Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Quotation Book

I've decided to occupy this webspace with a typed version of my quotation book. This is my second one. I filled all the pages of the first and, due to its sentimental value and relative uselessness to me in a foreign country, I chose to leave it in the States. However, i have this one here now and, on account of moderate insomnia and a lack of any way of productively occupying these early morning hours, I might as well. I do not claim to have full bibliography on any published quotations from famous people, but i've done my best to give nominal credit where I've been able to find it. For the sake of convenience, I have divided the quotations into chronological groups. Man I'm a dork. And fruit or fiction doesn't have a frickin' question mark.

Quotation Book--Junior Year UKC

Of course I think about you, all the time. I think about you every time I open the fridge or pass the table in the living room.
-Tanner Brooks (person I don't know) to Sarah Gustafson (UKC friend, housemate, from Vermont)

Do it. Enjoy it. Don't worry about it.

"Well shake it a bit."-me
"Oh trust me, I've been doing plenty of that."-Josh Myers

That's amazing--unless someone has just photographed a mophead--in that case I'd feel cheated.
-Nick (UKC friend, East Malling)

I'd rather scour myself with a rusty SOS pad.
-Sarah Gustafson

He's so far in the closet he's in Narnia.
-Ben (UKC friend, South London)

You can always trust America to do the right thing--after all other options have been eliminated.
-Winston Churchill

Mary had a little lamb
She grazed it near a pylon
1.000 watts went up its bum
And its wool was changed to nylon.
-relayed by Ben

What's the plural of piss-assed?
-Bal and OtherBen (neighbors)

Waffle House--24 hours of breakfasty goodness.
-me (Britain doesn't have waffle house!)

I tried not being superficial once. It didn't turn out well.
-Sarah Gustafson

You're a stupid whore, I'm a stupid gigolo--I think I might love you.
-Patrick Blake

Quotation Book--Soph. Year USC

"Wings? I don't have wings." "Of course not--you're a boy."
-Jen and Kira from Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal

You say "erbs" and we say "herbs"--because there's a fucking H in it.
-Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill

Thank you for flying Church of England--Cake or Death?
-Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill

. . .and everybody looked at me like I had just announced that the Queen Mum was a good lay.
-Matt Whalen (close friend)

Only two things are infinite--the universe and man's stupidity. And i'm not sure about the former.
-Albert Einstein

It's not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.
-G. H. Hardy

One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.
-George Bernard Shaw, The Apple Cart. act 1.

My entire life is a freudian slip.
-Josh Myers

This isn't Zelda--you can't just take shit.
-Kate Cullen (uni friend)

Oh, this is so good it Has to be fattening.
-Stewie, Family Guy

I'm a friendly, happy bitch.
-Melissa from Preston

You have just received the Amish computer virus. Since the Amish don't have computers, it is based on the honour system. So please delete all the files from your computer. Thank you.
-sent to me by Justin Moody (uni friend)

Granted, it's disappointing, but nobody should be surprised that the grown-ups change the rules right when we start to like the game.

Hey, I'm always the life of the pity-party.
-Josh Myers

Bifocals--eyewear for the sexually liberated.

He's my chia pet--except his hair is falling out instead of growing in.
-Marianne Parrish (uni friend, roommate)

For a while there it felt like I was in the Arctic with a grappling hook made out of molten lava lodged in my throat as Satan himself was pulling on it in an attempt to climb my body.
-Josh Myers (with a temperature of 103)

I'm like a rabbit.
-Anna from Preston

Well, it's a really Little dishwasher...
-overheard at dinner

Pirates of the Caribbean: Unfortunately, this box-office winner clears the way for other theme park-based movies, including Six Flags Log Flume and Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom's Jumpin' Jack Splash.
-MAD magazine (commentary on '04 Oscars)

That feels good? Stop. That tastes good? Spit it out.
-Jillian Odom (uni friend)

...and then you take a wrench and pry this open--its pretty tough--or you can just do it with your bare hands. that works too.
-me, to John (uni friend) at work

