Book of the World Courant CLXX





One man shoved cream-filled treats into the neckline of his dress


A deep-fried Twinkie involves freezing the cake, dipping it into batter, and deep-frying it to create a variation on the traditional snack cake. In a story in The New York Times speaking of the deep fried Twinkie with its inventor, Christopher Sell, who is originally from Rugby, England, it was described in this way: “Something magical occurs when the pastry hits the hot oil. The creamy white vegetable shortening filling liquefies, impregnating the sponge cake with its luscious vanilla flavor…

The cake itself softens and warms, nearly melting, contrasting with the crisp, deep-fried crust in a buttery and suave way. The pièce de résistance, however, is a ruby-hued berry sauce, adding a tart sophistication to all that airy sugary goodness”.    The Texas State Fair had introduced the fried Twinkie to great popular acclaim, and the notion spread to other state fairs across the U.S., as well as some establishments that specialize in fried foods. Fried Twinkies are sold throughout the U.S. in fairs as well as ball games, and in various restaurants.

Starting in August 2016, Walmart began selling prepackaged, frozen versions of the deep-fried Twinkie at stores nationwide in the US.

Sez Wikipedia.


Is Donald’s hair a culture code for Twinkie@


Private equity firms have made an entire generation of young white men and women into Twinkies, and that’s the pièce de résistance! said Michael Heimlich, of Bumstead, OH.


To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered Country, from whose bourn

No Traveller returns,

Puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have,

Than fly to others that we know not of.

Thus Hostess does make snack cakes of us all,

And thus the Native hue of Resolution

Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of high fructose corn syrup cream filling,

And enterprises of great pitch and moment,

With this regard their Currents turn awry,

And lose the name of Action…


A scene from the 1989 film UHF shows the creation of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s signature food, the “Twinkie Wiener Sandwich.” The snack consists of an overturned Twinkie split open as a makeshift bun, a hot dog, and Easy Cheese put together and dipped in milk before eating. Yankovic has stated that he has switched to using tofu hot dogs since becoming a vegetarian, but still enjoys the occasional Twinkie Wiener Sandwich.[Wikipedia]


Easy Cheese is the trademark for a processed cheese product distributed by Mondeléz International, also referred to as aerosol cheese, spray cheese or simply Cheese in a Can, and is a descendant of squeeze cheese (a semi-solid cheesefood from the 1970s packaged in a squeezable plastic tube). It comes packaged in a pressurized can, much like canned whipped cream and does not require refrigeration. It was originally marketed from 1965-84 as Nabisco Snack Mate. Easy Cheese is currently available in Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar, Cheddar ‘n Bacon, and American Flavor, but once included Pimento, Cheddar Blue Cheese, Shrimp Cocktail, and Pizza. [Wikipedia]


Another “hostess” sprayed Easy Cheese into the neckline of a “man” stuffing his mouth with sugary snack cakes…


A diet of Easy Cheese-topped Fried Weiner Twinkies will turn an entire generation into a well-regulated mall-itia…


We can smell it!


St. Peter meets you at the Heavenly Gate bearing the Twin Keys


Gaily bedight,

A gallant knight,

In sunshine and in shadow,

Had journeyed long,

Singing a song,

In search of a Dorito®…

Pace, Edgar Allan, have a snack cake, it’ll make you feel better…


Amontillado with that?


PARIS – It’s an auctioneer’s jackpot dream. A man walks in off the street, opens a portfolio, and there, mixed in with the jumble of routine, low-value items is a long lost work by Leonardo da Vinci…

“I had a sense that it was an interesting 16th century drawing that required more work,” said the elegantly-suited Mr. Prate, speaking in the boardroom of Tajan’s Art Deco premises, near the Paris Opera.

…Mr. Prate [Tajan’s director of old masters pictures] recalled “being in a bit of a rush” when a retired doctor visited Tajan with 14 unframed drawings that had been collected by his bibliophile father… Mr. Prate spotted a vigorous pen-and-ink study of St. Sebastian tied to a tree, inscribed on the mount “Michelange” (Michelangelo). [?!]

…Curators from the Louvre inspected the Tajan drawing [wait, so, who drew it, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Tajan, Trajan or some anonymous Bajan or Cajun?]… without, as usual, being drawn into any official pronouncement. [Juste une minute! Is it that they usually do get drawn into official pronouncements, or don’t?]

But Carmen C. Bambach, a curator of Italian and Spanish drawings at the Metropolitan Museum [whose eyes, by her own description, “jumped out of their sockets” when she saw the drawing] declared the attribution to da Vinci “quite incontestable. What we have is an open-and-shut case…

“My hear will always pound when I think about that drawing,” Dr. Bambach said. “It has so many changes of ideas, so much energy in the way he explores the figure. It has a furious spontaneity. It’s like glancing over his [Leonardo’s] shoulder.”

