The heroine (?@!) of the tale, Gem Irony – a possibly self-negating, anagramatic, and typically foolish moniker with too many descriptive comma-ish annotations (with each annotation requiring its own sub-annotation) – is pondering Halloweens past and present, but never the future. Such self-negations make her wonder if she even exists, and, as such, if things are in fact, negative, or, negated. She rarely ponders the future, finding it to be a seemingly insurmountable and progress-hampering task, preferring a Scarlet O’Hara-ish avoidance approach. She is thinking about poseury, plumery, costumery and Continue reading
Archive for the Idiomacies Category
I am still watching dvds of The Wire. Some of the dialogue is too hilarious, especially when ‘exemplified’ by the visual of having the subtitles on. Sometimes I watch it in Spanish in order to brush up on my second language skills, which come in handy in Holyoke.
In this scene Nick, a stevedore from the harborfront, is trying to help get his hapless cousin’s camaro, “Princess”, back. Ziggy, the hapless one, got his camaro, and his new italian leather coat, jacked because he owes for some crack he bought from Frog, a white guy dealing for Cheese, a mid-level drug dealer who reports to Joe “Proposition Joe” Stewart. Ziggy had some corner dudes sell the crack for him but they ripped him off and now he owes Proposition Joe (via Cheese, via Frog) 2700$ which he doesn’t have. So Ziggy’s cousin Nick enlists the aid of a Serge, a Russian “businessman”, with a friendly relationship with Proposition Joe, to negotiate the return of princess and they ponder the need to take care of “burdensome” family members.
Addendum: R.I.P. George Carlin
I don’t have TV so I rent TV shows on DVD. I watch them with the sound on the low side and turn the subtitles on because I have thin walls and don’t want to be a nuisance. Sometimes the subtitles are hilarious. Sometimes I watch them in Spanish so I can brush up in case I am ever in a situation and need to use my Spanish to save lives and all that.
Anyway–I was watching episodes of The Wire and there was this one scene in this one episode that was pretty hilarious for its dialogue and this was even more funny because of the subtitles on the screen. I was trying to picture the people that do the subtitles because sometimes the subtitles don’t match up the words exactly, although they manage to get the same point across. For this episode they left off like 1 in 3 of the (F) words, probably because there were only a handful of words in the whole scene and I they got bored of it. I bet the writers wrote this one after a late lunch on a Friday. It’s not that I think the word ‘fuck’ is so funny (I’m an adult now), or not. But a whole scene in which any one word makes up almost all of the dialogue–that’s pretty great.
So I took pictures of watching this one scene because I knew you’d want to experience the poignancy of the subtlety of the subtitled dialogue. These two detectives, Bunk and McNulty, are investigating a crime scene, as we watch! (!) The dead body pics are fake so don’t be scared – it’s not real, like everything in this self-indulgent blog.
No dialogue was left out of this scene.
So the other day my friend Mr. Sir sent me a hilarious YouTube link. It seems Jimmy Kimmel, a comedian with a TV show of some sort (I don’t have TV) had a monologue about a clip from a sports show with a sports guy named Emmett (sp?) talking about another sports guy in which he referred to him as an “Escape Goat”. I could only heart that more if he had said exscape goat, like when people say eXpresso rather than eSpresso or ax in lieu of ask. Jimmy Kimmel said he had an Escape Goat outside waiting for his escape (see exhibit 1).
This reminded me of a girl I once worked with who delightfully used idiomatic expressions with a naive and jaunty lack of awareness of their intended meaning. Recounting a row with her boyfriend one morning at the watercooler she said, “And then I was like, ‘You are walking on thin water buddy'”. I wish I’d written them all down. So much of life is lost through the colander of my mind.
Anyway – I decided to make my own Escape Goat.
My first attempt at creating the Escape Goat calls from one of my nicknames, “Monkey” and portrays a gangster-like escape-apade in a Key West-ish back-drop, fraught with dashes and drama.
While frank in its portrayal of the angst of the seemingly criminal yet misunderstood monkey (see body language), the varying artistic styles are indicative of the diverse origins of the partners in crime as set against the cheesily cliche serene aura of their chosen crime scene, highlighting the palpable combined gangst that the monkey and the goat bring to the situation.
