Saturday, November 22, 2003

Guardian Unlimited Books | News | Author rejects prize from 'anti-migrant' newspaper: "Not since 1972 when John Berger gave half his winnings from the Booker to the Black Panthers, and rubbished book prizes as glorified horse races, has literary London witnessed such a dramatic demonstration of writerly conscience."
Moon Lore

Thursday, November 20, 2003

City Lights: Vancouver's Neon Heritage
belated birthday greetings to William Cowper :

from "The Winter Morning Walk"

"The cattle mourn in corners where the fence
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait
Their wonted fodder; not like hung'ring man,
Fretful if unsupply'd; but silent, meek,
And patient of the slow-pac'd swain's delay.
He from the stack carves out th' accustom'd load,
Deep-plunging, and again deep-plunging oft,
His broad keen knife into the solid mass:
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands,
With such undeviating and even force
He severs it away: no needless care,
Lest storms should overset the leaning pile
Deciduous, or its own unbalanc'd weight."
the sevenups when's this coming out on dvd??
Conrad Black's retinue of insiders, cronies, and clunkers: "Given this cast of characters, it should come as no surprise that over the years the stock of Hollinger International has failed to keep pace with the broad market indexes and many of its peer media companies. After all, putting a bunch of right-wingers with occasionally dubious foreign policy credentials in the position of directing a profit-making business seems almost as illogical as putting a bunch of right-wingers with occasionally dubious business credentials in charge of foreign policy"
Lichen Portrait Gallery

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Shadwell vs. Dryden
Happy Birthday Billy Strayhorn!

Lush Life

I used to visit all the very gay places
Those come-what-may places
Where one relaxes
on the axis
of the wheel of life
To get the feel of life
From jazz and cocktails

The girls I knew had sad and sullen gray faces
With distingue traces
That used to be there
You could see where they'd been washed away
By too many through the day
Twelve o'clock tales

Then you came along with your siren song
To tempt me to madness
I thought for awhile that your poignant smile
Was tinged with the sadness
Of a great love for me
Ah yes, I was wrong
Again, I was wrong

Life is lonely again
And only last year
Everything seemed so sure
Now life is awful again
A trough full of hearts could only be a bore

A week in Paris could ease the bite of it
All I care is to smile in spite of it

I'll forget you, I will
While yet you are still
Burning inside my brain
Romance is mush
Stifling those who strive
So I'll live a lush life in some small dive
And there I'll be, while I rot with the rest
Of those whose lives are lonely too
The Onion | I Have To Admit: I Love The Nuts: "I'm not a strong-willed squirrel. If you take a can of nuts and dump them in your backyard, you'd better believe I'm gonna eat those nuts. I won't be polite about it, either. I won't share them with the chipmunks or the birds. No, I will behave like a fool to secure those nuts. I'll shove as many nuts in my mouth as I can fit, and chew as fast as possible to make room for more nuts. If I have some leftover nuts, I'll bury them for later. And let me tell you: If I can't find my nuts, there's going to be some frantic chirping and running around, believe me. I don't care if passersby stop, point, and laugh at my actions. They can call me me all sorts of nut-loving names. I won't stop until I find those nuts."
Top Justice Aide Approved Sending Suspect to Syria : "Imad Moustafa, the charge d'affaires at the Syrian Embassy in Washington, has denied Arar was tortured. But he said Syria had no reason to imprison Arar. He said U.S. intelligence officials told their Syrian counterparts that Arar was an al Qaeda member. Syria agreed to take him as a favor and to win goodwill of the United States, he said. "
Silliman's Blog looks at a new book on Gertrude Stein

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Spinoza and neuroscience

"My view is that the substance of feelings, the heart of feelings, is really a perception of what has changed in our organism, in our bodies during an emotion. Emotions are unlearned responses to certain classes of stimuli. We are equipped to have emotions, thanks to evolution. When we emote we alter the state of the organism in a rather profound manner - the internal milieu, the viscera, the musculature - and we behave in a particular way. The collection of these changes is the emotion, a rather public affair which helps us deal with a threat (think of fear) or with an opportunity (eat or drink or mate). Feelings are the perception of these changes together with the perception of the object or situation that gave rise to the emotion in the first place. In essence, this is James's idea, although Spinoza envisioned something similar. James was attacked for this proposal."
snowflakes the size of cat's head biscuits falling outside (flash)
Seinfeld Blog

BOOKMAN: (Strict) Yeah, '71. That was my first year on the job.. Bad year for libraries. Bad year for America. Hippies burning library cards, Abby Hoffman telling everybody to steal books. I don't judge a man by the length of his hair or the kind of music he listens to. Rock was never my bag. But you put on a pair of shoes when you walk into the New York Public Library, fella.

JERRY: Look, Mr. Bookman. I-I returned that book. I remember it very specifically.

BOOKMAN: You're a comedian, you make people laugh.

JERRY: I try.

BOOKMAN: You think this is all a big joke, don't you?

JERRY: (Completely serious) No, I don't.

BOOKMAN: I saw you on T.V. once; I remembered your name - from my list. I looked it up. Sure enough, it checked out. You think because you're a celebrity that somehow the law doesn't apply to you? That you're above the law?

JERRY: Certainly not.

