Saturday, January 24, 2004

Armond digs "Torque": "In this single sequence, Torque's pop references go from The Great Train Robbery to Spies, The Lady Vanishes to North by Northwest, Barocco to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to Mission: Impossible. Those Who Love it will want to ride this train again."

Friday, January 23, 2004

Hey Ya, Charlie Brown!! (movie) best thing since the "Immigrant Song" kittens--Go!
Vexations on a theme: "One player had to contend with a whistler in the gallery. And the jazz pianist Django Bates was disturbed by someone who stepped from the audience and emptied his pockets - including coins and a vodka bottle - into the instrument with the words 'Unprepared piano'. Afterwards, Bates said he felt 'totally stoned'. "
1985--the worst year for music ever!: "How can I loathe Billy Bragg so virulently when I agree with just about everything that he says? Does his career, his existence, represent the ultimate argument against socialism? Pop or socialism-- what do you want, and why moreover does it have to be an either/or? Why does pop have to be this glum, this morose, this isolated? "
Burns Night
Mickey Rooney as Puck
James Cagney as Bottom
The Spinoza Study:

"So far, then, from the authority of the Hebrew high-priests telling in confirmation of the authority of the Roman pontiffs to interpret religion, it would rather tend to establish individual freedom of judgment. Thus in this way also, we have shown that our method of interpreting Scripture is the best. For as the highest power of Scriptural interpretation belongs to every man, the rule for such interpretation should be nothing but the natural light of reason which is common to all - not any supernatural light nor any external authority; moreover, such a rule ought not to be so difficult that it can only be applied by very skilful philosophers, but should be adapted to the natural and ordinary faculties and capacity of mankind. And such I have shown our method to be, for such difficulties as it has arise from men's carelessness, and are no part of its nature. "
BACH St Matthew Passion
A Biographical Essay on Zukofsky by Mark Scroggins
today the centennial of Louis Zukofsky:

"His voice in me, the river's turn that finds the
Grace in you, four notes first too full for talk, leaf
Lighting stem, stems bound to the branch that binds the
Tree, and then as from the same root we talk, leaf
After leaf of your mind's music, page, walk leaf
Over leaf of his thought, sounding
His happiness: song sounding
The grace that comes from knowing
Things, her love our own showing
Her love in all her honor."

Thursday, January 22, 2004

The twinkling CNN pollster weasel whose name escapes me just now the first I've heard to make what will now be the inescapable Dean/Muskie triangulation: expressions of emotion as "unpresidential". Muskie's snowy breakdown (famously ascribed by Hunter Thompson to ibogaine abuse) I remember, that election the first I followed in any detail, even then it seemed weirdly set up, cinematic in a cheap way. Fletcher Knebel, thou shouldst be living at this hour!
Kung Hei Fat Choi!!
Pork fat, salted vegetable, red parallel sentences
Tet's mast, firecrackers rings, and new lunar year blue cake.
interview with "Millenium Actress" animator Satoshi Kon
graphic re-interpretation of Nic Roeg's Don't Look Now
U B U W E B :: Cornelius Cardew "Stockhausen Serves Imperialism and Other Articles" entirely up at this finest of websites--
Came quite accidentally, Law & Order being a repeat, upon the French film The Taste of Others , and it was rather good, the critic was right who said it was like Rohmer, but peppier. Nice too not to have that slightly used up feeling Law & Order leaves me with lately. Goodnight!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Canada Reporter's Home Raided Over Al Qaeda Story: "'The whole affair started with the RCMP. First they whispered to the Americans that Maher Arar was a terrorist, which led to his deportation and torture,' she said.
'Then the RCMP tried to smear Maher Arar by whispering the same allegations to journalists. Now it's raiding journalists' offices as if journalists are the problem.' "
big PDF of KSW's W7 features Miriam Nichols, Robert Mittenthal, Pete Smith, Soma Feldmar, etc.
Raising the Ghost of Joseph Mairs: "'Nanaimo and Ladysmith came under what amounted to military occupation for almost a year, with hundreds of residents herded into camps fenced in by barbed wire,' reports Haythornthwaite.

'When Canadian Collieries evicted miners and their families from company homes and imported strikebreakers,' says an entry to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography by Simon Fraser University labor lecturer Mark Leier, 'union miners organized strong picket lines. The province sent in constables, and by August scuffles were breaking out.'
from Laurable

Anti- Hegemony Project: " The collusion between government and publisher,publisher and critic, critic and poet, poet and academy, academy and government, constitutes at once the most unbreakable ring of corruption, and the most vicious circle of ideological
contamination, yet to become manifest in our letters. "
Toasters: "'you do not need to ring for more toast but make it yourself and eat it while it is crisp and hot'. "
from Bookslut

Seamus Heaney's hip hop pantheon!: "Dr. Dre--I cannot say if he is a doctor or not. This I do not know. But I do recall the shells which fell long ago on the pastures of Wicklow, cleaving the earth in two, and the sound of weapons crackling from the wireless. They are with me still, these songs of ruin. The sprung rhythm recognizes its own."
4000 Years of Miniature Books

