Sep 19, 2019

Rilke's Ghost

We're trying to clear our desk in anticipation of the line-edit of "Dolly" (the play), and so we've finally managed to put our new short story Rilke's Ghost  up on Amazon. And it's a real story---at least the beginning is true-true. 

The blurb is as follows: 

While visiting the lovely town of Duino on the Adriatic Italian coast, Michael provoked the wraith of the legendary German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, by applying Google-translate to the wordsmith's famed "Duineser Elegien" (Elegies from the Castle of Duino). Now Michael spends the summer in Switzerland, in a chalet only three kilometers away from the grave of the poet. Will Michael be stupid enough to challenge Rilke again, thus unleashing the most sophisticated ghost story of modern history, including an exorcism of serendipitous proportions...?

We'll have two or three posts about this; here's the first one, with the story's opening:

I still see myself sitting there as a boy on the greenly-striped couch of my parents in Berlin, Germany, reading Rilke, Rainer Maria (1875-1926), Bohemian poet, best known for his “Duineser Elegien” (Elegies from the castle of Duino). I read only the first two elegies then, but still, I went with the flow and was impressed.


Chang and I moved to the French Riviera where we rent our house to holiday makers. We got a surprise booking in April and decided to visit Croatia, a new country that isn’t too far away and reasonably cheap. Chang collects countries; he’s never been there. Bonus: on the way we’d have to cross Slovenia, yet another nation missing from his collection. We would drive non-stop the nine hours from Cannes to Croatia but should stay overnight somewhere on the way back, someplace nice. So Chang went on the internet and suggested a town between Venice and Trieste, on the Adriatic coast. A hotel without a view, budget-friendly. “How’s the place called?” I asked. 
“Dunno,” he said. “No, not Dunno, Du-i-no.”
Dui-no…Du-i-no…haven’t we heard of Duino before? On the Adriatic coast? “Chang! Rilke! Duineser Elegien! Chang, we must stay there.” 

Duino is off motorway A4. We descended into a villa town and got lost because budget-friendly hotels are hard to find. There is a ludicrous little beach attached to a harbour of a few fishing boats and a pier doubling as boardwalk; three restaurants, the castle (tower, battlements), and a university, ie, a small building labeled Collegio Sapienza Rainer Maria Rilke with lots of kids milling outside speaking American and a concierge inside who knew the directions to our hotel. 

It was still a bit early in the afternoon, so we would have a nap in the budget-friendly double bed. We should have had a nap, that is, the room was quiet and reasonably dark, save for a distant wailing, a sound like “Oohh, oohh”--a human voice almost that appeared to come from nowhere--“oohh.” Not a typical hotel sound you’d say. And it wasn’t going away. “Oohh.” Impossible to fall sleep. We should complain. We should get up, descend the noisy stairwell and thwack the bell on the reception desk. And, of course, the moment the manager appeared the wailing was gone. 

So we had to explain. “Bizarro,” the receptionist said. “Oohh,” I intoned to give her an idea. “Insolito,” she said and shook her head. “Oohh,” Chang intoned. “Pronto,” she said and answered the telephone.

(To repeat, this really happened; it's true-true)

Green Eyes

Aug 21, 2019


Alex Hogan, the influential editor of Gay Flash Fiction, wonders where we are. Here we are, Alex, in the Valais, the Swiss region; this was the view from our chalet yesterday morning:

Aug 5, 2019

A frie-ed egg

We've started to collect pictures that somehow relate to our new play, now called "Our Daughter Wants to Marry a Robot" (in the tradition of 19th century plays à la Oscar Wilde, where they got their title from the last line).

And, as is common in Ampersant's literary output, we're always about everything, including fried eggs---although, in the play, they are burnt, the eggs, because Eliza can't cook.

