Saturday, March 08, 2003
Public access computers increase library traffic by 25b>
5:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
World of Ends: What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else by Doc Searls and David Weinberger [Eclecticity]
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Popular 19th century French author Alphonse Daudet's disturbingly lucid account of ruin by syphilis In the Land of Pain in a new translation: review
Even right at the end of his life, convalescing (but not really) at a spa, his brain was still sharp and funny: "No one remembers anyone's names; brains are racked all the time; there are great holes in conversation. It took ten of us to come up with the word 'industrial.'"
12:45 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Matt Ruff's Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls: review
If Ruff pulls off a book about 2 people with DID, it's bound to be good.
I enjoyed Sewer, Gas and Electric, though I don't remember it at all.
12:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, March 07, 2003
Xanax is becoming the drug of choice among kids in the Miami area: not good, since withdrawal symptoms are severe and can include seizures and panic attacks
10:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
eBay to shut down half.com at the end of the year
Boy this sucks. half is where I get most of my books, along with amazon marketplace.
First time eBay has pissed me off.
Maybe someone else will take up the slack. Any suggestions (books & music)?
7:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, March 06, 2003
"People are always trying to figure out how I got into sex work from being an opera singer," she explains. "And really, they're not all that different."
Baltimore's "grande dame of erotica" Hannah Blank
All of these projects are part of Blank's mission: to create a world where the diversity of people's actual desires is reflected in the media. "I want to see skinny, pale, geek-boy porn. I want to see women making porn about diesel dykes with chin hair," she says. "Whatever it is that gets you off, I want to see it."
But despite her success as a writer and educator, Blank doesn't see Roseanne emerging as a sex symbol anytime soon. "It's not only the media that are telling teenagers that they're not desirable and worthy of being loved unless they weigh 80 pounds and look like Britney Spears," she says. "It's teenagers telling one another that, because no one is supporting them to say anything else." Progressive pornography is a small step in the right direction, she says, but it alone can't keep people from making judgments about people based on their looks.
"How many of those things do you see represented around you?" Blank asks. "I'd love to see that change. I'd also love to see the moral judgments that people make about people's skin color, whether you have a penis or a vagina, change. I ain't waitin' up nights."
11:11 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Cheech Marin reconfigures Chicano art by presenting his premier collection as fine art instead of folk art or agit-prop
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Activist instrumentals from GYBE and the new Jello Biafra spoken-word album
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If you've got some spare scratch and are into rare books or entheogens and their place in spiritual practice, or both, check it out:
In 1978, Robert Gordon Wasson, the Wall Street Banker who rediscovered the magic mushroom, teamed up with Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD, and Carl Ruck, a classical scholar from Boston University and published The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries.
Bibliophiles know this book immediately sold out and became a rare and precious find on the antiquarian book market, selling for hundreds of dollars when it could be found. The book unveils the ancient secret of the Eleusinian Mysteries as an ergot derived entheogen.
In 1998 a limited 20th Anniversary edition of this classic text was reissued by Hermes Press International, in cooperation with the Wasson Estate and Harvard University where Wasson's voluminous archives are preserved. This new clothbound edition, printed at Stamperia Valdonega in Verona, Italy, contains a preface by the famed historian of religion, Professor Huston Smith, who calls this book, "a historical tour de force while being more than that. For by direct implication it raises contemporary questions our cultural establishment has thus far deemed too hot to face."
Albert Hofmann has also contributed a new afterword to this edition, "The Meaning of the Eleusinian Mysteries for Today's World," which extolls the relevance of these ancient mysteries to today's global environmental and spiritual crisis.
Proceeds from this offering will be used to further a documentary film/DVD on the role of entheogens in western philosophy and religion, produced by Robert Forte, editor of Entheogens and the Future of Religion and Timothy Leary Outside Looking In. [link]
7:23 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Web used to create "songline" tour of real NYC beneath maps [Undernews]
...by relying on maps, signs and Manhattan's perpendicular geography, New Yorkers have given up something important: a sense of place. If you can get from your starting place to your destination without knowing anything about the points in between, chances are you won't pay much attention to them. And we do hurry about town without looking up, many of us, walking by the same buildings hundreds of times without noticing what they are or even what they look like.