Monday, January 19, 2004

great interview with Kubrick/Cassavetes favorite Timothy Carey
The World's Greatest Actor, In Praise of Timothy Carey: "He appeared alongside Elvis Presley and the Monkees, James Dean and Frankie Avalon, Lee Marvin and Mr. T. Between 1958 and 1962, he directed, wrote, produced, edited, financed, distributed, and starred in The World's Greatest Sinner, a film so inscrutable, hysterical, and obscure (one known print remains) that even its cult following has a cult following. He died while making The Insect Trainer, which would've been the first film ever to tell the story of a man incarcerated for murder by farting. He was Timothy Agoglia Carey, the greatest peripheral actor of all time. "
Poe/Manet The Raven
Happy Birthday E. A. Poe!: "And now we rushed into the embraces of the cataract, where a chasm threw itself open to receive us. But there arose in our pathway a shrouded human figure, very far larger in its proportions than any dweller among men. And the hue of the skin of the figure was of the perfect whiteness of the snow. "
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech "Beyond Vietnam," Address delivered to the Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam, at Riverside Church 4 April 1967 at New York City: "At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless in Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called 'enemy,' I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a
short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor."

Sunday, January 18, 2004

blissblog on the "Zone of Fruitless Intensification" re drum 'n bass: "Now it'd be intriguing to work out what the significant axis on which the Zone of Fruitless Intensification will manifest itself, looking at some current musics. With Grime, one possibility is clunkiness. At the moment the music exploits the aesthetic possibilities of clunky-but-in-a-good way -- the clunk-crunk-funk nexus (the fact that stiff and lurching is actually more funky, or more rhythmically arresting/compelling, than fluid, nimble "funky" playing). But I can already imagine that good-clunk turning to bad-clunk, getting both caned into the ground and exaggerated to the point of non-enjoyability. Same with the bombastic/doomladen post-Swizz/Ludacris fanfare-riff, although perhaps that's just a subset of 'clunk'.

I'm curious if Screwed as an Aesthetic has its ZFI -- and whether that would be the music getting slower and slower until it's just this voidal subdrone (I should get Erase the World's Baal to write this bit for me), a nauseously stretched out brink-of-standstill. "
the Downy Woodpecker we've been watching out of my window all day seems to be digging out a nest excavation on a little platform half way up the walnut.
Giorgio Agamben in Le Monde Saturday 10 January 2004
via Charles Bernstein on the Poetics List

Giorgio Agamben

The newspapers leave no doubt: from now on whoever wants to go to the United States with a visa will be put on file and will have to leave their fingerprints when they enter the country. Personally, I have no intention of submitting myself to such procedures and that's why I didn't wait to cancel the course I was supposed to teach at New
York University in March.

I would like to explain the reasons for this refusal here, that is,why, in spite of the sympathy that has connected me to my American
colleagues and their students for many years, I consider that this decision is at once necessary and without appeal and would hope that it will be shared by other European intellectuals and teachers.

It's not only the immediate superficial reaction to a procedure that has long been imposed on criminals and political defendants. If it were only that, we would certainly be morally able to share, in solidarity, the humiliating conditions to which so many human beings
are subjected.

The essential does not lie there. The problem exceeds the limits of personal sensitivity and simply concerns the juridical-political status (it would be simpler, perhaps, to say bio-political) of citizens of the so-called democratic states where we live.

There has been an attempt the last few years to convince us to accept as the humane and normal dimensions of our existence, practices of control that had always been properly considered inhumane and exceptional.

Thus, no one is unaware that the control exercised by the state through the usage of electronic devices, such as credit cards or cell phones, has reached previously unimaginable levels.

All the same, it wouldn't be possible to cross certain thresholds in the control and manipulation of bodies without entering a new bio-political era, without going one step further in what Michel Foucault called the progressive animalization of man which is
established through the most sophisticated techniques.

Electronic filing of finger and retina prints, subcutaneous tattooing, as well as other practices of the same type, are elements that contribute towards defining this threshold. The security reasons
that are invoked to justify these measures should not impress us: they have nothing to do with it. History teaches us how practices first reserved for foreigners find themselves applied later to the rest of the citizenry.

What is at stake here is nothing less than the new "normal" bio-political relationship between citizens and the state. This relation no longer has anything to do with free and active participation in the public sphere, but concerns the enrolment and the filing away of the most private and incommunicable aspect of
subjectivity: I mean the body's biological life.

These technological devices that register and identify naked life correspond to the media devices that control and manipulate public speech: between these two extremes of a body without words and words
without a body, the space we once upon a time called politics is ever more scaled-down and tiny.

Thus, by applying these techniques and these devices invented for the dangerous classes to a citizen, or rather to a human being as such, states, which should constitute the precise space of political
life, have made the person the ideal suspect, to the point that it's humanity itself that has become the dangerous class.

Some years ago, I had written that the West's political paradigm was no longer the city state, but the concentration camp, and that we had passed from Athens to Auschwitz. It was obviously a philosophical
thesis, and not historic recital, because one could not confuse phenomena that it is proper, on the contrary, to distinguish.

I would have liked to suggest that tattooing at Auschwitz undoubtedly seemed the most normal and economic way to regulate the
enrolment and registration of deported persons into concentration camps. The bio-political tattooing the United States imposes now to enter its territory could well be the precursor to what we will be
asked to accept later as the normal identity registration of a good citizen in the state's gears and mechanisms. That's why we must oppose it.
Scary Cheney "Asked aboard Air Force Two how he would spend an ideal day, Dick Cheney says, "On a river with a good friend and a fly rod. Northern British Columbia for steelhead. South Texas to chase quail.""
Good long review of newJohn Clare bio.