Saturday, April 29, 2006

intelligent re-assessment of tenor Mario Lanza

"His contemporary Oreste Kirkop knew it. "Only a great heart can sing the way that Lanza sang," the Maltese tenor once observed, echoing the words of Lawrence Tibbett, who had earlier hailed Lanza's "natural zest and unbelievable diction." Although the longhairs have panned him as "a movie singer," Tibbett publicly declared in 1950, Lanza is "the greatest musical talent of America in our century. A man who is bringing great music to the kids, the farms, the ghettos, and the palaces." In 50 years, he concluded, "people will recognise Lanza for the great artist he is.""

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(the East Kilbride Mixed Instruments Group) above & the EP cover below from these very thorough Scottish Traditional Music Pages
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29/04/06 0014-0031hrs

Acid green nascar verges
lit from above in patches
the colour of lemon squash
consumed on the lip of a council estate
in the waning autumn of '68--
coalsmoked terraces typewriter gray
granite in serried planner's ranks
inside played Jim Reeves, brown milky tay
or Hank the one with the guitar leaning
on a stool, Mario Lanza "the student prince"
& Jimmy Shand or Andy Stewart
but never both, strict-time 45's
with instructions, bedrooms from which
Eddie Cochran had never been exiled--
piece & jam & the penetrative
warmth of the heater
so much more hell-like than crackling cedar
and those little devilled ham devils
dancing in the fake flames don't hurt
for the duration of a sixpence
and two sides of a single.

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"Perhaps the most remarkable manner in which defensive glands are employed is found in Staphylinid beetles of the genus Stenus. If these insects should inadvertently fall into water, they can readily escape by discharging from the tip of the abdomen a chemical that causes the surface tension behind them to be markedly depressed. This has the effect of propelling the insect forward at a considerable speed----up to 15 centimetres can be covered in this way by S. comma at 75cm per second."

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Kevin Davies and I on a footbridge over the Kenduskeag River in Bangor last November. From a set of pictures on the blog below. Posted by Picasa

poet David "Spider" Perry (here in front of Stephen King's house in Bangor, Maine) blogs from Shanghai...

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this excellent Neil Young blog has links & c. about his "Living With War" album. And while you're there you can sign the "Time Fades Away" petition.
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Friday, April 28, 2006

Understanding Ayn Rand through the music of Rush

"There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade?

There is trouble in the Forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the Maples scream 'Oppression!'
And the Oaks, just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
'These oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light.'
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet,
And saw."

I must say I find this scenario very implausible. Rush's "beliefs" more intellectually consistent than, say, Beck's Scientology or Bono's Christianity, though...

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Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie To Star in 'Atlas Shrugged'

Dagny! I forgot the name along with the book, which I purposely left in my locker at Woodlands on the last day of my last crack at grade 10...I guess the only question now is can they get Rush to do the soundtrack (Alan Greenspan on vibes)...& when is the Eckankar movie coming out?

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

U.S.: More Than 600 Implicated in Torture (Human Rights Watch, April 26, 2006)

• Torture has been widespread. The DAA Project has documented more than 330 cases in which U.S. military and civilian personnel are credibly alleged to have abused, tortured or killed detainees. These cases implicate more than 600 U.S. personnel and involve more than 460 detainees.

• Only a fraction of the more than 600 U.S. personnel implicated in these cases – 40 people – have been sentenced to prison time.

• Of the hundreds of allegations of torture collected by the DAA Project, only about half appear to have been adequately investigated.

• In cases where courts-martial – the military’s equivalent of criminal trials – have convened, the majority of prison sentences have been for less than a year, even in cases involving serious torture. Only 10 U.S. personnel have been sentenced to a year or more in prison.

• No U.S. military officer has been held accountable for criminal acts committed by subordinates under the doctrine of command responsibility. Only three officers have been convicted by court-martial for torture.

• Although approximately 20 civilians, including CIA agents, have been referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution for torture, the Department of Justice has shown minimal initiative in moving forward in torture cases. The Department of Justice has not indicted a single CIA agent for torturing detainees; it has indicted only one civilian contractor.

27/04/06 1031-1055hrs

From out of the orchestra
thirty-two years ahead of schedule
the Buddy Miles rat-a-tat-tat
as white letters shatter & drop
means full-on WB rococo is in effect--
Eddie G's the good guy,
Bogie in the middle of
his pre-Falcon "cheap thug" slump
cracking wise halfassedly
thru the expository
mini-doc on how the mob adds
a cent to the cost of every asparagus
while peaches rot on
the sidings, meanwhile
Robinson stares at his immense
highball tumbler--thick glass, real
ice in it carved to look
like grapefruit segments--
pineapple juice with a
dash of grenadine lights like
a sidecar--rim of gold about an
inch wide & then just drops
the guy from a seating
position with a shinkick &
some sort of prewar ju-jitsu
twister to the midsection but
Joan Blondell could care less--
its not something Little Rico
would have done!
Throwing a guy through
a glass door and joking
about it for the audience's
benefit a sign of lateness at Warner's
as sure as Cavafy panpipes
or the smirking gods of CSI
playing through our pain--
write the word BAM
in sharpie & then wipe
it with a damp cloth fingering
the opulent tassle the frappe
tassle the limoges tassle,
forced to spend every holiday
testing games for our dad
the game inventor presented here
in paradiso flashback
as a vaguely Sendakian bear
in a tweed suit
but they should have used more sun
or water-skis or something
because those varnished
little gamepieces rattling
and the silver balls rolling
over the kabbalistic carvings
bum me in a very
non-Ouija way.
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006



