Monday, October 23, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
After the floods in June, this piece of driftwood landed over a small pond and some funny soul took the liberty of painting lips and stapling paper on to make a dragon. It's like rural guerilla art.
My dog, Keno, is on the left and the dog down the road, Sasha, is on the right.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
I used to sit in on meetings to decide how best to win a 23 million dollar grant from the NIH. At one time, I assembled cheeseburgers in a polyester polo shirt and Dickies slacks. I served soup to Peter Gallagher. I checked coats on Jewish Singles Night. I issued birth certificates and marriage licenses. Of all the jobs so far, I like this one the best. It's fun sometimes and scary sometimes, but it's always completely relevant.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
This is interesting for two reasons:
1--This is not the Southernmost point at all, there is a Naval base that extends further south in Key West, so I guess they should call it "The Southernmost Point on the Continental USA Where Civilians Are Allowed."
2--After many ill-conceived jokes about "rafts of Cubans" whilst driving through the Keys, there was, I swear, an actual raft of Cubans directly behind this monument when we went. This raft disappeared poste-haste.
What followed were several slap-happy jokes pointing out the Southernmost everything that has ever existed, including the Southernmost facial tumor, which I can only assume was dumb luck. This led, predictably, to what was assumed to be the Southernmost Hangover the next morning. I disputed this point because there were a startling amount of tan, crazy bums that sleep on the beach, and surely they were feeling worse than all of us hotel-dwellers combined.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
Please let this letter signal my resignation, effective immediately, from Jaffe & Nohavicka / Country-Wide Insurance Company. A number of factors have necessitated this change. First, it has become clear that the legal field does not suit me. There is a degree of futility within the No-Fault framework, and within Country-Wide itself, that is simply hard to abide. Further, a simmering antipathy between management and support staff as well as an overall dysfunction of communication has rendered the work environment unpleasant.
While my resignation may seem abrupt, I am merely providing the company with the same courtesy it provides to those it terminates, regardless of whether they’ve served 10 years or 10 months.
I thought it wasn't half bad.
All so the good citizens of the York River House don't have to trudge through the same sludge as the common man...at least for the duration of ONE block. What do they do when they cross the street? Are there UES Booties like the ones that surgeons wear in the OR? If so, I would really like to get a pair, so that my feet will stay dry on the walk to work.
New York is a dirty place, and I certainly encourage everyone to grab a broom and slap some shine on their little piece of heaven, but these guys stand in one place and pump thousands of gallons of water over the sidewalk and for what? So it will dry ten minutes later? This practice violates so many tenets that I hold dear, namely dry pants. A restaurant in Manhattan has to pay for a permit for sidewalk seating but these yahoos can use a valuable community resource to ensure my feet are wet? I am no hippie but come on, how wasteful! How purposeless and lazy! And socially, there is something about having to wait for them to notice me, and turn the hose away that is so prohibitive and rude and infuriating. It's enough to make a girl want to quit her job and move away.
Honorable Mention: Those goddamn HPV commercials, but really, they epitomize everything I hate about everything. Who knew about HPV? Me, that's who. Me and every other woman I know. And most of the men too. I can see you Merck. But trust me, that a rant worthy of a couple beers.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Rosy, I love you!
Sha La La
Rosy, I need you!
Sha La La
Rosy, I'll miss you!
Sha La La
How will I work
To whom will I bitch
I'll be standing alone
during the fire drill
it's so sad to think of you gone!
Sha La La
Rosy, I love you!
Sha La La
Rosy, I need you!
Sha La La
Rosy, I'll miss you!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
seen it before-but this time it is more nauseating than usual
2. kidnapped girl rescued from abandoned factory building
seen it before-boring
3. helicopter chase through a windfarm
awesome idea-I'm sure I'll see that again
4. evil rich person is kidnapped from posh party by heroes diving through the sewers
seen it before-boring
5. hero roughs up evil rich person to get information needed to save the world
seen it before-boring
6. prisoner transport is attacked by fighter planes on bridge and evil rich person is freed
seen it before-but well done
7. hero's supervisors turn against him and he needs to go underground to save the world
Tom Cruise disguised as a Czech hippie-priceless
8. hero jumps between skyscrapers in Shanghai
straight out of Spider Man-ridiculous
9. hero almost looses doomsday-device in traffic; then car chase
seen it before-boring
10. hero has drug-induced sexual fantasies (he married the girl between 6. and 7.)
seen it before (many times)-but again it seems particularly sad here
11. hero's wife shows up, rises to the occasion, and saves the day by killing evil people
another Friday afternoon well spent!
