Saturday, March 29, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 Diary (excerpts)

May 28, 1964. Suggested to Stanley that "they" might be machines who regard organic life as a hideous disease. Stanley thinks this is cute and feels we've got something.

May 31. One hilarious idea we won't use. Seventeen alien, featureless black pyramids riding in open cars down Fifth Avenue, surrounded by Irish cops.

June 20. Finished the opening chapter, "View from the Year 2000," and started on the robot sequence.

July 1. Last day working at Time/Life completing Man and Space. Checked into new suite, 1008, at the Hotel Chelsea.

July 2-8. Averaging one or two thousand words a day. Stanley reads first five chapters and says "We've got a best-seller here".

July 9. Spent much of afternoon teaching Stanley how to use the slide rule -- he's fascinated.

July 11. Joined Stanley to discuss plot development, but spent almost all the time arguing about Cantor's Theory of Transfinite Groups. Stanley tries to refute the "part equals the whole" paradox by arguing that a perfect square is not necessarily identical with the integer of the same value. I decide that he is a latent mathematical genius.

July 12. Now have everything -- except the plot.

July 13. Got to work again on the novel and made good progress despite the distraction of the Republican Convention.

July 26. Stanley's birthday. Went to the Village and found a card showing the Earth coming apart at the seams and bearing the inscription: "How can you have a Happy Birthday when the whole world may blow up any minute?"

July 28. Stanley: "What we want is a smashing theme of mythic grandeur."

August 1. Ranger VII impacts on moon. Stay up late to watch the first TV close-ups. Stanley starts to worry about the forthcoming Mars probes. Suppose they show something that shoots down our story line? [Later he approached Lloyd's of London to see if hc could insure himself against this eventuality].

August 6. Stanley suggests that we make the computer female and call her Athena.

August 17. We've also got the name of our hero at last -- Alex Bowman. Hurrah!

August 19. Writing all day. Two thousand words exploring Jupiter's satellites. Dull work.

September 7. Stanley quite happy: "We're in fantastic shape." He has made up a 100 item questionnaire about our astronauts, e.g. do they sleep in their pajamas, what do they eat for breakfast, etc.

September 8. Upset stomach last night. Dreamed I was a robot, being rebuilt. In a great burst of enorgy managed to redo two chapters. Took them to Stanley, who was very pleased and cooked me a fine steak, remarking: "Joe Levine doesn't do this for his writers..."

from 1860--the Phonautogram

"Scott’s device had a barrel-shaped horn attached to a stylus, which etched sound waves onto sheets of paper blackened by smoke from an oil lamp. The recordings were not intended for listening; the idea of audio playback had not been conceived. Rather, Scott sought to create a paper record of human speech that could later be deciphered..."

Ange Mlinko excellent on Helen Adam

"The avant-garde needed Adam not only because she was Romantic, authentic and transgressive. They needed her example to unite their own fractured poetics, their own wounded demos. Despite herself, Helen Adam showed them how to be one again; she exerted authority, and they recognized it..."

Kristin Prevallet on her collages...

her appearance on Susan Howe's radio show...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

farewell Richard Widmark

K. Silem Mohammed's notes on Manse favorite Night and the City

warm up with some Miami Funk...

Berliners celebrate Heinrich Zille

"Global culture, by its nature, focuses on big names and rankings, to our general impoverishment. Some years ago John Willett, a scholar of German culture, contemplating the Secessionists, wrote about the dangers of embracing “a national or parochial view of art — as even the most enlightened are sometimes tempted to do,” because “as you narrow your horizon in this way you no longer judge by the highest standards.”

That’s right.

But Zille reminds us of another lesson, that high standards are not the only standards that count when grappling with legacies like his. After all, the essence of his pictures was to show how monotonous life would be if we only cared about what’s great in the world and not about everything local and particular and even sometimes untranslatable that actually makes life rich..."

Kodachromes of homefront WWII workers, amongst much else at Shorpy :: History in HD | High-Resolution Historical Photos

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

some videos in memoriam Jonathan Williams--

YouTube - Bruckner 7th, Allegro - Jochum, RCO

YouTube - Frederick Delius--On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring

YouTube - Calling out Pan (solo trombone from Mahler's 3rd)

YouTube - Margaret Price sings Mahler "Um Mitternacht"

YouTube - Scott Ross--Scarlatti K209

YouTube - Stabat Mater (G.B. Pergolesi) - Emma Kirkby

New York on 99 Cents

(last sentence in the voice of SCTV's Harvey K-Tel--)

"Consider the Web site for the national chain 99¢ Only Store, which proudly displays an Andreas Gursky photograph of endless rows of candy and canned goods called “99 Cents,” taken at a franchise in Hollywood. The Web site informs us, “This photograph recently sold for over $1,999,999!”

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

director Anthony Mann and producer Sam (cousin of Trotsky!) Bronston's epic El Cid, a Manse favorite since I saw it as a kid & still the most convincing vision of medieval kingship ever put on film, gets a long overdue DVD release--& their excellent follow-up "Fall of the Roman Empire" in April...

Why won't phone books die?

"Left to pulp out in the rain and abandoned in mountainous mailroom piles, phone books don't get much respect anymore. They're having the most absurdly drawn-out death throes of any advertising medium ever known—and yet remain so poorly understood as social history that when they really are gone, we'll scarcely understand what we've lost..."

Monday, March 24, 2008

--Heavy Equipment--Euclid--Maine Psychedelia

"...a 'bad trip' spiked with backwards tape effects, darkly-phrased vocals, all instruments set to 'pummel' and an album title certainly eligible for the 'truth in advertising' award! Tread carefully dear listener..."

NDP Needs Some Class!

"If you were to go into a large public meeting anywhere in the country outside Quebec and assigned the task of finding out who the NDP voters in the room were but could only ask one question of each person -- other than how they voted in the last election -- it would be an easy assignment.

Just get everyone in the room to form a line in order of their income, with the richest person at the front and the poorest at the back.

Depending on what level of popular support the NDP had in that area, you could figure out within a relatively few percentage points the dividing line between likely NDP voters and non-NDP voters. If you were in B.C. with the NDP at its current 34 per cent, the one-third of people in the room with the lowest incomes would be highly disproportionately NDP voter...

It's that simple -- but try telling that to either the provincial or federal party..."

Sunday, March 23, 2008