Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, January 7, 2019


Openers:  The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between, surrounded by very low railings.  From any of the hexagons one can see, interminably, the upper and lower floors.  The distribution of the galleries is invariable.  Twenty shelves, five long shelves per side, cover all the sides except two; their height, which is the distance from floor to ceiling, scarcely exceeds that of a normal bookcase.  One of the free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, identical to the first and to all the rest.  To the left and right of the hallway there are two very small closets.  In the first one may sleep standing up; in the other, satisfy one's fecal necessities.  Also through here passes a spiral stairway, which sinks abysmally and soars upwards to remote distances.  In the hallway there is a mirror which faithfully duplicates all appearances.  Men usually infer from this mirror that the Library is not infinite (if it were, why this illusory duplication?); I prefer to dream that its polished surfaces represent and promise the infinite...Light is provided by some spherical fruit which bear the name of lamps.  There are two, transversally placed, in each hexagon.  The light they emit is insufficient, incessant.

--Jorge Luis Borges, "The Library of Babel" (translated by J. E. I.)

Golden Globe:  Some publicist/marketing pro has earned his or her pay with this.

The Golden Globe awards have to be one of the most inane and meaningless awards one record.  First presented in 1944, the awards were the brain child of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), a small group of journalists and photographers in the entertainment industry.  The 1944 awards consisted of a scroll.  This was changed the following year to a globe with a strip of film encircling it.  Originally honoring movies, the television industry was added in 1955.  The requirements for being a member are to have primary residence in Southern California, to attend at least four of the monthly meetings a year, and two have a minimum of four published articles or photographs published in foreign journals each year.  The foreign journals do not have to be mainstream ones and no official list of acceptable journals has ever been released,  The current membership consists of 93 persons, some (many?) of whom just meet the minimum requirements and there does not appear to be any criteria for the quality or size of readership of the required four articles or photographs.  The Association is deliberately kept small, allowing a maximum of five new members each year.

In other words, the HFPA can be made up of rinky-dink part-time people who have little qualifications to vote on a major award.  And the awards have only been "major" recently.  I'm sure there a number of qualified and capable persons in the HFPA but, anecdotally at least, many of the members have been fairly insignificant wanna-bes.

The Golden Globes have become a major award (hence, somebody has earned his or her pay) and are viewed as a possible pathway to an Oscar or an Emmy.

In my opinion -- and I am a notable curmudgeon -- the Golden Globes have the weight as an agreement among the majority of persons sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

The Week in Trump:

  • The government shutdown continues.  Trump vows to keep it going for months (or longer) if he doesn't get what he wants.  Alternatively, he said he may use an executive order to get the money he wants to build the wall.  I don't think it works that way, Mr. President.
  • Speaking of the shutdown, the American Federation of Government Employees have sued the Trump Administration for forcing "essential federal employees to work without pay.
  • Russia is holding an American citizen for "spying."  Paul Whelan, a former marine, was in Russia to attend a wedding, according to his brother.  Whelan also holds citizenship in Canada, Britain, and Ireland.  Coincidently, America has detained a Russian citizen.  Dmitri Makarenko is being held on charges of money laundering and of trying to export night-vision glasses and ingredients for making ammunition to Russia without a license.  Speculation is that the Russians may try to arrange an exchange for a Russian being held in American custody.  No, not Malarenko, but possibly Maria Butina, the sexy (?) red-headed agent who infiltrated the NRA and Republican circles.  Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister has advised Russians 'to wiegh the consequences of traveling abroad," saying, "American law enforcement continues to hunt for Russian citizens."
  • Robert Mueller's grand jury investigating Russian involvement in American elections has been extended for up to six months.
  • Former Republican presidential nominee and current Senator Mitt Romney lambasted Trump's character and fitness for office.
  • The stock market was down 6.2% for 2018, the worst performance sine 2008.
  • Trump reportedly asked house Speaker Nancy Pelosi about impeachment.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren began her run for the 2020 presidential election.  Representative Matt Goetz (R-FL) began calling her Sacajawea, a move reminiscent of Trump's "Pocahontas," bringing charges of racism against Goetz.  Goetz, like Trump, denies being a racist.  Like Trump, Goetz probably is.  Matt Goetz represents the western Florida Panhandle -- my district -- which is a very red area.  Goetz, a member of a strong political family, is a large supporter of the military and the Panhandle is a large military area so his seat is secure.  I also support the military but Goetz is a jerk (my opinion) and I'm not (also my opinion).
  • Trump tweeted that Americans are earning 84 cents an hour more thanks to his policies.  so nobody has declared they will retire on this "boon.'
  • the mainstream "fake news" media continues to take Trump and Pence to task for their lies about the need for a border wall.
  • Trump congratulated Brizil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, the right wing politician who many fear will endanger the Amazon through deforestation.  "The USA is with you!" he tweeted.
  • Trump praised his former adviser Sebastian Gorka as a "very good and talented guy" and urged people to buy Gorka's new book.  Gorka's main talent is irrational hyperbole.  He is about as "good and talents" as Stephen Miller is a chick magnet.
  • Last night, Trump tweeted,"Today's acronym...MATA -- Make America Trump Again."
  • Phew!

How Will You Celebrate?:   Today is Millard Fillmore's birthday.  He's 219 years old.  And very wrinkled.

Today's Poem:  It's January, so about a poem of warmer weather and young love.


There's a drap o' dew on the blackbird's wing
Where the willows wave the burnie over,
And the happy bird its sang doth sing
By the wimpling wave thathe green leaves cover!
Sing louder yet, thou bonnie, bonnie bird,
There's neither cloud nor storm to fear ye,
But thy sang, though glad as ear ever heard,
Is wae to mine when I meet my dearie!

Yon laverock lilts 'mang the snawy clouds
That float like a veil o'er the breast of heaven;
And its strain comes down to the summer woods
Like the voice of the bless'd and GOD-fogiven!
Sing laverock, sing thy maist holy sang,
For the light o' heaven is round and near ye,
Syne song by thy fluttering heart will gang,
As it runs though mine as I meet my dearie!

The daisy blinks by the bloom-brush side,
Pure as the eye' o' a gladsome maiden --
Fair as the face of a bonnie bride
When her heart wi' the thoughts o' love are laden.
Bloom fairer yet, thou sweet lowly flower,
There's ne'er a heart sae hard as steer ye
I will think of thee in that gloaming hour
When I meet 'mang the wild green woods my dearie;

-- Robert Nicoll (1814-1837)


  1. I take it you were not pleased with the Golden Globes show last night, nor the winners announced.