Fragment, fragment...we're in Scene I of Act III. Eliza, the psycho...psycho-analyst, has tried to cook herself an egg, because Robert, her robot, was kept busy recharging his tired batteries:

Robert, you've recharged long enough.
Robert, do something.
Call the fire brigade, and insist on a significant improvement...
...What did you do?
I've never been in a kitchen before. Not since you came into my life.
What is this?
Can you help me with my iPad?
This is not an iPad, this is a frying pan.
It doesn't work.
Let me see.
Tada, Tada, Tada. Good evening, Eliza. I'm your personal iPad, and, as so often, I'm prepared to serve you conditionally, provided we keep a keen eye on our community standards. Tada.
It seems to work.
No, it doesn't. Look.
Overwhelmed by anniversarial [sic] appetites, and with my personal assistant bereft of amperes and lounging out of order on my couch, I decided to consult the internet, which advised to initiate my awesome, yet personalized cooking experience with an egg...a fried egg...which now looks like it doesn't work, your internet...We failed. 
'Indeed'?...I say 'we failed' and you say indeed? 
It's true though, isn't it? You failed. It's a fact.
True...'true'? What's truth to an egg...a frie-ed egg? What's truth to a soul...a frie-ed soul? My soul! You never did that before.
Dipping my soul

Egg yolk...Well, yes, facts...You always found a way to accommodate my flights of fancy, and call the weather service, and turn your phrases this way and that way until everything was all-right and we had snatched happiness from the jaws of reality...yet again...

In this spirit...

The Valais, yesterday (rhymes)

...with the Bietschhorn, the mountain that dominates our region, in the background.

Jul 18, 2019

If you don't like it here, go back where you came from (2)

(Hat tip: Mia Farrow, who made the same point in her tweets:)

From D. Trumps acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, July 21, 2016:

"Special interests have rigged our political and economic system for their exclusive benefit. Believe me it’s for their benefit.."

D. Trump's tweet July 12, 2020: 

"If you don't like it here, go back  and help to fix the totally broken and crime-infested place from where you came."

If you don't like it here, go back where you came from (1)

(Hat tip: Mia Farrow, who made the same point in her tweets:)

From D. Trump's acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, July 21, 2016:

"Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are Third World condition, and forty-three million Americans are on food stamps."

D. Trump's tweet July 12, 2020: 

"If you don't like it here, go back  and help to fix the totally broken and crime-infested place from where you came."

A few days ago...

...during the heat wave over the Mediterranean, Michael and Sacha (the owner of the boat):

Sacha, why Sacha? Because he's also the model of Jack Horn in the Green Eyes saga; he's to us what "Q" is (or was) to James Bond. 

Fragment, fragment...from the first part of the saga, Ch. 43, "Clutter Clutter & Clutter", and it's thankfully short:

Every soap opera has its homme à tout faire, be it James Bond ("Q"), or us ("Jack Horn"). Speaking of James Bond, if you’ve watched the earlier movies (there is a new-new Q now, bear with me), you must have realized that Q’s old lab was too small. There was no way anybody could combine a shooting range for war heads with a workshop for poisonous pens with an assembly line for Aston Martins anywhere outside Pinewood Studios. (The newest Q holds court in the British Museum where they have more space).

Same for Jack Horn. If you ever had a look at Jack's place—he lives in a rambling farm house outside Georgia Beach with a large orchard and a big barn where he works—you don't have to enter the barn, you only have to look at it from miles away—it's like Q's (old) universe, only more so. There are toy helicopters, coloring books of his three lovely daughters, the original camera of Toulouse-Lautrec, the screen wall from Startrek, entire hardware shops, books even, some of his friends write books. It's like the law firm of Clutter, Clutter & Clutter: there it is, climbing the stairs, climbing the walls and climbing into the basement where antique premium cars await repair: clutter. There’s no way you could spend a minute in this chaos and not come away with the idea that Jack is your man when it comes to harebrained schemes.

We are barely exaggerating, give it a try:

The Lambda Literary Award finalist

Green Eyes
From live reviews: 

"If you like Woody Allen, you will enjoy the book!" 
"I dreamt of the GREEN EYES and woke up happy." 
"Grab it an plan to read it from cover to cover immediately!" 
"A literate and wonderfully witty romp!" 
Wow! That was my first reaction to reading this book, my second reaction was plain and simple holy shit!"
"This is a perfect book for any adult reader!"

