Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
I'm sloppy. I'm a name caller. Call myself an Iceberg. Got this link via Atrios.
"Pass the Chardonney; the science today, my dear boy, has become so complex that it's becoming harder and harder to track all of the causes of the inherent inferiority of Black people! It's a wonder we even bother..."
Well, listen to me. You want name calling, let's invoke the greatest name caller in recent history! For you rational, reasoned Conservative Bell Curve types, you're Herzog to my Kinski:
"Now I absolutely despise the murderer Herzog. I tell him to his face that I want to see him perish like the llama he executed. He should be thrown to the crocodiles alive! An anaconda should throttle him slowly! The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze him! His brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes! Panthers shouldn't slit his throat open with their claws, that would be too good for him! No. Big red ants should piss in his eyes, eat his balls, penetrate his asshole, and eat his guts! He should get the plague! Syphilis! Malaria! Yellow fever! Leprosy! In vain. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth that he is, the less I can get rid of him!"
Slopped by sarcasmus at 7:02 PM
Sunday, August 28, 2005
I'm reading Gould's Book of Fish; it's really good. But I just received a bunch of books I ordered for myself as an early birthday present--mostly Thomas Bernhard. One of them is a book of 101 very short pieces of fiction. They are very weird. Bernhard usually writes pretty short books, but they are usually one long paragraph that doesn't end until you get to the last page. They're sitting there, all intriguing me and such, and I'm totally torn. How to mete out the last dregs of my working-life weekend. And it'll end that I read just a few pages of each and then conk-out.
I'm blogging too much. Life. I need more life! Less blog!
Slopped by sarcasmus at 10:20 PM
Had an interesting night last night. Hung out with some folks I know from Sarah Lawrence College; first at a reading in the city and then at a beautiful apartment on the upper east side. (The apartment has two balconies.) Politically they are quite distinct from the usual crowd I hang around. But that isn't the issue. (It was a beautiful night , the weather perfect, clumps of clouds hurtling over us; squares of light blinking on off in diverse array of apartment buildings we were clustered amid.)
So, the other day I started talking about racial epithets. I started making up words, like matrikames, for those of Irish-German descent, and Planker, for those like me, of Finnish-Jewish lineage. And the both times I did this spiel for people, they took me seriously--because sometimes I have a great deadpan delivery and can fool people.
Anyhow, I could go a hundred different ways with this blog post, but the point of this one is that in the second time I did this deadpan delivery of obscure racial epithets (which I make up as I go along) the upper-eastsiders helped me out. And they (he of the he/she couple) came up with a GREAT epithet for Jew-finns. Icebergs. So I'm an iceberg.
I won't go into the politics, and how easy it was for these particular individuals to generate racial epithets. Let's just say it was a very lovely evening in the city. We talked quite a bit about british comedies and episcopalians. There is always something to learn from anyone. Be them Plankers (Lutheran Finns with Marxist tendencies converted to Judaism), Hulskovies (Russo-Japanese/Chinese Hawaiians), Glug-glugs (Australians who move to Canada) or bonafide Icebergs.
Slopped by sarcasmus at 11:39 AM
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
What do I know from Reality.
I don't know.
I said I'd talk about it.
I don't really get drunk like I used to. Because then I'd talk reality for you.
Real versus dream. Dream versus dream. Dream versus real.
It goes on. We default on things. Maybe that's why Werner has so many circular images in his movies. Not because life is circular. But because we can't do anything but either go in circles or be mesmerized by them.
This talk isn't over yet.
Slopped by sarcasmus at 9:15 PM
Monday, August 22, 2005
Bob Moog. 1934-2005.
One thing that pisses me off about the Bob Moog movie and the mainstream press is all the shit about how he influenced rock. I relent, Pete Townsend did some good stuff. Not great, but good. But enter down the dark path of progressive rock and, well, let's say that I'm not such an anti-progger like I used to be, but the less I know the better.
