October 28, 2009

Central Park, Parque Nacional

The Gates, by Christo & Jean Claude, in New York (2005)

Massacre in El Salado, in Colombia, Department of Bolívar in February 2000
Memorial (2009)

October 23, 2009

Last hours

Today in Duitama, Colombia, department of Bocayá
4.00 :: Allergic reaction on the left eye. No phone available, nobody in the lobby, doors to the street locked, no internet.
4.45 :: Finally get some guard on the phone. Calls a doctor, she says there is no way to help before 6 or 6.30.
5.00 :: Allergic reaction on the lips.
5.15 :: Cannot breath properly. Still no solution.
7.00 :: Hotel is full of people, nobody is able to give me a phone.
7.05 :: S has a cell, and gives it to me. Call my doctor in Spain.
7.10 :: Want to take the prescribed medicament, but these people invent the theory that I won't get it without a prescription. None of the 7 doctors there can give me one.
7.20 :: They take me to the stupid hospital. Most important thing: the money, the insurance, the credit card. I hate this!
7.25 :: They call me in, and the stupid nurse asks me about the insurance and payment instead of asking what is my problem. Take off the stupid thing around my arm and leave the hospital.
7.27 :: Across the street I see a pharmacy and ask for the medicament. They will bring it in 10 minutes. No prescription required.
7.40 :: A public minibus (buseta) blinks the light and a plastic bag comes out of the window. My salvation!
7.45 :: Take that, pay, and leave for the hotel.
8.15 :: In the restaurant, feeling much better. Seems that 4 people have "complained" because of my attitude, and this will be a big, big problem, they tell me.
11.15 :: Off to Bogotá on my own. End of a four-day-nonsense-nightmare. Beginning of a great trip in Colombia.
18.05 :: Posting this in the airport El Dorado, in Bogotá.
19.21 :: Will be flying to Cali.
20.30 :: Will meet AB in Cali.  


October 18, 2009

Açores, Eiserman, cot

And talking about Eiserman, his Wexner Center for the Arts looks like those childish, cot-like graves I saw on the Açores Islands (in Pico).

October 16, 2009

Pantano de Vargas, Puente de la Mujer

This weekend I am flying to Colombia with Simón Bolívar's biography and a novel sent to me by J from St. Louis. I will visit Vargas' Swamp in Boyacá, since I want to understand better the independence movements of Latin America and today's Bolivarianism. The monument there is the ugly version of Calatrava's Puente de la Mujer in BsAs.

Mark Twain on Sarkozy

I was checking Sarko's and Carla's Facebooks to write a piece, and I found this pic, which remained me of a very ironic and terrible account of Mark Twain 's days in Paris, when he saw Emperor Napoleon III and Sultan
Abdul Aziz.

Twain is describing things he sees in his trip as the common US-American would find things, not as he "should" see them. To understand this better I suggest you to check
an academic study on this story by Mark Twain, and a very interesting project on The Innocents Abroad.

Foto from Sarkozy's Facebook album

"We drove away and took up a position in an open space opposite the American minister's house. A speculator bridged a couple of barrels with a board and we hired standing places on it. Presently there was a sound of distant music; in another minute a pillar of dust came moving slowly toward us; a moment more and then, with colors flying and a grand crash of military music, a gallant array of cavalrymen emerged from the dust and came down the street on a gentle trot. After them came a long line of artillery; then more cavalry, in splendid uniforms; and then their imperial majesties Napoleon III and Abdul Aziz. The vast concourse of people swung their hats and shouted -- the windows and housetops in the wide vicinity burst into a snowstorm of waving handkerchiefs, and the wavers of the same mingled their cheers with those of the masses below. It was a stirring spectacle.

But the two central figures claimed all my attention. Was ever such a contrast set up before a multitude till then? Napoleon in military uniform -- a long-bodied, short-legged man, fiercely moustached, old, wrinkled, with eyes half closed, and such a deep, crafty, scheming expression about them! -- Napoleon, bowing ever so gently to the loud plaudits, and watching everything and everybody with his cat eyes from under his depressed hat brim, as if to discover any sign that those cheers were not heartfelt and cordial.

