Archive for November 28th, 2008

Humpty dumpty?

wall_decoration.jpg

The light was crappy and I had the iPhone, yet you can get some idea of the delightful decorations on this residential retaining wall in our neighborhood….

What does this juxtaposition mean?*

As I was preparing the photo for this post, an interview with a recovering alcoholic (NPR’s Alex Cohen talking to her dad) began (I frequently listen to the WUNC stream). I was also thinking about a book review by Roger Scruton (TheObserver and Guardian) that I had just finished reading, of Kingsley Amis’s Everyday Drinking (2008), with three short books he wrote on drink/drinking published together. Notes Scruton:

The famous hangover scene in Lucky Jim is complemented here by a philosophical chapter on the hangover that is one of the great English essays of our time. Kingsley dismisses the run-of-the-mill cures that you can find in any newspaper, since they omit ‘all that vast, vague, awful, shimmering metaphysical superstructure that makes a hangover a [fortunately] unique route to self-knowledge and self-realisation’.

I can’t say that I’ve ever been aware of a hangover as having a “vast, vague, awful, shimmering metaphysical superstructure” or that it is a “unique route to self-knowledge and self-realisation.” Live and learn!

* Aha! I have a theory! [The answer is:] ’Tis the season to be jolly!