Althouse | category: gold



a blog by Ann Althouse

Some pages of Bob Dylan's "Philosophy of Modern Song" are photos like this with a couple sentences isolated from the text.

I find that pretty amusing. You can buy the book here. I have the audiobook and the Kindle text, so I'm usually out walking around listening. I like Bob's voice, reading, and the various actors who read some of it are good too. I intersperse that reading with playing the songs. Here's a Spotify playlist of the songs. I have the Kindle so I can find quotes to blog, but in this case, I need the Kindle so I can see the illustrations, and then I also need the Kindle so I can contextualized those captions.

Here, in this case, it's:

She says look here mister lovey-dovey, you’re too extravagant, you’re high on drugs. I gave you money, but you gambled it away, now get lost. You say wait a minute now. Why are you being so combative? You’re way off target. Don’t be so small minded, you’re being goofy. I thought we had a love pact, why do you want to shun me and leave me marooned. What’s wrong with you anyway? I’m telling you, let’s be amiable, and if you’re not, I’m going to wrap this relationship up and terminate it. You’re asking her for money. She says money is the root of all evil, now take a hike. You try to appeal to her sensual side but she’s not having it. She’s got another man, which infuriates you no end. 

But no other man could step into your shoes, no other man can swap places with you. No other man would pinch-hit when it comes to her. How could it happen? I get it, she’s not in love with you anyway, she is in love with the almighty dollar. Now you’ve learnt your lesson, and you see it clear. Used to be you only associated with extraordinary people, now they’re all a dime a dozen, but you have to keep it in perspective. There’s always someone better than you, and there’s always someone better than him. You want to do things well. You know you can do things, but it’s hard to do them well. You don’t know what your problem is. The best things in life are free, but you prefer the worst. Maybe that’s your problem.

Now, what song is he talking about? 

See how he's inhabiting the main character in the song and paraphrasing the lyrics, but he's making the main character "you." He's giving this ridiculous person his say.

I propose a party game based on Bob Dylan's philosophy of song. Prior to the event, get your group to agree on a list of songs that everyone knows. Then, when it's your turn, you do a little monologue as the character in the song, not using the lyrics to the song, but restating the character's circumstances and feelings. Play it like charades, but with talking.

So, what's the song? The best things in life are free, but you prefer the worst. That's hilarious.

On this rainy Saturday evening, I've found 8 TikToks for your delectation. Let me know what you like.

1. A nice time-lapse of mural painting.

2. And our flag was still there.

3. He embodies healthy habits.

4. When you need a prosthetic eye, do you get something that matches your working eye?

5. The cool kids may belong back in the office, but for this guy, it's an anxiety hellscape.

6. Dad talks about mountain properties.

7. The joy Dad feels when he gets to tell the same joke he always tells.

8. Dressing for the occasion.

Trump ruins everything!

From "California’s Luxury Dining Circuit: Delicious and Dull/The French Laundry, the Restaurant at Meadowood and SingleThread have much in common: amazing precision, sky-high prices and a sedating sort of predictability" (NYT):
The macaroni and cheese in the golden egg, served as part of the tasting menu at the French Laundry, was absurdly delicious. The short noodles, cut by hand, had a tender spring. They were bound in a light, melting cloud of Parmesan. The result was simple, built on the retro American dishes that the chef, Thomas Keller, once wittily reimagined as high culture and maxed out to total extravagance....

[T]he dishes, and the ways they were delivered, reminded me of what’s possible when both the kitchen and the wait staff are operating at the highest level: sustained indulgence in an atmosphere of total comfort. The servers brought the gold-rimmed dish sets out and placed them down in unison. After lifting the egg tops and revealing the macaroni, they rained down a messy shower of black truffles, half on the food and half on the table, filling the air with perfume.

It was a stunning production. But the oversize golden egg on a series of gold plates did seem archaic — and not just because the French Laundry has used this presentation, for various dishes, for years. In the Trump era, gold seems a bit too eager to assert its value.....
The second-highest-rated comment:
This might be the most depressing article I have read recently. The image of these uber wealthy couples sitting in silence waiting for course after course of beautifully crafted art posing as food only reinforces my belief that all the money in the world cannot buy class. Am I right about that, Donald?
If this is the most depressing article you've read recently, you ought to be thanking the President of the United States. I'm sure the NYT would serve bad news stories about Trump if they had them. Their reporters would bring that news out on gray-rimmed dish sets and place them down in unison each morning and rain down a messy shower of dark opinions filling your breakfast-table air with stench. But the supplier isn't cooperating, so your hunger for the depressing will be met with the news that some expensive restaurants are too boringly perfect. And the day before, the NYT served, "Women Poop...." What a world of starvation for badness!

My drug-infused idea of the plot for a book.

