Blog Archives

Sofia Barbosa

Here are Sofia Barbosa and Joana Melo, contemporary fado singers, on “Povo que lavas no rio.” I am a great admirer of Barbosa, and of her dress – I could use one just like that.

The song is by the immortal Amália Rodrigues. It is addressed to the “Countryfolk who wash clothes in the river / And cut with your axes / The boards for my casket.”

Povo que lavas no rio
E talhas com o teu machado
As tábuas do meu caixão.
Pode haver quem te defenda
Quem compre o teu chão sagrado
Mas a tua vida não.

Fui ter à mesa redonda
Bebi em malga que me esconde
O beijo de mão em mão.
Era o vinho que me deste
A água pura, puro agreste
Mas a tua vida não.

Aromas de luz e de lama
Dormi com eles na cama
Tive a mesma condição.
Povo, povo, eu te pertenço
Deste-me alturas de incenso,
Mas a tua vida não.

Povo que lavas no rio
E talhas com o teu machado
As tábuas do meu caixão.
Pode haver quem te defenda
Quem compre o teu chão sagrado
Mas a tua vida não.

Axé.

3 Comments

Filed under Songs

Local Color

This video presents a good deal of the scenery in which I participate during my commutes. It will have to stand in for me over the next few days, as I am abandoning my usual orbits to attend this conference. I will return by the end of the month if not before.

Here to keep you company are the Pinko Feminist Hellcat’s excellent suggestions on how to combat global feudalism, Geoffrey Philp on the preservation of digital memory and access to reading material for one and all, Derek Walcott on NPR, which I know about from Philp, and Lorca’s “Sorpresa,” from Poema del cante jondo (1921).

Muerto se quedó en la calle
con un puñal en el pecho.
No lo conocía nadie.
¡Cómo temblaba el farol!
Madre.
¡Cómo temblaba el farolito
de la calle!
Era madrugada. Nadie
pudo asomarse a sus ojos
abierto al duro aire.
Que muerto se quedó en la calle
que con un puñal en el pecho
y que no lo conocía nadie.

[He lay dead in the street with a dagger in his chest. Nobody knew him. How the lantern trembled! Mother. How the little street lamp trembled! It was before dawn. No one was able to lean out over his eyes, open to the hard air. For he died in the street with a dagger in his chest, and nobody knew him.]

Axé.

4 Comments

Filed under Songs

Blackwater

Reading for today is Jeremy Scahill’s work in The Nation on Blackwater USA, the mercenaries we hire, Nezua on the plight of immigrant children stranded after a March 6 raid, and Ellen Simon’s review of Robert I. Sutton’s book on workplace bullies. This was recommended by a friend, and it sounds to me good but limited in that my experience of workplace bullies is not that they curry favor with people at higher ranks and bully those below them, as the book appears to suggest, but that they bully indiscriminately.

In good news, an anonymous source has boiled down for us the Governor’s proposed budget for higher education in Louisiana next year:

1. Cover all mandated costs increases ($33.2 M)
2. Provide for an across the board faculty raise of 5% average ($30 M)
3. Fully fund the formula ($98.1 M)
4. Provide a 3% increase to units already at the 100% formula level or which are a non-formula units ($16.9 M)
5. Provide a special fund for faculty recruitment, retention, and recovery at hurricane impacted units ($10 M)
6. Fund a community college accreditation and program development project ($2 M)
7. Provide a $1,500 increase for all non-faculty ($21.8 M)
8. Expand library and scientific acquisitions budgets ($7.5 M)
9. Fund a special workforce development program for construction and health care ($7.5 M)
10. Continue current funding of the construction initiative ($5.5 M)
11. Fund a dual enrollment expansion ($1 M)
12. Support the ULM Pharmacy Accreditation Plan ($1 M)
13. Support Pennington Biomedical Research Center Initiatives ($3 M)
14. Support the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise ($3.2 M)
15. Fund the LSU Fireman Training Institute ($.5 M)
16. Establish a need-based scholarship program ($15 M)

This totals to a $235 million increase in higher education funding, the largest one year increase in state history. Apparently, all administrators say they are supporting this budget request and promise to present a united front to sustain the recommendation through the legislative process. Privately, there appears to be some disagreement about formula distribution. But we have heard that everyone smiled and was friendly at the Governor’s press conference.

Axé.

1 Comment

Filed under News

Wild Mountain Thyme

These are the Silencers. The video was shot in 1996, around Lochranza on the Isle of Arran. The song was written in 1947 by Frankie McPeak.

Oh, the summer time is coming,
And the trees are sweetly blooming;
And the wild mountain thyme,
Grows around the blooming heather.

Will you go, lassie, go?
And we’ll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?

I will build my love a bower,
By yon clear and crystal fountain;
And on it I will pile,
All the flowers of the mountain.

Will you go, lassie, go?
And we’ll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?

If my true love, she won’t have me,
I will surely find another;
To pull wild mountain thyme,
All around the blooming heather.

Will you go, lassie, go?
And we’ll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?

Oh, the summer time is coming,
And the trees are sweetly blooming;
And the wild mountain thyme,
Grows around the blooming heather.

Will you go, lassie, go?
And we’ll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?

Axé.

2 Comments

Filed under Songs

Bright Light

And now, via Slaves of Academe, we have an interesting article on the differences between academics and intellectuals. It posits three:

1. An academic has and wants an audience disproportionately made up of teachers and students, while an intellectual has and wants teachers and students in his audience only in proportion to their place in the general educated public.

2. An academic is a specialist who has disciplined his curiosity to operate largely within a designated area, while an intellectual is a generalist who deliberately does otherwise.

3. An academic is concerned with substance and suspicious of style, while an intellectual is suspicious of any substance that purports to transcend or defy style.

I am not sure I would rather be a generalist than a specialist – although perhaps I solved that problem at the beginning by being cross-disciplinary. However, the identification of an academic/intellectual split clarifies my malaise and culture shock.

I always thought being an academic was a day job for intellectuals. That is to say, you got paid for being an academic specialist, but in the rest of life you were an intellectual. I did not realize that you could be an academic specialist and not be intellectually oriented otherwise.

Of course, this fact has been staring me in the face for years, but I had not decoded it. The decoding explains a great deal.

Axé.

5 Comments

Filed under What Is A Scholar?

A Sign

Dalila

This is the sign of the new blog year: I have been located by a long lost and very important friend. This is auspicious in general, but especially apt for today because it was with her that I first went to throw the cowrie shells.

Check out the ultra-cool “Mirandola, Mirandolina” and her children, and the puppy, Diadorim.

Axé.

3 Comments

Filed under News

Test Questions

Bloggers like to take Fun Tests, but now I have taken some which purport to be serious. The results were quite interesting.

According to these tests, I am less optimistic than I see myself to be, but more secure than I believe myself to be. Most fascinatingly, I am dissatisfied because although I have a career, and not just a job, what I want to pursue is a calling.

So say the tests. Since the results surprise me, not being what I would have come up with on my own, I am listening.

A question which arises is, do I want to be doing something else? The answer may be, no. It may be that I am treating it as a career–indeed, sometimes I treat it as a mere job–but I want to treat it as a calling.

Perhaps, this year, I shall do that. After all, careerism is one of the things I criticize in What Is A Scholar?

Axé.

5 Comments

Filed under Juegos