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| 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
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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]
Jarecki (who as a sometime musician and former CEO of Moviefone.com may have the most unlikely background of any director at Sundance this year) proves a smart, assured, unsentimental documentarian who never sides with any one interpretation of events, never stops reminding us of Arnold Friedman's past transgressions.
He has us pity the implosion (and, at times, self-immolation) of the Friedmans without ever once asking us to forgive the heinous nature of Arnold's and Jesse's possibly real, possibly imagined crimes. By remaining so resolutely objective, Jarecki forces us to put ourselves in the Friedmans' position and ponder how there, but for the grace of God, might we go.
I used to read Carson's reviews and so forth in the Village Voice and the short-lived but fondly remembered Soho Weekly News in the 80s. I always liked him, and I'd like to like his book. But the Joycean wordplay (and from my look at it today, it's got little of Joyce's hyper vibrancy or whatever it was he had, as David Kelly noted) is way too mental or even precious for me these days.
But it's chock full of pop culture references, and many people will probably love the shit out of it.
I also checked John Laurence's The Cat from Hué: A Vietnam War Story, after seeing him on Booknotes on the weekend, and that's more up my street. If I can get through at least one of my Intel tomes. . .
For pop satire in book form, I'll stick to Victor Pelevin for now. Maybe that's partly because I've just had enough American culture for now. Maybe my sense of humor is closer to the darker, more disorienting Slavic acid-etching of Pelevin.
I just wish I read Russian, because I know I'm missing a lot in translation.
Fiction has to be right on my wavelength these days or I just can't stay with it.
The aural experiences of yore were often communal - a congregation listening to a sermon or a choir, or an audience listening to a play. They happened in a specific time and place, and when they were over, they were over. Anyone who was wool-gathering during the second act simply missed it. Period.
Nowadays, however, we have a soundscape that is as much a "built environment" as is a city skyline. But the myriad forms of sound recording and amplification make it a fragmented soundscape. Instead of an audience that, as one, laughs or cries or sits enraptured, we have collections of individual auditors, each with his or her own headset. This fragmentation is like similar phenomena in other modern media and art forms - such as flashbacks that cinemagoers once had to learn to "read," or photo montage and stream-of-consciousness literature.
The reviewer notes that we once had to learn to speak over the telephone.
Hard to imagine a world so unified-in-hearing now. This is why artists like Laurie Anderson prefer live audiences.
Being an opinionated, firecely independent sort myself, I shudder at the thought of having to listen to the music the majority likes, for instance. But some communal experience might go a long way toward healing the alienation and anxiety we all feel.
Even in the 60s and 70s, the music I listened to was a shared experience (even if you weren't at a live concert), in a way it isn't now.
But how does that organically occur? It couldn't work any way but through a natural flow.
It would have to grow out of an intention. A shared intention.
Which seems to be a trend: collaborative art, that's made by a group or interacts with the audience.
Lawrence Rinder, the Whitney [Biennial's] curator, says of this team mentality, "There's definitely something in the air, particularly with the younger generation." Edward Kerns, an art professor at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., agrees that "it's a generational thing. Students who grow up with networking systems are used to working together."
Canadian artist Jillian Mcdonald, working out of a storefront in downtown Manhattan, invites passers-by to tell her their fears, then sews a protective mantra in gold thread into a garment for them.
"Without participation, there's no art - it depends on interaction," Ms. Mcdonald says. "There's nothing like communicating with other people," she adds. "It's more rewarding than working alone."
Ray Kass, founder and director of the Mountain Lake Workshop at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Va., has invited visiting artists to work with the local community since 1983. John Cage, folk artist Howard Finster, and French artist Jackie Matisse are a few who've worked alongside students and Appalachian residents.
Two hundred locals attended kitemaking day with Ms. Matisse. More than 700 viewed her artwork, "Kites Soaring In and Out of Space," in a virtual-reality cave. Focusing on a discipline-centered activity to get rural residents involved, Mr. Kass says, "has had the phenomenal effect of creating a kind of local culture."
It may be that this is the best one book to read about Miles (there are quiteafew), just as David Thomson's book about Orson Welles is the best one book about him.
Since this book points to his work in the 50s as his best, I suggest Paul Tingen's Miles Beyond: Electric Explorations of Miles Davis, 1967-1991 as an accompaniment. It's the one I've read, and whether jazz aficionados like it or not, Miles work in the 70s is important to me and a lot of other people right now.
Not to say what's best or anything. Just that Miles doesn't just belong to the jazzbos.
NOTE: As you may know, salon has changed their access policy. You can view the whole site now (without paying or Premium access), if you click through a 4-pane Mercedes ad (that's what it is today anyway). You'll have to do this to get the whole article linked above. I discovered this just now because they've walled off Tom Tomorrow's comic -- hilariously, since the first time I've encountered this was the time I read his luxury American gas-guzzler toon.