To this end I offer these as the New York Songlines. An oral cultures uses songs as the most efficient way to remember and transmit large amounts of information; the Web is our technological society's closest equivalent. Each Songline will follow a single pathway, whether it goes by one name or several; the streets I plan to follow from river to river, while the avenues will at least at first be read only in part, focusing on the upper Downtown/lower Midtown part of the island I know best.
8:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Sci Fi is running their movie based on Philip José Farmer's Riverworld series on March 22 [digitally obsessed]
I read To Your Scattered Bodies Go, the first in the series back years ago, and really enjoyed it. What Sci Fi does with it -- I'm skeptical. But I'll try it.
Riverworld is a mystical place where people from every historical era have been reborn young and healthy, from Rome's Emperor Nero to Mark Twain. Among them is Hale, a 21st-century American astronaut who emerges as the leader of a motley crew of souls.
11:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Some nice satviews
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I know nothing about the Emachines, but their new $998 (including an Eview 17F 17" monitor) package includes a 2.4GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of RAM (random access memory), an 80GB hard drive, a CD-rewritable and a DVD-ROM drive
Would depend on their customer service etc., but that's pretty tasty.
7:20 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Shamelessly cribbed from Rob Breszny's newsletter
PRAY FOR PEACE
by Ellen Bass (www.ellenbass.com)
Pray to whoever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or marble or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the Bo tree in scorching heat,
Yahweh, Allah, raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekinhah, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.
Hawk or Wolf, or the Great Whale, Record Keeper
of time before, time now, time ahead, pray. Bow down
to terriers and shepherds and siamese cats.
Fields of artichokes and elegant strawberries.
Pray to the bus driver who takes you to work,
pray on the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus
and for everyone riding buses all over the world.
If you haven't been on a bus in a long time,
climb the few steps, drop some silver, and pray.
Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latté and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.
Make the brushing of your hair
a prayer, every strand its own voice,
singing in the choir on your head.
As you wash your face, the water slipping
through your fingers, a prayer: Water,
softest thing on earth, gentleness
that wears away rock.
Making love, of course, is already a prayer.
Skin and open mouths worshipping that skin,
the fragile case we are poured into,
each caress a season of peace.
If you're hungry, pray. If you're tired.
Pray to Gandhi and Dorothy Day.
Shakespeare. Sappho. Sojourner Truth.
Pray to the angels and the ghost of your grandfather.
When you walk to your car, to the mailbox,
to the video store, let each step
be a prayer that we all keep our legs,
that we do not blow off anyone else's legs.
Or crush their skulls.
And if you are riding on a bicycle
or a skateboard, in a wheel chair, each revolution
of the wheels a prayer that as the earth revolves
we will do less harm, less harm, less harm.
And as you work, typing with a new manicure,
a tiny palm tree painted on one pearlescent nail
or delivering soda or drawing good blood
into rubber-capped vials, writing on a blackboard
with yellow chalk, twirling pizzas, pray for peace.
With each breath in, take in the faith of those
who have believed when belief seemed foolish,
who persevered. With each breath out, cherish.
Pull weeds for peace, turn over in your sleep for peace,
feed the birds for peace, each shiny seed
that spills onto the earth, another second of peace.
Wash your dishes, call your mother, drink wine.
Shovel leaves or snow or trash from your sidewalk.
Make a path. Fold a photo of a dead child
around your VISA card. Gnaw your crust
of prayer, scoop your prayer water from the gutter.
Mumble along like a crazy person, stumbling
your prayer through the streets.
7:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Ufo causes traffic accidents in Scotland
11:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The latest in a proud tradition of reality-shredding, Jason Lubyk's New World Disorder Magazine
Now your everyday life is more like some direct-to-Christian video store adaptation of the Book of Revelations than an episode of Friends: anthrax has usurped your credit card bill as the scariest thing that might appear in your mailbox, ponzi-economies implode, non-linear wars explode, and America becomes an EMPIRE, the Empire that WSJ editor Max Boot calls an attractive Empire, the one that everyone wants to join, until you're inside it of course, and youíre getting a little spooked out with all the talk of microchip implants, the blatant suspension of civil liberties and the Bush Youth volunteer citizen corps that are monitoring the black Marxist professor on your block. The fact that clones are being born every week and that the world is getting so hot that the polar ice caps are melting faster than Michael Jackson's face almost seems like small beer when your wondering when WW3 is going to begin.
11:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Decent Powell's interview with Anthony Swofford, writer of Jarhead
I had a few great moments after my reading in Seattle. It was the first time I've signed books across the table from someone who was going to go buy it and who'd come to hear me read. There was a mix of women from thirty to sixty-five. That was satisfying: it's indeed not being read just as a war book, because it's not; it's a literary memoir that happens to take war as its main narrative thrust.
Two former Marines were there as well. One was an old-timer. As I was reading I thought, I think that guy's a jarhead. I had no idea what his response was going to be. He was the first guy to raise his hand with a question. I thought, Oh, I'm killed. He's just going to nail me. And he says, "When I was a jarhead, if someone called you a jarhead, you'd beat him up. When did the term change?" I chatted about that for a little while: "Your buddy can call you a jarhead, but when a guy who's not your buddy -- say he's a Navy guy -- calls you a jarhead, there might be trouble." Afterwards, he came up and he thanked me for writing the book. He said, "I was in Korea and Vietnam, and you really nailed the Marine Corps."
2:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
FX's The Pentagon Papers might be worth a looksee this Sunday
I always look forward to James Spader doing films that work for him. Of course the subject matter is a part of my history, reading TPP as a teen was instrumental in developing my critical view of governments.
Hopefully the movie will be worthy.
2:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, March 03, 2003
Going out with a bang [Undernews]
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Cronenberg interview in salon
This'll probably be up somewhere outside the salon premium ghetto soon, and if you don't want to click through the ad to see it right now, there's another interview here.
You've always been perceived as a director who came halfway out of horror movies and halfway out of the avant-garde. Is that fair?
I think it's fair. I've often said that Toronto is halfway between Europe and Hollywood and I was influenced both ways. Also, when I started filmmaking it was the New York underground that was the main inspiration. It was the '60s: Grab the camera and do your own thing.
Do you mean, like, John Cassavetes?
No! I mean the Kuchar brothers and Ed Emshwiller and Kenneth Anger. The real underground. Meaning you wouldn't be making features, pretty much. You'd be making shorts. They made Cassavetes look commercial by comparison. Not that I didn't like Cassavetes. I did, and I saw his films. He came to Toronto with "Faces," I remember. They had a couple of screenings and it was sold out. We were all waiting in line and he came out and walked along the line and told us that we couldn't get in but there would be another screening in two hours. He apologized and was very gracious, and we all came back two hours later, which meant, like, 2 o'clock in the morning. Those were good times.
But I've always taken myself seriously as an artist. I remember being on a panel with [fellow directors] John Landis and John Carpenter, and I kept talking about art and saying, you know, artist this and artist that. After the interview was over, they both looked at me. I said, "What?" They said, "You called yourself an artist." I said, "Yeah." They said, "We would never do that." They were embarrassed by it, and shocked. It just wasn't a California, genre-filmmaker thing to do. Whereas for me it was absolutely natural to talk that way and think that way.
Old salon interviews with Cronenberg: with Susie Bright on Crash; eXistenZ with Alan Rapp; salon profile from period of Crash.
10:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
See ctc for item on worldwide theatre protest
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