Monday, May 08, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
And there's still Mogwai next weekend. Anyone going?
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Even more irksome - concurrent with the decline of real money value is the proliferation of high-end consumer tech gadgets and their taunting illusions of connectedness and convenience, just begging you to get further into debt for the sake of staying with it. It's just so funny to see the lifelong waking dream of the capitalist enterprise work so perfectly. Case in point - I desperately want an iPod, but can't afford one.
On a related note, I rode the L to the 4 to get to work the other morning, and I noticed that a vast majority of L riders, when transferring at Union Square, get on the uptown 4, leading me to believe that they work near Madison Ave. and are therefore much more complicit in the destruction of culture than they'd ever let on.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
CELTIC FROST is back. (They are a Swiss Black Metal band.) On the left you see the cover of their satanic triumph "To Mega Therion" from '85. They are gonna play B.B. King's two nights in September. I'm nervous.
(After the battle is over
And the sands drunken the blood
All what there remains
Is the bitterness of delusion)
Thursday, April 20, 2006
"I don't see us as another bureaucratic layer at all," he said. "What's changed is that for the first time, there's a high-ranking official in charge of managing the intelligence community."
Wouldn't that be precisely the definition of bureaucracy, Mr. Negroponte?
Oh well, I forgot that we shouldn't expect too much from you.
Monday, April 17, 2006
This is Thomas Mann, a famous German writer who wrote in his diary every day for over 60 years.
The three most important entries are:
"Worried about small cracks in the ivory knob of the new walking stick"
About his sister's suicide: "an almost not at all lamentable event"
Last entry before his death "Shall sit some in the chair today."
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Also been falling back in love with The Queen Is Dead by the Smiths. Best album lyrics ever?
I regret to inform that it's pretty difficult to find a good rock on 4th Avenue at 2AM when you feel like smashing a church window.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Go to the Defamer.com link above and see the photoshopped
potential posters for this, and Samuel L.'s new greatest tag-line ever:
"I want these motherf***ing snakes off the motherf***ing plane!"
(asterisks added, expletive deleted)
It's like terrorism, but with snakes.
It's like Lord of the Rings, but with snakes.
It's like Pulp Fiction, but without John Travolta, and with snakes instead.
I am SO giggling at work.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I watched that show once, Love Monkey, on a Monday night, when I was lying in bed looking at the TV. It was okay. I mean, how high can my standards be on a Monday night when I am lying in bed, looking at the TV? I don't have a palm pilot or anything, and I must have been doing something else the next week it was on...I forgot to watch, and then before I knew it, it was gone. I never got to say good-bye.
So much money spent buying stars and writers and directors for this grand new TV show that didn't even get a chance to gain any viewers. How can a network know, after three episodes, how much people are going to like a show? I can barely tell the difference between these shows, let alone form emotional attachments. Is there anyone left in this world that still reads TV Guide, and marks the special "stories" they are going to watch all week?
I think CBS is lucky to get the viewers they have. I mean, I also watch "Two And A Half Men." Every week. Why? Certainly not because I enjoy Charlie Sheen. Or Jon Cryer. I watch it because there's nothing else on, and I'm too cheap for HBO. And I'm embarrassingly easy to entertain. And I probably would have watched Love Monkey too, had it been granted respite from Les Moonves' cleaver of judgement. I mean, it's Monday Night! Who expects anything good from life on Monday Night?
I don't understand how Hollywood makes any money. It would be like if I saved up a whole bunch of money and bought a Mall, and then only 30 people came, so I just demolished the whole thing. It's just so backwards.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
I'd really like to see a film that engages with terrorism in an honest, realistic and human way. Why does everything have to be in the future, with sleek, post-industrial design?
