Saturday, September 18, 2004

Algernon Blackwood
"His admirer, H. P. Lovecraft, wrote of him in his essay Supernatural Horror in Literature: 'Less intense than Machen in delieating the extremes of stark fear, yet infinitely more closely wedded to the idea of an unreal world constantly pressing upon ours is the inspired and prolific Algernon Blackwood, amidst whose voluminous and uneven work may be found some of the finest spectral literature of this or any age. Of the quality of Mr. Blackwood's genius there can be no dispute; for no one has even approached the skill, seriousness, and minute fidelity with which he records the overtones of strangeness in ordinary things and experiences, or the preternatural insight with which he builds up detail by detail the complete sensations and perceptions leading from reality into supernormal life or vision. Without notable command of the poetic witchery of mere words, he is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere; and can evoke what amounts almost to a story from a simple fragment of humourless psychological description. Above all others he understands how fully some sensitive minds dwell forever on the borderland of dream, and how relatively slight is the distinction betwixt those images formed from actual objects and those excited by the play of the imagination.' " Posted by Hello

Algernon Blackwood's eerie tale The Willows : "They first became properly visible, these huge figures, just within the tops of the bushes -- immense, bronze-coloured, moving, and wholly independent of the swaying of the branches. I saw them plainly and noted, now I came to examine them more calmly, that they were very much larger than human, and indeed that something in their appearance proclaimed them to be not human at all. Certainly they were not merely the moving tracery of the branches against the moonlight. They shifted independently. They rose upwards in a continuous stream from earth to sky, vanishing utterly as soon as they reached the dark of the sky. They were interlaced one with another, making a great column, and I saw their limbs and huge bodies melting in and out of each other, forming this serpentine line that bent and swayed and twisted spirally with the contortions of the wind-tossed trees. They were nude, fluid shapes, passing up the bushes, within the leaves almost -- rising up in a living column into the heavens. Their faces I never could see. Unceasingly they poured upwards, swaying in great bending curves, with a hue of dull bronze upon their skins. " Posted by Hello

Friday, September 17, 2004

listening to a ton of Charlie Feathers Posted by Hello

new Lenny Bruce box set

"Most young people today don't know a thing about Lenny Bruce or why he's important," says Willner. "The thing that's not widely understood about Lenny is how much he influenced mainstream comedy. Lenny was the first to do 25-minute routines using five different characters--something that was later picked up by Bill Cosby and many other comedians, and that's where his genius was. Forget all the controversy. He had the ability to completely transport you as a monologist. You just want to listen to him talk."  Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 16, 2004

the Sept 3rd entry at Hotel Point is a most helpful and intelligent consideration of my book "Hammertown"

statue of Frank Ney, our former mayor, Protection Island in the background... Posted by Hello

Wendy Robson "Shack Island ll" (private tidal islands across from Piper's Lagoon in North Nanaimo, still inhabited occasionally, had a seventies reputation (probably unfounded) as having been some kind of drug party free trade love zone in the sixties. Our mayor wore a pirate suit and encouraged such rumors.)  Posted by Hello

new restoration of Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

truck-driving lab

"Police said a resident was out for a walk when a truck with a Labrador retriever at the wheel passed by.

When RCMP arrived, the truck was in the middle of Thompson Road in Granger, blocking traffic. The dog was still behind the wheel. "

"El Mirador apartments, 1929" from Los Angeles architectural photo gallery Posted by Hello

nice Todd/Bjork analysis Posted by Hello

Robert Smithson--Map of Broken Glass Posted by Hello

The "Miami Rock Buoy" at the top of this map (click on it) is the islet Robert Smithson intended his Island of Broken Glass be executed on, before being thwarted by hippies. It would have been visible from Yellow Point, just off the top left hand corner of the map and about 10km south of where I am. Being so visible--a little viewing height is easily gained on Vancouver Island, not to mention ferry traffic!--it would certainly have been better known than the Spiral Jetty, a true Island tourist attraction--until about five years ago there was a "glass castle" on the highway. too. The glass on Smithson's island would have smoothed out a lot by now, but when the light hit it... The excellent catalogue for the Vancouver/Smithson show (where I found out the location) tells the whole story. this is my 2000th post!  Posted by Hello
Robert Smithson in Vancouver

