Saturday, October 27, 2007

Having e-mail trouble with my trouble-free mac so if you're out there & have written to me ever please drop me a line so I can get your address...


Friday, October 26, 2007

getting time to rustle up a little Apple Butter...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

from the Frieze "Art Fair" issue, interesting podcasts from critics Dave Hickey & Thierry de Duve

Deanna Ferguson, Dorothy Lusk & Bruce Andrews, from a set of early 90's polaroids by Lary Bremner which is just up at the Kootenay School of Writing site, along with the Music Issue of "W"...

a 2003 essay of mine on Roy Arden's Fragments, a version of which is part of his VAG show...
The Age of Rhetoric

"...all around us we've been hearing these last many months the sound of ice breaking, as the accumulated frozen scandals of this administration slowly crack open to reveal their queasy secrets. And yet the problem, of course, is that they are not secrets at all: One of the most painful principles of our age is that scandals are doomed to be revealed -- and to remain stinking there before us, unexcised, unpunished, unfinished.

If this Age of Rhetoric has a tragic symbol, then surely this is it: the frozen scandal, doomed to be revealed, and revealed, and revealed, in a never-ending torture familiar to the rock-bound Prometheus and his poor half-eaten liver. A full three years ago, the photographs from Abu Ghraib were broadcast by CBS on Sixty Minutes II and published by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker; nearly as far back I wrote a book entitled Torture and Truth, made up largely of Bush administration documents that detailed the decision to use "extreme interrogation techniques" or -- in the First President of Rhetoric's phrase -- "an alternative set of procedures" on prisoners in the War on Terror.

He used this phrase last September in a White House speech kicking off the 2006 midterm election campaign, at a time when accusing the Democrats of evidencing a continued softness on terror -- and a lamentable unwillingness to show the needed harshness in "interrogating terrorists" -- seemed a winning electoral strategy. And indeed Democrats seemed fully to agree, for they warily elected not to filibuster the Military Commissions Act of last October, which arguably made many of these "alternative sets of procedures" explicitly legal. And Democrats did win both houses of Congress, a victory perhaps owed in part to their refusal to block Bush's interrogation law. Who can say? What we can say is that if torture today remains a "scandal," a "crisis," it is a crisis in that same peculiar way that crime or AIDS or global warming are crises: that is, they are all things we have learned to live with..."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

fine big essay by Richard Taruskin-- The Musical Mystique

"The discourse supporting classical music so reeks of historical blindness and sanctimonious self-regard as to render the object of its ministrations practically indefensible. Belief in its indispensability, or in its cultural superiority, is by now unrecoverable, and those who mount such arguments on its behalf morally indict themselves. Which is not to say that classical music, or any music, is morally reprehensible. Only people, not music, can be that. What is reprehensible is to see its cause as right against some wrong. What is destroying the credibility of classical music is an unacknowledged or misperceived collision of rights. The only defense classical music needs, and the only one that has any hope of succeeding, is the defense of classical music (in the words of T.W. Adorno, a premier offender) against its devotees..."

Robert Adams: Questions for an Overcast Day

"The artist likens the particular pattern of erosion on each leaf to hieroglyphics, reading in them a unique “calligraphy of disaster...”

(Matthew Marks 526 W 22 NYC till Oct 27)

checking out the Marimekko Cotton Fabrics

though pulling for the Sox (my bus trips through New England to Bangor--in which every tavern I passed still seemed to have its last World Series bunting still up--taught me how much New England truly needs it) best of luck to North Delta's Jeff Francis in the opener tonight...


very much enjoyed the first night of the two-night Louis Malle season at TCM, watching the very good "The Fire Within" for the first time, and "Murmur of the Heart" & "Black Moon" after many looking forward to the documentaries tonight....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Its autumn in Gothenburg..."

Jens Lekman

video of Maple Leaves, the best new fall song I've heard in awhile...

nice to see terrific actor Amy Ryan (Beadie Russel from "The Wire") already getting Oscar buzz for her role in "Gone Baby Gone"...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Neko Case on autotune...

"When I think about Jackie Wilson or the Platters and then I think about modern, Top 40 music that's really horrible, it makes me mad. Singing isn't important anymore. I'm not a genius-- if I had been around during the time of Jackie Wilson or Rosemary Clooney or Patsy Cline, I would be shit. I would be singing in some bar somewhere for $5 a week and that's as far as I would ever go. But I'm living now and I write songs, it's different. There's some part about the craft of singing-- craft is too important of a word, I hate that word but I just used it anyway-- in a lot of places, it hasn't really made it. It's not to do with the people who are doing it as much as the people who are producing it. There's technology like auto tune and pitch shifting so you don't have to know how to sing. That shit sounds like shit! It's like that taste in diet soda, I can taste it-- and it makes me sick.

When I hear auto tune on somebody's voice, I don't take them seriously. Or you hear somebody like Alicia Keys, who I know is pretty good, and you'll hear a little bit of auto tune and you're like, "You're too fucking good for that. Why would you let them do that to you? Don't you know what that means?" It's not an effect like people try to say, it's for people like Shania Twain who can't sing. Yet there they are, all over the radio, jizzing saccharine all over you. It's a horrible sound and it's like, "Shania, spend an extra hour in the studio and you'll hit the note and it'll sound fine. Just work on it, it's not like making a burger!"

How Manny Ramirez led the Red Sox to another World Series

"It came at the end of a lengthy chat with the media, a rare enough occurrence over the past two seasons in which Ramirez has frozen them out. Already he had said that he would trade all his records for a chance at another World Series, which is exactly the right kind of thing to say to people who judge your dedication by the kind of dumbshow you perform in front of the camera. Then, he said that, if Boston were to lose the ALCS, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Which is exactly the wrong thing to say to those same people. He stood accused, on the front pages of America's finer tabloid newspapers, and all across the sporting airwaves, in between commercials for auto glass and male-enhancement nostrums, of insufficient grit, of Non-Moxie in the third degree, of Conspiracy To Convince America's Fans To Lighten the Hell Up. Guilty on all counts..."

local/Tsawassen trees

War and Deliverance

"You remember the scene in "Deliverance" where Lewis has shot one of the mountain men in the back with a broadhead arrow and he's convincing the other three that they should hide the body. The decent family man Drew (Ronny Cox) says no, they have to tell the police what they've done. After all, the law is the law.

"The law?" Lewis half laughs. "The law? What law. Where's the law, Drew?" And then Lewis goes on. "You believe in democracy don't you? Well, then, we'll take a vote." The terrified companions opt to hide the evidence.

Yeah, you believe in democracy, don't you?"

Sunday, October 21, 2007

must-read--The Death of Canadian Journalism

"Led by CEO Leonard Asper and the powerful Asper family, the Winnipeg-based corporation now owns both of Vancouver’s daily newspapers (the Sun and the tabloid Province), the city’s top-rated television station (GlobalTV), 12 community newspapers, eight analog and digital television stations, and one of two national papers. For good measure, it also owns the only daily in the nearby provincial capital, Victoria’s Times Colonist. A throwback to the classic Company Town, CanWest has turned Vancouver into the single-most media concentrated city in the western world..."

Moths that drink the tears of sleeping birds

"This can be inserted under the bird’s eyelids, where the barbs anchor it, apparently without disturbing the bird. The team does not yet know whether the insect spits out an anaesthetic to dull the irritation..."