But for now.... I named a couple movies above. How many more Hollywood blockbusters can you think of that are essentially terrorist-as-hero morality tales?
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
Also of note is the essay "Politics and the English Language," which analyzes how the syntax of abstraction and detachment serves the interests of power and pbscures the truth of historical events. The sad thing is that the perversion of language that he describes has now all but permeated modern discourse, where the New York Times can, with a straight face and in the interest of "news," claim to be reporting on the President's speech and actions while merely parroting back his own words.
In any case, you can find any of the above works completely free online at this site. At least the Internet is good for something.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
French, American, and Polynesian researchers discovered a lobster that is furry (and blond). They named it after the goddess of crustaceans in Polynesian mythology and made up a new family for it because it's so different from all the other lobsters.
In a somewhat unrelated observation CNN called the "war on terror" for the first time "the so called war on terror" only to change it after less than an hour and, as far as I can tell, also remove it from their archive. Funny stuff.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
"I entirely abandoned the study of letter. Resolving to seek no knowledge other than that which could be found in myself, I spent the rest of my life traveling, mixing with people of diverse temperaments and at all times reflecting upon whatever came my way so as to derive some profit from it."
I've read a fair amount into this thing, and there are some really interesting discrepancies and outright mysteries at the center of the affair. It'd be nice for a popular, supposedly progressive paper like the Voice to at least list them, or give a point-counterpoint, or something.
Personally, I don't have a theory about 9/11 other than that the "truth" (or whatever is closest to it) has been hampered by misinformation and confusion. Whether this was by simple beauracratic bungling or devious intent I'm not sure, but it's certainly to be expected with an event of such magnitude and media attention - things always get confused and blurred right off the bat. When people feel so close to a disaster, whether because they live nearby or experience it through television, it tends to hinder any objective analysis.
I will say that it doesn't strain the imagination too much to conceive that a government capable of selling arms for hostages, assassinating democratically elected foreign leaders and extraditing prisoners to enemy nations for interrogation could be capable of far worse. These are the games of power. That people still want to trust in their leaders and act shocked, shocked! when each new scandal is revealed, well, it just blows my mind.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
The couple bought the already-pregnant goat in October, he said. They had expected twins — maybe triplets.
When Butkiewicus saw what was going on, he left to get a bottle to feed the newborns.
Gibson started cleaning the first three when the fourth came out, she said. "I was shocked, but excited," she said.It does my heart good.
Friday, February 17, 2006
So I figure, if the Vice President can have "a beer" at lunch and then go shoot one of his friends in the face, than I'm perfectly within my rights to have three beers (and, truth be told, a shot of whiskey) at lunch and then come back to the office and do absolutely nothing. I'm sure that No-Fault Insurance Law will suffer greatly from my inactivity.
To be perfectly serious, I think it is our duty and obligation to slow the entire machinery of white collar production down as much as possible, if only in the interest of throwing a cog in the works. At least just to strike a blow against that which we do not, and indeed cannot, care about. After all, we all know where the money ends up anyway.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The latest torture photos from two years ago and their new insight into the hellishly sadistic behavior of our own troops at Abu Ghraib struck the exact same fucking chord. Real torture- the kind one readily finds in a third world zoo- or an omnipotent police state is now clearly on our hands. We paid for it- we worked for it- I consider my W-2 as the receipt. And it’s one more piece of twisted justification for the twisted mind of every backpack bomber with our faces in his crosshairs (oh wait- I almost forgot, they feel justified no matter what because they're psychos). Regardless, our enemies love it when we sink to their level- it helps crystallize the hate- makes it easier to fight us. Deep down I bet most people want an absolute bad guy- a boogieman so there’s no shred of doubt in their rage- real “dark side” shit. When I see these new pictures I can say with complete honesty that I’m ashamed to be American. And actually if our president would get out right now and say likewise, it would make me feel a little better. But he won’t because our leaders are just monkeys in three-piece suits.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I tried one site, and they tried to (pardon my racism) gyp me into accepting a $43 dollar refund. No thank you sir, I said. I tried another site, recommended by a friend. Again, $43??? I'm insulted, all those taxes paid and you will only return this pittance? So I cruise the IRS site itself, to figure out what the chilies is going on here.
