Functionally Literate – Opening Sentences

They call me Chorus Girl – shouts of “Chorus Girl” go up when I stand and swing my left leg, then my right, and so on.

The Animal-Lover’s Book of Beastly Murder, Chorus Girl’s Absolutely Final Performance, Patricia Highsmith (1975)

Culture of Illusion – That word and that word is that sound there.


This is a beautiful thing that says something wonderful and interesting about how culture and location define how differently we can perceive things as basic as the noises of animals and how myriad are the ways of interpreting the world that we live in.

All hail the glorious kalaediscope of humanity and the multiplicity of possible interpretions for a thing that we think often has only one way of being defined

(takes breath)

I am sure there is a useful and important lesson about how we act towards one another and ourselves that can be gleaned from this knowledge. I am sure.


Culture of Illusion – Animal Madness

The Animals of the Underground.
The Animals of the Underground.

In the most delightful way, a gentleman called Mr. Paul Middlewick has managed to monetize his boredom. As related on this website he managed, in 1988, to find images of animals in the tube map as he commuted to work. How many hours, days, weeks did he spend staring in desperate isolation at the unyielding geometry of the London Tube map before these creatures revealed themselve to him in a hallucinatory burst? A more imaginative name than Elephant and Castle could have been chosen for the elephant, but then I’m not the one who has managed to turn one of the most boring experiences in the modern world into a successful and rather lovely business proposition, so who am I to say? No one that’s who.

On this, the anniversary of the 150th year of the London Tube, enjoy.