You've made it, you're wealthy now, and preferably American, because Americans are more likely to do it than other mortals. You've already donated a bundle to many causes (causes, let's face it, is now a standard entry on any celebrity's resumé), but soup kitchens and AIDS and blood diamonds get you only so far, and you're among the 53% that love art (as opposed to the 47%), you totally love it, and you totally admire artists, who need all the help they can get since Puccini told us about Mimi and van Gogh, so a foundation it is, a new foundation in support of the ARTS, because there are simply not enough of these foundations. Like. Now, your foundation needs to be visible since this is not about you, but about the ARTS. And you always totally loved Venice. Venice, la serenissima, the only city in the world that is in itself a Gesamtkunstwerk, the only city worth your efforts except your hometown that's already stuffed, stuffed, stuffed with a Lisa Hooksey museum (that's your name), and a Lisa Hooksey wing of the local hospital, and a Lisa Hooksey conference room at the local college, and so on, and so it's Venice.
Venice, Grande Canale, home to the grandest art foundations
This morning, I saw a baby llama.
At first, I was going to gloat about it, all "I saw a baby llama and you didn't," but then I decided that everybody deserves to have a nice day, so here's a picture of a baby llama to cheer you up.
Unless you don't like baby llamas, you monster.
It's only a matter of time and Cathy will be the hero of a forthcoming novel, titled FAC, about a girl, named Ann, who's running this brilliant blog, Hollywood hates me, which is famous for its captions. One fine day a fellow blogger, a certain Michael, suggests she "monetarizes" her talent by starting a consultancy, FAC, which is alphabet soup for "Find a caption." Her business takes off immediately, everybody needs her help, but her sudden fame attracts the attention of various agencies that have infiltrated the infamous terrorist organization Famala' al Cqaada based in Cairo, Egypt. Yes, you guessed right, Famal al Cqaada is known in the trade as FAC. Confusion reigns until Ann is abducted by said Famala' al Cqaada to serve as a bargaining chip in the war against (or for) terrorism. Ann's goose seems cooked, but the washed-up scriptwriter thought up a romantic interest, just in time, whose (a) nom de guerre is Raoul, who's (b) a quintuple agent (or some such, we all lost count), and who (c) is really handsome. Raoul can't even speak proper Arabic, but that doesn't matter since he's really handsome and all his co-terrorist can't speak proper Arabic either --- the terrorist cell consists of nothing but counter-agents. Ann is becoming increasingly aware of this and communicates her findings per email to her kin back home. The NSA intercepts the communication and decides to protect its sources and "take her out." So everybody is after her. Ann, in the meantime, continues to build her business per internet from her cell in the basement of the Cairo dungeon. Consultancy money piles in and up (Condé Nast pays a million per caption), but the funds are misappropriated by evil Wall-Steet types. Ann is elected business woman of the month, quarter, and year, she wins the Emmy and the Oscar for captions, and the American security forces create a fake stand-in ("Ann") who will collect the awards and give speeches in Ann's stead. The plot thickens unpredictably. Sheer serendipity leads to the untimely death of many Wall-Street types, secret agents, middle-men, and Tea Party members. Lot's of Tea Party members; it will be fairly graphic ("Uuurghh"). Good will triumph over Evil, and there's a dog also called "Ann" which will survive. Raoul, in the meantime, who looks like Benedict Cumberbatch, will fall more and more in love with Ann until she saves his life and they live happily ever after. Stay tuned.
Yes, we're doing some maintenance work on the house, a friend of Chang was flown in from Korea to help us. And, as you may have noticed on other occasions, it's almost impossible not to find a pretext for dropping yet another quote from the Green Eyes so here it is, the quote, from Chapter 35, Two visible spots:
Godehart is not at home, we'll descend to the basement where Alice grabs three oils on canvas without much ado, although "grabs" is not the right word since there are too many paintings to choose from, not only dotted ones (several racks are filled with plain gray canvas-squares, other racks contain large French flags, or German ones, give and take a color here and there), plus, the paintings are large and require the input of two reasonably agile men. They barely fit into the truck, we have to lower the rear seats, but—as you may have observed on other occasions—there's a galactic metaphysics at work in that it’s almost impossible not to fit anything into an aging Mercedes ML.