There is no mistake. My federal tax refund this year will not even cover my phone bill. Damn. For a moment there, I actually wished that I had paid more taxes, so that I could have enjoyed this windfall. And then I stopped myself: What!?! My dad is right: we allow money to be taken from our own paychecks every two weeks, to be held INTEREST FREE by the government for up to a year. And then our W2s roll in and we all clap our hands like little monkeys, waiting for our "free money."
Not only is this money not free, it's probably depreciating as it sits there idly. The practice of employers deducting taxes from our paychecks probably started as a professional courtesy to both employees (stop doing math! enjoy your new Ford!) and the IRS (take the money before these deadbeats have a chance to spend it!), but it has since grown into the norm. So much so that I don't know what to claim on what form to get it to stop.
At my next job, I want ALL my money. I want ALL of my money in my hands, so that I can then put a third of it in my own 5% interest-bearing ING account. Then I will pay my taxes by myself, like a real-live adult. Yes, it will hurt to pay thousands and thousands of dollars in one blow...but at least all that money won't be growing moldy in Fort Knox all year long. At least I can make it work for me while I have it.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns. "
Monday, February 13, 2006
Wrath of Khan is so much better than Search for Spock...
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
- Statement by Kofi Annan concerning the
international uproar over those pesky Danish
No. Wrong. Exactly wrong. It is no one's duty to respect any religion except those who practice a particular religion. Sorry, all you wannabe theocrats. We're better off with a press that doesn't respect religion (at least the press is nominally based in reality and not some arcane mythology).
I'd also direct you to Christopher Hitchens' take on this mess. As usual Hitchens is at his best when committing unapologetic sacrilege.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
An increasing number of people are depressed and anxious and it is ever more in vogue to treat these people with psychoactive medications, despite the obscure chemical functions of these drugs and their unnerving personal and social side effects. Likewise, another serious affliction of our time is the stranglehold exerted upon information by the powerful and the elite. As a supposed remedy to this, blogging ostensibly creates openings for marginalized perspectives to be heard. But a quick glance at a typical blog proves that it just makes you an idiot as much as any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
Blogging mostly contributes to the fractionalization of discussion, in forums ripe with the stench of “identity politics,” where people are more concerned with shouting loud enough to gain a mediocre level of celebrity rather than taking any time to compose a unified perspective. And anyway the organization of most internet information is still a top-down affair. Witness the proliferation of political blogs, which usually take their subject matter from national papers anyway. The same filtration mechanisms are still in place, just once removed, and with an even greater degradation of content.
However, I propose that all is not lost. New media is always going to be servicing power first and foremost, but it is also never a cut and dried affair. Blogs may be an insidious servant in the control and manipulation of information, but after all so is television, as was the cinema and print media before it – and even a half-century of infantilism has not yet completely dulled their progressive edges. They remain, hidden under layers of rust. It is the duty, of anyone who cares, to be diligent in their medium, continually pressing for incisive discourse and avoiding the trap of narcissism. That is if anyone cares.
Monday, February 06, 2006
In the early 11th century somebody invented the crossbow. This was probably the most important step in making killing more efficient, because now you did not have to actually fight and risk your own life to kill somebody. You could just sit in a tree and kill everybody walking by.
So, the Catholic Church outlawed the use of the crossbow. It lasted till the English king, Richard I, used it to slaughter the Franks (my people). After that nobody went anywhere without a crossbow anymore.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
"She loved the sea only for its storms, and greenery only when it was scattered among ruins. She needed to derive immediate gratification from things and rejected as useless everything that did not supply this satisfaction. Her temperament was more sentimental than artistic. She sought emotions not landscapes."
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
story of intrique and questioned identity
Where a mild-mannered history teacher
watched a rented video and dicovers a b-level
actor who is his exact double, visually identical in every way.
The story progresses as the teacher does all sorts of logical though slightly paranoiac
detective work to find the actor and eventually confront him.