Swipe a CD from a record store and you'll get arrested. But when Congress authorizes the entertainment industry to steal from you -- well, that's the American way.
We learned as much Wednesday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress can repeatedly extend copyright terms, as it did most recently in 1998 when it added 20 years to the terms for new and existing works.
The law, a brazen heist, was called the Copyright Term Extension Act. It was better known as the Sonny Bono act, so named after its chief sponsor even though Disney and other giant media corporations were the money and muscle behind it.
...RFID tags...typically include a 64-bit unique identifier yielding about 18 thousand trillion possible values. KSW-Microtec, a German company, has invented washable RFID tags designed to be sewn into clothing. And according to EE Times, the European central bank is considering embedding RFID tags into banknotes by 2005.
It becomes unnervingly easy to imagine a scenario where everything you buy that's more expensive than a Snickers will sport RFID tags. That raises the disquieting possibility of being tracked though our personal possessions. Imagine: The Gap links your sweater's RFID tag with the credit card you used to buy it and recognizes you by name when you return. Grocery stores flash ads on wall-sized screens based on your spending patterns, just like in "Minority Report." Police gain a trendy method of constant, cradle-to-grave surveillance.
You can imagine nightmare legal scenarios that don't involve the cops. Future divorce cases could involve one party seeking a subpoena for RFID logs--to prove that a spouse was in a certain location at a certain time. Future burglars could canvass alleys with RFID detectors, looking for RFID tags on discarded packaging that indicates expensive electronic gear is nearby. In all of these scenarios, the ability to remain anonymous is eroded.
"The unfortunate thing is it had to be decided by them," O'Neal said of the officials. "A whole bunch of people who paid a lot of money had to see a game that was decided by someone who doesn't make a lot of money. That's unfortunate."
Historical corrective to Gangs of New York's Anglo-Irish foreshortening
Clearly the ethnic mix and the relations between them -- particularly the slavery/blacks component -- was more complex than Scorsese apparently shows. I imagine his simplification and license with the history was necessary to prevent the movie from being 10 hours long for one thing. It certainly could have been more accurate, but this is a piece of American history most people didn't even know existed til the film was released. It's only a beginning, and historical accuracy has never been Hollywood's um strong suit. If Scorsese didn't go a bit out of his way to make the central narrative simple and entertaining, how many people would have gone to see the damn thing anyway?
That being said, hopefully the History Channel or PBS (which just premiered a fine mini-series on 19th century Chicago) will delve into the deeper complexity of this extraordinary time and place.
Of course, if Americans had more of an interest in their history to begin with, we wouldn't have the problem to begin with, would we? Perhaps this is what really angers Foreman -- that American disinterest in history gives movies based on history disproportionate influence on what we think of our past.
Fast-talkers seem smarter -- and Hollywood uses quick scenes and chatter to skew towards younger audiences [u]
This thinking was explained by the producer of a popular TV show on the WB network, "Gilmore Girls," which features a mother-daughter duo who are more like friends than like parent and child. The elder Gilmore, Lorelai, became a single mother while still in her teens; now she is in her early thirties and her daughter, Rory, is a teen. The creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, told the Wall Street Journal recently that zippiness is the motivation for many aspects of "Gilmore Girls:" no close-ups (they slow things down); frequent shots of characters talking as they walk from place to place; and scenes shot over and over to shave a few seconds off the already dizzying pace. Screenwriters traditionally figure a page of dialogue to a minute on air; Sherman-Palladino figures 20 to 25 seconds a page.
Surely the fast-forward speech of "Gilmore Girls" helps the characters sound like hip teenagers, just as their jeans and midriff-baring blouses clinging skin-tightly to their teen-thin bodies help both "girls" look like teens. But network shows aimed at fully adult audiences, like the wildly popular "West Wing," follow the same trend. Hollywood producers, according to the Wall Street Journal article, think people seem smarter if they talk faster.
Good article by Deborah Tannen, who also spots IM (Instant Messaging) talk as a bonding strategy.
Nice to see George Clooney do so well his first time out directing. Even if it's not as intriguing as Sterritt makes it sound, doing a passable job directing a Kaufman screenplay is an accomplishment for even seasoned directors, I think.
Since the source material kind of gices you license to do what you want, I'd have taken it into a darker, more Phildickian direction probably. It's got that whiff. . .
On a personal note: I've tried to list books I'm reading only when I figure I'll finish them. Lately I've been so restless and moody, pleasures like reading have seemed closed off to me.
So it will be a record of my unease more than what I get all the way through, for now anyway.
It's very frustrating, because reading has always been vital to me, and things are definitely unsettled when this happens. And I have so many books I want to read.