BOOKMAN: Well, let me tell you something, funny boy. Y'know that little stamp, the one that says "New York Public Library"? Well that may not mean anything to you, but that means a lot to me. One whole hell of a lot. Sure, go ahead, laugh if you want to. I've seen your type before: Flashy, making the scene, flaunting convention. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, 'What's this guy making such a big stink about old library books?' Well, let me give you a hint, junior. Maybe we can live without libraries, people like you and me. Maybe. Sure, we're too old to change the world, but what about that kid, sitting down, opening a book, right now, in a branch at the local library and finding drawings of pee-pees and wee-wees on the Cat in the Hat and the Five Chinese Brothers? Doesn't HE deserve better? Look. If you think this is about overdue fines and missing books, you'd better think again. This is about that kid's right to read a book without getting his mind warped! (Pauses) Or, maybe that turns you on, Seinfeld; maybe that's how y'get your kicks. You and your good-time buddies.. Well I got a flash for ya, joy-boy: Party time is over. Y'got seven days, Seinfeld. (Opens the door to leave. Marion, the librarian, is at Kramer's door. She quickly enters Kramer's apartment and slams the door in fear that Bookman might see her) That is one week!

Happy Birthday Wyndham Lewis
and Johnny Mercer

Monday, November 17, 2003

Happy Birthday Peter Cook!
Armond White on Isaac Julien's "Baltimore" :
"Julien comments on the Matrix phenomenon in Baltimore when Van Peebles’ perambulations cross paths with the stylish Sister’s. In a bit of sci-fi whimsy, the Sister is able to make Van Peebles materialize out of the ether; later, she levitates in one of the museums that feature paintings by Piero della Francesca. Julien’s caprice asserts the power of black imagination within the European institution. He doesn’t merely use black figures to market an old genre the way black performers, including professor Cornel West, are used in the Matrix movies. Julien’s sense of pop history and political necessity emboldens him to assert their presence, their art, as legitimate. (Perhaps the most splendid f/x in any movie this year is a blue plume that mysteriously streaks across all three screens; it’s like an acrylic aerosol spray of graffiti–rude and beautiful ingenuity–made against Baltimore’s concrete-and-clay cityscape.) "
Gordon Burn on US contemporary fiction lost me with the Simpsons dis.
Kenny Dorham: "Kenny Dorham was well known for his quiet, subdued sound. He could play as high and as fast as other trumpet players, but his sound was much softer, earning him the nickname of 'Quiet Kenny.'

His sound had a lot to do with his embochure. You can hear that he plays with his tongue high in his mouth, getting a thin sound. Also, he uses primarily upper air, almost never supporting his sound with lower air.

The combination of the high tongue and lack of lower air support made the sound very light, thin, and soft, giving him the sound that we easily recognize as Kenny Dorham."
listening to Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets play "Autumn in New York" recorded May 31, 1956

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Oregon says unlawful labelling of an MP3 is 'terrorism'
"Other acts described as terrorism include (but are not limited to):
* Blocking traffic
* School walkouts
* Computer crime
* Accepting a bribe
* Theft and Burglary
* Unauthorized use of a vehicle
* Unlawful labeling of a videotape
* Unlawful recording of a live performance
* Negotiating a bad check
* Dogfighting
* Delivery of an imitation controlled substance
* Producing fake IDs
* Using another's driver's license
* Drunk driving
* Selling cigarettes to a minor"
'Shoot-to-kill' demand by US: "Ministers have made clear to Washington that the firepower of the mini-gun will not be available during the state visit to Britain. "
Chic Drummer Tony Thompson Dead
Afternoon of a Blakey-ite: "The existence of an 'abysmal' Lee Morgan session suggests another thought. It's difficult to talk about records like The Sixth Sense, The Witch Doctor, and Roots & Herbs without, on the one hand, seeming to overvalue them from enthusiasm for the idiom and for the players' styles, or, on the other, making them insignificant by reducing them to idiomatic and stylistic examples. One is in danger of becoming the pathetic and unwilling hackworker of one of the most unproductive of all critical tasks: contriving to set up an artificial balance between history and appreciation. It's better to love the aesthetic object, to see nothing but it at the moment when one talks about it, and in this way to refuse connoisseurship and spurn the aloof embrace of measure. At the same time, the innocence of a pre-intellectual relationship to the object would be an empty pose. One is left asserting, rather helplessly but also with a certain confidence, the primacy of the pleasure the object gives, a pleasure that the act of talking about the object would perpetuate"
ms page of Balzac
ms page of Thomas Bernhard
Frank Rich: Angels, Reagan and AIDS in America: "Jon Stewart, as always, could be counted on to crystallize that point when discussing the fictional 'live in sin' line last week on 'The Daily Show.' 'As critics point out, Reagan never said anything like that,' Mr. Stewart said. 'In fact he didn't even mention the word AIDS in public until seven years into his presidency. So you can see why people are upset: CBS made someone totally indifferent look callous.'"
Louis Black, via below, eloquently defends Tarantino
Viggo seems like a nice guy
GreenCine Daily terrific movie blog
NDP could form next opposition
The Return of the Giant Hogweed
The Amazing Story of Kudzu the vine that ate the South
Red River rebellion:
"The situation in the Canadian Northwest in 1884 was very different from what it had been in Red River in 1869-70. In addition to the disappearance of the herds, the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway was nearing completion, and the federal North-West Mounted Police were a strong presence. But in one unfortunate respect, things were all too much the same: Ottawa was still having trouble hearing the voice of the West, particularly that of the Metis. Frustrated at the slow pace of negotiations over the place of the Metis in the province, Riel, on March 8, issued a ten-point bill of rights for the North-West Territories. The manifesto included provisions recognizing the rights of Amerindians and white settlers as well as the rights of the Metis. When Ottawa did not respond, Riel proclaimed a provisional government on March 19 (the name day of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of the Metis) and seized the parish church at Batoche, on the Saskatchewan River. Within a week, with the help of the new railway, federal troops were on the scene."
Louis Riel executed, 1885
British Garden Birds