Saramago is grand at using different voices (including in "The Double", an internal voice simply and repeatedly referred to as common sense)
He builds tension in ordinary situations, keeps his word choice quite simple, and usually leads up to some nail-biting and visceral scene where his characters
are pushed beyond their own personal limitations, made all the stronger by Saramago's exquisite abilities to make you sympathize with some of the most boring personlities ever put on paper.
Anyway, The plot thickens as both characters feel vaguely threatened by the very existence of the other
My bag was stolen off the back of my chair in a very crowded Corner Bistro this past Sunday with "The Double" in it.
The book is gone. Vanished
And though I'd really lke to know what happens in the end, I find it all kind of appropriate
BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.
And yet, Deuce Bigalow, European Gigilo? You bet your ass I even watched the Special Features.
Monday, January 30, 2006
I like shuffle because it approximates that wonderful feeling radio used to provide a long long time ago, when a song that you weren't thinking about but which was absolutely perfect for your mood would materialize out of nowhere, as if beamed across waves and signals and circuits and transformers specifically for you at specifically that moment.
I almost cried today when a particular Mojave 3 song came on. Especially when it was followed right up by Dylan's 4th Time Around.
Of course, it doesn't always work, like with the Bright Eyes/Jay-Z mash-up that soon followed. My Realplayer seems to particularly enjoy the Bright Eyes/Kevin Devine combo on this Monday, January 31, Year of Our Gourd 2006. Now Mogwai is on and I am happy.
This has been a truly idiotic post.
It seems that Franco Canadian Punk bands from the late 80s no longer get the attention they deserve. Therefore, I decided to pay tribute to Dayglo Abortions. Most of us will remember them from their bilingually titled masterpiece Two Dogs Fucking-Deux Chien Fourrent; others will remember that they were prosecuted for the distribution of obscene material in their native Canada in 1988. It was the first such prosecution since this particular offense entered the criminal code 29 years earlier. Their three most influential songs were:
Scared Of People
(I'm scared of people really don't know why
I nearly shit my pants when they look me in the eye
I'm scared of people and I'm scared of you
I'm gonna go inside and shoot some glue
(Flesh and blood and splattered guts
Dripping brains and radiation
Screaming missiles and burning babies
Proud To Be Canadian
(I'm proud to be a Canadian
Pass me another beer
I'm proud to be a Canadian
Hold my seat while i take a piss
Friday, January 27, 2006
1. ALL of the unabashed naked women that surround me at every turn.
*I understand that I may be somewhat of a prude in a locker room environment, but these people have no respect. They bend over in everyone’s faces, have lengthy conversations with each other while standing right beside me, and give me dirty looks for wearing a robe (a little thin one, not some floor length terry cloth job) over to the showers.
2. Every single woman that walks past my locker aisle and stares me down while I’m dressing.
3. The woman who brings an additional duffel bag full of hair, makeup and skin products and spreads them out over an extensive area like she owns the place.
4. The woman who sits (naked, of course) in front of the only full length mirror for forty-five minutes drying her hair and styling it.
5. The eighty-five year old people who get in my swim lane and proceed to swim at a negative ten mile an hour pace, especially when I only have 5 more laps to go.
6. The hot men’s swim team members who flaunt their skimpy Speedos in the lane next to me while I try to suck it in and swim faster, so as not to appear so out of shape.
7. Anyone who attempts to pass me while I’m swimming.
8. The women who take my favorite showers stalls and my favorite lockers.
He kept asking "what are you doing to change things? what do you think should be done?" I think the implication was that since I was having drinks with friends and not out fomenting revolution on 7th Avenue, I was betraying my own cause. I fell back on the argument that I don't know what should be done to change things, nor am I sure what type of world I want to live in. This is a cop out and later I was annoyed with myself. I realized that I only said it to avoid being seen as ridiculous for any opinions I might offer. To save face in front of a drunk old idiot!