The backdrop calls to mind Jimmy Buffett and that Wasting away in Margaritaville song, suggesting that perhaps de-angstifying relief, coping mechanisms and/or self-medication come in the form of a tequiliac gangsteraide, in an imagined word play on the escape piece of the escape goat phraseology and angsty sunsets, rainbows , unicorns and the desperation of a life of crime, or a life lived or half-lived on the lam. (ooooh–life on the lamb….) .
But then I was inspired by the clowns that haunted my dreams last night and I got some help from my friend Marc (Chagall, of course) who suggested I call on art history and particularly his work and so I created the photoshop opus Two Clowns on Escapegoatback. I don’t think I have ever been so proud of (or made such strides in) work from my projectile photoshopping series.
See the clowns. From what do they flee, in their double-entendre wanders? The fans, geometric in style and in stark contrast to the fluidity of their holders’ personage, doubly signify a desperate attempt to defray the heat of the moment from which they flee as much as the moment itself; contrastingly amoebic and non-geometric in scope. Freed from their original backdrop yet leaving a grey-checkered photoshop void where they once reposed, they find themselves out of their aesthetic canvas-like element, on the other side of the goat, disconnected and leaving one void only to run to another. The goat is confused. For, to the goat, only the grass is greener on the other side and the grey checkered void means nothing.
In his confusion, the goat mistakenly appears amused (in reality the goat is medicated), as if failing to grasp the gravity of the situation. The goat’s backdrop belies his intellectual capacity – wrinkled, pat, and vaguely reminiscent of aluminum foil. The clowns look forward, with eyes only on the future, delusionally focused on the notion that escape via a goat is cliche, therefor it is.
I read this bit on wikipedia this morning:
Aristotle wrote that ambiguity can arise from the use of ambiguous names, but cannot exist in the “facts” themselves:
It is impossible, then, that ‘being a man’ should mean precisely ‘not being a man’, if ‘man’ not only signifies something about one subject but also has one significance. …
And it will not be possible to be and not to be the same thing, except in virtue of an ambiguity, just as if one whom we call ‘man’, and others were to call ‘not-man’; but the point in question is not this, whether the same thing can at the same time be and not be a man in name, but whether it can be in fact. (Metaphysics 4.4, W.D. Ross (trans.), GBWW 8, 525–526).
It reminds me of a road trip I took years ago with my friend Liz in which we were en route to Charleston to visit my friend Tony. Liz told me she knew how to drive a standard. So we set out in my non-automatic, or, manual transmission, Nissan Sentra (it was greyness -silver and had seats, blinkers and dents).
After 6 hours of driving we switched seats and I thankfully settled into the passenger seat. But halfway up the ramp to get back onto the Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway or perhaps it was the Autobahn, I realized that she knew how to drive a standard and yet did not know how to drive a standard which seemed to be the same thing but clearly could not be the same thing. As the car lugged up the on-ramp in 5th gear I realized that she knew how to change gears, with alarming frequency, yet also did not know how (how being when) to change gears.
So, according to Aristotle, it was possible for her to both know how to drive a standard and not know how to drive a standard in name but not in fact and thus we had an operational ambiguity. And while I felt the deep wisdom of this ambiguity there was not time to ponder its deep philosophical depths once we were on the highway as she drove at 45 MPH in the left hand lane while tractor trailers alternately flew up into view in the rear view mirror and then suddenly receded from view (slamming on their brakes and changing lanes, passing us with meaningful gestural critiques).
So for the rest of the gazillion hours that we drove to Charleston Liz sat happily in the passenger seat and pointed out things of interest along the way while I struggled to stay awake. Perhaps born of the “is, is not” Artistotlean philosophy of ambiguity and fact, we invented a word game called ‘adage, counter-adage’. It went something like this:
When the cat’s away the mice will play
Curiosity killed the cat
Look before you leap
He who hesitates is lost
The best things in life are free
There’s no such thing as a free lunch
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink
Discretion is the better part of valor
Don’t change horses in mid stream
Beauty is only skin-deep
A rolling stone gathers no moss
People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
You can’t have your cake and eat it too
He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
Time flies when you’re having fun
Measure twice, cut once
Where there is smoke, there will be fire
Here today gone tomorrow
Beggars can’t be choosers
Out of site out of mind
The grass is greener on the other side of the fence
The best things in life are free
It is equally a mistake to hold one’s self too high, or to rate one’s self too cheap. ~Goethe
Variety is the spice of life. ~Montaigne