Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm Blinky the Cat, enjoying the fifth dust bath of this waning summer afternoon. My involuntary presence on this weblog implies neither approval nor disapproval of Peter Culley's new book of poems The Age of Briggs & Stratton (Hammertown Book Two)

"Jamie Tolagson's newest work employs the marginalized process of negative photography as an aid to picture making and historical reflection. The unique aesthetic of photography's 'middle step' (utilized to great effect by the surrealists of the 1920's, and substantially lesser effect by populist art photographers of the 1970's) is here re-enacted by the artist on the occasion of it's own impending irrelevance to the reproductive process. The formal elements of various outmoded art genres - minimalism, abstract expressionism, vanitas painting - are combined with archival traces of aborted 1960's idealism and 1970's Thoreauism to form a disquieting reverse-portrait of the utopian impulse in art and life.

Jamie Tolagson is a self-taught artist working in photography, film and video. His work has been shown at CSA Space, The Vancouver Film Center, and published in Doppleganger magazine and "To The Dogs" (an upcoming Presentation House/Arsenal Pulp Press publication.)

New Work 1973-2008 will be showing at Jeffrey Boone Gallery from September 4th though 28th; Wednesday through Sunday noon-6PM.

Jeffrey Boone Gallery
1 East Cordova St. #140
Vancouver, BC V6A 4H3"
YouTube - noendinsight's Channel

The first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq's descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy, "No End In Sight" is a jaw-dropping, insider's tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials, Iraqi civilians, American soldiers, and prominent analysts. "No End In Sight" examines the manner in which the principal errors of U.S. policy -- the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military -- largely created the insurgency and chaos that engulf Iraq today.

YouTube - Moomin 13: The Trial of the Groke

many episodes of the Moomin stop-action series seem to be here now...

terrific blog Ivebeenreadinglately quoting from Cyril Connolly's "The Rock Pool"--
"At the main road Toni turned round. "You must walk back with me to my room, Rascasse--because--because--"

"Because what?"

"Because I am afraid of a ghost there."

"What kind of ghost?"

"Oh, well--she is a woman with very red hair, very cold, sometimes she is thin and sometimes she is fat. She comes very close and goes away at the same time like a pendule. She is the ghost of a mountain in Finland and she wants me to go back because I promised never to leave her."

The midnight bus from Nice could not have arrived more opportunely..."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Wire: too cynical?

"The problem is that The Wire won’t encourage America to care about change. Instead, Simon’s portrayal of Baltimore buttresses the myth that the poor, especially the black poor in the city’s ghettos, are drug dealers or users, eternally helpless victims, unable to engage in collective self-help and dependent on government largesse, or crime,
to survive. Week in and week out, the stories were so relentlessly hopeless that Slate’s Jacob Weisberg felt buoyant because the show “is filled with characters who should quit but don’t, not only the boys
themselves but teachers, cops, ex-cops, and ex-cons. . .This refusal to give up in the face of defeat is the reality of ghetto life as well. Feel me: It’s what The Wire is all about.”

Liberals like Weisberg are satisfied with the small ray of hope in some of these characters, like Bubbles, who maintain their dignity and pride amid the pervasive turmoil. Conservatives have their stereotypes
reinforced, since the show depicts most blacks as dangerous criminals, drug addicts, or welfare recipients—culturally damaged, a class of people whose behavior and values separate them from respectable
society. To liberals and conservatives alike, The Wire
reinforces the notion that the status quo cannot be changed. The decent cops, teachers, and government employees relate to the poor as “problems” or “clients” rather than as fellow citizens capable of being
organized into a force for change..."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the legacy of LBJ...
"Whenever Democrats gather to celebrate the party, they invoke the names of their luminaries past. The list used to begin with Jefferson and Jackson. More recently, it’s been shortened to F.D.R., Truman, and J.F.K. The one Democrat with a legitimate claim to greatness who can’t be named is Lyndon Johnson. The other day I asked Robert Caro, Johnson’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer and hardly a hagiographer of the man, whether he thought Johnson should be mentioned in Denver. “It would be only just to Johnson,” Caro said. “If the Democratic Party was going to honestly acknowledge how it came to the point in its history that it was about to nominate a black American for President, no speech would not mention Lyndon Johnson.” Caro is now at work on the fourth volume of his epic biography, about Johnson’s White House years. “I am writing right now about how he won for black Americans the right to vote. I am turning from what happened forty-three years ago to what I am reading in my daily newspaper—and the thrill that goes up and down my spine when I realize the historical significance of this moment is only equaled by my anger that they are not giving Johnson credit for it...”

as part of Janet Leigh day on TCM, don't miss Anthony Mann's great The Naked Spur if you have a chance...