I'm sick of this shit. I should have said that I honestly believe that drugs should be legal, that health care should be universal, and the President should be impeached, that I adhere to the materialist conception of history, that class trumps race, that societal structures are geared towards preserving the power elite and repressing the masses, that white collar labor and the proliferation of communication technologies are annihilating human mental capacity, that the fundamental elements of the modern condition are greed, alienation, boredom and brutality. In a political climate this ridiculous we shouldn't be afraid to say whatever we want.
Later I went home and caught Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation on Sundance Channel. It was strange to go from barstool pontificating to viewing such an intimate piece of work. You may remember the film, it was the personal documentary edited on iMovie and produced for something like $800 that won a bunch of acclaim at Cannes a while back. Well, it's pretty damn good. What struck me most was the central theme (and I'm not sure this was intentional) that the way we perceive our lives and the way we document our lives (through photos, videos, etc.) have merged into one conception of "truth." The film is a compilation of 30 years' worth of home movies and photos that seem almost ready-made for the documentary, as if shot specifically to fit the concept and not the other way around. Caouette is unabashed in his use of the video camera. The subjectivity, and indeed solipsism, of his endeavor is always out in the open. It kind of makes you want to question his intentions, but actually serves as a built-in credibility mechanism. His film is simply a construction, and an acknowledged one, of his life as he sees it. And the central, bracing theme of Tarnation is that in reality this is as close to "truth" as we're likely to come.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Just finishing up a few weeks of high volume at the job and now that it's over there's more time to screw around. The memory of all that work just a few days ago leaves me with a feeling of creative possibility (fleeting, limited and false) that only a cubicle-rat could understand. Obviously there's the internet at my fingertips, music on my speakers and coffee on my breath.
Opposed to the false and limited feeling I just described, last week the concept of true personal (not political) freedom came up for definition and it left me baffled. There seem to be instances where you can pin-point it, like an electron, but what I'm trying to define is so powerful that we shouldn't even use words. The best private moments with your lover, being moved to tears by a piece of art, the myriad of religious experiences- things like these could stand as examples. Some call it "losing yourself." I call it personal/emotional/spiritual "freedom." Losing oneself "just because." Like galaxies swirl around just because, animals run, fight and screw just because. Matter exists just because. When there's great music blasting from a nice sound system, sometimes I find myself screaming with joy- no longer thinking or making decisions- it's a scene from Dave's primeval forest- it's animal but specifically human. And I suspect this momentary freedom is dangerous to many in the world who exert great power over people. I don't understand why. It's so personal- hardly any money is changing hands, there's no violence, and sex... well, (REDACTED FOR POSSIBLE USE IN HK-SYMPHONY) The point I'm searching for is too big for this blog post- please excuse me.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Night is the new Oprah Book Club pick. Right after James "Pants-On-Fire" Frey. It's not that I don't want my favorite book to be appreciated by millions of people. It's not that I don't want to share my beloved Elie. It's not that. Maybe I want everyone to read the whole trilogy, Night, Dawn, and Day (or The Accident), as well as Rollo May, Viktor Frankl, Primo Levi, and Kurt Vonnegut. Night weighs in at a scan 128 pages. Albeit, 128 very dense pages. I think Oprah should have assigned the whole Triology.
Dawn takes place in one night, as a survivor of Auschwitz is living as a terrorist in British-controlled Palestine after the war. He is given the task of killing a prisoner at sunrise if the demands of the Jewish terrorist gang he is a part of are not met. He ruminates on the nature of his task for the hours approaching dawn.
The Accident is also about a man who has survived the Holocaust. He is walking in Times Square and is hit by a cab, and nearly dies. He is bedridden and drifts in and out of dreams, wondering always how it is possible to move forward in life when such an anvil of suffering has crushed not only your past, but your very ideas of human nature.
Nowhere in this world is there more knowledge of, experience with, and dissection of the glorious highs and depraved lows of human nature than in the accounts of people who survived the holocaust. I wish Oprah would assign all these books.
I don't mean to have sour grapes. It's just that when I was in Eckerd yesterday, I saw Night for sale on the same rack with the Nora Roberts books. That made me feel weird inside.
I was happy to start my day by reading that "scientists just don't understand clouds very well." Must be all the contrails controlling their minds.