Look: Bob Moog didn't invent electronic music. But he made accessible instruments readily available and cleverly marketed and distributed it all. His instruments were great products; beautiful sounding devices.
Synthesizers did a lot of damage to rock. My rock knowledge is in no way comprehensive, but from my perspective synthesizers were one of the things that killed music in the early 70's. Besides Brian Eno, the Krautrockers, and Bowie's Low, of course. And if were talking Kraut, were talking Kraftwerk. Take a few buckets of brilliance from a Mr. Bernie Worrell of Parliament and that gets you to unageable Detroit Techno, Juan Atkins, Derrick May et al. But then comes the sludge techno years--even most of the Warp stuff gets you only so far. Exceptions like Black Dog and Speedy J and other notables. And then the crap that you hear booming on radios out of cars rolling by.
Then enters the sampler.
Public Enemy never needed a synthesizer. Though technically their 808's and other drum machines were synth driven.
Don't get me wrong. I love synthesizers. LOVE them. That's why I HATE their misuse. (Same goes with piano.)
My dad borrowed a Moog (Despite the fun to be had saying Moog rhymes with Rogue, I always say Moog because it's more fun to say,) from a friend and made some very creative music with it. I wanted desperately to use the Moog, and he said I could use it if I took piano lessons. And then the rest of my life happened.
Now all the synths are inside the computer. They don't go out of tune. They are tinny. M83 uses this to great effect. There's some great drum'n'bass out there too. But it certainly is a whole different world of sound. End of an Era. Like the switch to Digital Video.
Rest in Piece, Mr. Moog. Watch out for Bach, he'll probably give you a punch in the lip for inspiring that bitch Wendy Carlos. (Note, Wendy/Walter's soundtrack to Clockwork Orange including his/her rendition of the 9th is perfect for the movie. But s/he has made so much crap that even Jean Michel Jarre and Tomita must blush at the thought of it. Snowflakes are Dancing.)
Slopped by sarcasmus at 10:42 PM
I will now present a series of sloppy pronouncments. Official sloppy pronouncements, 'cause I have been endeavoring upon quite a few sloppy pronouncements ever since I have begun this blog. But now they will be official announcements, albeit sloppy.
Just having watched Cassevettes' A Woman Under the Influence, and previously Faces and Shadows, I bring you official sloppy pronouncement number one:
John Cassevettes is the single greatest American film director of all time.
This is of course sloppy because, least of all, I have not seen every Cassevettes film, much less every American film ever made.
I can't quite go into how I came about this. Off the top of my head the closest contender is Orson Welles. But Welles somehow seems like a fluke of genius, while Cassevvettes seems infinite. His movies make you cry and laugh at the same time. Orson was all magic (F is for Fake). Perhaps the greatest magician our country has ever seen in the modern age. But ultimately Orson's world is a dream. Allegory. Whilst Cassevettes' work emerges as something that doesn't even seem like film. His movies are not movies, they are miracles of time and space. His movies are canvases, upon which he spills the paint of life.
In some way I want to say it is sort of the difference between Kurosawa and Ozu. I guess because Ozu was concerned with domestic and cultural minutae and inexplicable mysteries of human interactions to an exacting detail, and Kurosawa was taking the sweep of Tolstoy's War and Peace up on the screen. Kurosawa was a miracle/tragedy maker. Ozu saw the miracle/tragedy of the everyday. (Like Chekhov, I guess.)
Of course Cassevettes' oover differs so drastically from Ozu that the comparison only works to a point. Cassevettes' films are disturbing and bleak. Though with many moments of beauty.
The depiction of children in Woman Under the Influence was particularly striking (As they are in Ozu. Sloppy Pronouncement number two: Ozu was the greatest director of children the world has seen. Although SP#3: the Punch and Judy Scene in Truffaut's 400 Blows was probably the greatest filmed scene of children in the history of children. But one must not forget Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali. SP#4 (though not exactly sloppy): Pather Panchali is the greatest single film about a young boy and his slightly older sister. SP#5 Bunuel's Los Olvidos is the single greatest movie about vagabond children. I would like to rein in the sloppiness of these pronouncements at a later date.