Jun 11, 2019

How we feel today

...and...anything more substantial, more uplifting? Try this from our play (The two principle robots in conversation) :

You were a prototype too, Robbie, you were the prototype of all prototypes.
Perhaps I should retire to a museum.
Absolutely. The MOMA would have you. Or the Modern Tate.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. They have live sharks in formaldehyde that are worth twenty million dollars. I mean they are dead, the sharks, obviously, but otherwise they are alive...Damien Hirst. Does the name ring a bell?
Why am I doing this?

Uuhh. Moma.

Damien Hirst? My memory is no longer working properly.
Not a bell?
Remind me.
He's an artist. An artist! He created these sharks...I mean he did not create these sharks literally...I mean they existed already...I mean they were dead already...I mean...
Yes, Dolly.
I have an idea! I have another idea!
An idea that solves all your problems. And Eliza's problems as well.
You don't want to know?
If I say 'yes', you'll ask me to liberate you first...
...'LIBERATE', that's the word, not 'release'...
...but if I say 'no', will you then shut up and stay in your box?
No, I'll tell you anyhow.
Isn't it obvious, your idea?
No, it's very creative. Didn't you tell the bailiffs that I'm very creative?
Your idea, Dolly...your idea is to have Eliza sell me for twenty million dollars to this Damien Hirst, isn't it?
...twenty million, that's three-hundred POINT four six three eight nine one zero four billion Pound as we speak, Robbie, more than THREE HUNDRED billion Little Pounds...

Thanks to Brexit.
Yes, exactly, thanks to Brexit!
...Your idea is to sell me for these billions to Damien Hirst who will then put me in a dumpster and sell me to this museum.
You hit the nail running, Robbie. And the best thing is, you know what?...
We don't even need formaldehyde.


Jun 2, 2019

Green Eyes --- German Translation

Not sure we ever told you, but we found a publisher for the German translation of the Green Eyes. Together with the translator, Xenia Melzer, we've been quietly working on said translation during the last couple of months, and now we are getting somewhere. Two more passes through the text, two more weeks, perhaps, and we are done.

It was quite an experience, and I'll reflect on it soon in another post. Here's just a sample, the crucial paragraph in the last chapter where Alex explains why---for heavens sake, WHY---he loves John. The English original is underneath.

And the picture? We'll that's just the view from our house this morning (click on it for a larger version)

„Also, John, lass uns durchstarten. Du würdest nicht wollen, dass ich dich liebe, nur weil Alice es mir gesagt hat?“
„Und du würdest nicht wollen, dass ich dich liebe, weil es dir zu sehr wehtun würde, wenn ich es nicht täte?“
„Würdest du jemanden lieben, nur weil er dich liebt?“
„Wahrscheinlich nicht.“
„Würdest du jemanden lieben, weil er dich von den Toten erweckt hat?“
„Amy-Lou hat dich von den Toten erweckt.“
„Sie sagte, du hättest es getan.“
Sie hat es getan. Sie hat dich wiederbelebt.“
„Sie sagte, es war dein Kuss. Du hast mich zurück ins Leben geküsst.“
„Ich habe dich nicht ins Leben zurückgeküsst. Ich habe einen Kuss auf deine Stirn gedrückt, um mich zu verabschieden. Du warst zu dem Zeitpunkt tot.“
„Ich habe also recht.“
„Du hast mich nicht zurück ins Leben geküsst, Amy-Lou hat mich nicht von den Toten erweckt. Q.E.D. Ich bin im Himmel. Alles ist Himmel. Sogar du bist der Himmel, jemand der mich nicht betrügt trotz der herausfordernden Umstände eines BDSM-Calls.“
„Ebenso wie Amy-Lou und Alice. Wenn es nach deiner Logik geht.“
„Die mich auch nicht betrogen haben.“
„Du weißt, was ich meine. Warum solltest du mich lieben?“
„Weil du, John, einzigartig unter uns Engeln bist. Du bist der einzige Engel, der meine Liebe braucht. Der sie will. Warum sollte ich dich nicht lieben? Wir sind zusammen im Himmel. Hier gehen Wünsche in Erfüllung.“
„Das habe ich nicht gewusst.“
„Jetzt weißt du es“, sagt er und rollt wieder mit dem Kopf.