The clouds over Brooklyn last evening about 5:30 connected in a lovely pattern, set against subtle hues of blue and fading orange; a nice reminder that the days are indeed getting longer (it's almost February!). It's crucial to find hope wherever you can.
Anyway last night, he asked Hopkins ( Who he truly revered as one of the real old-schoolers, dropping superlatives on him left and right, between coughs ) if there were any actors which he saw as having a "talent" which Hopkins himself could never achieve, "anyone who ever made you feel that if they are so good and I can't possibly do that, than what am I doing in this business?" Hopkins qestured around a bit and squinted. "I think, Brando, because..." "T-that's what everyone says!" stammered Rose. After calming down a bit, Hopkins was asked why, "What was it?" "Brando had an animal magnatism, he was always watchable." Hopkins ponders while Rose reminises, "he was pure animal, pure intelligence, and relaxation."
The combination of the three is what caught me.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
As Bart Simpson said, "all the best bands are affiliated with Satan."
For the record, I quite like Page France, and their spiritual symbolism doesn't bother me because the images are rather good and unconventional, and the songs are good. Sufjan Stevens on the other hand............eh, not my thing. Plus it seems a little disingenuous to complain about being pigeonholed as religious when your whole initial marketing campaign featured glossy photos of yourself surrounded by white-clad "angelic" (and attractive and female of course) persons.
I don't think my disdain for religion is bigotry, though I suppose that's precisely what a bigot would say. I just think it's imminently logical that religion causes more problems than it solves and the whole world would be much improved were it much mre secular. The Deepak Lal article cited previously illustrated that perfectly. Even when religion does good there's always a catch - donations to be made, guilt trips to be pressed into.
I don't find "Christian" music interesting because I find it's perspective - and by extension, the "struggle" it purports to portray - cloying, reductive, myopic and BORING. Of course, I don't have to buy it, and neither does anybody, and if someone does, that's fine too. Because we all know, deep down, which God we're really beholden to in the end.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
The First World, eager to play paterfamilias to their historically shackled Third World bretheren, lectures in drab and condescending tones about how yes, it was they, who in their unbridled quest for technological advancement and unending pissing contest for global dominance, first unleashed the power of the atom upon this planet, but really they've learned a lot since then and it would be much better if you inferior nations just heed our advice and take a pass on this one. A child can understand the double standard here! It is the logic of the larger boy who forces the smaller into a game of his devising, changing the rules to his benefit at every step. The United States' pandering to Pakistan, whose government is just as reactionary as Iran's, further exposes the selectivity of their ire.
I'm not saying that an Iran armed with nuclear power is a good thing, far from it. But I am of the opinion that the patronizing tone of First World power brokers, who are only interested in maintaining their own hegemony anyway, must cease before there's hope of moving forward with serious discussion.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
To paraphrase Stephen Gaskin, in his book Monday Night Class, laughter is an absurd, non-linear reaction to an absurd, non-linear series of events. A man is walking down the street, the man slips and launches into a pratfall, limbs akimbo, look of utter shock on his face. There is no way to predict the second event from the first event, it does not follow. We react with a wordless, gutteral laugh at this unexpected hilarity. This is not to express pleasure at his embarrassment, but rather a child-like delight in randomness and unity of chaos.
I believe the same is true of crying, it is the same absurd reaction. A man is walking down the street, the man slips and cracks his skull on the curb, and suddenly he is dead and there is brain matter splattering the cross-walk. We react with a wordless, gutteral sob at this unexpected tragedy. We react with a child-like fear of the randomness and disparity of chaos.
A friend once remarked on the length and depth of proper grief. There is a socially acceptable time for sympathy and caseroles, but beyond this time grief becomes a personal and quiet affair. Its length and depth are impossible to share. Even after the sadness stops, the absurdity remains, and may never go away. I fear when I am old, decades from now, I may still carry this wish around, to reverse that which makes no sense. Some of us take comfort in the possibility of heaven, some in the forgetfulness of time. And some of us carry our ghosts around forever, like watchful parrots on shoulders of pirates.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
IN RESPONSE TO THE "RANDOM FACTS" THAT ARE BEING GENERATED ON THE INTERNET
I'm aware of the made up declarations about me that have recently begun to appear on the Internet and in emails as "Chuck Norris facts." I've seen some of them. Some are funny. Some are pretty far out. Being more a student of the Wild West than the wild world of the Internet, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It's quite surprising. I do know that boys will be boys, and I neither take offense nor take these things too seriously. Who knows, maybe these made up one-liners will prompt young people to seek out the real facts as found in my recent autobiographical book, "Against All Odds?" They may even be interested enough to check out my novels set in the Old West, "The Justice Riders," released this month. I'm very proud of these literary efforts.
