“I don’t have a specific picture in my mind’s eye. I want to end up with a picture that I haven’t planned. This method of arbitrary choice, chance, inspiration and destruction may produce a specific type of picture, but it never produces a predetermined picture. I just want to get something more interesting out of it than those things I can think out for myself.”
Monthly Archives: December 2011
“…this quality of [photographic] presence would seem to be just the opposite of . . . [Walter Benjamin's] notion of the aura: in the presence of a photograph, one is only presented with a copy. Is this a copy of some original? No. For even this copy is only the copy of a copy: “representation takes place because it is always already there in the world as representation”: the photographic presence is the assertion of the absence of an original, and not only is the represented thing itself not necessary, but, more fundamentally, the original’s autonomous, a priori existence is to be denied.
Roland Barthes’s description of the tense of photography as the “having been there” [must] be interpreted in a new way. The presence that such photographs have for us is the presence of déjà vu, nature as already having been seen, nature as representation.”
The Photographic Activity of Postmodernism, Douglas Crimp
“The name given to the Capsicum fruits varies between English-speaking countries.
In Australia, New Zealand and India, heatless species are called “capsicums” while hot ones are called “chilli”/”chillies” (double L). Pepperoncini are also known as “sweet capsicum”. The term “bell peppers” is almost never used, although C. annuum and other varieties which have a bell-shape and are fairly hot, are often called “bell chillies”.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the heatless varieties are commonly known simply as “peppers” (or more specifically “green peppers”, “red peppers”, etc.) while the hot ones are “chilli”/”chillies” (double L) or “chilli peppers”.
In the United States and Canada, the common heatless species is referred to as “bell peppers”, “sweet peppers”, “red/green/etc. peppers”, or simply “peppers”, while the hot species are collectively called “chile”/”chiles”, “chili”/”chilies”, or “chili”/”chile peppers” (one L only), “hot peppers”, or named as a specific variety (e.g., banana pepper).
In Polish and in Hungarian, the term “papryka” and “paprika” (respectively) is used for all kinds of capsicum peppers (the sweet vegetable, and the hot spicy) as well as for dried and ground spice made from them (named paprika in both U.S. English and Commonwealth English). Also fruit and spice can be attributed as “papryka ostra” (hot pepper) or “papryka słodka” (sweet pepper). The term “pieprz” (pepper) instead means only grained or ground black pepper (incl. its green, white, and red forms) but not capsicum. Sometimes the hot capsicum spice is also called “chilli”.
In Italy and the Italian- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland, the sweet varieties are called “peperone” and the hot varieties “peperoncino” (literally “small pepper”). In French, capsicum is called “poivron”. In German, capsicum is called “paprika”; in Dutch, this word is used for bell peppers, whereas “chilli” is reserved for powders and hot pepper variants are referred to as “Spaanse pepers” (Spanish peppers). In Switzerland however, the condiment powder made from capsicum is called “paprika” (German language regions) and “paprica” (French and Italian language region).
In Spanish-speaking countries there are many different names for each variety and preparation. In Mexico the term chile is used for “hot peppers” while the heatless varieties are called pimiento (the masculine form of the word for pepper, which is pimienta). Several other countries, such as Chile, whose name is unrelated, Perú, Puerto Rico, and Argentina, use ají. In Spain, heatless varieties are called pimiento and hot varieties guindilla. Also, in Argentina and Spain, the variety C. chacoense is commonly known as “putaparió”, a slang expression equivalent to “damn it”, probably due to its extra-hot flavour. In Indian English, the word “capsicum” is used exclusively for Capsicum annuum. All other varieties of hot capsicum are called chilli. In northern India and Pakistan, Capsicum annuum is also commonly called “Shimla Mirch” in the native languages. Shimla incidentally is a popular hill-station in India (and “Mirch” means chilli in local languages).
In Japanese, tōgarashi (唐辛子, トウガラシ “Chinese mustard”) refers to hot chili peppers, and particularly a spicy powder made from them which is used as a condiment, while bell peppers are called pīman (ピーマン, from the French piment or the Spanish pimiento).”
“…today Barbie dolls come in a rainbow coalition of colors, races, ethnicities, and nationalities, [but] all of those dolls look remarkably like the stereotypical white Barbie, modified only by a dash of color and a change of clothes.
…it reifies race. You can’t make an ‘authentic’ Black, Hispanic, Asian, or white doll. You just can’t. It will always be artificially constraining…
Just what are we saying when we claim that a doll does or does not look… black? How does black look? …What would make a doll look authentically African American or realistically Nigerian or Jamaican? What prescriptive ideals of blackness are inscribed in such claims of authenticity? The fact that skin color and other ‘ethnic features’ are used by toymakers to denote blackness raises critical questions about how we manufacture difference.