But back to Woman Under the Influence. The thing that fascinates me about children on film is that they do not act. Or at least they do not act in the sense that adults act on film. There is something akin to this as Werner Herzog exploits in many of his movies in using unprofessional actors. But even unprofessional actors "act" unless they are caught on camera unawares. Children don't give a damn about the camera. Or before the video age, at least. They are like animals, the director can't exactly give explicit instructions. A director can say, "Okay Timmy, go Wa-wa-wa, I love you mommy!" But the kid will probably just say it in a not so nuanced way; Maybe the kid will say it rather convincingly. Maybe he will say it in a way that the director obviously directed him to say it, and it seems corny. In the past, before I became as severe of a film snob as I am presently, I said "Kids in film suck." It's not true at all. Kids can be wonderful in film. But they can be awful. If there's an Arnold Schwarzneggar film (and I imagine there will be one again one of these days,) he has a cute little boy will shoulder length hair Arnie can muss up and almost invariable the child is appelated with the obnoxious name of "Danny." Little Danny come give Daddy a kiss before I go blow up the dark-skins. But anyway, Cassevettes, in Woman Under the Influence (which I find a problematic, dated title) skirts a fine line between maudlin Hollywoodism and outright exploitation of the child-actors. The kids are wrested around heedlessly by their alcoholic parents. The children are props at times, and more human than their parents at others. It is emotional wrenching to witness. There were reaction shots of the children that made me want to instantly cry.
That shit is intense. I have one more post before I go to bed. Hopefully it won't be a long one, but it deserves its own space.
Slopped by sarcasmus at 9:04 PM
Sunday, August 21, 2005
I had a crazy weekend in Santa Barbara. It was great to see all the relatives. But there were many surreal moments. I don't even know where to start. I can't start. I can't write about it. These people are crazy. And I was one of them. I was acting crazy. Crazy crazy crazy crazy.
Anyhow, I noticed that I'm getting a lot of blog spam lately, and I wonder if that means more people are reading the blog, or the blog spammers are just becoming more productive. I don't care about it right now. I have only one life to live and it's not worth increasing my blood pressure about a couple of pointless comments on my blog. It's all pointless (though some is more real than others.)
Also, the blogger toolbar/dashboard has a "flag" for content now. Sitting on the plane today--I flew a United flight from Denver to La Guardia (It was just a layover in Denver, no time to see mom, though I called her)--and I was determined not to watch the stupid movie (it was "Monster In-Law") but I finished reading my book halfway through the flight. So I put on the headphones and trawled the audio streams on the United Radio. I listened to a nice little MOzart Piano concerto movement, and then they played some crappy James Galway pennywhistle theme by Henri Mancini. From Mozart to Mancini? Geesh. So I switched stations, and I heard some piece of crap pop, some piece crap pop country, some piece of crap nu-metal hard rock, and then another station was playing some old jazz. It was a good tune. I don't know who the players were, I thought maybe it was Art Blakey, but I really have no idea. But it was good. Then when the song stopped some lite jazz song started playing. I clicked the channel after about three seconds and listened to the talk radio--it was some show about computers and the guy was talking about spyware and popup blockers and I thought it was informative and distracting until I realized it was a freaking INFOMERCIAL. After the movie there was an NBC "In-flight News" program that basically was an hour long commercial for NBC's latest TV shows. I wanted to PUKE. And I thought, what I wouldn't give to get on the INTERNET. Because I can go wherever I want on the internet. I still have to see stupid pop culture ads on the sidebars and whatnot. But I can click away or whatever. If the corporations had their way we'd have corporate logos inscribed on the backside of our eyeballs so we'd be looking at advertising even when we closed our eyes. No Exit. So flag me for inappropriate content. I'm sure I've said something offensive. Or now I will:
Google execs can lick my ass.