[Accordingly, Mr. Prate drove deep into la France profonde to tell the good doctor the glad tidings.] “I hope you’re not shocked,” Mr. Prate recalls asking.

“I’m very pleased,” the owner calmly replied. “But I have other interests in life than money.”

“…This reinforces Tajan’s reputation as a high-end boutique auction house,” Ms. [Rodica] Seward, a Romanian-born United States citizen said in her boardroom here, seated behind a desk she designed. Trained as an architect before becoming a banker for 20 years, she bought Tajan in 2003.

“My friends thought I was out of my mind,” Ms. Seward said.

But they might not have thought her so mad if they had the chance to walk with her and Mr. Prate through Tajan’s first floor private viewing room where the long-lost St. Sebastian stood in its Renaissance gold frame.

“If only it could speak,” said an awed Mr. Prate.

[Scott Reyburn, “A Curator’s Heart Pounds,” New York Times, 12/12/16. C1:2]

If only. But perhaps it does speak, only not in a language understood by auctioneers and curators. And what does it mean to call an artwork with no prior documentation of its existence, much less a “pre-20th-century ownership history” long-lost?]




Extry! Extry! Read all about it: Archaeologist’s Dream Come True: Long-lost Temple to Athena Found in NYU Art History Department Stairwell! Professor’s Eyes Pop out of his Skull! Extry! Extry!


Pliny the Elder relates the competition between Zeuxis and Parrhasius thus: Zeuxis produced a picture of grapes so dexterously represented that birds began to fly down and eat from the painted vine. Whereupon Parrhasius designed so lifelike a curtain that Zeuxis, proud of the verdict of the birds, requested that the curtain should now be drawn back and the picture displayed. When he realized his mistake, with a modesty that did him honour, he yielded up the palm, saying that whereas he had managed to deceive only birds, Parrhasius had deceived an artist. [Natural History, Book 35, 64-6]


You can fool some of the birds all the time, and all of the artists some of the time…


I was a long-lost St. Sebastian for the FBI


UN declares: No ‘Wonder’

Comic-book superheroine Wonder Woman has been abruptly fired from her honorary ambassador job at the United Nations – following protests that a white, skimpily dressed American prone to violence wasn’t the best role model for girls.

The UN said on Tuesday the appointment of Wonder Woman as an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls would end this week, a move that comes less than two months after a splashy ceremony at the UN, which attracted Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot.

Honorary ambassadors, unlike goodwill ambassadors, are fictional characters. The UN previously tapped Winnie the Pooh to be an honorary ambassador of friendship in 1998 and Tinker Bell as the honorary Ambassador of Green in 2009. [New York Post, 12/14/16, p. 3]


Aleppo, mon amour


Two or three things I know about precarity…

One of which is that it may be just around the corner at the same time as it’s walking by your side, and in your boots. If you’ve got boots.


Taking up the lion’s share of a New York Post recto page, a photoshopped image of Donald Trump wearing a Cheshire Cat grin as he raises his arms to push the plunger on a dynamite charge. The headline: Ka-Boom Times Ahead. The breakout phrase: “The whole world looks to be having a nervous breakdown over his early actions…” [12/14/16]


Realizing he would be leaving soon Hasham Skeif said he had visited his family’s home and sat by an old tree, where he thought about Native Americans and Palestinians – other people forced to flee from their homes.

“I have never understood such feelings until today,” he said. “This is my great-grandfather’s land. It is not only my memories, but theirs as well.”

While he had participated in the uprising against Mr. Assad, he felt that it had gone wrong by resorting to arms. “Today, hours before we leave, I say our biggest mistake was carrying weapons,” he said.

Others assumed that as declared enemies of the Assad government, they would never be allowed to return and left messages for those who would come later.

Salem Abualnaser, a dentist, left a handwritten not on a white board near the door of a small community center for children.

“Warning! Do not destroy! There are things here that your children may benefit from.” [Ben Hubbard and Hwaida Saad, “Evacuation of Aleppo is Underway, Solidifying Assad’s Control,” New York Times, 12/16/16, A8:1]


And paging deeper into the Times of darkness, one finds these heads:

            Obama Vows Reprisal for Moscow Meddling

            Trump Promises ‘Safe Zones’ in Syria, Telling Supporters, ‘It’s So Sad.’




Jerusalem blues


Waiting for Gadot


Precarity, surely.

Post-carity, ah the world to come


Precarious: 1640s, a legal word, “held through the favor of another,” from Latin precarius “obtained by asking or praying,” from prex (genitive precis) “entreaty, prayer” (see pray). Notion of “dependent on the will of another” led to extended sense “risky, dangerous, uncertain” (1680s). “No word is more unskillfully used than this with its derivatives. It is used for uncertain in all its senses; but it only means uncertain, as dependent on others…” [Johnson]

Sayeth ye online etymological dictionary