The "Viewing" section lists what I've actually completed; for instance, I didn't list the Scorsese apperciation of Italian cinema (My Voyage to Italy) til I'd actually finished it, months after I started (it's over 4 hours long). Still haven't finished Open City yet -- though I watched Germany in the Year Zero immediately. Some of this is because of limited access to the TV, for reasons I won't go into.
I make spaces that apprehend light for our perception, and in some way gather it, or seem to hold it. So in that way it's a little bit like Plato's cave. We sit in the cave with our backs to reality, looking at the reflection of reality on the cave wall. As an analogy to how we perceive, and the imperfections of perception, I think this is very interesting.
And there is the making of Plato's cave literally-at New Grange in Ireland, or Abu Sembal where you don't have a pointing sculpture like Stonehenge. Instead you have an architectural space that is arranged to accept an event in light on the horizon. When that event in light occurs on the horizon there is an event in light, inside that space.
This then became the camera obscura, which appeared in many European towns. They would have these, and eventually even created panoramas and dioramas. The "camera lucida" and the "camera obscura" were what artists used to actually make this Western painting space.
We made this eye that sees for us, like the camera, and this is very much a part of how we organized our culture. Of course it became this holder of truth. I mean in a court of law you take a photograph, and you can use it as evidence.
1. George W. Bush (daily) 2. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (wall) 3. German Shorthaired Pointers (wall) 4. "Harry Potter" movies (wall) 5. The Far Side (wall) 6. 365 Cats (daily) 7. Thomas Kinkade - Painter of Light (wall) 8. "Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers" (wall) 9. Dilbert (daily) 10. FDNY Firefighters (wall) - Associated Press
The agreement, expected to be announced Tuesday in Washington, contends that U.S. laws do not need to be amended, for example, to permit consumers to make backup copies of compact discs they purchase or copy songs onto handheld devices. The technology industry also will announce its support for aggressive enforcement against digital pirates.
Under the plan, future generations of entertainment devices won't be required by law to have locking controls that make it more difficult to copy digital entertainment. Technology companies have complained that the locking devices are too expensive and complex.
The deal attempts to heads off government intervention in the rising debate over what consumers can do with copyrighted material they have purchased.
Could be a major step forward, though it could kaibosh Zoe Lofgren's bill which "wants permission for consumers to sell or give away copies of music or movies they purchase, and to impose protections for consumers who break locking controls that violate these rights."
If you bought music between '95 and '00, you're eligible. Probable refund is between $5 - $20, though if enough people sign up and the refund is less than $5, the money goes to "music-related programs" or whatever.
At least you'll be telling the MusicMobsters you're watching them.
I don't feel this is near enough, but they'll probably be bankrupt soon enough anyway.
The deadline is March 3rd, and few have signed up so far.
McDermott/McGough were actually part (peripherally) of the late 70s/early 80s East Village art scene, with Madonna, Keith Haring, Ann Magnuson and Laurie Anderson. I had a book that gathered them all together but it's passed out of my hands.
Interesting, from a distance anyway. The Satanist connection is um off-putting.
I saw ? nos amours years ago on video, which I think was my introduction to Sandrine Bonnaire, who was very intense, like Pialat. He made difficult films and didn't pull many punches. Bonnaire and Gerard Dépardieu starred in Sous le soleil de Satan, his most (in)famous film, I believe.
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My other site gets more colorful referrals, and more of them.
Al the proceeds form his book go to de-mining Afghanistan -- though he's not exactly rich.
"Get Your War On" has been attracting that kind of traffic since two weeks after Rees started it, a heavy load for the servers at his Web host. Frequent crashes have led some to suspect that Rees has been censored by the FBI, the CIA or the not-yet-extant cultural-control department of the Office of Homeland Security. "I start getting e-mails and phone calls from people saying, 'Oh my God, they finally got you! Just let me know where you are and what you need and I'll spring you.' And I'd have to tell them, 'No, I haven't been censored. It's just my fucking Web host.'"
Looks like if you want to read Stanislaw Lem's Solaris you have to learn Polish -- the only English translation is copped from a bad French one. Cold War weirdness and misunderstandings seem to follow him around like the rain cloud dogging Pigpen in Peanuts [FAS]
Lem also began contributing essays on English-language sci-fi to scholarly journals and fan magazines alike. These essays were often acerbic: While he admired the work of Philip K. Dick, Lem saw himself as the heir to Kafka and H.G. Wells, so he had little regard for those mere hacks who wrote commercial fiction for the pulps.
Tensions with his American colleagues came to a head in a bizarre international literary incident. In 1973, in an effort to promote "international goodwill," the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) conferred an honorary membership upon Lem, a distinction that had previously been given to only one other foreign writer, J.R.R. Tolkien.