From its nest
on a plate of ruffles

the head of Greer Garson
acidly advises Joan Crawford

"we're all that kind
of woman, getting tired

of things we're used to--"
while a dog lamp with a bobbed fringe

throws a grey-scale corona
onto the omnipresent

MGM roaring glowing fire &
then it gets good because

the dolly toward Garson
goes into the news crawl's

comprehension-free swoop
and comes out moving

toward an empty wingchair and
another fireplace before

coming to rest on a copy
of Michener's coffee-table "USA"

on a coffee-table.
Let me put a dime

on the tone arm of
that for you, dad--less

time in the men's room
and more time fishing, less

time squeezing the clock and
more time punching the cilantro--

the "matrix drip"
means that the information

wants to step forward
in a way that suggests the

carefree tinkle of glass beads,
just as the ascending blue

bar pulse Data was "looking"
at yesterday likewise suggests

"time running out"
"breaking news",

a steady trickle of dye
into the watertable,

a lawsuit
reaching back from

ektachrome gullys
to swamp the future--

colour colonizes
this riot footage

with nosegays of rifle fire
& wreaths of red wire.

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funny interview with Simpsons creator Matt Groening

"I'm not very fond of the Simpsons fishing lures. They just look like little Bart toys, except they've got nasty fishhooks in them. I don't know what kind of fish would be fooled by a Simpsons lure. Probably not a fish you'd want."

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angry cat from "The expression of emotion in man and animals" at The writings of Charles Darwin on the web
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006



A prematurely middle-aged
boy actor, seated, is addressed
by a standing Barbara Stanwyck
whose hands brush the marbled lintel
of a fireplace lit to look like a slab
of obsidian but he seems terrified
beyond the demands of the scene
standing up and falling into
her arms as if obeying an offstage
slap he twists in her embrace
away from the camera
"Oh Keith!" and across her face
a discomfort registers that is as
cold and clean as Brooklyn tapwater,
a continental squaredance,
an old school shudder of purest modernity
as horizontal as the ultra-brimmed hat
of the athletically prim
police spokeswoman gold
OPP Shield on it as big as the
sunny side of a duck egg
on a bed of distressed spinach,
the voice of the "crowd"
in the background of the
reconstruction sounded like
a morning's work for an actor
doing "voices" without enthusiasm
for not enough money
in a Burnaby closet
while the girl from Wayne's World
who has, Eddie Cantor-like, been
transported to Roman times
addresses the senate
and you're the senate.
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farewell Jane Jacobs author of "Death and Life of Great American Cities" and the recent, excellent "Dark Age Ahead". Posted by Picasa

via the relocated gmtPlus9 (-15) a thorough
Guide to Twin Peaks. It's a show I still miss.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Homage to David Holzman

A TV Diary


1215-1222 hrs

In black and white a man
looks at a family photo, wooden
church against a tearful

North Dakota Sky, a slightly
dwarfish granite
Helmcken addressing

from a cozy gothic
portico an empty corner
of our dozing capital

while the insistent
Liona Boydalike strums
Vivaldi for Pursesnatchers.

Sobbing with emotion
through the "Zapp" setting
of a friendly vocoder

a man in long extensions
addresses a young woman
in denim shorts

who sits on a sportscar
hood--everything is
murky bluegrey monochrome

except their yellow
shirts and the red
of the car, the hems & glottal

hesitations of the
simultaneous translator
are likewise the sound of thought,

something a vocoder
might seek to blur
much as Mike Harris--

nostalgically glimpsed
lying his ass off
at the Ipperwash Inquiry--might,

with the kind of quasi-medicated
brutality that can only be
aquired in a boyhood

marinated in cheap schoolyard
betrayal, seek
to blur adult emotion with

the sound of newspapers
flopping against a wet deck.
You're the kind of

girl that can see beyond
my poultry but still
fit into my world, not

the kind of a person that
would bring ____
to an anger-management

potluck in a community
already seething
with _______.

I'm a nervous wreck this
salad spinner is making
me a nervous wreck.

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farewell Alida Valli whose long career included "Senso, "The Third Man" and "Suspiria".
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Beckett remembering himself

"And more and more my own language appears to me like a veil that must be torn apart in order to get at the things (or the Nothingness) behind it . . . . To bore one hole after another in it, until what lurks behind it---be it something or nothing---begins to seep through; I cannot imagine a higher goal for a writer today".

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

A last one, of lanterns floating in a wheelbarrow including, second from left, the Porchfish Memorial, done by Bob & Liam.

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Looking up the slope at the concrete barricade on Bradley Street. RL.

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Ferns/ culvert/ Bowen Park. RL.

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Like below, another cell-phone photo by RL. The stairs from Bowen Park to Townsite. A fairly recent passageway between two very familar spots--has the feel of an escape route and often must be. Also a dampish slope for that kind of wooden construction.

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My lantern, made with cardboard box, box cutter (miraculously did not cut myself), tissue, glue. Found a good spot for it under a tree with the lid tilted to catch both more light and air supply. Might have been amongst the last to be blown out. I couldn't have done it.

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Alister's schoolbus lantern for the Lantern Festival on Protection Island last night. One candle for each student. People were very good about replacing tea-lights throughout the event. Cell-phone photograph by RL. Posted by Picasa