Saturday, April 24, 2004

the mikhail bakhtin manuscript smoking page
Mario Bava Web Page
Rhythms of Life: "There are two different rhythms which govern the day: the circadian drive for 'wakefulness', which reaches a peak towards midday - the best time for concentration and difficult decision-making - and the 'homeostatic drive' towards sleep. These two processes cross each other's path in the mid-afternoon, the time when sensible societies used to allow citizens to take a nap. "

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Discovery of Slowness: "Since it was first published in Germany in 1983, The Discovery of Slowness has sold more than a million copies and been translated into 15 languages. It has been named as one of German literature's twenty 'contemporary classics', and it has been adopted as a manual and manifesto by European pressure groups and institutions representing causes as diverse as sustainable development, the Protestant Church, management science, motoring policy and pacifism.
The various groups that have taken the novel up have one thing in common: a dislike of the high-speed culture of Postmodernity. Nadolny's Franklin appeals to them because he is immune to 'the compulsion to be constantly occupied', and to the idea that 'someone was better if he could do the same thing fast.' Several German churches have used him in their symposia and focus groups as an example of peacefulness, piety and self-confidence. A centre for paraplegics in Basle organises a regular Marsch der Langsamkeit (a 'march of slowness' or 'of the slow'), inspired by the novel. Nadolny has appeared as a guest speaker for RIO, a Lucerne-based organisation which aims to reconcile management principles with ideas of environmental sustainability. The novel has even become involved in the debate about speed limits on German roads. Drive down an autobahn today, and you will see large road-side signs proclaiming 'die Entdeckung der Gelassenheit' (Gelassenheit means 'tranquillity' or 'unhurriedness'), a slogan which deliberately plays off the title of the novel."

Thursday, April 22, 2004

A Donegal Hedgerow

" This website is a documentary of one year's life in a Donegal Hedgerow. Day by day, the sights I see are presented in pictures and text. The pages take the form of a diary, and all photographs are placed in date sequence. The website therefore records as many of the encounters with wildlife as I can photograph or describe."

thanks Plep
if you haven't yet, do check out the new / U B U _ E D I T I O N S

"This year's titles range from the visually sophisticated Concrete poetry of Gustave Morin, a native of Windsor who spent 10 years on his 'novel' A Penny Dreadful, to an obscure volume of satirical translations of Baudelaire by the English poet Nicholas Moore, from the experiments in frame and format that Caroline Bergvall and designer Marit Meunzberg explore in their daring resetting of the poet's Eclat, to the equally daring, if entirely unscrupulous, logorrhea that is the 130 pages of another 'novel,' Name, by Toadex Hobogrammathon.

The big news this year might be the introduction of color into the pantheon of effects being used in our e-books: both Bergvall's Eclat and my own Alpha Betty's Chronicles rely heavily on it, in ways that would have been unsuitable to html and impossibly expensive to print in a book. Likewise, the volumes by Morin and Lytle Shaw - two of his uniquely low-tech Shark chapbooks - are primarily graphic works, while the titles by Craig Dworkin, Robert Fitterman and Larry Price attempt to re-conceptualize the page of an Adobe Acrobat file as a middle-space that ironizes the permanence of type (Dworkin's use of Courier fonts) or digital flow (Fitterman's box-like containers) as well as the 'writing on the wall' soixante-huitard-style (Price's poster-style typography).

Of the republications, we are happy to present the final section of Ron Silliman's The Age of Huts, The Chinese Notebook, probably the most influential of his early books outside of Kejtak, two small works by the increasingly-prized Jean Day, whose 1998 Atelos volume, The Literal World, woke so many up to her understated talents. Robert Kelly's quasi-fiction - yes, yet another 'novel' - called The Cruise of the Pnyx has long been one of my favorites of his, but has never appeared in another book, nor has the original Station Hill edition of 1979 been republished.

New writers include the playwright Madelyn Kent, whose Shufu plays - part Butoh, part Richard Maxwell-like deadpan, with a touch of Clark Coolidge -- are bound to become recognized as innovative theater, and Aaron Kunin, who is becoming known in New York and elsewhere as a writer of uncommon intelligence and tremendous technical precision. The English poet Ira Lightman drops in on the series like a lightning bolt, spreading his art in a sort of spirit of personal renaissance, while Barbara Cole's Foxy Moron - a text I see as existing somewhere between poetry and drama if only because she reads it so well in public - strikes a little lower, not so much toward "renaissance" as sexual catharsis, over and over again.

