Thursday, January 18, 2018

Brian Wilson, A student

Not from The Onion: the grade of F that high-schooler Brian Wilson received for his song “Surfin’” has been changed to an A. No word on whether Mike Love (who went to a different high school) will have any of his grades changed.

Thanks, Rachel.

Sardine art

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has Michael Goldberg’s Sardines. Not on display.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has Joe Brainard’s Sardines. Also not on display.

Someone given to making bad puns might say that in Brainard’s collaged drawing the word becomes fish. Looking at Goldberg’s painting should make that pun clear. See also Frank O’Hara’s poem “Why I Am Not a Painter.”

Related reading
All OCA sardine posts (Pinboard)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Eberhard Faber letterhead

[You really should click for a much larger view.]

Sean at Blackwing Pages and Contrapuntalism passed on this scan of the Eberhard Faber letterhead, complete with telephone exchange name, cable address, diamond star trademark, and two-digit postal code. And trailing clouds of graphite, a bright, sharp no. 2 Mongol.

This letterhead gives new meaning to the phrase “leaden sky.”

Thanks, Sean, for sharing this find.

Related reading
All OCA Mongol and pencil posts (Pinboard)

[Notice that the postal code has been typed in: codes for large cities were first used in 1943.]


“A little bit of scratch paper that lives on your Mac menu bar”: Tyke is a free app that looks extremely handy.

A tenuously related post
Word of the day: tyke

Soul Music again

The BBC podcast Soul Music is rolling again, with episodes about Adolphe Adam’s “O Holy Night,” Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” and J.S. Bach’s Ich habe genug. I’ve never heard a bad episode of Soul Music. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Clean Plate Club

Dammit, I always assumed that my parents invented it. But no, it was Herbert Hoover.

[Prompted by a conversation in an Original Pancake House.]

The imperfect present perfect

Rex Tillerson, as heard on NPR today: “This is a strategy that has and will require patience.”

But the present perfect verb requires a participle: “This is a strategy that has required, and will require, patience.”

“What you write down, you can see”

[Time Table (dir. Mark Stevens, 1956).]

Railroad detective Joe Armstrong (King Calder) carries a pocket notebook. He digs the written word. There he is, still at it, making notes. Says Joe, “What you write down, you can see. What you see, you can remember.” He likes blackboards too.

Snarky insurance investigator Charlie Norman (Mark Stevens) gives Joe the business: “What’s the matter, Joe? You run out of notebooks?” Joe’s reply: “What you can see, you can remember.”

I recall the detectives of television’s Naked City using a blackboard. Did it happen in real life? I don’t know. But here’s an informed response to the question of whether real-life detectives pin pictures to a board and connect them with string.

Time Table is at YouTube. The film has more than just writing surfaces to recommend it.

More notebook sightings
Angels with Dirty Faces : Ball of Fire : Cat People : City Girl : Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne : Dragnet : Extras : Foreign Correspondent : Homicide : The Honeymooners : The House on 92nd Street : Journal d’un curé de campagne : The Last Laugh : Le Million : The Lodger : Ministry of Fear : Mr. Holmes : Murder at the Vanities : Murder by Contract : Murder, Inc. : The Mystery of the Wax Museum : Naked City : The Naked Edge : The Palm Beach Story : Perry Mason : Pickpocket : Pickup on South Street : Pushover : Quai des Orfèvres : Railroaded! : Red-Headed Woman : Rififi : Route 66 : The Sopranos : Spellbound : State Fair : A Stranger in Town : T-Men : 20th Century Women : Union Station : Where the Sidewalk Ends : The Woman in the Window

Monday, January 15, 2018

Gregor Z.

[Zippy, January 18, 2018.]

Related reading
All OCA Kafka and Zippy posts (Pinboard)


From Martin Luther King’s “The Other America,” a speech delivered at Grosse Pointe South High School, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, March 14, 1968, three weeks before King was assassinated:

[W]e will never solve the problem of racism until there is a recognition of the fact that racism still stands at the center of so much of our nation. And we must see racism for what it is. It is the myth of an inferior people. It is the notion that one group has all of the knowledge, all of the insights, all of the purity, all of the worth, all of the dignity. And another group is worthless, on a lower level of humanity, inferior. To put it in philosophical language, racism is not based on some empirical generalization which, after some studies, would come to conclusion that these people are behind because of environmental conditions. Racism is based on an ontological affirmation. It is the notion that the very being of a people is inferior. And the ultimate logic of racism is genocide.
Here is a recounting of the speech and its circumstances from Jude Huetteman, who invited King to speak in Grosse Pointe. Transcripts may be found at Friends’ Central School and the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. I’ve followed the Friends’ transcript in choosing “myth,” not “nymph” (an obvious mishearing: King says “myth” in a 1967 speech); “ the worth,” not “work” (a likely mishearing); and “the ultimate logic,” not “their” (in accord with King’s phrasing in a 1966 speech. I’ve made two small changes in punctuation. In October 2017 the original cassette recording of the Grosse Pointe speech sold at auction for $12,240.20.

An accurate transcript of this speech belongs at the King Center and King Institute, don’t you think?

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929.