Book of the World Courant CLXI





The “fates of investment houses”

The destiny of derivatives

The fog and friction of finance (war carried out by other means)


Give me a financial instrument complex enough, ein Potsdamer Platz to gestand (in), und I shall leverage the world!


Think of all you derive

Out of being alive…


And Archimedes too

Was known for the screw…


Pidgin is not dove


Last year [Deutsche Bank] reported that its investment bank employed 1,871 so-called material risk takers, or M.R.T.s as they have become know in European regulatory circles, who were paid €1.7 billion.

That was down from a year earlier when 2,057 M.R.T.s took home €2 billion… [“Deutsche’s Taste for Risk Takes a Bite,” NYT, 10/3/16, B1:3]


What kind of gage do you use when you’re really mort?


Turning and turning in regulatory circles

The material risks dematerializing

The central bank does not hold…


Beware of Goths bearing derivatives


Because of the use of voids instead of painted skies dotted with clouds, Rowely continues, the Chinese artist had to estimate the amount of void needed to absorb the forces of movement or to establish an equilibrium of tensions, – a feat of design much more difficult than the western balance of cloud forms with earth forms across the horizontal axis of the horizon.

In the circular and melon-shaped album pieces the Chinese displayed their mastery of design within the picture plane. A survey of Renaissance tondi will demonstrate the intractability of balance and perspective when faced with troublesome area relationships in contrast to the adaptability of coherence and moving focus in dealing with unusual formats.

The principle of consonance also came to the aid of artists by furnishing repeats of the curve of the format in the motifs of the design; and these repeats often slowed up the sequential movement or established tension. Certainly tension was the chief means for keeping their round formats from spinning; if balance is used, the slightest mistake in weight will upset the equilibrium, but tensions work throughout the design to maintain its equilibrium.

To get an analogous cohesion of the whole, the west had generally stabilized its designs by the use of geometric figures, especially the triangle or pyramid. Compare the equilateral triangle with the Chinese compositional principles of heaven, earth and man [sic], in which the three features should be held in equilibrium like and ideograph, with heaven the tallest, with man the shortest and with earth intermediate.

By the irregular spacing between three unequal features, a sense of naturalness is secured while geometric compositions are stable and obvious but utterly lacking in life movement. No Renaissance designer could have written: “Painting is like vapors and clouds which rise into space, gather around cliffs and drift over wide expanses producing an interplay of shadows and lights.” [Rowley, pp. 69-70]


Meanwhile, the Times relegates its coverage of the Kim Kardashian robbery in Paris to page four. The article authored by two reporters channeling the ghost of Blake Edwards:

Crucial details remained unclear on Monday, including why Ms. Kardashian West was alone and why she was carrying such valuable jewelry. But police officials and the mayor of Paris vowed to get to the bottom of the crime and to reassure their citizens, and foreigners, that the French capital was safe to visit.

“I condemn the attack Kim Kardashian suffered last night in her hotel, “ the mayor, Ane Hidalgo, said in a statement. “She has my support and will always be welcome here in Paris. I have full confidence that the police force, as part of their investigation, will quickly identify and apprehend the perpetrators of these acts. The prefect of police has assigned Chief Inspector Clouseau to the cast, I mean case…”

Laurent Riquart, a spokesman for the investigative unit of the Paris police, said the men where part of a group of about five people [it could have been 4.675 people, or 7.125 people] who stormed the V.I.P. residence, the Hôtel du Pourtalès, near the Madeleine church. At least one had a handgun. Minkey scat was also discovered at the scene. It is being analyzed as we speak.

“Once they were in the building, they tied up the receptionist’s hands,” Mr. Riquart said in a phone interview. “They went up the stairs and entered her rheum. They tied up her hands and put a gag in her mouth.”

Luc Poignant, a spokesman for a police officers’ union said the men locked Ms. Kardashian West in a bathroom after tying her up with tape. Along with the jewelry, which included a ring, they made off with cellphones and a wallet that Kontained Kredit Kards. Three of the men left on foot, and two on bikes.

An estimated .65% of another suspect left on a unicycle built for deux.

The men appeared to have worn shirts identifying themselves as police officers – but also balaclavas and gloves, which are not part of the police uniform… [Adam Nossiter and Elizabeth Paton, “Bound by Gunmen, Kim Kardashian Is Robbed of Millions in Jewels, Police Say,” NYT, 10/4/1, p. 4:1]


The relation between solids and voids will tax our aesthetic sensitivity more than any other problem in Chinese design. To know when a brush stroke has c’hi may seem baffling, but at least the brush stroke is tangible and measurable. A void may be so indefinite that it defies all judgment; in fact, many Sung voids were meant to suggest the “mystery of emptiness.” Such a conception has no parallel in the west [even in the Kardashian West] because our concern with actuality [to be or not to be] has made us emphasize the existent rather than the non-existent so that the sky was a space-filled realm and not a vehicle for imparting a sense of the infinite.

Far from being a void, a typical Dutch sky is a painting of tangible cloud forms, defining a definite space. The clouds in Chinese painting belong to the mountains and most of the skies are empty voids, yet these voids may be the most important part of the design. [Rowley, p. 71. Q.v. & c.f. Tiepolo’s clouds]


“I just can’t believe it,” said Pierre Hardy, who designs footwear and accessories for Hermès and attended the dinner. “There she was with all of us, and then hours later that happens. It’s unbelievable.”