Abdul Aziz, absolute lord of the Ottoman empire -- clad in dark green European clothes, almost without ornament or insignia of rank; a red Turkish fez on his head; a short, stout, dark man, black-bearded, black-eyed, stupid, unprepossessing -- a man whose whole appearance somehow suggested that if he only had a cleaver in his hand and a white apron on, one would not be at all surprised to hear him say: "A mutton roast today, or will you have a nice porterhouse steak?"

Napoleon III, the representative of the highest modern civilization, progress, and refinement; Abdul-Aziz, the representative of a people by nature and training filthy, brutish, ignorant, unprogressive, superstitious -- and a government whose Three Graces are Tyranny, Rapacity, Blood. Here in brilliant Paris, under this majestic Arch of Triumph, the First Century greets the Nineteenth!"

Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", ch. xiii

October 12, 2009

Sun, caiman

In "Sens-plastique", Malcolm de Chazal wrote: "Too much white of the eye fattens the face". Better a little bit of red, then.

Recently, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado published the first image of a sunspot's structure. The black part is a hole, the red is plasma being vacuumed by the immense magnetic force. All this measures rough two billion square miles.

There is just one word to describe the feeling of being in the middle of the Amazonian night, less than half a meter from the incredibly red eye of a caiman observing you: adrenalin! Till it suddenly attacks you or dives away. Really, really scary. That one in front of me was three meters long, the Indian natives calculated.

This one here is just a little turtle.

And this an even smaller frog.

Box turtle by PhotoFreak

"El celibato sacerdotal", de Jean Meyer

Otro buen libro de Jean Meyer sobre historia de la religión, que reseñé para Letras Libres.

October 11, 2009

Best book I got this year

I mentioned some weeks ago the best book I have bought this year. This is the best book I got as a present this year. I am so delighted with it, that I review it for the FAZ a couple of months ago.

October 10, 2009

Le Point 339 (19 mars 1979)

I still wasn't born when this add of Pakistan Airlines was published. Spooky, to say the least.

Marianne, Rénert

In 1830, Delacroix used the figure of Marianne and transformed her into a symbol of Liberty in his best-known painting. It is said that she inspired the design of Statue of Liberty, but I rather think that inspired MIchel Rodange to draw his iconic Rénert (or Reynard).

La Liberté guidant le peuple (1830)

Reynard the Fox, by Michel Rodange (1869)

Long before Delacroix, around 1150 began the legend of Rénert the Fox in Alsace-Lorraine, and it spread in today's France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and England quite fast. Reynard is an anthropomorphic fox, kind of a peasant, who is mocking the clergy and aristocracy. Many authors have refer or written about him: Chaucer, Goethe, Ralph Waldo Ellison and Nietzsche. Stravinsky also wrote an opera-ballet about him.

Cavallini, Völler

"Gold, red, black". Those are the colors of the German flag. The same colors (tones) used by Pietro Cavallini in the wings of the two upper angels depicted in the frescoes of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome.

October 9, 2009

*ope: Bush, Obama

Obama's chronology:
2008 :: President of USA
2009 :: Nobel Prize
2010 :: Pope?

(Anybody going to Australia? I want the Obama-Pope t-shirt!)

Consolation Prize: Al Gore, Obama

Our modern saints are the Nobel laureates, since we worship the Swedish Academy. But, oh, the Swedish Academy is really spoiling these American politicians.

I haven't watch
An Inconvenient Truth, and I really have no opinion about Al Gore since I am ignorant about his work. But coincidentally I was thinking about Obama this morning, when we got stuck in a tram. Giving him the Nobel Peace Prize is a very early recognition of some promises he has been doing, I think, as half of the world is also thinking right now. The fact is that he, as President of USA, still is leading some wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, involved in Somalia...). A Peace Award for someone who is currently fighting wars? He was actually in the "Situation Room" when he was informed about the Prize.

