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The late, great David Bowie’s “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore”

Poor David Bowie. I think of him often. Anyone who rises that high and then slowly burns out – artistically, I mean – well, it must be hard. Classical composers generally get better with age. But it aint necessarily so with pop stars. I guess pop music is all wrapped up in the hopes, dreams and angst of youth. So when the star isn’t a youth any more, it gets harder and harder to connect.

Bowie’s final album had a beautiful song, “Lazarus,” which to me seemed heavily influenced by an 80s band called The Cure. Most people who remember rotary dial phones have probably heard “Lazurus.” And if they were listening to pop in the 80s, I think they’d recognize The Cure connection.

But today I want to talk about another song on the final Bowie album, “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore.”

I don’t like this song very much. When I first saw the title I thought Bowie was just being rough and crude for the sake of it, like a relic from a different age trying to be cool. After all, today we talk about “sex-workers” and the term “whore” is totally inappropriate and probably illegal to use in public.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

But on Googling the song I found that, as often happens, there was more to Bowie’s work that I’d realized. Turns out there is an English play from 1629 by John Ford called “‘Tis Pitty Shee’s a Whore.” No doubt this influenced Bowie and I have to apologize to his enduring spirit for having judged out of ignorance!


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Old Word Friday: Jobler

Prophecy Six Blog

Hello World Out There World!

This weeks old word Friday is jobler. Jobler is a noun believed to have been created around 1662 and didn’t grow in popularity after that. This weeks word means ‘someone who works small jobs’.

Pronunciation of this word is:

job-ler

Examples of using this word in a sentence are:

If you can’t find full-time work than become a jobler.

Or…

I met a nice gentleman the other day who’s a wonderful jobler.

I like the word jobler. It is easy and fun to say, which is usually the reasons behind why I want certain words to come back into common use – like nibling. If used in common conversation jobler may confuse some people but the word has job in it… so it is possible that those you say the word to will pick up on what it could mean. I would love to…

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they’re there

elemental fract/on

For a while I lived above an old diner. It was built around 1920. This place had a life of it’s own, you could feel the past still alive inside. At night when the diner closed you could still sense someone was inside. The hallway to get to my door was long and narrow. Occasionally it would feel like someone walked by me as I unlocked my door, the air moved. At times you just knew someone was right in front of you, staring, ready to confront you. I always entered through the back of the building. Two flights of metal stairs. Going up, they watched. I was the new guy. The one that wasn’t excited about the diner atmosphere. The one you would only get a hello out of if you were lucky. They watched me coming up. They moved out into the hall, silent but present. One place I…

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Time is a river

Jorge Luis Borges – Image via Tumblr – Click for fullsize

In my neighborhood we have these cool little mini-libraries out on people’s front lawns where books are shared. They look like oversized birdhouses. I’m not sure if this is just a Toronto thing or if it happens all over. Maybe someone could enlighten me on that.

Anyhow, I was walking by one of these tiny libraries last summer and found a great little paperback called Labyrinths by the celebrated Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges. Borges is an interesting guy, speculating on just about everything from the Bible, ancient myth, East-West philosophy and, in this quote, time.

Jorge_Luis_Borges – Wikipedia

Borges apparently never wrote much more than fragments, essays and short stories. But he’s respected the world over. This fact affords me the opportunity to voice something that I’ve been thinking about for some time: Perhaps someday people will see internet comments as a potential art form. I’m not talking about blog entries but, rather, comments.

This certainly isn’t the case today. Most people are too pedantic and regimented to think that creatively. But when you do think about it, the internet is like a huge labyrinth, with layers of not only varying degrees of visibility but also privacy. So why can’t commenting on the web be a valid art form in itself?

I think it can. But let’s let posterity be the judge.


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Emily Dickinson – Selected Poems

Nehal's World

dickinson-house

[Emily Dickinson’s House, now a Museum]

The wind tapped like a tired man,
And like a host, “Come in,”
I boldly answered; entered then
My residence within

A rapid, footless guest,
To offer whom a chair
Were as impossible as hand
A sofa to the air.

No bone had he to bind him,
His speech was like the push
Of numerous hummingbirds at once
From a superior bush.

His countenance a billow,
His fingers, if he pass,
Let go a music, as of tunes
Blown tremulous in glass.

He visited, still flitting;
Then, like a timid man,
Again he tapped–’twas flurriedly—
And I became alone.

-Emily Dickinson – Selected Poems

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Wonderful Word Wednesday: Chockablock

Prophecy Six Blog

Yes, as weird as this word looks it is a word. Although it appears to be a compound word I assure you it is not… it is a word that stands alone and is actually a fun word to use.

Chockablock’s first unknown use was during 1850 as a nautical term/ rhyming phrase meaning the two blocks and tactical found on the vessels seaman were work on. [Definition Found HERE]

Now-a-days the word has taken a completely different turn. Chockablock means full, jammed, or overly crowded. This is also believed to be the word that led to the formation of the word chockful (like chockful of information).

Here are some ways of using the word:

I am chockablock of information on weird words.

Or…

This room is chockablock of people.

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“Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” by William Shakespeare

Stuff Jeff Reads

Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

This poem marks the transition from the procreation sonnets to the romantic sonnets, and since this is still considered one of the “fair youth” sonnets, there is a strong belief that this poem and the rest…

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