"But that just can't work!" "But it's a diagram--it doesn't have to work." "Well maybe I don't believe in diagrams."
-me, Eric Rouse (boss in the shop, rigging teacher)

Quotation Book--Freshman Year USC

Excuse-moi, madame, mais les professeurs de français ne sont permis dans le fleuve.
-me, to Mme. Love, french teacher

Man, I wanna talk that funny talk.
-David Short (sister's ex-boyfriend)

-Kara Gabaurer (pronounced similarly to "what") HS graduation Disneyworld trip

-another catch phrase from Disneyworld trip, as Knut was the hottest waiter...ever

That's an exit, not an entrance...don't come in there...please get out of the way...thank you for ignoring me...
-me, lifeguarding at Carowinds

Rather than go through the work of making it, I just take all the raw ingredients...and eat them.
-Josh Myers

Carowinds needs to change its motto from 'Creating Funtastic Experiences that Bring You Back' to 'Carowinds...where' there's always a Catch.'
-Josh Myers

I've got...2 chickens to paralyze/ we can...pack a bag of leaves tonight...
-John Boy and Billy (radio personalities)

Bands that are driven by beauty are musicians. Bands that are driven by competition are children.

Who am I kidding? I need more work than an '83 Datsun.
-Josh Myers

I'd be the coolest opossum in the world.
-Josh Myers

That's about as hard for me to see as Josh having kids--i mean an afternoon in the garden and then a quick game of ball followed by a healthy dinner, then off to ride the bike into the sunset.
-Ginny Holloway (high school friend)

It's sad but true--you are a product of white-bread middle-America. 


"Larceny?" "Tonight?"
-Puck (uni friend), me

Miz Josch, I know you don't have an alarm clock, now...
-Flaming Dan (uni friend)

"So, why are you taking American history?" "Because you don't have much of it!"
-me, Ed Robinson (UKC exchange student to USC)

Yeah, that's what my mum tells me!
-Ed's response to just about anything

He was lookin' about as happy as a possum with a sweet potato.
-Brandon Barbee (uni friend)

"Hey look Ed--Cumsluts 5!" "Oh, 3 was brilliant."
-Brandon Barbee, Ed Robinson

"I'm writing a paper on the Sophists in Ancient Greece." "Yeah, their first album "Walking Around Barefoot in the Sand" was pretty good, but the critics thought they sold out."
-me, Josh Myers

It is said that it takes 5 minutes to smoke a cigarette and 10 minutes to enjoy one. We suggest that you smoke one.
-Amtrak announcement

I tried to put the top up, but something was wrong with the motor. The generator light had been on, fiery red, ever since I'd driven the thing into Lake Mead on a water test.
-Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. p.196

Why [bathe]? I was going to give you a stinky surprise.
-Josh Myers

That makes me smile in my pants.
-Brandon Barbee

I like Kittens. Meow meow meow. Meatball sandwich.
-Josh Myers

"I love Paris in the springtime." "I hate Jersey in the rain..."
-Tom Aspinwall (uni friend), me

It is generally a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher next to your computer when it runs on coal.
-Josh Myers

You'll have to excuse him--he's northern.
-Erica from University 101

Spontaneous Dance Party!
-Puck, on the Preston front porch

You keep on going on like you're beautiful. You're not beautiful--you're fucking ugly!
-Prof. Nikola Ristic (Philosophy 102)

One step ahead, several feet below.

I'm pretty sure Hell has fluorescent lighting.

It's obvious God has a sense of humour--just look at the Platypus!

