Amplifying a recent comment, I give you what is essentially a guest post by “richardelguru” (thus, “I” = richardelguru, not Cuttlefish):

Some years ago, and for one of my silly radio essays, I invented (unless anyone can come up with an earlier attestation) the hairimeraku.
As its name suggests, this is a bastard of the limerick and the haiku.

All (or possibly more) than you ever wanted to know about the form is hereand here.

Anyway, due to the lack of violent public protests, I am thinking of wheeling the damn things out again for ‘Hairimeraku Trek III: The Wrath of Camus’ and it occurred to my innate writers’ laziness that If I solicited some from others it would save me absolute minutes of effort.

Anyone up to it? I’ll of course credit any submissions (Hey! If it fills space with even more lack of effort…)

If you can’t be bothered to follow the links (and I don’t blame you)
“…the hairimeraku consists of seventeen on (a term that can be loosely translated as ‘syllable’) rhyming upon the fourth, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth and seventeenth on, in the pattern AABBA; (this is a damn sight easier to do in Japanese where almost all words rhyme, than it is in English translation where hardly any of the buggers do) and finally having it’s kireji (the caesura-like grammatical break), usually on the eighth on or fourteenth on, or occasionally on the eleventh on or rarely on the fourth on or indeed on the seventeenth on; and even finally-er, the best of them having both seasonal and salacious aspects as befits their combined ancestry. …”
A certain amount of hypermetricallity is tolerated (especially with feminine endings and extra-especially in the last line).

Autumn rain drips,
Walking girl slips.
Yobs cry “Ha!
“Boo!” and “Ya!”
—Foolish quips.

A young lady,
Name of Sadie,
Cherry pit
Wants to spit
Somewhere shady.

Or this which investigates propriety frankly though enigmatically:

See that girl there
Climbing the stair.
She should know,
Crowd below…

Come on, especially The Lord Cuttle himself, and post some here and become … what’s the word?… Famous? Notorious?? Ignored???…

Frankly (Cuttlefish back here again), I think this is fantastic. So I’m going to leave it here on the front page, and let you all have at it while I grade papers and essay tests. And with luck, I’ll be so annoyed with grading that I will fling myself headlong into hairimeraku. And yes, you can post them in Japanese. And by all means, follow those links; having invented the sepielle, I am frankly fascinated by the evolution–or perhaps, in this case, the hybridization?–of verse forms.

Cuttlefish Shakespeare Fanboi Squee!!!!

So today is, as far as you know, William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday (no one knows for sure, but it’s as good a day as any, and better than most, to pretend that it is). Which is cool. The odds are very much against anyone knowing I ever existed nearly 4 centuries from now (and if you exclude whatever future version of is in use then, the odds are even lower), but Shakespeare will be known for pretty much as long as people are known. If the last copy of any human book that ever exists is a version of one of Shakespeare’s plays, it would not surprise me (yes, assuming that I still exist to be surprised by the heat death of the universe), and if it is something else instead, more’s the pity.

Anyway, I loves me some Shakespeare. So how is it I have not heard about this? Co-directed by Teller (of Penn & Teller, and a genius of the first rank), with music by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan (geniuses of the rank that could look down on the first rank condescendingly and smile, were they not doing genius things that are much more important) and choreography by Pilobolus (geniuses who don’t actually have to say a word to let people know how fucking genius they are), a brand new staging of The Tempest.

The Tempest. Which I have seen in multiple versions, from the minimalist (six British actors and a sheet, remarkably well done and just a little bit pretentious) to fully-realized spectacles (my favorite, from the Stratford [Ontario, Canada] Shakespeare Festival), which I have performed as a one cuttlefish show (well, sorta–don’t ask), which contains my all-time favorite lines from Shakespeare (Caliban’s “Be not afeared” speech, which I have recited more times than I can recall)… yeah, that The Tempest.

So… I must find a way to see this version. I simply must. I have two kidneys; surely I can sell one…

Anyway… First, a bit of Teller introducing The Tempest (and some snippets):

Second, not nearly enough (but all I could find) about the Waits/Brennan music for The Tempest:

God Goes To Court In New York

A little bit short
On His credit report?
No, you don’t want to mess with divinity—
Y’see, God is the sort
Who will take you to court
If you say He can’t buy His Infiniti.

A silly little story on NPR:

As the saying goes, “In God We Trust, all others pay cash.”

But in the case of Russian immigrant and businessman God Gazarov, cash may be the only option.

That’s because, according to The New York Post, credit reporting agency Equifax has refused to acknowledge that he has any financial history whatsoever, despite having high scores with two other major credit agencies.

He was named after his grandfather, apparently, and not his heavenly father. Equifax suggested changing his name to fix the problem. God’s lawyers have other suggestions.

Oh, and it really was an Infiniti he was trying to buy. I mean, what else would God drive?

The Second Song

My iTunes is set on “shuffle”
I like it much better this way
I’ll listen to one, cos I want to,
But I don’t know the next that will play

I sometimes engage in obsessing–
A song will get stuck in my head–
And I think I will know what comes after,
And a different song plays, instead

And it shakes up the way that I’m thinking
It’s a virtual kick in the butt
And I’m off in a brand new direction
When I might have been stuck in a rut.

So I give it my recommendation
As a way you can shake up your brain
Put your musical whatsit on “shuffle”
And enjoy the perspective you gain!

So, yeah, I wanted to hear a particular song. This one, actually. But I had no idea what would come up next, and what did… just turned my evening right-side-up. (It happened to be a Tom Waits song, but with my music collection, that would happen to be the best odds.)

And the last time I listened to the former song… (this was recently, or I likely would not have remembered), it was followed by something completely different. As with the time before that. Were it not for my obsessive listening to the first song over the past few days, I don’t think I’d have noticed.

But there are times when the second song comes on (or the third, or fourth, so long as you keep listening) and it just makes you laugh. Or cry. Or dance. Or whatever it is that that song does, that nothing else in the world can quite do the same way.

Choose excellent music, and put your music-thingamajiggers on “shuffle”. Too much of life is predictable anyway.

So…ever have a song come on unexpectedly and just rock your world?

Don’t Panic!

… but it has been thirty years since the original Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game was released. I remember playing it.

A 30th anniversary online version of the game is now available over at the BBC:

A word of warning

This game will kill you frequently. It’s a bit mean like that.

But don’t panic; you can “save” before trying something that ends up killing you.

Thirty years! I swear it was sometime last week… Oh, well–time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so.


Good-bye, all my friends—
It’s been good; it’s been fun,
Ah, but everything ends,
And the end has begun.

It’s the last deadline ever
And not to my liking,
But I know I should never
Cross swords with a Viking

Now Fenrir is pacing
And Odin will die
It’s the end we are facing
And no one knows why

We say now, with sorrow,
Goodbye to the gods…
So, see you tomorrow?
I don’t like the odds.

The Mayans had their chance. Harold Camping had his chance(s). One of these days, somebody has to get it right–yup, it’s the end of the world. Today!

“Ragnarok is the ultimate landmark in Viking mythology, when the gods fall and die, so this really is an event that should not be underestimated,” comments Danielle Daglan director of the JORVIK Viking Festival. “In the last couple of years, we’ve had predictions of the Mayan apocalypse, which passed without incident, and numerous other dates where the end of the world has been pencilled in by seers, fortune tellers and visionaries, but the sound of the horn is possibly the best indicator yet that the Viking version of the end of the world really will happen on 22 February [this] year.”

Looks like a fun evening, full of contests, drinking, and beards. These people do the end of the world right.