| contact: drbenway at priest dot com
| blogging since Oct '01
This is Gordon Osse's blog.
NOTE: Though the comment counter is not working, you can leave comments and I check for them. if you want to leave website info or your name, do so within the textbox, not the signature box, which isn't operative. Thanks.
"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]
Coincidentally, I just watched Le Corbeau (The Raven) tonight, and it's a tight little knot of noir, let me tell ya. The print was fine (on TCM) but the subtitles were white (though not old and tattered like some) and hard to follow because the pace is quick (part of this is my eyesight/being too far from the TV -- but you have to pay close attention to the plot and dialogue). It's not an easy movie to follow if you know French, never mind if you don't. But it's quite good.
I think Les Diaboliques didn't work for me back in the eighties because the print was poor; I'll have to track it and at least The Wages of Fear (Le Salaire de la Peur), which I've heard rumors of ever since I saw the film Friedkin based on it, Sorcerer.
Anyway, the Thomson piece is a nice intro to the director, who sounds like he was a perfect shit to work with, but is essential for film fans to delve into.
Here's an article on Diaboliques from the TCM site (watch for spoilers, though you're warned in the article).
On "Horizons Endless," what seems to be a muted choir, as if heard through a thick church wall, reveals itself to be but a few seconds of sampled vocal sound. As the sample loops, its edge, the point at which the splice is evident, takes on a rhythmic purpose, as if like one of Michael Jackson's hiccups. And then, bizarrely, the sound is overlaid with what seems to be a Jew's harp, all bouncy fun, albeit minor-key. Inevitably the voices fade back in, just in time for the whole piece to fade out. Many of the pieces on [Rapoon's] I Am a Foreigner make similarly peculiar transitions; "Dusk Moon" starts out with reverberating piano, only to be transformed into a Tangerine Dream-style staccato movement. Even on repeated listenings, I Am a Foreigner challenges you to find your place in its mass of found voices and sounds. A background sample from one track becomes the core material of another; tracks change mood at midway points.
I've been listening a lot (behind the latest releases, as usual) to Tleilaxu's genetherapy, Kenneth Kirschner & Taylor Deupree's post piano, and 833-45's Solar Cycle 23, a CD-R from a while back that you can download at autoplate or purchase on krebs' site, along with the rest of his work.
The Mathieu/Ehlers' Heroin and Polyvox Populi 2 comp (download here) are also ones I come back to.
Also got an email from Torontonian elleinad with a link to her latest work. Been following her fine stuff on mp3.com and elsewhere since '99.
DVD X Copy Express looks like a winner in the DVD burning competition. Low featured but fast and easy -- and cheap ($70). I agree that there's little point in burning 2 discs to cover the dual-layer DVDs, but for a simple cheapo copy, this looks like the bet.
Comparison of 10 best online digital photo printing sites. The local WalMart looks like the best bet for shots that are decent to begin with. (The only choice where I live...)
Researching Frederick Wiseman's Titicut Follies (for this post), I found this neat site called Subterranean Cinema, which among other things has the complete screenplay for El Topo and also Rospo Pallenberg's (Excalibur) unrealized screenplay for a George Romero version of Stephen King's The Stand (available as a 277k zipped Word file)
Mac was the crustiest ex-LAPD homicide detective with three ex-wives, two mortgages, a greedy daughter wasting time at college, a gay son playing acid-blues punk in some Sacramento dive, and a liver that had been bitch slapped by cheap vodka so many times it looked like a bag of yellow fat, who ever walked into my floral and gift shop. (Robert Salsbury, runner-up(!) in the detective fiction category
C|net overview of P2P & privacy in the wake of the RIAA's war on consumers, plus WiFi hotspots as a workaround
Popular peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa, where the lion's share of online trading of music and other files takes place, are designed such that participants who wish to remain completely anonymous must pay a severe price in terms of convenience and usability, experts warn.
"There is no good system out there for hiding identities," said Randy Saaf, president of MediaDefender, a Los Angeles-based company that investigates peer-to-peer networks for the music industry. "If they're sharing content, they're wide open -- they're running the risk. It's hard to anonymize people on a big public network."
