Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Isn't that a pretty pentagon? Remember, gentle reader, that a pentagon represents the illusion that EVERYTHING IS IN ORDER. I was pondering this odd fallacy at work today when I suddenly realized that I had the PERFECT BOOK TO REVIEW for this site: The Illusion Of Orderly Progress, by photographer Barbara Norfleet. Man, you're going to love this one.

The book is simply a series of close-ups of deceased insect life that Norfleet ordered out of a catalogue -- I WISH SHE HAD NAMED IT -- and posed in droll tableaux in a sand tray, on boxes and sticks and blobs of plasticine and whatnot. The theme of each photo? HUMAN FOLLY. The title photo shows a sort of Moebius ring of beetles trooping around and around a chunk of gray modeling clay -- a grim metaphor for MY LIFE as I struggle to fill out each form correctly and completely before the phone rings again or Violet barges in to explain a 2-minute issue to me for 45 minutes, hisssssing her sssssibilants in a way that makes me want to reach for a MEAT HAMMER, sorry was I yelling?

Not all the photos are as adorable as this one, but most of them are, and all of them jolt you a tiny bit.

This book had two core effects on me: it made crystal clear that Norfleet has me PEGGED, and it woke my latent passion for pretty beetles.

When I moved to this place I'm in now, I found a species of beetle new to me living in the sandy soil out back. It's maybe an inch from stem to stern, oblong but rounded at the ends, a heart-lifting shade of emerald green with 24-carat-gold highlights where the sun hits. Even the beetle's eyes are this color. When one spots me approaching, it gallops away at an astounding speed through the grass, and after accelerating like this for a few yards, it appears to suddenly remember it has wings, and takes off into the air at an even more astounding speed. That, in turn, seems like a nice metaphor for the pursuit of Wealth, considering the beetles's coloring and my total inability to catch up with it even when it is struggling through grass seven times its height...but I'm probably getting too deep.

Anyway, this book is a delight and I shall never tire of it.

Here's a sales link. Look at those markdowns!