Previously on Parallel Universes: Starship Equinoxio is suspended in mid-hyperspace. Last frozen image on screen (see above) represent two tigers by an obscure 20th century Catalan painter. Chief Engineer Scott has been working non-stop for the past 24h to fix the engines.
“Scotty? Captain here. Status report?
Any minute now Sir.
Mr Scott, it is the 5th time you’ve said that. Please. Fix. The. Engines. Like yesterday. Mr Spock? What’s your report?
51.27% of the passengers are pissed, Sir. The remaining 48.73% are pissed too.
(Captain passes his hand over his eyes. Night has been long.) Mr Spock, I think I already told you I do not want 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 digits after the comma. Just an illusion of precision. Round it up please. 51 and 49%. What do you mean by “pissed” and “pissed”?
I understand Sir. The first larger half is “pissed” in a British sense. Blasted. Inebriated if you will. Those concepts are hard to grasp for a Vulcan, Sir. Your open bar suggestion was taken very seriously by that half of the passengers. Sir.
And the other half?
The other half is “pissed” in an American sense. That is angry at the delay. Another human trait that…
Yes, yes, Spock. Thank you. Lieutenant Uhura? Another piece of good news?
I’m afraid not sir. One third of the crew understood the open bar policy applied to them as well. They are very slightly smashed. That’s Australian slang for…
(Captain closes his eyes, waves a hand…) I have multilingual officers. Measures taken Lieutenant?
20% of that third, that is, never mind, are in sick bay with Dr McCoy. The others have been confined to their quarters.
Yes, Sir. Jumping. Now.
Horse torn apart in hyperspace. Same obscure Catalan painter as before. Salvador Dylan or Dalí I think. Atelier des lumières, Paris.
“Engines running Sir. First jump successful.
“Scotty. That is the same bloody horse. With minor variations which I’m sure you can see on your screen. What. Is. Wrong?
Sorry Sir. Just a teeny switch that’s not keeping in place, Sir. Switches off when it shouldn’t. The nearest spare part is in Newark, NJ. A four hours ride Sir. (Authentic)
4 hours? In a car? Weren’t those banned in 2047?
Yes, Sir, but not in this continuum. I might have a solution though. Lad, pass me the masking tape willya?
Chief engineer Salvador Dalí working on a prototype of the Equinoxio Time-Space shuttle. Mid 30’s. Atelier des lumières.
Salvador Dalí, Mexico city.
“Mexico, Mr Scott? Is your masking tape still holding the switch?
A nice bike for Mélie at harleyte.wordpress.com. Soho, New York. (We should be back to normal.)
Girl with a ball. Lichtenstein, 1961. MOMA. As much as I love Lichtenstein, I only saw this one. I should have gone to the Guggenheim. Maybe I could ask Scotty to make a small detour? No? Ok. Moving on. (Jump?)
Girl ‘sans’ ball. Canal de l’ourcq, Paris. Just follow the Seine straight ahead to La Vilette. Seen this artist in several places in Paris for a while. His/her work is often torn out. Just found him: C-Plus-s_street art. See here: https://www.facebook.com/1984794111762318/posts/quelques-timbres-et-un-peu-de-peinturerue-des-francs-bourgeois-paris/2716822085226180/
Principe d’incertitude by Magritte, 1944. The uncertainty principle. Heisenberg and electrons now? Magritte is one of the greatest Belgian painters. That expo in Paris was good, but the best pieces are in Brussels. (Look at your shadow from time to time. You never know.)
Place de l’Europe (Near Saint-Lazare) by Cartier-Bresson. 1932. Just the perfect shot. With a Leica.
(Jump Scotty? Try to avoid the puddles, if you may?)
The juggler, by Remedios Varo, 1956. The MOMA tags her as “Spanish”, as far as I know she spent most of her artist time in Mexico, and is considered here as Mexican. Lemme see. She was indeed born in Spain in 1908. Moved back and forth between Paris and Barcelona in the 30’s. Settled in Paris in ’37. at the height of the Spanish Civil war. Friends with Breton, Carrington et al. Made it to Mexico in 1941. Stayed there until her death in 1963. A major, not so well-known figure of Surrealism.
Mosco Street, New York, on the edges of China town, walking back to Broadway and Leonard. Didn’t have a chance to go back in daytime and ask, but I suspect the text has do with a lot of aggressions to the Asian community held “responsible” for COVID. May you all feel safe soon. Everywhere.
Héraklès, Hercules, by Bourdelle, 1909, at the MET, NY. Bourdelle (1861-1929) has often been overshadowed by Rodin (1840-1917), whom he worked with for a while. Bourdelle had his own strong style. See his series of sculptures right behind the Musée d’Orsay.
Echo nbr 25, by Jackson Pollock, 1951. MOMA. Though in my opinion Pollock finished Picasso’s and others’ complete destruction of Art in the 20th century, I just love Pollock.
Appalled traveller # 895 after being presented with a Pollock painting without prior training. Traveller’s words: “Dude. That is the end of Art”. (Somewhere in Little Italy. Or was it Chinatown. South of Houston definitely… Nu Yawk, undoubtedly.) (Too many adverbs? Yeah. You’re right.) (Jump)
Arlequin et Pierrot, 1924, by André Derain (1880-1954). Orangerie, Paris. My parents missed a Derain at an auction once. Arrived ten minutes late because of traffic. They were extremely pissed for a while. American sense.
Police officer: You know there is a red light there, Madame?
Lady with the scarf and the fancy sports car: … (Drop dead.)
Could that be an MG? The wheel is on the left though. The delivery van is a modified Peugeot 203 (Cartier-Bresson. Paris. Very early 60’s I would say.) Well, thanks to Gilles Labruyère, it is a Dyna X Panhard cabriolet. Thank you Gilles. Do visit his site: he does a cartoon a day. Bilingual.
The sleep-walker, Magritte, 1946. (This is not an owl; this is not a pipe)
Ramener sa fraise. Literally: ‘to bring back one’s strawberry’. Slang for always opening one’s mouth to draw attention. Right behind the Senate and Gardens of Luxembourg. A quite appropriate phrase, thinking about the Senate. a very French model in a nice 30’s attire. One can imagine her dancing the Charleston at a party.
“Mr Scott? Would you please jump? Ever so smoothly?”
Big city of dreams, Little Italy. New York. November 2021. Never stop dreaming.
Captain and crew thank you for accompanying us on this somewhat chaotic flight across time and space. Stay safe 😷. End of year is likely to have dire consequences on the pandemic. Don’t drop your guard, but still: Merry Noël and a very Happy Nueva Année. 🎄