Okay, so here's the idea I had while absorbing nitrous oxide and waiting for the novocaine to kick in just before my dentist extracted my upper left wisdom tooth. The topic of discussion was whether some people wanted to take their tooth with them, and I heard that some people want it because there's a gold crown. They want their gold. What, do they take it to some dealer for cash? It was mentioned that the tooth has the person's DNA. So I was picturing some gold dealer's shop with a store of gold-capped teeth, discovered 100 years in the future, when cloning human beings is a viable enterprise. They make new humans with the DNA of the people who wanted their extracted tooth and the cash value of whatever gold goes into a tooth crown. The thing is: This is a set of people made from the DNA of people who would take the old tooth because of the gold and go to a dealer to turn that gold into cash. A disparate group, but with one very specific thing in common. What sort of people emerge from that DNA? My drug-infused guess: Very annoying people.

ADDED: Meade suggested the title, "Children of the Tooth."

ALSO: I was afraid to get the tooth pulled, and I'd just gone through 2 cataract surgery experiences without feeling any fear at all. You might think a person would be much more sensitive about laser destruction of an internal part of the eye and a cut into the eye to insert a new part, but I talked about this with the dentist, and I think the answer is that we are very tuned in to feelings in the mouth. We have the daily pleasures of eating and drinking. I didn't talk about this with the dentist, but why is kissing so important? Our mouth has a heightened sense of touch. Our eyes are extremely important sense organs, but the sense is sight, and we don't use them for the sense of touch. We mostly don't want to feel anything in our eyes. We care about any irritants, even tiny irritants, but the ideal condition of the eye is to feel nothing.

I actually had a fantastically good experience with this tooth extraction. I want to say it was fun... even the sound effects, which might have been nauseatingly gruesome without the nitrous oxide. The tearing sound was... ludicrous!

"Some 130 million years ago, in another galaxy, two neutron stars... produced gravitational waves... a brief flash of light a million trillion times as bright as the sun..."

"... and then a hot cloud of radioactive debris. The afterglow hung for several days, shifting from bright blue to dull red as the ejected material cooled in the emptiness of space. Astronomers detected the aftermath of the merger on Earth on August 17... Using infrared telescopes, astronomers studied the spectra—the chemical composition of cosmic objects—of the collision and found that the plume ejected by the merger contained a host of newly formed heavy chemical elements, including gold, silver, platinum, and others. Scientists estimate the amount of cosmic bling totals about 10,000 Earth-masses of heavy elements."

From "The Plume of Gold Ejected by a Cosmic Collision" (The Atlantic).

"Ten members of ‘lost’ Amazon tribe are ‘killed, chopped up and thrown in river by gold miners hellbent on seizing their land.'"

"A complaint has been filed with prosecutors in South America after the alleged killers went into a bar and bragged about what they had done," the UK Sun reports.

Here's the NYT report. Excerpt:
“If the investigation confirms the reports, it will be yet another genocidal massacre resulting directly from the Brazilian government’s failure to protect isolated tribes — something that is guaranteed in the Constitution,” said Sarah Shenker, a senior campaigner with the rights group....

“When their land is protected, they thrive,” said Ms. Shenker... “When their land is invaded, they can be wiped out.”

"Few match the opulence of the airstrip setup, whose owner claims to run the largest store of gold for private clients..."

"Near the runway sits the VIP lounge and a pair of luxurious apartments for clients. The walls of the apartments are lined with aged wood from Polish barns. South African quartzite was chosen for the floors to match the faded gray timber, and the amenities—bathroom mirror, TV screens—can retract into the ceiling, counter, or wall. The owner offers a place for clients to sleep and eat, because 'many do not want to leave a paper trail of credit card receipts and passports' at hotels and restaurants."

From a Bloomberg article titled "Secret Alpine Gold Vaults Are the New Swiss Bank Accounts." These vaults are built in "a maze of tunnels" — old military bunkers in Switzerland. With "luxurious apartments" on top. What inspires people with gold to trust these places? Aged wood from Polish barns?? You've got to trust something when you have gold that needs to be stashed.

"We don’t see any tangible evidence of criminality of a systemic nature, but this could be a topic for the future," said the Swiss secretary of state for international finance.

Russia has built an Orthodox church in Antarctica....

... built from logs from Siberia, which you can see in a photo that illustrates a NYT article called "Countries Rush for Upper Hand in Antarctica."

It made me think of the old Bob Dylan song "I Shall Be Free No. 10":
Well, I don’t know, but I’ve been told
The streets in heaven are lined with gold
I ask you how things could get much worse
If the Russians happen to get up there first
Wowee! pretty scary!
That song is from 1964 and the reference is to the race to get to the moon. We'd been led to feel that it would be a disaster if the Russians got there first:
[I]f we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny... Now it is time to take longer strides--time for a great new American enterprise....
Make America great again. I think President Kennedy said that.
Some pages of Bob Dylan's "Philosophy of Modern Song" are photos like this with a couple sentences isolated from the text.

Report "Althouse"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?