Against my better judgement, the lights in my apartment are connected to a wireless network controlled via an app. There are physical buttons, but they are located near the plugs, at ground level and often behind obstructions. When I leave, turning off the light requires digging my phone out of my pocket, typing in the unlock code, opening the app, waiting for it to detect the network, then tapping a button to turn off the light. I do all of this while standing an inch or so away from the old wall switch, the use of which would achieve the same result in a fraction of the time. As a result of this modernity, every time I leave the apartment, I feel the uncontrollable urge to make sure I’m listening to the title theme from French director Jacques Tati’s 1958 masterpiece Mon Oncle. I am, at that moment, Monsieur Hulot. Continue reading…
Posted March 31, 2014
The Gutter’s own Keith tracks the story of Rabbi Loew and the Golem–with some dips into alchemy and art–through Prague. “So how did Rabbi Loew’s name become associated with the legend of the golem? Well, it’s no surprise, really, given how much weird, wizardy stuff is already attributed to him. It seems more or less historically accurate that he spent time as an alchemist in the employ of Rudolf II. Less historically accurate: that he was able to take a pestilence spell cast against the Jews of Prague and throw it back into the face of the villainous sorcerer who first cast it, or that the rabbi constructed a magic castle to which he could teleport for important meetings with heads of state or notable magicians.”
There is an excellent gallery of photographs from Prague’s Old Jewish Cemetery, too. (Also, here’s a little about the Iron Knight mentioned in the piece).