Let me tell you--that was like doing laundry. It's not enjoyable, you never think its going to end, but when you're done, you're too tired to enjoy yourself.
-Josh Myers

See me after the show. I want to give you my old flogger.
-scary Rennie (name obliterated from memory)

"You're getting passionate about a moot issue. Leave the passion in the bedroom." "I'm just sayin. . .rreeeoowwww!"
-me, Josh Myers

I do my best...which is mediocre, at best.
-Josh Myers

Dammit. I'm naked. I just put these pants on--i've just been. Socks. Just these socks. I'm naked, I'm drunk, I'm so...Dammit, I'm naked!
-Josch Nasrollahi (uni friend) who was, indeed, naked

If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning.
-relayed by Sister

Go, Go, Gadget Furnace!
-Josh Myers

USC Berkeley is home to the single most densely concentrated population of geniuses in the country.
-Aunt Jan

The only thing I need to make you even more embarrassed of me is a yo-yo.
-Josh Myers

"This sounds...broken." -mom
"Yeah--I, er, dropped it. . . 14 times." -me
"Once or twice--that might have been an accident. But 14 times...yeah, I did it on purpose." -Rachel

"Wow, Kristen--this is cool!"-mom
"Did I buy it?"-me

Remember, Ladies--its Procreation, not Recreation. Where did you all get the idea that S-E-X is supposed to be F-U-N? It's time to close your eyes and do your duty.
-L.A.W (Ladies Against Women)

You're nobody until you're Mrs. Somebody.

Love creates survivors--I am never broken.
-relayed by Ginni Melton (freshman roommate)

It's a sad, sad world when a girl will break a boy just because she can.
-Fiona Apple

Single women complain that all the good men are taken while married women complain about their lazy husbands. This confirms that there is no such thing as a good man.
-no idea

Sexual in-yo-end, ho!
-Grant Robertson (uni friend)

Quotation Book--Senior Year FMHS

Ahh...America Juice.
-Kate Perrine (high school friend) on Coca-Cola while in France

-a word I associated with a hilarious painting depicting a naked man prancing around on a cliff in the Louvre--became a catch phrase among group on a trip to France)

Je suis un hot dog.
-Matt Sova (high school friend)

Don't bother going to Paris. Disgusting city.

Un photo, s'il vous plaît?
-most frequently used phrase during France trip.

It became a contest, then, of social graces...

FLUNCH!! (kiddie restaurant in France) spawned phrases Flunch you, Go to Flunch, I feel Flunchy, Have you Flunched yet? etc.
-France trip

I want to just stand in the yard under the sprinkler and point at the sky, shouting "AIR-PANE"
-Adam Miller

I just know that one day after the park closes, the music will turn off, all the streetlamps will torch up, and a voice will come over the intercom and say "You are in Hell..."
-Ross from the rockwall, on employment at Paramount's Carowinds theme park

Something is moving--Run Away!!
-Sarah Miller's (high school friend) cat, Monster. (Actions interpreted by work friend Wes Baker)

Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
-Brad Pitt, Fight Club

I have the worst breath of any man or beast--there's no way to fight it.
-Garrison Keillor in sketch "The Lives of the Cowboys," A Prairie Home Companion

Go euthanasia--we've gotta keep humans from being.
-Kara Gabauer (high school friend)/Ko

Let me put it this way--I wear more makeup than my mother.
-Jay Gordon--vocalist, "Orgy"

You know, Hobbes, it's nice to hush up a while and let autumn stick in a few words.
-Calvin and Hobbes

How do you spell 'America?' A-M-E-R-I-K-A?
-Dennis Alferink (Carowinds exchange employee from Holland)

It is common courtesy to wear a shirt if you are hairier than an Italian gorilla on Rogaine.
-Kara Gabauer

"According to the chaos theory, your tiny change in this universe can completely shift the destiny of another universe, possibly killing every inhabitant." "Shift happens." "Fire it up!"
-Dogbert and Dilbert

You rock my party hardcore, or 135 degrees.
-Debby Flores (close friend)

If your backpack was a kangaroo, this would be its joey.
-Jason Ford (AP English teacher) on dictionaries

C'mon guys, you're sittin' there like bumps on a pickle.
-Mrs. Spittle (public speaking teacher)

Stop bitching--start a revolution.
-bumper sticker

Hooking up computers is a lot like having unprotected sex--what kinds of viruses does the other harbor?

Sleep more--type less.

