The Muse and Whirled Retort 2012

A special 12-12-12 Edition of T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.ED... R.E.T.O.R.T.

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Ya know why sound men only count to two?
"Check one two?"
Because on three you have to lift.

December 12 , 2012

Oakland, CA
Vol. XIII
issue xii


Hey everybody,
It's that time of the year again. 12-12-12.
Since 1-1-1 every three hundred and ninety five days (approximately) I have written a little essay on the number that corresponds.  I did 1-1-1, 2-2-2, 3-3-3 etc...

This will be the last - well... unless we add another month in the next year.  There is a precedent - it has happened twice before - but I tild you about all that before.  I do hope another month is added thought - because I would love love love to write about the number 13 (a baker's dozen.)

But if I were a betting man - I would lay twelve to one odds agains it.

SO... this special edition of

T.H.E. M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.ED. .R.E.TO.R.T

is brought to you by the number 12. TWELVE. XII

It is 12-12-12 after all.


Twelve is one of my favorite numbers. (Third in line behind 51 and 2 raised to the 67th minus 1.)  But I do love twelve... The GOOD OLD DOZEN.  For lots of reasons...

...lets start with just what an obsessive compulsive neat freak she is.  Look at the way she divides herself.  Only twelve (and her multiples) can be divided so perfectly.  In half and in quarters AND thirds...  Oh, and sixths too.  She kind of looks down her nose at the empirical ruling ten and all her divisive inadequacies.  

This  is why so much wheeling and dealing is done in twelfths.  Everything seems to come by the dozen.  Roses, Eggs, Donuts, Hotdogs...  the twelve pack.

AY one time in the faire land of ours there were twelve Pence to a Bob.

But still... stock-rooms and ware-houses gravitated towards twelve - she is kind of blue collar and punk rock.

Two Twelves is a case - and half of twelve is well... a six pack.  (Though in Canada they call a twelve pack a case... but their beer is stronger so what are ya gonna do?)

Twelve Twelves is known (unfortunately) as a "GROSS."  Personally (as much as I like twelve) I think think it should be called the opposite of "GROSS" such as a  "Cultured."  or even... an "Urbane."

The word Gross is just... well... gross.  

Like somebody is doin' "da dozens" with inanimate objects.

But then... They don't let it go at that - a dozen dozen is a great gross.  How Gross is that?  (I am not making this up.)

Oh, in case you haven't done the math yet twelve dozen (or a "GROSS") is 144 and you can get (yes) 144 pints of beer from a keg. (Pint is British for Kerr-Kup)

Drink that much and somebody is getting gross and should likely join a twelve step program.

Twelve is the smallest abundant number (not counting negative twelve.)

God, I love twelve. twelve!

Speaking of God... no religion is complete with out twelve.

Where to start?  There were the twelve Olympians: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Dionysus, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus and Hermes.

The Norse God Odin had twelve sons, I won't bore you with their names other than to say the twelfth son made his debut in Marvel Comics in 1962 and graduated to his own animated TV series by '66, joined a "supergroup" of super heros in the 70s and remained close to the hearts of super geeks and other children until his silver screen debut last year in 2011.  Yes, I am talking about "The God of Thunder.... Mighty Thor." (which has the same melody as the theme song to the cartoon series of the same era "Hercules!" -- but I digress.)

There are Twelve shrines where Lord Shiva (an aspect of God in Hinduism) is worshiped in the form of a pillar of light.  

Not to digress from God but a pillar of light when viewed through a prism has well... twelve colors.  3 Primary, 3 secondary and six tertiary:  Red. Vermilion. Orange. Buttercup.  (HEY! You can name the tertiaries anything you want) Yellow. Pistachio. Green. Aqua-Velva Blue. Heliotrope. Violet. and Massage Parlor.

Orthodox Judaism choose twelve as a woman's age of maturity, which is celebrated by a bat mitzvah  (Sheeze... they call me a red-neck... Even Alabama waits till thirteen.)  

Like Odin, The prophet Jacob sired twelve sons who went on to form the twelve tribes of Israel. (Though technically Levi was was not given land but we wont quibble - Eleven tribes of Israel does not sound very good -- unless your Palestinian -- and considering I am writing this from San Francisco and wearing Levi's I will let it slide.)

The New Testament has the twelve Apostles: Simon Peter, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, George, Ringo...

no wait... seriously, I get confused because Peter has an alias  (Simon) and - Judas Iscariot's name gets bumped off the list and replaced by Matthias in the book of Acts.  So, when you list the apostles which is it Judas or Mathias?  and is it Simon or Peter?  or --- Paul, or Paul Simon. (or if you watched The da Vinchi Code:  Peter Paul and Mary.)