The escalation in violence threatens to bring the US criminal justice system to an impasse: although the prison industry is already full to the brim, the RIAA's actions make new criminals out of tens of millions of ordinary US citizens. As Boycott-RIAA's founder Bill Evans notes, "there are more file-sharers than voters for either candidate at the last Presidential Election".
New multi-use cable boxes debuting in fall with Comcast
[They] record programming onto a hard drive, ha[ve] a built-in DVD player and can serve as media center[s] for digital photos and music [mp3s]. The dual-tuner device supports two TVs, allowing users to simultaneously record two different shows, or watch one program in one room while playing another show in another.
The 2 models available have either 40 or 80GB drives, the latter having broadband capabilty and a built-in DVD.
To try to maintain my bearings as I ploughed on I kept little running totals of what seemed like useful statistics in a notebook. The final tallies looked like this. Number of pages: 3,891; murders: 54 (of which, throats cut: 17); orgasms: 24 (of which, simultaneous: 8); books using the word 'raghead' to denote an Arab: 3; good-looking villains: 1; central women characters who did not talk about needing a man: 0; pistol whippings: 5; gasps over unexpected proportions of lover's manhood: 3; uses of the phrase 'all hell broke loose': 2; uses of the phrase 'you do the math': 4; times I went to sleep halfway through a paragraph describing the night sky: 2; times I smiled at an authorial joke: 4; times I laughed out loud (when supposed to): 0. (One of the things we seem to want from our bestselling books is a straight face. One of the things they demand from us, almost without exception, is to be taken seriously.)
Bob Dylan was apparently er deeply influenced by an obscure oral history of a yakuza while writing his Love and Theft album
He's like "some very imaginative sponge," says Christopher Ricks, a professor of humanities at Boston University, who has lectured on Mr. Dylan's works. Usually, says Mr. Ricks, Mr. Dylan's sponging is a healthy part of the creative process. The songwriter takes a few words, twists them, changes their context, and produces an entirely new work of art. But Mr. Ricks says he was surprised by the extent to which Mr. Dylan seems to have borrowed from "Confessions of a Yakuza" on his latest album. "No one of these instances was very telling," he says. "But when you put together the whole string of them, it's quite striking."
Last.fm is a streaming radio station with a built-in collaborative filter that attempts to learn its listeners' likes and dislikes. Based on data gathered, the station delivers a personalized radio stream to each of its listeners.
I'll check it out.
Spinner tried to do the same thing but its library was very weak.
Rome always seemed a polar affair, with on one hand great and noble leaders and on the other in-bred loons who saw Europe as a money-box. And, let's face it, wonderful and admirable as the noble emperors were, there is that "he did what?" factor that keeps us coming back to the psychos. So, evidently to satisfy this craving, Dedalus have published this rather fab little book. They've taken choice cuts from Ovid, Suetonius, Tacitus, Juvenal and more, translated them in a jaunty, chatty fashion and stitched them together. It works very well indeed.
...for the most part [the book] achiev[es] its goal of proving that the multiple flowerings of the Gothic mode that occurred throughout Europe were due to a rapid exchange of ideas based upon trade, translation and the growing fiction market. This is in direct opposition to the usual view that Gothic grew (particularly in Britain) in a steady organic progression from Walpole's Castle of Otranto through to Shelly, Radcliffe and Stoker. The essayists Horner have chosen explore the nature of translation and cultural misappropriation, seeing Gothic infesting Europe like a plague and identifying its peculiar conventions in Coleridge, Pushkin and even Lloyd-Webber. In fact, the discussion of the roots and paths of The Phantom of the Opera by Jerold E Hogle is one of the highlights of the book, taking in historical backgrounds, film and stage as it traces the Late Capitalist assimilation of the story.
I noticed that there's an essay on the translations of The Manuscript from Saragossa, which I've just picked up at half.com -- the Elizabeth Abbott one.
