June 29, 2006

100 Words: Thing of Beauty

Filed under: Prose — crcb @ 11:28 pm

I was clearing the yard of branches and rocks when I found a dead squirrel under the honeysuckle. His paws were curled like a child’s in sleep, and his hide sparkled with blue and green flies. I covered my hands in gloves and plastic bags, then picked him up by the tail. He was light and stiff, like a model built out of fabric and wire. I dropped the carcass in a trashbag which I tied in a tight knot, then disposed of it in the outdoor garbage can. Death can be beautiful, I thought. But then, I hate squirrels.


June 28, 2006

100 Words: In the Garden

Filed under: Prose — crcb @ 4:01 pm

Mood: Episodic 

It’s not the corruption of rulers that makes me despair, but the apathy of those ruled. Torture prisoners, destroy the planet, just don’t make us look. I understand philosophers who decide wisdom means retiring from the world to tend your garden. People are mean and stupid (I include myself), and the less you have to do with them, the happier you can be.

But in this bitterness which is increasingly my element, now and then the plain miracle of existence crashes down on me. Moments I can’t describe without mystical goo, when a stray dog scratching fleas justifies the universe.

June 27, 2006

100 Words: Not for Publication

Filed under: Prose — crcb @ 1:29 pm

Mood: Deciduous

You know how sometimes you take more interest in someone you’ve known casually, and you find excuses to talk to her (let’s say), and you chat with her longer when you do, and she thinks “this guy likes me too much” and even though she’s still polite she’s less talkative now and not so happy to see you, and you don’t want to look pathetic or make her uncomfortable so you cross her off your daydream list and stop bothering her, and then you’re sad for the rest of your empty, meaningless life? Sending out your poetry is like that.

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June 15, 2006

Google Shakespeare

Filed under: Uncategorized — crcb @ 10:39 am

I have a love/hate relationship with Google, and my response to the "Explore Shakespeare with Google" site is no exception. As a bardolator, I'm always happy to see Master Shakespeare get more exposure, and I'm glad Google is sponsoring New York City's Shakespeare in the Park program. (Hint to Google: other cities have Shakespeare in the Park also. Even in the Midwest.)

If you want, you can read a complete play online (from a book scanned for the Google Books Library Project) or search plays for a particular word or phrase. Of course, there are links to other Google Shakespeare resources–or, more accurately, Google resources that can be used by Shakespeare students and enthusiasts, like Google Groups and Google Earth (for exploring the Globe Theatre, naturally).

But the shortcomings of Google Shakespeare are many and obvious. To mention just a few:

  • Maybe this is idiosyncratic, but on the web, I'd rather scroll than "turn pages."
  • Where are the sonnets and narrative poems? 
  • There are links galore to help you shell out money for Shakespeare's works, but I don't see any links to freely available online versions like those at Project Gutenberg. (After all, it's not like the profits go to the author.)

I was excited when I read the news about Google Shakespeare, but half an hour's exploration leaves me with no desire to visit the site again. "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." (Exit, pursued by a bear.)

[Note: this entry is being crossposted to my Random Modulation blog.]

June 6, 2006

Big Day

Filed under: General — crcb @ 12:21 am

Ah, yes, 6/6/06. Beelzebub's birthday. All Beasts Day.

What can we expect today? The world's metropolises will fall to fire and windstorms. California will sink into the sea. Swarms of locusts will appear from nowhere to devour crops. Polyester leisure suits will return. Liberal humanists will usher in the Tribulation.

You know, the same stuff that happened on 6/6/1906, and 6/6/1806, and 6/6/1706…

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