. . . And sometimes the President of the US goes to the UN security council and says "This is how it will be." and China abstains.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes--you don't have to be a Christian or an athlete. . . its the Everybody Club!
-Erin Doran (high school friend)

If the USA doesn't want to lead, who will--and how?
-who knows

Y'know, people look at what you're wearing before they see what your personality is; they look at who you're standing with instead of what you're standing for.
-Katie Hillagher (classmate)

That's like going to the video store and shopping for milk.
-Debby Flores

...and in 1972 the island of Kosankeland. . .
-Chris Garrick (Model UN classmate)

Beware of flying Chinese people with subtitles.
-Tracey Johnson (classmate) on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

What do you call a Jamaican proctologist? --Pok
-Tommy Ray (neighbor)

You're about to get struck down, like an operative clause.
-Ashley McFarland (classmate)

We came; we tried; we failed.
-Scott Carley on Swedish military forces (Model UN classmate)

There's usually this huge disparity between the number of thinks we would like to learn compared to the amount of stuff we already know. There's a lot of stuff like that--like the pyramid thing with the creepy eyeball on the back of a dollar bill. I mean, what the hell is that? I honestly don't have any idea. But the thing is, I don't think anyone else knows for sure either. The thing is just weird as hell. I mean, why an eye? Why a pyramid? Think about it. When you turn over a dollar bill you'd never expect to see a glowing ear hovering over the Parthaenon, so why's the eyeball above the pyramid acceptable?
-Josh Myers

. . .and I don't know why I'm telling you this, but...

What is a 'happy' word? 'Bunny' is a happy word. 'Rabbit' is not a happy word.
-Jason Ford

Ahh, South Carolina. Too small to be a country, too large to be an insane asylum.
-relayed by Ko

Would the delegate from the USA like a cookie?
-Jonathan Malphrus (Model UN classmate) representing the PLO

Kosanke's Ko-Horts. . .

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
-Napoleon the Pig. George Orwell, Animal Farm

Kids don't spread joy--they spread germs.
-Jennifer Patterson (i have no idea)

Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
-Benjamin Franklin. 1755.

Go ahead and laugh all you want--I've still got my philosophy.
-Ben Folds 5 (from Nate Welker, high school friend)

"What a coincidence that you said that--my roommate and I were just talking about that yesterday." "Yeah, you think there's really something interesting to talk about--but there's not."
-Rachel and Cousin Josh

What we need is pain-sensitive computers--ones that, when you punch them, know, "I will never do that again."
-Cousin Josh

If idiots could fly this place would be a frickin' airport.

You know, if you were any more negative I think you would implode.

I didn't go snowboarding--I went fallin' down a mountain.
-Cousin Josh

Listen, Zorak--this is how it is.
-Nate Welker

Boredom is the root of all evil.

The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.
-Earnest Hemingway

"I can't get da gum offa my finguh. . ." "Behold, the quintessence of the AP student!"
-Scott Carley, Jason Ford

Search your feelings--you know him to be gay.
-me (Yoda rip-off)

If you were any closer to the cutting edge, you'd be bleeding.
-Jason Ford

Your immune system keeps you healthy--but it can also kill you.
-Mrs. Davis (Biology 2 teacher)

Isn't that remarkable!
-Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman

Sometimes a lamp-post is just a lamp-post.

If I touch something red-hot, so many messages come through my spinal cord that the message "this is hot" doesn't reach my brain before my spine says "move, stupid." I have to move before my brain can say "ouch."
-Mrs. Davis

Cry me a river, then build a bridge and jump off.
-Kate Liotta (classmate)

You're all schizophrenic, because I'm not real.
-Debby Flores

My car and I go everywhere together.

Tomorrow is 'Hug your friend who has Leprosy' Day.
-Kara Gabauer

The burden borne by the super-flexible is that, to achieve comfort, you have to stretch really, really weird.

