the wheel of commerce

30 October 2009

a wry observation from the pages of Dorothy L. Sayers' Murder Must Advertise expressed in a conversation between two advertisement copy-writers:

"I think this is an awfully immoral job of ours. I do, really. Think how we spoil the digestions of the public."

"Ah, yes--but think how earnestly we strive to put them right again. We undermine 'em with one hand and build 'em up with the other. The vitamins we destroy in the canning, we restore in Revito, the roughage we remove from Peabody's Piper Parritch we make up into a package and market as Bunbury's Breakfast Bran; the stomachs we ruin with Pompayne, we re-line with Peplets to aid digestion. And by forcing the damn-fool public to pay twice over--once to have its food emasculated and once to have the vitality put back again, we keep the wheels of commerce turning and give employment to thousands."

Word File

20 October 2009

Peroration: a formal speech often characterized by high, haughty language.

example: "Well now I think this here is none o' your business, I do, and another thing..." The man stuck his thumbs in his tattered lapels and commenced a grand peroration in which he proclaimed the evils of the judicial system, the savagery of the free market, the oppression of organized religion, and the general unpleasantness associated with having to wear shoes when he entered the station.
" two left feet, that's what, and I says to the bobby I says, here now what kind of a scam are you runnin'? It's a conspiracy...
"... and I can't 'elp it if...
"... I mean the popes and the cardinals and the senators are all in it together...
" ...she threw me out; literally tossed my bag ..."

Obviously his beer-bathed eloquence would get me nowhere. I turned the corner and hailed a cab.

07 October 2009

The year relents, and free
Of work, I climb again
To where the old trees wait,
Time out of mind. I hear
Traffic down on the road,
Engines high overhead.
And then a quiet comes,
A cleft in time, silence
Of metal moved by fire;
The air holds little voices,
Titmice and chickadees,
Feeding through the treetops
Among the new small leaves,
Calling again to mind
The grace of circumstance,
Sabbath economy
In which all thought is song,
All labor is a dance.
The world is made at rest,
In ease of gravity.
I hear the ancient theme
In low world-shaping song
Sung by the falling stream.
Here where a rotting log
Has slowed the flow: a shelf
Of dark soil, level laid
Above the tumbled stone.
Roots fasten it in place.
It will be here a while;
What holds it here decays.
A richness from above,
Brought down, is held, and holds
A little while in flow.
Stem and leaf grow from it.
At cost of death, it has
A life. Thus falling founds,
Unmaking makes the world.

Wendell Berry
Sabbath Poems 1983:II from A Timbered Choir


06 October 2009

If you have a bit of time on your hands, please do take a look at this blog, Cold Antler Farm. It's one of my life's inspirations and secret aspirations to be like this young woman who went from web-designing city girl to homesteader. Her blog traces her experiences frankly and poetically.

And she has a book, Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life, which I've put on my to-read list. You can find it here.