| contact: drbenway at priest dot com
| blogging since Oct '01
This is Gordon Osse's blog.
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"He who does not at some time, with definite determination consent to the terribleness of life, or even exalt in it, never takes possession of the inexpressible fullness of the power of our existence."
all faces followers of
All colors, beams of
-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"
Opt your children out of Pentagon harassment
WHO I WORK FOR: Mount Hope Wholesale
Wholesale nuts, grains, fruits and spices (and more) shipped from Cottonwood AZ
(Tell them you heard about them on Gordon's blog!)
WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY:
(r) = re-viewing
God Told Me To (1976, Cohen)
Whispering City (1947, Otsep)
Times and Winds (2006, Erdem)
Dirty Money (Un flic) (1972, Melville)
10th District Court (2004, Depardon)
RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (2007, O'Sullivan)
The Furies (1950, Mann)
In a Lonely Place (1950, Ray)(r)
The Adjuster (1991, Egoyan)(r)
Mad Men The Buddha of Suburbia Intelligence (2006, Haddock) Family Guy
SUGGESTED VIEWING: The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]
Recent article on his essay "The Great Post Road" in the International Herald Tribune.
Although long lost in the mists of history, Pramoedya conservatively estimates that the construction of Daendel's "Great Post Road" cost the lives of more than 12,000 workers who toiled as forced laborers in indescribable conditions to build a seven-meter-wide road so that the wheels of commerce fueling Dutch wealth could grind more efficiently.
Pramoedya follows the Great Post Road as it winds itself across the island of Java, using every town and district along the way as a marker of colonial excess and corruption.
For example, to drive through the mountains of West Java, a corvee labor force of 1,100 workers was conscripted; 500 died along the way.
There's more than historical curiosity at play here. For Pramoedya has consistently argued in his writing that the ordinary people of Indonesia, the "pribumi," were never fully liberated.
After independence, the promise of liberty was snatched away by selfish and corrupt native rulers who borrowed techniques of exploitation from the Dutch. For Pramoedya, the unreconstructed Marxist, Indonesia's history is a long continuous tragedy dominated by injustice and corruption.
Cuba promised to send Bolivia doctors to provide medical care to poor people, and teachers to conduct literacy campaigns. Venezuela will send gasoline to the Andean nation and set up a $100 million (€80 million) fund for development programs and a $30 million (€24 million) fund for other social projects.
Cuba and Venezuela also agreed to buy all of Bolivia's soybeans, recently left without markets after Colombia signed a free trade pact with the United States.
Mr. Galbraith was admired, envied and sometimes scorned for his eloquence and wit and his ability to make complicated, dry issues understandable to any educated reader. He enjoyed his international reputation as a slayer of sacred cows and a maverick among economists whose pronouncements became known as "classic Galbraithian heresies."
But other economists, even many of his fellow liberals, did not generally share his views on production and consumption, and he was not regarded by his peers as among the top-ranked theorists and scholars. Such criticism did not sit well with Mr. Galbraith, a man no one ever called modest, and he would respond that his critics had rightly recognized that his ideas were "deeply subversive of the established orthodoxy."
"As a matter of vested interest, if not of truth," he added, "they were compelled to resist." He once said, "Economists are economical, among other things, of ideas; most make those of their graduate days last a lifetime."
Nearly 40 years after writing "The Affluent Society," Mr. Galbraith updated it in 1996 as "The Good Society." In it, he said that his earlier concerns had only worsened: that if anything, America had become even more a "democracy of the fortunate," with the poor increasingly excluded from a fair place at the table.
Mr. Galbraith gave broad thought to how America changed from a nation of small farms and workshops to one of big factories and superstores, and judgments of this legacy are as broad as his ambition. Beginning with "American Capitalism" in 1952, he laid out a detailed critique of an increasingly oligopolistic economy. Combined with works in the 1950's by writers like David Reisman, Vance Packard and William H. Whyte, the book changed people's views of the postwar world.
Mr. Galbraith argued that technology mandated long-term contracts to diminish high-stakes uncertainty. He said companies used advertising to induce consumers to buy things they had never dreamed they needed.
I wish I had the first couple of seasons of TDS recorded. I always figured the best of it would show up on disc or that I'd d'l it somehow. Don't watch it anymore, but back in '03 it was pretty much the only ray of hope on US TV.