Any day now The Church of Scientology will merge with Google. (No offense to scientologists. We expect YOU GUYS to be parasitical.)
Slopped by sarcasmus at 10:38 PM
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The Grizzly Man was fantastic. I think it changed my life. You must see this movie. I cannot be objective about Herzog's work. I thought White Diamond was life-changing as well. But for some reason I feel that Grizzly Man touched my DNA as few works of art have. I think it is partly because I have a sentimental part of me that reacts to scenes of mountains and forests, akin to the Rocky Mountains, and I've forgotten that internal aspect of myself, living in a metropolis as I do. But Herzog is investigating what life is, as he always has, with astounding consistency.
What exactly is that consistency? I don't know. Herzog films from his gut. But it is an exceedingly complex and focused gut. A gut that was tempered by his upbringing in the backwoods of Bavaria, and an ecstatic religious experience at the age of 14. He is not interested in the world as much as he is interested in the mind. That is why he changes the details of the facts—conforming them to his idea of truth. (This gut is also funneled through his mind, a mind of extraordinary conviction. A mind that was “fortified by philosophy.” What philosophies these might be, I don’t know. He has never gone into specifics. They may be his own. In that case it is the idea that there is no harmony in the universe. That “the only harmony is the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder.” As a younger Herzog despairs to the camera in the documentary Burden of Dreams. He literally reiterates this philosophy in Grizzly Man.)
There is some stuff to talk about. About the idea of some things being more real than others. This involves Herzog, Keats, and maybe Thomas Bernhard. (For me? For you, does the idea of some things being more real than others work for you? Or is all reality equally real? Or is it all a dream? Or is it both? (In angryandsloppy-land, if you think it’s all equally real or all a dream, then you’re wrong. I’ll explain why later.)
Slopped by sarcasmus at 12:02 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I'm searching for clip art because I have to make flyers and things. There is some strange assemblages out there. This page has four images, and it is either the most arbitrary assemblage of images or least arbitrary images I have ever seen. The referring page is a poem:
Flowers. Apple. Flowers in a vase. Pumpkin. Maple Leaf. Flowers and Herbs. Christmas Tree.
Bear, Cabin, Swords, Eight Ball.
Trade Towers, body builders, Clown.
Flowers, Pestal, Stallion.
Sorcerer, Rubber Duck, Salesguy, buoy.
Mans face, Dog, People, stapler.
Lion, Polar Bear, Stop Sign, Glasses.
Buffalo, Bull, Elephant, dancers, lightbulb.
Doghouse, Presents, Mailbox, Vietcong.
House, Spider, Apple, Texas, Matrioshka.
House, Barn, Mother & Baby.
Eagle, Wolf, Rose,Corvette.
Temple, Crucifix, Cyclebear, knife.
Checkered Flag, Hat, Car, Truck, School house.
Tent, Wizard, Wolf, Superman Emblem.
Motorcycle, Deer, Duck.
Dogs Meeting, People Meeting, Baseball catcher.
Unicorn, Scales, Lady of Justice.
Hawker Hurricane Airplane, Chicken, Duck.
Greatful Dead Dancing Bears, Rocket.
Maid, Bear, Flowers, Key.
Uncle Sam, U.S. Seal, Soda can, hammer.
Battle Axe, Lab puppy, pendant, potpourri.
Dragons, Anime Girl.
Marilyn Monroe, Doll, Fat Guy.
Desk, Chair, Mouse.
Bed, Bookcase, Toy box.
Lighthouse, Sail Ship, screwdriver, coffee cup
Tyrannosaurus Rex, Guy on a couch, CD.
Warrior. Dragon, Bombs, Missile.
Teapot, Pencil, School Bus.
Mexican Man & Woman, candle, Tow Truck.
Ballerina, Golfer, Yoda.
Pumpkin, Jack O Lantern, Ghost, Frankenstien, Witch.
Harley Davidson Fat Boy, New York State.
Roman Chariot, Wizard.
Horse, Chef, Tiger.
