Friday, April 16, 2004
If you're reading this tonight, TCM has a great (though disparate) quartet of movies on starting at 11PM PT: Godard's Le Petit Soldat, classic suspense thriller The Day of the Jackal, William Wyler's classis 1936 drama Dodsworth and Kansas City Confidential, a very good noir indeed.
If you're reading this later, check these out on your own
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Sunday, April 11, 2004
From The Anomalist
The invention of the quartz clock in the '30s proved 18th century astronomers right: the earth's spin was slowing down. Now atomic clocks say since 1999 it's been speeding up (scroll down to Bruce Sterling's column).
A profile of Feral House and Disinfo, publishers of heresy.
The total opposition in the styles of Parfrey and Metzger would make it hard to believe initially that they are in the same line of work. Apart from the cigarette readily to hand, Metzger might be mistaken for a suit-on-the-make, and has indeed been a privateer on the corporate high seas for more than a decade, cutting deals and shivering cyber-timbers in the wild woolly web world of the 1990s. Parfrey is far more the traditional bohemian publisher, with roots in postpunk, sex, drugs, body piercing, tattoos, and G.G. Allin. His 1987 book Apocalypse Culture became the bible of social deviants and rebels-without-a-clue in the terminal Reagan times of serial killers, Satanic conspiracy, Iran-Contra, and Michael Jackson as the Antichrist. If Metzger resembles the counterculture's own Agent Smith, Parfrey is its veteran Jedi in black shirt and pants who wears weary resignation like a battle scar. "I keep thinking you can get to the bottom of human behavior, that it can never get any more sordid or pathetic," Parfrey says, "but I'm always wrong."
The bond between the two men is that they publish material major publishing houses would not touch without a hazmat suit. Their product plumbs the depths of the difficult, decadent, and disturbing, and neither is afraid to confront that old Nietzschean abyss, or present ideas so far out in left field that they might encounter aliens on the return trip. The cultural possibilities in this first decade of the 21st century have been made infinitely diverse by huge leaps in communications technology, and both men are pushing these possibilities to the limit. They create their share of shock, surprise, and consternation, which is no easy task in a world that attempts to encompass everything from pop mannequin Ryan Seacrest to young gay men establishing their queer identity by deliberately becoming HIV-positive. An added plus is that both Parfrey and Metzger have based themselves in Los Angeles, helping to negate the jibes of "less culture than yogurt."
8:08 PM - [Link] - Comments ()