The infinitely disgusting horror of the tulip [UPDATED]

Today while digging a small trench into which I was to transplant some salvaged lavender, I happened to glance over at a massive red and black tulip.  Have you ever done, this?  If not, here is what you will find at its flowery heart:

The naughty bits of the tulip in my yard

My brother Ben, possessed as ever of a particular kind of excellent timing, recalled the sentiments of the Slovenian psychoanalytic Salvoj Žižek on the subject to tulips as vagina dentata. 



My friend Hannah responds to this with a link to Sylvia Plath’s poem Tulips, in which the hospital-bound Plath engages in a lengthy hallucination/fantasy involving a bouquet of tulips brought to her by some well-wisher, but which she transforms into a monstrous presence:

The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,
And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.


The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
which all got Hannah and I talking on the social mediaz about this thing with tulips:
H:  I want to take Zizek to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum and leave him there. Haha! !!!
Me: Yah he has some issues.
H:  whereas Sylvia Plath – no issues there. haha! 

Me: perhaps over-identification with or hostility towards nearby tulips should be added to the DSM
H:  there are some pretty good lines in that poem that would be good crazy blog comments when written in all caps…
H:  THEY HURT ME aaaaaah
The infinitely disgusting horror of the tulip [UPDATED]

If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high

Extreme wisdom from Dorian Corey, born Frederick Legg, who featured prominently in the great 1990 documentary film Paris is Burning, and died of complications from HIV/AIDS in 1993.  She literally had a skeleton in the closet, but she’s right on here with the makeup wisdom:

I always had hopes of being a big star
and then I looked …
as you get older you aim a little lower
and you say well, yah I still might make an impression.

Everyone wants to leave something behind them
some impression, some mark upon the world.
And then you think —
you’ve left a mark on the world if you just get through it.

If a few people remember your name:
then you left a mark.
You don’t have to bend the whole world —
I think it’s better to just enjoy it.
Pay your dues, and enjoy.

If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high?
Hooray for you.

If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high

Ginsberg: don’t smoke


When I was 19 or so, I remember watching Allen Ginsberg in his corduroy jacket on the Today Show promoting his book Cosmopolitan Greetings which had just come out.  I had just come out too — at least to a few people — and had taken to wearing second-hand army jackets and carrying around a shoulder bag with a big pink triangle on it, at least while I was away at college.  Ginsberg just sat there, somewhat wild-eyed, cornered on the gaudy set, grandfatherly-but-suspicious, suffering through an interview with Bryant Gumbel or someone like that.  The distain and incomprehension on the interviewer’s face were lacquered over by politeness and a kind of forced reverence, but I knew as if by a sixth queer sense that the reason why this old dude was making Gumbel nervous was that at any minute he might rip off his frumpy jacket and the collared shirt underneath and run in madness and ecstasy around the studio banging together his wisdom sticks.  This began a so-far-lifelong affinity for the man, the beats, and all of that. Here he is banging those sticks, with maybe the most famous poem from his last collection… Put Down Your Cigarette Rag 

Ginsberg: don’t smoke

On Judy and the raccoon at the College Street Shoppers Drug Mart

Take a moment to bear witness to the following few seconds of magnificence (make sure you un-mute)

It’s Judy here on College Street with a raccoon at Shoppers Drug Mart.

If you are fourteen you perhaps already know this,  but the Judy in question is one Judy Perly, 65, of Toronto.  There are quite a few facts about Ms. Perly available in this Buzzfeed profile of her, but I’ve been appreciating Judy in a different way over the last couple of days by simply experiencing this Vine, again and again and again.  Zen.  A few observations:

Judy here … It’s her byline, her greeting to the world, and she uses it in all of her videos.  Some people even call her Judy Here as if Here we her last name.  Ms. Perly’s trademark beginning strikes me as reporterly, strangely journalistic.  Also, involuntary — as if she were destined to greet the universe in this way, forever.

– As far as I can tell College Street is the one in Toronto, and the Shoppers Drug Mart in question is probably this one (note position of the door vs. the sign — this corresponds with the entrance where the raccoon was hanging out.)

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 5.20.12 PM

– the raccoon.  This is where things get magical.  Sure, it’s perhaps unusual to see a raccoon in broad daylight hanging out in the city.  But if Toronto is anything like the Canadian city where I grew up, then it’s perhaps not a complete shock to observe one foraging around.  Perhaps the animal was confused about the time of day?  Particularly attracted by the smell of the bulk candy section in the vestibule of the store?  Then there’s the matter of Judy’s pronunciation of the word raccoon.  It strikes the ear as being slightly nonchalant, like:  of course there’s a raccoon at the College Street Shoppers Drug Mart why wouldn’t there be one?  Hers is an intensely Canadian voice.  She pronounces the name of the animal with a sort of double tonal dip, ending in a sort of gracenote upswing.  I could listen to Judy say the word raccoon all day (and thanks to this Vine I suppose I now have.)

– At Shoppers Drug Mart!  Judy concludes her report with her trademark bravado, despite the words she must by virtue of her location and choice of sentence structure, say.  Shoppers Drug Mart:  it’s a banal name for a banal place, boring even when one considers the entire field of Canadian drugstore chains (and who hasn’t.)  But Judy is undaunted and un-bored …  Like another Judy that I once knew, she gives a sense of grace and excitement to the only-slightly unusual.  Even with the emPHASis is placed on the wrong idea (it’s surely the raccoon that is the more unusual element of the scene, but it’s the name of the drugstore that seems to excite Judy Here even more) she leaves us with a feeling of freedom and joy about the world … and what more can we really ask for, eh?

On Judy and the raccoon at the College Street Shoppers Drug Mart