All liars smell like chicken.
-Jason Ford

We live for Trivial Pursuit and Treasure Bear!
-12th grade AP English class joke

Jump back, Eminem--here's Fabe!
-Kate Liotta

La Patchanka's the sound for proud souls and lonely hounds.
-Mano Negra, Patchanka album cover

Say that in English.
-Mrs. Davis

Quotation Book--Junior Year FMHS

Let your light shine, but don't blind nobody.
-Emily Matthews (someone I've heard of)

Color Me Cynical.
-Scott Kosanke (greatest AP US History teacher alive, hereafter listed as "Ko")

Yeah, man--it was like I was adding 4+4 and getting 7½.
-Jon McGregor (drummer)

Serrously, 1 piece.
-Mike Acock, Keil McMurray (drummers)

I can be a pompous dork if I want to!
-symphonic B band oboeists (2 including me)

When God created animals, he had some parts left over, so he mashed 'em up in a ball and dropped it on Australia and called it a Duck-Billed Platypus.
-Nate Christensen (high school friend)

If you turn your head to the side and squint at it, it kinda looks like a. . .a pancreas.
-Nate Christensen, William Hendrix (also friend)

Why can you see that which you're not looking at out of the corner of your eye so perfectly?
-William Hendrix (in regard to a couple snogging a bit disgustingly at a nearby table)

When you look at the notes on this page, do you see seeds or do you see flowers?
-Martin Dickey (full time band director, full time asshole. when does he sleep?)

So we'll start back with why we dropped the bomb on Pearl Harbor. . .
-Ko (whoops)

Remember? You're stabbing them here--I'd prefer you to do it with a knife, and not a stick of butter! (Ack! I've been Buttered! Now you're gonna sautee me!)
-Sean Carney (band director, but dorky and kind)

Go ahead and mark on the calendar, "coma."
-Josh Myers (low lifed jerk with a keen sense of the world around him)

You're lying through your cavities.
-Kyle Smith (I don't remember who this is)

I'm gonna hang you in about 2 seconds...
-Ann Ledford (the nicest teacher ever)

I can take both of you! at a time...with my car...
-Katie Miller (oboeist)

This is my 15 minutes of fame! Then I'll be obscure for the rest of my life, but this is my 15 mintues of fame!
-Sean Carney

If i was perfect, you'd be in flames right now.
-Katie Miller

Sheez! This is Intrusions--not Sleepusions.
-Sean Carney

If there's nothing cool after the first drop, the rest of the roller coaster may as well not be there. It could just be: Big Hill, Get Off--Whoo!
-Scotty Sells (greatest drummer...ever)

Duct Tape is like the Force--it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together.
-well-known quotation, unknown author

Yeah, in death they put you in a box and cover you up with dirt and don't even let you out for weekends.
-Mel Gibson, Air America

Jonathan Malphrus's parents--Sparkles and the Judge
-11th grade AP US History class joke

That's like me sayin "well I love you, but I'm tha shit."
-Tim Cossor (drummer)

Don't act like you're coming from somewhere, but you're going somewhere else.
-Scotty Sells

I know your sentiments, because I feel them exactly--there is no excuse for stupid people.
-Mr. Waddell (neighbor)

We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
-George Orwell, 1984

The oboe is the most tempramental instrument.
-Dr. Ashley Barrett, oboe professor at UNCG

I hate women--they always know where everything is.
-James Thurber (no idea)

Do it yourself--start your own country.
-no idea

It takes a special kind of stupidity to join into a profession where you are overworked, underpaid, and spend your life trying to help people who don't want to be helped.
-William Hendrix

. . . But I'm weird anyway.
-Mrs. Carpenter (a rather stuffy English teacher, but aren't they all?)

Grab some plastic, folks.
-Ko (meaning to say "have a seat")

Mommy, is that God?
-Ko (as a child, upon first seeing an African-American)

I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.
-Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

"When you guys come to turn your papers in, you'll have to step over the carcasses." "Why?" "'Cos from the looks on your faces, you're shooting a lot of bull."
-Mrs. Carpenter

If God dropped acid, would he see people?
-no idea

Stuffin? This here's polyester.
-Hunk, The Wizard of Oz stage production

I doubt, therefore I might be.
-no idea

Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.
-Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) Spaceballs

What's that useless piece of skin at the end of a penis called? A MAN!
-Eric Idle, The Road to Mars

At the customs office encountered upon entering Australia a person is asked: "Do you have a criminal record?" "Good heavens, I had no idea one was still required."
-old British humour

I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own except that you happen to be insane.
-George Orwell, 1984

Diva Football! (Its about boys with grace--we can lose with style.)
-Sister on North Carolina School of the Arts athletics

Looks like I'm talkin' to myself here.
-Josh Myers

You keep on knockin' but you can't come in . . .
-Cheech and Chong Up in Smoke

Ko phone home.

