"Full fathom five"
"suffer a sea-change"
"something rich and strange"
"the fellowship of the suit"
"love me or leave me"
"perchance to dream"
"vaya con dios"
Marx: Opium for the masses
House that Jack Built
Manna from Heaven
Buddhism, Tibet, Feudalism etc
India, Dowry Disputes and Bride Burnings
Love in the time of Cholera
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
/'see chaynj/ noun 1. a complete or radical transformation: *In the
meantime Scotty was undergoing something of a sea change. --JAMES ALDRIDGE,
1973. 2. a change brought about by the sea.
Terms -includes definitions (15KB, (Coastal Engineering Research
SEA CHANGE. (1) A change wrought by the sea. (2) A marked transformation.
Main Entry: sea change
1 archaic : a change brought about by the sea
2 : a marked change : TRANSFORMATION
ACT: I SCENE: II
Setting: The island. Before PROSPERO'S cell.
Speakers: PROSPERO; FERDINAND; MIRANDA
should this music be? i' the air or the earth?
It sounds no more: and sure, it waits upon
Some god o' the island. Sitting on a bank,
Weeping again the king my father's wreck,
This music crept by me upon the waters,
Allaying both their fury and my passion
With its sweet air: thence I have follow'd it,
Or it hath drawn me rather. But 'tis gone.
No, it begins again.
fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell
Note: Pursuant to
The Tempest, Lyn has pointed out to me that Miranda's name may
be inspired by "Miranda" the daughter of Prospero.
This is probably
a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien's novel "The Fellowship of the
Ring" being the first section of his very epic novel the Lord
of the Rings. The others in the Lord of the Rings book are The
Two Towers and The Return of the King. While not part of
The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is also a story of Middle-Earth
and the one that bored me to tears and initially dissuaded me from reading
the set. I have actually just read the LOTR set and am now one
of those people who think that the novel is fantastic.
This sweet and sexy
jazz standard is all about losing love. You can read the lyrics here.
This title may
be referring to the book by Anne Tyler known as "The Accidental
Tourist" which Lawrence Kasdan then made into a movie of the same
name starring William Hurt as Macon the depressed travel writer, Kathleen
Turner as Sarah and Geena Davis as Muri.
This is a great
old jazz/swing standard written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn. The
lyrics are reproduced here.
Ella Fitzgerald does a fantastic version.
ACT: III SCENE:
Setting: A room in the castle.
HAMLET To be, or
not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream:
ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.
This is a Spanish
blessing which means "Go with God" and is used as a farewell
Hearts and Crustaceans", Max quotes from the Russian poet Alexander
Pushkin in the courtroom. You can read different versions of the poem
Vaughan / Polly Von
The weird Irish
ditty that Max sings during "Head for Water"
is Polly Vaughn / Polly Von. It's a somewhat gruesome song about love,
death, urder and all that sort of stuff. It has been recorded by Frankie
Armstrong with a variant by Harry Cox, a group called Chelsea sing a
version called "Polly Von" and Norman Kennedy sings a version
called "Molly Bawn". You can read variations here.
Opium of the Masses
House that Jack Built", Paula tells Max: "What's a little
opium for the masses?"
Karl Marx (1818
- 1883) wrote the introduction to Contribution to the Critique of
Hegel's Philosophy of Law at the end of 1843-January 1844. It was
published in the DeutschFranzösische Jahrbücher, 1844 and it contained
one of his most famous quotes:
the opiate of the masses."/ "Religion is the opium of the masses."
I don't intend to
go into a huge dissertation about my own theories on religion and atheism,
but the spirit is basically that religion is a social construct designed
to keep the masses happy. In its own way, it is as harmful as opium.
Links on the web:
Karl Max on Religion - Religious Atheism
The Marx/Engels Internet
Archive - this is very good
that Jack Built
that Jack Built is a well-known children's nursery rhyme. You can
read the full rhyme here.
It has also been performed as a song by Aretha Franklin. Weirdly enough,
Metallica has a song called the House
that Jack Built which you can read here.
It is from their "Load" album which was released in June 1996.
the bread that fell from the sky for the starving Israelites. According
to Exodus 16, "it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste
of it was like wafers made with honey". Sounds quite yummy.
You can read more
about "manna from heaven" here,
which discusses its biblical context and also provides some dictionary
Feudalism, Tibet etc
I did have a big spiel here before discussing slavery and feudalism
in Tibet, but I've decided that I'll just set out some links
It's hard to find
sites that stick to purely historical reporting and don't incline themselves
one way or the other. You'll just have to make up your own opinion.
I'm inclined to side with Max Connors, myself.
I think Buddhism
is groovy as a religion, but I think politics sucks. OK, now for the
History of Tibet (non-political)
China Internet Information Centre
Feudal Serf System
Australian Tibet Council
Links (these are all non-political):
Dowry disputes, and bride burnings
According to the
CNN article 'Bride
Burning' alive and well in India, every two hours a woman
in India is killed over a dowry -- and dozens of others are harassed
The article says
that between 1987 and 1991 the number of dowry deaths skyrocketed by
170 percent. Young
women throughout India are still being harassed for dowries, and an
estimated 5,000 a year murdered. The dowry system is an ancient custom
and its brutality has been exacerbated by a twentieth century greed
when families demand consumer goods
burnings" occur in India where young women whose husbands and in-laws
have set them on fire in disputes over dowries. Apparently,
burning is common because in-laws can then claim it was a cooking accident.