Champagne, Glass & Cork, Kachina.
Champagne Bottle, Baby New Year.
Father Time, Beethoven.
Piano, Candleabra, Giraffe.
Musical Notes, Satan.
Man's Face, Hearts, kittens.
Superman, Eagle, Roger Ramjet.
Bathtub, Maple Leaf, Cowboy.
Pot of Gold, Batman vs. Superman, Tanks.
Thumbs up, spacestation.
Men's Faces, James Dean, Clark Gable.
Flowers and Herbs, Underdog.
Fish, skate, DodgeRam.
Easter graphics, Rabbit, Baby Chick, Pig.
Spiderman, Fisherman, Bullet Holes, Motorcycle.
Knight, Native on Horseback.
Kangaroo, Whale, Seahorse.
Evil Clowns, Waiter.
barn, hillbilly, outhouse.
phone, jacks, girl.
shopper, vampire, turtle heads.
female warrior, King, Semi, House.
Santa, Christmas Tree, candy canes, Elf.
Womens Faces, Women.
Butterflies, Fish, Elvis.
Rocky, Bullwinkle, Boris, Natasha.
Teddy Bears, Clown, Wizard.
Indian on Horseback.
Classic Car, Coach/wagon.
Slopped by sarcasmus at 3:23 PM
Sunday, August 14, 2005
This blog, like my life, has had vague to completely diffuse focus; this post included. Today I'm going to give you the results of an extensive review of so-called mp3 players. I have tried Windows Media Player, the iTunes player, and finally WinAmp. First, let me say, that I don't have an iPod, but I like the idea of having copies of a lot of music on my computer so that when I'm chilling in my un-AC'd room I can listen to a wide range of music with little effort. Essentially, my computer is my iPod that I can't take anywhere. That's fine. When I'm going places, when I'm on the subway or whatever, I like to read and listen to other people's conversations. I have a little mp3 player that can hold 4 or 5 albums worth that I got free with my digital audio card, but it runs out of battery-juice really quickly. It was fun but the novelty has worn thin. Anyway, I have tons of CD's, but many of them I never listen to because I just get bored of them if I listen to the whole album. Such as the Germs' MIA, or X's Los Angeles, or my Pussy Galore CD, and other stuff I hardly ever listen to like Tribe Called Quest, but stuff I still would like to hear every once in awhile. Also some of my box sets, like Datapanik in the year Zero by Pere Ubu that has tons of great stuff but also tons of throwaways, also the Nuggets. So I uploaded tons of stuff on my computer to play on the Microsoft Windows Media player, little realizing that it was converting everything to WMA format, not the MP3 format. But I uploaded like a hundred albums because I was excited about hearing a random mix of a billion different things. Unfortunately the Windows Media Player messed up the indexing of a lot of the different tracks, especially anything that I had burned off of other people. For instance, I have burns of all of the Metallica albums because I'd never pay those thugs any money, but I still want to hear their jams. And early Sleater-Kinney, I love, but I don't think I'd pay for that either. (sorry girls.) And my Joy Division cd, which I REALLY should buy, but I haven't gotten around to it. So anyway, the Windows Media Player sorted about 95% of the tracks correctly, but moved stuff it didn't recognize into random Unknown folders. I got sick of moving them back. My room is a mess, but I like my audio files tidy. So after a month of this nonsense I decided to look for an alternative. Enter iTunes. So I loaded iTunes and it converted ALL of my files into some wacky Apple audio format. But the filing seemed to be more straightforward. All of the Unknown stuff still was Unknown but everything else could be tidily sorted by album, artist or even genre. And it has a pretty wicked visualization thing (I can watch it for a very long time without getting sick of it.) Anyhow, I didn't like the fact that iTunes seems even less album-oriented than Windows Media. You can't really choose an album to play--or if you do, it doesn't seem to want to play the songs in the right order. (It doesn't display the album art either, which is another disappointment. Not classy, Apple. For shame.) What a pain in the ass. I guess Albums are becoming an antiquated concept--and who am I to complain because I wanted to make random mixes anyway. So I asked around, and somebody said that WinAmp was the best. And so I loaded WinAmp and it didn't do any funny conversion. But it made me notice that I have two copies of every tune that I have on my computer, one in Windows format, one in the Apple format, and then a dozen or so albums that are in the mp3 format. (To my ears they all sound tinny, anyways, maybe I should just forget it all and become a vinyl geek.) So here is the conclusion I have come to. I am sick of all the players. Each one is stupidly designed, or designed for people who don't care, who just want to play the latest Britney Spears or 50 cent single over and over again. But if I had to choose one, I would choose the WinAmp, one reason being that it doesn't do any converting (digital proselytizing), seems to be able and willing to play any kind of audio track, and, most importantly, when you do the random mix it tends to play better songs than the Windows Media Player or iTunes player. Something to think about. One time I downloaded a trial version of MixMeister, and it was really great. It does automatic mixes with intelligent cross-fading--it was a really really cool piece of software. But it costs 50 dollars if you want to use it for more than 30 days. I don't know if its worth it. Of course, that's cheaper than becoming a vinyl-geek.