To be profitable, racial and cultural diversity… must be reducible to such common, reproducible denominators as color and costume.
…capitalism has appropriated what it sees as certain signifiers of blackness and made them marketable… Mattel… mass market[s] the discursively familiar by reproducing stereotyped forms and visible signs of racial and ethnic difference.”
Ann DuCille, Skin Trade
“How-you-du (Hello) from the land of Jamaica, a tropical paradise known for its exotic fruit, sugar cane, breath-taking beaches, and reggae beat! …most Jamaicans have ancestors from Africa, so even though our official language is English, we speak patois, a kind of ‘Jamaica Talk,’ filled with English and African words. For example, when I’m filled with boonoonoonoos, I’m filled with much happiness!”
The back of Jamaican Barbie’s box
Image by Peter Beard
Figs by D.H. Lawrence
The proper way to eat a fig, in society,
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it, so that it is a glittering, rosy, moist, honied, heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.
Then you throw away the skin
Which is just like a four-sepalled calyx,
After you have taken off the blossom, with your lips.
But the vulgar way
Is just to put your mouth to the crack, and take out the flesh in one bite.
Every fruit has its secret.
The fig is a very secretive fruit.
As you see it standing growing, you feel at once it is symbolic :
And it seems male.
But when you come to know it better, you agree with the Romans, it is female.
The Italians vulgarly say, it stands for the female part ; the fig-fruit :
The fissure, the yoni,
The wonderful moist conductivity towards the centre.
The flowering all inward and womb-fibrilled ;
And but one orifice.
The fig, the horse-shoe, the squash-blossom.
There was a flower that flowered inward, womb-ward ;
Now there is a fruit like a ripe womb.
It was always a secret.
That’s how it should be, the female should always be secret.
There never was any standing aloft and unfolded on a bough
Like other flowers, in a revelation of petals ;
Silver-pink peach, venetian green glass of medlars and sorb-apples,
Shallow wine-cups on short, bulging stems
Openly pledging heaven :
Here’s to the thorn in flower ! Here is to Utterance !
The brave, adventurous rosaceæ.
Folded upon itself, and secret unutterable,
And milky-sapped, sap that curdles milk and makes ricotta,
Sap that smells strange on your fingers, that even goats won’t taste it ;
Folded upon itself, enclosed like any Mohammedan woman,
Its nakedness all within-walls, its flowering forever unseen,
One small way of access only, and this close-curtained from the light ;
Fig, fruit of the female mystery, covert and inward,
Mediterranean fruit, with your covert nakedness,
Where everything happens invisible, flowering and fertilization, and fruiting
In the inwardness of your you, that eye will never see
Till it’s finished, and you’re over-ripe, and you burst to give up your ghost.
Till the drop of ripeness exudes,
And the year is over.
And then the fig has kept her secret long enough.
So it explodes, and you see through the fissure the scarlet.
And the fig is finished, the year is over.
That’s how the fig dies, showing her crimson through the purple slit
Like a wound, the exposure of her secret, on the open day.
Like a prostitute, the bursten fig, making a show of her secret.
That’s how women die too.
The year is fallen over-ripe,
The year of our women.
The year of our women is fallen over-ripe.
The secret is laid bare.
And rottenness soon sets in.
The year of our women is fallen over-ripe.
When Eve once knew in her mind that she was naked
She quickly sewed fig-leaves, and sewed the same for the man.
She’d been naked all her days before,
But till then, till that apple of knowledge, she hadn’t had the fact on her mind.
She got the fact on her mind, and quickly sewed fig-leaves.
And women have been sewing ever since.
But now they stitch to adorn the bursten fig, not to cover it.
They have their nakedness more than ever on their mind,
And they won’t let us forget it.
Now, the secret
Becomes an affirmation through moist, scarlet lips
That laugh at the Lord’s indignation.
What then, good Lord ! cry the women.
We have kept our secret long enough.
We are a ripe fig.
Let us burst into affirmation.
They forget, ripe figs won’t keep.
Ripe figs won’t keep.
Honey-white figs of the north, black figs with scarlet inside, of the south.
Ripe figs won’t keep, won’t keep in any clime.
What then, when women the world over have all bursten into affirmation ?
And bursten figs won’t keep ?
“Lack of vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision, and vision can be restored by adding it back into the diet. An urban legend says eating large amounts of carrots will allow one to see in the dark. The legend developed from stories of British gunners in World War II, who were able to shoot down German planes in the darkness of night. The legend arose during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots’ carrot consumption as an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies in engaging enemy planes, as well as the use of red light (which does not destroy night vision) in aircraft instruments. It reinforced existing German folklore and helped to encourage Britons—looking to improve their night vision during the blackouts—to grow and eat the vegetable.”
“What’s up, Doc?”