Saturday, November 29, 2003

Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll, London 1968
New Scientist on the three minute pop song: "Right back to Kylie in the 1980s, I have always looked at beats per minute as fundamental to a song. Anything too slow and you get a lethargic reaction. With Stock, Aitken and Waterman we were trying to make people feel uplifted and get their heartbeat moving. There is definitely a point somewhere around 120 bpm when it starts to get excited."
CBC News: Deadline Iraq - Uncensored Stories of the War

Thursday, November 27, 2003

RobertAldrich: an independent career
Adorno on Aldrich
Art & Architecture at the Courtauld institute. A must see.
LINTON GARNER--KSW founder Colin Browne's film about this jazz great on CBC tonight at 7
DUCK, YOU SUCKER at Film Forum in New York City
Useful Noise: "And why not--finally we can close the book on the utopian vision of Thriller and once more successfully police the borders of adulthood and race and sexuality. Of course a black performer who won such a white audience harbors secret dreams of passing. Of course an effeminate adult with so pronounced a childlike side wants to fuck little boys. Glad that's over with. "
Brian Kim Stefans reviews the Sieburth Pound: "Impatience and a sense of wonder might be the two best qualities of a critic, though neither is very useful without a decent prose style. "
The Dominion Daily Weblog another BC blog
The Tyee independent news from BC
Portrait of Anna Akhmatova
Beckford's Tower & Museum
Laibach Kittens
Ida Lupino
The Big Knife

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Nealenews-- lots of "wacky Canadian" content on this Drudge-formatted blog
The First Vintage: "But in addition, McGovern thinks, ancient people were probably well aware of the fermentation process whereby yeast turns the sugar in grape juice into alcohol. Indeed, wild grapes frequently carry a dusting of yeast on their skins, probably transported by wasps and other flying insects, and will occasionally ferment right on the vine (birds sometimes become so inebriated eating wild grapes that they fall from their perches). "
Complete Poetical Works by William Cowper

from "The Winter Walk at Noon"

Where now the vital energy that moved,
While summer was, the pure and subtle lymph
Through the imperceptible meandering veins
Of leaf and flower? It sleeps; and the icy touch
Of unprolific winter has impress’d
A cold stagnation on the intestine tide.
But let the months go round, a few short months,
And all shall be restored. These naked shoots,
Barren as lances, among which the wind
Makes wintry music, sighing as it goes,
Shall put their graceful foliage on again,
And, more aspiring, and with ampler spread,
Shall boast new charms, and more than they have lost.
Then each , in its peculiar honours clad,
Shall publish, even to the distant eye,
Its family and tribe. Laburnum, rich
In streaming gold; syringa, ivory pure;
The scentless and the scented rose; this red,
And of an humbler growth, the other tall,
And throwing up into the darkest gloom
Of neighbouring cypress, or more sable yew,
Her silver globes, light as the foamy surf
That the wind severs from the broken wave;
The lilac, various in array, now white,
Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now set
With purple spikes pyramidal, as if,
Studious of ornament, yet unresolved
Which hue she most approved, she chose them all:
Copious of flowers the woodbine, pale and wan,
But well compensating her sickly looks
With never-cloying odours, early and late;
Hypericum all bloom, so thick a swarm
Of flowers, like flies clothing her slender rods,
That scarce a leaf appears; mezereon too,
Though leafless, well attired, and thick beset
With blushing wreaths, investing every spray;
Althæa with the purple eye; the broom,
Yellow and bright as bullion unalloy’d,
Her blossoms; and luxuriant above all
The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets,The deep dark green of whose unvarnish’d leaf
Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more
The bright profusion of her scatter’d stars.—
These have been, and these shall be in their day;
And all this uniform, uncolour’d scene
Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load,
And flush into variety again.
Invisible Library of non-existent books. Contains neither "The Boy's Book of Burls" or "Twenty Scottish Verbs Explained" unfortunately.
Umberto Eco--The future of books: "A person reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica every night before sleeping, from the first to the last page, would be a comic character. "
Venus has 'heavy metal mountains'

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

The Women of Juarez Demand Justice
The Groove Monday Made Her "Chasing After the Sun" on repeat mode for the last half-hour...
Red sea urchin 'almost immortal': "'Some of the largest and we believe oldest red sea urchins up to 19 centimetres in size have been found in waters off British Columbia, between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
'By our calculations, they are probably 200 or more years old.
'They can die from attacks by predators, specific diseases or being harvested by fishermen. But even then they show very few signs of age. The evidence suggests that a 100-year-old red sea urchin is just as apt to live another year, or reproduce, as a 10-year-old sea urchin.'
In fact, the indications are that the more mature red sea urchins are the most prolific producers of sperm and eggs, and are perfectly capable of breeding even when incredibly old"
Scottish Cuisine in NYC: "'The other organs can't be included because they're illegal here,' exclaimed the waitress, only half correct. "
Once Upon a Time in the West They've done a very good job with the the DVD, for 14 bucks Canadian!
C'era una volta il west
Sergio Leone: "Leone's explicit employment of reflexive genre clichés in Once Upon a Time in the West, and again in his final film, Once Upon a Time in America, would seem to cast him as a trail-blazing post-modernist, but there is an important difference between Leone's referential system and the 'blank irony' that Frederic Jameson identified as being cental to a post-modern aesthetic. Leone has a profound emotional and intellectual investment in the cinematic mythologies he explores, however compromised and clichéd these mythologies may have become. Thus, as his films become increasingly self-conscious about the 'lost' classical American filmic tradition they are drawing on, they start to exhibit a meditative, melancholic quality that is completely absent from the energetic exuberance of the dollars trilogy. Adrian Martin admirably summed up this aspect of Leone's later work in his book on Once Upon a Time in America:

It was as if, for Leone, such disembodied 'quotations' – if they could be made to retain their mythic intensity and potency – might provide a kind of catharsis or ecstasy for modern-day cinephiles pining over their precious 'lost object'. That is why, finally, form can never be 'pure' in Leone's work: at stake in it is a psychic investment, a whole elaborate machine of selfhood, culture and longing… "

Monday, November 24, 2003

Don't Look in the Rubble for Answers - Look Into Yourself: "BAD CAUSES NEED martyrs. The War on Terror, as conceived by the US President and the British Prime Minister, is a bad cause, and this week in Istanbul it has claimed new martyrs. Both sides in this war - the US-led coalition and the al-Qaeda terrorist network - will be quietly reinforced by what has happened: reinforced in their prejudices; reinforced in their own self-belief, and reinforced in the new support this will bring them. Both gain. The world loses.
When news reached me of Thursday's outrage, I had just reread this passage in The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot: 'To minds strongly marked by the positive and negative qualities that create severity - strength of will, conscious rectitude of purpose, narrowness of imagination and intellect, great powers of self-control and a disposition to exert control over others - prejudices come as the natural food of tendencies which can get no sustenance out of that complex, fragmentary, doubt-provoking knowledge which we call truth.' "
Cahiers de Corey reports on Lee Ann Brown and Carla Harryman at Cornell
Shandy Hall
Metalepsis: "Reference to something by means of another thing that is remotely related to it, either through a farfetched causal relationship, or through an implied intermediate substitution of terms. Often used for comic effect through its preposterous exaggeration. A metonymical substitution of one word for another which is itself figurative. "
'The Fly'
Uncle Toby and the Widow
Happy Birthday Laurence Sterne!
Why Hari Kunzru refused a literary award sponsored by the xenophobic Mail on Sunday