See my other site for a post on Mike Jay's The Air Loom Gang about a political operative who fell out of favor in the early 1800s and described in elaborate detail the mind control machine that tormented him.
Also, Kiritchenko's own site is featuring a former Soviet satellite comp called Polyvox Populi 2 which is quite good too. The only act I'd heard of was EU. The Alphonse de Montfroyd track is the standout so far, though I haven't heard it all yet.
I'm also listening to a couple new things from the redoubtable Canadian site no type: Julie Rousse's entry into the sine fiction SF tribute series, in this case Asimov's Foundation; and bipolar transmission by elastic lego and martin dx.
Your editor has long held the view - although quietly for fear of being mugged - that one of the earliest signs of America's cultural collapse was the introduction of the disco drum machine. I was, to be sure, a drummer at the time, so the opinion may have been a bit premature and biased. Nonetheless, since then popular music has become increasingly stripped of melody, chord range, internal variety and surprise, and dynamics. With the arrival of rap, music itself became virtually irrelevant.
These are not matters of taste, but observable phenomenon. For example, the history of western music, until fairly recently, was in part the story of expanding the number of acceptable chords, something that can be readily seen in comparing, say, a traditional folk song to the works of Thelonious Monk. This does not mean that the folk song was bad, only that the later work was far more venturesome at the least, and more creative at best. Growing cultures keep breaking ground. Declining ones just wear it out and break it up. Retrenchment and regression replaces exploration and adventure.
Anyone who grew up with jazz grew up with this sense of adventure, sometimes found in a single tune. It has been described by one music teacher as being in part the interplay between repetition and surprise. Just when we think we know what is coming thanks to previous reiteration, the music surprises us. Further, as far back as Jelly Roll Morton, jazz musicians borrowed from different musical traditions, blending them in new and unusual ways.
There have been two anchors in all of this: the drums and the bass. And even though I was once a drummer, after I switched to piano I found myself increasingly of the opinion that the bass was the sina qua non of jazz. In fact, in my own mainstream group - blessed by a superb bassist - I did away with drums entirely, leaving room for two horns in just a quartet.
Bassists are remarkable people, all the more so because most pay them so little mind. I have, in fact, never met a mean or nasty bass player. They tend to be musicians of good humor, extraordinary patience, and a sense of modesty that can be lacking in the front of the band.
The elimination of bassists from bands is another reflection, I fear, of America's growing passion for power without the balance of community and cooperation, and without the magnificent gift of an individual who is always quietly there doing exactly the right thing at the right time and, in the process, making everyone else sound good as well.
I'm not convinced this is so dire a situation, but it's an interesting POV.
Suing your customers one by one is not a business model
Petition for musicians opposed to new legal strategy by MusicMobster [Undernews, near bottom]
We can only assume that the intention behind these attacks on individuals is to create an atmosphere of intimidation in which music lovers dare not use legally acquired computers to listen to music, except under very limited terms that the industry intends to dictate.
As musicians we recognise and defend the right of artists to be compensated for their work. However, these prosecutions are not helping musicians, or helping the industry create a better system of internet distribution.
This is the first I've heard of this highly political, confrontational and avant garde artist who was a collaborator with Duchamp.
Baj became increasingly convinced that mass consumption had produced a culture in which artistic invention was replaced by endless repetition and kitsch. His response was to create his own copies of great modern painters, from Seurat to De Chirico and Picasso. In place of contemporary art's stultifying unoriginality, these free adaptations exemplified his talent for imaginative association and collage.
Nixon And Kissinger At The Columbus Day Parade (1974) was followed by Apocalypse (1978-83), in which he expressed his horror at the corruption and environmental degradation of the planet. This disgust reached a climax in 1994 with the first election of Italy's current premier, and the production of Berlus-kaiser, a sardonic painting populated, like Apocalypse, by grotesque silhouetted figures.
Here's a page that claims Baj was aware of alien visitations and abductions in the 50s, FWIW.
