See No Evil; Fabstraction; Discomfort Food

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Apr 29 06:22:08 UTC 2000

SEE NO EVIL (continued)

"See No Evil"
--WALL STREET JOURNAL headline, 28 April 2000, pg. W17, col. 1.

(1996) has this on pages 296-297:

_See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil._  Said of people who don't want to
be involved.  The origin of the proverb is unknown.  The proverb is often
represented by three monkeys covering their eyes, ears, and mouth
respectively with their hands.  The seventeenth century legend related to the
_Three Wise Monkeys_ is said to have read: _Hear no evil, see no evil, speak
no evil_.  The saying was carved over the door of Sacred Stable, Nikko,
Japan.  The main entry is listed in the 1992 _Dictionary of American
Proverbs_ by Wolfgang Mieder et al. and in the 1993 _Dctionary of American
Proverbs and Cliches_ by Anne Bertram.*** (high use rating--ed.)
1939.  "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil," and you'll never be a
success at a tea party.--Lewis & Faye Copeland, _10,000 Jokes, Toasts and

     From THE TEMPLES AND SHRINES OF NIKKO (1896) by Robert C. Hope, pg. 31:

     Close to, is the stable of the sacred horse, ridden by the late Prince
Kita-shira-Kawa, commander-in-chief of the Japanese troop in Formosa, 1895.
The building is of plain wood.  On the front are five panels carved and
painted with brown and white monkeys, with loquist--a yellow fruit, and pine
one group represents three monkeys, one closing its eyes with its hands, this
is called _Mi-zaru_=(pg. 32--ed.) "don't see any wrong"; another one closing
its ears with its hands, called _Kika-zaru_="don't hear any wrong"; the other
one closing its mouth with its hands, called _Iwa-zaru_="don't talk any
wrong."  They are called _San-goku-no-saru_=the monkeys of India, China and


(photo caption) "Three Monkeys" carved on the panel of the Sacred Stable.
     Built in 1636.  18 ft. x 30 ft.  27 ft. high.  This building is noted
for its being constructed of unvarnished wood and for the "Three Monkeys"
carving on a panel which shows one monkey covering its eyes with hands, the
second covering its ears, the third covering its mouth, thus illustrating the
precept: "Neither see, hear nor speak any evil."

     The Three Monkeys are not in Isabella L. Bird's UNBEATEN TRACKS IN JAPAN
(1880).  However, that book does have "geisha" on page 70.  John Wayne played
Townsend Harris in THE BARBARIAN AND THE GEISHA (ca. 1850s), but it looks
like that title is an anachronism--the OED went through Harris's work for
some terms, but the OED has "geisha" from 1887.  There's no evidence of
Harris with a geisha.


     Maybe this will catch on.  From "Art" by Christian Viveros-Faune, NEW
YORK PRESS, April 26-May 2, 2000, section two, pg. 5, col. 1:

     What's cooking in the New York arts world right now?  In a word,
abstraction so good-looking it should be called fabstraction.  Far from the
impeccably illuminated rationality of modernist progenitors like Mondrian and
Kandinsky; beyond the gravitas and anguish that once made 50s abstract
impressionism all the essential rage; way past the Baudrillardian,
captial-driven senteniousness of Peter Halley's Neo Geo, abstraction is back
and vibrantly in evidence today in electric, Kool Aid-hued spades.

PEACE SIGN (continued)

    The "Peace Sign" is in two large ads in the Friday NEW YORK TIMES, 28
April 2000.  On the back of the first section, pg. A24, in an ad for Verizon
Wireless, a little girl gives the sign.  In a full-page, full-color ad, "Bell
Atlantic Mobile is now Verizon Wireless," pg. B11, a professional woman gives
the sign.
     It must be a woman thing.
     Guys don't do peace signs.

P. T. BARNUM (continued)

P. T. Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute."
--NEW YORK OBSERVER, letters, 1 May 2000, pg. 4, col. 3.

    Here we go again.  I wrote a letter to the editor explaining that Barnum
never said this, it's not true, it was a slander attributed to him after his
    Barnum won't sue.  You can libel a dead man all you want.
    I never understood why factual corrections aren't made 100% of the time.
My chances (especially in New York, and especially with the New York Times)
are better in a Powerball lottery.


     See the large article (anddisgusting photo) on "Discomfort Food" in the
Weekend Journal, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 28 April 2000, pg. W1, col. 2.  New
York's Sushi Samba, for example, is a trendy restaurant that "offers
everything from a $29 lobster that's still moving to aged sake that smells
like rotten eggs (which the waiter told Mr. Francisco-Tipgos to sip with one
hand holding his nose).  One appetizer actually gave him goose bumps: a $9
plate of silver-dollar-sized crabs meant to be eaten claws and all.  'Oh my
God, they were scary,' says Mr. Francisco-Tipgos, an administrative assistant
for a Web-design firm.  'They looked like insects.'"
    The WSJ's "Pepper...and Salt" cartoon should not be missed.  A man is
shopping at a supermarket for bottled water and sees:

Spring Water
Sparkling Water
Classic Water

AMAZON (continued) & NEW YORK CITY (continued)

    Amazon's Jeff Bezos has just bought a place in New York City.
    I just checked my Amazon home page--of my seven reviews, two (LET'S GO
1998) are for books I did not review.  These were correctly attached to LET'S
GO NYC 1997 and LET'S GO NYC 1998 when written.  Amazon originally tried to
censor them.  Amazon tried to prevent people from reaching my home page.
Finally, someone from LET'S GO read a review and is correcting the facts.
Amazon's efforts to sell books at all costs lost; my efforts to correct the
accuracy in books won.
    If Bezos is a rich person who is utterly phoney, then New York should
love him.

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