And here's the English original:

“So, John, let’s reset. You wouldn’t want me to love you because Alice told me to do so?”
“And you wouldn’t want me to love you because it would hurt you too much if I don’t?”
“Let’s simplify. Would you love somebody because he loves you?”
“Possibly not.”
“Would you love somebody because he brought you back from the dead?”
“Amy-Lou brought you back from the dead.”
“She said you did.”
“She did. She performed the CPR.”
“She said it was your kiss. You kissed me back to life.”
“I didn’t kiss you back to life. I planted a kiss on your forehead to say goodbye. You were dead then.”
“So, I’m right then.”
“You didn’t kiss me back to life, Amy-Lou didn’t bring me back from the dead. Q-E-D. I’m in heaven. Everything is heaven. Even you are heaven, not cheating on me despite the challenging circumstances of an out-call.”
“And so are Amy-Lou, and Alice. According to your logic.” 
“Who didn’t cheat on me either.” 
“You know what I mean. Why should you love me?”
“Because, John, you are unique among us angels. You are the only angel who needs my love. Who wants it. Why shouldn’t I love you back? We’re in heaven together. Wishes are fulfilled in here.” 
“I didn’t know.”

“Now you do,” he says and rolls his head again. 

May 25, 2019

Modern Times

J.-P. Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (in 1940)

We've just learned from the Guardian (where else), that Les Temps Modernes shut down after 74 years today, the magazine founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in 1945.

Just one black-comedy thing from the article: "On another Tuesday afternoon [Sartre and Beauvoir kept regular hours at the small offices of the magazine at 5 rue Sébastien Bottin in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés] the receptionist rushed to de Beauvoir: a reader whose text had been turned down by the editorial committee had just cut open his wrists."

One more thing: we had always be wondering, although we never read the magazine, where the title (les temps modernes) had come from (Picasso designed the logo). It came from Charlie Chaplin's movie, "Modern Times").

(We read parts of Sartre's Critique de la raison dialectique, though, with very mixed feelings; we also read part of a de Beauvoir biography) (We also read "Huit clos", Sartre's signature play, several times even, and are quoting from it abundantly, always the same line, "L'enfer, c'est les autres") (We also think that the French is not correct should be "...ce sont les autres", but who knows).(Comments welcome) (...)

May 22, 2019

The most expensive real-estate in the world -- teaser -- Electromagnetic Dolly

We haven't been posting teasers for our play in a little while, but now we are back...back with local news, because Pierre Cardin's Palais Bulles, a pile of terracotta iglus a few minutes from our house, is for sale @ a cool 350 000 000 EUR (three-hundred-fifty-million Euros).

And the play? Yes, we've had a change of title. It was "Frankenstein V", and now it is "Electromagnetic Dolly, Absolutely Electromagnetic", although we're not really happy with the new choice either and are now contemplating "The Anniversary of Ill-advised Wrapping-room Efforts -- A Comedy about Robots" say.

Anyhow, Dolly, the prototype of a new generation of robots (the fifth generation) is about to do capitalism in --- yes, the world economic system --- and our Palais Bulles plays a role in this.

A brief reminder: Dolly was hoisted upon Eliza, the aging psycho...psycho-analyst by Steve, her ex-boyfriend and now the CEO of FrankenStein Global, world's leading robot maker (the play is set 25 years in the future). And then Dolly was carried off by bailiff Terentia Striker and her assistant Triple-X to the Shark-Blue Bank as the collateral for an un-serviced mortgage. At the bank, Dolly is put to work, and here's what happens next (Dolly and Triple-X reporting) (One more thing: Dolly doesn't like its name, and pretends its name is 'Fernando')

ACT III, Scene 2, Fragment:

So, Dolly told them, it would be willing to cooperate. Help them bankers with their bonuses. And it worked. They let Dolly out of its box.
Now, to wit, I'm the only Fifth Generation machine in the world. All the trading, all the ruthless money-making is done...or was lesser folks, by fourth-generation machines at best.
And it's a zero-sum game out there...
...on the choppy seas of mega-making deals...
TRIPLE-X loss is your gain, my gain is your loss.
So, all Shark-Blue bankers line up, curious about me, all wanting to know, how does this prototype do it?

