Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Nanaimo Beat is a very good new blog devoted to "what is really going on" in Nanaimo civic affairs (which our toothless papers mostly ignore), including the sleazy downtown development deals, etc. Something like this has been desperately needed for years.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

than you Daph for hauling Vol. 2 of the big Hershel Parker Melville biography home from work...

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the excellent "Roots Listening Room" has the 1937 Library of Congress recordings (including "The Hog Went Through the Fence, Yoke and All") of Kentucky Fiddler
Luther Strong...

"It seems that there had been a legendary Owsley County fiddler named Moab "Dude" Freeman, who was something of a vagabond. He wandered around eastern Kentucky like a hobo, even traveled out west and back, and was considered one of the finest fiddlers to ever live in that region. Donald said Strong played more like Freeman than anyone he ever heard, and he was sure that was where Strong learned to play. He said Strong had an extra long bow "and used every bit of it." Rumor had it that he put pennies under the feet of his bridge to get a keener sound, but Donald said he was there when Strong began that practice. He said they were at some local fiddlers' contest, and Strong said he couldn't compete because the bridge was too low on his fiddle and the strings rubbed on the fingerboard. So Donald suggested placing pennies under the bridge to raise it up. It worked well, Strong went on to play "Sally Goodin'" and win the contest, and he liked the pennies so much, that he just kept them there, saying, "It's just like Baby Bear, it's just right." But who knows? They say he was bad to drink from time to time, and a tale went around that when the Library of Congress came around in 1937 to record him, he had no fiddle at all, and they had to haul him out of jail and have him play on a borrowed fiddle."

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Micheal Dirda reviews Javier Marias' "Written Lives"--

"Rilke does not have the face one would suppose him to have, so delicate and unbearable was he in his habits and needs as a great poet. . . . His face is frankly dangerous, with those dark circles under deep-set eyes, and the sparse, drooping moustache which gives him a strangely Mongolian appearance; those cold, oblique eyes make him look almost cruel, and only his hands -- clasped as they should be, unlike Conrad's indecisive hands -- and the quality of his clothes -- an excellent tie and excellent cloth -- give him some semblance of repose or somewhat mitigate that cruelty. The truth is that he could be a visionary doctor in his laboratory, awaiting the results of some monstrous and forbidden experiment."
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actor/director Tommy Lee Jones namechecks Donald Judd & Dan Flavin--

"I would often sit around the monitor while things were being set up and ask different people if they thought there was any emotion in geometry. And they would say, "What?" And I would say, "Do you have any feeling for triangles? Hexagons?" There's a geometry to the film that I find very pleasing. I think Judd's work is highly intellectual and deeply emotional. And of course the influence of Flavin is obvious in the lighting, but nowhere more so than in the scene at the clinic where the border patrolman gets cured of his snakebite."

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from metafilter--Bombsite Boudicas "Ken Russell's 1955 Photo Essay on London's Teddy Girls"

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Robert Forster in "Medium Cool"

here's the schedule for the Worldbridger Film Series showing at our Malaspina College--

February 2006

DATE: Thursday, February 02 2006
Showtime: 7 PM

DATE: Thursday, February 09 2006
Showtime: 7:30 PM

DATE: Thursday, February 09 2006
Showtime: 8 PM

DATE: Thursday, February 16 2006
Showtime: 7:30 PM

Seeing Is Believing: Handicams, Human Rights and the News
DATE: Thursday, February 23 2006
Showtime: 7 PM

WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception
DATE: Thursday, February 23 2006
Showtime: 8:15 PM

Expressing the Inexpressible: Sherin Neshat
DATE: Thursday, March 02 2006
Showtime: 7 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 02 2006
Showtime: 8 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 09 2006
Showtime: 7 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 09 2006
Showtime: 8:30 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 16 2006
Showtime: 7 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 16 2006
Showtime: 9 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 23 2006
Showtime: 6:30 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 23 2006
Showtime: 8:30 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 30 2006
Showtime: 7 PM

DATE: Thursday, March 30 2006
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Antonia Zerbisias gets the whole cartoon flap about right--

"Which makes me wonder who the real hate-mongers are: those who are cut off from modern communications technology and are more easily subject to the machinations of ignorant clerics — or those that should know better and who claim to be morally superior."

Monday, February 06, 2006

another poem from John Newlove


Dease Lake to Watson Lake
November 1985

And with a penetrating silence
and with solitary gestures,
an oil drum among the pines,
and with good gravel roads
and with an understanding of itself
that is not to be understood
and with pines
and with cheeseburgers
and with mock log cabins
and with real ones
and with an acceptance of the inside world
that is to be understood
and is not solitary or a gesture
and with an understanding of light
and with pines and pines
refusing to leave home,
one bowing gracefully like a geisha,
and with comfortable immensities
and with a quiet pride kidding the outsiders
gently and gently and gently and gently
and with pines and with pride
and, yes, with snow, we must mention snow
where colour itself seems a type of wealth
and with danger and with pines
and with serenity and with calmness
and with pines and with pines and with pines
and with humans, always with humans ....
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Sunday, February 05, 2006

& from the bottom of p. 50


Give me back the green fat
fields of the place where I learned
to be human, and the flooding rivers --
take away these dolorous mountains
this ever-watching, garbage soaked ocean!

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re-reading for the first time in some time the late John Newlove's 1965 "Moving in Alone" (the 1977 Oolichan edition with the black & white portrait and the pages falling out)--on the top of p. 50--


Plump eastern saskatchewan river town,
where even in depression it's said the wheat
went thirty bushels and was full-bodied,
the river laying good black dirt each year:
but I found it arid, as young men will.

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