Saturday, April 08, 2006

Winchester '73
for Weldon Hunter

Cowslips linearize
goodman frigates,
highlight space,
& transmit to
dodecahedron citadels
a kind of Kantian paragraphing,
shoulder Centralia's rift
while whitewash is being
hellenized with theremin.

These are the
foundations of Julie--
historical shamrock broils
where whoop! we suspect Murray
has theodored the fatherland--
a theory that conflicts with
the Raritan wind (riffling
with a fire's pride) but
soothes theorists
Dodger Citywide--

Dutifulness the henchman,
Wyatt Earnestness.


History broadens
in the rifle's construct,
butchered by Dutchess Henpeck's
fried ambulance.

Linkers steer
toward Winkers.

Two-day Lathrop
penalized his rifle in
a poker game
with Joe Lamp but
by inference was transformed--
lamented in latrines
kilometered by your bulldozing,
indentured, where before he'd hoped
to withstand by merely chewing.

Meanwhile, the Linux league
frowns on Jacob Veasey the salt keeler--
but for Tasmanians to uphhold
such Johnstown deals
is outdated.
Spalding intoxicates the
U.S. Cavalier uninterestingly--
whatever beechwood
hazing he'd surmised
from the youth's bulged warts
the thermometer
had by now moravianized,
buttressed only where
Lindstrom had Shoshoneed.

Killebrew Yourself.

Witness on diskette
the cowardly fate
of Lola Mandarin,
the dandelion's halting girlfriend.
Thermometers jammed with homers
witness the possibility
of Hottentot pacifications
but Waco Johnny kills such
sterilizations with gunfire--

duties hence quizzing,
thereabouts winging ,
for platforms bankrupting.

A tastefully and thankfully
sampled day--
linkage kills mensuration,
in an arena leafy therapists
bantam cocks
to ensure Gunnar.

Link takes office,
long afterglow his broil,
wholly heart his backorder.
Tractarians, tories, historians, bronzes--
calculative Himalayas
giveaway their namesakes to
Maturation McAdams,
(maniacal, though sneakier)
but behaviorally still himself
he relocates,
but thereafter winged.

A theoretical shopper he finds
vast therapies, fatty deacons.
latinity, retentions to taste,
thermofaxing Winthrop's
highly sparkled &
retroactive armour.

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(with Marianne Faithfull & Alma Cogan)

Gene Pitney on Youtube--four videos so far!!

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golden age of VHS part five--another vision of late 70's- New York-as-hell, Abel Ferrara's still-riveting Ms. .45--

"The smarmy creep follows her for block after block, prattling all the while about how he's a photographer and a great appreciator of beauty, apparently so caught up in himself and his spiel that he simply does not notice the woman's utter silence. Finally, he asks Thana if she would come back to his studio with him to take a few pictures. The deciding factor seems to be the offensively familiar manner in which he wraps his hand around hers as he makes this fateful suggestion; Thana follows him back to his place, alright, and then empties an entire clip into him from inside the elevator."

another essay here--

"The final party scenes in Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976) and Ms .45 are twins, they have the same configuration, the principle of reprising an earlier scene, but especially the extended use of silent slow motion. Carrie and Thana are both poor victims who explode the final scene by inverting their usual roles. If Thana doesn't possess the same powers as Carrie, she gets the same results with her gun: bodies hurled against walls. Faced with this movement all around them, Thana and Carrie, the characters in the centre of the spider's web, stand immobilised like statues. Thana resembles a mannequin on a turning plinth. The machine spins out of control, it must make everything disappear, everything except the other. In Carrie as well, Amy Irving, the sister who is spared, is the other who takes the initiative, who stops the machine. She is directly designated by Thana who calls her name, and by Carrie who grabs her arm (the last scene of Carrie, Amy's dream).

Thana and Carrie are therefore blood sisters, united by colour. The red which Thana wears on her body and her face and the red of the flames which covers Carrie..."

Star Zoe Termerlis Lund later co-wrote and appeared in "The Bad Lieutenant" for Ferrara. She died in 1999.

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golden age of VHS pt. four--Police Tapes by Alan and Susan ("American Family") Raymond--

"The Raymonds' first independent production was an experimental video called "The Police Tapes" (WNET New York 1977, ABC News 1978) that forever changed the TV landscape. The program chronicled police officers in America's highest crime precinct and captured a South Bronx neighborhood in the process of self-destructing. This program has been honored with four Emmys, an Alfred I. DuPont and George Foster Peabody awards. "The Police Tapes" has been recognized in the film and television industry as a major influence on police dramas and the many reality TV cop shows that followed. Steve Bochco, creator and Executive Producer of Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law, commented upon his inspiration in American Film magazine, July 1988:

"But we really stole the style of Hill Street Blues from something called "The Police Tapes" ... It was one of the most arresting things I'd ever seen in my life. We said, 'This is the feeling we want. We want to create something that gives the illusion of random event.' "

Elvis Mitchell, New York Times film critic, wrote in a June 2002 Sunday article on reality cop shows influencing the movies and recognized the Raymonds' contribution:

"Through their "Police Tapes", the Raymonds have assured themselves a spot in movie history: the DNA of their original has found its way into the film mainstream through "Cops"."

