Saturday, July 08, 2006

absolutely stormin' whiteface YouTube - Bob Dylan - Isis (Live)--

"I married Isis on the 5th day of May..."

& where's that Renaldo & Clara DVD??
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Karl Marx's Unknown Masterpiece--

"To do justice to the deranged logic of capitalism, Marx's text is saturated with irony - an irony which has yet escaped most scholars for the past 140 years. One exception is the American critic Edmund Wilson, who argued in To The Finland Station: a study in the writing and acting of history (1940) that the value of Marx's abstractions - the dance of commodities, the zany cross-stitch of value - is primarily an ironic one, juxtaposed as they are with grim, well-documented scenes of the misery and filth which capitalist laws create in practice. Wilson regarded Das Kapital as a parody of classical economics. No one, he thought, had ever had so deadly a psychological insight into the infinite capacity of human nature for remaining oblivious or indifferent to the pains we inflict on others when we have a chance to get something out of them for ourselves. "In dealing with this theme, Karl Marx became one of the great masters of satire. Marx is certainly the greatest ironist since Swift, and has a good deal in common with him."

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Friday, July 07, 2006

piece about Fried Chicken in Brooklyn includes a visit to Ruthie's in Fort Green, where I happily dined one October night back in the twentieth century...

"Like Ruthie's, Mitchell's fried chicken (half-chicken with sides and cornbread, $9.50; leg "sandwich" on Wonder Bread, $3.50) is also made from scratch, so it may take 20 minutes for the bird to arrive. It's well worth the wait. Cooked a little longer than Ruthie's, the skin is rendered darker and crisper. On my last visit, one of the sides was a sweet succotash made from fresh corn, okra, and tomatoes. It was so good I almost fainted with pleasure..."
Heaven knows I'm an Islamist now

"Twenty years ago, adolescents who listened to The Smiths found a pop cultural justification for putting off adulthood. For today’s Muslim youth, Islam plays a similar role. Indeed, first-generation Muslims have often expressed surprise that their sons and daughters have become so religiously minded. But this has little to do with the influence of Islam - radical or otherwise; rather it has become a kind of conduit for the I-hate-the-world frustrations of adolescents. The nihilistic posturing of Muslim youth has a lot in common with expressions of the same in British popular culture, whether it’s Jimmy the Mod’s suicide scooter leap in Quadrophenia or Billy Fisher’s fantasies of machine-gunning people down in Billy Liar.

Yet the question remains, how is it that whereas Morrissey sang ‘burn down the disco’, the Muslim men arrested a few months ago allegedly discussed actually doing it? The difference today is that Blair and the government promote a similar fear and loathing to grown-up society as adolescents do. The constant bemoaning and belittling of pubs, football crowds, supermarkets and shopping malls has all the nihilistic hallmarks of the leave-me-alone teenager. A political centre based on the common good could (and did) pull young people out of their nihilistic phase and into society. A political culture based on hating and berating the masses is unlikely to do the same."

TV note for Shawcable subscribers tonight at 1900 on "Encore Avenue" is Withnail and I and at 1215 on TCM there's Tokyo Drifter...

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pussy's Port o' Call

Pussy's Port o' Call, originally uploaded by Mongibeddu.

in Belfast--where savvy Mainers stash their cats.

David Hare on the screenplays of Harold Pinter

"You could argue that it's hard to judge the overall flavour of Pinter's work without the realisation of the script on which he worked longest - A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, completed in 1972 - and on which he said he never felt he had wasted a moment, in spite of the fact that it was never made. But even without that finished film, it's possible to say Pinter has found himself writing repeatedly about class. The three films he made with Losey - The Servant, Accident and The Go-Between, are all, surprisingly, about aristocracy. And in the cheerless fuckpad in Betrayal, in the half-felt, half-meant location romance of The French Lieutenant's Woman, in the boozy, donnish watchfulness of Accident, in the repellent modern partnership between Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson in The Comfort of Strangers, and in the all-out marital war of The Pumpkin Eater, you see finished portraits of a queasy bourgeoisie, whose values and convictions - whose very sense of identity - seem to wobble about in a murky plasma of whisky and deceit."

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006


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Looking west. Posted by Picasa

Pond. Posted by Picasa

Another one, looking west. Posted by Picasa

One of mine. South Wellington last New Year's. Posted by Picasa

bio and discography of beloved Lancashire contralto Ferrier, Kathleen (1912-53)

(the smiling pianist is dean of accompianists Gerald Moore, whose autobiography "Am I Too Loud?" is very funny) Posted by Picasa

sad farewell to great mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

"Like Ferrier, Hunt was unpompous in rehearsal and unfussy on stage. She seemed almost bewildered by the sound that emerged when she opened her mouth, yet the effulgence of her ``Who May Abide'' in Handel's Messiah was volcanic, an irresistible eruption. At an indelible Wigmore Hall debut recital in London, she emulated Ferrier's love of English folksong with a rendition of ``Deep River,'' an American spiritual.

Like Ferrier, Hunt will achieve posterity on records, though sparingly -- some Bach, Handel, Purcell and a shimmering set of songs by her composer husband, Peter Lieberson. Once heard, never forgotten."

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

global warming = Polar Bear Jail Expansion--

"Bears that are locked up are normally released only when the ice returns, although if the jail gets crowded before then, some bears are flown by helicopter far away from town and released.

The five extra cells should reduce the need for pricey helicopter rides, Bobier said.

The expansion of the jail may be timely, because climate change is expected to drive polar bears in western Hudson Bay near human settlements more often.

Polar bears need a long winter so they can hunt seals on solid ice, and the ice in that part of Hudson Bay is not what it used to be.

"Over the last 30 years, the average date of breakup has come approximately three weeks earlier than it was," said Ian Stirling, a biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service who has published several studies on polar bears.

"Hungry predators . . . don't tend to lie down under a tree and just starve to death, so if they start to get hungry, they're going to look for an alternate food source.

"What we see is that as the breakup gets earlier, there are more and more bears seen in the vicinity of Churchill or in the settlements up the Nunavut coast.""

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Monday, July 03, 2006

"A Collection of Candle Holders"  Posted by Picasa

friends should just be arriving at the incredible Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre in southern Alberta , to my mind Canada's best museum--the only other place I have ever felt so close to the ancient world was at the stone-age village of Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands. A "buffalo jump" was a short cliff pre-horse owning peoples would chase buffalo over--the museum is INSIDE the cliff...

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via bookslut this fine list of 101 Crackerjack Sea Books

(above the destroyer HMS Bellona, one of the ships my dad served as a telegraphist ("sparks") on during & after WWll)

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

"The Town Pigeon", from below

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"World Book Day" from British photographer STEPHEN GILL's excellent site.

"Stephen Gill's photographs have all the naive gusto of the field studies series of old. Mercifully lacking in sarcasm and malevolent irony, they are also wise and modern and beautifully laden with tiny, understated details about the way we live today."

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new Sy Hersh

“Rumsfeld and Cheney are the pushers on this—they don’t want to repeat the mistake of doing too little,” the government consultant with ties to Pentagon civilians told me. “The lesson they took from Iraq is that there should have been more troops on the ground”—an impossibility in Iran, because of the overextension of American forces in Iraq—“so the air war in Iran will be one of overwhelming force.”