Slopped by sarcasmus at 4:19 PM
Friday, August 12, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
They shouldn't inject someone with poison based on their IQ score. They should base executions on Emotional Intelligence. Or if we elect Tom Cruise, based on their emotional tone scale. Or maybe we should base it on the degree of their faith. Why execute an atheist? We're going to hell anyway.
Oh, don't kill him! He's too dumb. Are they mad? We should kill all the dumb fuckers. Haven't they heard of a thing called Hitler?Darwin? We're trying to PURIFY the species. If he's smart, don't kill him!
(And, yes, I am employing my particular brand of angry and sloppy sarcasm.)
Slopped by sarcasmus at 8:25 PM
Thursday, August 04, 2005
And maybe it's the only sane way:
"Create your own values of culture and put it against the values that you do not like... Just don't complain, don't lapse into the culture of complaint—roll up your sleeves and create your own art, create your own values, create your own cultural values, that's what going to change things."
Slopped by sarcasmus at 9:06 AM
The Grizzly Man movie comes out soon, and I guess it's getting a wider release than White Diamond and Wheel of Time. That's pretty exciting, though I wished that more people had seen White Diamond.
And, on August 16, the Film Anthology Archive series is playing one of my very favorite Aki Kaurismaki movies, LA VIE DE BOHÈME. A film that every practicing/aspiring artist should see.
Slopped by sarcasmus at 8:22 AM
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
War war war. Blood and carnage. I'm damn sick of it.
We need more protests. No Mr. Tubbs is going to come down from the sky to take us to a better place. We are stuck in this mire of shit.
We need more protests. Is anybody planning a protest?
Should I buy a crate and go stand on it?
There's a lady who yells no to animal abuse in my neighborhood.
I pounded a snare-drum once, and then the cops came.
I'm tempted to go pound the snare drum again.
If there are any protests in the works, let me know about them. I want in.
Or if we've decided that they don't work anymore, tell me why the hell not? What will we tell our damn children?
Slopped by sarcasmus at 8:54 PM
Monday, August 01, 2005
The ever-emerging and festering and suppurating of evangelical fundamentalist wackoism is indeed a scary thing. But within the mythos there are some beautiful ideas--there is a beauty to religion and the arguments therein that science and post-structuralism can never touch. This page is a treasure trove of creationist rationale that beats the hell out of clam-fed scientology craziness. There is so much to love. For instance, how do creationist explain stars? The fact that the universe is only a dozen thousand years old, or whatever they say, and so how do scientific-creationists explain light from stars millions of lightyears away? It's also interesting to note that the explanations aren't all from Christians too. (You mean there are wacky religio-Jews too? Who would've known!)
Like Billy Graham, Morris seems to think that UFOs are actually angels -- evil angels.
Slopped by sarcasmus at 12:05 PM