Beauty and Ugliness (a conversational exploration of Chapter 2 of the Tao Te Ching)

Look at that. Mr. Clark and Mrs. Ashmore are at it again. I don’t know where they find the energy to carry on like that… And all over a tree! Mr. Clark loves that gnarled old beech tree, but, as you can see, it’s growing right along the border between his place and Mrs. Ashmore’s, … Continue reading

A name is just a name (a conversational exploration of Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching)

The following is inspired by Chapter 1 of the Tao Te Ching. Our translation of the entire text can be found for free online here, and as an e-book, here. You know, don’t you, that a name is just a name? There are, after all, millions of Johns in the world, and thousands on thousands … Continue reading

“Ain’t never gonna be what it was.”

Season 2 of The Wire is often lamented by fans as the weakest in the series. This complaint, I think, arises due to the viewer’s sudden immersion in the strange and remote world of the Baltimore docks. Whereas the coming seasons exploring the school system or the newspaper mesh seamlessly with the Baltimore we were … Continue reading

In Defence of Stephen Mitchell (and ourselves)

Since the recent publication of our version of the Tao Te Ching, I’ve been self-consciously eyeing up many of the other versions that are available next to ours in the Kindle Store. Comparing the actual wordings of these other versions to our own has been enjoyable, but I’ve also spent some time exploring the reviews … Continue reading

Indicator Indicator

A good friend of ours has just released an album that deserves your attention. Here’s a free sample, in the form of a YouTube video created entirely by commissioning footage through fiverr.com (sounds real nice on headphones): Here’s another great video wherein he grows a glorious beard in four minutes: The self titled EP is … Continue reading

I will sell you our translation of the Tao Te Ching

When we first started posting on this site, our primary focus was an ongoing project to translate the Tao Te Ching into our own words. We published 1 chapter a week for 81 weeks, and we like to think we did a pretty good job. This translation can still be found here. Lately, however, our … Continue reading

How (Not) to Publish Your Novel

Note: The following is a tongue-in-cheek description of my experiences trying to sell a novel. Please don’t take it for more than it’s worth or let it depress you. Congratulations on finishing your first novel. Please take the time savour the initial rush of joy that comes with placing the final period at the end … Continue reading

Alva Noë somehow made his book better by commenting on my review of it…

Several months ago, I posted an article titled “Horribly disappointed by a really good book,” in which I reviewed Alva Noë’s book Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness. In retrospect, it was a strange review, fraught with all the mixed feelings hinted at … Continue reading

Mos Def (Yasiin) on Hip-Hop

A friend of mine once told me that art, rather than being an end unto itself, is actually a tool that works on the artist, that each work an artist creates shapes them much like a chisel shapes a statue. In this view, the actual work of art can be seen as almost inconsequential once … Continue reading

The way things should be…

It is a common practice these days to look at the world and the things in it with a sense of disenfranchised self-righteousness. We look at all the violence and the pollution that humanity has wrought over the centuries and make every effort to distance ourselves from these negative aspects of our history. It is … Continue reading