" Smithson contemplated his first permanent outdoor work in Vancouver -- Island of Broken Glass, which he sought to create on a bare patch of rock off the shores of Thetis Island. "

The Old San Francisco Mint

"Sandstone from Newcastle Island (off Nanaimo) in British Columbia was shipped in by three schooners for the facing of the upper floors and for the six colossal columns on the portico. " Posted by Hello

the Ogden Point Breakwater, on calm days one of Victoria's best lounging areas, featured among many other structural feats at Canadian Civil Engineering History & Heritage Posted by Hello

Hardy Island Granite, from which was made the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Ogden Point Breakwater in Victoria. Posted by Hello

Monday, September 13, 2004

Kevin Drum in The Washington Monthly

"Now, I happen to agree with Tomasky that Republicans generally go for the jugular more effectively than Democrats, but it's a big mistake for us liberals to kid ourselves into thinking that Republicans win elections solely because they fool people into voting for them. It's not just that this is a debilitating mental attitude--although it is--but it's also not true. Our main problem isn't that this year's campaign has ignored the issues, our main problem is that the #1 issue in this campaign is national defense, and on that issue--like it or not--the majority of Americans favor the Republican position. If John Kerry wants to win, he should focus on the issues, but he has to focus on the issues that matter most in this campaign cycle.

It's all about 9/11, Iraq, terrorism, and national security, baby. This election is going to be won on that issue, and Kerry needs to convince the country that he can handle it better than Bush. And really, considering the botch Bush has made of national security, that shouldn't be all that hard.

Bottom line: Republicans aren't avoiding the issues. It's just that their signature issue happens to be the one people care most about this year. Democrats had better figure that out pronto."

Anodyne on Mina Totino's "Reading Marx"

4. Capital, the Marx text from which the series takes its title, never appears in the drawings. I remember Mina's own copy, an oversize Penguin, well-thumbed, with little pieces of yellow Post-It stuck in the margins, which the used bookseller in me immediately started pulling out and then guiltily replacing. " Posted by Hello
nice review of the Core Sample catalogue...

"The country is full of virtual centers. Such impermanence and uncertainty is the antithesis of the art establishment's fetishization of preservation and collection. Core Sample embraced a center on the move and worked like disappearing ink. "

Annelise Kretschmer 'Portraits 1920s to 1960s'

(thanks gmtPlus9Posted by Hello
The Likudization of the World

" It has happened in Gaza, in Grozny, in Sadr City. Mr. Sharon says terrorism is an epidemic that "has no borders, no fences" but this is not the case. Everywhere in the world, terrorism thrives within the illegitimate borders of occupation and dictatorship; it festers behind "security walls" put up by imperial powers; it crosses those borders and climbs over those fences to explode inside the countries responsible for, or complicit in, occupation and domination.

Ariel Sharon is not the commander in chief of the war on terror; that dubious honour stays with George Bush. But on the third year anniversary of September 11, he deserves to be recognized as this disastrous campaign's spiritual/intellectual guru, a kind of trigger-happy Yoda for all the wannabe Luke Skywalkers out there, training for their epic battles in good vs. evil.

If we want to see the future of where the Likud Doctrine leads, we need only follow the guru home, to Israel--a country paralyzed by fear, embracing pariah policies of extrajudicial assassination and illegal settlement, and in furious denial about the brutality it commits daily. It is a nation surrounded by enemies and desperate for friends, a category it narrowly defines as those who ask no questions, while generously offering the same moral amnesty in return. That glimpse at our collective future is the only lesson the world needs to learn from Ariel Sharon. "