to the 1993 movie, now has an association with the nightmare of eternal recurrence.

Frye on progressive repetition in “The Quality of Life in the 70s”:

I said before that the question of what is news raises another question: what is it that really happens?  I said too that most of our lives is spent in repetition and routine, the world of non-news.  But there are two kinds of repetition.  There is the repetition of ordinary habit, three meals a day, going to the job, driving the car, and all the continuous activities that preserve our sense of identity.  There is also the repetition of practice, as when we learn to play the piano or memorize the alphabet or the multiplication table.  This is directed and progressive repetition, and it si the basis of all education.  The ability to think is just as much a matter of habit and practice as the ability to play the piano.  Whenever anything that we see, or pick up in conversation, or get as an idea, is added to and becomes a part of an expanding body of experience, we are continuing our education.  In that sense we may say that nothing is really happening in the world except the education of the people in it. . . Education, then, is not a preparation for real life: it is the encounter with real life, and the only way in which the reality can be grasped at all.  (CW 11, 294-5)

James Joyce and Ulysses


A lively reading of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from last year’s Bloomsday in Dublin

Today is James Joyce‘s birthday (1882-1941), and on this date in 1922 Ulysses was published.

From The Secular Scripture:

Ulysses concludes with the monologue of Molly Bloom who seems a pure White Goddess figure, the incarnation of a cyclical nature who embraces and abandons one lover after another.  And yet she too is an embodiment of the chaste Penelope, and at the end of her ruminations she goes back to something very like the dawn of a first love (CW 18, 113-14)