Dowries are as old
as India, but in recent years the stakes have risen. The bride's family
is expected to hand over cash and gifts such as televisions, cars and
refrigerators. It's hard not to be a moral objectivist when confronted
with such a situation.
Other links of
Department of State India Country Report on Human Rights Practices for
1997 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, January
Material Basis for Women's Liberation
The Kama Sutra of
Vatsyayana is a work of ancient Indian erotica that was written about
1500 years. It is basically a technical guide / scholarly treatise to
sexual enjoyment and other sensual pleasures. As well s being a precursor
to the modern day "sex manual", it also contains many historical
and anthropological insights into the sexual mores and practices of
You can read the
Classic translation of 1883 by Sir Richard F. Burton (1821 - 1890) the
famous British explorer, linguist, and anthropologist at Bibliomania.com.
You don't know how difficult it was to find this version - try searching
for Kama Sutra on the web and you end up with heaps of porn 'n crap.
I haven't read it
myself, but use your commonsense - it's sexually explicit so don't read
it if you're easily offended or if you're under-aged. There are links
to places you can download it at: http://www.exemplary.net/omnimedia/kamasutra.html
a novel written by the English novelist Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870).
The complete text of Great Expectations is available on-line
You can also
buy a copy
Mutual Friend is my favourite Dickens' novel, Great Expectations
ranks up there along-side A
Tale of Two Cities, Martin
Chuzzlewit, Oliver Twist and A
The main character
is Pip, whose life is forever changed by his dealings with the peculiar
Miss Havisham and the psychologically twisted Estella. There's a lot
more to the book of course, but I don't have the time to give a synopsis
on Charles Dickens:
Charles Dickens Links
Project created by Canisius High School - contains a synopsis, discussion
of themes etc.
The term "Parapsychology"
was used in the episode "Not such Great Expectations"
quite a lot.
the scientific and scholarly study of certain unusual events associated
with human experience. These experiences are sometimes called "psychic".
study Telepathy, Precognition, Clairvoyance, ESP (Extra-sensory perception),
Psychokinesis (also called PK), Bio-PK, NDE (Near death experience),
OBE (Out-of-body experience), Reincarnation, Haunting, Poltergeist and
For some links
Links for Parapsychology
The Consciousness Research
Web Directory of
Parapsychology Sources on the Internet
Max and Laura play
a game called Marco Polo in "Playing with
fire". Marco Polo (1254-1324) was a famous Venetian explorer
who is said to have travelled to China.
When he was seventeen,
he went to China with his father (Nicolo Polo), a merchant and his uncle.
According to his story, Marco Polo served as a government official in
China and his father and uncle served as military advisers to Kublai
Khan, the emperor of China.
In 1298, Marco Polo
was the captain of a Venetian galley that participated in a battle between
the fleets of
Venice and Genoa. He was captured by the Genoese and while in jail,
disctating to a fellow prisoner what he
saw and heard while he traveled.
of Marco Polo" was the basis of the first accurate maps of Asia.
On his death bed in 1324, a 70 year old Marco Polo apparently said:
"I didn't tell half of what I saw, because no one would have believed
You can see an online
slideshow called "Marco
Polo: His travels and their effects on the world".
You can read Marco
Polo's account of the tartars from the Mediaeval
While the Chinese
have always accepted that Marco Polo did indeed travel to China, there
are those historians who claim that Marco Polo never went to China.
You can read an
from USA today regarding the book Did Marco Polo Go to China?
by a British librarian named Frances Wood who suggests that Marco Polo
never made it to China. It's very sobering to think that Marco Polo
may have made it all up or plagiarised it, but Wood points out that
Marco Polo never referred to the Great Wall, to Chinese tea-drinking
ceremonies or to the practice of binding girls' feet to keep them small.
I'd prefer to believe
that Marco Polo did make it to China. *grin*
with fire", I think that Laura was reading Angela's
Ashes an autobiographical book written by the American-Irish writer
Frank McCourt based on his early childhood and the life of his mother
Angela. It tells of McCourt's family in
1930s Brooklyn who return to Ireland after living for years in poverty.
Like Wild Swans,
Satanic Verses, Memoirs of a Geisha or Shipping News, Angela's
Ashes has became the "it" book that everybody has to have
read. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles
Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
Subsequent to the
huge success of Angela's Ashes, he has since written a sequel called
'Tis which recounts McCourt's life in New York.
is also in the works, directed by Alan Parker and starring Emily Watson
and Robert Carlysle.
When I was in Dublin
recently, I saw a documentary on McCourt. Apparently the people of Limerick
are very snotty with McCourt for painting such an unappealing picture
of their hometown.
For my own part,
I'm a bit appalled that he would humiliate his mother by writing about
her when she only died recently - but I won't go into that debate here.
Debating topics like art, literature, history, exploitation, respect
for the dead and invasion of privacy would take up a huge amount of
time and energy.
Links to Frank
and reviews of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis
Says: Angela Ashes
of Angela's Ashes
link for Angela's Ashes
link for 'Tis
in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is a famous
book set from the end of the 19th century into the first decades of
the 20th century. The locale is an unnamed Caribbean seaport resembling
Cartagena. To read a summary of the novel, visit the summary
at New York University.
You can read reviews
by Robert Couteau
by Erin Sullivan
by Jen Andrew
You can buy the
book at amazon.
of the Ancient Mariner
A very, very long but famous poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
You can read it here.
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