But in 1975, the writer Philip Jose Farmer, whose sexually frank thrillers Lem had criticized, raised objections to Lem's honorary membership. Farmer's concerns were echoed by an addled Philip K. Dick, who was experiencing fits of paranoia at the time. Dick maintained that Lem had embezzled royalties from a Polish translation of Dick's 1969 novel Ubik. "The honorary voting of Stanislaw Lem to membership is the sheep voting the wolf a place at the communal hearth," Dick warned SFWA members in '75. "They certainly must be licking their chops back in Krakow right now."
The short article is worth reading in its entirety.
Hollywood to flip switch on digital cable boxes, preventing recording of certain content
Hollywood's new strategy is likely to affect everyone from computer-adept users of online music services to the average couch potato. The digital future, hailed as more convenient and of higher quality than the scratchy, fuzzy analog past, is coming with multiple strings attached.
Already, people are finding unfamiliar constraints on how they can consume familiar media: listen to music on your PC, but do not try to copy it to your MP3 player; watch a movie in your home as often as you want for 24 hours ? because after that it will evaporate into the ether; marvel at your plasma-screen TV, but be prepared for your picture quality to be diminished if you do not have the latest model with anti-piracy equipment.
Might be the only reason I watch Road to Perdition. I just taped The Professionals last night, oddly enough.
I didn't know he was born and raised in Tahiti, but that accounts for the light in Hell in the Pacific and Tequila Sunrise (another film enjoyable mostly for the cinematography). And his father wrote Mutiny on the Bounty!
Hey, if it made e.e. cummings look like a visionary, surely it'll do the same for you, right? Wrong. It makes you look like a lazy fuckwit. (Unless you demonstrate that you can use the shift key: for instance, by using characters that demand it, like double quotes. Then it makes you look like a pretentious fuckwit.) Even if you somehow manage to pull off the no-caps style with grace and flair, the best impression you will make is that of a fuckwit admirer of e.e. cummings. That puts you one up on ninety-eight percent of the Internet, but you're still a fuckwit.
In case you don't keep up with the infrequent but invigorating metascene: Lou Reed on, well, the 60s really, though ostensibly about the music
Read this Aspen piece and Thompson's FALILV for the most potent dose of what the 60s were if you actually lived through them. And had ears.
Funny how all the darkness that the Velvets were compares to the obvious ecstatic glow Reed emanates here.
Funny how close your eyes' poll of the best album of '67 had The Velvet Underground and Nico getting 3X the votes of Sgt. Pepper.
Of course it had to happen, it really had to happen, it was the natural end to Beethoven's Ninth. Everyone was getting sicker and looking like a wolverine while the people pushed colleges. Dirty buildings with lawns for people to lie on blankets. Well-groomed wasps or purposefully disheveled sensitives reading Spengler. But meanwhile everything was dead. Writing was dead, movies were dead. Everybody sat like an unpeeled orange. But the music was so beautiful.
What band could have released not one, not two, but three historic albums (in as many years), each so different from the one that came before, simultaneously spelling out the brittle aesthetics of England's burgeoning punk movement and, in nearly the same breath, eclipsing them while the rest of the pack was still busy learning to tune their guitars? What band would be willing to then walk away from the zenith of their popularity, claiming they simply didn't have another album in them, only to resurface six years later in 1987 for a string of highly dubious (but not hopeless) new-wave castaways? What band would name one of those albums Manscape? And then, what band could spend ten more years in stasis, recuperating, biding their time for their inevitable recovery, to eventually drop a set of EP's so unique, so urgent, that it's as though the band never went away in the first place? Most importantly, even one year ago, who ever would have believed that such a stunning return was possible? No one but Wire.
Actually I like A Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck and The Ideal Copy, but I'm an old guy.
The author is the president of an all-girls school, so her prejudice is to be expected. But if women do get less attention and acheive less in coed schools -- well more power to them.
I guess it's my age showing, but it always seemed weird to me that Douglass College (I went to coed Rutgers College, both of them part of Rutgers University) was still for women only. A relic of Victorian repression etc.
But in the context of women still not being accorded equality in American society, and this having a negative effect on their college experience, I can see why they might choose an all-woman school.
Though I still can't help but feel the old Victorian thing creeping back in, especially with the New Imperialism of the White House setting the tone.
Never did get around to reading Angry Young Spaceman, Jim Munroe's last novel, though I think it was available as a download and I have it somewhere on a disc. His new one Everyone in Silico may be good, but I have a feeling I'd probably agree with Donna McMahon that Pohl & Kornbluth's 1984 The Space Merchants does the job less self-consciously.
Munroe used to run Adbusters, and I kind of want to read him, but there's just too much to read now to tackle anything that isn't right on for me.