Unlike some Eno loyalists, I didn't get into Drawn from Life or The Drop much. I do listen to tracks from the former sometimes. And the Lightness pieces. And I Dormienti is probably the most interesting of the installation bunch, though I imagine they work a lot better in the context of the space they were created for. Like most movie soundtracks.
I think Eno has been down with his family and producing and collaborating, his energy dispersed and uh distributed. Not much making it to the solo works. And his stuff seems chillier and less textural than the earlier works, which is part of what makes his work unique, because few artists working in electronic music are following up that line of thought. Maybe that's partly the analog to digital thing, but I miss it, whatever.
I'd written off Legally Blonde 2 for obvious reasons, until I read this blurb by director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, who did Kissing Jessica Stein a while back, which I thoroughly enjoyed -- one of the sanest and most appealing romantic comedies I've seen lately (along with the delightful About a Boy, which I liked even more)
I don't know if I'll get through LBII anyway, but it may have redeeming qualities. The first one I doubt I'll get to.
I like Reese Witherspoon (she was great in Election), but lately I can't see her for the spotlights, y'know. Have to catch Freeway sometime.
About 10f Hitler's library is housed at the Library of Congress; there is definite evidence of his abiding interest in spirituality and the occult
Given Hitler's legendary disdain for organized religion in general and Christianity in particular, I didn't expect him to have devoted much time to the teachings of Christ, let alone to have marked this quintessential Christian virtue ["Love your neighbor as you would love yourself"]. Had this in fact been made by the pencil of Hitler's younger sister, Paula, who occasionally visited her brother at the Berghof and remained a devout Catholic until her dying day? Might some other Berghof guest have responded to this holy Scripture?
Possibly -- but though most of the spiritually oriented books in the Hitler Library were gifts sent to the F?hrer by distant admirers, several, like Worte Christi, were obviously well read, and some contained marginalia in Hitler's hand that suggested a serious exploration of spiritual matters. If Hitler was as deeply engaged with spiritual issues as his books and their marginalia suggest, then what was the purpose of this pursuit?
Langer based his assessment not only on Hitler's repeated references to "divine providence," both in speeches and in private conversations, but also on reports from some of Hitler's most intimate associates that Hitler truly believed he was "predestined" for greatness and inspired by "divine powers." After the war Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, one of Hitler's chief military advisers, seemed to confirm the Langer thesis. "Looking back," he said, "I am inclined to think he was literally obsessed with the idea of some miraculous salvation, that he clung to it like a drowning man to a straw."
The Predictions of Nostradamus belongs to a cache of occult books that Hitler acquired in the early 1920s and that were discovered in the private quarters of his Berlin bunker by Colonel Albert Aronson in May of 1945.
Most scholars dismiss the notion that Hitler seriously entertained the ideas of these [Nordic] cults, but the marginalia in several of his books confirm at least an intellectual engagement in the substance of Weimar-era occultism. The Brown collection contains books by such figures as Adamant Rohm, a "magnetopathic doctor" from Wiesbaden; Carl Ludwig Schleich, a Berlin physician who pioneered the use of local anesthesia; and Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken, who wrote numerous books on reincarnation and otherworldly phenomena under the pseudonym B? Yin R?.
One of the most heavily marked books is Magic: History, Theory and Practice (1923), by Ernst Schertel. When I typed the author's name into one Internet search engine, I scored eight hits, including sites on Satanism, eroticism, sadomasochism, and flagellation. When I typed his name into Google, I scored twenty-six hits, including sites on parapsychology, astrology, and diverse sexual practices. According to a Web site for Germany's sadomasochistic community, Schertel wrote numerous books on flagellation and eroticism, and was "a central figure" in the German nudist movement of the 1920s and 1930s.
Hitler's copy of Magic bears a handwritten dedication from Schertel, scrawled on the title page in pencil. A 170-page softcover in large format, the book has been thoroughly read, and its margins scored repeatedly. I found a particularly thick pencil line beside the passage "He who does not carry demonic seeds within him will never give birth to a new world."
He also owned Walt Whitman's personal first edition of Leaves of Grass.