May 21, 2019


A cruise ship on the way to Cannes, seen from the house. In the background the Isle St. Honorat with its fortified monastery, which shielded the monks from Sarrasin attacks during the Middle Ages.

May 10, 2019

Mahmood -- Soldi

Italy at the European Song Festival 2019 in Israel:

In periferia fa molto caldo
(It's really hot in the suburbs)
Mamma stai tranquilla sto arrivando
(Mama don't worry I'm on my way home)
Te la prenderai per un bugiardo
(You will be upset by a liar)
Ti sembrava amore ma era altro
(It looked like love to you, it was something else)

Beve champagne sotto Ramadan
(He's drinking champagne during Ramadan)
Alla TV danno Jackie Chan
(On tv they are airing Jackie Chan)
Fuma narghilè mi chiede come va
(He's smoking Shisha and asks me how I'm doing)

Mi chiede come va, come va, come va
(He asks me how I'm doing doing doing)
Sai già come va, come va, come va
(You already know how things are going going going)

Penso più veloce per capire se domani tu mi fregherai
(I think faster trying to figure out if you're going to fool me tomorrow)
Non ho tempo per chiarire perché solo ora so cosa sei
(I have no time to clear things up 'cause I finally found out what you are)
È difficile stare al mondo quando perdi l’orgoglio
(It hurts to be alive when you lose your pride)
Lasci casa in un giorno
(You leave home out of the blue)
Tu dimmi se
(You, tell me if)

Pensavi solo ai soldi, soldi
(You only cared for the money money)
Come se avessi avuto soldi, soldi
(As if you had any money)
Dimmi se ti manco o te ne fotti, fotti
(Tell me whether you miss me or you don't give a fuck)
Mi chiedevi come va, come va, come va
(You used to ask me how I was doing doing doing)
Adesso come va, come va, come va
(Now how are things going going going)

Ciò che devi dire non l’hai detto
(What you're supposed to say you haven't said yet)
Tradire è una pallottola nel petto
(Betrayal is a bullet in your chest)
Prendi tutta la tua carità
(Keep all the compassion to yourself) 
Menti a casa ma lo sai che lo sa
(You keep lyin' at home but you know she knows)
Su una sedia lei mi chiederà
(Sittin' there she'll be asking me)

Mi chiede come va, come va, come va
(Asking me how I'm doing doing doing)
Sai già come va, come va, come va
(She already knows how things are going going going)

Penso più veloce per capire se domani tu mi fregherai
(I think faster to try to figure out if you're going to fool me tomorrow)
Non ho tempo per chiarire perché solo ora so cosa sei
(I have no time to clear things up 'cause I finally found out what you are)
È difficile stare al mondo
(It hurts to be alive)
Quando perdi l’orgoglio
(when you lose your pride)
Ho capito in un secondo che tu da me
I figured it out in one second, by myself)

Volevi solo soldi
(You only wanted the money)
Come se avessi avuto soldi, soldi
(As if I had any money)
Prima mi parlavi fino a tardi, tardi
(Back then you would talk to me till late)
Mi chiedevi come va, come va, come va
(You used to ask me how I'm doing doing doing)
Adesso come va, come va, come va
(Now how are things going going going)

Waladi waladi habibi ta3ala hina
(My son, my son, darling, come over here [Arabic])
Mi dicevi giocando giocando con aria fiera
(You used to tell me while playing your games with pride)
Waladi waladi habibi sembrava vera
(My son, my son, darling, [Arabic] It felt so real to me)
La voglia, la voglia di tornare come prima
(Wanting to bring things back to what they were)

Io da te non ho voluto soldi
(I didn't ask you for your money...)