When we arrive at the FedEx outfit in Lewes, the situation has changed significantly. Alice is in trouble now maintaining her anger—let’s throw in a really tasteless, and completely misleading analogy here, think of maintaining an erection during a faculty meeting at my hippocampus—Alice is in trouble, there are credibility problems with her indignation, and you only have to look at Alex to understand why. Save for his eyes, Alex has disappeared. While Alice negotiates the FedEx bureaucracy, Alex is standing next to her, but not like Ben. A ghost is standing there, his hands folded behind his back, and you can sense, feel, undergo how he's forcing himself to stay in place. Women are usually more sensitive than men, and Alice is very sensitive indeed, she has trouble getting her act together now with Alex in this state.
Including the dogs, actually, since we have to take care of three pooches belonging to neighbors. We need space on the shelves for the research of Part II (of the Green Eyes), which is getting more and more involved, the research, black voices, pageants, Sherlock Holmes, amnesia aftermath, disturbed youth, Romeo and Juliet, End of the World...and Peggy Noonan, what's her statue going to say on the voice loop, something about "yard signs in Florida"....?
We've been discussing this with Glenn and others since a while: the American Right, we argued, is still fighting the issues of the 1861 secession; the trenches of the culture wars are more or less aligned with the Mason-Dixon line. And here's the latest from Frank Rich, the world's leading we-told-you-so artiste, to say it so much more succinctly than we could. (Follow the link and read the whole piece, our Rich-quote here is just a pretext to hawk yet another fragment from the Green Eyes. First Rich:)
"Implicit in this bipartisan gallows humor was an assumption shared by most of those listening: The non-legislating legislators responsible for the crisis [the Right Wing of the Republican Party in the American Congress] are a lunatic fringe — pariahs in the country at large and outliers even in their own party. They’re “a small faction of Republicans who represent an even smaller fraction of Americans,” as the former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau put it in the Daily Beast. By this line of reasoning, all that kept them afloat was their possession of just enough votes in their divided chamber to hold the rest of America temporarily hostage to their incendiary demands.
You've probably seen this, on Amazon, the opening lines of a book description, next to the image of the book cover with a Read more link underneath that yields a few more lines when clicked. So you click and read the rest of the description, perhaps 15 lines in total. And when you've reached the end, the end of the text, there's another link, which says...
And while we are at it, here's a fitting fragment from the Green Eyes, Ch. 27: I'll charge 100 dollars but am willing to negotiate:
"We're dressed, ready to roll, Ben's got hold of an inch of the fliers, how do we get hold of my father? He has a cell-phone, right? Let's hope he’s not behind on the payments. Technology works, so I tell my father my truck is broken, I need to borrow his car, right now, to drive a friend to the Greyhound terminal in Ocean View. I'll be at the parking lot in two minutes. As we exit the main entrance his back is turned to us, he's expecting us coming down the ramp, he isn't even aware we're coming from upstairs. I won't call him out of course, from behind, or touch his shoulder, I never touch him, save sometimes on the third day, when I throw him out. So I just walk around him in a semi-circle, perimeter of 20 feet, Ben-John next to me, Ben proudly holding his stack of fliers, grinning. Let a little mystery prevail. Ben is born in Kenya, right? I just extend my hand, say nothing, until it holds the car keys, hand father the apartment key (the spare one, of whose existence he's unaware) we get into his crappy, reddish, dirty, misparked Chevy, Ben waves with his hands to my father, still holding the fliers. We've not said hello, we've not said goodbye, we're good."
A tiny reptile (I think it's a salamander, not a lizard (Jacki, what's your take on this?)) on the inside of the widow pane of the bedroom, before sunrise. Real tiny, tinier than it looks on the picture, with large, bulgy peepers, eying me suspiciously as I take the shot. Coldest morning so far this autumn.
I's a gecko, Jacki and Muad write in unison! (Thanks, Ladies!) And then Maud adds ominously in her email: "You're lucky, you don't have cats." It's a Hobbesian world out there, folks, even on a Sunday morning (at least higher up the hill, where Maud lives).