~ Chuck Norris
I am posting this because I think it's an hilarious phenomenon. I enjoy Chuck Norris because I used to live on a dirt road with no cable. Our TV antennas picked up CBS from a city 60 miles away. On Saturday nights, before I had a life, I used to watch Walker, Texas Ranger every week. Much like Diagnosis Murder, I just enjoyed the bejesus out of this program for no apparent reason, and without any irony.
Chuck Norris is currently experiencing an increase in popularity via the "Random Facts" website (which also holds forth evidence of the kick-assery of Vin Diesel and Mr. T) and dozens of postings on collegehumor.com. A new generation is discovering Mr. Norris for earnest hero he portrays in dozens of movies and his series, Walker. I only hope that he does not become an object of derision.
I think, secretly, that everyone loves Mr. Norris in large part for his intense and heartfelt demeanor. Today's kid might mask this with a sarcastic, or "ironic" affection but I know better. I wish Mr. Norris the best of luck, and I know he will continue to rule with a beareded fist.
There's an unsettling symmetry between the testimony of Judges Roberts and Alito and the news coverage of it; both pander to image and skirt substance.
There's no way to know how Alito will behave if appointed Justice, but every reason to suspect that he and Roberts are meant to be a conservative wedge on the court, tasked with rolling back many of the progressive precedents of recent years. In fact there is no need to suspect it: it's the stated goal of the Republican party. How irksome to barely hear a whisper of it in the press.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
On Saturday, Lt Gen Urano Teixeira Da Matta Bacellar was found dead. He was wearing a white (blood stained) T-shirt, white boxer shorts, and sandals. His body was slumped on a tile floor against the balcony of his suite in the upscale Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. He appeared to have been alone at the time of the shooting. His gun was found near his body. He was the commander of the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in Haiti.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Friday, January 06, 2006
It's a strange thought, it made me realize just how little I examine my daily life. Could I dictate a police sketch of the person that sat across from me this morning?
If I met someone in passing two years ago and they committed a crime in the present, could I recognize them now?
I also realized that I lack the language to properly describe facial characteristics. How can I be sure that the "tufted bangs" and "sloping forehead" and "prominent jaw" that I would describe mean the same thing to someone else?
Hell, sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder if it really is me staring back. The real me? The same one as yesterday? Are you sure?
"One thing member Nick Kroll discovered: People like online comedy."
But most importantly...
"People seem to be desperate for content," he said, "because they're terribly sad at work."
Yes. Yes we are. But it's even sadder that the company that is trying to cure the working world is leaving out the most important person: me. I can't watch MotherLoad because it doesn't play on my Mac.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Among them was one I got last night from (remove name) at 12:15 last night saying: I DO NOT THINK WE GET TO KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO DIE.
bizarre enough, kind of passed it off, then about an hour or so later I wrote back: NO SHIT
Not the most elegant or polite response, for this I apologize, it was an exhausing couple days and the nature of human mortality and its facets was not on the menu for me.
However, today is another day and it's not very often I get to reference this on of my most favoritest of quotes within any normal logical context so here goes. A question with an answer
"...who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn not traveller returns, puzzles the will, And makes us rather bears those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o're with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment with this regard thier currents turn awry, and lose the name of action..."
The Prince of Denmark was by no means a great philosopher, but in this statement he has a point. Death, the "undiscover'd country", is by nature unknown. And thus (remove name) your answer via the Great Bard, and a good one at that, except I personally feel differently about the whole "dying" ordeal (terrible thing, that) and will offer my own opiion upon further request.
That is all