This is the ear. You use it to hear with. Now on to something else.
-Mr. Sacco (FMHS AP Biology teacher)

Kids. . . all they want is violence and candy.
-Robert "Trae" DeLellis (high school friend)

The Black Band-O-Death.
-William Hendrix, on an event of Red Ribbon Week

It's the year of the tomato. . .
-Sarah Bergman (high school friend)

If a book is boring, it is poorly written.

Oh, if I were alive I'd just kill myself.
-Joey Wyatt (high school friend)

If you are currently giving birth to a flaming porcupine, in an igloo, in the middle of the amazon rainforest. . . you have problems.
-Nicolas Hough

My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed him till now.
-John F. Kennedy, Jr.

We don't know, we will never know, who cares?

We will again separate the true believers from those who only see that hat.
-Scotty Sells

Ko's senior superlative: most likely to take over a 3rd World country.

Pain is your friend--it tells you you're still alive.
-Adam Miller (ex-boyfriend) but probably relayed from US Marine Corps propaganda

Grown Ups--judge not, lest ye be judged.
-Scotty Sells

Gold, frankincense, myrrh--you know, the usual gifts.

A gaggle of guidance counselors. . .

Ko's Axiom #1: People are Stupid.
Ko's Axiom #2: And that's why we're here.
(If all else fails, refer to Axiom #1)

Dull, Duller, Dulles (John Fostor Dulles)

I was going to [sing on] Broadway, but now I'm going to Fort Mill instead.
-Sean Hou (prodigy child from FM)

(on Theodore Roosevelt's Trust Busting campaign) I got a bigger stick than you--who cares if its constitutional?

In World War II, the most feared sights were 18-year old German and Japanese men with a machine gun. The most welcome sight was an 18-year old American with a machine gun, because there was probably a candy bar close behind.

. . . they don't have all those amazing consonants in their names.

This is a 5'2", 86lb. ballerina on a tightrope--not an elephant on a 2x4. . .
-Sean Carney

No dancing on tables with spurs.
-sign from Joe's Crab Shack (chain restaurant)

(caption on a mounted artificial fish) "Big Dead Fish", caught by Joe's momma in the reedy river by the train station.
-sign from Joe's Crab Shack

Billy Badass, Danny Dumbass...
-Adam Miller

Quite possibly the saddest thing you could ever see would be a mosquito sucking a mummy. "Forget it, little friend."
-Jack Handey, Saturday Night Live

CD's are like bad acid--not to be produced or consumed. Viva la Vinyl!
-Pearl Jam, Vitalogy album book

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

gamecock article on cathedrals

published today by the University of South Carolina student newspaper, probably hacked to pieces by an editor who seems to enjoy countering my spellchecking. on the web at

On Cathedrals

If there's one thing in this world that I'll never have a full grasp on, its cathedrals. Vast, mind-numbingly beautiful structures in stone and concrete, they bedazzle the eye and the spirit with perfectly formed arches, intricate sculpture, delicate filigree in gold, and--what on earth? A really ugly painting. It befuddles me how architecture from 1077 was so amazing, so ornate that each wall in a room is supported by several identical hand-chiseled, 50 foot tall attractive columns, but then some shining star 500 years later decided to soil the actual walls with lousy paintings of disproportionate people and 2-D landscapes. Canterbury cathedral, for all its might and prowess, is full of them.

