| 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]
It has been about a year since Lickity Split started subverting the all-American tradition of team cheerleading for political ends. They have kept the pompoms and the ear-to-ear saccharin smiles. And they gleefully display lots of flesh. (A little too much, you might say.) But this definitely is not the version of cheerleading you will see on the average college football field or as portrayed in films like American Beauty. Their energies are not going into perpetuating the macho image of the American jock, but rather into voicing anger at the system. Anger at Bush. Anger at homophobia. Anger at war. Anger at whatever.
And while they are the only group in Chicago, Lickity Split are hardly alone in the land. First dreamed up by two sisters in Florida six years ago as a new means of expressing political outrage, Radical Cheerleading is fast becoming a movement all of its own, with an estimated 100 squads trading clenched fists for pompoms in cities all across the United States and Canada. Watch out for them at a street demonstration near you soon. Websites dedicated to advertising the efforts of radical cheerleaders have recently been receiving word from groups coming together in Spain and France.
When Tracy meets the beautiful and popular Evie Zamora (Nikki Reed, co-writer of the screenplay with Hardwicke), her world explodes in a rush towards premature adulthood that almost ruins her life. Both girls become victims of the media-fueled expectations of what it is to be cool, sexy and grown up: Body piercing, self-mutilation, petty crimes, casual sex and drug abuse are these girls' rights of passage as they careen towards the goal of being ultra-popular and totally hip.
Parent figures played by Holly Hunter and Jeremy Sisto.
Zevon, who titled one best-of compilation "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" and put a picture of a skeleton smoking a pipe on another, talks on VH1 about how he's always been interested in writing about death and dying. Circumstances gave him a perspective few, if any, active artists have shared.
His new music is poignant and emotionally direct. "Keep Me in Your Heart," the first song written after his diagnosis, is the one to address Zevon's condition most directly, beginning the lyric: "Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath."
After playing on the song, veteran session drummer Jim Keltner told Calderon it was only the second time he'd been moved to tears in a recording session. The first one was on Dylan's original version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."
This review of a new book on the Robin Hood myth mentions that the tights he's shown wearing lately were "originally deployed so that nineteenth-century actresses playing Robin could show their legs."
...by the end of the 18th century, says Knight, "Robin Hood became a new man, and one who is still with us." Unlike other medieval heroes "who did not struggle free of the setting amber of antiquity, Robin, as ever, escaped to illuminate another day, another part of the sociocultural forest, with his multiple contradictory and essentially volatile set of values."
Compared to the approximately 200 other similar prehistoric mound sites strewn throughout Europe, the Goseck site has striking deviations. Instead of the usual four gates leading into the circular compounds, the Goseck monument has just three. The walled-compound also consists of an unusual formation of concentric rings of man-high wooden palisades. The rings and the gates into the inner circles become narrower as one progresses to the?center, indicating perhaps that only a few people could enter the inner-most ring.
A refreshingly taut, deadpan take on the old intertwining-narrative, hands-across-the-centuries thing, Jenny Davidson's Heredity reads like the novel of which A.S. Byatt's Possession was the baggy and sentimental first draft. It's also as dark as your hat: sex-and-death with a side-order of extra death. A masterful and outrageously readable first novel.
The Invisible Library - "The Invisible Library is a collection of books that only appear in other books. Within the library's catalog you will find imaginary books, pseudobiblia, artifictions, fabled tomes, libris phantastica, and all manner of books unwritten, unread, unpublished, and unfound."
Lester was large and he was interested in doing what was right -- which sometimes entailed willfully offending those whose values he opposed -- not merely being right in his taste and musical standards. He wanted to learn. What's appealing about him is the same thing that he valued in the music he wrote about: the life in it -- engagement with and responsiveness to the world. To put a positive spin on the spew-and-rant factor, he didn't care about beauty except as flow. He wanted everything included. He was confrontational but it came from goodwill, from his belief that feelings -- sensitivity to what's going on -- are what matter and that if you're going to really notice things, really perceive, there's going to be a lot of sadness and horror and filth as well, so to some extent they're a necessary part of beauty. Basically, Lester always wanted people to care more.
Bella Freud, the British designer and a friend of Malkovich for the past five years, says: "It has to do with the 1910 moment, when you see photos of men looking very well-dressed, but as though everything could come off at any time; it's sensual with layers of formality on top. The subtext is: since you're so well-dressed, you can become as irreverent and indolent as you want."