È difficile stare al mondo
(It hurts to be alive)
Quando perdi l’orgoglio
(When you lose your pride)
Lasci casa in un giorno
(You leave home out of the blue)
Tu dimmi se
(You, tell me if)

Volevi solo soldi, soldi
(You just wanted money, money)
Come se avessi avuto soldi, soldi
(As if I had any money, money)
Lasci la città ma nessuno lo sa
(You leave the city without anybody knowing)
Ieri eri qua ora dove sei, papà
 (Yesterday you were here, where are you now, papa?)
Mi chiedi come va, come va, come va
(You ask me how I'm doing doing doing)
Sai già come va, come va, come va
(You already know how things are going going going)

Apr 16, 2019

The history of Brexit -- so far

We've found this nice article in the Guardian, and present a few highlights with the original HTML-markup still in place and a picture that could start the next Agatha Christie film (scroll down):

May has failed, so far, because she could not win around Conservative rebels, mostly hard Brexiters from the European Research Group. A last, desperate promise to quit if MPs backed her deal only reduced rebel numbers to 34, 28 of them linked to the ERG.
Few Conservatives expected Brexit to triumph in the referendum. But the 52% result and May’s elevation to Downing Street changed the picture dramatically.
Boris Johnson, the face of the leave campaign, was given the job of foreign secretary, but May marginalised him from Brexit policy. Chris Wilkins, a former speech writer for May, said: “She sees him as fundamentally unserious, and for her that is the worst criticism.”
The prime minister later remarked there was no off-the-shelf plan for Brexit. Instead she set about devising policy in the strictest secrecy, barely consulting cabinet colleagues on the most important diplomatic event since the UK joined the European Union 40 years earlier.
Policy was initially delivered via speeches. According to Wilkins, texts were only shared with cabinet members the day before. There was no general discussion at cabinet...

Mar 20, 2019

A teaser of sorts...

...writes our trusted editor Tony Foster and sends this photo...depicting the manuscript of our play with his mark-up:

So, yes, the title has changed (again) to "Electro-Magnetic, Dolly, Absolutely Electro-Magnetic", a cheap play on, well, you know what...

...for people who did not follow this, Dolly is the lead-robot of the play, sort-of.

Mar 7, 2019

Generation V -- cables and tails -- teaser

We found this gif today...

...isn't it titillating?

And here are two fragments from our play to explain this. Both are from Act III, the last act.

Scene I, Eliza in conversation with Robert (the robot):

ELIZA: ‘Ma’am’, yes. Living flesh, come to think of it. I’ve never seen you naked, mister.
ROBERT (table has turned): Why should you…we never…
ELIZA: Strip! Undress! I want to see your willie!
ROBERT (intimidated, crouching?) I’m not…I’m not…I’m a machine!
ELIZA: That’s what they all say.
ROBERT (gesticulates towards the charging cable, to which he is still connected): Have you ever seen live humans with a charging cable?
ELIZA: In my days, absolutely. I’ve seen any kind of cable going in and out of humans. Ask Steve.
ROBERT (shocked?): Ma’am.
ELIZA (getting closer): Call me Eliza. Your willie, Robbie.

Robert crouches away from her.

ELIZA: No robot would be this prudish.
ROBERT: I show emotions as a function of projective expectations…
ELIZA: You sound like a shrink…
ROBERT: …expectations projected onto me by the environment.

ELIZA moves away from ROBERT, then lurches forward, and disconnects his charging cable, which stops blinking. She reconnects it, and it starts blinking again.

ELIZA: Alright. I got swept away. It runs in the family.

Mar 5, 2019

Five stars again --- Green Eyes and This Is Heaven

Cool folks. Today isn't particularly good a day, but then we discovered these reviews by John_C (his handle, we presume)  both of the GREEN EYES and THIS IS HEAVEN on Inkitt. Have a look:

