Monday: Hili dialogue

Today is September 5—Labor Day in the US, and so those of us who are Good People will be laboring. Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus) has a dicky tum today, due to the unfortunate consumption of a greasy fried chicken dinner last evening. I never got indigestion when was younger. Getting old is the Death of a Thousand Cuts, with one little thing going wrong at a time until the Big Crunch happens. But so we beat on, boats against the current. . . . It is also the International Day of Charity, decreed by the increasingly useless organization of the United Nations. (That’s my tum speaking.)

On this day in 1793, the Reign of Terror began in France, and, in 1882, my favorite British football club, Tottenham Hotspur, was founded. And, on September 5, 1957, Jack Keroauc’s influential novel—at least it influenced me—was published: On the Road.  Notables born on this day include Jack Daniel (1850; yes, that Jack Daniel), Werner Herzog (1942) and Freddy Mercury (1946). Those who died on this day include Crazy Horse (1877), and Mother Teresa (1997, but it’s okay: as of yesterday she’s with God, interceding on behalf of importuning Catholics.) Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej recalls his young days when, like Hili, he clambered with ease up and down the cliffs to the River Vistula:

Hili: Did you also like to go down in order to come up?
A: Very much so.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy ty też lubiłeś schodzić w dół, żeby wejść pod górę?
Ja: Bardzo.

Finally, thanks to Grania, we have a kitten tw**t this morning. That kitten must be small!


  1. Mark
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I think somebody wise once said that old age is when every fart’s an adventure. If they didn’t, then I’m claiming credit for it.

    Worse, perhaps, than that: On Saturday night my son called me with an invitation to go out drinking with him, but I had to inform him that I’d hurt my back when bending over to put my slippers on. That’s gotta be old age.

    • Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Old age is the reverse of ‘new’ age:
      A growing child is emboldened that she indeed can dress herself all on her own while an ageing adult is humbled that she needs assistance from a chair.

      However life at any age is interesting. Things you can’t do that you once did are replaced by things that you can do that when younger you couldn’t.

  2. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    “Those who died on this day include […] Mother Teresa (1997, but it’s okay…”

    I’m going to contradict PCC (though I’m sure he was being sarcastic) and break his injunction against wishing people dead and suggest it would have been much more okay if the old bat had died in 1937 before she could do so much damage.

    International Day of Charity? That makes Saint Bojaxhiu even more ironic.
    Uncharitable, that’s me. Probably a byproduct of old age.


    • rickflick
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Yes it is interesting that to think of ourselves a good people we refrain from ever saying – “I wish so-and-so was dead”. Even though you and I both know there are at least a few who it would be morally wrong to not wish dead. This suggests another version of the trolley problem: Let’s say Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler (still in their youth) are tied down on track 1 and Bojaxhiu and Pol Pot (still in their youth) are tied down on track 2…you can do the rest.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted September 5, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        The old ‘would you kill Hitler’? Of course, if he *had* died in, say, 1935, he would now be remembered as a great leader and patriot who had a vision for rescuing Germany from the disaster of the post-WW1 years…

        Of course the trolley would probably derail and miss them all while I and [any other atheist you care to name] were fighting over the switch.


  3. barn owl
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Years ago, I loaned my copy of On the Road to a non-USAian grad student who was interested in reading American literature. Several weeks later:

    Me: How did you like the book?
    Grad Student: I loved it! I want to emulate Jack Kerouac …
    Me: No! Don’t! Here, watch this YouTube clip from the old Firing Line program – don’t be like Kerouac!

  4. bric
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    In honour of Werner Hertzog’s birthday, today is the annual Tweet Like Werner Twertzog Day

    Werner Twertzog ‏@WernerTwertzog
    Teach a man to fish,
    And you have condemned him to labor in a declining industry.

    This man has cojones! ‘It’s very exhilarating to be shot at unsuccessfully’

  5. Art
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    “A pain stabbed my heart, as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world.”

    –Kerouac, “On the Road”

  6. Ann German
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    ME TOO! (Influence of On the Road, that is, in 1966)

  7. koseighty
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Tiny kitten is ferocious. FEROCIOUS I tell you!

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    But so we beat on, boats against the current.

    And Nick Carraway recalls Gatsby staring at the green light on Daisy’s dock.

  9. E.A. Blair
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    In honor of what would have been his 70th(!) birthday, An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury

    “On what would have been the flamboyant Queen frontman’s 70th birthday Monday, an asteroid has been named in his honor.

    Queen guitarist Brian May announced the supersonic tribute to Mercury—who died due to complications stemming from AIDS in 1991—in a video announcement Sunday evening.

    Asteroid 17473 was discovered the same year as Mercury’s death and has been designated “Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury” by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center. It is located between Mars and Jupiter.”

    And as we all know, Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics.

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