Toward the end of the film a long, highly articulate speech by the South Bronx Borough Commander, where he talks about being the head of an "army of accupation" in a country "that manufactures criminals" is as riveting as anything I've seen anywhere lately. The low grade black and white handycam images--flaring lights, garbled soundtrack--give some sense of how powerful and shocking this must have been before decades of its influence had set in...

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golden age of VHS pt. three--White of the Eye from the late Donald ("Performance") Cammell, one of the best movies of the 80's, as scary as "The Shining" thinks it is with an infinitely more nuanced view of marriage, with career-best performances by the underrated David Keith and Cathy Moriarty--this fine essay ties it in with Cammell's difficult life--

"About two-thirds of the way through, the film's hermeneutic code is blown wide open, as Paul's loving wife Joan (Cathy Moriarity) makes a gruesome discovery: human body parts, wrapped up neatly in translucent plastic bags, hidden in a hollow space underneath the bathtub. From this point on, the dominant focalization of events is through Joan rather than Paul, who (substituting for the viewer) no longer asks, in effect, "Who committed these horrible murders?", but "Paul, how could you do this?" and "What will you do to your family now that we know you're the guilty one?" "

Still, shamefully, not out on DVD...

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the golden age of VHS pt. two the Firesign Theatre written "psychedelic western" Zachariah:--

"So what makes this film a must see? The inclusion of drummer Elvin Jones -- who spent much of his illustrious career as John Coltrane's percussionist --is its greatest asset. Jones plays the role of Job Cain, a true outlaw with mad drumming skills (as he demonstrates in the film). His influence on Don Johnson's character is so powerful that he is able to separate the ambigously gay duo temporarily and turn them into rivals."

On the VHS box Jones is billed as Ginger Baker!

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the golden age of VHS pt. one--Dixie Dynamite & several other movies bought for 75 cents each (!!) at the local video store--

"Warren, ride a motorcycle, Warren drink a beer,
Warren teaches both gals to ride a motorcycle, drink some more beer,
Warren races his motorcycle and wins, celebrates with a few beers,
leaves town and comes back to have a beer."

A bored, unbilled Steve McQueen did motorcycle stunts on this for 200 dollars. True!

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Friday, April 07, 2006

via metafilter Alan, 91, walks every street in 192 suburbs of Sydney Australia - 487 photos certainly looks an eminently wanderable place
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The curious rise of anti-religious hysteria

"George Lakoff - whose book "Don't Think of An Elephant" has become a kind of bible that explains their electoral demise for many liberal Democrats in the US - describes those who tend to vote for Bush as the products of authoritarian 'strict father families' who are motivated by self-interest, greed and competitiveness. These people hate 'nurturance and care', apparently, are religious bigots and lack the therapeutic sensibilities of their liberal cousins.

In the guise of a political theory, Lakoff offers a diagnosis of human inferiority. You can almost hear him murmur: 'They actually take their children to see "The Passion of the Christ"….' In previous times, such contempt for people was the trademark of the authoritarian right. In today's 'inclusive' society, it is okay to denigrate sections of the electorate as simpletons if they are still gripped by the power of faith.

Lakoff and others argue that many people who vote for Bush, or who are influenced by the religious right, simply do not know what is in their best interests. Instead of acknowledging the failure of its own political projects, the liberal elite prefers to indict sections of the public for being (stupid)and gullible."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Try It Again Without Smiling--very funny account (by Ms. Francis, below) of working on TV commercials:--

"It took a while for me to realize that I was the happy model who had a close-up. I was meant to sit happily down next to the rap star, pick up a sausage that had been stabbed onto a fork, bite it, chew, discover how delicious it was, and smile.

It took me even longer to realize that a key sausage selling point was the audible crack the things made when you bit into them. To illustrate this phenomenon, one had to bite into the sausage with conviction, and deftly twist the fork down and to the left (but not out of frame.)

I was a vegetarian, but I think the most diehard meat eater would have been scared by the sausages. They were small and irregularly shaped, pale gray and studded with knots of gristle. They looked like boiled arthritic fingers. One member of the crew had been solely assigned to mopping up the copious amounts of grease that flowed out of the tiny horrors as soon as they were stuck onto the forks..."

