Showing a friend around your boathouse
Languages animate objects by giving them names, making them noticeable when we might not otherwise be aware of them. Tuvan has a word iy (pronounced like the letter e), which indicates the short side of a hill.
I had never noticed that hills had a short side. But once I learned the word, I began to study the contours of hills, trying to identify the iy. It turns out that hills are asymmetrical, never perfectly conical, and indeed one of their sides tends to be steeper and shorter than the others.
If you are riding a horse, carrying firewood, or herding goats on foot, this is a highly salient concept. You never want to mount a hill from the iy side, as it takes more energy to ascend, and an iy descent is more treacherous as well. Once you know about the iy, you see it in every hill and identify it automatically, directing your horse, sheep, or footsteps accordingly.
This is a perfect example of how language adapts to local environment, by packaging knowledge into ecologically relevant bits. Once you know that there is an iy, you don’t really have to be told to notice it or avoid it. You just do. The language has taught you useful information in a covert fashion, without explicit instruction.
Far from feeling lonely or abandoned, I feel very much a part of what is taking place on the lunar surface. I know that I would be a liar or a fool if I said that I have the best of the three Apollo 11 seats, but I can say with truth and equanimity that I am perfectly satisfied with the one I have. This venture has been structured for three men, and I consider my third to be as necessary as either of the other two. I don’t mean to deny a feeling of solitude. It is there, reinforced by the fact that radio contact with the Earth abruptly cuts off at the instant I disappear behind the moon, I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life. I am it. If a count were taken, the score would be three billion plus two over on the other side of the moon, and one plus God knows what on this side.
Salome dances her dance of the seven veils,
The men all eye her like wolves on the hunt, this beautiful girl
finally undressing for them. Finally they can see her
exactly as they want to.
The first veil drops.
In 2007, Kim Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend
released their sex tape against her will.
Kim Kardashian, rather than hide in shame
Used the publicity to promote her own career.
Salome moves like a dream half-remembered.
Salome dances like a siren song. All the men ache
to see the hot sugar of her hip bones.
The second veil drops.
In 2014, Kim Kardashian walks down the aisle
As the whole world watches. If only all of us
were so successful in our revenge.
If only all of us stood in our Louboutin heels
on the backs of the men who betray us,
surveying the world we created for ourselves.
The third veil drops.
Kim Kardashian knows exactly what you think of her.
She presses the cloth tighter against her skin
Her smile is a promise she never intends to keep
We can almost see all of her.
Salome shows us her body
but never her eyes.
The fourth veil is dropping.
The four things most recently tweeted at Kim Kardashian were
@KimKardashian Suck My Dick
@Kim Kardashian Can I Meet Kanye?
@KimKardashian Please Fuck Me
@KimKardashian I Love You. I Love You.
Women are told to keep their legs shut.
Women are told to keep their mouths shut.
Some women are kept silent for so long,
They become experts in the silent theft of power.
The fifth veil has dropped.
Kim Kardashian made $12 million dollars this year
Yesterday, uncountable men in their miserable jobs,
told their miserable friends that Kim was a “dumb whore”
Kim Kardashian will never learn their names.
The sixth veil has dropped.
The seventh veil has dropped.
And Salome sat beside King Herod. And he swore unto her
“Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give to thee
unto the half of my kingdom”
And she smiled, and said
“Bring me the head of John The Baptist.
Punish the man who hurt me”
I get so many messages of people trying to figure out what their coach is telling them. Just ask your coach! Your coach is not really a fire-breathing dragon, even if they may occasionally seem like one. They’d much rather explain to you themselves what they’re trying to get you to do than have you muddle around trying to figure it out.
That’s a common problem in the rower-coach dynamic, though, and your coach is not being irrational - he is perfectly within his rights to doubt your aggression. I think we all know the difference between “giving 100% all day every day!!” and actually giving one hundred per cent. What your coach is looking from you is hunger. You have to want it, and you have to show him how badly you want it. Your coach knows the difference between you pulling as hard as you can and you pulling as hard as you didn’t know you could. Get that hate-fire burning in your belly, and be willing in every piece to go up to that physical/mental boundary, teeter on the edge, and then cross over it. Go to that scary place that you always pull back from. Make your finishes so together you can hear the klunk from across the river. Make your catches so sharp you could cut a swimmer’s head off. Heads in, eyes in, sit up and lock on every stroke, suspend off the catch and lift your boat out of the fuckin water and hang onto every other boat near you and claw your way past them and haul yourselves over together to your coach’s feet to present him with your unconscious bodies that are the result of filling yourselves with bloodfire and icewater and going so hard you passed the fuck out and have to be resuscitated using mouth-to-mouth.