palabra del día

actually, two new words of the day, this time from Manuel in Madrid (but originally Andalusian)…     Malage, from mal angel (bad angel)… someone who sees the bad in everything, who has a bad attitude, someone who is not fun to be with….   Desaborio, which means without flavour or taste, and refers to someone who is totally uninteresting, flavourless, colourless… I think we might refer to this type of person as a “long drink of water”. tonight I am dancing a bulerias and a tangos solo for the first time… I hope  my feet aren’t malages tonight and that my dancing isn’t desaborio!


new sins for the new millennium

  • I see in the G & M this morning, that the Pope has issued some new deadly sins.  Well maybe not deadly, but they’re way up there.  To quote the Vatican, “If yesterday sin had a rather individualistic dimension, today it has a weight, a resonance, that’s especially social, rather than individual.” 
  • So here they are :

  • pollution of the earth
  • violations of the basic rights of human nature through genetic manipulation

  • drugs that weaken the mind and cloud intelligence
  • the imbalance between the rich and the poor

  • I can’t disagree with any of those…. though I think Marx might want to make a comment about “the opiate of the masses”… discuss
  • two great programs to listen to

    One of the best things about living in the U.K. was BBC 4.  Often mocked as being the mouthpiece for liberal, middle-class Britain, BBC 4 was remarkable in my opinion, for the amount of drama, book programs, poetry programs and programs that discussed religion (often engaging skeptics vrs. the religious in thoughtful debate).  BBC 4 is 99.9% intelligent (some of the news/current affairs programs get tedious with their formula of debate), 75% heart, and a good 20% pure soul;  the latter being its religion coverage and its poetry. Since coming home to Canada, I have taken to listening to the Beeb online.  I particularly enjoy their “Listen Again” feature.  

  • This past week there has been a great program on poet Philip Larkin’s “lost tapes”.  Sometime in the ’70’s, Larkin recorded his “best” poems.  The tapes, made by a friend, were sitting on a shelf in a garage for 25 years gathering dust, and were only rediscovered a few months ago.  Fortunately, time didn’t destroy the tapes, which seem to be a collection of the pieces that Larkin felt were his best, but which, because of “contractual agreements”, couldn’t be published as a collection.The broadcast, “The Larkin Tapes”, talks about the discovery of the tapes, how the tapes were originally made, about Larkin’s personality (Andrew Motion is interviewed), and best of all, replays a number of Larkin’s poems as read by the poet.  Check it out   … just click on the listen again feature for Saturday, “The Larkin Tapes”.
  • The other great program you might want to listen to, is the Eleanor Wachtel interview with Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk. It was so intriguing listening to Pamuk discuss his apprenticeship as a writer, studying the European classics intensely for a decade, his admiration of Dosteovsky, about his inner life as a writer, and also, intriguingly, about his methodology for researching a book.  For his novel, Snow, he wandered the streets of a Turkish city, videotaping streets and houses, interviewing people, then taking his material back to Istanbul and digesting it. Fascinating. I’m going out to buy his latest book, Colours, a collection of essays, today. Essays, are my favourite form when reading for relaxation or inspiration. Whenever I need to think clearly, or write clearly, I take out Orwell’s collected essays and read one. Maybe I should do that daily!  Here is the link to Writers and Company and the Pamuk  interview.