==pla|\|ing lakes==

a forest called Simmer Down, wrapped in plastic
bloghome | 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." -- Rilke

        the powering,
                the Widening,
                all faces followers of

                All colors, beams of
                woven thread,
                the Skin

                alight that
                warms itself
                with life.

-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"

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(Tell them you heard about them on Gordon's blog!)


(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

The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]

(r) = re-reading

The Blonde - Duane Swierczynski

Swansea Terminal - Robert Lewis


vaccine - v/a [hot flush]

skin diagram - david tagg

microcastle - deerhunter

saturdays=youth - m83

the serpent in quicksilver - harold budd

index of metal - fausto romitelli

Rocket to Russia - Ramones

and then one day it was over - elian

monsoon point - amelia cuni & ali gromer khan

set or performance - richard chartier

the world that was surrounded by a deep forest and warm light - ryonkt

cocoon materia aurora

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Because the SRP will be $19.98, the new Collector's Edition of the Coen bros.' The Big Lebowski seems worth waiting for if you don't have it already, as it includes a half-hour featurette and re-mastered transfer

Release date is Oct 18, the Limited Edition gift set is $49.98 with extras you can view at the link above.

7:09 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Saturday, August 27, 2005

BBC plan to simulcast one of their channels over the net at some point in the future, but only to the UK

10:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Truly investigative reporter & shrub critic Wayne Madsen may be under threat by a private assassination team [Rigorous Intuition]

11:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()


Turkmenistan's president Saparmurat Niyazov bans recorded music from public events & TV and sends his "interpretation of Turkmen history" into space on a Japanese sateelite

I'll bet shrub is jealous.

Last year Niyazov ordered the erection of a palace made of ice in one of the hottest nations in the world.
I dedicated my meaningful lifetime to my dear nation by abandoning my personal life - one can't catch two melons with one hand. That's why I had to leave behind my personal delights. I do not blame myself at all for treating myself in such an enduring and ruthless way
This has been a public service announcement: this kind of sacrifice should not go unnoticed by the rest of the world, despite widespread shunning of this Shining Light of Leadership in Central Asia by the western media.

Give it up folks!!

How I miss the days when such dementia in world leaders was faraway and easily ignored...

6:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

R.I.P. Robert Moog & Luc Ferrari [disquiet]

6:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pu'u O'o flow in '97

Photos of the east flow eruption (Puu O'o) of Hawaii's Kilauea, the largest on this side of the crater in 500 years

6:24 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Reality sets in

Writers sue over reality show conditions
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, is the second filed with assistance from the Writers Guild of America, west, which is trying to pressure producers to agree to an industrywide contract with those who "write" the supposedly unscripted shows.

The latest suit was filed on behalf of 10 writers and editors and is seeking class-action status. It claims that Fox and Rocket Science Laboratories, the producer of seven reality shows on Fox, required employees to falsify time cards, failed to pay overtime and routinely required plaintiffs to work 12 hours a day or more.

Last month, a group of 12 writers sued ABC, CBS, WB and Turner Broadcasting System Inc., as well as several other producers, making similar claims.
Be great to see what kind of seedy, brutalized noir one of these writers could pull out of that experience...

9:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Biggest news in music since napster?

An English ISP called Playlouder and Sony have signed an agreement which allows legal use of existing file-sharing networks

Playlouder will share fees for using its broadband service with artists through the label.

Issues of privacy (what you share will be recorded somewhere I imagine) and how much artists actually get out of it aside, this is an encouraging sign, I think.

Though the wise artist, like Einstürzende Neubaten, will take digital direct to the listener through their own site.

7:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, August 21, 2005

New pontiff gets down wif da mob in Deutschland baby

I love the reference to rampant priest paedophilia as "wrinkles and shadows on the face of the Church."

9:13 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Dealing with excess social noise...

The freesound project, an archive of short files of all kinds of sounds for musicians and the curious, is one of the interesting links in disquiet's tangent post last week

The phrase above refers to a new generation of hearing aids for modifying or filtering what you hear.

6:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Figuring out whether I want to put Apocalypse Now Redux on my amazon list recently, I found out from an amazon reviewer that a 5 and a half hour work print is available (I won't link to it, but I'll give you 5 minutes to find a link on this page which will lead you to it)

After reading this review, I think I'll wait for something more definitive. Obviously the work print isn't very good quality, but it's ridiculous for a film this notorious and important to have a barebones release, when there's so much more to see -- pivotal and fascinating scenes of far more significance than the plantation sequence included in Redux -- even in a rough cut.

5:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Caressing Zaha with Vodka

Cai Guo-Qiang's work is intriguing, though it's naturally hard to know without experiencing his work in person

The Bunker Museum Project -- converting a notorious Cold War island military outpost into a series of galleries and performance spaces, with minimal redecoration -- is a great idea.

I imagine the fireworks pieces are pretty damn cool.

5:15 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Gibson's World

Get this: Student held over online mugging
Police in Japan have arrested a Chinese student over the use of a network of software "bots" to steal items in an online role playing game (RPG).

Players were attacked in the game, Lineage II, and their items were then sold for cash on auction sites.
I have no idea WTF this all means in real terms, but it's right out of Gibson.

8:43 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Intrigue and discontent plague Getty Museum
Things have turned so sour that the Getty has employed an outside public relations consultant named Michael Sitrick. The Getty's in-house head of public relations resigned from her $300,000 per year job this summer.

Mr Sitrik, whose clients have included Halle Berry, R Kelly and the Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles, was dubbed "the flack for when you're under attack" by Forbes magazine.

It will be his job to protect Mr Brand, a 47-year-old Australian from a modest museum in Virginia, who will take over the director's job in January.

Asked about his concerns given the upheavals, claims of financial scandal and resignations, Mr Brand appeared concerned only with the price of property in Los Angeles compared with Virginia.

8:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Ross McElwee's Bright Leaves is premiering on PBS this week
What legacy is passed down to generations when a family is a giant tobacco producer? Filmmaker Ross McElwee (Sherman's March, "Time Indefinite" - P.O.V. 1994), whose great-grandfather created the famous Bull Durham brand in his native North Carolina, takes viewers on an autobiographical journey across that state's social, economic and psychological tobacco terrain. Wise and wry, this meditation on the allure of cigarettes looks at loss and preservation, addiction and denial. Bright Leaves also examines filmmaking itself, as McElwee grapples with home movies, a vintage Hollywood melodrama and his own efforts to document North Carolina and his family.

8:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Have to wait for the netflix release of Hopeless Pictures, but it looks good [cinemarati]
In this wicked animated comedy, Mel Wax (Michael McKean) is the head of a dysfunctional Hollywood indie movie studio, Hopeless Pictures, so named after his deceased parents, Hope and Les. In the land where a studio chief is only as good as his last big flop, Wax struggles to reign in out-of-control, pill-popping Swedish directors and egomaniacal stars, while coping with a vengeful soon-to-be ex-wife (Lisa Kudrow), assorted affairs, his idiot nephew/head of production (Bob Balaban), a hostile takeover and an inept psychiatrist, Dr. Stein (Jonathan Katz). Jennifer Coolidge plays Hopeless Pictures' head of development, Tracy, as well as actress Nina Boroslova.
Also, a big "Salam!" to all the visitors from Iran I've had in the last few days. Salam Aleikom!

8:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The upcoming Coen Brothers Collection would be a great deal if it featured Miller's Crossing and O Brother Where Art Thou? instead of The Man Who Wasn't There and Intolerable Cruelty, along with The Big Lebowski and Blood Simple

I don't expect much from the extras, knowing the Coens, but just the barebones would be a good deal...

I'd settle for Barton Fink & Raising Arizona in an expansive mood.

6:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

From the Powell's site

Barbara Ehrenreich outlines her new book, and City Lights celebrates 50 years of publishing

Ehrenreich: "The emphasis in today's corporate culture seems to be all on "personality" — especially "likeability" — rather than on skills or experience. Coaches tell you that you can alter the universe with your thoughts. Networking groups turn out to be proselytizing events for the Christian Right. A lot of this is funny — or would be if it didn't involve the lives of so many real people who have been laid-off, downsized, "riffed," and "re-orged" out of their jobs and now find themselves having to sell their homes and take on Nickel and Dimed-type jobs at near-minimum wages."

6:19 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Consumer Reports Webwatch's 20 top health info sites

WebMD is #1, and I haven't checked to see how useful CRWW's site is, since this example wasn't revelatory.

5:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Film news

Ellen Burstyn & Nicholas Cage star in Wicker Man re-make; Meryl Streep to play Martha Mitchell in Watergate movie Dirty Tricks, along with Gwyneth Paltrow as Maureen Dean and Annette Bening as correspondent Helen Thomas

I'd rather see a Watergate film that dropped hints about evidence from Silent Coup about Woodward's past as a Naval spook with abiding ties to the military, and John Dean's attempt to bury evidence that might implicate his wife in a callgirl ring. As well as the likelihood that George H W Bush was involved with Nixon in the JFK assassination. Just to show how much deeper and weirder the whole scene was than most people believe.