Lastly, we are especially happy to have Deanna Ferguson's long-awaited follow-up collection to her 1993 book The Relative Minor (which appears as a reprint in last year's series). Several of the poems in Rough Bush have already played parts in some of the signal poetics statements of the nineties; it's good to finally have such a stash of Ferguson's recent writings in one place.


--Brian Kim Stefans "
Ten Key Questions on the Next B.C. Election
Clear Cut Press in the Village Voice

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

U.S. border officials apologize to McEwan: "Danielle Sheahan, spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection in Washington, D.C., said it's 'extremely rare' for the agency to issue apologies and said McEwan's rejection has been erased from its computers. "

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Pentagon as Global Slumlord

By Mike Davis

The young American Marine is exultant. 'It's a sniper's dream,' he tells a Los Angeles Times reporter on the outskirts of Fallujah. 'You can go anywhere and there so many ways to fire at the enemy without him knowing where you are.'

'Sometimes a guy will go down, and I'll let him scream a bit to destroy the morale of his buddies. Then I'll use a second shot.'

'To take a bad guy out,' he explains, 'is an incomparable 'adrenaline rush.'' He brags of having '24 confirmed kills' in the initial phase of the brutal U.S. onslaught against the rebel city of 300,000 people.

Faced with intransigent popular resistance that recalls the heroic Vietcong defense of Hue in 1968, the Marines have again unleashed indiscriminate terror. According to independent journalists and local medical workers, they have slaughtered at least two hundred women and children in the first two weeks of fighting. "

(thanks Metafilter)

Monday, April 19, 2004

PDF's by Jean Day, Deanna Ferguson & others up at / U B U E D I T I O N S
Press Action: How the "Mainstream" Media Enables the Bush Administration ...: "Furthermore, by accepting government officials as the most valued of sources, journalism implicitly promotes the idea that these officials have something valuable to say.

There's a scene in a 2002 episode of The Simpsons entitled 'The Great Louse Detective' where, after discovering that Homer Simpson has in the course of the series annoyed quite a few people to the point that they want to physically harm him, Sideshow Bob remarks, 'None of this seems odd to you?' The members of the Simpson family don't see anything odd about this, because there is nothing odd about it within the context of the show.

This clever joke is an example of what does not happen in media coverage of the Bush Administration, just as it did not happen to the administrations that held power before January 20, 2001. Those who produce The Simpsons can publicly poke fun at the absurd nature of the context in which the story of the show resides. Journalists, on the other hand, if they want to keep the game going, don't have this option. If they were to make the obvious fact that Bush's comments were a mix of simplistic rhetoric and non-answers into one of the dominant discourses of the press conference, the press would effectively be saying the whole event was a sham. There goes their importance, prestige and (perhaps most importantly) ratings and sales. They can't say what actually goes on, so the charade continues."

Sunday, April 18, 2004

The Tyee: Eating Contests: "Coast Salish eating contests were as personal as the ones Jacobs entered. The difference is that only one person or one team ate, and it was always the guests. The object was, literally, to eat the host out of house and home. Drop by my house at the right time, and this could take less than 15 minutes - which was of course, the point. The eater's boast: "My power can consume everything you own." The host's implicit reply: "I am so rich, I have so much food, that I can feed your eating power until it can't eat any more"--which is a serious malfunction in an eating power. "
The Washington Monthly

"....The Army is just making things worse for the coalition. The Army is intent on having its presence seen and felt in Iraq because they think that will make everyone think they are in charge. What they don't seem to realize is that a large military presence is the one thing, pretty much the only thing, the Iraqis can't tolerate. Despite reports by the news media to the contrary, Iraqis don't resent the humanitarian projects, or the rebuilding effort, or even the U.S. being in control of the government until the transition. Sure the Iraqis want to be in charge, but the majority can tolerate the situation until a transition happens, even if it's months down the road. But what they can NOT tolerate is waking up every day and seeing army tanks and Bradleys rolling through their towns and villages. And they can't tolerate being stopped by endless Army checkpoints on the highways, which were set up by commanding officers who think terrorists and insurgents haven't figured out a way yet to avoid those checkpoints. That's what the Iraqis resent and can't tolerate, along with a thousand other ways the Army makes its presence felt (and I didn't even mention having your door kicked in at 2 am because of some 'hot Army intel')."
Nanaimo Chinatowns Website
Roy Moxham, historian of Tea & the Great Hedge of India
The Dominion Daily Weblog: "The corporate media in Canada and the US, meanwhile, has made a obfuscating and distracting from the siege of Fallujah and the resulting human disaster. I know of no systematic study, but there has been a distinct emphasis on 'kidnapped' foreigners while war crimes, massacres, murder, and the continuing illegality of the occupation ignored or heavily marginalized." (many links)