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sorry to miss the always amazing Tony Torn (with Juliana Francis) in Fragment off-Broadway

"Though most Americans have no direct experience of the carnage in Iraq, we all feel its influence in our daily lives. Classic Stage Company's production of Fragment, created by writer Kelly Cooper and director Pavol Liska, engages us with timeless concerns about civilian life during a time of war, using fragments of lost plays by the ancient Greek writers Euripides and Sophocles."

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tomorrow night on TCM is Carl Dreyer's Gertrud, which I've never seen.
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spring is here, time to re-post the John Clare blog:--

How sweet to be thus nestling deep in boughs,
Upon an ashen stoven pillowing me;
Faintly are heard the ploughmen at their ploughs,
But not an eye can find its way to see.
The sunbeams scarce molest me with a smile,
So thick the leafy armies gather round;
And where they do, the breeze blows cool the while,
Their leafy shadows dancing on the ground.
Full many a flower, too, wishing to be seen,
Perks up its head the hiding grass between.-
In mid-wood silence, thus, how sweet to be;
Where all the noises, that on peace intrude,
Come from the chittering cricket, bird, and bee,
Whose songs have charms to sweeten solitude.

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will add to my favorites this splendid Hyperlinked & Searchable Chambers' 1869 'The Book of Days' from which I learned that today was the anniversary of Petrarch's first glimpse of Laura...

'The sainted Laura, illustrious for her virtues, and for a long time celebrated in my verses, was first seen of me in my early youth on the 6th of April 1327, in the church of St. Clara, at Avignon, at the first hour of the day; and in the same city, in the same month of April, ou the same sixth day, and at the same hour, in the year 1348, this light disappeared from our day, when I was then by chance at Verona, ignorant, alas! of my calamity. The sad news reached me at Parma, by letter from my friend Ludovico, on the morning of the 19th of May. This most chaste and beautiful lady was buried on the same day of her death, after vespers, in the church of the Cordeliers. Her soul, as Seneca says of Africanus, returned, I feel most assured, to heaven, whence it came. These words, in bitter remembrance of the event, it seemed good to me to write, with a sort of melancholy pleasure, in this place ' (that is, in the Virgil) 'especially, which often comes under my eyes, that nothing hereafter in this life may seem to me desirable, and that I may be warned by continual sight of these words and remembrance of so swiftly-fleeting life,—by this strongest cord broken,—that it is time to flee from Babylon, which, God's grace preventing, will be easy to me, when I think boldly and manfully of the fruitless cares of the past, the vain hopes, and unexpected events.'

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why you just have to love the Daily Torygraph obits:--from their Gene Pitney

"He was descended from a private in the Royal Marines who served in "Victory" at the Battle of Trafalgar."

(reg. required)

(Found the sailor here--

"Pitney, Fraser 24 English RM/Pte")
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

great Glasgow novelist/anthologist/graphic artist Alasdair Gray has a gallus wee blog.

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very well-done website by New York artist Claudia Hart who I met in Berlin & for whom I wrote a very long catalogue essay in 1997 (!) about her works "A Child's Machiavelli" and "Dr. Faustie's Guide to Real Estate"--since then her work has moved into the digital realm--you'll see if you click though--but which remains as thoroughly unheimlich as ever...
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20 Wonderfully Irrelevant Andy Griffith Show Conversations

"20. Season Five: Episode 27, "Aunt Bee's Invisible Beau"

When Griffith tells Knotts that his aunt has been dating a "butter-and-egg man," Knotts quips, "He buttered her up and she egged him on."

Griffith: That's funny! You just think of that?

Knotts: I can't take any credit for it. My mind just works that way."

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from police state UK:-- 'Playing The Clash made me a terror suspect'

"Mr Mann, of Hartlepool, Teesside, had boarded the plane at Durham Tees Valley Airport when the flight to Heathrow was stopped and he was arrested by police.

He said he was told he was being questioned under the Terrorism Act and his choice of music had aroused suspicions.

Mr Mann said yesterday: 'The taxi had one of those tape deck things that plugs into your digital music player.

"I played Procol Harum's Whiter Shade Of Pale first, which the taxi man liked. I figured he liked the classics so put on a bit of Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song - which he didn't like. Then, since I was going to London, I played the song by The Clash and finished up with Nowhere Man by The Beatles."

Mr Mann said he was 'frog-marched off the plane in front of everyone, had my bags searched and was asked 'every question you can think of'.