There are twelve days of Christmas - going from Christmas day to the Epiphany (Jan 6th) which is the date the three wise men reached  Bethlehem and the Magi had their epiphany.  

What is that you ask?

It seems that when that "Little Star of Bethlehem"  appeared, King Herod's  astronomers saw it as the birth of a new "People's" king who was clearly a threat to Herod's power. He sent three "Wise men" out to investigate as he devised a plan to kill all of the first born males in the area.  But much like the former slave trader, John Newton writing "Amazing Grace" as he turned his slave ship around and set his captive cargo free, the three wise men had a change of heart. They warned the Holy Family of Herod's plot to  "Slaughter of the Innocents" and Mary, Joseph and the babe escaped on the twelfth day of Christmas, and the party began...

Mardi Gras Season Begins on the Twelfth day of Christmas.  

Make of it What You Will that's why William Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night.

King Author ruled over twelve lands and had twelve knights of the round table.  I won't bore you with their names other than to say I always liked the name in a medieval tale "Sir Lance-A-lot."  Which would be like a modern action hero named   I dunno "Sergeant Taser-Often."

My favorite movie is Twelve Angry Men.  American juries have twelve jurors.  Ahh, I love a criminal justice system where the fate of criminals sits in the hands of twelve people that can't figure out a way to get out of jury duty,

There are twelve months in a year - and two sets of twelve hours in a day ie twelve numbers on a clock... even if you are like me and learned to tell time with a digital watch.

For similar reasons there are twelve inches in a foot.  Not to mention Twelve feet on a musical sextet.

In both the eastern and western astrology there are twelve zodiac signs.  Though you have to keep in mind that the Chinese calendar runs on a lunar time table - making the new year in February.  I went for years thinking I was a Dragon - which seemed cool to me - but then (because my birthday is in January) I found out I was a rabbit.

Jen is Welsh (where the national symbol is the Red Dragon) - so that was very disappointing to her - until I pointed out what a rabbit does as it's primary defense mechanism.

At the dawn of the modern American Football era all the cool quarterbacks wore number twelve.

Nameth, Stabler, Staubach, Griesie, Bradshaw, Brodie, Kelley but they all got their numbers retired and only Tom Brady can still wear it now.  

In Seattle they didn't have a quarterback to wear it - they just retired the number on general principle.  No, not really they retired it because the crowd is known as "The Twelfth man." and Seattle's best player seems to be in the stands.

Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs and Roberto Alomar wore number twelve in baseball.

In Canada they have twelve players on the football  field - but what can you say about a culture that calls a twelve pack a case?  But their beer is stronger so what are ya gonna do?

The Beatles released twelve  twelve inch albums (really).

Leadbelly played a twelve string guitar, but never with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Twelve people have walked on the moon (not counting Michael Jackson)

There are Twelve Face Cards in a deck

There are twelve stars on the flag of the European Union.

And finally, they say it is the highest one syllable number - though being a southerner it seems to have three syllables Twa-ALE-Va.  After twelve it's all co-dependent numbers like "Eight-Teen, and Twenty-One and Three-Hundred-Forty-Five.

So, enjoy it 12-12-12!  It is going on 12 O'Clock so I better send this out!

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A.N.N.O.U.N.C.E.M.E.N.T.S.

The holidays are coming up! I highly recommend buying from independent artists!  Let me recommend ummm... Oh, I have an idea... www.celticartstudio.com
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Jen and I are well.  I am taking some well needed time off from performing every day to work on some new material as well as some other projects.
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Congratulations to Amy Sue Berlin and Mike Meadows!  I wish you the best because well... you are the best.
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The latest Record "Matadors" is now available to down load tracks by clicking DOWNLOAD TRACKS HERE or pasting: at http://celticartstudio.com/shop/matadors_digital_download_chandler_benoit

It is a brand new thing a ma jig and very cool - check it out - there are samples and everything!

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I set it up and then have not done much with it.  So if you will go there and like it - I will begin posting songs and videos and all kinds of fun and inspiring stuff there - I promise.

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T.H.A.N.K. .Y.O.U.
Jen Delyth, Anne Feeney, The Berkeley Slam Poetry Series, The International House of Poetry,  Amy Sue Berlin, Sebastian, Felinzio, The Bodega Boys, Collen and Jane, The US Postal Service, Jim, Catherine and Zoe Infantino.

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H.E.R.E.S. .D.A. .D.A.T.E.S.
I am taking some time off - but am looking at doing a little mid atlantic thing in the early May.

drop me a line if ya want in.


updated: 4 years ago