Malkovich himself says, in a kind of mission statement: "Uncle Kimono is a men's wear collection which has resonance of late 1950s California beach boys, some Palm Springs rat-pack, a touch of lounge lizards and a recollection of a Swiss banker who's been let go." Sound like the description of an art-house movie? It's being treated that way.
Distribution is small, and carefully targeted: Jeffrey is the only store in New York that will carry the clothes. As one of the first colonisers of the now fashion-heavy meat-packing district, it has a certain avant-garde chic reputation - ditto Browns, the only store in London with the line, and L'Eclaireur, the only store in Paris.
Indeed, all the pieces in the Uncle Kimono line are titled, and come equipped with their own story: "Jazz Sideman Prison Wife Sweater" (the jumper a jazz sideman "would give his new cellmate when he starts a 90-day term for drug possession", which is to say a cardigan with a zip front, pockets, and a three-tone waistband); "Uncle Ho Shirt" ("a shirt perfect for people who love socialist super heroes", or a button-down with medium-width stripes and two front flap pockets plus a chest pocket); "Mini Mullah Raincoat" (a raincoat "dedicated to the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, who Mullah Omar accused of wearing his turban in a topsy-turvy fashion", which is actually made of treated English check with a 1940s-esque collar).
Hamel's treatment of this complicated story is outstanding not only for its comprehensive (yet remarkably concise) presentation of the social and historical context of fourth-century Athens, but also, perhaps supremely, for its tact. By presenting sex and the ancient Greek sex trade forthrightly, she puts to shame the ponderous cuteness and leering euphemism that writing about Neaira's case has aroused in many classicists over the centuries. She brings out both the sordid exploitation of Neaira's circumstances and the genuine strength of the bond that linked this former prostitute with Stephanos and his family, piecing together a plausible account from what is often minimal evidence, managing to explore her human characters without idealizing them, and judiciously staying just shy of a historical novel. Her description of court procedure, and the differences that separate ancient Athenian standards for legal procedure and basic justice from our own ideas of democracy and the rule of law, show how much has changed in the definition of these powerful words over the millennia. It is easier, after reading her account, to see how the full imperfection of the Athenian political and legal system could have driven Plato to such savage fury against "the school of Hellas" that he established an academy of his own and gave up a literary form, tragedy, sponsored by the Athenian state, for a new dramatic genre of his own, the philosophical dialogue, in which he would insist on the pursuit of pure good and pure justice.
Newman is extremely adept at complex characterizations, and particularly excels at showing, in her narrator Chrysalis, a brain on the verge of breakdown: "Two particular women laughed in shrill spikes of sound that made me think of spear flowers." As in any great novel, the characters here grow richer, and more mysterious, as more is revealed about them. This is a witty, imaginative debut from a young novelist with dazzling intellectual resources.
A few days ago I posted about the Slimp3 media hub for mp3s. Here's PC Magazine's comparison of digital media hubs, mp3 and otherwise. Ratings are compiled here. Make sure you check the user reviews too, there seem to be many opinions on what's best.
Fifty years after co-founding City Lights as the first paperback bookstore in the country, only to revolutionize poetry in 1956 by publishing Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," Ferlinghetti remains a leading light in San Francisco's cultural community. He is still organizing and giving readings, still painting and holding art exhibits, still publishing his work and still putting in time in the cramped offices of the City Lights press, on the bookstore's second floor. That leaves precious little time for reminiscences about the days when the Beats ruled the literary world.
--CHOKING Don't slap someone who is choking on the back. You could force the offending object farther down the windpipe. As long as a person is coughing (or talking), he or she is still breathing, and coughing forcefully is usually the best way to dislodge a piece of food. Use abdominal thrusts, also known as the Heimlich maneuver, only if the choking victim stops breathing.
Over the long winter, they studied the effects of UVB radiation on the immune system, they were the subjects in a psychology study with Martian implications, and they tested a new system for processing shit at Antarctic bases. After eleven months, after a dark winter on a frigid coast at the end of the world, two of these deranged mutations then skied across the continent, claiming the longest (3800km) unsupported trek in Antarctic history. Not only did Eirik S?nneland and Rolf Bae seem to snag their prize with a shrug, but they did so after an Antarctic winter, an unnerving event that alone drives the typical American to New Zealand gasping for sushi and whores. The goals for their Trans-Antarctic trek were to set a world record, remain friends, and stay alive. They achieved their goals quietly and modestly, so their expedition was largely ignored by all but Norwegian media.
Their book, which details ridiculous bureaucratic obstacles as well as their more obvious challenges, is yet to be published in English.
