Book of the World Courant CLVIII





Proposal for a new, more realistic college course: Global Sieve

No, no, Global Shiv

Naw, Global Shank

Anyone for Global Shiva – in all senses of the word?


I was a naturally-occurring lingam for the FBI


The Magnificent Six (point eight-seven-five)

Yo, yo – wassup with dat!?


9944100%… it floats!


Once you get hung up on a concept, reality is doomed


Woke up it was a Chelsea Manning…

Or un, as the case may be


Don’t get shanktomonious with me!


Werner Sombart, a foundational German “social scientist,” whose influence at one time exceeded that of his friend and contemporary Max Weber, argued for sociology’s place within the “humanities” on the grounds that it dealt with human beings and therefore required inside, empathic Verstehen rather than outside, objectivizing Begreifen (both German words translate as “understanding” into English).

Ach, zo unterstanding can be either interstanding or outerstanding, ja?

But is one form of understanding more uber then the other?


Friedrich Hebbel, writing in an earlier time, tells of a young German philosopher in Amsterdam, who, one evening sees a funeral party departing from a mansion. He asks a passing stranger who the house belongs to and the name of the deceased it and is told Kannitverstan.

“Ah, poor Kannitverstan!” he exclaims. “What can all your riches bring you now? No more than my poverty will bring me one day: a shroud and a winding sheet; and all of your lovely flowers a bunch of rosemary upon your cold breast, or a sprig of rue.”

Later, or never, he learned that in Dutch, kannitverstan means “I don’t understand.”


You say Begreifen, I say Verstehen,

Let’s call the whole thing Orff…


The Times politely waits until the day after it runs a colorful full-page ad promoting Turkey as a paragon of democratic stability and abounding investment opportunity to the grim assessment – accompanied by brooding black and white photos – that “there seems to be no end to Turkey’s many troubles.”

Is this timing what one calls a “decent interval”?

Today’s colorful full-page ad is sponsored by the Xinhua News Agency and headlined “China Helps G-20 Find Solutions to Improving Global Governance.” Like its Turkish nearly-twin brother, the ad’s copy reverberates with auto-encomia. Here stands depicted a great power committed wholeheartedly to “promoting innovative cooperation” and “safeguarding rights and interests of developing nations” – all by virtue of its time-honored “Chinese wisdom.”

On the verso page of the spread, a sober-toned analysis of the civil war in Syria, a neo-Great Game carnage so horrifying as to necessitate a heroic journalistic attempt to… and, as ever with the Times, cloaked in the language of objective determination of causality, comes the strategic ascription of blame: on the unrest stirred up by Arab Spring, the rise of ISIS, and Kurdish separatism-nationalism. Search as one may, nowhere in its dense and lengthy columns does one find mention of the overthrow Gadaffi, or, more broadly, of western intervention.

You look up from the paper to catch a glimpse of an extremely pretty, petite young Asian woman walking past the café. Severe haircut, ripped skinny black jeans and a white top which reads:






First came The Walking Dead. Then, the prequel: Fear the Walking Dead

Then, more spin-offs:

Tax the Walking Dead

Trip the Walking Dead

Confound the Walking Dead

Bully the Walking Dead

Deport the Walking Dead

Mock the Walking Dead

Greet the Walking Dead

Hug the Walking Dead

Rob the Walking Dead

Hustle the Walking Dead

Defraud the Walking Dead

Ignore the Walking Dead

Poll the Walking Dead

Heal the Walking Dead

Surveil the Walking Dead

Inspire the Walking Dead

Placate the Walking Dead

Bribe the Walking Dead

Slander the Walking Dead

Hypnotize the Walking Dead

Impersonate the Walking Dead

Lead the Walking Dead

Proselytize the Walking Dead

Frisk the Walking Dead

Enlighten the Walking Dead

Impregnate the Walking Dead

Indebt the Walking Dead

Deploy the Walking Dead

Disrespect the Walking Dead

Tweet the Walking Dead

Organize the Walking Dead

Appreciate the Walking Dead

Convert the Walking Dead

Circumcise the Walking Dead

Contemplate the Walking Dead

Irrigate the Walking Dead

Console the Walking Dead

Repeal the Walking Dead

Bedazzle, bedevil, bewitch, bother, bewilder and besot the…


Wind (as in mighty)

Wind (as on a windlass [lass?])

List (as in a sequence of items)

List (as in to yaw, or archaically, to wish)

Mind (as in care about or be careful of)

Mind (as in a terrible thing [to waste])

Matter (as in have importance)

Matter (as in physical concretion)

Mine Dover Matter, is this an imperative?

Mattercide, is this the murder of meaning? And / or the annihilation of the physical?

Do the spiritually enlightened commit, and by committing, achieve mattercide?

DEATH OF THE STREET! Shouted that guru Corbu.

Who shot John?

And hey Joe, where you goin’ to run to now?

Fire (as in water’s opposite)

Fire (as in dismiss from employment)

Bear (as in endure)

Bear (as in exit pursued by a… and /or sometimes you eat the…)

Gladly, the cross-eyed bear

The Good Thief

The Weiss Virgin

The Prodigal Sun

Fall (as in autumn)

Fall (as in from grace)

Belt (as in cincture)

Belt (as in o say can u see or clobber)

Mass (as in missa)

Mass (as in a large group of like entities [does their likeness result from their grouping?] and implying concretion)

Mess (as in a dog’s breakfast)

Mess (as in an officers’ refectory

Banjo (as in “Abiyoyo”)

Banjo (as in shun or exile the feminine contraction of Joseph, as in Hey Jo, or Hey Pete, where you goin’ with that Banjo in your hand?

This fascist kills fascists

Woody (as in would row [if I could] and as distinct from the paneled station wagon woodie)

Woody (as in possessing the qualities of wood)

As I was walking the Ribinoff highway…

This land

Land (as the verb or noun)

Space (as in lebensraum)

Space (as in the final front ear)

Right (as in righto! Or droit, or exactly on the point or o time)

Right (as in to party or to arm bears or to remain silent)

Left (as in departed from or passively laisse to one’s own devices)

Left (as in sinister)

State (as in condition)

State (as in assert)

State (as in claim a monopoly [legitimate?] on violence within a given territory [Weber].)

Live (as in alive)

Live (as in right now)

Live (as in mind the voltage)

Live (as in let…)

Live (as in to begin, and other myriad meanings of the word sheng (生): vegetation thrusting from the ground and developing stage by stage…


Her head jutting forward, hurrying to yoga class


Wo ming zai wo,

My fate lies with me,

bu zai tian.

Not with heaven.


Let the breath create the movement


Borrowing breath and spirals from kun and tian


These eyebrows kill fascists


Aleppo, mon amour


Where have all the fowlers gone?


The Hundred Acre woulda coulda shoulda

The thousand yard

starecase to heaven

And a hundred spools of floss



Could I have been contenter?