From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hurtin', Leavin' and Longin' (3)—An Old Memory and Me

Click here to read the introduction to the Round and Square series Hurtin', Leavin', and Longin'. 
[a] Memory   RF
Memory and pain. Not a good combination. The neurobiological and social analytical implications are enormous, but so are the poetic ones. Nothing is easy about Keith Whitley's lyrics (just learn more about his life, and you'll know why). The frontal cortex meets the limbic system—and the results are difficult, challenging. At one point in Whitley's lyrics, he tells a comely woman in the bar that he doesn't want her company—this is just old memory...and me. How can a heart not break? That's country music, though, and there will be more of this awful pain every single Sunday of the year on Round and Square. Tune in!

Let's listen to Keith Whitley's version and Travis Tritt's "cover." It's just between an old memory ( fill in the rest).

In keeping with the spirit of these "Hurtin'..." posts, I am going to refrain from too much analysis or theory.  That is reserved for (all of the) other posts (such as Seinfeld Ethnography). Here, I just want you to contrast Keith Whitley and Li Bo. It is all about juxtaposition of culture and language—twelve centuries apart.

Li Bo (Li Bai)
At Night Climbing the White Emperor Tower, 
Thinking of Du Fu

A mender of mistakes,
white-haired, who misses him?
Down and out, he sang
over all the Twin Streams
and stood on his winged tower
as though here tonight.

Drifts, gyres of the derelict moon,
still unchanged—
upgraded or chashiered?

These things never cease,
but naive or knowing, man's days
have a like deadline.

Headwork brings chill:
whom can I have a word with?
Night's crypt.  Gull and egret
lift from sand's edge.

Sunday, May 22nd
Clueless Male
The key word is rodeo, but just about anything can contribute to missing the point entirely. Next Sunday, we'll look at a few highly gendered examples of forehead-slapping cluelessness.

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