10:49 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pre-Thracian gold hoard found in Bulgaria rivals Schliemann Troy find of 1873

10:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Thank you, Cindy Sheehan [xymphora]
She told the audience of veterans from World War Two to today's war in Iraq, that the two main things she plans to tell the man she holds responsible for son Casey's death are "Quit saying that U.S. troops died for a noble cause in Iraq, unless you say, 'well, except for Casey Sheehan.' Don't you dare spill any more blood in Casey's name. You do not have permission to use my son's name."

"And the other thing I want him to tell me is 'just what was the noble cause Casey died for?' Was it freedom and democracy? Bullshit! He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. We're not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT Act. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism," she exclaimed.

"There, I used the 'I' word - imperialism," the 48 year-old mother quipped. "And now I'm going to use another 'I' word - impeachment - because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail." [link]

7:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, August 15, 2005

If you're looking for an alternative to the slow-loading-(on my dialup anyway)-and-recently-changed-to-a-less-informative-and-less-navigable-format all music guide, Piero Scaruffi's music site is one very subjective but well-informed alternative

Of course all music is more comprehensive and indispensable. But since the site design change, I find I rarely visit it because it doesn't have the information it used to, or else it's buried somewhere I haven't uncovered.

7:22 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

After seeing the BBC note the Pentagon/shrubgang frantically attempting to prevent the release of more torture photos from Abu Ghraib due to an ACLU lawsuit, I found unsurprisingly that the only US media picking up the AP report were Newsday, a newspaper in South Carolina and a Florida TV station (after viewing CNN, MSNBC and CBS sites, and then doing a search on Pandia)

Though on a related note, MSNBC/WP quotes an administration official sheepishly admitting that "[w]e are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning [of the Iraq invasion]," before detailing a long list of unrealized goals.

Americans will be paying for that unreality (in many ways) for a long time.

Dealing with Abu Ghraib and the institutionalization of terror & torture mandated by shrub & co is no doubt far down the road. As is the recognition of the profoundly un-American and fascistic nature of the PATRIOT Act et al.

At least we seem to be entering the first stage of realizing the spell/denial exists...

12:19 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, August 14, 2005

According to this feature from Newsweek's site on graphic novels' "coming-of-age," Daniel Clowes has a new book out, Ice Haven, and R. Crumb has been hired by W W Norton to do a comic of the book of Genesis

1:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Flat-Screen TV Prices Finally Coming Down
Prices for flat panels have finally begun to tumble — by as much as 35 percent in the past year — as soaring demand for the two leading flat-panel technologies, plasma and liquid crystal display, or LCD, attracts a host of new competitors.


When it comes to picture, most analysts say CRTs are just as good as flat panels, yet many consumers are under the assumption that flat panels are all high definition and thus offer better picture quality. In retail showrooms, flat panels typically display high-definition digital content, so they look superior to CRTs.

Consumers don't always know that some flat panels can't receive high definition, or that CRTs can be formatted to get such programming.

When it comes to performance among flat-panel makers, paying more doesn't necessarily mean a better picture, said Eric Haruki, an analyst for research firm IDC.

More than 90 percent of the world's LCD panels are supplied by five companies, so top-tier brands and generics often share the same components, according to Haruki.

"Some of these companies buy top-notch components from the big players and rebrand them," Haruki said. "The technology is pretty good across the board."

7:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

The irony of this new device for monitoring attentiveness on the phone is that anyone who'd use it probably wouldn't command your attention anyway...

12:45 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Barbara Bel Geddes

R.I.P. Barbara Bel Geddes

I don't get that she did near her best work in films, though I never saw her onstage of course. She was in Kazan's pivotal classic Panic in the Streets as Richard Widmark's wife, and Hitchcock fans know her from Vertigo (the girl Jimmy Stewart should have er fallen for instead of Kim Novak...). Also opposite Robert Mitchum in one of his better films (and a classic Western), Blood on the Moon.

I never watched Dallas either, and that's what most people in the world know her for, playing the Ewing matriarch.

Someone I'll bet was a good person to meet and know, unlike many in showbiz.

11:07 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pics from Edinburgh Fringe Festival

10:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

haring image

Keith Haring's Pop Shop to close its doors due to skyrocketing rent

I shopped there once back in the late 80s. Always liked his work.

Will you have to be rich to "own a Haring" now?

7:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Siberia's rapid thaw causes alarm, while Alaskan natives catch scientists up on climate change
The world's largest frozen peat bog is melting, which could speed the rate of global warming, New Scientist reports.

The huge expanse of western Siberia is thawing for the first time since its formation, 11,000 years ago.

The area, which is the size of France and Germany combined, could release billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

This could potentially act as a tipping point, causing global warming to snowball, scientists fear.

7:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, August 05, 2005

UK artist Banksy paints idylic scenes on the Palestinian side of the Israeli barrier wall, really pissing off the Israeli authorities

10:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

3 tasty items from TCM's site

Classic pre-Hays Code vehicle for a young Barbara Stanwyck Baby Face has been restored to its original Nietzsche-esque chill and is playing theatres around the country.

Norifumi Suzuki's School of the Holy Beast ("Widely considered the most notorious nun-exploitation film," according to the breathless netflix blurb), will be out on disc on the 30th
Most Western nunsploitation films exist primarily to showcase nymphomaniacal nuns running amuck and indulging in lesbian gropes behind cloistered walls, and while School of the Holy Beast certainly indulges in these taboo treats to a certain extent, most of its shock value lies in the casual blasphemy of its dialogue and tortures. Catholic-based countries are usually careful to tiptoe around anything that directly insults the Bible, but coming from a decidedly non-Christian country, this particular take has no qualms about having its sympathetic heroine lashing out at not only the sadistic Mother Superior and her lackey priest cohort but against every tenet of the Good Book itself. From a dialogue standpoint alone, this carries more of a transgressive punch than a dozen similar Joe D'Amato films. Of course, the proceedings are so over the top it would take a particularly sensitive viewer to be genuinely offended; by the time the snowy Christmas Eve finale rolls around - in which poisoning and a bell tower play a key role - all but the staunchest cult fans will surely be doubting their sanity.
Finally, and most wonderfully, Piers Paul Read's authorized biography of Alec Guinness promises to be a great read for fans like me.

I couldn't get into the first volume of his autobiography Blessings in Disguise at all, and for the same reason as most -- he revealed about as much as Paul Bowles does in his. But Read was a personal friend, and his access to letters and unpublished diaries made available by Guinness' widow and son make this an essential book on this unique actor, from what I see. The last link above delves satisfyingly into the revelations if you aren't into reading the book, which some American reviewers were less than enamored with, partly due to its 600+ page length.

9:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Darger detail

Henry Darger doc on PBS tonite

Should've posted this earlier, but . . . tonite at 10PM Arizona Time PBS is showing Jessica Yu's In the Realms of the Unreal on their P.O.V. series, a documentary about artist Henry Darger, a Chicago janitor who wrote a 15,000 page novel and created remarkable illustrations of his fantasy world
"In the Realms of the Unreal" is Yu's inventive and loving rendition of Darger's grim life and wildly creative work. It contains, among other marvels, the seven angelic Vivian Girls, who lead a rebellion against godless, child-enslaving men, and Darger's own alter ego, General Darger, who aids the girls in their bloody battles against the evil Glandelinian army. Yu employs dreamlike animation of Darger's art, a haunting musical score by Jeff Beal, and narration taken from Darger's 15,000-page opus, "In the Realms of the Unreal," read by actors Dakota Fanning and Larry Pine, to immerse the audience in Darger's tempestuous alternate universe of innocence in epic struggle with wickedness. Out of the bleakest of existences, Darger obsessively fashioned a fantastic world where goodness and courage hold out — if just barely — over the treachery that lurks in men's hearts. Darger held several jobs in his life. He'd been a farm laborer, soldier, janitor, dishwasher, and roller of gauze bandages. But no one would have thought of him as an artist, or anything other than what he seemed: a poor, unkempt, ill-educated, half-mad man lost in the fog of his own loneliness. If those around him failed to guess Darger's secret life, they can hardly be blamed. Darger himself, in the massive unfinished autobiography he left behind, along with the single-spaced 15,000-page "novel" (and 8,000-page unfinished sequel), mentions his creative efforts only once in passing, even though those efforts must have absorbed his every free moment.
It's being repeated Friday at 4AM here, so you can probably tape it later in the week if you read this later, check your PBS affiliate's schedule. It's also out on disc, I know netflix carries it.

Sara Ayers (a composer who creates lovely and disturbing multi-tracked vocal music, she has a new album out) has a page devoted to him.

8:07 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

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Rarely has reality needed so much to be imagined. --Chris Marker