Another gu[e]st at the dinner, Deena Alujhani Abdulaziz, the new editor in chief of Vogue Arabia and a member of the Saudi royal family said on Monday: “There’s no question in my mind that this will play heavily on the mind of shoppers and travelers from the Gulf when it comes to visiting Paris. Lots [and Lot’s wife] wear their jewelry [but not Jewry] very openly here. They shop. They have always felt very safe doing so. But when something like this can happen, and to someone with such a good security detail, well – it’s a big surprise. And it’s very frightening.” [Kardashian, op. cit. mutatis mutandis]


Mind, the gap.

(A)void, the Gulf


Deena, at any rate, cannot be accused of making veiled threats




The scene of the Krime Kontra Kim was built [though not literally] by one James-Alexandre de Pourtalès, aka le Comte de Pourtalès-Gorgier (1776 – 1855). Hailing, if that is the word, from a family of (originally) Swiss Protestant bankers (also active in Naples, France, and Prussia), James-Alexandre was diplomat and art collector, notably of a portrait by Botticelli and Hals’s Laughing Cavalier.

The “Cavalier” has been ID’d, with reasonable certainty, as Tieleman Roosterman, a fabulously wealthy Haarlem cloth merchant who clearly had something to crow about. But see, O Best Beloveds, how it all folds back into Fashion Week?

Right, Deena?


What’s scarier than ISIS?

Having an internal life.


Edwina Sandys has seen this before: the 250-pound bronze statue of a bare-breasted woman on a translucent acrylic cross being installed in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

This time around, however, she does not expect to see something else she has seen before: the statue being packed up after a call from a ranking church official telling her it had to go.

That happened the first time “Christa,” Ms. Sandy’s sculpture of a crucified woman, was shown at the cathedral in Manhattan during Holy Week in 1984.

A controversy erupted, complete with hate mail attacking it as blasphemous. Overruling the dean of the cathedral at the time, the suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York called the statue “theologically and historically indefensible” and order Ms. Sandys to take it away.

This time it is being installed on the altar in the Chapel of St. Savior as the centerpiece of “The Christa Project: Manifesting Divine Bodies,” an exhibition of more than 50 contemporary works… [James Baron, “Once Ordered Removed, Statue Is Now Embraced by Church,” New York Times, 10/5/16]

St. John’s in its description of the exhibition, declares itself “thrilled to display Christa once again… alongside works… exploring the language, symbolism, art and ritual associated with the historic concept of the Christ image and the divine as manifested in every person – across [a cross!] all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and abilities.”

Back to you James Barron: Dean Kowalski… said he did not know how much controversy the exhibition would generate this time around [though it’s not the same exhibition, rather the same sculpture].

But Lisa A. Schubert, the cathedral’s vice president for programming said there had already been some “pushback…”

Still, “the leadership of the cathedral said this is 2016, not 1984, she added. “Surely we can have a woman on the cross.”

Ms. Schubert looked up at the statue and said, “She looks beautiful here, doesn’t she?” [op. cit.]

Not included, for all the inclusiveness, in the Christa Project exhibition: Andres Serrano’s 1987 photograph, Immersion, aka Piss Christ.


In content, the west has erroneously claimed that Chinese painting is romantic, not realizing that the romantic approach to experience is based on the divorce between actuality and longing, whereas the reality of the Tao resides in the fusion of opposites. [Rowley, p. 74. Or, one could say the dynamic interplay of polar forces].

Still, works by Chinese artists, Ni Zan for example, of the early Yuan, may convey a tremendous sense of longing, even melancholy, as well as repletion and contentment…


Two of the men barged into Kardashian’s apartment while she was in bed and held her up at gunpoint.

The bandits, after tying up and gagging the buxom reality star, put her into a bathtub…

Once the bandits left, Kardashian was able to free herself and “screamed from the balcony” for help and caught the attention of Hollywood fashion stylist Simone Harouch who called the cops [but not before posting a picture to instagram and tweeting “She looks beautiful here, doesn’t she?”] [Sez the Daily News, mutatis mutandis]


“…all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and abilities…”


Species? After all, St. John’s (among other Episcopal churches, blesses the “animals.” Why limit the possibilities?


Crucial details remain unclear, along with crucial fictions…


“You cannot display your wealth and then be surprised that some people want to share it with you.” Karl Lagerfield, to reporters at a Paris Fashion Week event. [Daily News, 10/5/16]


Whoa, Christa’s 250 pounds! Man, that’s some weight-shaming there, bro. But yeah, she does look good, I gotta give her that.

Yo, Christa, my advice to you, and this is from the heart: ease up on the cheese doodles… And diet coke, not that classic shit…


The porker in the man pie hat


What is the distinction between a man who drives for Uber and an Übermensch?


The croissant also rises


Star of stage, screen and reality…


Jesua Christa, Superstar


Judith priest!


The Romans, you see, dreamed up crucifixion as a radical means of punishing people who texted against the godz…


OK, a female Christ. It’s 20016. I can get with that. But look, am I going crazy is there something moving in that loincloth?

No, I don’t see nothin’ there. But higher up, is that a baby bump?


Holy Caitlyn Jenner, Batman!


Shedding new, and possibly dramatic light on the miracle of the Transfiguration

Not to mention Transubstantiation…


You mean he was a Homoousian?

No, man, you’re such an idiot – hummus wasn’t invented yet, they’d cultivated the garbanzo for centuries, but they hadn’t figured out the mix with the tahina, garlic, olive oil –

You mean the chick pea?

There you go being sexist again!

Something like that… con, con, consubstantial…


In process


Pardon Our Appearance…


A (wo)man

Of consubstance



Homo-usury, uh is that, like, where a gay Jewish guy lends money to…


Homos with uzis – better watch out


Oy vay ist mir: Deutsche Bank, Chase Bank, Citibank, West Bank…


Nothing to see

Nothing to see