Take, for example, a rendering of the Legend of St. Eustace: a 19-foot high, 9-foot wide doodle depicting the life and martyrdom of the man, painted in the 1400's. Every person, animal, building, and even plant is so malformed that its comical--on first sight I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. There are certain places where its simply inappropriate to giggle, and the quire of a living tenth century cathedral is one of them. A particularly good example from this painting is near the bottom, in which Eustace has a vision of Christ between the horns of a stag. The stag, standing a full 4 hands higher than the saint's horse, has one big eye in the centre of its forehead and uniformly yellow fur. The pair meet in a forest of waist-height topiaries that look rubber-stamped up and down the wall like brickwork. And Eustace himself, seated--or possibly standing--between the two, has one arm from a gigantic tanned lumberjack and the other from a diminutive, shut-in princess.

There's no excuse for this. Artistic styles and forms had moved well past cave drawings by the fifteenth century. The walls of the Sistine Chapel were painted in the same century as this monstrosity, and even Michaelangelo's ceiling didn't come much more than fifty years after both. The paintings covering the chapel are of people and angels who clearly overlap to show depth, express roundness through shadow and hue, and have realistic-looking faces, muscle structure, and attire. Pisanello painted a scene depicting the same events at the same time as or even earlier than the mural, now at the National Gallery in London, which clearly depicts sources of light, landscape intricacies, and even what a real deer looks like. German Albrecht Dürer sketched the scene, too, no more than fifty years later, and it involved a real-looking man, an interesting forest, and a believably distant castle on a hill.

I'm not going to claim that every artist should have the same talents as Michaelangelo, but if you're the head of a church it would probably be wise to view a sample of an artist's work before commissioning them to paint an enormous mural on the wall of an already historic cathedral. Canterbury cathedral was nearly 400 years old when that painting was made--it had enough clout by then to legitimately expect quality interior decoration. Not finger-paintings my 8-year old cousin would scoff at.

If English people were artistically inclined enough in the eleventh century that they could create this church--with its quire and cloister and crypt and breezeways and tombs topped with sculptures of the deceased and all of its lovely stained glass windows, you'd think that half a millennium later the repertoire would still include painters who could draw a person who looks real.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

On Cathedrals

If there's one thing in this world that I'll never have a full grasp on, its cathedrals. Vast, mind-numbingly beautiful structures in stone and concrete, they bedazzle the eye and the spirit with perfectly formed arches, intricate sculpture, delicate filigree in gold, and--what on earth? A really ugly painting. It befuddles me how amazing architecture from 1066 or whenever was so ornate that each wall in a room is supported by several identical hand-carved ornate columns, but the actual walls themselves are covered in really ugly paintings of disproportionate people and 2-D landscapes. Remember, this is pre-Michaelangelo. Canterbury cathedral, for all its might (it takes up a good chunk of the town) and prowess, is full of them. If people were artistically inclined enough at the time that they could create this church and cloister and crypt and breezeways and tombs topped with sculptures of the deceased and all of its lovely stained glass windows, you'd think they'd have painters around who could draw a person who actually looks real. Perspective drawing wasn't huge at the time but you could at least draw a figure in prayer with two arms of the same length, surely. 1000's painting leaves something to be desired.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Christmas is coming

and i still can't figure out if i should head home. i know i should, to be nice to my folks and get some presents and see what few friends i have remaining, but on the other hand I really would just prefer not to. I don't want to endure the same loss and sadness of getting on a plane yet again and bidding my parents adieu. As it is i'm quite settled in here and don't feel like uprooting again for a good long time. I'm moderately opposed to packing a bag, hitching a coach, fighting through airports, dragging myself back to Charlotte, sitting around the house with my parents for three weeks, then heading back. there's nothing to do in Canterbury, sure, but there's nothing better to do in SC. And for the holiday travel pricetag? the cheapest i've been able to find so far is 600 pounds, and you can't seem to buy tickets leaving from London in American money. figures. $600 is almost understandable for a price, but as the pound is just about double the dollar, i don't have $1,200 to blow on a one-way ticket from London, and my folks don't either. Gracious alive. this hurts my soul.