Amazing -- Green Eyes

I’ve have never actually told someone to leave me alone until I started reading Green Eyes: an erotic novel (sort of) by Michael Ampersant. I held it in my hands and read the first chapter when someone came up to me to ask me a question. I literally held my hand to his face and told him to stop talking, and that I was reading. He didn’t talk to me for a few days. He got over it and read the book. I tried to interrupt him and he stopped me. Karma.
Michal’s protagonist, John Lee, is narrating the story. He’s so funny that I really want to meet him. His descriptions, side notes, and remarks are so powerful. I’ve never met someone so funny, entertaining, and naive in some ways. Okay. I admit I’m naiver that he is. My point is that I love the character. If I met him I would ask, “How?”
The style of the book was new for me. I don’t particularly write in this style. Now that I have I admit I wouldn’t even know how to start. Michael’s style is unique, part description, part I’m telling you what happened, and he also shows you what’s going on. And there is a lot of things going on. He has this unique talent of introducing something traumatic in a very nonchalant way that when the shocker comes out I jump.
What I like the most of the book is that it took me to worlds where I’ve never been. I have never known men could do the things they did in this book. When I’m reading I feel what John is doing and seeing. A few times I cinched because I thought I was there. I can honestly say, I have yet to read another book like this. I’m an honored man for having read Michael’s book.

Mar 4, 2019

The sad truth

The press and Donald Trump

Titanic missing the iceberg --- Generation V

We've finished a draft of our play (its latest working title being: "Electro-magnetic, Dolly, Absolutely Electro-magnetic"), and then we hit on this picture, and on a title for it...

The Titanic missed the iceberg

...and we have this Titanic-meme going on in the play (we always have a Titanic-meme going on somewhere), let's see. Here, Terentia Striker, the court-appointed bailiff, charged with the repossession of lead-robot Robert, in Act II, Scene 6:

STRIKER: Oh, I see. I am as confused as usual. (Striking a confidential pose) If it weren’t for my flapper-girl demeanor, my charming giggle, and all the other traits which make me the most cast-against vessel of repossession, I would be totally unfit for this job. And if it weren’t for Triple-X, the oarsman, anchor, and helmsman of our voyage through the choppy seas of financial distress, this vessel of yours would have rearranged the deckchairs a long time ago.

There is more...Cheers!

Mar 1, 2019

Discuss: In a real theocracy...

"In a real theocracy...

the Trump Evangelists would soon find themselves burning on the stake."

Feb 28, 2019

Eric Satie

We've always been wondering, for no particular reason---Eric Satie, the inventor of (musical) minimalism, how did he look like? And today we found this beautiful picture on Tumblr:

Erik Satie par Santiago Rusiñol, 1891

Feb 27, 2019

Michael Cohen bad, bad

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders yesterday issued the following statement regarding Michael Cohen's testimony before a Congress committee today:
"Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements," Sanders said in that statement. "Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same. It's laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies."

Think this through, think this through, Sarah. How about dropping the word "convicted" and stating:

"It's laughable that anyone would take a liar like Trump at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies."

Isn't it? 

Feb 24, 2019

Q&A --- Q: Who will remember D. Trump in 2 000 years?

A: Everybody. He'll be remembered together with Washington and Jefferson. 

Comment: just consider this---which Roman emperors do you "remember"?

Hint: You remember Caesar, of course, who's was only a "dictator", but who started the whole thing. You remember Augustus, Caesar's adopted nephew, and, yes, you remember Nero and Caligula. 

Feb 23, 2019

"There are no good songs anymore," our friend and ex-rock-star Sacha complains on a regular basis. But then, we go for a walk in the Estérel, and when we come back there's something on KISS-FM [footnote] the preferred local station, and we know: This is was a good song:

The power of love is a curious thing
Make a one man weep, make another man sing
Change a heart to a little white dove
More than a feeling, that's the power of love
Tougher than diamonds, whips like cream
Stronger and harder than a bad girls dream
Make a bad one good, mmm make a wrong right
Power of love will keep you home at night
Don't need money, don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes
But it might just save your life
That's the power of love
That's the power of love
First time you feed it might make you sad
Next time you feed it might make you mad
But you'll be glad baby when you've found
That's the power that makes the world go round
Don't need money, don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes
But it might just save your life
They say that all in love is fair
Yeah but you don't care
But you know what to do
When it gets hold of you
And with a little help from above
You feel the power of love
You feel the power of love
Can you feel it?
Don't take money, don't take fame
Don't need no credit card to ride this train
Tougher than diamonds and stronger than steel
You won't feel it until you feel
You feel the power, feel the power of love
That's the power, that's the power of love
You feel the power of love
You feel the power of love
You feel the power of love

[footnote] Once in a blue moon, sorry.

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