I also don't have a DVD drive and only a 20GB HD (!), so I don't know all what's BitTorrent-available. Even so, if it weren't for my girlfriend, I'd have dropped cable a while ago if I could get Family Guy online -- even if I couldn't really. The only channel I watch with any regularity is TCM, and I don't watch it nearly as much as I used to.
I would like a widescreen TV and 5.1 sound for the movies I watch, but that's all I need a TV for now. And when netflix starts their downloading service in the next year or so, that'll probably be the way I go over the hard copy rentals unless I can't access extras I want to see -- providing there's no problem with transmission interruptions etc..
In the end history may show that it was a very unremarkable man that led Nepal towards a republic.
Basu Ghimere was, according to his wife, a "simple" carpenter who loved his four-year-old son.
He was beaten and shot dead on the streets of Kathmandu in the volatile Kalanki neighbourhood when police opened fire on what had started out as a peaceful demonstration.
Mr Ghimere was not the only one to die and it was not his actual death that marked a potential tipping point.
It was the desecration of his funeral rights in what is the only country in the world where Hinduism is the official religion that enraged the crowds in Kalanki to commit the worst acts of rioting of the whole protest movement and ultimately force the monarch to retreat.
The king of Nepal is supposed to be an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu. It is for that reason the kings have been so revered down the ages by their subjects.
But this king instructed or allowed his security forces to carry out one of the grossest insults to the Hindu faith one can imagine.
His police in full riot gear snatched the lifeless body of Mr Ghimere and cremated it without the consent or knowledge of his wife and family.
I was in Kalanki when this news came through and I saw the effect it had on what had until that point been a peaceful crowd. It was then that King Gyanendra lost his godliness in the eyes of those present.
It was at that moment, perhaps, that King Gyanendra's rule undermined the monarchy perhaps beyond the point of redemption.
Rubbing his hands over all of this must be the Maoist leader Prachanda. . .
There's something positively heraldic about how the lack of an opposition leader -- any leader -- has stalled reform in Nepal.
And how a supposedly "Maoist" leader could take control only by allowing a mad king some place in the government.
It's got the mythic charge & simplicity of a Greek tragedy or a Beckett play.
I don't think some of these are so overlooked, but I'm something of a noir fan.
All of them are well worth a look though (a few like Fuller's Park Row & Abraham Polonsky's Force of Evil I never got all the way through myself, but that's me) -- and he actually mentions many more than 10.
Behind Ahmadinejad's posturing (reminiscent of another swaggering national leader), Iran's political climate is less unified and strident than many realize
Iranian economists warn that the country's economy is heavily dependent on selling crude oil and importing vital goods, and sanctions could be deeply damaging.
Already, the threat of sanctions has affected economic activity and many investors are holding back to see what happens in the UN Security Council.
Iran is the world's fourth largest oil producer, but it is already suffering from spiralling inflation, chronic unemployment, lack of investment and serious social problems such as drug addiction, prostitution and homelessness.
No-one knows how the Iranian people would react to economic measures against their country.
The imposition of sanctions could make Mr Ahmadinejad's opponents even more vocal and precipitate a power struggle in Iran.
The ruling conservatives are already divided on how to run the country, especially on economic issues.
Having just finished Jonathan Miller's delightfully dark BBC film of Alice in Wonderland, this item seemed quite logical. The remarkable cast includes Michael Redgrave, Peter Sellers, John Gielgud, Leo McKern and Peter Cook, but it's only funny in the most mordant, Kafkaesque sense. Fascinating.
Dropped a dead link to a page on Burroughs and added a few more; these seem more than usually evanescent (a number of links on the link pages I list are dead too) so I'm just throwing what's current out there -- plus this piece from The Beat Page, which is not listed at the left
To put the country simple, earth has a lot of things other folks might want...like the whole planet. And maybe these folks would like a few changes made. Like more carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere, and room for their way of life. We've seen this happen before, right in these United States.
Your way of life destroyed the Indian's way of life.
The Indian reservation is extinction.
But I offer this distinction. I'm with the invaders, no use trying to hide that. And at the same, I disagree with some of the things they are doing.
Oh were not united anymore than you are Oh we're not united anymore than you are.
Conservative factions is set on nuclear war as a solution to the Indian personality.
Others disagree Others disagree
I don't claim that my methods are one hundred percent humane, but I do say, if we can't think of anything quieter, and tidier than that...
We are all not that much better than new earth aches.