Hmm... I understand the underlining idea, but still seems to be too much, or at least too early.

Al Gore lost the Presidential Campaigne (2000), but got the Nobel Peace Price (2007)

Barack Obama lost the Olympic Games Candidacy for Chicago (2009),
but got the Nobel Peace Price a couple of hours ago

October 7, 2009

Uschi Obermeier, Coralie Clément

Uschi Obermeier was one of the most important icons of the '68 revolution, whose example was followed by John Lennon & Yoko Ono. Allegedly, like Carla, she also had an affair with Mick Jagger. It seems that she "exposed frontal nudity for the first time on a magazine cover".

I was amazed when I saw this portrait of hers by famous '68 photgrapher
Werner Bokelberg. It remained me immediately of Coralie Clément: the hair, the eyes, the nose and, above all, the lips (those French lips... there is an interesting theory about the thickness of the lips and the mother tongue).

Foto: Werner Bokelberg

Coralie is a cute French girl, the sister of great musician Benjamin Biolay. She had a concert in Berlin, and it was sad not to be there early this year. Ah, c'est la vie...

October 6, 2009

Carla Bruni eclipsada

Fotos: Letizia y Carla

Ayer se inauguró el nuevo sitio web de Carla Bruni, la Première Dame. A las pocas horas se había ya colapsado.

Algunas reflexiones al respecto en el blog de LsLs.

A propósito, mi video favorito de Carla:

Y ya puestos, mi video favorito de Sarko (& Bar Refaeli):

October 5, 2009


Malgré un très grand nombre de visites, le site enriquegdelag.blogspot.com reste toujours accessible.
Merci de revenir dans quelques heures
une autre fois.

* * *

En raison d'un trop grand nombre de visites, le site carlabrunisarkozy.org est provisoirement inaccessible.
Merci de revenir dans quelques heures.

October 4, 2009

RIP :: William Safire (1929-2009)

Foto: AP

Unfortunately and sadly, William Safire died one week ago, but I just learned that today. He wrote for 30 years "On Language", which became the most influential column about language trends in North America: "a Times Magazine column that explored written and oral trends, plumbed the origins and meanings of words and phrases, and drew a devoted following, including a stable of correspondents he called his Lexicographic Irregulars".

He was also a speechwriter and politics analyst, who became famous because of his picture of the "Kitchen Debate". Earlier this year he published an account of what happened that day: Krushchev felt pissed off because of Nixon's strong-willingness, that he wanted to show to the new "weak" President who he was. That is why he build the Wall around East Berlin and set missiles in Cuba.

Foto: William Safire

October 3, 2009

"Some Playthings," by John Hollander

Foto: Luke Redmond

A trembling brown bird
standing in the high grass turns
out to be a blown

oakleaf after all.
Was the leaf playing bird, or
was it “just” the wind

playing with the leaf?

Was my very noticing
itself at play with

an irregular

frail patch of brown in the cold
April afternoon?

These questions that hang
motionless in the now-stilled
air: what of their

frailty, in the light
of even the most fragile
of problematic

substances like all
these momentary playthings
of recognition?

Questions that are asked
of questions: no less weighty
and lingeringly

dark than the riddles
posed by any apparent
bird or leaf or breath

of wind, instruments
probing what we feel we know
for some kind of truth.

October 2, 2009

Two naves: Les Jacobins, Orsanmichele

It is a fact that Romanesque and Gothic churches (and many others since Brunelleschi) have naves in odd numbers: 1 if it is a Saalkirche, and 3 or even 5 if it is a big cathedral or a basilica, like Saint Peter's (Hallenkirche).

For some years I knew a single exception: Les Jacobins, in Toulouse, where the rests of Thomas Aquinas are collected. "Jacobins" is not referred to the Revolutionaries who nationalized the church, but to the Dominicans.

But recently I found another exception, the beautiful church of Orsanmichele, in Florence. It was build in the little garden of the kitchen of the cloister, so that is the origin of the name (orto = garden).

Fotos: Wikipedia