Article in Scientific American confirms parallel universes as "a direct implication of cosmological observations" [philipkdick.com]
The parallel universes of your alter egos constitute the Level I multiverse. It is the least controversial type. We all accept the existence of things that we cannot see but could see if we moved to a different vantage point or merely waited, like people watching for ships to come over the horizon. Objects beyond the cosmic horizon have a similar status. The observable universe grows by a light-year every year as light from farther away has time to reach us. An infinity lies out there, waiting to be seen. You will probably die long before your alter egos come into view, but in principle, and if cosmic expansion cooperates, your descendants could observe them through a sufficiently powerful telescope.
It was the best of timing, it was the worst of timing.
Gregor Jordan's military satire "Buffalo Soldiers" had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 8, 2001, and it was so well received that Miramax Films snatched it up, completing the purchase on the night of Sept. 10.
The world changed the following morning.
The industry gab -- what there was of it as festivalgoers made alternate travel plans and speculated about the apocalypse -- was that that the sellers of "Buffalo Soldiers" had lucked out: If the movie had debuted a few days later, it might never have landed a deal.
But Jordan also wanted his film to be seen, and that's been the rub for the past 23 months. Miramax has rescheduled "Buffalo Soldiers" at least four times as the bombing of Afghanistan and the war in Iraq made the release of a military-lampooning black comedy unpalatable.
To the list of attractive-but-not-easily-accessible, might be added the industry-choked but splendidly Baroque Catania, the mystical Norman subtleties of Monreale, villages nearly prehistoric, where some of the population still inhabit bronze-age caves, the antique charm of Syracuse, or the splendor that was classical Greece at Selinunte.
Also check out Longitude, a site listing travel maps and books which seems to have its shit together.
Suzuki allegedly broke into the home of a 23-year-old Tokyo office worker late one night, stole 16,000 yen in cash and then handed her a packet of instant noodles before thrusting his knife at her and ordering her to cook him a meal.
While the terrified young woman cowered over the stove and obeyed Suzuki's instructions, he engaged in small talk punctuated by orders about how his noodles should be prepared.
Once they were cooked, he poured the concoction back into the instant noodles packet and fled.
Similar cases have been reported where a Tokyo burglar has forced female victims to make him meals, with 33-year-old Suzuki regarded as the prime suspect.
Just noticed this comment about Leida Finlayson below, republished here so anyone interested doesn't miss it.
Just a note to let people know that Leida passed away Saturday afternoon, July 19, 2003 in St. John's. She was 31 years old. In memory of her life, her spirit, and her contribution to the Newfoundland Historic Trust, the Trust and the Finlayson family are proud to establish the Leida Finlayson Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship, which will be directed to a student of history or political studies, will be presented annually as part of the Trust's Southcott Awards and St. John's Day Celebrations. For more information, or to make a donation in her memory, please visit:
Again, here's the link to the CBC interview page she's on (May 20).
Aerialitis appears exclusive to land-locked, flat areas in the Midwestern United States; specifically, small towns where the tallest building stretches no higher than five stories. Particularly, it affects those living near highways. The age of infection is primarily between twelve to sixteen years, although infected adults have been identified. The illness is presumed to be hereditary or highly contagious within families -- originating with the oldest child, then spreading to all siblings. Four years after Girl's diagnosis, her brother, age eleven, was last seen sitting in his bedroom window. Because many of the afflicted seem to have disappeared, leading to the discreditation of this illness, it is not known if Aerialitis is fatal.
In tribal societies, to belong to the tribe is to adhere to the tribal religion. In many societies one particular world religion is the religion of that society, and it is expected that members of the society adhere to the religion. Religion is in part what glues such societies together. The death of any one member undermines the family, the community, and even (for individuals of a high social status) the entire society, so it is important that death is managed according to the required religious rites, for it is these rites that glue the group together at precisely the time that it is most threatened. One sees dying according to the book today in those societies that are dominated by Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Catholicism.
But many modern Western societies are not like that. Firstly, many have been influenced by Protestantism, which is founded on the belief that there is nothing the living can do to help the soul's passage after death. Secondly, most European societies are now highly secular, with only around 40f Europeans believing in an afterlife, although this goes up to 75or the Irish (north and south) and for Americans. For many people today there is thus no afterlife to prepare for, on one's deathbed or at any other time. More importantly, whatever individuals believe, modern social institutions (and this is as true of the United States as of Europe) presume that this is the only life.