There is no place else to go The theater is closed
There is no place else to go The theater is closed
Cut word lines Cut music lines Smash the control images Smash the control machine.
Also here's an interview with Ballard on Burroughs, and here are ubuweb's sound files, streams & mp3s of the man himself speaking to you: the recordings (this link is at left, #9).
A pretty damn good summing up of the fascination/repulsion complex some of us (Altman fans mostly I guess) have for the justifiably obscure 80s train wreck of a "teen comedy," O.C. & Stiggs, courtesy of Nick Pinkerton & reverse shot online
When trying to diagnose what went wrong with O.C. and Stiggs -— and literally nobody outside of Janet Maslin seems to deny that something did -— you don’t have to look past the film’s title; Oliver Cromwell Ogilvie and Mark Stiggs never crackle as a twosome, consistently muffing their back-and-forth, more shrill than snotty, and usually upstaged by their matching get-ups (loud tourist duds, sombreros, tuxes-and-tails, American flag button-downs, sheik headdresses). It seems like someone behind the scenes, presumably Altman, wants his audience to dislike these appallingly self-satisfied twerps. . .
Though the enduring -- and also somewhat ambivalent - appeal of Sunny Ade's music had something to do with it for me.
Have to say I have less than high expectations for the new Dick film adaptation in the works, Next, based on the short story The Golden Man and starring Nick Cage, Julianne Moore & Jessica Biel, directed by xXx: State of the Union's Lee Tamahori
Little girl: Do you have HBO DIRECTV? Little boy: I don't know. Little girl: If you have HBO, you do. My favorite movie is on there: Titanic. It's about a girl who loves a boy and they're all frozen at the end. Little boy: Who gets slapped? [Overheard in New York]
Increasing ranks of Sufis in Iran a thorn in the side of hegemony of fundamentalist Muslims
The definition of the sufi: the sufi is one who is a lover of Truth, who by means of love and devotion moves towards the Truth, towards the Perfection which all are truly seeking. As necessitated by Love's jealousy, the sufi is taken away from all except the Truth-Reality. For this reason, in Sufism it is said that, "Those who are inclined towards the hereafter can not pay attention to the material world. Likewise, those who are involved in the material world can not concern themselves with the hereafter. But the sufi (because of Love' s jealousy) is unable to attend to either of these worlds."
Concerning this same idea, Shebli has said, "One who dies for the love of the material world, dies a hypocrite. One who dies for the love of the hereafter, dies an ascetic. But one who dies for the love of the Truth, dies a sufi." [link]
Samuel Beckett is sui generis...He has given a voice to the decrepit and maimed and inarticulate, men and women at the end of their tether, past pose or pretense, past claim of meaningful existence. He seems to say that only there and then, as metabolism lowers, amid God’s paucity, not his plenty, can the core of the human condition be approached...Yet his musical cadences, his wrought and precise sentences, cannot help but stave off the void...Like salamanders we survive in his fire. -- Richard Ellman [link to Beckett stuff]
So exquisitely reflective of our time one barely needs -- or can stand -- to read him.
For most Wall Street collectors, the investment is minimal; prices for student art seem cheap when compared with the seven figures some contemporary art is beginning to fetch. At a recent student show at Mr. Tilton's gallery, prices ranged from $2,000 to $16,000, depending on the work's size and complexity. If one of these students suddenly becomes a star, it could mean a large return on the buyer's investment.
Sounds to me like Elem Klimov's Come and See might be a little too much like experiencing war first-hand -- which may be why I'm posting about it: Americans in particular seem to need a reminder right now
Movies I haven't finished lately, for various reasons
Lacombe, Lucien Zigeunerweisen Tropical Malady Werckmeister Harmonies The Best of Youth Artaud, The True Story of Artaud the Momo Battle Royale Somewhere in the Night Unfinished Piece for the Player Piano Punishment Park Leolo
We're in the zone, heading for the plant. In our pockets we have radiation metres (dosimeters), a bit smaller than a packet of cigarettes.
The zone is an area the size of Greater London where ordinary life came to an end 20 years ago. Inhabitants were evacuated, checkpoints and fences went up, and nature took over. It's full name, literally translated from Ukrainian, is Zone of Alienation.
When I last did this drive in 1993, the overgrowth was beginning to engulf an abandoned village on the main road. It was probably waist high. Since then birch trees have shot up everywhere. The village is already becoming woodland again. In a month, when the trees are in leaf, the houses will not be visible at all.