He added: "It turned out the taxi driver alerted someone when I arrived at the airport and had spoken about my music. He didn't like Led Zep or The Clash but there was no need to tell the police." "

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via bookslut "This I Believe"

"Writing, however, is not life. It's not even very much fun. It's like standing in a dark cave with an entire colony of Mexican fruit bats and trying to catch them with a butterfly net. They're zooming here and swooping there; they're smacking you with their wings. They're getting tangled in your hair, they probably have rabies, and they want to suck your blood, but you just keep swinging the net over and over and over, and yet the net remains empty. If, wonder of wonders, you do catch a bat, you will bask blissfully in the knowledge that you have netted the most perfect specimen of Chiroptera ever known. You'll bask for exactly five minutes. Then you'll start worrying that you'll have no one to admire your bat, your perfect, perfect bat. Or, if you do, that people will think it's a sucky bat, or that it should have been bigger, or furrier."
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farewell Gene Pitney who died in Cardiff, touring the UK which always revered him.

A favorite of mine since infancy & one of the really great voices of the rock era, whether on Bacharach/David songs like "24 Hours to Tulsa", "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" or his own compositions, like "Mecca", "I Wanna Love My Life Away" (on which he played all the instruments) &c. &c. (He also wrote "He's A Rebel" for Spector, who produced "Every Little Breath I Take" in return, "Hello Mary Lou" for Ricky Nelson, "Red Rubber Ball" for Bobby Vee). Also recorded duets with George Jones & Melba Montgomery as well as having a whole career in Italian. Played piano & percussion for the young Stones--that's him shakin' the "Not Fade Away" maracas! A lot of his filler-free albums are hard to come by (thanks Lary), but there was a good 2-cd best of on Tomato a few years back which scratched the surface effectively. But if anyone deserves a giant collected box its Gene.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

by far the best of the late night talk show guys Craig Ferguson has an interesting sounding novel out:--

"The book, which tops off at 329 pages, is filled with many surprises. Chief among them is probably this: unlike other television stars who have moonlighted as authors, including Jay Leno (the children's book "If Roast Beef Could Fly" in 2004) and Drew Carey ("Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined," in 1997) Mr. Ferguson has written a work of literary fiction, one that periodically tips its cap to Mikhail Bulgakov, Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Campbell, Jung, Mark Twain and Herman Melville, among many others."

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The Rain Review of Books is up online with new editor Aaron Vidaver's first issue, with

Harsha Walia on Anna Pratt, Securing Borders: Detention and Deportation in Canada

Marie Annharte Baker on Thomas King, A Short History of Indians in Canada

Fiona Jeffries on Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation

Colin Smith on David Lester, The Gruesome Acts of Capitalism

Judith Copithorne on Daniel f. Bradley, A Boy�s First Book of Chlamydia: Poems 1996-2002

Max Sartin on Michael Barnholden, Reading The Riot Act: A Brief History of Rioting in Vancouver

Sandy Cameron on Bud Osborn and Richard Tetrault, Signs of the Times

Roger Farr on Richard Day, Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements

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also the 1946 Driftwood Valley by Theodora Stanwell-Fletcher, one of the great BC books:--

"For almost three years, naturalist Theodora Stanwell-Fletcher, together with her husband John, a trapper and explorer, lived and worked in the remote Driftwood River Country. Marked "unexplored" and "unsurveyed" on the few incomplete maps of the area, it was a region that had seen few white people. From their wilderness cabin the Stanwell-Fletchers studied the area's rich wildlife. "We wanted to make detailed and accurate observations on the lives of the Driftwood region; to understand the lives and problems of the wild things about us as they passed through all four seasons of the year," wrote Theodora. Her account reveals the daily pleasures and insights sparked by living close to the wild. It also chronicles the isolation, hardships, and struggles, including the severe sub-artic winters that brought deep snow and temperatures of forty-below. A popular success upon its publication in 1946, Driftwood Valley won the John Burroughs Medal for excellence in nature writing, its author the first woman to receive the award. In his introduction, Wendell Berry describes how as a teenager he discovered Driftwood Valley and recalls that it was "the only book I read for a year or two, the end serving only to permit a new return to the beginning.""
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finally located my copy of John M. Barry's Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America

"There are two failed visions at the heart of Mr. Barry's story: the struggle to control a river that drains more than 40 percent of the contiguous United States, and the attempt to maintain an agrarian civilization in the lower Mississippi River Valley that, its white ruling class managed to believe, combined the best elements of Roman aristocracy and American democracy. The first vision was undone by stupidity (assuming anything could have been done at all); the second proved a mask of pretension that the fury of the river ripped away as if it had been a flimsy Mardi Gras disguise."

(review author T. H. Watkins' bio of New Dealer Harold Ickes also highly recommended)

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Monday, April 03, 2006

The Apes of Flarf

"They were quite interested in the screen, and they saw that when they typed a letter, something happened. There was a level of intention there."
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